Weekly Roundup: Fourth Edition

It’s a sunny Saturday morning here in the middle of Minnesota. The forecast: Sunny with a high of 68. Minnesota is weird: April can bring sunny and 80, or snowy and 20, depending on its mood. In fact, two years ago at this time we were in the midst of a massive snowstorm. As such, Minnesotans don’t dare plant their gardens until they can be confident that winter is behind them. We’ve had an especially early spring this year and it’s been wonderful, but who knows if it’s here to stay?

I’m convinced this is why out-of-towners frequently ask Minnesotans why on earth they choose to live here. They don’t understand why people would choose to live in a state that regularly has six months of winter and rarely knows if it wants to be cold or hot. I would imagine that Canada is the same way and that Ruth gets asked the same questions, but maybe not since that weather describes her entire country. Maybe they all just accept it and live with it. 🙂

The revelation of a debt payoff journey often gets the same questions. Why would someone subject themselves to years of limited spending and tight budgets in order to be debt free? After all, everyone has debt, right? Honestly, I ask myself what the heck we’re doing on a regular basis. Our debt goes down each month, but it feels we are FAR away from the finish line. There are many days when I’m sick and tired of spend tracking, budgeting and saying “no, no, no” to so many things we want.  We really do need new living room couches, for instance. Ours are over 15 years old. In our attempt to be classy and keep up with the Joneses’ we bought these fancy ivory couches circa 1997. Really? Ivory??  This was before kids, so we didn’t have a clue of the kind of damage a family of six could inflict on ivory couches.

I’m SO sick and tired of looking at them. But now’s not the right time to spend a grand on new couches, so I do look at them – every. single. day. And I remind myself that buying new couches will be MUCH more fun when we have no debt and the cash to pay for them.

One of the essences of Fruclassity is that we allow ourselves to have short-lived pity parties about our situations. Pity parties aren’t a bad thing, as long as they don’t linger and are soon followed by a pulling up of our big boy/girl pants and a commitment to move on with our debt payoff goals. Sometimes a good pity party, if it’s allowed to run full-course, can even end with a wake-up call to pay off debt that’s even more motivating than it was before.

I read a stat recently that said that if you make over $16,000 a year, you’re in the top 10 percent of the world’s income earners. Knowing that makes my desire for new couches in the living room be revealed for what it truly is – a #firstworldproblem.

The articles I’ve picked this week are meant to help you to stay on your journey to debt freedom. Consider them a shot of espresso on your journey to debt freedom. Then get back on that road to debt free and show your money who’s boss. 🙂

The Bank Can’t Foreclose on You if You Don’t Have Debt

When the housing bubble of 2007 burst, and foreclosures started coming down the pipeline like oil from a freshly-drilled well, so many people asked “Why me?” It was a sad situation, just like I’m sure it was during the foreclosure boom of the Great Depression. In this post, Charlie from Three Thrifty Guys relays a very personal story about how foreclosure affected him and his view on money.  I share this story to bring to life the realities of carrying debt.

Denial is Not a Good Bank

I found this post on a site I hadn’t heard of before. I never tire of discovering new personal finance blogs. Each blog writer has something to say that is different. I learned long ago that you’re never done learning, even if you’re a personal finance blogger and you think you know all there is to know about money. The minute you start to think that, someone will come along and tell a story in a way that makes you learn all over again. This is what happened when I read this post on Emma Lincoln’s blog.

You Can’t Change What You Don’t Measure

Josh Collar from White Collar Freedom wrote this post on Makin the Bacon. In my financial coaching experience, the one area where people seem to get stuck on regarding debt payoff on a regular basis is “tracking your spending”. They flat out refuse to track their expenditures each month. I’m not sure if it’s because of the tediousness of the task, or if it’s because they are afraid to find out how much money they’re really wasting and be confronted with the fact that their debt is a product of poor habits or what, but I do know that spend tracking changed our financial life. Here Josh gets into the details about the importance of measuring the progress on your goals.

How I Paid off $8k in 90 Days

Debt payoff is a journey. There will be months when you make little or sometimes even no progress, and there will be months when you rock it big time. There are times during a debt payoff journey when you’ll have to be satisfied with just a little progress, and other times when you’ll have to work your tail off and make BIG progress. Lauren from L Bee and the Money Tree kicked it this last quarter regarding her debt payoff. How? You’ll have to check out the link and find out.

Five Excuses You Should Never Use Again

This is a “tell it like it is” post. Like Kim, the author here, I’m a big fan of telling it like it is.  It’s not always easy to hear blatant honesty, but it almost always leads to real change.  If you choose to release yourself from these 5 excuses, you can make serious changes in your financial life.

Four Steps to Get Financially Real and Find Your Money Happiness

Shannon, the author of The Heavy Purse, has an amazing gift for telling it like it is in a compassionate and loving manner. Shannon has been a rock for us throughout our debt payoff journey, even though she probably doesn’t know it. How? Her simple commitment to encouraging others in an honest and kindhearted way to keep up with their goals. I believe you’ll find this post highly inspiring.

That’s it for this week’s roundup, my Fruclasstic friends.  Hope you have a wonderfully safe and joyful weekend!

 

9 comments on “Weekly Roundup: Fourth Edition

  1. Hi Laurie, take that ivory sofa to the upholsterer and have them re-upholstered. If they are in good condition, it will be like getting a brand new one for a fraction of the cost.

    1. I had checked into that in our old suburb and it was super expensive. Maybe it’ll be cheaper here in the boonies. I’ll check it out. You’re so wise, Kath. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us always. 🙂

  2. Laurie, we bought our furniture just a year before you did, and like you, I’m so tired of it! Also like you, we spent too much on it. And we didn’t have the “no kids yet” excuse. We had three kids – including an infant – and we should have known better! Oh well. We do now. We’re getting set to take a stand against old shopaholic demons and to furnish frugally this time around – but only once all non-mortgage debt is paid off.
    I look forward to reading the posts you’ve included here : )

    1. Isn’t it frustrating?? So stupid that we should be bugged by it, but so frustrating to look at the same ol’ stuff all the time. Lord, help us. 🙂

  3. I bought a couch 2 Autumns ago at the Salvation Army. This thing was like brand new. No tears, no fraying, no stains, just clean and like NEW. I paid $40 for it. The only things I miss from my old house are my laundry room and that couch. That (semi-sad) story was just to say that you can replace furniture cheaply and nicely, through thrift stores, Craigs List, garage sales, etc. Not everything out there is nice, but there IS nice stuff out there if you’re committed to frugality. 🙂

  4. Laurie, you’re making me tear-up! I became a financial advisor because I wanted to help people build a healthy relationship with money, the way my father helped me. And I started The Heavy Purse so I could extend my reach. Hearing your kind words just makes my day. Again, I’m so honored to have been able to help you and Rick and I eagerly await the day where you proudly announce “We are debt-free.” I know it’s been a lot of hard work and sometimes tears, but you’re doing so well. And yes, short pity-parties are more than okay. Denying or repressing how we feel just makes things worse.

  5. Thanks for including me in such good company. Our couch is about 10 years old and we only have one kid and it’s a disaster. I can’t imagine ivory! It is going to feel so good when you can buy the ones you want knowing it isn’t taking away from your debt payoff!

    1. Tell me! 🙂 It’s difficult at times to avoid running out to the nearest furniture store, but we’re standing our ground. 🙂

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