Saturday, January 27, 2018

January 2018 Debt Update: $53,176.07



Debt update
Hey everyone! Our debt this month now totals only $53,176.07. There were a few unexpected events that took place which I will get into below, and one set us back by about $85 so we didn't get to put as much as we would have liked toward debt, but I'm still happy with the progress that we have made. This month we put an extra $1,100 toward our auto loan, and I'm now hoping that by the end of February (long shot) or early March (more likely) we will have paid off our van.

Unexpected illness and house stress
Remember how last month I set our new goals with the caveat that we have four kids and are homeowners? Well, sure enough we had to face issues on both fronts this month. Thankfully our kids and house are okay in the end, but we had an urgent care visit and an ER visit in one week and a radon scare right in the middle of that week. One of our sons stabbed himself with a pencil to the point that the lead broke off underneath the skin and required urgent care, and another developed a bad cough and low oxygen that prompted a visit to the ER (we were worried about pneumonia).

I don't know why I thought that January would be a no-brainer and easy. While we don't have a crazy schedule due to sports, there is always the reality that it's freezing cold and flu-viruses flying around like crazy. I'm a little nervous now to take my kids out too much in public places for a few months!

The radon scare was due to another housing disaster that we mercifully averted. We live in the Midwest and it has been really dry this winter to the point that people were watering their lawns in December so that they wouldn't die. I thought it was odd, then, that I noticed water trickling into our exterior drainage pipe that comes into our basement when I did laundry. Usually that only happens during heavy rains. I thought that maybe it was from melting snow, even though there was only 1 inch on the ground. Then one day I was out front with one of my sons and noticed that the front flower bed was saturated. The first thought that came to my mind was that the city water line comes into our house at this point, and suddenly I realized it could be a broken pipe underground. Hmmmm . . . digging up our frozen front lawn in the dead of winter? Now that should be fun . . . but after a little research it turned out that my husband had left the water on for more than a week when he had watered a rose bush, and the hose had then frozen so water wasn't running until it started to thaw out again.

The only thing left unresolved was our radon mitigation system which had been gurgling due to all the ground water under our house. I was used to that but had noticed a hissing sound (not natural gas) coming near the system from our exterior wall. I did a bit of research and realized that we probably needed it to get looked at, so we ended up having our radon tested and the hissing sound repaired. That was $85, but I can truly say it was "only" $85 compared to a huge repair bill we might have had for a pipe to be replaced in the dead of winter in our front yard!

It is funny how many things are not really working that well or at all in our house. Our washer's transmission is going out and makes these grinding noises that we can hear from upstairs, and our 30 year-old dryer sounds like it has a mouse in it as it squeaks and turns. Our dishwasher has been broken for over four years and it won't even close. We have a piece of tape that we use to keep it shut so I have more room in the kitchen.

In homeschool, we studying the Civil War and I've been reading about the miserable conditions men had to march and live in in order to fight the war. It reminded me first that my life with all of its hassles is still not that bad, and also that when you're willing to fight for something you believe in, it requires a great deal of sacrifice. For us, we are fighting a war on our loans, and we have to live without a few luxuries for the time being in order to rid of this debt once and for all, it will be worth it.

And besides that, am I really that bad off? Are any of us that bad off in the middle of the 21st century in one of the wealthiest societies on the planet? I made a list last week of all of the things I have already and as it grew longer and longer I realized that while our bank account is not stellar, we are not broke by any means. We have electricity, running water, a roof over our heads, a huge backyard, good neighbors in a safe neighborhood and more. We have an Internet connection which allows us free ways to learn skills online, more tablets than we probably need and a computer, a comfortable living room, tons of books to read and a great library, proximity to work and shopping so we can save on gas, tools to build and sew with, a lovely old upright piano . . . well, you get the idea.

So even though this month had its bumps and bruises, I am ending it grateful that we were able to make a decent debt payment and that in the grand scheme of things, everything really went okay.

4 comments:

  1. You will be under $50,000 before you know it! Good job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yes, it will be wonderful to say goodbye to the 50's soon!

      Delete
  2. I find that counting my blessings helps me tremendously, as well. Good job on the progress you are making;)

    ReplyDelete

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