Tag Archives: dave ramsey

Breaking It Up and Breaking It Down

Breaking It Up and Breaking It Down

Debt.  I Hate It.

There is not one single, solitary, thing I do not like about debt.  I don’t care what my credit score is.  I really, truly, don’t.  Yet debt and I have become cozy bedfellows.  It is like sleeping on a mattress that is engulfed in bed bugs.  Ever had bedbugs?  I have and it is not pleasant.

These little buggers get all up under your skin and leave little flea/mosquito bite type welps and they itch like a mother.  Bedbugs are NOT your friends and you certainly don’t want them in your bed.  This is how I feel about debt.  I have such a fire to get out of debt and, frankly, Hunter peed on my fire when he got sick.

Well, friends, neighbors, and confidants…it is time to reignite that fire and reignite it we did.  I love it when Big Daddy and I are in the same ocean but when we are in the same boat, we are unstoppable.  We are now in the same boat 🙂  Makes me happy.


We were going to roll our van payment into our next debt, but with Hunter being sick, that just isn’t possible, so we are doing it the harder way.  The next debt that we have will be my student loan.  It is the gift that keeps on giving, in terms of interest rates.  The current interest rate is 6.8% and our current payment is $183.

I have been paying on this loan since 2014 and sadly, I still owe as much as I did back then because of circumstances and interest.  The estimated payoff date is July 28, 2025.  Just absorb that.  I will be paying SO much more than my original loan, that it just makes me sick.

The total payoff years is 11 years.  If we continue down the road we are going, our total payments will be $30,954 and the total interest will be $11077.  This just makes me nauseous.  Absolutely nauseous.  The sad thing is, is I don’t even use my degree.  So I am pretty much just flushing money down the toilet.

It is What it is.

Our goal is to pay this off in 18 mths or less.  We are doing this by A) making our regular payment B) selling things in consignment stores, movie joints, electronic joints, etc C) Big Daddy working OT D) stop excessive spending E) staying on a tight budget F) Praying.

I know we can do this because we paid our van off in 4 mths when the original payoff was 4 years.  We weren’t thrilled to be on a tight budget, but we did it and we paid for a wedding.  It can be done with discipline.  I figured we need to add onto our monthly payment around $1300/mth in order to pay this bill off in 14 mths.

If we are doing this, then our payments will come out to $20730 (a difference of $10224) and the total interest will be $854 (a difference of $10223).  Wow.  Just wow.  Writing that out ignites my fire even more!

Here is to the Journey!

I will be posting on a more detailed look at our budget in the days to come).

Eat my shorts, student loan debt!  Mama’s buying a new mattress and getting the “bedbug” filled one OUT!


Debt: Money Making Tip

Debt: Money Making Tip.  As I am decluttering my mind and working on my FACTORY RESET, I am also physically decluttering.  I do not know why my mind is working this way, but as I look at my attic, my garage and just the stuff around my house…I think I do not want my kids/husband to have to go through all this crap and make decisions for me when I die.

Morbid, I Know.

Maybe, the older I get, the more I think about mortality.  My sister just lost her mother in law.  Granted, she was in her 80s, but still….it still hurts even though we know she is with Christ and would never want to come back to this Earth again.  Maybe it is the fact that my son took a nap and then woke up to our lives changed forever.  Maybe I just want to live a more minimalistic life.

I don’t know.

I love Jesus

Anyway, as I was decluttering my bedroom, I decided to go through my masses of books.  Bibles, school books, devotionals, kids books….so many books.  I read once, that your bedroom (couples bedroom) should be free of clutter.  Seriously, like have nothing under the bed.  Only peaceful things on the walls and no sign of your kids LOL…no pictures or anything.  Now, I can’t quite go that far, but I did clean out from under my bed.  Amazingly, I even vacuumed under there (nasty).

It was a blessing to give away 2 pieces of large furniture that we do not use.  I condensed the entertainment system to just a tv and our router boxes.  Lastly, I hung up some things on the wall.  I’m working on the closet.  One day, I decluttered and got rid of SO many things from the attic.  Finally, I organized all of that.  Now, I have this massive bookcase full of books and books in my closet.


I have homeschooled for 18 years and I have decided to get rid of all my old school books (with the exception of the math books).  They are all gone.  Glorious day.  Next, I tackled that bookcase.  I kept all my Bibles and some devotionals that I matriculate to quite often.

The other books…just collected dust.  I didn’t read them and there they sat, helping no one.  Someone else could get some use out of those books.

Fantastically enough, I donated 98% of them to our local library.  The other books, I sold on a website called BOOK STORES.  You put in your ISBN number and then they give you a price they will pay.  It is free shipping (on a refund of $35 or more) and money in your pocket.  Not a lot, but it is better than taking up space and collecting dust.

DVD Collection

As for the mass of DVDs that I had and didn’t want anymore, I sold some of them on DECLUTTR.  They also provide free shipping (no minimum refund).  All you have to do, for both sites, is print off the shipping label.  I ended up making almost $80 on stuff that was taking up space.  I took a van load off to the local consignment shop, so I will, hopefully, make some money with that. All the extra money is going towards debt!

It feels SO good to have this stuff done and gone.  The more I declutter, the more clear my mind is.  Isn’t that crazy.  Just too much.  My kids have too much and they have SO much that they don’t even know what to do.

Kitchen and Living Room

I have finished the kitchen and the living room. The pantry and the laundry room are done.  I have done my bathroom, my van, and attic.  I think I have the garage left, the downstairs bathroom, and the kids’ rooms’.  Onward and upward….tomorrow, I shall tackle the school closet and the game closet.  If I have enough moxy, I will work a bit in the garage.  Everything is in the middle of the garage, I just do a little bit at a time because it is hotter than Satan’s armpit outside and I don’t like to sweat.

Happy Decluttering!

Revisit: Paying Off Debt

Revisit:  Paying Off Debt

Revisit: Paying Off Debt.  I have been reworking our budget…Big Daddy has not been working overtime and we’ve had some unexpected things come up.  This is all part of life and we allow for that, as best as we can.

Our goal, for the next year, is to get rid of my student loan.  We owe almost $20k at 6.8% and we pay $183/mth for the next almost 15 years.

Let’s just stop and soak that in for a moment.




FOR almost 15 YEARS.

We will pay more in interest then what I took out, initially.

Uhm, I don’t think so.

So, we take our $183 (mthly pymt).  We add in our $240 (paid off van amount). $300 (Raise and what the kids pay us for their phones/car insurance). What we will add in to that amount is Bart’s travel money (he gets that mthly), his OT and travel for that (he will work, at least, 1 weekend a month), any money we have leftover from our envelopes, and then our “xtra” money left at the end of the month.  That will put us paying in almost $1500 a month.

How crazy is that?

All that is just being SUPER strict and tight with what money we have and Bart working overtime.  I hate that he has to do that because he works so hard all the time and that is more time away from us, as a family, but we are so dedicated to being debt free, so we can do more things together as a family.

We were able to cut our landline out (thanks to him, accidentally, cutting the phone cord), so we are adding that to the above amount.  We have also cut out some “extra” stuff that we didn’t need anyway and an extra cellphone that is no longer in use.  All this “little bit” ends up being a big chunk to pay on this loan.

Here is a break down of keeping our payments the same versus making sacrifices, selling stuff, cutting down on things, and working overtime.

The remaining term of the loan is 14 years and 2 months. By paying extra $1,500.00 per month, the loan will be paid off in 1 year and 1 month. It is 13 years and 1 month earlier. This results in savings of $10,321.91 in interest payments.

If Pay Extra $1,500.00 per month
Remaining Term 1 year and 1 month
Total Payments $20,632.54
Total Interest $755.54
The Original Payoff Schedule
Remaining Term 14 years and 2 months
Total Payments $30,954.45
Total Interest $11,077.45

Keep on working towards your goal and you will see success.  God willing, once this is paid off, we will add this chunk (adjusted, of course and not taking into account emergencies), and add it to the next loan, which is our home equity loan.


Operation Get Out of Debt Pressures Pitfalls and Poor Choices

Operation Get Out of Debt Pressures Pitfalls and Poor Choices.  We have made so many poor choices because we were deceived.  What began as a blessing ended in a nightmare.

My Lady
In 2015, my sweet Lady had her first stroke.  It was a tough year for her.  She struggled through all the pokes, prods, tests, weakness….she just kept on keeping on.  I was so proud of her for all that she was doing to fight back and to get well again.  That was the year that our relationship turned, a bit.  It did not turn too much because she was still my mentor, my best friend, my confidante, my person….but I became a caregiver for her.
Taking Care of My Lady
I started simply by just doing her laundry.  I did that because her washer and dryer were in the basement and she did not need to go downstairs to do it (or I didn’t want her to go downstairs).  It was not and a big deal to me.  There were days, or weeks when her laundry would be a little more than I could handle in the time I was there (because we were chatting and I forgot LOL) so I would bring it to my house to wash.  Again, she was my family.  She is my family.  I would have done anything for her.
Then it moved to “hey Lady….let me collect the garbage and get it on to the curb.”  It wasn’t that she couldn’t do it.  I didn’t want her to do it because she had some left-sided weakness.  She got out of breath carrying the heavy garbage down the steps.  Also, she had to go through the courtyard, down the driveway, and then hoist it up to the can.  I wanted to serve her.
Next up was keeping up with the dishes and my, a personal favorite (cause I seriously love doing this), was organizing closets, cleaning out the fridge, cleaning out her closet.  We had the best time giggling over things that I would find.  Oh, how I miss her.
I digress into memories.
We trudged through that first year, and she announced that she wanted to send all of my family on vacation.  She had points that she could use through her Timeshare.  There were too many for her to use she was going to lose them if we didn’t take some.  I struggled with accepting such a gracious gift because that is a lot plus, I didn’t want to leave her for that long.  She insisted and so in March of 2016, we headed to Virginia for 10 days.  The only thing we “had” to do was go to some Timeshare informational meeting, but we just had to listen…it would only take 30 minutes out of our 10 days, and then we could be done.
Timeshares = Lies
So, we planned events around that 30-minute chunk of time.  No big deal.  Or so we thought.  This 30-minute meeting turned into 4 hrs long!  4 hrs of telling us how great timeshares were and how much money we were saving by buying into this…how the points we could get through buying a timeshare were points that would give our entire family a guaranteed vacation, even when our family was still expanding.  There was the one time fee, no more, no less and we would get a free tablet.  We would be able to use our points to have someone buy our groceries and have them delivered and put away in our condo of choice in our location of choice…we could even go to Europe.  I mean, it *sounded* glorious and affordable.
Diamond Resorts and Wyndham = More Lies
When we sat down, with a representative, and they reviewed it all again.  They brought us lunch, they were engaging, and then they showed us the price.  Uhm, no.  Just no.  Oh, wait…NO.  The price tag was like $40K, and we were not going to do that.  Then the manager came over and told us again, the pitch.  By then 2 hrs had passed.  We informed them that we could not afford that.  He asked what our professions were and Big Daddy said he was a P & P officer.  Also, that I homeschool the kids.  He asked how much we could afford and we told him nothing.  He took that info and came back and said that he would slash that price in half, we would still get everything, as promised because of our professions.
Manipulation and Debt
We told him that we needed to think on it and asked if we could come back later and make a decision…..he said no, the offer only stands for right that second and if we leave, it would go up to full price or even grow in price.  He needed an answer immediately.  I guess we were shocked when we heard we could not even leave without giving them an answer….but now, more time had passed.  I was over it.  Big Daddy yielded to the pressure.  I didn’t give it much of a fight because I was over it.  Just over it.  We were so stupid.
Falling Into the Traps
Well, that sounded like something we could do.  We yielded to the pressure of this, and we took out a small equity loan to cover the cost.  Stupidly, we thought we had it made.  We finished out our vacation and came home to tell my Lady.  She just shook her head.  She said, guys….did they tell you about the maintenance fee you have to pay every year that costs as much as your house taxes?  Did they tell you that this?  Did they tell you that?  What about this?  She said that her fees go up every single year and she cannot financially handle it anymore but it takes death to get out of it, and since she has family, death wouldn’t even do it, her family would inherit the timeshares (even though they do not want it), and they are now responsible for the fees.
Stuck in a Timeshare
We were shocked.  Sadly, we tried to get out of it, but it had been past the 10-day mark, so we were stuck.  Alas, we were stuck with this loan and with these fees.  Our goal was to just make the best out of it.  We were not told, the number of points we “bought” would not accommodate all of my family.  Yet, we needed more points, more points meant more benefits, more benefits meant more in fees.  Oh, and they don’t know who told us about the grocery thing, but unless we are platinum members, that doesn’t happen.
We were lied to about so many things.  We were pressured, and the funny thing is, is where the meeting was….there was no wifi, and there was no tower to use my 4g even to look up this operation to read reviews on it.  Convenient, huh :/
Be wary of timeshares.  They are nearly impossible to get out of, they are vicious, they will call your family to pressure for payment, they do not stop.  It never stops.  You would have to hire a lawyer to get out of it.  You can’t sell it because it is not worth anything and if you do sell it (that rarely happens), then you will lose money.  If you stop paying, they foreclose on you, and it affects your credit scores…..so you are stuck.
Please be aware and do your homework!
Do not be pressured and Do your homework.
Don’t just say “I’m over it” like I did and do not buckle on the pressure.
Be wise.  Don’t be stupid, like us :/  Luckily, we are out of it, but not without consequences.
The joys of making crap decisions….they follow you forever.

Operation Get out of debt Buy or Rent

Operation Get out of debt Buy or Rent

Operation Get out of debt Buy or Rent?  In my, personal, quest of GETTING MY GROOVE BACK, and our marital quest of getting out of debt…..it begs the question of whether we purchase a product or rent a product.  Either of these options would get the job done, but what about the long run?  Is this a one time use product and you will never need it again?  It could be a product that could, potentially, be used for several months/years?

That was my question.

In getting my groove back, I’ve been deep cleaning every facet of our home.  There has not been a corner/cabinet/floor/closet that has not been touched, decluttered, or cleaned.  I can only do so much in the areas of my children’s bedrooms, the stairs to my bedroom, and my bedroom floor.  This carpet was here when we bought the house, 10 years ago.  I’m not sure how long it had been down before we moved in.  We have ranged from having 2 dogs to having 5 dogs in the house (currently we have 1 big dog and 2 little dogs).  We also have 3 cats now.  Luckily, the cats use their litter box, but the dogs…well, they have accidents because one of my kids cannot remember to take them out.

Reasons or Excuses?

Most of my house has laminate flooring, so we just mop it up.  The bedrooms, though, are carpeted.  Add the mix of the dogs/cats, and having kids in the house.  This yields to the carpets are stained, smelly, and just flat out gross.  I’ve had a couple of Bissell carpet cleaners over the years.  In a nutshell, they are pretty much a piece of crap.  They have messed up within 6 mths with no promise of help from the company.  So, we just refused to sink more money into them.  We have also had our carpets professionally done and they looked fantastic for quite a while.  Over time, the stains reappeared.  This happened because the dogs had accidents, kids puked or spilled food/drinks all over it and they are not disgusting again.

Getting an Opinion From the Man

The other day, I texted Big Daddy, and I asked him if he would rent me a carpet cleaner.  I am striving to maintain my groove and get the carpets cleaned.  He quickly texted me back and said that he would rather just spend the money, and buy one, rather than rent one.  Our goal is to use any “extra” money, towards debt, not a carpet cleaner BUT I also know one key thing.

Bucket List:  Be Carpet Free

Replacing our carpet, in the bedrooms, was the last thing on our list.  It is on our master “to-do” list, but it is dead last.  Right now, it is doable and livable.  Bart was right.  We needed to invest and spend that $130 on a machine.  I can clean the carpets a couple of times a month.  That will at least put a band-aid on the issues at hand.  In the end, we are saving money.  We are pushing back spending the money to replace the carpet.  When we do replace it, we will pay cash.  Hopefully, we will already be debt free (with the exception of our house).

Bend but Don’t Break

Sometimes, you have to bend a little, on your debt free plan.  Weigh out the options of whether it is easier to buy or rent something.  I am not sorry that he spent that money.  I actually enjoy cleaning carpets.  Though those 10 yr old stains don’t always come up.  The satisfaction in watching it suck up all the dirt and grime LOL.

There is something profoundly wrong with me 🙂

Debt Train is Derailed

Debt Train is Derailed


Our Debt Train is Derailed. For the love….that’s really all I have to say about that.  We are doing SO well at controlling our spending habits.  Finally, chipping away at our debt.  What does one do when their train is suddenly derailed.

That’s sort of how it is feeling, right now.

It has rained, in our part of the world, a lot.  I mean, it has rained.  It has rained so freaking much I halfway expect the ark to resurface and go down my road.  It is so irritating because this mama NEEDS sunshine.  I don’t want to sweat and I don’t want to be cold…I pretty much want to dwell in heaven where the weather is perfect and everyone is kind to one another.

Sorry, sidetracked.

Well, Big Daddy went to the closet to get ready for work and he noticed water was coming from our air vent.  He had no time, so he put a Christmas cookie jar under it to catch the water :/  (Seriously).  He whispered to me there was a leak and he used the cookie jar.  I half heard him and went back to bed.  When I got up, I walked in the closet and I saw the leak, but there was no cookie jar….so I put a Tupperware bowl under it.  It was in the crease of the wall dripping down the wall.  Let’s all rejoice in the fun when I called him and asked him where the cookie jar was and come to find out…there are two leaks.

Yep…there’s that.

Fast forward a few days and G noticed there was water on the side of the downstairs toilet.  Well, I have a lot of boys in my house, so I assume it is pee.  What do I do?  I wipe it up and I sniff it.  It is not pee.  The toilet is leaking from behind the toilet.  Cue excitement.  The toilet is around 800 years old, so there is no other solution than to replace the toilet.  As luck would have it, it wasn’t as easy, and cheap, as it should’ve had been.

Crap Dishwasher

Oh, it is not done yet.  Water is our nemesis in this house.  Noah has said MANY times that there is water on the floor, on the other side of the kitchen in the dining room.  I have dogs….assumed it was pee.  Therefore, I wiped and smelled.  It was not pee.  It was now a quest to find where the water was coming from.  We found out.  Noah was running the dishwasher, in our kitchen that we remodeled a year ago, and he said there was water in the floor.  The dishwasher was leaking.  Then Daniel said that he cleans water up there every day.  He thought it was pee, he didn’t want to get in trouble (his job is taking out the dogs), so he just cleans it up and doesn’t tell me FOR WEEKS.

Calling in All Reinforcements

I stop the dishwasher, clean it out, call Bart and not realize that 1+1=2.  Then my son in law comes over.  He had been helping Bart replace the toilet.  He walked down the hall to the bathroom and I heard him say “Brandi, there is water in your hall.”  I, of course, think it is pee.  What I saw, was where Noah sits and the water is under the bar.  I clean it up, sniff it, and it is not pee.  Sadly, that is not the spot my son in law was talking about….he was standing further down the hall, where there was a puddle of water that had seeped from the dishwasher, under the wall, under the laminate, in the hall.

Yep….there’s that too.

We go to the kitchen and we realize that the spot Noah had been talking about and Daniel had not been telling me is that water had been leaking for quite some time and it had seeped under my brand new cabinets, new bar, and new flooring into the dining room, as well.  Youtube told us that the internal gasket needed to be replaced, so we just cleaned everything up and started stepping all over our brand new floor to see water seeping up from the cracks in the kitchen and bowing in the dining room and hall.

You get the point.

There were dirty dishes in the sink, so Noah was hand washing them…no big deal that was until I opened the cabinet, under the sink, and there was water under my brand new sink.  Yep.  It was leaking.  Luckily, Bart and Ben fixed that.  The leak, under the sinks of the downstairs bathroom sink and upstairs bathroom sink…well, those we are ignoring.

Emergency Fund

We are going to have to use our emergency fund.  Big Daddy is going to work some overtime to cover the costs of all these repairs.  We are going to try and do as much as we can.  Sadly, there are going to be no more band-aid repairs.  These things have to be fixed before more damage occurs.  I don’t want to use all our emergency fund, but that is what it is there for.  That is why it is THE FIRST thing one should do before paying off debt.  Assuming, of course, bills are caught up.

Things come up in an instant or a flurry of them comes up at once.  You want to be prepared, in all circumstances.  It is so hard, but we sold things, we saved coins (literally), he did over time, we used tax money…this is how we stocked up our ER fund.  Once it is gone (and sadly it probably will be), we will start putting money back again to stock it back up.

Sigh…………..this too shall pass, right?

Operation Get Out of Debt Update

Operation Get Out of Debt Update

Operation Get Out of Debt Update.  It has been a minute or two since I’ve done an update on our debt journey.  We are still plugging at it.  Once we got our van paid off (in 4 mths…which is 3 yrs early), last November, we took a bit of a break on the strictness of our budget.

Wrenches in the Plans

I had already allotted for our one November birthday (we spend $60 per child on their bday) and our 4 birthdays in February.  We had also allotted for Christmas for our 7 kids, plus 2 extra people and our family.  We did really well staying within our envelope frame system.

Also, we had a 2-day hospital stay for chemo and IVIG in January, a two day stay in February and a 2 day in March.  We will have those continually because of the fragility of our son and his medical needs.  In February we also had 2 bridal showers, for my oldest daughter.  Then, in March we had her wedding.

Loosening up the Grip

So, our “strictness” had to be loosened up because of those things.  We took out no loans for any of these things.  We actually have been blessed with a super wonderful adult Sunday school class that donates to our travel fund to Louisville, so that has been taken off our plates and out of our budget.  I am also blessed with wonderful family/friends who donated their time and talent to pull off a wonderful wedding. If it weren’t for the talents of my mom……..we couldn’t have done all that we did.

Now that all those things are off our shoulders, and tax money is in, we are back at it.

With our tax money, we allotted for our yearly expenses.  They are tucked away, in envelopes, to be used when their time comes up.

  • House Taxes (due in November)
  • Car Taxes (due in June)
  • Fire Taxes (due in December)
  • Blog upkeep (due in February)
  • Cow/pig (we buy one of each yearly….we may not do the pig this year because we still have lots of meat left)
  • Vacation fund
  • ER fund (we just got that back up to $1000 and use that only with emergencies)
  • Birthdays/Christmas

With the money that was leftover from our taxes, that headed into our general savings account.


Our next “debt” we are paying off is my student loan.  We currently owe $19300 and the interest rate is 6.8%

  • Regular payment
  • Old van payment
  • Monthly payment from kids (they pay us for their cell phones and part of their car insurance)
  • Big Daddy’s “extra” from his raise
  • Travel checks
  • OT
  • Leftover at the end of the month
  • Change Jar
  • Any leftover from envelopes
  • 1 other source of income

We are looking to have this paid off by December of this year.

It will not be easy getting this paid off by December….it does not give us much time, but we are comfortable with extending it until February if we need too.  If we pay it off by December, we have to make payments of $1903 and if we hold off till February, we will pay $1608.  Those seem like steep numbers, but I have faith we can do it.