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Chérie

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Everything posted by Chérie

  1. WINDFALL BLISS!!!!!!! We had a site-wide meeting today and they were giving out HUGE checks to the top performers!!! I was not expecting to get called up to receive a check... but I did!!!! They called me up for being a top performer for my metrics! That check was for an amazing $1,250!!!! While I was standing in front of everyone with this huge check, trying not to cry, they called my name AGAIN for "Best Overall Quality in the Enterprise" WOW!!!!! That check was another $750!!!! So, I'm the only person who got TWO checks!!!! Total: TWO GRAND!!!! What???? The day couldn't possibly get any better, right? WRONG!!!! We had a site-wide competition for Visa gift cards that has been going on for the past 2 weeks. Top prize: $250. Yes, I won that too!!!! I am on cloud nine!!!!! The gift card will take a week to come in, but the regular-sized checks are tucked in my purse and will be deposited tomorrow!!! Soooooo excited!!! http://i1347.photobucket.com/albums/p720/cheriecorazon/B48FB11E-2CD9-4A3F-A48F-F41F0964D701_zpsgj5lx70r.jpg
  2. We had some friends drive out to visit us this past week. They actually ended up saving us more money than anything. They bought toiletries, water and lots and lots of food! I have all of my debts listed on a BIG white board in the nook that's supposed to serve as a dining room (I guess). The board has notes about what to consider in the budget for next month, goals for the current month, and sometimes it'll have notes to Spouse since we are rarely home at the same time. It also has the progress bar from FPU with the Baby Steps next to it. My friend inquired about how to budget. So, we sat down and I put some notes in the notepad in her phone about budgeting to fulfill BS1 and how the debt snowball works in BS2. I gave her some budgeting apps to play with and showed her how I use my calendar to make sure my pay periods line up with my bills etc... Spouse was listening to everything. Spouse: The budgeting thing works. The credit cards are paid off and everytime I look at the bank account, there's $3,000 in there. I don't know how there happens to be money in the bank AND we're paying off the cards, but it works. Me: There's not $3,000, but thank you for ankowledging my hard work. Spouse: *looks at our friend* But you won't have ANY fun. None. At all. Me: Not true! We have a small Resturant category, an amusement category AND you get Blow money! Spouse: *Still looking at our friend* You have very little fun. All that money can be spent in 3 days. Friend: How much is it? Me: $50 for Resturants, $60 for Amusement and $100 for her blow money. If it were up to me, it would be $100 for all of it put together. Friend: Yeah, I can spend that in a day. Friend's 14 yo son: That's why you need a budget, Mom! LoL I do want to say that we must be doing something right if we aren't having ANY FUN at all. LoL I am super glad that Spouse is acknowledging that the budget works!!!! Yay!!!! That was the highlight of my week!!
  3. I called my lender for the car to see what the process is for applying a payment to the principal amount (since I'll be doing that A LOT moving forward). Apparently, I have to call them 2 days after making the payment so that it posts to the account and they can apply the amount I want to the principal. I guess I'll be calling them every two weeks! We are on AutoPay that just pulls the regular monthly total, no matter what ($284.98). I guess we must've paid extra a while back because the amount due was only $184.86. So, I requested that the extra $100.02 go to Principal and it was done!! That's the first time I've ever requested that. Before starting this journey, we used to just send in extra payments without realizing that the money was going towards the next month's payment instead of to the principal. Thank God we've learned!!! Cheers to more principal-only payments!
  4. DONE and DONE! I couldn't wait to throw the snowball at the Amazon card!!! Plus, most people throw their snowball right away anyway. I usually like to hold onto it until my hands are on the next one.... but the credit card foolishness had to come to an end! I just made a payment of $947.14 to pay off the Amazon card! That will mark the end of credit card debt! I have paid off $13,401 in credit card debt!!!! When I started, 6 months ago, it was $13,050. No more high interest!!! No more carrying balances!!!! No more credit cards!!! Most importantly, No more credit card debt!!!!!!!!!!!!! This also brings my total debt to the $75K range! If I just keep chipping away, that $90K will be a distant memory!!! On to the car!!!!!!
  5. I REALLY miss updating my signature. I'm going to do it here to get my fix Please note that LAST credit card has no more commas! I'm not sure if I shared this, but my last monthly goal was to get the Amazon card to $1,000 by the end of July's 2nd budget period (which was Aug. 3rd). I didn't think I was going to reach it, but I did!!!!! I try to set some of the goals just out of reach to keep my Gazelle feet moving! So proud!! The goal for Aug. is to have the Amazon card paid off by Aug. 18th at the latest. My mom knows a lawyer in her Bible Study class and she INSISTED that we reach out to her, even though she is in another state. My mom said that the lawyer assured her that there is a path to citizenship that will not send Alicia to Mexico. Well..... I'm just going to say there was no new information that we had not already heard The only thing that we are holding out for is the DREAM Act, which has failed to pass through Congress every year for the last 7 years. But, It's in the House again right now. We try not to get too excited because it's devastating Every. Single. Year. when it fails. To end on a high note, I did not have to go to work today so I got some much needed sleep! I slept until 8am, took Alicia to work and the cat to the vet. I came back home and slept from 9-noon! Then, I work up for an hour and went back to sleep until 3:00pm!!! It was a total of ELEVEN glorious hours of sleep!! I really needed it! Now, I'm not so bitter about the next 3 months of "Mandatory Overtime." Bring it on! Maybe I'll be singing the NO CAR NOTE song sooner than February. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXXH4Fm9qh8 So READY to get rid of these debts! Dee-1 also has a song about paying Sallie Mae back I heard about him when he visited Dave's studio last week. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqbXQa05Z6c It helps keep me motivated. Start Date: Feb. 1, 2017 BS1: Done. Feb. 18, 2017 BS2: *In Progress* $90,164 to pay off Paid / Remaining Completed Chevron $2,313/ $0 Mar. 3, 2017 Capital 1 $3,959/ $0 May 23, 2017 Phone $454 / $0 July 10, 2017 Amazon $6,186/ $944 Car $0/ 11,956 All Loans $0/ 71,887
  6. I want to share something that I got to do with cash, that I had never done before. Spouse's phone was a lease and was given back about 2 weeks ago. We have an old iPhone 5 that still worked; Spouse was going to use it until we had finished budgeting for a phone she wanted. I told her she could pick any fancy new phone she wanted because she's been pretty great about the budget for the past 6 months. I said we would probably have to budget for 3 months. Well, the phone kept turning off and Spouse missed her alarm. There's nothing like arriving 3 hours late to overtime on a Saturday to make you realize that you need a reliable phone. Sure, we could've bought a $5 alarm clock. Yes, we could've paid $100 to have the phone fixed. Yes, there was probably some other solution. However, our 2-yr. anniversary was the next day (8 years together!) so I took the money we did manage to save, and pulled the rest out of the budgeted snowball (about $200) and walked into the store with Cash in hand! I paid for a phone IN CASH. The woman that helped me had to ask her co-worker how to check to see if the bills were real. Apparently, not many people pay in cash. It made me giggle, but I also felt a sense of control. I got one that had a scratch on the back, (apparently it's a $75 scratch) and I saved $80 by not doing payments. Spouse had not chosen the latest and greatest phone, like I thought she would have. It was a Samsung S7 or 7S... idk. Anyway, it was almost $200 less than the new S8 version. All in all, we got the phone for just over $400! And I paid cash!!
  7. Sometimes I think my job WANTS to catch you off guard! I had my last interview on Monday. Since then, I've had another casual type of interview with the other boss of the building. That one did go really well. Then, I went to work on Wednesday for overtime before my shift. *Note* I ALWAYS schedule my overtime to end 2 hours before the start of my regular shift so that I can go home, walk Bubbles, and relax a bit before going back. I like to take a nap and pretend that I am waking up for the first time before work tbh. It helps me to not get burned out by the overtime as fast. So, I'm at work and about halfway through my overtime, one of the managers says I have an interview THAT DAY with a Corporate guy! I rush home, walk the dog, pick out a new outfit, touch up my makeup, straighten my hair again, shave my legs, practice my About Me in the mirror, and head back to work. Boss Man's advice to me, "Keep your answers short and concise. Only elaborate when he asks." Sure. No problem Boss! Then, I realize that it's a phone interview.... A PHONE interview! I gave up my Reset-the-day nap to get ready for a phone interview?!? Regional Manager: Have we met in person yet? Me: No. I was really looking forward to that. (To self: Today would've been ideal, don't you think?!) later in the interview.... Him: Tell me about a time when you have failed and what you did about it Me without a moment's hesitation (and slightly offended): I don't fail. There has never been a time that I have failed. To self: Oh crap! He's going to think you're an idiot! Do something.... Me: I may have not reached my goal when I wanted but that isn't "failing." It just takes a little longer to win in that situation. Let me elaborate... To self: So much for short and concise :/ Me: Blah blah... It's all about your definition of failure... blah blah. So, I can tell you about a time where I didn't win the way that I initially wanted to instead... Soooo, I think that interview could have gone better but, it wasn't a total failure. LoL I don't do as well on phone interviews as I do in person. Apparently, I still have another interview with the Director of Sales next I feel like I'm applying for a corporate position! Interviewing with all these important people!! My coach says that she never talked to anyone from corporate when she applied for this position. So, I'm just going to take that and pretend that I am Super Special! In my head, I'm pretending that all of my interviews have gone SOOO well that Corporate people want to get a glimpse of how awesome I am!
  8. The big boss surprised me with an interview when I showed up at work today! Sooooooo NOT prepared! It seemed to go really well though! I think there's one more interview with a guy from Corporate. Hopefully, they'll give me a heads up for that one!
  9. I will absolutely have more questions when I get to BS 4! But that's good to know that it's not as difficult as I'm imagining. I added that book to my list on my library's web site so thank you very much for that!
  10. OMG! I had an unplanned interview today! No makeup, no cute hair, no super professional suit.... NOTHING! I got to work today and was told that I am having my 2nd interview today. It was supposed to be for NEXT WEEK! So, I put down the coffee, scouted out some gum (for the coffee breath), ran to the bathroom, to check my hair, and became VERY thankful that my outfit was more on the business side than business casual. It's funny because I always say, "It's not about the luck associated with being at the right place at the right time. It's about always being ready." I was not feeling particularly ready! Well, the interview seemed to go really well regardless. I know there is at least one more interview left so, I'll be in make up everyday moving forward! I don't normally wear makeup to work, so it's not like I looked crazy different from my usual self. However, I really WAS planning to make a pleasing-to-the-eye good first impression on the lady I had never met before. I do like the speed in which things seem to be progressing. I just wasn't prepared for it to be this fast! #StressfulMonday!
  11. I had not posted about Week 4 of FPU because I didn't really get all excited about it. Here's the Updates on FPU Weeks 4 and 5. Today, was Week 6, but Spouse is traveling so it's just me. Week 4: Buyer Beware *small group discussion* Question 2: What was the last ting that caused that Red-faced grocery store kid inside of you to wake up and scream, "I want ONE"? Did you give in? Spouse: I think it was the FIFA game that I bought. Ho5wever, I did wait for the price to go down before getting it. It's not so much that I had to have it as soon as it came out, but I did want it. I waited until it was almost $20 off before buying it. Me: Unlike my wife, I did not really wait for my purchase. I wanted the FPU course with the DVD's because I wasn't sure if Spouse was going to actually do the course with me, so I figured that even if we didn't make it to a class, I would still have the DVD's so we could do it at home. I tried to wait for one of DR's sales.... but only the Online or class membership kits were on sale. I sucked it up and purchased it because "I wanted the DVD's." Spouse: I get more use out of my game than she gets out of the DVD's! Week 5: The Role of Insurance Me: That was really VERY informative! Spouse: Yes, except that I'm not sure DR understands how most HSAs work. At my job, if you don't use the money that you put in there by the end of the year, you lose it. Me: Mine too. People tell me that they buy unnecessary things just to use the money. My friend's dad bought the whole family 3 pairs of glasses each. Spouse: My co-workers go to Walgreens and buy a ton of medicine. Me: Yeah... lets not do that... I could imagine that we'd get to the point where we'd have too much. We would be on the streets going, "I've got Nyquil for $1... get your Nyquil!" Week 6: Retirement and College Planning Spouse is in Houston visiting her mom so I did this one by myself. I really enjoyed learning about the different types of investments. I REALLY enjoyed dreaming of the day I'll reach BS4 and about having a baby to have a reason to do BS5!!! What I still don't understand is HOW do you actually pick out the funds that you want in your 401K? My job gave me a booklet that gave me like 10 different plans. When I picked one, it was kinda based on how long you would be contributing to it before retirement. I have the 50 year plan or whatever they call it. I guess I'll wait until I get there and contact an ELP to figure that one out. Spouse and I will watch the DVD when she comes back (later this week) and do an at-home version of the small group discussion. ---------------------- Work Update: I got really bold last week and marched into the Big Boss' office. He has only been there for a few months and I haven't really worked on making sure he knows who I am.... Nevertheless.... Me: Do you have 3 minutes? Clay: Starting now... Go. Me: I applied for a position at another site. I am still waiting to hear from them, but the truth is, I don't want to leave our location. You don't want me to leave this location either. Every single month, my name or photo is on the wall because I have achieved Platinum status for the month (Being top 10 with overall metrics) and/or I am in the Top 10 for Save Rate (One of the most important metrics). My stats are amazing and they are a small part of the reason that this site is doing so well compared to the others. I "grew up" here and I would like to stay here, but there aren't any positions for Team Lead open and that's the position that I really want. I am more than comfortable going to a new location, but I wanted to give you an opportunity to let me continue to make this site the best that I can. I want the opportunity to apply for Team Lead. Clay: That position actually just opened up today. You can apply. Me to self: *Why didn't I check that before walking in here???* Me: Good. I'll get my application in tonight. Clay: Come back at 3:00 when I have more time. I went back at 3:00 and he kept me for an hour. It wasn't really an interview... It was more casual. He told me to be ready for my first of a series of interviews tomorrow. I feel like our talk went really well though. The next day, I had THE BEST interview with 2 of the managers! It went sooooooo well! They told me that they didn't have a timeline on when I would know if I made it to the next interview and said that it could be 6-8 weeks. Well, It was 2 hours later when Clay came up to me desk and said that I was to interview with him the next day! Well, some people from corporate came in the next day so, he had to cancel my interview. He said that they were going to be there all next week and that he would schedule me after they left the site. He also told me that he got an email from the other site that I had applied to. They were going to extend to job to me on the 27th! Well, that's great...... Now, I'm wondering if I kind of messed up... If I had just waited an extra week, I would be at a better position. My pay would have decreased because the other location doesn't have a commission components to it, but I would've stepped up in the company. This position will be more money, but it's a bigger leap. Most people that are applying for it are Trainers or Global Experts (the position I applied for at the other location). So, I have a LOT of work ahead of me if I'm trying to hop over the next stepping stone to reach Team Lead. One of the "preferred" qualifications is to have been in my current position for at least a year. I've been in it for 8-9 months and I haven't even made my 1-year mark at the company just yet. Although, that's coming up on Aug. 1st. The longer they drag out the interview process, the better it is going to be for my tenure there. One good thing that happened that day is that the people that were there from Corporate were there for "Base Camp." It's a program that my company does where they take the executives from corporate and teach them how to do entry level and other jobs so that they can keep in touch with what's actually going on when we interact with customers instead of just having them make policies based on reports. Well, my department deals with long-term customers. The people from corporate aren't allowed to actually talk to them because if they upset them, or give them wrong information, we could lose the customer. Instead, the just sit with us and listen in on the calls. One lady sat with me and by the time she was ready to leave, she told me, "You are sooooo good on the phones! I'm going to tell Clay to keep you on the phones! We can't afford to lose you." I'm thinking DON'T YOU DARE TELL HIM THAT! I'm trying to get some Minions of my own and not have to be on the phones as much! Instead, I say, "Thank you for that. However, I am applying to be Team Lead so that I can teach more people to be just as great as I am! *Jokingly* Tell Clay how wonderful I am!" Once again, wish me luck!
  12. Today is bittersweet. My co-worker who was going to the FPU classes with me quit her job today. She still had another week left, but our boss said she could go today if she wanted some time off before starting her new job. So she left She was my work-wife and I miss her! She's the one that has cut off my last bracelet when I paid off my Capital One card I paid off the phone today! It's after midnight so I let my friend who is visiting help me celebrate. Her son cut off the bracelet that represents the phone lease that I wasn't allowed to pay off early. It's really great to finally get it out of the way and to add that $18 payment to the snowball! However, I miss my co-worker! I thought I had more time It's silly, but anyway... There are 3 bracelets left. The student loans (for all 11 loans), the car, and the last credit card that I will ever carry a balance on. We had to turn Spouse's phone in unless we wanted to pay $200 to keep it (Spouse hates it). So, we activated my old phone for her to use until we saved for a new one. I let her pick out the one she wants to save for and told her, "You can get any phone your heart desires, but you have to wait 3 months for it." Well, the sales guy was showing us the phones and kept talking about how we had $600 in credit with Sprint. We could do a 2-year lease and only pay the payments for 18 months before being eligible for a new one with Android Always or iPhone Forever plans (or whatever they call it). Nope. Nope. Nope. I will never lease or make payments on another phone again. I'm excited that my phone bill is going to be $18 less next month and every month after that. Well, the salesman is a salesman of course. So he agreed with me about not leasing phones and he started telling me that I could use my credit for a watch with an integrated Fit Bit or a Go Pro. LoL Good try Mr. Salesman, but I'm not buying! I am currently wearing $78K in debt on my wrist. Nope. Good bye phone lease, good by phone, good bye tiny bracelet... hello bigger snowball!
  13. FPU Week 4. Dumping Debt. Spouse seemed to be all ears. I really do appreciate that SHE (I'm making an effort. LoL) seems to pay attention and not just playing on her phone or something like that. *Getting into small groups* Spouse: How many questions are there (to discuss)? Me: Just 2. Spouse: Yay! Question 1: What would you do if you were completely out of debt? Me: I would save for our FFEF and for a house, and retirement so that I can take care of my family... blah blah blah mushy stuff... Spouse: I want more money to travel and to drink. Me: *thinking to self* These people are going to think you're an alcoholic! Me: Anything else? Spouse: No. I just want my money back. (As in what's left after we split the bills instead of my budgeting it out) TBH, I think this is the only reason Spouse agreed to move on to the car together. Originally, Spouse agreed to "hand over her check" until the credit cards were paid off... because car payments are normal. So, we were planning to split the bills and the minimum snowball to throw at the car. Then, the remaining portion of her check would go to her while I tackled my loans with the remainder of my check. Now, Spouse has agreed to move on tackling the car together. I had mentioned that we should be able to have it paid off 6 months after finishing the credit cards. I think that helped. So, I know things are moving in the right direction. I really think that she just wants her money back. She would get about $200 per month unless she does overtime. She normally gets $50 as blow money, but I gave her an extra $100 for her birthday. AND she has an extra $100 for next month since it's our anniversary. So it's not like I'm hoarding all of her money If she hasn't come around by the time we pay off the car, we'll put her half of the minimum snowball toward BS3 while I use my half of the snowball to pay off my loans. So, our plan may have BS2 and BS3 going at the same time.... MomTo6 was right. We have to do the plan our way instead of trying to force Spouse to do something she isn't happy about. As long as we are still working toward the right direction, I am content. One step at a time.
  14. Warning: this post contains racism, death, and gay-ness. You've been warned. I'm from New Orleans and I am white. Spouse is from Mexico and very brown (this is important later). While growing up, my family was very hatful towards people of color. I've seen hate stem from nothing more than the color of someone's skin. When I got a little older, I realized that some family members were part of the KKK. Mostly, it was my uncles, cousins, and grandparents. I knew I was "different" from a very young age... not that I was gay. I just didn't undersatand why I couldn't have friends outside of my race. I finally wore my mom down to the point where she let me have black friends at school but could never bring them home. During this struggle to attempt to understand my family while enjoying the friendship of everyone I met at school, I would often overhear conversations of "back in the day when you could just lynch a ni**er..." at Thanksgiving. Those stories were true and they frightened me to death. How could you justify killing someone for no logical rhyme or reason? I was the black sheep long before I even knew what Gay even was. As a teen, I realized that I was attracted to Latinos. It took years to get my mom to be "ok" with me holding hands with a brown person outside, where all of the neighbors could see... Bless her heart, she made progress by the time I graduated! I could have any friend I wanted and I could date anyone I chose. Life was good and I was ready to move out and be on my own! I moved to Texas with a Honduran boy when I was 18 and life slapped us in the face... well, not me so much. White privlige and racial profiling were in full force. If he drove the car, we would get pulled over and harassed. I would go 20+ miles over the speed limit and get "verbal warnings." One time, I did get pulled over by a black cop who yelled at me taking my time to find a parking lot to pull in to. That was the first time a cop had scared me. He made me get out of the car and sit in the Texas heat while he visually checked my car. I'll be honest and tell you that I did not know my rights because it wasn't a need for me. Well, as crazy as it seems, when I thought I was going to get my first ticket, a white cop pulls up to us. He tells me to get back in my car to cool down with the A/C. After a few minutes, he comes to the window and APOLOGIZES to me and tells me I'm free to go. Seriously?! I was clearly speeding and I got an apology? Something wasn't right. This is crazy. Not that I wanted a ticket, but I didn't think that it was right. If it had been a POC, they would've AT LEAST gotten a ticket. How is that right? A few years after learning to be an adult, I met a girl that I liked. As I began to realize that I was gay, my attention also became focused on the LGBT community. I was very closeted for a long time and rightly so. Stories of people killing and torturing gay people started reminding me of the stories I heard from my family. Except, skin color wasn't a factor. If you were gay, you were "going to hell so we might as well torture you in the last minutes of your life so that you'll get a taste of what you're in for." Again, this is absolutely insane. I escaped the KKK to run into people who used God as an excuse to kill humans. I met my wife in 2009. My mom loves her by the way! However, we needed to be careful in public. We didn't stand too close, we didn't hold hands without checking our surroundings, we just had to be careful. Especially, since my wife "looks like a lesbian" with her short hair. Occasionally, we would walk too close and people would shout bible verses at us or call us faggots. I had heard stories of people killing gays, but that was in other states. Not here. Here, they just yelled. They wouldn't hurt us. It's not like we were making out in the street. Right? As we got more comfortable acting like a real couple in some public places, this story happened and it blew me away. http://www.houstonpress.com/news/larry-cosby-convicted-for-murder-of-daughter-and-her-girlfriend-8658352 This was a black man that my old co-worker knew. He hated how his people were treated, enslaved, and killed for no reason by white people. Yet, here he is, a FATHER who killed his own daughter and her girlfriend because they were gay. My co-worker said that he would threaten his daughter about the girlfriend pretty regularly. He threatened her so often that it became normal. He was all talk and no action... until he wasn't. That's it. I vowed never to get too comfortable. My life, and my wife are too important. People are crazy. I also work in a call center, so when I was taking customer service calls, I would build report by mentioning my spouse and it just became second nature. Lord knows, you don't want to offend a customer with your "lifestyle." So, I don't do it because I am ashamed of my spouse or I'm being politically correct with some liberal agenda. I do it to keep us safe when we are not among people we know. I do it because I hate it when people take it upon themselves to tell me how I will be spending my eternity. I do it because I am being respectful of the "societal norm" that exists. Also, no one else seemed to mention their spouse's name, so I thought it was just a privacy issue in the forum. So, Spouse is a "she" and you don't have to change the way you speak about her. If you want to, that's great. If it makes anyone uncomfortable, then just pretend she's a DH. TBH, I didn't even know what DH was for at least 2 months. LoL There you have it. No more skeletons in my closet. P. S. Excuse any typos. I'm doing this on the mobile version. Warning: this post contains racism, death, and gay-ness. You've been warned. I'm from New Orleans and I am white. Spouse is from Mexico and very brown (this is important later). While growing up, my family was very hatful towards people of color. I've seen hate stem from nothing more than the color of someone's skin. When I got a little older, I realized that some family members were part of the KKK. Mostly, it was my uncles, cousins, and grandparents. I knew I was "different" from a very young age... not that I was gay. I just didn't undersatand why I couldn't have friends outside of my race. I finally wore my mom down to the point where she let me have black friends at school but could never bring them home. During this struggle to attempt to understand my family while enjoying the friendship of everyone I met at school, I would often overhear conversations of "back in the day when you could just lynch a ni**er..." at Thanksgiving. Those stories were true and they frightened me to death. How could you justify killing someone for no logical rhyme or reason? I was the black sheep long before I even knew what Gay even was. As a teen, I realized that I was attracted to Latinos. It took years to get my mom to be "ok" with me holding hands with a brown person outside, where all of the neighbors could see... Bless her heart, she made progress by the time I graduated! I could have any friend I wanted and I could date anyone I chose. Life was good and I was ready to move out and be on my own! I moved to Texas with a Honduran boy when I was 18 and life slapped us in the face... well, not me so much. White privlige and racial profiling were in full force. If he drove the car, we would get pulled over and harassed. I would go 20+ miles over the speed limit and get "verbal warnings." One time, I did get pulled over by a black cop who yelled at me taking my time to find a parking lot to pull in to. That was the first time a cop had scared me. He made me get out of the car and sit in the Texas heat while he visually checked my car. I'll be honest and tell you that I did not know my rights because it wasn't a need for me. Well, as crazy as it seems, when I thought I was going to get my first ticket, a white cop pulls up to us. He tells me to get back in my car to cool down with the A/C. After a few minutes, he comes to the window and APOLOGIZES to me and tells me I'm free to go. Seriously?! I was clearly speeding and I got an apology? Something wasn't right. This is crazy. Not that I wanted a ticket, but I didn't think that it was right. If it had been a POC, they would've AT LEAST gotten a ticket. How is that right? A few years after learning to be an adult, I met a girl that I liked. As I began to realize that I was gay, my attention also became focused on the LGBT community. I was very closeted for a long time and rightly so. Stories of people killing and torturing gay people started reminding me of the stories I heard from my family. Except, skin color wasn't a factor. If you were gay, you were "going to hell so we might as well torture you in the last minutes of your life so that you'll get a taste of what you're in for." Again, this is absolutely insane. I escaped the KKK to run into people who used God as an excuse to kill humans. I met my wife in 2009. My mom loves her by the way! However, we needed to be careful in public. We didn't stand too close, we didn't hold hands without checking our surroundings, we just had to be careful. Especially, since my wife "looks like a lesbian" with her short hair. Occasionally, we would walk too close and people would shout bible verses at us or call us faggots. I had heard stories of people killing gays, but that was in other states. Not here. Here, they just yelled. They wouldn't hurt us. It's not like we were making out in the street. Right? As we got more comfortable acting like a real couple in some public places, this story happened and it blew me away. http://www.houstonpress.com/news/larry-cosby-convicted-for-murder-of-daughter-and-her-girlfriend-8658352 This was a black man that my old co-worker knew. He hated how his people were treated, enslaved, and killed for no reason by white people. Yet, here he is, a FATHER who killed his own daughter and her girlfriend because they were gay. My co-worker said that he would threaten his daughter about the girlfriend pretty regularly. He threatened her so often that it became normal. He was all talk and no action... until he wasn't. That's it. I vowed never to get too comfortable. My life, and my wife are too important. People are crazy. I also work in a call center, so when I was taking customer service calls, I would build report by mentioning my spouse and it just became second nature. Lord knows, you don't want to offend a customer with your "lifestyle." So, I don't do it because I am ashamed of my spouse or I'm being politically correct with some liberal agenda. I do it to keep us safe when we are not among people we know. I do it because I hate it when people take it upon themselves to tell me how I will be spending my eternity. I do it because I am being respectful of the "societal norm" that exists. Also, no one else seemed to mention their spouse's name, so I thought it was just a privacy issue in the forum. So, Spouse is a "she" and you don't have to change the way you speak about her. If you want to, that's great. If it makes anyone uncomfortable, then just pretend she's a DH. TBH, I didn't even know what DH was for at least 2 months. LoL There you have it. No more skeletons in my closet. P. S. Excuse any typos. I'm doing this on the mobile version. ----------------------------Later-------------------------
  15. FPU Week 3 This is the class I had been waiting for! Cash Flow Planning (aka the Budget lesson) I was thinking that Spouse was REALLY going to be inspired to jump on board! Up until this point, Spouse wasn't very interactive with the videos and, when it came to group discussions, Spouse kept it short and sweet. Well, Spouse was finally laughing at DR's jokes and was nudging me to stand up when prompted. I was GLOWING in my seat! Group discussions start with the first question "... then share what you think about doing a zero-based budget." Spouse: She's doing a good job with the budget. I guess it's zero-based, but I have no intention of writing it out. Me: What? Spouse: You said I had to come to the classes, read the book, and participate in the discussions. I am not doing the budget. I don't care what DR says. Me: ... I think I wanted to cry before getting a little angry. Then, I had to pause and remember that I did not explicitly mention doing the budget together.... EVEN THOUGH I've been excited about it ALL WEEK long. You better believe that Spouse knew I was excited to do it together. I even said, "I am holding off on doing July's budget so that we can do it together." For the rest of the discussion, I was the one keeping it short and sweet while Spouse was being the most talkative person in the group. One of the discussions was, "Name some categories that you could use envelopes for." Spouse: I don't like when Cherie gives me the envelopes. I just take what I need, and put it my pockets. It does get annoying when I have to separate my money from what's left over when I go grocery shopping. Later, Spouse is talking to my co-worker who is doing the class with us and was telling her about "BORROWING" from the grocery envelope to get a haircut or "EMBEZZLING" the money. All while laughing about it!!! So, after we were all done, I checked the grocery envelope and there was $60 left in it from the last time it was filled. This is one day after we got paid. I had just put $130 in there for the next 2 weeks and didn't really look to see what was left. When I originally flipped though it, I saw $1's and $5's and just assumed it was what was a few dollars. I don't know how, but I had missed 2 $20's. So, I told Spouse that we were going to lower the food budget and was met with a hard NO. ....so NOW you want a say-so in the budget?... How interesting.... Because 20 minutes ago, you didn't even want to write a budget. So, we aren't really talking about that anymore. Spouse reasoned that since we have a friend coming over in a few days, that we should have more grocery money for them. I'm yelling in my head, 'IF YOU HAD SAT DOWN TO LOOK AT THE BUDGET, YOU'D SEE THAT IT IS BEING ACCOUNTED FOR!' I finished July's budget by myself and am a bit heartbroken about my most anticipated lesson going so horribly wrong. Maybe I'll feel better in a day or two, but right now, I feel like releasing Spouse from the chains and saying, "You don't have to go to the class anymore." I'm sure that I will NOT say that... but I really wanted to.
  16. Posted June 25 On 6/21/2017 at 8:26 AM, fpmomma said: Cherie, I love your reports from FPU class. Taking that class together was what changed our financial future forever. I was gung-ho and DH was going along to make me happy, but then he caught the "bug" too, and our conversations were forever changed in a great way, and we were finally able to talk about our money matters without arguing or blame-placing. We began to identify common financial goals and work together diligently on them. It changed our budgeting, our parenting, really our entire outlook on things in general, and on money in particular. I'm so glad you two are able to experience this learning season together. Just be patient with each other and let the concepts sink in gradually and then begin to personalize the steps in a way that fits your family. _____ I've always said that Ill take what I can get from Spouse a far as participation in the class goes but yesterday's class made me feel like we took a step back instead of forward. In the back of my mind, I was hoping that the concepts would take hold and we could be Gazelle Intense together. I'll post about it in a bit after I get July's budget written out. I was holding off until yesterday's Cash Flow Planning lesson... but it didn't turn out the way I had hoped. On 6/24/2017 at 3:47 AM, DebtBgone said: Just think, in 2021 you will be putting all that BS2money into retirement accounts (I don't know your housing situation, rent/own) instead of someone else's pocket! Plug some numbers into the investment calculator on Dave's site whenever you need to get angry at debt. The possibilities are motivating! You're doing great! When 2021 rolls around, and it will, you will be so glad you've taken the steps you are taking right now. ________ We rent and the plan (after BS3) is to save for in vitro so we can have our baby before I get too old The steps really do test your will at times, but I know it'll be worth it. I just have to hang in there. When I get discouraged, I do think about how fast we'll be able to save for in vitro when all this debt is gone. We'll need $10,000 to start and I KNOW we can do that in less than 5 months without debt. Sometimes, a part of me wants to pause the snowball to start now, but that's the Baby Fever talking. I do worry about "waiting too long" so I think that we can evaluate where we are in a year and start saving for it as a sinking fund. We'll cross that bridge when we get there. Sorry. LoL I guess I needed to rant about babies Thanks!
  17. UPDATE: Credit Cards: Chevron $2,313 Capital 1 $3,959 Amazon $3,753 (down by $2,812 since May 26th update) Non-Card Debt Car $10,775 (down by $239) Phone $18 (down by $18) Student Loans Loan 1 $4,039 (down by $3) Loan 2 $4,962 (down by $2) Loan 3 $8,160 (down by $3) Loan 4 $5,547 (down by $6) Loan 5 $5,638 (down by $6) Loan 6 $4,517 (down by $7) Loan 7 $7,649 (down by < 50 cents) Loan 8 $4,441 (down by $7) Loan 9 $8,053 (down by < 50 cents) Loan 10 $3,474 (down by $2) Loan 11 $8,060 (down by < 50 cents) GRAND TOTAL (as of June 23, 2017) $79,209.75 That means that we've paid off almost $11,000 in principal in about 5 months... I don't know if this is "fast enough." I know that there is no way that we are going to pay it all off in 24 months with our income at $62,400 for the year, but it sure is faster than what we were trying to do before. The phone will be paid off by July 10th Amazon should be paid off by August The car should be paid by Feb, 2018 (1 year after we started). After that, it's just the loans. Our debt snowball sheet has them being paid off in 2021. THAT'S CRAZY
  18. On 6/20/2017 at 7:29 PM, cadberry said: Cherie - thanks for the update from this week's FPUlesson, and yay for DH listening on his own. ______ Thank you for caring about my FPU updates! This week is going to be the budget lesson and I am soooooo excited!!! After doing the reading from the Complete Guide to Money, I realize that the book is almost verbatim of the video so I thought Spouse would skip the reading part of the homework, but I found that the bookmark was moved. I think Spouse is more of a Free Spirit rather than just "not being on board" which is nice <3
  19. Week 2 of FPU: *watching DR talk about marriage and unity and BOTH of us contributing to the budget* DR: Free Spirits, raise your hand... Me: *looks over and nudges Spouse to participate* Spouse: I'm up! Me: Were you sleeping???!? Spouse: Not anymore. Was I snoring? Me: I hope you enjoyed your nap because we are going to watch the whole video again when we get home. Spouse: DR said you, "The Nerd" are controlling me, the "Free Spirit." You're right. This guy knows what he's talking about. LoL I don't even know what to say! I knew Spouse was tired. The new promotion started on Monday, so Spouse wanted to get all the loose ends tied up with the current position before Monday rolled around. This meant that Spouse worked from 7am-11pm on Friday and from 7:30am-4:30 pm on Saturday. The class is at 6:30 pm. We didn't watch the video when we got home because Spouse fell asleep in the car and went straight to bed. I'm not mad though. I heard Spouse listening to the audio version of the lesson when I came home from work today. Spouse says the plan is to watch the video later this week and we can talk about it in detail later. Deal! Spouse doesn't particularly care for Rachel Cruz. She did a short segment on the video and Spouse said she doesn't have the communication skills that DR has. I think she's ok. I just don't like hearing her talk about her struggles with money. It just doesn't hit home like DR. I think it's because I assume she has never had to struggle to get out of debt. Anyway, sleeping spouse or not, that was my favorite lesson so far!!! ---------------June 21st------------- Posted June 21 On 6/20/2017 at 3:48 AM, Mary said: Cherie -I agree with your spouse Rachel grates on my nerves. I find the other DR public speakers fine. Some are clearly better than others but Rachel doesn't fit the roll she is in properly IMO. ______ I think part of it is just because she can't speak to the harsh realities of paying off debt, or even having to pick up pieces of your life after something like bankruptcy. if I had to guess, I'd say that 80% + of people that do the baby steps spend time in BS 2 and she just can't speak to them wholeheartedly. I read an old thread somewhere on here about her doing a cooking video or something. It was.... strange. LoL
  20. 2 weeks ago, when Alicia had the rental car that broke down, Budget had to charge her for another car but they told us that we would get a refund for that amount and also give us a partial refund since she had to leave the car in Montana and not do a round-trip like we originally planned. Well, the refund posted today and it was more than we expected! With that, we came in $233 under budget for the wedding! Sooooo excited! We ended up only spending $96.19 (+ $7 on gas that we just tacked on to our regular gas category). Spouse only went to one outing and hardly spent any built-in Blow money. This is really great news because we are having a friend come visit us for 2 weeks. She has a baby and a toddler. Spouse didn't want her to have to drag 2 car seats onto the plane so we are buying a car seat for her to use while she's here. I've already budgeted an increase in the grocery envelope for food, but it'll be nice to have an extra cushion just in case the kids need something unexpected. So, I'm using $100 as a kid buffer and the other $133 will be added to the snowball!!
  21. Day 1 of FPU: I think I'm in for some kicking and screaming.... well, the adult version of it anyway. Classes are Saturday evenings. We were running errands prior to the class. Spouse: How long is it going to be? Me: About an hour and a half or so. Spouse: I thought you said it was only an hour! Me: I said the videos are an hour. *later* Spouse: Can we leave after the video? Me: No Spouse: Can I drink before we go? Me: Absolutely not. Spouse: Can I opt out? Me: Nope *during the group discussion portion of the class* Coordinator: You're out of debt, have a fully funded emergency fund..... (Essentially, you've hit BS 7)... What are you looking forward to doing? Me: Traveling with Spouse. I like to save and I'm not big on traveling whereas that's something that Spouse LOVES. Spouse: .... I don't know....I guess... Me: ... Lord Jesus help me PLEASE! I couldn't help but to laugh.... I applaud Spouse for going but I just couldn't deal. It was like dragging a kid to the dentist.... No enthusiasm. None. Just.... wow. The people were nice and my co-worker was there to participate. When we got home, I printed out the Quick Start Budget and tried to get Spouse to help me fill it in. Spouse was fine as far as looking at it. There were a lot of I-don't-knows and Whatever-you-wants... but it's done. I've already done the homework, the extra credit, watched all the tutorials on the web site and am thinking of watching the next video. LoL Just EIGHT more weeks to go. Hopefully, Spouse will connect with something in the next class. ------------------------------------------------Later------------------------------------------- On 6/13/2017 at 2:23 AM, Plinda said: Well, that sounds like fun . Make sure you thank him and mention to him throughout the week how much you appreciated that he went with you. Hopefully, he'll stick with it and you'll at least see little things change week by week. Will do! And I hope you're right about the little changes. Right now, I'll take what I can get <3 On 6/13/2017 at 8:45 AM, cadberry said: I'm glad he went, and like someone else said, definitely make sure he knows that you appreciate it - if nothing else, his going with you is something he is doing for you (and hopefully it will become something he is doing for himself and the family as things progress). My unsolicited advice would be to tamp down your enthusiasm with him (that's what we're here for!) so he'll still understand it is important to you but you don't want to make it where he starts feeling guilty for not being as enthusiastic as you are. Like you, I would have raced home to watch everything again, the extra videos, do the homework, etc. Keep us posted each week! Good advice! I can't help but to be excited, but you're right. I can see it doing more harm than good doing this early stage. Good thinking! This is why I love having y'all! I will try to curb my excitement as much as possible. Will keep you posted.
  22. Quoted from Gemma: I have loved reading this thread! You are doing such a great job focusing and eliminating those debts, one by one! You were at $90K when you started this thread and you already have $80K in your sights! Amazing! I've been a member of this forum for many years and haven't posted in ages but had to jump in to give you my congratulations and encouragement as you carry on in this journey. You won't regret it. The peace debt freedom provides is unparalleled! I think your spouse sounds more on-board than you think they are! Maybe some of the DR principles don't resonate with them, and that's fine... but it sounds like they are working with the budget and really listening to your conversations about spending. That is a MAJOR part of the battle when one partner isn't on board. It sounds like your spouse is being a support to the plan rather than making it more difficult - that is HUGE! Anyhow, hope the wedding was lovely and the time together was a nice treat. Looking forward to following your debt payoff progress! Gemma, thank you so much for coming out of the shadows to encourage me! Thank you sooooo much!!! I think you're right about Spouse being on board more than I realize. I think that it would be much more difficult if Spouse wasn't on board with the budget. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to go to the wedding... When we woke up on Thursday morning, Bubbles had peed on the floor. I knew something was wrong. The last time she did that was years ago when she had gotten sick. Sure enough, she was having an adverse reaction to her medication (for the tumor). I couldn't leave her with the dog sitter, knowing that she wasn't feeling well. I took her to the vet and was told her dosage was probably too high. Trial and error, I guess. Poor thing vomited in the Oncologist's waiting room. She gets to take a break from meds for a few weeks before trying a lower dose. Murphy was trying his hardest to hitch along with Spouse to the wedding. After driving for about 4 hours, the rental car broke down. Spouse had to get it towed to the nearest Budget and wait 3 hours before getting back on the road. It ended up working out in our favor because we got a partial refund and Spouse was planning to stop for gas just before the break-down. So, with the new car came a full tank that we weren't responsible for! Well, that must've irked Murphy because at around 1:00pm, when Spouse was getting back on the road, I was taking Bubbles for a walk. We were crossing the parking lot to get to the dumpster to throw away her baggie when Murphy pushed me over the speed bump! I have no idea what really caused me to trip but it was a tough one, that's for sure! Since I was a groomer (read as: my hands make all my money) for so many years, I developed an instinct to protect my hands. So, as I feel, I landed on both knees and rolled onto my back with enough momentum to get some light (but painful) road rash on my back. Also, I sprained my ankle in the process. 2 bloody knees 1 sprained ankle Minor road rash Minimal bruising Thanks Murphy. How sweet of you! So, I decided not to cancel the pet sitter. She ended up caring for a human also. LoL When everything was said and done, we ended up $100 under budget for the wedding. Bubbles is feeling better, I'm feeling better, and spouses getting some much-needed rest after all of that driving. So much for any dresses in my near future. These knees are horrible!! This pic is after almost 5 days of healing! This is going to take a while. Murphy, thanks for the visit. It was eventful, but you didn't cost me a dime!
  23. Y'all are great! I have a different co-worker that I'm dragging along with me also. She's 20 years old with minimal student loans (less than $2,000) and no other debt. She can have soooo much money for retirement, so I hope that she gets just that ONE thing out of the class, it will be worth it for her! We are driving to Montana tomorrow morning. Wish me luck and send good vibes so that Murphy doesn't follow us to the wedding. I have my "wedding" envelopes in my purse and ready to go!
  24. Thank you all for your encouragement! I L. O. V. E. this forum!!!! FPMomma, You are sooooooo close to BS7! How exciting!!!! Chris and Kelvan, Thank you soooo much for even caring about my updates I am so thankful to just have a place to come and share my progress. My friends at work are really starting to see that I'm "weird." Most of my family says, "that's nice" when I talk to them about what we are trying to accomplish. There's one guy at work that seems to be a little inspired by me in a weird way. He is my favorite person on our team because we are SUPER competitive with each other. Everyone else on the team takes the competition to heart and they get their feelings hurt when they are losing. He and I just click and we know when to push each other and when it's time to back down The day that I cut off my blue bracelet, he mentioned that he made a $1,000 payment toward a credit card that he was trying to pay off. Today, we were talking about when we were going to have our cars paid off since he owes about the same amount that I do. Hmmmmm.... I wonder if I can talk him into making that a competition... LoL We can start with the same balance and see who can pay their car off the fastest That reminds me, Spouse is coming around to being a little more on board with the whole process! Just to re-cap, the reason I'm not doing the debt snowball in the correct order is because Spouse wanted to pay all non-student loan debt first using highest interest rates first. For a long time, Spouse has been saying that we can pay off the cards, but once they are paid, we would "be fine having regular debt (like the car loan). Yesterday, Spouse agreed to go to FPU with me as long as there aren't any "crazy Christians" (not too sure what that encompasses exactly) AND when we were having our budget meeting, I asked Spouse if they wanted to tackle the car after this credit card is over, or if they wanted to take a break while I worked on one of my loans to give them a break from the tight budget and just to get more blow money. Spouse says, "We can just tackle the car and get it out of the way." Sooooo exciting!!!! Yay!!! I was listening to an old DR podcast where a guy called in asking if the DVD home study was better than the Online version. DR asked him why he wouldn't take the in-person course. The guy's answer was something along the lines of, "I'm not a church-going person and I don't want to be made to pray or do something I'm not comfortable with." DRtold him that if anyone makes him, to RUN because those people are too much! He says that the class isn't like Bible study. While the principals are biblical, the course is meant to apply to everyone. That made me feel better about Spouse's concerns with going to church. Last time Spouse went to a church, it was to take pictures for some special event they were having, the pastor made it his mission to make sure we knew we were going to hell in a hand basket if we didn't repent and turn from our wicked ways. It was embarrassing since we were sitting in the front pew (to get nice pictures) and the pastor went from preaching about tithing to standing in front of us and, all of a sudden, changing his sermon to damn those of us who live in sin to the eternal fires of hell. He stood in front of us and looked down at us the ENTIRE time. It was horrible... but we're married now so I guess we're not living in sin anymore... I don't know... Who cares? I found an FPU class that starts the weekend that we get back from the wedding in Montana. I signed us up and am having the kits expedited since the following classes won't start until August and September. We finally used our clothing envelope to buy some clothes for the wedding, We didn't have enough for Spouse's shoes though. Instead of whining about it, Spouse just asked if we could adjust July's budget for shoes since June's budget is already written. I keep falling in love all over again!
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