Next stop China

Next stop China
Next Stop China!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Paying down the debt.

Since this seems to be the major goal in our lives right now, I figured I would post about it.  Aaron left on July 26 to go to a forest fire in Oregon.  He ended up in Washington state though and was gone 20 days.  He just got home last Thursday night.
It was a long 20 days, but we were so blessed that he was able to go.  We have been praying that he would get to go on a fire because he gets paid a lot more than usual.  Even better, normally with a fire you get about 12 hrs a day of work  for 14 days straight. That adds up to lots of overtime.  Plus, on the days you are on a fire you get hazard pay.  Well, this time it took 4 days for him to get to Washington and while he gets paid for travel time, those days don't count as work days, so his 14 days doesn't start until he is actually on the fire.  They ended up only having 13 work days, but once he was on the fire, he got 16 hour days in every one of those 13 days!   Awesome! 
So we got a HUGE check on Saturday and will get a Larger than normal check next payday.  God always seems to take care of us this way...
Up until this weekend, I hadn't worked for the past 3 weeks.  One week, I couldn't work and the other two weeks, they kept cancelling me every day I had signed up for because of low census.  I got a very low paycheck two payperiods ago, and I got a big ole NOTHING last week. So if Aaron had not gone on this fire, we would have been in a world of hurt. 
I was able to work this weekend and will work 2 more days this week ...hopefully.
However, when I do get cancelled, all is not lost, I normally prepare for a school day and we get another one in the books. We are already on day 31 for this year.
The dad of my best friend growing up passed away and we went to his funeral last Thursday. Let me tell you, the last thing you should do on day 20 of your husband being out of town is spend 7 hours in the car with 5 kids...
Whew!  was I ready for a break.    We knew Aaron was probably going to get to Montgomery in time Thursday afternoon to be able to drive back to the work center.  I had dropped him off, so I was going to have to pick him up too.
We left at 7:30 Thursday morning.  Got to the church building for the funeral around 10:30.  The funeral lasted from 11-12:15.  Then we drove about 10 min. towards home for the burial.  Then another 20 min. towards home to eat lunch with the family at a different church.  We left the church between 2-3, I can't remember. 
I had a blessed, blessed 1 hour in the car on the way home where all 5 kids slept.  Wonderful time.  Then they woke up.  We stopped for a very quick potty break for 2 of them.  Then drove the other 1hr 15 min. home. Got gas in our town because we were fixing to be running on fumes.  Stopped by our house for a 5 min. potty break and immediately left to drive 30 min. to Aaron's work to pick him up.
Ethan said "I'm Angry!"  when I told him to go back to the car.  He didn't NOT want to drive anymore and I don't blame him.  Aaron drove the way home and I was so excited to see him again. I love him so much. 
Since I worked Sat and Sun. I wasn't able to sit down with the budget to write checks.  However, I did yesterday and am excited to say that since last July 2013, we have paid off approx. $20,000 in debt.  That is 14 months I guess, since you count 2 Julys and 2 Augusts.  Approx. $18,000 to go. 
So this month of August, we paid off 2 small credit cards and our last adoption loan.  All we have left is one credit card, our van loan, and our  Air Conditioner loan. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014


We have always been trying to pay down our debt, however, last July we got serious.  Before, we didn't budget and if I was able to work more and got paid more, I would throw that to debt, but then I didn't plan ahead and I would be short in other areas. In other words, I felt like I was trying to pay down the debt, but never seemed to go anywhere.
We made the decision to not start adopting again until we had the debt paid off. Yes, we are hoping to fundraise and get grants for our adoption, however, if we don't get it paid for, we did not want our debt climbing.  We had a car loan, a home repair loan, 2 adoption loans, and some money on 5 credit cards.  Minimum payments on all of these were around $1000 a month.  I have to work quite a bit for us to pay just minimum payments. 
Now, Aaron and I are together on this, so if I say "I" a lot it is only because I am telling this from my perspective, not because I am making all the decisions.
I have always been the one to keep up with the bills, which has worked well for us.  July 2013, we made a budget and have been living with it and tweaking it as we go along. Aaron and I both get paid every 2 weeks and we get paid on the same weekend.  So instead of a 1 month budget which was overwhelming to me, we do 2 week budgets.  We have made some mistakes over the year. 
We have spent when we should not have.  I go over the grocery budget almost every 2 weeks and have to dip into miscellaneous.  (Dave Ramsey would say to just budget more for groceries, but I am not ready to admit defeat yet)
All in all we have done sooooo much better on this budget. 
So, in looking back over the last year, I am really proud of us.
We have paid off approx. $15,7000 in the last 12 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We still have a ways to go.  that is not even half of what we owe, we have about $22,000+ left, but I am excited to see that gone!
Of course these next bills I list are smaller than a year ago, but we still owe on the home repair loan, car loan, 1 adoption loan, and 2 credit cards. One of the credit cards should be paid off in the next month.
That means we paid off our 3 smallest credit cards, and  one adoption loan, and a little bit more on all the loans we still have. 
We have set some short term goals, like pay down the debt to 17,000 or less by Thanksgiving.  It is doable, if they don't keep cancelling me at work.  It is definitely doable if Aaron gets to go on a fire this summer. We are hopeful he will, since he is on call right now, and packed and ready to leave any day.
I am disappointed to have put the adoption off for longer.  And I am not getting any younger.  I just turned 39.  I have made a goal in my mind to have the debt paid off by my next birthday, which is next June.  That would require me getting in quite a few days at work AND Aaron getting lots of OT or fires.  So it is not a crazy goal, just a lofty one.