Monday, November 7, 2011
Series: Becoming Debt Free...Jan.-Oct. 2011 Light at the End of the Tunnel!
After going to Cincinnati for a diagnosis of HES in February, 2010 the bills started trickling in one by one. Once again we found ourselves with loads of medical bills. Thankfully, we had some money set back and we were able to pay those bills off! This was the first time in 5 years that we had paid all of our medical bills, on time and on our own! It felt so good and inspired us to stick to our goal of getting out of debt in the time frame that we were wanting to get it paid off.
We wish that money would pop out of the air, but it doesn't. The only choice we have is to plug away at the debt. One by one the debt is getting paid. It's been encouraging to make the final payments on the various bills that we've had. Brian is still working extra side jobs when he can and I work really hard at home lowering the amount of money that we pay for things. One way I do this is by continuing to use coupons combined with sales, stockpiling and menu planning. I also limit my shopping trips. I've found that if I'm not at the store, I don't spend money at the store! We have learned to say no to certain things too.
Some things that we've limited or said "no" to:
Cable T.V. We don't miss it either
Cell phones: We have 1 cell phone on my brother-in-laws plan for $10 per month
Clothing budget: Brian and I have cut back on our clothing budget big time until we get all debt paid. It's very minimal. We mainly get the NEEDS instead of the wants. The kids certainly don't have as many clothes as their friends, but this was something we needed to cut back in order to have margin in our budget.
Pets (We only have 2 African Dwarf Frogs as pets. They cost $35 when we got them 18 month ago and I've maybe spent $6 dollars on their care since we got them! Easy "pets" to have! FYI...the kids are allergic to pet danger so this works good for us!)
Eating out. This is a hard one, but one of the biggest money savers! I try really hard to make a weekly menu plan. When I take the time to sit down and plan out what to make (according to what I already have in my pantry) I save TONS of money. We do eat out, but not nearly what we would if I didn't have a plan!
Frivolous Shopping Trips: I try not to run across town for only one thing. It costs too much $$$ in gas to do that. Instead, I plan my trips and do all my errands on the same day...or I at least try to. For example: when picking Emalee up from preschool I'm close to the bread store and Walgreen's. Today I went all three places in one trip! I was home the rest of the day.
Hair cuts: I cut Brian, David and Emalee's hair. Jacob's is too hard to cut because of his head shape. Me? I don't trust Brian to cut my hair! :) At the most, mine is cut 4 times per year. Luckily, my hair grows very, very slow!
Those are just a few of the ways that we've been able to cut our expenses the past couple of years. There are many more that I did not mention! We did have a few monetary gifts that were given to us (because of the medical expenses) so we took that money and put it in the medical fund knowing that there would be more medical bills to come...and there are! Currently, we're paying 5 more medical bills as with my disease they just never end!
So, where are we at on this "Becoming Debt Free" journey??? As of today we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! *
Exact numbers will be given the next time I post in this series!
What are some ways that you cut expenses? Please share on the Face book page or in the comments section below! I'm sure that your comment can encourage someone else on the financial road to freedom!