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6 year TMMO anniversary.

mimi

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We have reached our 6 year TMMO anniversary and I have been doing a lot of soul searching. We are obviously not where we wanted to be at this point. I sat down and asked myself some really hard questions and have been doing a lot of thinking on the subject this month.

 

Where we are now:

6 healthy children

Blog that is paying for 90% of our homeschooling needs

2 paid for vehicles

BEF is down to $220 after a major car repair this month

Debt free in February (again)

Rented off base house that is being covered 100% (including utilities) by our Housing allowance

$1,000 a month snowball

 

 

I have been thinking about why we can not maintain a 3-6mth emergency fund and why we keep slipping back into debt. Some of my thoughts:

 

Dh's addiction. A typical week saw anywhere from $100 to $1,000 in charges depending on his ability to control it.

My injury. By not being able to cook or grocery shop we were spending $2,000 to $3,000 a month on food (I wish I was kidding)

Homeschooling with no pre-planning. We decided literally overnight to pull our girls out of public school and homeschool them. We had to buy everything brand new and immediately so that we could start ASAP as we were threatened by CPS and terrified we were going to have our children removed from our home.

Moving off base. We did NEED to move but we should have done it with savings specifically for moving. We instead had 30 days to get out of our base housing and used our FFEF to cover the expenses. Of course Murphy then visited and I was seriously injured.

Buying 2 used cars with savings. Adding our 6th child caused a huge shift in vehicles in a short time period.

Moving from Hawaii to New Jersey. Yes we received payment through the military but it didn't cover 100% of the costs and we used our FFEF to buy things like pillows, air mattresses, washer and dryer, winter clothes for 5 kids, etc while living in an empty house and waiting 3 mths for our things to arrive from Hawaii.

Seeing Debt as a tool. I don't think we ever made the mental switch from typical American thinking and realized Debt is not a tool it is a giant money sucking pain in the rear.

Not drawing that line in the sand. We never got truly mad at the debt. We didn't like having it but we never reached our breaking point and said "never again"

 

 

So what exactly do we plan to do about this now that we are about to be debt free for the 3rd time in 6 years?

 

Cancel the CC. We are not waiting till we have a FFEF to cancel the card this time. We have made that mistake before. Having it around is obviously not working even when we don't physically have it on our person. Just knowing it is there as a safety net is stopping us from making progress.

Continue to work hard at my blog to continue to cover homeschooling costs.

Dh is doing amazing with therapy and his addiction. At this point it has been 6mths since he stumbled. He is determined not to break his streak.

Detailed plan upcoming expenses.

Sinking funds for upcoming expenses.

An overfilled FFEF. I would ideally like 8 mths of expenses.

Making up several weeks of freezer meals. If I get hurt again, or just don't feel like cooking, I want the meals done and ready to go.

Get mad at the debt. I am mad at it now. I am sick and tired of the cycle and I am totally finished with the back sliding.

Draw the line in the sand. NO NEW DEBT. Not only is it a line in the sand it is a 6ft deep trench filled with sharks. I am so done with debt and there will be no new debt.

 

 

Anyways there is our 6yr update. I am praying the 7 yr update is a much happier one :)

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I understand as much as anyone how easy it is to backslide. I still think what you have managed to do on such a small income with a large family is amazing! Especially considering the special needs of many of your children.

 

Here's to an amazing year!

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And where were you at 6 years ago?  You may have not made the progress you wanted to make, but you certainly moved forward in a big way!  What's your net worth now compared to then?  How much bigger are your retirement accounts?

 

I use the look-back for myself whenever I think that we aren't doing as well as I wanted.  That is true, but progress has still been made.  

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I had a look Zaga

 

Jan 2009 (2 kids)

$60,000 in debt

$1,695 in retirememnt

-$58,306 networth

 

Feb 2015 (6 kids)

$0 in debt

$32,000 in retirement

$32,000 networth

 

Wow!

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So in 6 years you have gained 4 children and $90,000 in net worth.

 

That's an average of $15,000 and 2/3 of a child per year!

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I had a look Zaga

 

Jan 2009 (2 kids)

$60,000 in debt

$1,695 in retirememnt

-$58,306 networth

 

Feb 2015 (6 kids)

$0 in debt

$32,000 in retirement

$32,000 networth

 

Wow!

Way to go!  Love Progress!

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And when you factor in all the challenges you have faced in that period,you are doing fabulous!

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I applaud you for taking a hard look at this. You do have some unique struggles, but they aren't going away anytime soon, so the key is to be prepared for them. You are going to need more ffef than most. You have more children, with higher specialized needs. And you move around a lot.

 

In your shoes I would aim for at minimum a $20k ffef that is only for things you don't know will happen. If you know you will be moving, save on top of that. If you know you will need homeschool stuff, save for it on top of that. Don't allow the ffef to be a catch all for known expenses. Known expenses go in the regular budget.

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I think that has been a big part of the problem miranova. Before we have tried to have laser focus on the FFEF and fill it before working on the sinking funds. We are going to split the snowball this time, half to the FFEF and half to sinking funds. I think that will work much better in the long run.

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