Monday, October 29, 2012

HGTV Observations

Last night I was watching television in lieu of sleeping--I just don't sleep well when Eli is out of town--and I realized I've spent most of my TV-watching time on ABC, USA, and TNT.  It's been a long time since I watched HGTV, and since I didn't want to procrastinate too long, I flipped over to it.  Its 30-minute show lineup is perfect for being productive between shows.

A new show was on, one I haven't seen: House Hunters Renovation.  The gist is that people are looking for fixer-uppers.  I wish I could tell you more, but I didn't end up watching much of it. But, I did hear something for the first time that I've never heard on these house-hunting shows.

House Hunter (paraphrase):  We got approved at [$ amount], but I'm not willing to spend more than [much lower $ amount] because we have dreams and goals and things we want to do when we retire instead of pay on a house.

Wow!  This is very much my attitude toward our little house.  It's a starter house.  We'll have it paid off before Elsie graduates high school.  We will not upgrade or move unless we have to, really.  We could spend more on a mortgage payment, but then we would be "house poor".  We have dreams for our retirement, and a large house with a large payment does not mesh with those dreams.

I see a lot of shows on HGTV where people set a budget and then end up going over.  I don't know if this guy stuck to his guns, but I hope that we can.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

October Debt Update

Thank you, JT, for your kind words concerning our progress in our debt reduction. And then it occurred to me that it's already 2/3 of the way through the month and I haven't posted about it yet.

Well, then.  Here we go.

In September, we only paid minimums on our loans (the last of our non-mortgage debt).

 Second 10K Chunk, started 5/1/12

  fundraising ideas
In October 2011, I finally added up how much debt we had left since starting Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps in February of 2008.  We had reached the halfway point, but the last debts were Eli's two massive student loans that totaled more than $50,000.  It was overwhelming to look at that large number, but when someone suggested that we split it up into manageable chunks of $10,000, the debt thermometers were born.  We finished the first one in May 2012, and hope to be done with the second one by the year's end.  We can hope, right?

So, we've been working with these visuals for a year, and we've paid off $16,913.71 in this year's time.  Sometimes it's depressing to listen in on the Dave Ramsey show, and people pay off twice that in a year's time, but then I have to remember that hey, we could have been SPENDING that money and NOT getting out of debt.  Progress is progress.  We have $35,000 left to go.

To just lay it out there for anyone also in our shoes, the longer it takes us to get rid of this debt, the harder it is for me to maintain the intensity.  The upcoming increase on the focus on materialism in our culture (commercial Christmas) is not going to make things any easier for me.  It will only serve to cause me to battle my inner definitions of wants and needs.  The catalogs have already started coming in the mail...

So, if you would keep us in your prayers as we continue this journey to be good stewards of the resources provided to us by our Lord.  We want to eliminate our debt so that we can use these resources to support  missionary friends overseas and in other ways that we feel led to give.

Thanks, guys!