All fired up!!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
All fired up!!!!
9
Mon, 05-26-2003 - 11:50pm
I just wanted to let everyone know that I have found this board to be so inspiring! I am once again excited about my future and I am all fired up about paying our debt and we are setting goals to buy our own home :) For a couple of years I felt that we would never get anywhere (financially) but now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have goals and plans and it is all so exciting!

I am reading Mary Hunt's book and although I am not quite half way through I am already planning to use some of her suggestions. Dh has just started to work an extra contract and so I am waiting to see how much money I will have to work with and I will be re visiting my budget. I actually worked out a budget (took days and hours) that included everything I could think of. I found that without considering how much was coming in (to begin with) and working on what i thought we could spend on everything and it worked out very close to what is actually coming in. But now with Mary Hunt's suggestions and with dh's increased income I will have to rework it a bit.

All we have left to payoff is our credit line and it is at 19,000.00. My next goal is to be able to cut up all our credit cards! Dh still uses one for work expenses but he will be getting company exp card soon. We still make the occasional cc purchase which we payoff right away but I want to stop using them at all! So this week I will cancel/cut up all but two of our cards.

I have learned so much from this and other boards and I wanted to say thank you to all of you who are apart of this community.

Sandra

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 11:02am
Woohoo!! Way to go! It does take alot of work for the planning and setting up of things , but once you get the bulk done it is soooo worth it. I spend about 2 hours biweekly paying bills and record keeping, and 4 hours at the end of every month going over a spending plan for the next month.

The Mary Hunt stuff really saved us, it is a great plan. We don't do the 10% donating though, although it has inspired us to at least donate some whereas we donated nothing before all this. I don't know if I could ever get up to that 10% mark, people swear it does wonderful things for their spirits though... we'll see.

It *is* uplifting coming here isn't it? It's so nice to know that we're not alone in all this.

Lorraine

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 11:24am
I love the Mary Hunt plan too!

Let me tell you our giving story. After reading "Debt Proof Living," I made a commitment to give at least a small amount each month. I juggled the budget items until I "found" $40 to give to charity each month. A little later I realized that I had left something out of the budget, a $50 a month item. I juggled some more. I looked at that charitable giving and realized I could scratch it to cover the "new" item. Dh said maybe we should. I decided to remain committed. He agreed. I shaved some off our grocery bill (we spend $45 a week for three people--there wasn't much to shave), a little off our gasoline budget, and so on. I even took a little off our debt repayment plan. I "found" the $50 without touching the charitable giving. A couple days later, Dh's paycheck came and it was more than I was expecting. We looked at our records, and realized that I had been basing our budget on the wrong paycheck amount. We were actually getting $80 more per month than I had planned for! That's *twice* what I had committed to charity. I immediately took $20 of that amount and applied it to charity, upping our monthly amount to $60, and then used the rest to ease up some of the rest of the budget.

I believe deeply that the commitment to charity and the "found" $80 a month are connected.

To make it even more amazing, shortly after we committed to the additional $20 a month (we also contribute 10% of all "found" money--tax returns, checks from mags I write for, sales on ebay, bonuses, etc), word came down the wire that dh was up for a big promotion. The promotion is still in the works, but it will probably mean an additional $12,000 a year.

It feels like the floodgates have opened for us. I've already decided that if dh gets this raise, we will immediately begin contributing 10% of our income. It will take only about half the net amount of his raise to do that, so we get to bring our giving up to 10% while still getting a raise for our own budget. Sweet!

Just wanted to contribute my little anecdote to the body of evidence that giving really does open the floodgates. Oh, and it feels really good to write that check every month and send it off into the universe to do good :). It's fun picking the charity to receive our check each month.

My dad, who is a deeply spiritual and religious man, says that even with all his years' experience, it's hard to have that faith to let go sometimes. But in all his years, he has never known it to fail.

Blessings,

Heather

Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 11:56am
I SOOOO agree with this, although at times it's extremely hard to just give to charity when you don't have enough to live on but guess what? I still do, not as often as I did before and certainly not as much but I still try. It's only $10 when the unemployment check comes or this last time it was $20 because DH had gotten paid to do a computer job.

Sometimes I'm amazed that even with DH being laid off end of January and it is now almost June, we have somehow managed to survive with just some minor adjustments (and this is with no emergency account set aside either). Our biggest problem was we can't adjust our mortgage or car payment and those are the 2 biggest expenses. True, I've had to accept public aid & *somewhat* charity to do it but it never fails money/items comes from unexpected places when we need it the most and we haven't had to run up the charge card (have had to do a few charges but not nearly as much as you would think in this situation).

DH went to pay for his Real Estate class that was $250, which we obviously don't have that kind of money laying around but knew we *needed* to pay it and it had to be in check form, so we went ahead and paid it and figured we would deal with it somehow. Lo & Behold the next day he went to church to do some upgrade work and was given a check for $260 which was *left-over* from the local missions accounts. We had no idea we were getting the check and the timing couldn't have been more perfect. That's just one instance, there have been several more (in some instances, it's people giving back when they were in the same position...I know during one meeting we were just casually talking about Easter and I made a comment that my DD asked about a new dress and I told her she was out of luck this year, etc... It was just one of those casual, that's how it goes conversations, next thing I knew, one of the ladies gave me $$ for my kids to get some Easter clothes because several years ago she had been in the same spot and she got clothes for her kids via someone else, so it was her way of *repaying* that back). I'm pretty sure that the last job DH did for a couple at church, they overpaid him on purpose (i.e. they wanted to give him some money to help out but didn't want to make us feel bad by just giving us money, so they had him come do some computer clean-up/upgrades and I about fell over when he told me how much they gave him...it was about 3X the amount he *charged*, especially since he said the job itself was simple and just a matter of cleaning up/defragmenting stuff. That's my theory anyway!).

I do believe in giving and it will come back to you - not necessarily always monetarily wise but you will have what you need (not necessarily what you would like but enough to survive on and no one said it would be easy - LOL!). My goal is to get back enough on our feet that we can *repay* all that has been given to us & even give a little extra so for the next person in our position can have a helping hand.

Becky

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 1:43pm
I so agree with what you are saying about giving. I was going to sell my clothes (business clothes mostly) to consignment but now I will donate them all. I am not able to do the 10% but I will work it into my plan to donate a set amount every month.

I also believe that if you really *want* something in your life (any type of goal) and even though you may not *know* how you will get it/there but you *believe* you will *it* will happen. I hope this is making sense! Basically if your intention is there and you are clear about it the *way* or *how to* will present it self.

For example, Becky, you paid the 250.00 fee for dh *knowing* it would work out and you were determined it would and guess what it did! Somewhere along the way I lost faith in myself and now I have it back (along with faith in a higher power) and things are changing for me because of it. If you don't believe it will not happen. Now for my example. Dh and I started talking about really wanting our own place (remember my ranting about the yucking 30 year old rugs!). Thats when he decided to approach his boss for extra hours etc and we were getting a plan in place to accomplish our dream when my parents phoned up and told us they wanted to give us money for a down payment! (they did not yet know of the plans we were putting in place). I have only asked my parents for money once (since I have been on my own) and I would never had asked them for money to buy the house but it is a wonderful surprise and gift they are giving us.


Sandra

Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 2:25pm
I agree with you here too. I always wanted to be a SAHM with a house someday and I am, the bad part is I have no goal after this. LOL!! I keep trying to think what I want to do with my life when I grow up and I'm clueless, basically I got what I always wanted and never thought beyond that. LOL! I keep changing my mind on what I want next (besides obviously having no debt would be nice but my brain can't get to that picture yet).

The only *catch* I have found is somewhere along the lines, I read something about visualization, where you should make a collage of what you want and stick it somewhere you can see it. I never could get that to work. I had cut out a picture of a visa/mc logo and put an = $0 next to it, along with a type of house, car I wanted, etc... That never seemed to help me much. LOL! Oh, you were also supposed to put dates down by when you wanted the stuff...the idea was for the subconscious to figure it out and make it more real rather than *abstract*. Unfortunately, my dates would come & go (and they were realistic ones but unexpected things would pop up along the way), so it ended up making me more discouraged than anything else, so I haven't done that in a LONG time.

I can't remember where I read this at, I think it was not a money book, although I've read something similar in the Carol Keefe book, i.e. don't just mark the piggy bank "Savings" (how boring), mark it specific like "Trip to Beach" or something like that and even put a picture up there, so it's the same idea. In reality I have done that with our change jar as we have been saving that for Disney, I have a picture of Mickey Mouse in a Captain's hat (it was from one of their ads)....And the kids literally yell at me if I raid that jar "BUT THAT'S FOR DISNEY"!! So, I have to be very careful about taking anything out of there, etc... and if they find pennies around the house, etc... they put it in knowing we are *saving our pennies to go to Disney* (that's a comment we always make when we want something big or they do "We need to save our pennies before we can do XYZ").

So, I do agree that if you *really* want something, eventually you will get it because you will give up other things to get it. There is always a catch...life will throw you curve balls!! LOL!! We were going along good with our plan and now we will have 1 more mouth to feed, diapers, etc... along with taking quite a while to get just back to where we started before DH lost his job once we get some income from some source. I suppose if it was super easy though, you wouldn't learn anything and life would be dull. ;) There is always a reason for things to happen even though we may never figure out why it does and it may not be what we want.

Becky

Avatar for mymartes
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 2:29pm
good for you, sandra

mym

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 11:28pm
Becky,

I have a similiar collage right on my bedroom wall that you described! LOL I call it my treasure map and in fact I need to update it and make a new one. One thing I do not do on mine is put dates on it. I have a picture of a piggy bank (for saving) and a picture of a pile of $1000.00 bills (for always having more than enough). I also have a picture of pregnant woman (me) and a family with two kids (now my family). I have had several Treasure Maps over the years and most of the time most of the stuff has happened. If it didn't I have to admit its because I was not committed to the goal.

I also have goals on my treasure map that are about "being" not just having. I have pics showing couples being romantic etc (to show the type of relationship I want with dh). You can also try putting a picture of you or your family in the middle of your map. (Dh and I have a treasure map togethere - you can make a family one that involves everyone.

The best way to make one is to flip through magazines and pull out pictures you are attracted to even though intellectually it may not mean anything to you(at the moment). (i.e. some people I know have put a watch on their map to indicate its "their time/turn or a pic of a tranquil scene to show they want a sense of peace in their life)

I have used this tool for over a decade and I swear it works. I just looked at mine again and I see I got the "van" we have on our map. Perhaps if you tried a bit differnet approach you will have different results with your treasure map.

Sandra

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 7:37am
Oh I love this "Treasure Map" idea!!! You ladies have inspired me to go down to the basement and bring up my cork board. I took it out of the kitchen 'cuz it just held junk so I 27 fling boogied it! Now it's coming back upstairs and going right above my desk with our treasure maps on it. I think I will pretty up the frame and find some fabric for over the cork too so that it's not so uuuugly.

I'm almost giddy here!

I'm also going to go dig out my Suze Orman book because I know it had this kind of stuff in it. I'm getting several books from the library on "attracting abundance" thursday too, I can't wait to read them. The titles were recommended to me by the good folks over at the Attracting Abundance board if anyone is interested. (The link is also on the money's msg board page).

Hmmmm, let's see. I'll put pictures of people retired in their 50's, our paid off house with some minor renovations that I'd like, our happy healthy family, world travel....

:)

Lorraine

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 2:45pm
Good for you Lorraine! I like the way we keep inspiring each other!

Sandra