And then REALITY strikes!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009
After all of the running and fun of the summer it's finally time to try and buckle ourselves down for another school year. School starts tomorrow, and just like Katie, I CAN'T WAIT! David and I are planning some "school like" discipline of our own. We have decided that we REALLY need to get to work on our debt. Like SERIOUSLY work on our debt!

We each have one more trip planned for September, but after that, we'll be home for a while... A LONG while! Fortunately, both of our September trips will be extremely frugal. I am going to Cape Cod with my friend, Rhonda. Since we will both be flying for free (thanks to David's airline miles) and staying for free (with David's hotel points... thanks Honey!), Rhonda has generously offered to pay for the rental car we'll be using on our trip. My only expense will be food for the days we're there. We won't arrive until midnight on a Wednesday night and we'll be flying back out at noon on Sunday. If I know Rhonda and me, we'll be eating at the free hotel breakfast and only paying for dinner. Since that means we'll probably have dinner three times, that shouldn't come to more than $100 for the whole long weekend for me, and that's leaving plenty of wiggle room. I seriously doubt it will cost me more than $20 per meal. We are planning to take a whale watching cruise, so I'll have to check on the price of that, but I don't expect it to be outrageously expensive. We've even talked about just taking one of the ferries and watching for ourselves! I don't know if we're experienced enough for that. Even if it costs me $200 total that's not to bad for a vacation at the Cape!

David is planning to go to Michigan for a salmon fishing trip with his dad and his brother for a week. He'll be flying there for free, of course, and will be staying (for free again!) at his Uncle John's cabin. He will have to pay for a fishing license and some groceries, but it still shouldn't be very expensive. This is the one time every year that we both manage to get away for a while and just let go of the responsibilities of home. I know I look forward to the break, and I'm sure David does, too.

Anyway, back to our debt problem. I say problem, because that is EXACTLY what it is. We recently had a scare about David being laid off from his job. We're still not 100% in the clear, but things are looking up as more projects become available to him. Looking at our finances immediately told us that we wouldn't be able to make it easily on his unemployment income. We could pay our house payment, but it would be tight on everything else! The fear I felt made me sick. I know it's time to kick it into overdrive and get this debt paid off. Here are some of the things I've planned to do to get a jumpstart on our debt repayment plan:

1. HUGE YARD SALE - I plan to do some major decluttering and have a huge yard sale. Every little bit will help, and getting my house cleaned out will make me feel better!

2. GYMNASTICS FUNDRAISERS - Katie and I have been working tirelessly to raise money for her gymnastics fees, which are a big chunk of our monthly budget between June and October. All of her competition fees are due in those months, so our monthly fee pretty much doubles. The more of the fees we can pay with fundraising, the better! You'd better watch out! We'll probably be flocking you soon!

3. NO EATING OUT - This is a biggie for us. My family usually lives out of a McDonald's bag... I hate to cook... So far in August, we've only spent $26 on eating out. Compared to the $400 we spent last month, that's a great start!

Those are my best three efforts for now. Do you have any ideas for me? I'd love to hear them! Leave me a comment!