Those who know me, know that I've got a thing for lists, journaling, doodling, more lists, writing and fresh starts.
January got off to a bit of a rocky start, but I did have my journal ready to go, and honestly - it's part of what keeps me sane. I've gone through many different types and styles through the years, but I'm thinking I'm going to remain stuck on this one (Midori's Traveler's Notebook) for quite some time. Third year and counting. I love the different styles of inserts and being able to change them out when I feel so inclined.
I love having space to write a little blurb for each day, and have an ongoing list of to-do's for the week. I normally make my week's to do list on Sunday - but I've been in a bit of a putter about mood today and got it done early. And yes - I use a straight line to cross things off as I do them. Trust me - this calms me.
And yes, I do have a few things I don't share. ;)
Looking back through my blog, it looks like it's been about eight years since I've done a debt-proof living update - so I thought I'd include an update on that now. We've created our own personal blend that is a combination of Dave Ramsey and Mary Hunt.
This particular insert houses the financial portion of our life. I have enough space in here for two years worth.
We've been practicing debt-free living since 2005, and I'll say this up front - that first year was HARD, but boy - are we thankful we toughed it out. Up until that point, we had been living paycheck to paycheck and most of us know what a drag that is. You can read that first debt-proof living post here.
That first year was tough because it was while we were still living paycheck to paycheck and it was the year we began setting up the funds. The funds we created were for those big bills we pay once a year. Taxes, Fire Insurance, Policies, etc. The funds have varied a bit over the past 13 years, but some are steadfast. This month I'll re-evaluate and probably add one or two more.
The debt-proof living also teaches to put 10% away with the goal of having 3-6 months pay tucked away in case of job loss/emergency. I'll be honest - we seem to always have emergencies. But thanks to this lifestyle, we've got them covered.
Today was bill paying day, so I opened up my journal to my funds.
I pay into these once a month. Sometimes I do them all with one payday, sometimes I split them up. I have pro-rated them all - dividing the total due amount by twelve months. This has been HUGE when it comes to our summer tax bill. The summer tax bill comes when I'm off work and after several back to back adventures. Since doing it this way - much less stress.
Two of these funds I've put a cap on. One is sports and the other is medical. My goal with those was to have money put away for those things in the case of unexpected expenses. I tend to still pay for most of our sports and medical out of our checking and use the funds for the unexpected surprises. The year that Wendy went to soccer camp at MSU - that came out of the sports fund and then I started slowly adding to it again. Brian's bow came from the sports fund. Both of the boys are interested in pursuing fencing - that equipment will come from the sports fund.
I keep our fund money in a separate account so that it doesn't accidentally fall away in our checking account.
Mom's cruise fund could also be labeled ambulance and van in the ditch fund. Wendy's payment schedule will go towards building that back up. It should be flush at about the same time we can get around to finding time in our schedule to actually go on cruise. It's all good. Actually - I'll probably pull the ambulance from the medical fund.
When we got an estimate on the main bathroom last November, I then turned to the funds and we decided to wait for a bit. It turned out to be the right call.
I know how to use Quickbooks, but I will always be a pen and paper girl at heart.
I use the other section of my notebook for our monthly expenses - just a few shown here. I've written down every payday for the whole year (well - till July this year as HPS paydays are changing next school year) and what bills are due on which payday. Again - this is to help avoid surprises and whoops's. I know myself well.
I'm very open to answering questions. We don't carry any credit card debt, and we don't live beyond our means, and I no longer stress about summer taxes.
I'm also happy that our kids have all seem to have picked up on great money management habits.
And then there's doodling. I tend to scribble during my break at work and while I'm sitting at karate. Other times too - but mostly then.
I will never be a hand model.
I should also let you know that I successfully pitted an avocado today, even with my family behind me watching closely and suggesting that I be careful and asking, "are you sure you should be doing that?"
Brian was supposed to have his first archery competition today, but is on day 3 of fighting a bug. He'll perk up a bit, then be tired and has yo-yo'ed quite a bit.
He was ravenous at supper time, and ate A LOT. Afterwards: I thought I was hungry, but it turns out it's really a stomach ache!
In doling out chores today I asked Mark if he'd like to empty the dishwasher or sort/fold the underwear load. I was CERTAIN he was going to say unload the dishwasher but in true Mark fashion, "I should probably learn how to sort underwear"
And he did, right down to the last sock, but oh the laughs. Brian: This is the best entertainment I've had in a long time!
If I listen to music while paying bills it takes me twice as long. When the music plays, I can't sit still.
It's also one of the reasons that you'll rarely see me wearing headphones and listening to music. When that happens, I can't shut up OR stand still.