“The discussions and lessons we got in return were worth a lot more…”
The kids and I had such a ball the other day that I want to share it with you. Specifically with those of you who, like me, have never taken part in that great American past-time: garage sale-ing.
Like it or not, the kids are along for this ride.
The kids have been living the get-out-of-debt dream with us for almost a year and a half now. They have adapted beautifully to our family’s new financial values.
They earn their own money each week and we coach them through saving, spending and giving. Very rarely is there any drama or whining about buying something. If you don’t have the money, you can’t buy it. If mom and dad don’t have the money, they don’t buy it either. …continue reading
“Perhaps I’m just feeling surprised and beat up as line-item after line-item shows up for this thing like a mechanic calling throughout the day to tell you he found another thing wrong with the car.”
The Wife has taken dance classes since she was two and danced professionally into her twenties. I, on the other hand, had almost no paid hobbies growing up. With those differences, it should probably be no surprise that we need an Emergency Budget Meeting about the kids’ upcoming dance recital.
To The Wife it is expected that we budget for costumes and recital tickets and, hey, I’m cool with that. My kids rocking a stage? Awesome. It’s all the other things that are starting to freak me out; maybe I need some perspective from other parents. …continue reading
Getting out of debt has readjusted so many priorities in our lives and this may be the next big one to change.
How the Dad ended up with a ridiculous commute.
Way back in 1996 a friend asked if I was interested in renting his house. The current renters were bailing on him and he knew I wasn’t happy with my living situation.
I was one of several roommates in a pretty small place about 20 miles from work. The thought of a whole house (with a yard!) to myself was very enticing. My own kitchen, a real garage, in a real neighborhood.
The catch? It was more than 60 miles from work. …continue reading
Have you ever seen a toddler drop the whole scoop off the top of his ice cream cone? It seems like slow motion as that thing falls, splat, to the ground in the all-enveloping silence before the crying begins.
No parent wouldn’t love to replace that scoop immediately. It’s human nature. We all have been there.
We want to restore balance, make things right, put them back the way they were as quickly as possible.
Maybe Things Don’t Need to Be Restored
Focusing our lives on becoming debt-free shines a painful light on this simple aspect of our nature; it’s ridiculous to think we are entitled to our things. …continue reading
Being on a budget and working with cash has made things easier for me at the register.
Daughter A is finally agreeing to wear some other clothes besides the “zoo shirt” she’s been living in and fleecey pants. It could be the 100F+ temperatures we’ve been having, but whatever! It’s so nice to see her legs.
A Surprise Shopping Trip
So, the other day I got a $10 off coupon from Kohl’s, a local big-box department store. I decided that I would pitch in a couple of bucks and take the girls shopping and get a couple items of clothing as a treat. Something Summer-y. We spent over half an hour trying on different clothes: pajamas, dresses, shorts… I only pulled things from the clearance rack to stay in the budget I had set for myself. We finally narrowed it down to four items that would only ask about $6 from my pocket.
As we stood at the register …continue reading
It’s the last credit card that is the hardest…
We are getting debt-free and there are no ifs, ands, or buts. It makes decisions easy when you either have the money or don’t.
I go to the grocery store with cash. I let the cashier know what I have and I get her/him to buy in with me from the beginning so when the total gets close I have help making decisions about what goes back. …continue reading