Monday, October 20, 2008

The Financial Mess

Wow - 3 posts in a row!!! Laura will probably pass out from shock!

I was actually just finishing my last post and got reminded of something I saw earlier today about Warren Buffet. He basically said that NOW is the time to invest.

While many people are running scared and screaming SELL SELL SELL, he is screaming BUY BUY BUY!!!!!

Here is the article

I checked out my 401k, and it is down about 75% from the prices I was paying. That sounds horrible, but I decided that since I am not trying to retire this year, I should try to buy at the fire sale prices. As of today, I am investing 4x as much as I was earlier in the year.

If we do a little math, that means I am buying 4 times as much at 1/4 the price. I will actually be buying about 16 times as much stock as I was 12 months ago each time I invest. In my opinion, that is a really good thing.

For those of you still paying off debt, don't sweat it too much. Get that stuff knocked out and there will still be plenty of time to invest later.

Murphy Strikes Back!

OK, so apparently I have a couple posts in me today (or, should I say, this month). :)

Murphy #1: The day we left on vacation, I heard a strange noise coming from the side of the house. It was our A/C unit squealing like a stuck pig. :(

Cost to fix: $411

Murphy #2: My tires were already getting bald, but then I sprung a slow leak in one of them that still had a tiny bit of tread left on it. Needed to go ahead and get them replaced before bad weather hits in the coming months.

Cost for new tires: $500

Murphy #3: Driving home from Houston, the check engine light came on in Laura's van. I took it to Auto Zone so they could give me the code the computer is throwing. It needs a new catalytic converter. We haven't replaced it yet, as I am still getting quotes.

Approx. cost to repair: $600

So there you have it - $1500 worth of repairs to house and vehicles - RIGHT after spending about that much on a vacation. That is Murphy though and through.

The good news (were you wondering if there was any?): We have sinking funds set up for these items, plus because we paid off all of our debt, we have available cash for these types of things. All this really did was slow down BS3 for a month.

Being debt free rules in so many ways. Something that would have killed us 2 years ago is now no more than an inconvenience.

Come on and join us! You can throw a debt free party - we'll come and drink your (paid for with cash) alcohol with you in celebration! :)

Really Livin' Like No One Else

So we decided to try taking the whole 'livin' like no one else' thing to a new area.

Can you say VACATION? I knew you could.

This vacation was taken differently than the 'normal' way. We paid CASH up front for the trip, plus we only spent CASH on the trip.

This is one vacation that will not follow us home. We do not have to worry about more (or worse yet, new) bills coming in and then trying to find a way to pay them.

Vacations are awesome, and this one was no different. No stress, no worries, nothing but eat, sleep, drink and be merry (not necessarily in that order).

Just for those who do not know, we took a 5 day Carnival cruise to Mexico.

It rocked.

Y'all should really get to the point where you can take these types of vacations. It's feels far better than the 'normal' way. Just get past BS2 and you are home free!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Financial Peace University

Laura and I went to FPU a couple years ago (this is the 13 week course put together by Dave Ramsey that teaches you a LOT about money management) and it was awesome.

The course itself has lots of good information, but what really made this class a worthwhile experience was the small group sessions after the main class. We would break up into groups of 8 or 10 people each and discuss the video we just watched (FPU is DVD based) along with our own money situations.

In our group we had people better off than us, worse off than us and in (basically) the same boat as us. It was great being able to be completely honest about how stupid we had been and not get looked down on or talked down to. Instead of that, we got support, encouragement and ideas about what to do. We also got to help others in the same way. If you haven't been to FPU, I highly recommend it.

All of that leads to the real point of this post. Our church is having another FPU session, and this time around I am a small group leader.

I have to say - I love it. Having 'been there, done that' I really love the opportunity to try and offer up suggestions and support to people starting the journey like we were.

I just hope the people in my group feel like I am actually offering support. ;)

Are you going nuts waiting for me to post?

Sorry about that. :)

I have been looking for something inspired (or inspiring) to post, and all I could come up with today was this.

The one true way to stay out of debt.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

You asked for more posts....

so here is a good one.


OK, so technically we are not 'debt free', but all we owe on now is the mortgage.

We just sent off the last couple payments to our credit cards yesterday, and those snakes now no longer have their fangs in us. I guess that makes our first debt free date 8/8/8 - pretty cool, huh?

*does happy dance*

So now we are on to Baby Step 3 - building up our FFEF and getting 3 to 6 months expenses save up. We actually have 1 month done and should have the 2nd month+ done by the end of August. We will probably finish it out in September, possibly October.

Unfortunately, we then have to save up for taxes next year. I know we will owe, so we need to get that taken care of so that Murphy doesn't end up working at the KGB...errr....I mean IRS. My bad. ;)

C'mon everyone. Get rolling through the Baby Step's so you can join us in freedom. The air is fresher, the grass is greener (it really is!) and you sleep a WHOLE lot better at night.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I have been trying to think of something (hopefully) interesting to post - since we haven't paid off any more debt - and I read something that struck a chord and reminded me of why we do this.


Or to quote Mel Gibson, aka William Wallace, FREEEEEEDOMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!

I read a post on the TMMO forum from someone who was all the way through the Baby Steps. They found Dave Ramsey in 2004 and had gotten intense about paying off debt. They had paid off ALL debt, including the house, in about 4 years.

Let that sink in for a second.

If both of them lost their jobs tomorrow, it would be an inconvenience.

Not an emergency, an inconvenience.

They could work pretty much anywhere and make enough money to pay utilities, food and gas.

While I am proud of what we have paid off, I am really looking forward to the freedom of absolutely no debt.

What kind of life could we (my family) or you (whoever might actually read this) lead when almost every penny you brought home was your to spend/save/invest/give as you pleased?

Need a new TV? OK, no problem.

Vacation? When and where?

I can't wait!!!!