I know how you feel—however—-NOW is totally different

BEFORE—you would put something on credit—-thereby, costing you much, much more (the interest, etc).

NOW, you know that if you really want something—you can afford it—it is just a matter of how long it will take you to save for it.

BEFORE—you were digging yourself deeper and deeper into debt–thereby—decreasing your net worth.

NOW—you are debt free, except for the house—and you net worth is increasing.

BEFORE—every little emergency was a big deal.

NOW– you have an emergency fund and little emergencies are “no big deal”

So—while I feel your pain in the “income has decreased to the same as 10 years ago” category (hubby and I are just now getting to 3/4s of what we made 10 years ago—we were under half for a very long time)……

You have made PROGRESS and your future is much brighter for it !!!!!

I totally understand what you are both saying

But as someone who freezes up looking at a spreadsheet (heart flutters, panic sets in). I find programs like mint.com really helpful for managing my spending.

Also, as an organizer, I get paid to help people get rid of their stuff (all things they should technically be able to do on their own, all things they can actully really do on their own) but ….people reach a point with both their belongings and their money where they simply have no idea where to start, it all seems completely overwhelming, paralysis sets in and no action become the reaction.

For people in these situations, paying for a D.R. program, or software, or paying for an organizer, is often the helping hand up they need to begin the process of getting their lives together. My guess would be that there is the same underlying currents to both people who have “too much stuff” and those who have issues with their money. It is rarely just about the money or just about the stuff.

I give a lot of freebies away on my facebook group and if people followed all of them, they would never need to hire me, but some people need more resources than simple tips and nothing helps like hiring an expert. Most of my clients end of finding the resources to pay for me and then some during the organizing process (uncashed cheques, actual cash, or selling unused or unwanted items). They often make money by hiring me and have a mental freedom by being unburdened by their belongings.

I think that many of the Dave Ramsay clients would feel the same way. They spend money on the program but find that money and more by cutting expenses, tucking away savings, and finding an new freedom by being unburdened by their bills piling up. To me, peace of mind is priceless.

Sometimes it stinks to be so logical though

I decided not to go into Sam’s this week to check out my food saver options after you so patiently outlined my choices, Jan. I knew if I walked in there, I’d be tempted to pick up just a few items, and honestly, there’s no such thing as just a few items once I get going in that place, so I’ll just wait things out until my husband is able to get more work and we have more money coming in. I also desperately want to get a new shredder. The one we’ve had is close to 20 years old and it just burned itself up this week. My husband looked at it, and said that I completely killed it this past week and it’s definitely not able to be fixed. I’m going to just put anything I’d normally shred into our burn barrel and again, wait until the time is right to purchase another heavy duty shredder as a replacement. None of these are emergencies, and years ago, I would have been “normal” and just run out and bought what I wanted and worried about paying for it later, but now I can’t justify being stupid. I’m also not going to feel badly because we don’t have the extra money (guaranteed payday loans) that we used to have, because we truly are in a good place compared to most people, it’s simply that we’re just a might bit short on money for the extras right now. No biggie. I’ll appreciate these items when I can actually feel good about making the purchases and we have the surplus available to buy these items, in the meantime, I’m grateful that I’m not one of those people who feels victimized or feels battered because things are a bit off for us financially right not (I’m certainly not saying anyone here is like this, it simply seems this is how it is presented to us by the media). We’re still moving in the right direction, even if it is a bit slowly right now, and I’m sure the majority here feels the same way as I.

Well, most ducks can’t climb

Muscovies or Barbary ducks are technically not ducks but a tropical perching bird more similar to geese than ducks. In the wild they perch in trees. Here on the ranch Casino, our lone drake, sleeps either under the deck or on the deck rail because he is so fat he’s probably more than the standard 15# for drakes, the girls will max out at 7#. The new girls are perchers and once they are released to free range next week will either sleep on the perches in the little coop–where they are sleeping now, or in the trees with the guinea fowl.

Once Casino comes out from under the cool deck where he is hiding from the heat right now I’ll try to get a photo of his gorgeous ugliness. Yep, Muscovies are one of the few birds were the females are prettier than the males, by a long shot. This site has several nice Muscovy photos on it.

Casino would be considered a black drake although he has a little white on him. Also his facial structure/mask and feet–with his long curling toe nails is black. The girls are one white–Henny Penny, two pieds/magpies Faith and Hope and one chocolate, Cocoa. I’m hoping once they are released we’ll get a fall batch of ducklings.

Scobies are such good pest control especially flies, mosquitoes, and rodents we’d like to build up a large flock of them again. They are self sufficient, so we could travel and not worry about them with the auto feeder/waterer set-up. Did I mention they don’t quack? They hiss and chortle, but it is all very quiet.

As it really been two years? That long? Seems like you just joined the list

Weather is a lot of my gardening problem too. It’s either raining or so blessed hot I don’t last long out there. But I am determined—sweet potato bed is free of weeds, unfortunately the rabbits have freed it of three plants too. I’m hoping to put bush beans in that bed with them tonight. They are companion plants and hopefully I’ll get a good crop of each.

We won’t discuss the main garden, which is woefully under planted and overly weedy.

Dh and ds decided this was the week they were knocking the weed forest back to the woods. Only to discover the weed whacker needs a new fuel line, and the DR cutter is locked up. GRRRR. I am NOT weeding 5 acres around the house with a hoe or a scythe, they better get at least one of them running, and do so for free or at the very least cheap—either that or I may take in a friends goats for knocking the weeds back. They really don’t want to deal with goats right now.

Some where out in those tall weeds I have an African goose hen, Her, gone broody. I see her at the feed and water about twice a day, so I know Her (her name) is still alive, but you’d never know it from listening or looking for her. Serenity abandons Brat at least once a day to go on a walk-a-bout with her five yearlings, while daddy, Frodo gosling sits. Only she’s not quiet about it and neither is Brat. She also panics if she is out and decidea you are headed toward Brat. (aka: Goose McNugget according to dh—no we’d never eat him, but Brat doesn’t know that). Last night the full grown Toulouse goose, Serenity (about 15 pounds) CLIMBED a five foot high welded wire fence to go over the top of it and get to Brat because she thought dh was going to pick him up! Strangest thing I’ve ever seen with our geese. Muscovy Ducks I’m use to seeing climb, but never a full grown large goose.

We are starting to get pretty frustrated around here without the proper repair/rebuild funds, but keep telling ourselves “only six more months and our income will increase”. In the meantime the farm equipment keeps breaking down and the decks around the house are getting in very sad shape. The garage needs a new roof and double garage door. The list goes on and on and we just keep taking it one day at a time.

I have to admit I get frustrated too sometimes

Last night was a perfect example. We’re working the budget and we’re paying the debt and we’re “on the plan”, so to speak. But we still haven’t nailed down all the “incidentals” that creep in; can’t even really call them DJ moments because some part of me tells me I should have been able to see it coming, and allowed for it. We still fight about money sometimes ,and how best to spend what we have coming in. We’re so tight on the budget right now that even some of the sinking funds seem an extravagance, although we have them set up for a few absolute gotta-do’s. So when things do come onto the radar that the budget doesn’t allow for, I know I can’t just go charge it and make it better and then pay “later”. And in that moment, I hate it.

My only consolation is that we’re digging out, and that feels better every single month that goes by. I’m coming up on the 2nd yearly anniversary of not having used my credit card, and that feels awesome. So I suck it up another few days before more money comes in, ration that money out ever so carefully again, and try to do a little better job at budgeting. Sometimes when it gets really bad I go look at our snowball payments. They are getting incrementally smaller but they are getting smaller. And the various folks who have posted about finally being debt free, well, those keep me really motivated. Some part of my brain still can’t quite conceive that I’ll ever really be there. So the recent discussion about what we’ll buy with that first bit of extra money, seemed a very abstract “never really gonna happen” conversation for me. But I just keep telling myself it really will happen. And even though I get down sometimes about how we should have been so much further ahead by now than we are, hey, at least it didn’t take another 10 years before we got started. Instead of hoping all my debts are paid off by my 50th birthday, I could have lived in denial for another 10 years and been hoping to be out of debt by the time I was 60. When I start thinking in those terms, I’m just glad I got started when I did.

So hang in there Eldred. This time last year you were convinced you’d never be employed again. Six months ago, give or take, you reached a point where you couldn’t make the payment on your house. And now here you are, employed again and making the payments on the house again and feeling frustrated but you’re a heckuva lot better off than you were at either of those recent times. Maybe give yourself a day to think of all the things you’re pleased about and grateful for and happy for? That resets my inner frustration level too. If nothing else, trust that you’re amongst folks who understand and who admire you for how far you’ve come. Even if some times you can’t see it.

Any chance any of those Pollyanna pills still available? We’re actually having a rather miserable day here, weather-wise, and I was having lots of “can’t see the progress” feelings myself as recently as last night. Still feel some of those echoes this morning.

Very good points DJ!

Right now I’m feeling very powerful, even though we are temporarily very broke. We’ve had many extra expenditures this pay period that according to the budget should have put us nearly $1,900 in the hole this pay period, but by cutting here and there. Doing without, telling ourselves no and thankfully selling several items we are going to make it and still keep our snowball rolling. I am feeling so much pride in accomplishing this, far more pride than I ever even considered having when I would slap out a credit card.

But, wait

you’re not digging yourself further into a hole, and you’ve learned to live within your wage earnings. My kids hear from me all the time, “It’s not in the budget right now.” I set up a weekly budget for our family every Friday, and I don’t have much wiggle room right now. I don’t feel poorer because of it, I actually feel empowered. We’re still putting away money for all the necessary investments (retirement, education, savings, sinking funds), but most weeks, there’s not a lot extra left. I don’t feel as if we can’t afford things; we’re simply living within our earnings each week as meager as they may be at times. I think it’s just the way you choose to look at things.

Make do

I know what you mean. It took us so long to do the pantry because of having to “make do”. Back before.. I would have purchased can rotators from http://www.thrivelife.com/all-products/shelving.html witout even batting an eye as I handed over my charge card. After all simple payments right?
Instead we spent hours looking at what we wanted, digging for scraps of wood to make them from, changed our plans many, many times and slowly got it built because it had to be done outside and the weather didn’t co-operate. But you know what, we are very pleased with the result of our family project. It is a custom fit for our pantry.
I really NEED my garden this year too, but I find it hard to force myself to get out there and weed like I should—still having periodic coughing fits. I’d much rather sit in the shade and watch Brat gosling play than weed. I’d rather fill my can rotators with foods I can purchase, than work at growing at it—right now. But this fall when all those shiny jars of home canned foods glimmer back at me from the basement shelves the pride wiil set in and I will feel good at what I have provided for my family. Just like you will.

Blogging helps me stay focused, hopefully it helps others too.

For the both of you

I completely understand your depression, but I also know that both of you (Eldred and Lea) are really far better off than you were previously.
Neither of you no longer have to flinch when the phone rings and check the caller ID to see if you want to answer it or not. That is far better than you were when you were in debt. Both of you know how to budget now—even though the budget is very tight.
You are both fighters.
And most importantly you are both inspiration for the rest of us who are still struggling to get debt free. We need you and you are always there for us. In turn we are here for you.
As Abraham Lincoln said “this too shall pass”
Now take your Pollyanna pills and hang in there.

We experienced the very same thing when the business had to relocate

only we are older then you are…. This was surely not where we had planned to be in our 50’s… rather discouraging…. at least the house and car are paid for….really trying to garden and homestead a bit more so I won’t starve to death since our retirement includes what is left at SS and the dismal amount in savings

Reading that story about habits of the poor got me thinking about something

I got used to saying “I can’t afford it” before when I had a low salary, but still put a lot of stuff on credit. Then when I got a higher salary, I was focused on paying off debt for the most part.
Now I have no consumer debt, but I’m also back to a lower salary. So in a sense, I’m right back(financially) where I was about 10 years ago. Not sure that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling…

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