I thought I'd take a little break in my packing, cleaning and getting ready for our trip to update the debt-proof living tab here on the ol' blog.
Because I'm not in the mood to pack yet, and because I'm long overdue in updating the debt-proof living tab.
When I'm procrasting on assignments, I bake
When I procrastinate on baking, I clean
When I procrastinate on cleaning, I work on projects
When I procrastinate on projects....
you get the idea.
Today I'm procrastinating on packing, therefore I'll update the debt-proof tab.
If you follow this tab backwards, you'll see how long we've been working towards our debt-free living goal (that's code for - I've forgotten, but it's been awhile)
We've paid off both the vehicles, we've paid off the credit cards, and now we're working on the mortage and the loan we took out to build the garage (before we knew any better)
It's been a process.
I remember when we first learned about debt-proof living (something I firmly believe they should teach to all kids before they graduate high school) someone told me that there are days when you're going to wish you'd never learned it.
She was right.
It's been a struggle over here this summer, but mostly because we firmly believe in not overextending overselves. We live on what we are paid. Paycheck to paycheck. Like a very large portion of our peers.
You'd think that once we paid off a few bills, we'd be a bit more flush, but not quite. The kids have gotten older, their needs have gotten more expensive, we're still recuperating from the 8% paycut my husband took last year, gas prices have gone up which equals everything we buy at the grocery store has gone up, and we've sunk a whole lot of money into vehicle repairs in the last twelve months.
All hail the auto fund.
When we paid off the vehicles, the money that we paid monthly on those bills was then put instead into an auto fund, with the hope that someday we can pay cash for a new vehicle.
It's a wild and somewhat lofty hope as our account seems to keep bouncing back to zero with regularity, but it's a hope nonetheless. What is life without hope, right?
Yesterday I had to get new tires for the van before I can trek north tomorrow. My husband had told me that I just need two new tires, but once I got to the garage that we trust very much, they told me that no - I do indeed need four new tires. That the two newer tires - that we purchased in 2007 - were not real good anymore. He told me this while pointing to separation marks, lack of threads, metal rods....
My stomach sunk a bit because I know we don't have enough money for four new tires this week. Or next week. Or the week after that. Or the week after that.
And then I remembered the auto fund.
Ironically - the auto fund was just five bucks shy of what we needed for the tire bill. I think I can cover the five bucks.
I don't know how we managed before we started the funds.
And while we are tight this summer, like I reminded my husband - we have taken trips on three of the four last paychecks. He went to Wisconsin on a four-wheeling trip. He went to St. Ignace for the car cruise. I'm going ten hours north for ten days.
We enjoy Ramen noodles in order to make these trips.
And we're not planning to go again until Thanksgiving. Time to play catch-up. And hopefully, finally, have some money to get my kitchen cupboards done.
I think I need a kitchen fund....
eta: I've said it before, and I'll say it again - if we can do this - Anybody can do this. It took a year for us to get our funds going, but it's so worth it. I wish we'd started this earlier, and I'd never go willingly back to credit cards. Ever.