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The New Year is coming up...

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by , 12-28-2008 at 02:39 PM (1196 Views)
With today being the 28th, there are three days until the New Year is slated to begin. Wow... has it really been a whole year? It feels like the start of February, to be completely honest. Maybe that's because we've been so busy here at the house and a lot has changed in the last ten months or so.

The biggest changes came in May and June. We started changing our lifestyle to become more thrifty and there's been a whole slate of changes that have taken place in our household. We managed to cut our grocery bill by half and get our credit card spending under control. We haven't used one card in quite a while and the other card has had minimal spending applied to it. We even changed how we were using the Mastercard: if we didn't have the cash to put on it right away, we weren't using it. We got the MDG account down below $800 and plan on cutting that completely out by February. Mike's talking about a line of credit for the two big cards and that would help a lot! It would cut our yearly interest by about $1300, which could go into savings or even towards paying off the line of credit that much faster.

At any rate, there's been a lot of things to look forward to in 2009. My mom's planning on another trip out here in July, and I want to take her to the Stampede as her Christmas gift. Dakota is going to school all day in August, which means that I am going back to work! Chris insisted that I check out a clerical position at Co-Operators for a part-time gig. That would mean we'd spend less on day care and that much more would go into either debt payoff or a three-to-six month living expense fund. Either way, there are a lot of financial changes coming up for us.

We're also trying to come up with ways to cut out the eating out all together. Mike says Dakota won't go for it, but I can convince Dakota that we can eat the same thing at home and he's pretty happy with that. As long as it's able to be had, he's satisfied. With the Magic Bullet, the panini press and the compact grill that I got for Christmas, it's that much easier to make homemade fast food. I found recipes for everything that we get from the fast food restaurants, plus I'm playing around with homemade things that we don't have to buy pre-packaged. It's going to be one of my toughest challenges to take part in.

The other tough challenge for us is the debt reduction challenge that I set off to do. The way we have it planned right now goes like this:

1) Put $200 as a minimum snowball onto the first debt. That debt would be the MDG account. The trouble with that is that MDG is being paid off by February outside of the debt snowball, so the snowball would start on the Best Buy account. It has both the smallest amount and the largest interest rate out of the Best Buy, VISA and Mastercard.

2) Put money back into Mike's savings and use my savings account as a slush fund. His would solely be for the emergency fund.

3) Continue to get rid of all the things we don't have a re-use for like the broken leather computer chair (that's broken beyond repair) and other items.

4) Prevent spending on either the Mastercard or the VISA or the Best Buy account unless we have the cash to compensate for it. Mike's talking about cutting up the VISA all together after we get it transferred to the line of credit or pay it off, whichever comes first.

There's a ton of things to do this coming year and sadly, I don't have the attention span anymore to write them all down. I'm using the blog as a way to help myself keep track of things.

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