September 11, 2010

I'm excited!  Nothing fabulous has happened except that I (and maybe my DH) have made a commitment to Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover.  In a nutshell, I've developed a budget, am saving toward a baby emergency fund, will be using the envelope system for weekly expenses to control my cash, and am beginning an aggressive plan to be debt-free (except the house).  According to our projected debt snowball, we can accomplish this by June 2013!

I have a new addiction to the "Money Talks" forum on Dave's website.  I posted our budget and got some feedback from others.  The folks there are very honest.  One of the first things we need to do is cut our satellite.  There are lots of ways to stay current with shows and sports for free via the Internet, so that's the route we're going to go.  Molly was in tears when I mentioned this; Jamie will go along with it if I think that's really going to help.  It will free up around $80 a month, so I really think it will allow us to cushion some other areas of our budget with the money we save here.  I am amazed at some of the success stories and really amazed at some of the debt people accumulate via credit cards.  Our total credit card debt is around $550 right now.  That's not bad, especially when I see people who owe 80 and 100k on CCs.  What in the world did they buy?

I went grocery shopping for the week today and I stayed within my $70 budget.  I have purchased enough for 5 dinners (1 night will be leftovers, 1 night will be grilled cheese &soup) and lunch stuff for the girls.  I used the leftover pancake batter this morning to make and freeze mini-pancakes that can be warmed up easily on school mornings (there should be enough for 2 days) and I'm going to make homemade cinnamon rolls later that will feed us a couple of mornings.  The other mornings we can have jelly toast.  I have never been a fan of buying lots of packaged junk.  My people eat it without considering how long it should be lasting us.  I also bought laundry detergent, kitty litter, and light bulbs -- those were the only non-food items needed this week.  The trick here is going to be staying out of WalMart.

This whole plan has just refueled me.  Once June 2013 comes and goes, that frees up cash to work on our real emergency fund (3-6 months of expenses).  Giving is also highly encouraged in the TMMO, and I hope we're able to increase that (with the right heart attitude).  Wish us luck!  Jamie is sort-of on board with it, so I hope that a few months of success will win him over completely!

It hasn't been all excitement today, though.  The anniversary of 9/11 cannot go unnoticed.  Facebook statuses, TV programming, etc. have been geared toward it all day.  I will never forget that sunny morning.  We were living in Clarksville and I was finishing my degree at ATU.  Jamie had come home from working 3rd shift that morning around 7:15 -- just in time to kiss us goodbye for the day.  I dropped the girls at preschool and headed down I40.  I was listening to AFR and J.J. Jasper came on between songs to report a "supposed crash" and he was very quick to point out it wasn't verified.  Needless to say, by the time I arrived at school, it had been verified and the second plane had struck.  Jamie had fallen asleep in our bedroom with the Disney channel on, so he knew nothing about when we arrived home around 3:00.  I had tried to call him, but we turned the ringer off during the day when he worked 3rd so he could sleep and not be woken up by a telemarketer.  He was absolutely in shock.  I don't know that I can ever put into words the feelings I had that day and in the days after. 

The girls and I watched program about the attacks last Thursday evening.  They had lots of questions.  Parker was 4 and Molly was 1.  It shouldn't surprise me that PJB doesn't remember it because she was very little, but I shared with her that we ultimately had to quit watching reports of it in the days following 9/11 due to her questions about planes crashing into buildings.  On a positive note, I remember the sense of patriotism that took over America in the next days and weeks.  What happened to that? 

I hope you're remembering 9.11.01 today.  I'm going to hug my girls and my man a little tighter.  So many families can't do that tonight. 

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