Yes, that’s me and my 31 week belly. 🙂 Still working (blog, direct sales, childcare, and remote assistant). Still paying down that debt. Still loving life.
We are down to 2 debts and they really aren’t that large when I see how far we’ve come. We’ve paid down about 2/3 of our debt. WOO HOO!!! I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – it has not been easy. It has meant going out of my comfort zone, putting myself out there and finding ways to earn money while still being there for my husband and son. It has meant putting “me time” aside, most days. It has meant forgoing some luxuries so that just $20 more can go towards debt. It means I don’t have my nails done, don’t wear the latest fashion (although, getting pregnant meant I could switch up my wardrobe from non to maternity, lol!), my hair needs a trim BAD, and I do get exhausted. BUT when I see the debt number going down, it’s all worth it to me. I’m so happy we decided, over a year ago, to eliminate our debt.
Yes, we buy almost everything (minus food) second-hand. We don’t pay retail for anything – we scour for deals. I shop on my local buy/sell/trade FB sites. We watch Craigslist. I go to mom2mom sales (I’m going to one tomorrow!!!). I shop, almost religiously, at Once Upon a Child for clothes for my children AND because I love a good bargain, I only buy their clearance items, use a coupon or wait for a deal to be emailed/texted to me. I don’t even buy the second-hand items at cost, lol!
It has meant forgoing dining out as we used to. A lot more home-cooked meals (better for us anyway, both for health and the time we spend around our kitchen table) and leftovers.
We traded in two really nice vehicles for much older, but reliable, vehicles. The best part? I love my vehicle!!! It has 3rd row seating!!!! Definitely needed now that we’re expecting baby #2 and I still plan on providing childcare. It has come in handy a few times when I have 3 children here instead of 2. I’m not confined to the house and we can still go out and about.
It has meant that we don’t go back to see family near as often as we’d like. That is a hard one for me – I’ve love to go back whenever there’s a birthday or any get-together. I miss my family and want to be closer. But this is where God has us, so this is where we’ll stay, until He leads in another direction.
This has made us become super sleuths at finding free activities to do on the weekend and weeknight. I didn’t realize how much there is to do, free, until we became diligent with our money.
We have also stopped living paycheck to paycheck because we HAVE to and instead, live paycheck to paycheck on purpose. Every dollar is accounted for and allotted a spot. Whether it’s for groceries, debt, bills, gas or tithe. It all goes somewhere before it’s even in our account. If the extra money isn’t sitting there, then we don’t spend it!
I know I’ve talked about this before – it’s been a huge sacrifice. But it is worth it. I promise. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you want to get serious about paying off debt (or just don’t know where to start), let me know. I’ll try to help you, with ideas, as much as possible!