Mark and I have been trying to whittle down our debt for a little over a year now. When I say this, I can practically feel people thinking "Aren't we all trying to do that?" What I mean is really working at it. We cut out everything that we really don't need and started paying off bills. The biggest reason is because life seems to be more stressful the more debt you incur, thus we want to feel a little more freedom when it comes to our checking account. The second reason is because we've seen what debt does to families and none of those things are good.
So, what have we cut out? Glad you asked. Well for starters, we don't have kids, so we were able to be slightly more extreme in our thought process, so just bear that in mind. This is the second winter we declined to have our propane tank filled up. We saved about $1000.00 dollars in that situation, right off the bat. We used kerosene for heat, but sparingly. Let me tell you, if you thought your house was cold this winter, don't feel too bad. Mine was an igloo. Maybe that's exaggerating things a bit. We weren't crazy about it- meaning no one got sick or hypothermia, but we did look like bums hovering over a trash can from time to time when the kerosene heater was getting cranked up. From one extreme to the other: We didn't run our air conditioner in the summer. This honestly wasn't too bad. We have ceiling fans and made lots of daiquiri's. It worked out pretty well. Our grocery shopping experience has changed too. We buy only things we are going to eat and we don't go to the store until Old Mother Hubbard tells us we have to. The great thing about this scenario is we have stopped wasting so much food, and therefore money. Cable was on the chopping block too. We cut off our cable and watched movies for a while. Internet was never an option because we pay so many bills online and Mark would have to send me to rehab for my myspace/facebook/blogger addiction withdrawals and that would have been a pricey set back for him. One the plus side, because we kept the Internet, we get channels 2-14 for free, which gives us access to all the network shows and keeps us pretty happy. I spoke in a previous blog about water consumption, buying Navy shower heads and actually using them. Other ways we have been saving have included, but weren't limited to only eating out as a treat, clothes shopping with Christmas and Birthday money and skipping the awesome vacation we would love to have taken.
So, Why, you ask are you telling us all this? Well, because I explained this to a group of friends recently and they thought I should share it with others. Internet, you are my others! The plus side of all of this is that if we keep this going through the end of this year, the house payment will be our only source of debt. It's really amazing! Mark gave me this information right after he told me about his CRAZY work schedule for this coming week. He's in at 3:50AM and home at 5:00pm. It's a long day, but worth it in the long run he says, because it will only get us to our goal that much faster. I really wanted to complain, but overtime is rare and there are so many people without jobs right now, that zipped me right up.
Hopefully there will be tons of people calling to get massages this month. I want to do my part too!!