My husband and I have had a whirlwind year, we bought a house and had a baby. It has been a year of change, we decided to roll with these positive changes and focus on paying down our debt. Lucky for us we don’t have a lot of debt, outside of the house. A couple years of hardwork and focus and we can be debt free.
Once we decided together (because this would be impossible if we weren’t both on board) to do this, the research began. I read enough articles and blogs to make my head explode with information. In the end we chose the Dave Ramsey plan. I liked his snowball plan; focus on your smallest debt, pay it off as quickly as you can, then put the money you used to pay for that (now paid) debt and put it towards your next largest debt… and so on. He explains his this method keeps you motivated and I agree. We need small victories to keep us excited for our end goal – a debt free life.
With our basic plan and ultimate goal in place, it was time for the leg work. We put together a budget in excel (this was waaay easier than I was expecting!). Then we planned what we could afford to pay our bills, pay toward debt, and put in savings. I’m sure our budget will be adjusted more than once but it is a good starting point. We also made plans for some additional income, that will all go toward our debt. No vacations this year but it will be worth it to drop that debt!
After we finished the tedious work, I made us some fun visuals to help us. We bought cheap bottles of champagne 🍾, a bottle for each debt we plan to pay off. I printed some champagne Coloring sheets and labeled them with each debt goal. I included percentages 5%-100% along the side of the image, this way we can color in the bottle as we move toward our goal. Every time we “fill a bottle” or pay off a debt we get to pop a bottle of cheap champagne! 🍾🥂 Is this silly? Yes. Do I care? Nope! I like visuals, they help me stay on track, and I love having a celebratory moment to look forward to (even if it is an $8 bottle of bubbly).
We have kicked off our payment plan and can’t wait to see our baby steps move us closer to our debt free life!
Has anyone managed to get debt free? What worked for you?
I always thought that one day I would just magically feel like I was an adult. I first thought that it would be when I went to college (I was definitely not an adult in college), then I thought it would be when I graduated college (still not an adult), marriage was the next stepping stone (now I was just not an adult with another person), buying a house (nope), finally having a kid, I was so sure that having a child would finally make me feel like an adult… I’m now upper twenties, own my own home, have a career, and am married with a family, but some how I still don’t “feel” like a grown up. I do a lot of adult things like pay my bills on time, do yard work on the weekends, complain about being tired at 8pm, but internally I’m still just do my best to navigate life.
Don’t get me wrong I have had moments that make me re-analyze and see that I am an adult; the first time I had to make my own doctors appointment, the first time I was called ma’am, the first time I didn’t get ID’d buying alcohol and the other day was a big one! I went to pick up my son from daycare and a little girl asked, “Are you Max’s mom?” OH MY GOSH – I am someone’s mother. I am an adult. Bam! It hit me like a grand piano falling from the sky.
I always looked to my parents and my friends parents trusting that they knew what was best. They all seemed to have their lives completely put together. Now that I am at this stage I realize that they probably didn’t “feel” like adults either. I also realized that when I looked at adults as a child, they didn’t have all the answers either but they made it through and so will I.
Adulthood isn’t a feeling, it isn’t a change in your personality (you can still laugh at fart jokes), being an adult is made up of all the little moments of daily life. Every time you pay your car insurance bill, go grocery shopping (and don’t just buy soda and candy), when waking up early on a Saturday morning to spend time with your family means more to you then taking shots on a Friday night, that is being a grown up. You may not have all the answers to life but guess what? You are an adult.
I recently read a post from a friend about all the negativity she receives because she is still single. People say they feel bad for her, they talk about how unhappy they would be without being with their S/O and having to date again. For some reason this really bothered me. You can be happy and single or unhappy and married. I would hate for people to think I was only happy because I met my husband. I was happy before I met him, and that happiness morphed into something new and wonderful because of him, but he is not the only means to my happiness.
In my life I have decided that my happiness will never revolve around one person or one thing. First of all there is no reason that only one thing can make you happy, there is no limit on how much happiness you can have. Second, if you only invest yourself in your spouse, your job, or your hobby, what happens if you lose that part of your life? I have no intention of getting a divorce or my husband passing away unexpectedly but life can take you down unexpected pathways. If something happened and I know longer had my husband, I still have family and friends, as well as hobbies that I love. Would they replace my husband? Of course not. Will the other things that bring me happiness help me move forward with my life? Yes.
I’m not saying this to be negative or say that you shouldn’t be invested in your relationship 100%, I’m saying this because before you feel sorry for your single friends put some thought into their lives. Do they have people that they love and love them? Do they have a passion in life? Are they living life to the fullest? If the answers are yes, then there is no need for sympathy.
This is our first Father’s Day for my husband. I started looking through all the photos of him and our son and it was eye opening. I realized how lucky our son is, he has a dad that plays with him, has cuddle time with him, and loves him more than anything.
Not every child has a father like that. I take it for granted because I have a wonderful man that I get to call dad. This is a day of celebration for us but I’m sure it’s a sad reminder of a father that isn’t there; those that have passed away, those that walked away, and those that weren’t emotionally there.
Today, hug your fathers and say thank you. You have something that many people yearn for.
Happy Father’s Day to all those amazing men out there that have earned the title dad!
You know you have a little one on the way but it’s still early in the pregnancy… there are a couple of questions you need to answer; Who do I tell? When do I tell them? How do I tell them? Announcing is such a fun experience! But I do know that, depending on your history with miscarriages or fertility, this can be a stressful time as well.
We found out early about my pregnancy and I immediately did my research on when to announce and the chance of miscarriage as you go through the pregnancy. In my reading, I found that women ran the spectrum of when they announced, it ranged from the second they peed on the stick to as far into the second trimester they could get (this can only get you so far, the belly tends to give you away!). There were many reasons people had to wait/not wait, some wanted more time for just themselves and their significant other to celebrate or prepare privately, some worried about miscarriage, others were so excited they wanted to share it with the world immediately. There is no right or wrong in this process, there is just what you feel is best for you and your little one(s).
As a first-time parent, I am a little paranoid about the worst happening at every step of the way. This paranoia made me want to wait until the start of the second trimester to do a public announcement. I didn’t want to announce and then lose the baby. It felt too public to have to explain what happened to all my friends and family. My hubby had the same feelings I did, so the decision to wait on publicly announcing was made. I read that the chance of miscarriage dropped to a very small chance after 12 weeks and it felt like a good option to use 12 weeks as the date.
Now just because we waited on the public announcement didn’t mean we kept the secret between the two of us. We were bursting with excitement over the news! It felt impossible to keep in, so we decided to tell our best friends and our immediate families. We talked it out and these were the people that we would turn to for support if something like a miscarriage happened, this made it an obvious choice to share the news with them sooner than the 12 weeks.
My husband couldn’t wait and told his closest friends in a text, I told my close girlfriends whenever I had an opportunity where we were alone. For us the families were very exciting to tell, because for both our parents this is the first grandchild (they had been not so subtlety hinting they wanted a grandchild for years). We told them by giving them each a gift that included a pacifier and burping cloth. It wasn’t a fancy announcement but it felt very personal for us and they loved it (they would have been happy with any announcement we chose, as long as it ended in a grand-baby).
Together we made the decision to tell our employers prior to a public announcement. This
can vary, depending on your relationship with your employer. Our relationships are good with our employers so we didn’t stress about it impacting day to day work. Also, we both work for small companies and the time off will greatly impact our offices. Telling them early was mostly out of respect for them.
Next, we started planning what we wanted to do for the big announcement to the rest of the world. We saw everything from Ice, Ice, Baby and a can of Prego to full blown photo shoot through a city. Both of us don’t like to be too over the top so we didn’t want a full photo shoot for the announcement but also didn’t want to go to goofy (we wanted to be able to frame it and hang it on the wall). We wanted a simple picture with us not as the focus. Lucky for us, we have an incredibly talented photographer as a friend and she did a quick shot for us.
The big thing to remember is pregnancy is a personal experience that you can enjoy any way you want to. If you want to not announce at all, you can! If you want to individually call every person in your phone, you can! Don’t let other people make you feel pressured to do anything you don’t truly want to do. I thought people were opinionated about weddings when I got married but that was nothing compared to how opinionated they are about babies. This is your baby, it is not their baby, you can do whatever you feel is best.
I am a planner, I like to know what is coming, I like to be prepared. I am always looking toward the future. It is an uncontrollable personality trait.
Now I realize that life doesn’t like to follow a plan, in fact most times that my life has hit a bump in the road it has led me somewhere better than I could have imagined – even with this knowledge I can’t help but attempt to be control my life anyway.
After college graduation I married my high school sweetheart. Before you roll your eyes at the idea of marrying a boy you dated in high school, let me say that my husband makes my life more fun and makes me feel more loved than I could possibly deserve. He is also not a planner, he is a roll with the punches guy – this is simultaneously frustrating for me and good for me. When you are looking toward the future you can miss the present, it is always good to find someone who pushes you to enjoy the moment.
We chose to spend a few years just being married rather than grow our family right away. These years of just us time was exactly what we needed. We were married young and wanted to enjoy a lifestyle that allowed us to go out with friends for drinks, eat out at restaurants and sleep in on the weekends. It was a fun point in our lives that we were able to enjoy guilt free. The “just us” years also gave us time to grow up. Settled in good jobs and ready to move forward in our lives I went into planning mode; the plan was to buy our first home, adopt a dog and then have a baby. The baby came sooner than planned.
There is no rush quite like the one you get when you look down at a positive pregnancy test. It is a rush that includes terror, joy, sadness, excitement and disbelief. I would like to tell you that I did a cute gift or announcement for my husband but I was in shock after I saw that test, all I managed to do was run into the bedroom and flip on the light at 7am (he wasn’t pleased at this point) then I held out the test and asked if that looked like 2 lines. It wasn’t romantic, it wasn’t planned but it is still one of the best moments of my life.
The baby revelation came before we had bought a house or adopted dog, the plan was dead. We knew we wanted to be out of our apartment before the baby arrived so now we were in full blown house hunting mode. Our heads were spinning with the news of the baby and now we were about to make the biggest purchase of our live – it was a stressful time but we survived! We are 3 months away from meeting our baby and just moved into our first house and that is where this blog begins. I am going to be writing about our marriage, the pregnancy and fixing up our new home (it was built in 1959 and we are DIY people!). Just to clarify, I am not an expert in any of these fields… not even a little. I am only documenting my adventures because my life is experiencing amazing changes and I don’t want to forget a second of it.