Thursday, March 14, 2013


Today is a very special day, folks!!!! I paid off the first debt in my debt snowball!!!! And do you want to know how I feel?

Like this! This is how I feel!!!
As of today, Patty the Pancreas, (my loving nickname for my insulin pump), is mine all mine!! I got her in March of 2009, which means I had been paying on her for 4 years. FOUR. YEARS. Almost to the day. And let me go ahead and answer your question...YES, insurance paid for MOST of it. (It's an expensive little device.)

It feels good to be able to take that payment off of my calendar and put it towards other debts and savings! And I absolutely can't wait to finish paying off these little debts! 

WOOT WOOT WOOT!!!! I'm going to celebrate today by smiling, eating some leftover poppyseed chicken for lunch (my favorite, thanks mom!) and maybe taking a few bucks out of my "food" envelope for some ice cream! (and really putting that insulin pump to work!!) Haha.

OH YEAH. Speaking of envelopes, check out what I bought from thirty-one

It's a "coupon clutch", but instead of using the little dividers for coupons, I'm using them as categories to divide up my cash money!! It's WAY prettier than the envelopes, and absolutely reusable. :) It's a good idea, and if you want to do the same thing, you should order one when I have my thirty-one party next month.

A HUGE THANKS to all of you who have been incredibly supportive of me throughout this process. You make it so much easier! I can't wait to share more victories with you all!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It's Happening!

Hello fellow debt haters!

I just wanted to give you all an update on where I am in the progression of getting rid of my debt and how I'm doing in continuing with Dave's plan.

I recalculated my debt snowball, due to the addition of Charlotte. If you didn't hear about Charlotte, well take a minute and catch up! :-)

I am happy to say, that with the debt snowball, I'll have my "little debts" paid off by July! (happy birthday to me!!) Even better, my car will be paid off in October of next year (as opposed to 2018, if I were to just stick to my loan agreement. Yuck.) Then, it will take just a short 3 more years to pay off those stupid student loans!! 

I understand that things happen. Cars break down. There are unexpected medical/house expenses. You get married. You have babies. Things happen that will cost money! In a perfect world, I'll have everything paid off by the time I'm 31. That's...pretty amazing. Realistically? I'm shooting for debt free by 35. 

I only say that because being diabetic, my health costs surpass that of most healthy people. And with technology evolving constantly, there will always be something new on the market that can drastically improve my quality of life. And I am perfectly at peace with putting off being totally debt free for a few years, to be able to extend my life for several.

I know that's not "gazelle intensity" that Dave preaches, but I think it's pretty dang good. 

Can we please consider where I was 5 months ago? I was nervous, scared and digging a hole to crawl in and hide from the world afraid to face the numbers. Debt was something I thought I would always live with. How wrong I was! And that was just 5 months ago! 

As far as the budget and envelope system goes, my boyfriend is WAY MORE diligent than I am. (reason number 1,928,375,759 i'm not letting that boy go!) I just now got to the point where I feel comfortable pulling out a huge chunk of cash from my checking account for said envelopes. But yes, I have my envelopes. Yes, I do a budget. Is it on an official budget form in an excel spreadsheet? No. Is it on a grease-stained piece of notebook paper? Absolutely. 

Does not reflect my actual budget. Mine is way less fancy with less-than-technical terms. 
For example, my "income" is labeled as "dolla' dolla' bills, yo"

Point being, 5 months ago, I did none of this. And now? Well, I'm a budget rock star! Ok, maybe not rock star, but I'm definitely a budget indie-singer-songwriter who plays at small obscure clubs and has a really good voice and will be discovered someday.... star.

I am excited to see progress! And I love seeing those numbers I was once intimidated by become smaller and something like I feel I have total control over.

I guess it is just nice to see light at the end of what has seemed to be a never ending tunnel.
With trains, planes and automobiles constantly trying to smash me down to a pile of human goo for the tunnel rats to eat.

Ah, I digress. 

If you're thinking about going through Financial Peace University, stop thinking about it and just do it. You can find all info you need here. And if you have any questions about it, you can always send me an email or find me on twitter!


Friday, January 4, 2013


Hey blogoids!

So, after 5 months, 2 weeks and 4 days of hitching rides, borrowing cars, and feeling like a mooch....I FINALLY GOT A CAR!

The process was not easy. I encountered some salesman that closely resembled Yosemite Sam, and had offers via text message (from car dealers) to pick me up from work to look at cars. Hello. No thank you. Creepy.

After a month of tragic experiences (yes, tragic, I'm not being dramatic), I finally met Larry at Carnival Kia in Rivergate. He is from a small town in IL (like my parents) and was cool, and not pushy, and I felt like he...wait for it......wait for it....actually wanted to HELP me, instead of pick me up, and ring out every penny I didn't have!

So, ladies and gentleman, I present to you my 2006 Volkswagen Passat, Charlotte. :) (Of course I named her!)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Good News!

Remember in this post where I said that Dave Ramsey said "Be faithful with the smaller things to be blessed with bigger things."..?

Well, my friends, my hard work has paid off! I received a job offer that would help me to become financially comfortable in a relatively short amount of time. After lots of discussion with Brett, and lots of prayer, I accepted, and I start a week from Monday! 

Even with a significant pay raise, it was still a hard decision to leave my current job, because I believe it is a great organization and I really really love my co-workers.

But I feel in my heart that this job is truly a blessing and a wonderful opportunity and I just couldn't pass it up!

I have had a wild need to be independent for as long as I can remember, even to a fault. So, the fact that I am 26, live with my parents, and don't have a car (remember what happened in this post?) absolutely kills me. And I am very excited to start gaining some independence back!

As far as the job, I am going to be an Assistant Legal Learning Specialist, which would be boring and dorky to A LOT of you, but it plays into my strengths and interests and I am just plain excited. (A little nervous, too.)

I can't wait to keep you all updated on the next part of my journey!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Long Overdue Update

I know.

I know i know i know. I haven't updated in WEEKS! And I do apologize. I woke up a couple of mornings and said "I am going to blog today!" and then something would happen that would make me very pissed off at money and money related things. So I thought it best not to blog on those days. :)

Today, a cool dude I know from all that Lindy Hopping I do found me on twitter and therefore found my blog. He's a fellow Dave Ramsey fan and I thought "hmm. maybe I should update this thing!" is my update.

And I am really, very truly proud of myself.

I went to all 9 classes, did my homework, and didn't hurt anything or anyone at all!!!

Seriously...I have been in school for a total of 17 years...and the 9 weeks I was in Financial Peace were quite possibly the most valuable weeks of learning I've ever had. 

I'm not saying I would have particularly adhered to all the steps/rules when I was in high school, or getting ready to go to college, but I believe I would have been in a better position than I am now, or even when I graduated college.

And even though I had some crazy things thrown at me, such as my car going to car heaven and insurance craziness, I still feel much better about my finances than I did when I first started the class.

The crazy part?

My income is still fairly the same when I started. I just know what to do with it now. And it's a great, great feeling.

I am no longer feeling hopeless or scared when it comes to my debt or income. I feel more patient with my debt. I know it will get paid off. And I know I'm doing everything I can to pay it off. And that will be enough to pay it off.

I want to encourage EVERYONE to go through Financial Peace. Whether you are 15 or 60, there is always time to improve your finances, or learn how to NOT screw it up. It's a 9 week class, and if you attend faithfully and do your homework and budgets faithfully, I promise good things will come out of it. Good things that will benefit you for the rest of your life...all from just 9 weeks. (that's not that long...)

If you truly care about getting your finances on the right track..TAKE THIS CLASS.

My favorite class was the last one. It was a lesson about giving. It just gives you a peek at what wonderful things you can do with money once you are debt free. I truly can't wait to get to that point. 

More than getting myself out of debt, I want to be able to give money to charities I believe in, or people that need it, without having to think twice. I want to be able to pay for my kids to go to whatever college they want. And I know that can happen! I know I've started early enough, and have the knowledge to be able to achieve those goals. And most importantly, I know I have someone (a very handsome someone) beside me to help me achieve my goals. (Who, I should go ahead and publicly thank for asking me to do this with him and for being so so supportive of me. Thanks, Brett. I love you.)

I really appreciate everyone's support and encouragement during FPU. So many times I received facebook messages or posts or just had random conversations with people who have done it before, and I really enjoy hearing their success stories. 

I am already enjoying sharing my experience with other people, and I really can't wait to share my progress and achievements with everyone! I hope you all have enjoyed reading about my progress through the class, and will continue to follow me until I reach debt freedom!

Feel free to contact me on here with any comments or questions or success stories! You can also follow me on twitter! :)

Oh, and one more thing...Happy Halloween! :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Week 3! 33.3333% done!

Well, this is how I started out week 3:

Budgets. Scare. Me. I'm not good at them. (although it should be easy...i don't have a whole lotta numbers to be throwing around in there!)

When I took a first glance at the full budget worksheet, I felt like an extremely scared Nemo and Dory!

I mean seriously...there's so many categories and lines and adding and subtracting!!!! But, as always, after it was broken down, it didn't seem like such a giant shark.

This budget is a "zero-balance" budget, which means you give every dollar a name. This much goes in savings, this much to groceries, this much to clothing (, etc. So at the end, you have a big fat ZERO. That doesn't mean you don't have any just means you've told your money where to go. 

That kind of budget makes sense for me, and it fits with my personality. It's structured, and I love me some structure!! And without structure, I fail miserably, in nearly every aspect of my life.

For the past FOREVER i've been thinking "if i just had more money...." everything would be good, right? But then Dave brought up a good point. If you can't manage a small amount of money, how are you going to manage a lot of it? I wrote this down, because I think it's true, and I need to be more diligent about this, when it comes to finances:

I would love to have huge ginormous numbers to plug into my budget (NOT the debt part, of course)...but for right now, I need to manage my teeny weeny numbers, to get to the huge ginormous numbers. And one day, I'm going to look back at this blog, and laugh at the way I have described said numbers.

So, another reason I'm sweating, is that Brett, my boyfriend and new accountability partner, are having a budget committee meeting. Which means we write out our budgets, review them with each other and help each other out. For example, he might say "Rachel, I think you should concentrate more on groceries and less on clothes" (and in case you are reading this should follow that statement up with something like "because seriously, you can't get any cuter").

But not only are we reviewing our budgets, we are making each other stick to them. Which means no more big-ass diet cokes from Tigermarket or buying a cute dress because it was ONLY $10. Unless of course it comes out of my "blow" money.

Anyway, as nervous as I am, I am looking forward to inching my way to financial freedom!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I'm Not Overwhelmed...I'm Not Overwhelmed...

I'm Not Overwhelmed...I'm Not Overwhelmed...I'm Not Overwhelmed...I'm Not Overwhelmed...

...No, really. I'm not. Week 2 of Financial Peace University was just as cool as Week 1.  This week he talked about teaming up with your spouse or partner and uniting to move forward financially. he also gave single people some practical tips on budgeting (one being having an accountability partner...I asked Brett to be mine, and he graciously accepted!)

My favorite part was taking a quiz to see if you're a "nerd" or a "free-spirit"...I went into this full on believing I was a free-spirit, because I hate everything to do with my bank account, budgeting, saving, blah blah blah, it makes me sick. 

However, after taking the quiz, I am EXACTLY half "nerd" and half "free spirit"...I am a "nerd" in all aspects of life except for finances (I'm on time, organized, always making lists, etc.) But I am a free-spirit in my finances for sure (i THINK i have enough for a couple of gas station hot dogs, if i only put $15 in my tank...)

This is cool, because I realize that I already have the tools it takes to be a healthy "nerd" when it comes to finances. And I also realized, that maybe...MAYBE...the reason I hate doing anything with money is because I never really have any :) I might enjoy it more when I can do a budget and say "what-oh-what shall I do with all of this extra money??"

He also made a good point when it came to single people and budgets. He said time poverty can lead to poor money management. Which is so extremely very true. With married couples, there are 2 people to share responsibilities...but with single people (read: me) there's no one to share that with. I do my laundry, prepare my food and run my errands all by my onesy (it's a phrase i got from one of the Pirates of the Caribbean makes me feel pirate-y. Don't ask why I want to feel pirate-y. I don't know.) Ok, anyway...I DO EVERYTHING ALL BY MYSELF, so often times it's a "I'm tired so I'll just drive through Burger King" or "I don't want to be by myself tonight so I'm going to go do something and probably end up spending money."

The point is, I learned a few of good tips (including teaching your kids how to manage money..but thats a ways away!) and I'm excited (kind of) on implementing them!