Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Out of Debt Journey #2

Goodness, it's been such a long time since I've posted anything about our journey to get out of debt . . . mainly, because there has been absolutely no progress, which makes me sad. However, Jarod and I did make a huge financial decision that took a lot of our extra money for the sake of our family, added a puppy into our lives and we've, also, learned a few lessons along the way. Thus, I'm okay with the setback but now we're really excited and ready to get back to getting the debt out of the way!

In my last Out of Debt Journey post, I started we bought an iPad and that took a lot of our extra money away in January. Also, Tristen's birthday was in February and Aiden's was in March. Unfortunatly, instead of setting a budget for their birthdays (like we should have!!), we blow all our extra money those months. For each of the boys' birthdays we had a little family celebration.

My little baby boy is two!

Trissy with his daddy at the Zoo on his birthday-weekend.
For Tristen's birthday, we went to Chuck E Cheese on one day and to the Zoo the other. Every time we go out we spend money on food (although, we did pack a lunch for the Zoo) and gas (and in a 6-cylinder family vehicle, it adds up). We, also, spent money on the all the extra things for a birthday: cake (which I made myself), balloons, decorations (although, I did reuse them for each boy) and gifts. For Aiden's birthday, we went to Chuck E Cheese one day and on another day we had all his cousins and my mom come over for a pizza, KFC (which my mom brought [thanks, mom!]) and cake get-together.

The boys with two of their cousins.

My little man is four! Crazy!!
Then towards the end of March, we had a duel party for the boys and we invited family and friends. The party itself was a few hundred dollars. Obviously, we don't mind spending money on our kids but our problem is that we had, let's say, an extra $800 in our account and instead of sitting down and saying that we were only going to spend X amount for this particular birthday, we just decided to keep hang on to the extra money until eventually it was gone and I can't tell you for the life of me what we spent it on. It's so extremely easy to spend money! Seriously, Jarod and I are sooo good at it :) but we can't keep doing that.

About a week and a half ago, we wrote a very realistic budget for ourselves and our family that I believe will really help us be more purposeful with our money. Previously, we have in the written a budget that was really unrealistic, like, it didn't even account for buying clothes or a budget for the kids' activities so we would save some extra money in our account and then again, abracadabra! - it was all magically gone.

Actual conversation that didn't happen but very well could have:
"We have no more money."

"What! What happened??"

"I, uhh, uhh . . . magic."

We, also, added a puppy into our family. I just thought it was appropriate that the kids grow up with a dog and so this little girl waddled right into our hearts. She was actually a compromise in which I told Jarod that I was done having kids . . . but only if I could get a puppy haha :) Really we did talk about getting a dog for a few weeks before hand so it wasn't really as spontaneous as I'm making it sound :) A few weeks later, he (such a softy, seriously, he's so sweet and kind - I'm really a lucky girl) looked at me and said we could have another (human!) baby.

Mila, our puppy, was a steal at $100 but the supplies, dog food and vaccinations have cost us a few hundred dollars but thankfully, she's only got one more set of shots and is getting spayed this month and we should be good for awhile.

Then the very big financial decision that we made that I'm suuure people are going to be like, "ohh my gawd, so stupid," but we still strongly believe that it was the best decision for our family was we moved into a new apartment . . . before our old apartment's lease was over. Thus, we were paying for rent at two separate places for two months.

First of all, to explain this craziness to people I just have to say that I was pissed off a lot of the time at our old apartment. It was a little under 1000 square feet but it felt sooo small. It felt claustrophobic and I didn't even like inviting people over because it already felt so crowded. No matter how hard I tried to keep the place clean, it felt and looked like a complete disaster. We even rented an extra storage unit at the apartment to help deal with the clutter but it was to no avail. The living room (where the kids play) was just so small that even a small mess looked like someone shit the place. We even pushed our dining table against the wall to make more room. Also, we bought the boys twin mattresses and we couldn't even fit them into their rooms without making it a sleep-only place. There was absolute no room to play in there if we had both twin beds. We had to get out.

We decided to just "look" for a new apartment a few months before our lease was over and found our current place, which is like absolute heaven to me. It's an extra 400 square feet bigger, which has made a world of difference! We put all of the kids beds, including Ali's crib, in one room (and there's still room to spare!!) and made our third bedroom into a toy room. It's just amazing how much different it feels living here in comparison to our old place. (I'll do a house tour soon! :)

Also, the old apartment was on the second floor and the new apartment is on the first floor, which has also made my life so much easier. Getting a baby, a two-year-old and a four-year-old in a car is a task unto itself that when you add in some stairs, it makes it that much harder. And then a very big reason we moved when we did was because our new apartment is literally right next to a toddler playground with slides and swings and was just the next best thing to having a house and a backyard for my babies. It seemed so perfect and just felt really right for our family.

So that's where our money has gone these last few months: an iPad, our boys' birthdays, a puppy dog, moving expenses and paying for two places for two months. There's a list of things we really do need to buy or take care of (but I'm going to include that in a different post because this one's getting really long) but I'm really excited to be back on track to paying off all of our debt, saving a minimum of 20 percent down for a house and moving into a little home of our own in about four years. The prospect of just getting to that point makes me so excited and happy. I know we can do it. I haven't checked to see what our current debt is at the moment because we haven't been paying anything other than minimum payments but I'm sure it's gone down a bit - I'll do that and post it next time! :) Thanks for following our journey!


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