Thursday, April 29, 2010

Financial Goals: Mid-April Wrap Up

I wanted to give everyone an update on where we are in light of our goal to be debt free by May 2011.  It looks like it might be more like January of 2011!  Woohoo! We are continuing to pay down our debt as aggressively as possible!  As of this past week, we have paid off 76% of our debt!  That means we only have 24% left!  As I have shared previously, both BJ and I have been working part-time jobs in addition to his full-time job in order for us to pay off our debt more quickly.  Starting next month, we will be taking a break from these jobs due to our ministry plans for the summer and the fact that there will be less workers needed at both of our part time jobs.  The campus that we work on will have less traffic and mainly will be open for a couple of summer sessions. We are very excited about our progress and look forward to getting that last 24% down to 0!!

There are a few things we have implemented in our household to keep us gazelle intense (focused and serious) in cutting down on our household budget.  I wanted to share them and a small explanation of each:

Once A Month Cooking (OAMC)-This has helped us save money and time.  I try to have a Once A Month Cooking day every month using mostly sale items and items from our stockpile.  This has also helped us save time especially when I have to work almost until dinner time.

Eating Out of the Pantry-We are currently doing this to eat down our stockpile before we head to Daytona for a month.  It has helped us become more creative with the food we already have in our pantry and save money at the same time.

Paper Towel Switch-I shared about this last week.  It has actually been a lot easier than I thought making the switch over.  We have already saved money using dinner napkins and kitchen towels and we are utilizing this money for other things we need or to go towards our debt.

Shopping Out Of Our Closet-After our recent yard sale, we reorganized our clothes for ourselves and the boys.  We noticed that we did not really need any new clothes, even for the fall.  Since clothes shopping has been a source of temptation for us in the past to spend money needlessly, we are challenging ourselves to shop only from what we already have.

Attempting Cloth Diapering-Thanks to the influence of some frugal-minded friends, our family is attempting to switch over to mainly using cloth diapers.  The potential savings seem to be really high though there is some initial start up costs. Our youngest is one and I feel like we will be in diapers for at least another year, so we are giving it a try.

Couponing-We have been doing this for well over a year now and it has served us well.  We are thankful for all the wisdom there is online that has helped us save some serious cash!

WIC (Women Infant and Children)-This has been a help to save on some of our staple items.  This is only a short term solution to helping us get out of debt and back on track.

I love how we are learning to be creative and grateful for what we have as a family.  Getting out of debt has been a difficult but good learning experience for us!  I think there are many of these things that we are doing that we will continue to implement even after we get out of debt.  I am excited about where we are and that hopefully in the near future we will be able to scream, "WE ARE DEBT FREE!"

What creative ideas has your family implemented in order to become more frugal or to pay off debt?

Photo Credit: Hermes

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