It's working! Finances update.

Boring post ahead, but I'm posing mostly for my own benefit so I can see how far I've come later...

So a little update on how the finances are going on our current stripped down penny pinching budget to get out of the hole we're in and stop all extra spending.

We're currently still $300 behind on the house payment.  It was due October 5th, but I had told them it would still be a little late. It was supposed to come out of this past paycheck on the 15th. However, if we paid it and let other things end up going to overdraft, we'd end up with over $100 in more overdraft fees. So, we decided we'd keep the money for the other bills for now to save the money we'd lose to overdrafts, and just pay the $300 out of my next check which will be October 31.  Yes, very late, but it helps us so much more in the long run.  The good news is that just a few days later when my husband is paid on November 3rd, we'll be able to send the whole $500 November house payment.  So we'll finally be back on track there!  Woohoo!

Then in the middle of November, we'll have a little extra money to put on something.  At first it was going to go to fix the Explorer, but my sister in law loaned us money to get the Explorer back home and our son in law is working on it in his spare time. It does start if you try long enough at least.  So, then I thought, maybe we'd just pay off some cash advances which would save us a ton in fees, but my husband who NEVER takes an interest in money or finances actually told me he wants to use that money (- this means he's been paying attention and know there will be money in November!) to get the Explorer payment up to date so we never ever have to fear a repo again. So, that's what I'm doing. By the end of November, we'll have paid it up though the first week of December, so each payment we make after that will be a week early. Also, we bought it for $4300, but currently only owe about $1900 on it. And that will be down to $1130 by December, and then only $910 by the first of the year.  So, it'll be paid off easily by Spring!  Hooray!

The cash advances will be paid off with the paychecks in the middle of December. My employer said several months ago that we should all get a bonus at the end of the year of around $500, so I am relying on that for Christmas presents. We should be able to pay off all but one in the middle of December and then pay off the last one at the end of Dec. So, as we go into the new year, we won't owe any of them any more, and God willing, we never will need them again.

More good news is that the appliances we have through the rent -to- own place will be paid off by the end of this year as well.

We also each have two small personal loans that we've had to keep renewing by adding more collateral items each time which also adds to the amount we have to pay back of course. But we do not plan to renew them again, and want to pay them off asap.  So, while we can't get them paid off by the end of the year, we'll certainly get them paid off by Spring.

The sad thing about a lot of this is that I've probably written these same words the last 2-3 years in a row at this time of the year. This past year was the closest we got to really getting out from under the debt.  ironically it's ended up with us being in the hole again - but honestly it's not as bad as it's been in the past.  We're coming up on the halfway mark of getting the house paid off.  The cars will be paid off soon, loans as well. Rental stuff all done. Cash Advances done and never again renewed.  Also, this year I am NOT paying for a wedding! And the next I DO pay for a wedding, I am NOT doing it the way I did the last one.  Wow, lesson learned there.

Speaking of lessons learned, sticking to this strict grocery budget has shown us what we can live with, and what we don't want to live without.  We used to have fresh green salads once or twice a week.  We haven't had one in over a month, going on two now. So, the first thing I'll add back into the grocery list as money allows will be salad stuff.  Spinach, romaine, peppers, cucumbers, mandarin oranges, cranberries, etc. And we'll start getting chicken breast again, so we can add baked or shredded chicken to the spinach salad. It will certainly be better for us than cheeseburger macaroni 3 times a week!
My husband and I both are looking forward to eating fresh veggies again and hopefully losing some of this weight.