All My Stuff

Three years ago Mike and I were in a very different picture financially.  We were entrenched in debt (about $45,000 down from $70,000 at that point) and slowly paying it down….very…slowly.  Our income was probably more than double what it will be this year and so was our spending. I’m bringing this up because I realize many of you don’t know this about Mike and I.  You just came on board and we don’t talk about it anymore since it isn’t news.  It was a real pivotal point in our lives.  We took drastic moves in the summer of 2009 to change our path around spending.  It changed us.  It made us happier… and not the kind of happy like we are skipping-down-the-lane-happy but a deep contentment.  It didn’t just happen though.  The transition was bumpy. I was really pissy about it.  Today I thought it would be interesting to revisit that transitional time so I’m reposting something I wrote back in November 2009.  At this point we had cut back on our spending for about 3 months.

After five years of paying on $70,000 of debt we still had $35,000 left. Mike, my husband, had sold me on the idea of paying off the rest as fast as we possible could rather than as slow as the credit card companies would allow us. We began planning how to implement this goal. In the last four years we have not taken on any more debt (good thing) but we have only been making the minimum payments on what we owed (not so good). We were on the right track but we needed to learn to live within our means rather than buying stuff on credit and borrowing from our future selves. Presently we’re pissed at our past selves for putting us in the position we are in now. Covering the minimum payments on our credit cards is a large burden on our monthly budget. » » »

Are We Rich or Poor?

This year Molly started to notice a shift in the girls’ perception towards our standard of living.  Even with the two of us out of work for most of 2011 our spending has changed very little compared to the previous year.  When we cut our expenses back by 50% a few years ago they perceived us as a family who had money but chose not to spend it.  There’s an interesting interview Molly did with the girls 2 years ago about their take on our cutting back on Molly On Money.  In the interview they talk about their initial fears but in the end they were happy that we did cut back and paid off our debt.

Lately we’ve heard them make comments to the effect that we are ‘poor’ and cannot afford to have a nice things like so-and-so’s car.  So let us repeat…how we spend our money now compared to when we had much larger incomes has not changed but somehow we’ve become ‘poor’. » » »

Money, Expenses and a Corrupted File

On Molly On Money I would occasionally update my readers on our spending.  We track our expenses in Quicken and post updates on our whiteboard in the kitchen.  I like sharing the information.  I feel it keeps our spending in the foreground rather than letting it slide into the background.  I mean come on, where your money goes tells a story about you.  It’s interesting!

So…have you noticed we have no updates here?  Well, we don’t because I haven’t tracked our spending since the beginning of June. (Hello guilt and shame come sit down next to me on the couch.  How have we been?) It’s not because I haven’t wanted to it’s because I’ve become dependent on a piece of software called Quicken. » » »