Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Meet Mickey: My New Ride! :)

I mentioned in my last post that we bought a 2002 Volkswagen Beetle to be my daily driver.  Now that we have four drivers in the house, all with school and jobs to get to, we were having a hard time sharing three cars.  We scratched up a bit of money and bought my "dream" car. :)  I've wanted a Beetle since I was a teenager and the older New Beetles were finally in my price range (aka CHEAP). It's definitely a fixer-upper but I've had a blast working on it. It is a 2002, 1.0 liter diesel with 152K miles.  I'm getting about 31 MPG in town and about 34 MPG on the highway! The car was really dirty so Aaron and I have been cleaning it a bit at a time. I've also been giving it some Disney-inspired touches. It's still a work in progress but here's a look at how he's doing:

The front bumper was all scratched up and had a really bad touch up paint job on the passenger side. We found a replacement bumper cover at the Pick & Pull for cheap and it looks so much better now!

The dash bezel was all scratched up and the previous owner spilled glue or something on it - I'm really not sure what it was. Aaron took it off and I sanded it down and painted it red. Under the bow, Aaron drilled two holes and threaded a zip tie through so I have a permanent loop to hold bows. I can change them out as often as I'd like! How cool is that?!

Beetles are known for broken glove box doors. Mine was not just broken, it was completely missing! I made a curtain and used spring-loaded curtain rods to cover where the door would go.
...and of course I made a matching bow! :)

My sister Mamie, made me this awesome Mickey head table runner for Christmas. It fits the back of my trunk cover perfectly! smile emoticon

Saturday, June 13, 2015

So many stories, so little time!

Once again, it's been a while since I wrote. A lot has happened since my last post and we've been really, really busy.  For starters, at the end of January I found a new part time job as a help desk technician for a large medical firm here in town.  For a few months I was working there three full days a week, going to college the other two days a week, and working at my church on Saturdays!  Now that school is out (bagged another 4.0 this past semester - yay!) things have settled down. I've also since quit my church job so right now, I am working five days a week, still part time, at my help desk job.  I really like the job and the pay is pretty good, so for now, it's working.

Jake, our first born son, also got a job this spring. He's working at a hamburger joint in town and enjoying the work but not enjoying tax and standard deductions from his paychecks. ;)  Since Jake is working now, we gave him $1,000 to buy a car. We found him a Jeep Grand Cherokee off of Craig's List. It's nothing fancy but it hasn't left him stranded yet!

With four drivers, each of us having jobs, we were hard pressed to share three vehicles so I recently bought my dream car: a Volkswagen Beetle!  I will be posting more about it soon. It's a cosmetic fixer-upper and Aaron and I have been working on it as we have time.  It already looks so much better than it did when I bought it.

Probably the biggest and bestest (yes, I know it's not a real word) news I can share is that we got a new Shih Tzu puppy! Her name is Maizey and she is just the sweetest thing!  She was born on January 31, 2015 and she is four and a half months old.  I'll share a few pictures of her here and I'm sure there will be more to come!  :)

Quick update on our debt snowball:  We are currently at 65% paid off and we are down to three credit cards.  Although progress has slowed a bit with purchasing a puppy and two vehicles, we are not charging and still paying down as we can.  Getting into debt is so easy.  Getting out is so hard!!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hey everyone!  I totally fell off the radar there for awhile as we wrapped up 2014.  Sorry about that! :)  I'm back with an update to our debt journey!  Aaron and I recently sat down and figured out the progress we made this past year and we were amazed!  The Lord has really blessed us and helped us to be diligent towards our debt snowball.  We are happy to report that we are over 60% out of consumer debt!  Woohoo!  I can't tell you how good it feels to be headed in the right direction after living off of our credit cards for so many years.  I always blamed having five kids as my reason to charge basic things like food or gas, thinking one day we would have a windfall, a big promotion, an inheritance, or something  to get us out of the mess.  Now, I'm so grateful that I finally understand how to create a budget and, more importantly, stick to it!  We hope that by this time next year we will be working on baby step three: a fully funded emergency fund.  For now, we will keep plugging along with baby step two - less than 40% to go!!

We decided that we would have what we call a "no spend January" in order to jump start our debt snowball for 2015.  The rules are NO spending for anything other than essentials unless it's money on a gift card.  Well, for Christmas, my extended family just happened to give me gift cards to Hallmark, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's, Michaels, and Dunkin' Donuts!  I finally put them to good use today when I purchased a Lilly Pulitzer planner and supplies to decorate it.  I am already in LOVE with this planner!  I went with the jumbo size and it has so much room to write in!  I will show photos of the inside and how I'm decorating it, and more importantly, using it to organize my life once I get it put together.  I bought birthday stickers to mark friend's and family member's birthdays, as well as snowflakes to mark debt snowball payments, and extra fun stickers for....well....fun!  Here's a peek at what my gift cards bought: