At least we're moving forward!

Posts tagged ‘finances’

Almost There…

My students are facing finals, and I am soooo glad that I’m not in high school anymore.  While I’m working everyday, I’m dreaming of what’s to come!

Things that I am saving for the summer:

  • Organize recipes and cookbooks.  Make a binder of all the loose papers I have.
  • Try to go pescatarian for an anti-inflammatory diet.  See if back and overall health improve with the changes.  Come up with lots of great new recipes.
  • Buy a house.
  • Move into said house.
  • Study “good works” in the Bible.  Get over my anxiety about studying the Bible.
  • Cook at home more.
  • Make a website for my business and finalize my new business plan.
  • Learn how to stick to a budget.

Things I have been doing that will help my summer be totally rocking if I can keep them up:

  • Losing weight.  Legs and arms are already looking quite nice!
  • Not crowding every day full with stuff to do.
  • Being realistic about what I can accomplish, give, do, etc…
  • Staying conscious of where our money goes.
  • Praying that God will meet all of our needs even though I won’t be working as much.

What I’d like to do this summer:

  • Go on a long vacation to Dawn Ranch in Sonoma and swim in the Russian River all day long while sipping lightly chilled rose as Honey chases birds.
  • Not babysit every single day.

What I will actually be doing this summer:

  • Celebrating 5 year of marriage!
  • Going to the beach with my favorite dog as many times as possible.
  • Being outside as much as possible.
  • Going to Vermont for a family reunion.
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The Little Guy

I read today that the average new house in America is down to 2,400 square feet.  Since we are one half the size of the average family, I think it’s appropriate that our house is one half the size of the average house.

Image

Our house, for now. Totally cuter inside!

That realization doesn’t make trips to Costco easier, though.  Organic chicken broth!  Toilet paper!  Pens!  Oh my.  Even though I would love to buy all these things in bulk, there is noooo space in my house.

When we moved into this little bungalow, I had an a epiphany.  If you save money on buying in bulk, you also have to spend extra money paying for the space that those things take up.  So, for now, even though I can’t save money buying in bulk, at least I’m saving money on rent.

While it makes trips to Costco a test of willpower and determination, I’ll take it!  Being thankful about the little things makes life that much sweeter.

House (Beautiful)

I live in a lovely little home.  On the outside, it is kinda ratty, but inside is open and light.  It has a built-in hutch and an actual dining room, and the kitchen holds every necessary appliance (rice cooker, coffee pot, small food processor, large food processor, panini machine, air popcorn maker that makes the worst popcorn ever, and tea kettle).  It is colorful, which is just the way we like it.  The art hung on the wall is soothing and vibrant; our midcentury TV stand/bookshelf is amazing.  If you come on a day that it’s clean and you keep your eyes off the ancient carpet, it looks great!  The 1930’s bungalow suits us well because of its layout and all the sunshine it lets in.

If we could own it, we would!  (We keep trying to convince our landlord to sell it to us, to no avail.)  I had a really fun time decorating when we moved in, even on a limited budget, and this summer cleaned out all the crap from the closets.  It’s been a nice home to entertain in and grow with Chris.

Chris' graduation party- Because it was raining, our plan for dinner under the stars was foiled. Instead, we cleared out some of the furniture, rented some tables and chairs, and had set up for 14 people to eat. It was a great celebration!

I am the problem in this relationship, though.  For the past 6 months, we have been looking for a new place to live.  I’m sure you’ll find out why in future posts, but we have our reasons.

Because of this, I have spent 6 months avoiding making any major furniture purchases, doing meaningful organization, or making it my home.  I honestly believe that as soon as I find a place for everything and have the perfect pieces in each room, we will move into a house that won’t fit what I’ve bought or will not match the new place.  And that would really stink.

I realized today that this is a bad plan.  I looked around at all the little projects that I keep putting off- going through the boxes in the closets, repackaging things, weeding more stuff and donating it, getting a bookshelf for Chris to use next to his desk, buying a bed.  The procrastination just adds to the clutter and disorganization of our lives.

Some of this is due to lack of funding for the remodel- boxes, bins, furniture, and the likes really add up!  I try to find things on Freecycle, Craigslist, or at thrift stores, but those don’t have it all!  I know that the chaos really affects Chris, yet still, we don’t tackle it.  So, even though we’d like to move, I decided that we are worthy of feeling settled in our own home.

Right now, I am trying to find a new job while working full time and don’t have many extra hours in the day…  I’m going to endeavor to make a dent in these projects.  The peace of mind that will come from knowing what we have, where it is, and that everything has a place will certainly be worth it.  Instead of being a source of frustrating or guilt, my house will provide a place for us to thrive.  It will be restful, a comfort, and an escape.

Today, I finally bought the bookshelf for Chris.  Abby and Susan had to help me get over the pain of parting with an extra $70, but in the end, I’m really excited.  He is going to love it!

And in place of apathy, I am taking action.

The Dods in a clean, cute home

Debt is Debt. God is God.

Throughout adulthood, I have held the belief that some debt is good while other debt is bad. While that may be true, it turns out that it feels the same when you have to pay for it each month. Ouch!

We’ve amassed debt that I consider to be worthy of the sacrifices we now have to make. Some of it was for health purposes, but the majority comes from student loans. My wonderful husband finished college in August. This was a huge accomplishment, and it helped him to land his dream job as a game designer. Yeah!!!

It also landed us with a Huge Student Loan Payment. HSLP’s notice showed up at our house this weekend and sent me into a little bit of a tailspin. Instead of wallowing, I decided to change my mind and trust God. This debt was not caused by irresponsible spending, and I know God will provide to meet our needs.

Matthew 6:25-33– Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.  Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.  Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

We are going to be diligent to pay down this debt, and we’re going seek God while doing it. It’s nice to know that He’ll take care of us along the way.

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