Tuesday, December 13, 2016

November 2016 Update: $70,637.32



First off, I apologize for the late timing of this update! Yes, we are still here. And yes, thankfully, we are still paying off our debt! :) With Thanksgiving and then family visiting from out-of-town, I just didn't get to posting our numbers. And because this post is almost two weeks late, there is added interest that has been accruing, so our current debt number will not be what it would have been two weeks ago. That said, let's get on with the numbers!

Our current debt is $70,637.82. This includes credit card, student loan, and auto loan debt. 

For the most part, we were able to stay on track with debt repayment, though a lot of the "Black Friday" deals caused our bank account to drop more than we expected once we paid everything off. When I crunched the numbers originally, I should have known was off when it seemed like our account was doing better than I thought with some recent purchases, and then realized that though I got a confirmation of our tithe on email, it hadn't been taken out of our bank account yet. It was a good wake-up call, though, and I went through each expenditure and itemized what we had spent and showed my husband. Once he saw the numbers, he was totally on board with being much more careful for the rest of December. It hasn't been easy to not spend in one of the biggest spending seasons of the year, but we know that we have what we need.

The lesson learned? "Feeling rich" can make you spend more freely, and pretty quickly you realize you are back to where you started!

Instead of spending more, I am trying to focus on simple things to make our home feel better like working on projects that I already have supplies for or just doing the "boring" thing and cleaning/organizing. It's amazing how much your outlook improves when you pick up and stay on top of laundry!

Frugal wins, broken screens, and unexpected blessings
Even though we've had to trim our spending this month, I have been grateful to get free tickets for our city's performance of the Nutcracker. We managed to make it through half of the performance before my oldest son couldn't manage his ear pain (he had an infection and I had forgotten to give him ibuprofen!) We also took in a free light show, and our boys got to go with their scouting group to sing Christmas carols to residents of a nursing home.

We lost a major appliance this month, though thankfully, it is one that we can live without. The night before the election, one of our kids accidentally threw a dice at our plasma television screen and the picture quickly died. We decided not to replace it even though there were plenty of deals to be found.

Then, this past week, a mysterious letter appeared in our mail. I thought that it was a Christmas letter, but instead it was a gift card with a typed note that said, "Go buy yourselves a dishwasher. Merry Christmas." I haven't really talked much about it because it's a 1st world problem, but our dishwasher broke several years ago and we have been hand-washing ever since. I've lived overseas where people washed dishes in gutters with no soap, so to me, running hot water is a luxury I continue to appreciate, but I am also looking forward to picking out a new dishwasher soon. I have no idea who sent this. I had only briefly mentioned on Facebook when our tv broke that if I was going to buy anything new, it was going to be a dishwasher next, but still, my husband and I were both shocked and humbled by the generosity we received this week.

Stay tuned in a couple of weeks when I post our final debt update of 2016. I'm hoping to break $70,000, which was a goal at the beginning of the year. Also, I'll update our budget and give you an idea what we are aiming for in 2017!

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