...From all the ping-ponging, that is
Achieved Debt Freedom 2x and here we go again. This time, only I can be to blame - not DH.
Seems to me that I can only have laser focus on one or two areas of my life at a time. When my finances are the focus, other areas suffer. Most of 2015, my job & health/fitness were the focus. Finances suffered. It seems life always works like that, you can't juggle it all. Maybe that's a bad excuse though.
So I'd stopped the habit of withdrawing blow money and cash enveloping everything, sending our snowballs to savings, I was grocery shopping without a set limit, etc.
We always have had the VISA with our CU, but we just started to use it again for travel. I purchased flights for DH and I to visit his parents in AZ this Christmas, and an East Coast trip for me to go spend a week with my longtime girlfiend (which I did last month).
Amazon suckered me into I caved for Amazon's deal by signing up for their CC for $70+ off an order once. Then, I wanted to spoil my DH with the new "Xbox One" for Christmas. Now lookit.
And, I sold my old car for $1200 cash, knowing full well I would be going into a new car loan.. I just didn't realize how easy it would be to go above the dollar amount you had in your mind. I'm now the proud owner of a $14k car (and its loan)!
I know exactly where I let us down. Because I know we can pay these off so quickly, I am just in that frame of mind "it's no big deal".
I successfully funded and used a sinking fund in 2015 and will be improving on it in 2016. In some ways our budgeting mindset didn't change, but it was too easy to add on debt rather than put something off.
Now for the good news. That project I was brought on in February, I finally handed the reins over to one of my employees in October as I received an offer for a promotion. 9 months on that project - many long weeks, or working from home while sick as a dog so timelines wouldn't be derailed, or answering loads of calls evenings and weekends.. It was fun! But that role opened doors to this new position which long-term offers even more opportunities for expansion. I love it, so far!
DH got the bug over the summer to look for a new job, as he was in a dead end job at his small mom and pop storage unit company. I swear, I never thought I'd see the day. It came! An acquaintance of ours suggested DH apply at his place of work, they needed extra hands. September, DH started his job as an installer for an HVAC company locally. His stellar driving record (read: no DUI's) put him on the fast track and he is driving a company truck around every day and learning so much. It's crazy how much men can flip a 180, when their self worth increases and they actually feel good about the job they hold! DH is earning hours every week towards his state electrician's license. It's probably a couple years off but there are also other opportunities for him to take tests and classes for a dollar raise here, dollar raise there. He earns OT almost every week so that's nice also. His hours are going to drop after wintertime though, so he made sure not to burn any bridges at the storage place. He plans to work there PT in spring or whenever it is slow at the HVAC place, to make up for hours.
Our diabetic cat by all appearances stopped being diabetic (?!) So we began to budget less as we do not need his insulin, needles and test strips. The last handful of times we've tested him, he's in normal range. We do keep him on his special food diet, which is on an auto-reorder and comes out of "his" account The diet is what I attribute his normal blood sugar levels to, so it's a permanent thing for him!
We added a new adoptee to our family in October - Stu, an orange striped kitten. Someone on Facebook was saying their litter needed homes, and that one cat had "special needs" - well I couldn't resist. We're officially cat people. Stu is special in that he has the polydactyl gene so his front paws are shaped like mittens (he has thumbs). He also has no tail so he appears to hop around much like a rabbit. But we love him and what he's added to our home life. Both cats now share a savings account.
Also we are pregnant (3rd time, with 2 past miscarriages). Still in the 5-7 week range, so I do not really know what to think yet. I don't want to get too excited until I reach 2nd trimester, if I do. I am not even going to a doctor this time around because of the insane amounts of money we paid OOP the last two times on appointments and ER/urgent care visits. Nope. If I am still pregnant in January I'll make an appointment. I have been taking prenatals and progesterone which I still had from the last pregnancy. Don't worry - the capsules are not expired
I suppose this is a decent recap of my lost time with you all. I don't expect a lot of happy smiling faces looking my way, because I know I am "the one who leaves all the time & comes back with debt".
I ran some #s this week and just was shocked at the amount of $ DH and I have been wasting (or not putting a name to).
Assuming he maintains $500/week income, we have $1780 per month SNOWBALL.
I mean, how does $1780 just trickle through anyone's fingers? No longer. December has a budget on paper, in excel, in outlook and will be enforced come Friday (DH payday).
Both CCs should be paid off really stinkin' soon, and... is it shameful for me to say I'm in no rush to pay the car off? The interest rate is next to nothing! (1.9%) OK, I need someone to yell at me for that one too maybe.
I realize DH's hours will be going down in March or so, and we can't really foresee how badly he will be affected until we live through a full year of him working in that industry. So we won't have this huge of a snowball all the time, but we will be able to maintain our budget on my income if need be.
I guess what I need to do is have a solid plan for what to do after getting debt free. Since that is the point in which I grow weak and our finances suffer.
Until next time!