As I sit here in my favorite easy chair, typing away on my laptop in the cool quiet morning, I’m surrounded by cardboard. All of our belongings are safely packed away in various sized cardboard boxes. Our shelves are bare, cabinets empty, and surprisingly there are no toys on the floor. It’s all so weird. We’ve lived in this house for more than 11 years. We’ve brought 4 of our 6 children home to this house to raise them. We’ve watched them grow here inside these walls. Over those 11 years, this physical wooden box we call a house has managed to become a part of us. A place of safety and security. A place of laughter, sadness, of good times and bad.
My wife and I have been living on a budget for a little over two years now. The first few months were a little frustrating as we got used to the process and learned a few things but since then we don’t even really think about it that much. As a result, we don’t overdraft our accounts, we see our debt consistently going down, and our savings going up.
Last week I had to make phone calls to start our new power, phone, internet, and satellite television service. The power provider is a small rural utility cooperative founded as part of the New Deal’s Rural Electrification Administration. Phone service and DSL is provided by Bellsouth/ATT. I wasn’t sure of satellite options, but knew at least DirectTV and Dish Network were options.
The downward slide
In the beginning there was debt. A lot of debt…and then…some more debt on top of that. Credit card debt – pizzas, tvs, holidays, restaurants, gifts – how could anyone afford all those things in large quantities without using their credit card to finance it all? Eventually there was a line of credit which was used to pay off the credit cards along with that shiny new car and furniture for the house. Good thing the credit cards were paid off because they were necessary to pay for extra gas for the new car and new paint to match the new furniture. You said you wouldn’t use the credit cards anymore but somehow they got maxed out again.
You guys have been reading about my search for a new home, our decision to move to the mountains, about us finally finding one, then the purchase process and now finally the time has come. We’re moving!
We’re having a huge garage sale tomorrow to sell all of the junk…er…valuable items we don’t want to take with us. Once that’s all gone, we’ll finish packing up all but the essentials. The moving truck arrives bright and early on Wednesday morning to begin loading us up. Our closing is scheduled for Thursday morning at 10:00, and following that we’ll meet the moving company up at the new house at noon for them to unload us.
I mentioned in my Friday gathering last week that we received the appraisal on our new home. We knew we were getting a great deal already, but to see on paper that we were walking into a home with almost $40,000 in equity was a great feeling.
Our bank ordered our appraisal and used a company they contract with. I received a copy of the appraisal directly from my mortgage processor. Opening it up and reading through it was a little overwhelming at first. I had to do a little digging to figure out what everything met and how the numbers were derived. This was especially true concerning the comparable properties and how they compared the prices. That completely confused me at first.
This article is just one of more than 10,000 blog articles being published on the internet today as part of Blog Action Day. Our efforts will reach an estimated 10.9 million people. The entire M-Network is participating and writing articles to participate in this incredible effort to have a positive impact on poverty.
Poverty (also called penury) is deprivation of common necessities that determine the quality of life, including food, clothing, shelter and safe drinking water, and may also include the deprivation of opportunities to learn, to obtain better employment to escape poverty, and/or to enjoy the respect of fellow citizens – Wikipedia
One of the hobbies I have is playing the 5-string Banjo. My favorite Banjo manufacturer is Deering Banjo Company. They are hand made in Spring Vally California, are very fairly priced considering their quality and they have a very unique sound that I really enjoy and can recognize almost immediately. Deering occasionally will send me an email announcing some new banjo or banjo related product they have come out with. I always read them and look forward to their announcements.
Welcome to the 161th edition of the Carnival of Debt Reduction!
My absolute favorite time of the year is fall. I love the cool crisp air and the beautiful colors of the leaves as they turn. I also enjoy beautiful photographs. Not only will you find some great articles in this carnival, but I’ve inserted some beautiful fall pictures as well.
Spend some time reading through the articles, if you find something you like consider leaving a comment on the authors blog, subscribing to their feed or even submitting the article to StumbleUpon, Digg or PF Buzz.
Some people find motivation to handle money wisely from their families. Others from experience. Still others have ambitious, worthwhile futures they’re working toward.
My motivation is a 9-year-old in Peru named Lisbet.
I first “met” Lisbet last December, on a table in the lobby of a concert hall.
The table for Compassion International had dozens of packets, all including a picture of a child in a foreign country who needed a sponsor. I pored over the packets for a long, long time.