Faith Journey

Psalm 46 & Proverbs 15

Psalm 46 & Proverbs 15

Psalm 46 & Proverbs 15

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! 

Thoughts

I love these verses. The power of them is just enough to possibly explode my brain.  He is our refuge and our strength.  No matter what I am not to fear.  I live in fear, sometimes.  There is the fear of Hunter’s illness.  Fear of a couple of my kids’ future.  Oh, then there is the judgment of other’s fear.  Fear of losing people close to me.

My fear shows that I struggle in the trust department. Though I know to put my full trust in Him, I don’t.  If I said I did, I would be lying.  We saw from yesterday’s Scripture that He does not care for liars.

I do choose to do my best to *not* live in fear and to trust in Him.  One would say that I’m a work in progress, I guess.

Section 2

A river brings joy to the city of our God,
    the sacred home of the Most High.
God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.
    From the very break of day, God will protect it.
The nations are in chaos,
    and their kingdoms crumble!
God’s voice thunders,
    and the earth melts!
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
    the God of Israel is our fortress. 

Come, see the glorious works of the Lord:
    See how he brings destruction upon the world.
He causes wars to end throughout the earth.
    He breaks the bow and snaps the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.

10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
    I will be honored by every nation.
    I will be honored throughout the world.”

11 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
    the God of Israel is our fortress. 

Proverbs 15

A gentle answer deflects anger,
    but harsh words make tempers flare.

The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing,
    but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness.

The Lord is watching everywhere,
keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.

Thoughts

He is watching everything.  God knew each human before the Earth was created.  He knew that person’s beginning, middle, and end.  All thoughts, words, actions, desires…He knew.

Why does that make my stomach hurt a little bit?

Section 2

Gentle words are a tree of life;
    a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

Only a fool despises a parent’s discipline;
    whoever learns from correction is wise.

There is treasure in the house of the godly,
    but the earnings of the wicked bring trouble.

The lips of the wise give good advice;
    the heart of a fool has none to give.

The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked,
    but he delights in the prayers of the upright.

The Lord detests the way of the wicked,
    but he loves those who pursue godliness.

10 Whoever abandons the right path will be severely disciplined;
    whoever hates correction will die.

11 Even Death and Destruction hold no secrets from the Lord.
How much more does he know the human heart!

Section 3

12 Mockers hate to be corrected,
    so they stay away from the wise.

13 A glad heart makes a happy face;
    a broken heart crushes the spirit.

14 A wise person is hungry for knowledge,
    while the fool feeds on trash.

15 For the despondent, every day brings trouble;
    for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.

16 Better to have little, with fear for the Lord,
than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.

Thoughts

Verse 16 goes back to me and my thought process of money.  That is literally what popped into my mind when I read that verse.  I don’t want to be rolling in money, that is not my desire.  My desire is just to be able to get what we think we need.  To know, our dryer died, a deer went through a windshield, garage doors won’t open/close, the chicken coop is falling apart, air conditioners are on their last leg of life, a mobility dog for Hunter, college for our kids…all of that costs MONEY.

What I am working through is what is a need, a want, and a desire (is that the same thing as want?)  The Lord will always provide for my needs but not always my wants or desires.  He knows the desires of my heart.  Also, He knows the intentions behind the desires of my heart (how humbling is that?).

So, when I read that…I think I possibly just need to shut up and let God do His thing.  Money very well causes inner turmoil, but for me, right now, the lack of causes inner (and outer) turmoil.  I hope that makes sense.  This is something I need to work through with Jesus.

Section 4

17 A bowl of vegetables with someone you love
    is better than steak with someone you hate.

18 A hot-tempered person starts fights;
    a cool-tempered person stops them.

19 A lazy person’s way is blocked with briers,
    but the path of the upright is an open highway.

20 Sensible children bring joy to their father;
    foolish children despise their mother.

21 Foolishness brings joy to those with no sense;
    a sensible person stays on the right path.

22 Plans go wrong for lack of advice;
    many advisers bring success.

23 Everyone enjoys a fitting reply;
    it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!

24 The path of life leads upward for the wise;
they leave the grave behind.

Section 5

25 The Lord tears down the house of the proud,
    but he protects the property of widows.

26 The Lord detests evil plans,
    but he delights in pure words.

27 Greed brings grief to the whole family,
    but those who hate bribes will live.

28 The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking;
    the mouth of the wicked overflows with evil words.

29 The Lord is far from the wicked,
    but he hears the prayers of the righteous.

30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart;
    good news makes for good health.

31 If you listen to constructive criticism,
    you will be at home among the wise.

32 If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself;
    but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.

33 Fear of the Lord teaches wisdom;
    humility precedes honor.

Related Posts:

Psalm 44 & Proverbs 13

Save Me I am Drowning

Faith Journey

Psalm 28 & Proverbs 28

Psalm 28 & Proverbs 28

Psalm 28 & Proverbs 28

Today is all about Psalm 28 & Proverbs 28.  I am reading from the New Living Translation Bible.  This is not one that I normally study out of, but my older Bible is already pretty marked up.  I wanted clean pages for new thoughts.

Psalm 28

A psalm of David.

I pray to you, O Lord, my rock. Do not turn a deaf ear to me.  For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die.

Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary.

Do not drag me away with the wicked—with those who do evil—those who speak friendly words to their neighbors while planning evil in their hearts.

Give them the punishment they so richly deserve!  Measure it out in proportion to their wickedness.  Pay them back for all their evil deeds!  Give them a taste of what they have done to others.

5 They care nothing for what the Lord has done or for what his hands have made.  So he will tear them down, and they will never be rebuilt!

Praise the LordFor he has heard my cry for mercy.

7 The Lord is my strength and shield.  I trust him with all my heart.  He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
    I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

The Lord gives his people strength.  He is a safe fortress for his anointed king.

9 Save your people!  Bless Israel, your special possession.  Lead them like a shepherd, and carry them in your arms forever.

Thoughts

Verses 1 & 2 tear at my heart.  I have found myself praying those verses a whole lot over the last few years.  There have been moments when I have been so angry that I cannot pray.  In those moments, I am thankful for those who have stood in the gap for me.

Yet, I fear, that He will turn His head away from me.  Now, knowing what I know to be true, I know that the thought process is wrong.  As His child, He is always there…listening to me.  Watching me.  Waiting for ME to turn my head back to Him not the other way around.

Twirling Back Around

Verses 6-8 is back to that Strong Tower that I know that He is!  I’m so thankful that He places me in that Tower!  those sheep in wolves’ clothing will devour me.  He has given me a good spirit of discernment, yet sometimes I ignore my gut.  Thankful that He saves me!

Proverbs 28: Section 1

May I be as bold as the lions!  What a thing that would be.  There are moments when that thought overpowers me.  I feel the strength of my Savior in me.  If “He is for me” type of feeling.  Then, there are moments when that feeling is not as strong and I falter.  I allow people/situations to devour me and I have a spirit of defeat.  As believers, we ALL have that lion within us.  Be bold and strong!

The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.

When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.

A poor person who oppresses the poor is like a pounding rain that destroys the crops.

To reject the law is to praise the wicked; to obey the law is to fight them.

Evil people don’t understand justice, but those who follow the Lord understand completely.

Section 2

I know that the love of money is the root of all illness.  Yet, here I am wishing I had money.  That is my flesh and I know that.  I have all these “needs” but are they need or wants?  In my eyes they are needs but in reality, they aren’t.  The debt we are in is the debt of our own making.  Want good credit?  Take out a loan.  Get a credit card (no I don’t have a CC).  Gotta build that score up to get more money.  NO.  That is a lie from the pit of hell.  Things can be paid with good old fashioned saving up.  It is harder and it takes time but it can be done.

Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and rich.

Young people who obey the law are wise; those with wild friends bring shame to their parents.

Income from charging high interest rates will end up in the pocket of someone who is kind to the poor.

God detests the prayers of a person who ignores the law.

10 Those who lead good people along an evil path will fall into their own trap,  but the honest will inherit good things.

Section 3

Gracious.  Verses 13 & 14 are two verses that I am dealing with right now with a child.  I tell my children all the time that Light will be shone on their darkness.  It does not pay to try and hide things.  Even when I don’t see it, Jesus does and it grieves His heart.  Confess.  Ask forgiveness.  Repent.  Turn away.  Do not be stubborn!  This makes my heart ACHE.

11 Rich people may think they are wise, but a poor person with discernment can see right through them.

12 When the godly succeed, everyone is glad. When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding.

13 People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.

14 Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.

15 A wicked ruler is as dangerous to the poor as a roaring lion or an attacking bear.

Section 4

16 A ruler with no understanding will oppress his people, but one who hates corruption will have a long life.

17 A murderer’s tormented conscience will drive him into the grave.  Don’t protect him!

18 The blameless will be rescued from harm, but the crooked will be suddenly destroyed.

19 A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty.

20 The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.

Section 5

Verse 23 is something that I need to focus on.  Not just for me to give honest criticism, but for me to do so with tact.  I lack that.  Also, I need to humble myself when someone gives me honest criticism.  I need not take it as an attack but receive it out of love and correction.

I may need to plaster verse 24 all over my house…just saying.  We have issues all up in here with a couple of kids.  It is exhausting.  However, the bright side is this issue has been so pressing and the Lord just gave me a straight answer that I can give to my kids!

21 Showing partiality is never good, yet some will do wrong for a mere piece of bread.

22 Greedy people try to get rich quick but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty.

23 In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery.

24 Anyone who steals from his father and mother and says, “What’s wrong with that?”  is no better than a murderer.

25 Greed causes fighting; trusting the Lord leads to prosperity.

Section 6

Wisdom…oh to be as wise as Solomon.  With age, that comes a bit more yet I am so far from being “wise.”  I get tickled with people who come to me for advice, words, or counsel.  The Lord has gifted me with the ability to sympathize and empathize with others.  I can see things clearly, usually, in other situations.  Yet, in my own life…my waters are muddy.

May I never trust my own insight and always look to Truth for the answers!  It is always there.  If you need it, pray for the Holy Spirit to guide your fingers or your eyes.  I know for a fact, you will find the answers in the Word.  Whoever gives to the poor…that is pretty self-explanatory LOL.

26 Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.

27 Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.

28 When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding.  When the wicked meet disaster, the godly flourish.

Related Posts:

Psalm 27 & Proverbs 27

Mini Goal for my Sanity

Psalm 26 & Proverbs 26

Life or Something Like It

Breaking It Up and Breaking It Down

Breaking It Up and Breaking It Down

Debt.  I Hate It.

Here I am Breaking It Up and Breaking It Down.  There is not one single, solitary, thing I do not like about debt.  I don’t care what my credit score is.  I really, truly, don’t.  Yet debt and I have become cozy bedfellows.  It is like sleeping on a mattress that is engulfed in bed bugs.  Ever had bedbugs?  I have and it is not pleasant.

These little buggers get all up under your skin and leave little flea/mosquito bite type whelps and they itch like a mother.  Bedbugs are NOT your friends and you certainly don’t want them in your bed.  This is how I feel about debt.  I have such a fire to get out of debt and, frankly, Hunter peed on my fire when he got sick.

Well, friends, neighbors, and confidants…it is time to reignite that fire and reignite it we did.  I love it when Big Daddy and I are in the same ocean but when we are in the same boat, we are unstoppable.  We are now in the same boat 🙂  Makes me happy.

Snowball:  Breaking It Up and Breaking It Down

We were going to roll our van payment into our next debt, but with Hunter being sick, that just isn’t possible, so we are doing it the harder way.  The next debt that we have will be my student loan.  It is the gift that keeps on giving, in terms of interest rates.  The current interest rate is 6.8% and our current payment is $183.

I have been paying on this loan since 2014 and sadly, I still owe as much as I did back then because of circumstances and interest.  The estimated payoff date is July 28, 2025.  Just absorb that.  I will be paying SO much more than my original loan, that it just makes me sick.

The total payoff years is 11 years.  If we continue down the road we are going, our total payments will be $30,954 and the total interest will be $11077.  This just makes me nauseous.  Absolutely nauseous.  The sad thing is, is I don’t even use my degree.  So I am pretty much just flushing money down the toilet.

It is What it is.

Our goal is to pay this off in 18 mths or less.  We are doing this by A) making our regular payment B) selling things in consignment stores, movie joints, electronic joints, etc C) Big Daddy working OT D) stop excessive spending E) staying on a tight budget F) Praying.

I know we can do this because we paid our van off in 4 mths when the original payoff was 4 years.  We weren’t thrilled to be on a tight budget, but we did it and we paid for a wedding.  It can be done with discipline.  I figured we need to add onto our monthly payment around $1300/mth in order to pay this bill off in 14 mths.

If we are doing this, then our payments will come out to $20730 (a difference of $10224) and the total interest will be $854 (a difference of $10223).  Wow.  Just wow.  Writing that out ignites my fire even more!

Here is to the Journey!

I will be posting a more detailed look at our budget in the days to come).

Eat my shorts, student loan debt!  Mama’s buying a new mattress and getting the “bedbug” filled one OUT!

Related Posts:

One Little Two Little Three Little Vacuums

Organizational Tip Tackle the Kids Artwork

Large Family Happenings, Life or Something Like It

A Twinge in the Air

A Twinge in the Air

Twinge:  “A brief experience of an emotion, typically an unpleasant one.” Did I wake up with the slightest feelings of twinge-ness (is that even a word?  Yep, I did.  There was a distinct twinge in the air.  No reason for that twinge, other than spending over 3 hrs at the ATT store last night.  That was good.  Fun times.  So.  Much.  Fun.

I slept well, once I fell asleep.  There was not a moment that I got up, even to pee.  Hunter stayed asleep.  Score 1 for Trazodone (though our next feat is to get him off of that).  Still, there was a twinge.

I got up, hustled around, and got a few things done.  Kids were up, eating, and doing chores.  Hunter was ready to take his boatloads of supplements/juices/meds.  Once all that was done, I realized that we did not go to the grocery, last night.  Therefore, there was little to nothing to eat.  That also meant, that after I chiropractor visit, I had to go to the said grocery store.  I would also be hauling 5 of my kids with me.

Let’s all just have a moment.

Five children.  Grocery store.  Walmart, at that.  Enough said.

Walmart Clicklist

Hello beautiful!  I had been doing that, lately because it saves me a ton of money. I am all about saving money and becoming debt-free.  This particular week, Big Daddy and I were going to make a date night out of the ATT store, Walmart, and dinner.  ATT had other plans, so our meal consisted of eating a Papa John’s pizza in the van and zero groceries.

Luckily, we have eggs for breakfast (thank you chickens), and I thought I would just bundle all my “to do” things into one morning.  Yep.  That didn’t happen.  I thought well if I go to the chiro, bank, and consignment store to drop off a receipt, I will just pick up some lunch at a fast food place (we have nothing here for lunch).

Nope, due to the fact that fast food is killing America, I opted out of that.

Quest

In my quest to do all the things, I thought I could whip up my grocery list, to be super-efficient.  While doing said whippage, I checked to see if there were any available times to do Clicklist and pick it up today.  I scored!  There were some evening slots available, so I hopped onto Wal-Mart Clicklist and out added all my grocery (and non-grocery) items to it.

Bam.

It was FINISHED.

By doing that, I was able to get all my little bits of running, a mini lunch run at the Walmart deli, and all my little peeps were happy.  Big Daddy was happy because he didn’t have to do the pickup.  It’s all good, man.

Cleaning & Organizing

Debt: Money Making Tip

Debt: Money Making TipDebt: Money Making Tip.  As I am decluttering my mind and working on my FACTORY RESET, I am also physically decluttering.  I do not know why my mind is working this way, but as I look at my attic, my garage, and just the stuff around my house…I think I do not want my kids/husband to have to go through all this crap and make decisions for me when I die.

Morbid, I Know.

Maybe, the older I get, the more I think about mortality.  My sister just lost her mother in law.  Granted, she was in her 80s, but still….it still hurts even though we know she is with Christ and would never want to come back to this Earth again.  Maybe it is the fact that my son took a nap and then woke up to our lives changed forever.  Maybe I just want to live a more minimalistic life.

I don’t know.

I love Jesus

Anyway, as I was decluttering my bedroom, I decided to go through my masses of books.  Bibles, school books, devotionals, kids books….so many books.  I read once, that your bedroom (couples bedroom) should be free of clutter.  Seriously, like have nothing under the bed.  Only peaceful things on the walls and no sign of your kids LOL…no pictures or anything.  Now, I can’t quite go that far, but I did clean out from under my bed.  Amazingly, I even vacuumed under there (nasty).

It was a blessing to give away 2 pieces of large furniture that we do not use.  I condensed the entertainment system to just a tv and our router boxes.  Lastly, I hung up some things on the wall.  I’m working on the closet.  One day, I decluttered and got rid of SO many things from the attic.  Finally, I organized all of that.  Now, I have this massive bookcase full of books and books in my closet.

Homeschooling

I have homeschooled for 18 years and I have decided to get rid of all my old school books (with the exception of the math books).  They are all gone.  Glorious day.  Next, I tackled that bookcase.  I kept all my Bibles and some devotionals that I matriculate to quite often.

The other books…just collected dust.  I didn’t read them and there they sat, helping no one.  Someone else could get some use out of those books.

Fantastically enough, I donated 98% of them to our local library.  The other books, I sold on a website called BOOKSTORES.  You put in your ISBN number and then they give you a price they will pay.  It is free shipping (on a refund of $35 or more) and money in your pocket.  Not a lot, but it is better than taking up space and collecting dust.

DVD Collection

As for the mass of DVDs that I had and didn’t want anymore, I sold some of them on DECLUTTR.  They also provide free shipping (no minimum refund).  All you have to do, for both sites, is print off the shipping label.  I ended up making almost $80 on stuff that was taking up space.  I took a van load off to the local consignment shop, so I will, hopefully, make some money with that. All the extra money is going towards debt!

It feels SO good to have this stuff done and gone.  The more I declutter, the more clear my mind is.  Isn’t that crazy.  Just too much.  My kids have too much and they have SO much that they don’t even know what to do.

Kitchen and Living Room

I have finished the kitchen and the living room. The pantry and the laundry room are done.  I have done my bathroom, my van, and the attic.  I think I have the garage left, the downstairs bathroom, and the kids’ rooms’.  Onward and upward….tomorrow, I shall tackle the school closet and the game closet.  If I have enough moxy, I will work a bit in the garage.  Everything is in the middle of the garage, I just do a little bit at a time because it is hotter than Satan’s armpit outside and I don’t like to sweat.

Happy Decluttering!

Related Posts

Psalm 55 & Proverbs 24

Life or Something Like It

Revisit: Paying Off Debt

Revisit: Paying Off Debt

Revisit: Paying Off Debt.  I have been reworking our budget…Big Daddy has not been working overtime and we’ve had some unexpected things come up.  This is all part of life and we allow for that, as best as we can.

Our goal, for the next year, is to get rid of my student loan.  We owe almost $20k at 6.8% and we pay $183/mth for the next almost 15 years.

Let’s just stop and soak that in for a moment.

$20k

6.8%

$183/mth

FOR almost 15 YEARS.

We will pay more in interest than what I took out, initially.

Uhm, I don’t think so.

So, we take our $183 (monthly payment).  We add in our $240 (paid off van amount). $300 (Raise and what the kids pay us for their phones/car insurance). What we will add in to that amount is Bart’s travel money (he gets that monthly), his OT and travel for that (he will work, at least, 1 weekend a month), any money we have leftover from our envelopes, and then our “extra” money left at the end of the month.  That will put us paying in almost $1500 a month.

How crazy is that?

All that is just being SUPER strict and tight with what money we have and Bart working overtime.  I hate that he has to do that because he works so hard all the time and that is more time away from us, as a family, but we are so dedicated to being debt-free, so we can do more things together as a family.

We were able to cut our landline out (thanks to him, accidentally, cutting the phone cord), so we are adding that to the above amount.  We have also cut out some “extra” stuff that we didn’t need anyway and an extra cellphone that is no longer in use.  All this “little bit” ends up being a big chunk to pay on this loan.

Here is a break down of keeping our payments the same versus making sacrifices, selling stuff, cutting down on things, and working overtime.

The remaining term of the loan is 14 years and 2 months. By paying an extra $1,500.00 per month, the loan will be paid off in 1 year and 1 month. It is 13 years and 1 month earlier. This results in a savings of $10,321.91 in interest payments.

If Pay Extra $1,500.00 per month
Remaining Term 1 year and 1 month
Total Payments $20,632.54
Total Interest $755.54
The Original Payoff Schedule
Remaining Term 14 years and 2 months
Total Payments $30,954.45
Total Interest $11,077.45

Keep on working towards your goal and you will see success.  God willing, once this is paid off, we will add this chunk (adjusted, of course, and not taking into account emergencies), and add it to the next loan, which is our home equity loan.  I will try to Revisit: Paying Off Debt as new things occur.

Related Posts:

Debt Free Plan for 2018

Operation Get out of Debt

 

Life or Something Like It

Operation Get Out of Debt Pressures Pitfalls and Poor Choices

Operation Get Out of Debt Pressures Pitfalls and Poor Choices

Operation Get Out of Debt Pressures Pitfalls and Poor Choices.  We have made so many poor choices because we were deceived.  What began as a blessing ended in a nightmare.

My Lady
In 2015, my sweet Lady had her first stroke.  It was a tough year for her.  She struggled through all the pokes, prods, tests, weakness….she just kept on keeping on.  I was so proud of her for all that she was doing to fight back and to get well again.  That was the year that our relationship turned, a bit.  It did not turn too much because she was still my mentor, my best friend, my confidante, my person….but I became a caregiver for her.
Taking Care of My Lady
I started simply by just doing her laundry.  I did that because her washer and dryer were in the basement and she did not need to go downstairs to do it (or I didn’t want her to go downstairs).  It was not and a big deal to me.  There were days, or weeks when her laundry would be a little more than I could handle in the time I was there (because we were chatting and I forgot LOL) so I would bring it to my house to wash.  Again, she was my family.  She is my family.  I would have done anything for her.
Then it moved to “hey Lady….let me collect the garbage and get it onto the curb.”  It wasn’t that she couldn’t do it.  I didn’t want her to do it because she had some left-sided weakness.  She got out of breath carrying the heavy garbage down the steps.  Also, she had to go through the courtyard, down the driveway, and then hoist it up to the can.  I wanted to serve her.
Next up was keeping up with the dishes and my, personal favorite (cause I seriously love doing this), was organizing closets, cleaning out the fridge, cleaning out her closet.  We had the best time giggling over things that I would find.  Oh, how I miss her.
I digress into memories.
We trudged through that first year, and she announced that she wanted to send all of my family on vacation.  She had points that she could use through her Timeshare.  There were too many for her to use she was going to lose them if we didn’t take some.  I struggled with accepting such a gracious gift because that is a lot plus, I didn’t want to leave her for that long.  She insisted and so in March of 2016, we headed to Virginia for 10 days.  The only thing we “had” to do was go to some Timeshare informational meeting, but we just had to listen…it would only take 30 minutes out of our 10 days, and then we could be done.
Timeshares = Lies
So, we planned events around that 30-minute chunk of time.  No big deal.  Or so we thought.  This 30-minute meeting turned into 4 hrs long!  4 hrs of telling us how great timeshares were and how much money we were saving by buying into this…how the points we could get through buying a timeshare were points that would give our entire family a guaranteed vacation, even when our family was still expanding.  There was the one-time fee, no more, no less and we would get a free tablet.  We would be able to use our points to have someone buy our groceries and have them delivered and put away in our condo of choice in our location of choice…we could even go to Europe.  I mean, it *sounded* glorious and affordable.
Diamond Resorts and Wyndham = More Lies
When we sat down, with a representative, and they reviewed it all again.  They brought us lunch, they were engaging, and then they showed us the price.  Uhm, no.  Just no.  Oh, wait…NO.  The price tag was like $40K, and we were not going to do that.  Then the manager came over and told us again, the pitch.  By then 2 hrs had passed.  We informed them that we could not afford that.  He asked what our professions were and Big Daddy said he was a P & P officer.  Also, I homeschool the kids.  He asked how much we could afford and we told him nothing.  He took that info and came back and said that he would slash that price in half, we would still get everything, as promised because of our professions.
Manipulation and Debt
We told him that we needed to think about it and asked if we could come back later and make a decision…..he said no, the offer only stands for right that second and if we leave, it would go up to the full price or even grow in price.  He needed an answer immediately.  I guess we were shocked when we heard we could not even leave without giving them an answer….but now, more time had passed.  I was over it.  Big Daddy yielded to the pressure.  I didn’t give it much of a fight because I was over it.  Just over it.  We were so stupid.
Falling Into the Traps
Well, that sounded like something we could do.  We yielded to the pressure of this, and we took out a small equity loan to cover the cost.  Stupidly, we thought we had it made.  We finished out our vacation and came home to tell my Lady.  She just shook her head.  She said, guys….did they tell you about the maintenance fee you have to pay every year that costs as much as your house taxes?  Did they tell you that this?  Did they tell you that?  What about this?  She said that her fees go up every single year and she cannot financially handle it anymore but it takes death to get out of it, and since she has family, death wouldn’t even do it, her family would inherit the timeshares (even though they do not want it), and they are now responsible for the fees.
Stuck in a Timeshare
We were shocked.  Sadly, we tried to get out of it, but it had been past the 10-day mark, so we were stuck.  Alas, we were stuck with this loan and with these fees.  Our goal was to just make the best out of it.  We were not told, the number of points we “bought” would not accommodate all of my family.  Yet, we needed more points, more points meant more benefits, more benefits meant more in fees.  Oh, and they don’t know who told us about the grocery thing, but unless we are platinum members, that doesn’t happen.
We were lied to about so many things.  We were pressured, and the funny thing is, is where the meeting was….there was no wifi, and there was no tower to use my 4g even to look up this operation to read reviews on it.  Convenient, huh :/
Be wary of timeshares.  They are nearly impossible to get out of, they are vicious, they will call your family to pressure for payment, they do not stop.  It never stops.  You would have to hire a lawyer to get out of it.  You can’t sell it because it is not worth anything and if you do sell it (that rarely happens), then you will lose money.  If you stop paying, they foreclose on you, and it affects your credit scores…..so you are stuck.
Please be aware and do your homework!
Do not be pressured and Do your homework.
Pray.
Don’t just say “I’m over it” like I did and do not buckle on the pressure.
Be wise.  Don’t be stupid, like us :/  Luckily, we are out of it, but not without consequences.
The joys of making crap decisions….they follow you forever.
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Operation Get out of debt Buy or Rent

Operation Get out of debt Buy or Rent

Operation Get out of debt Buy or Rent?  In my, personal, quest of getting my groove back, and our marital quest of getting out of debt…..it begs the question of whether we purchase a product or rent a product.  Either of these options would get the job done, but what about the long run?  Is this a one time use product and you will never need it again?  It could be a product that could, potentially, be used for several months/years?

That was my question.

In getting my groove back, I’ve been deep cleaning every facet of our home.  There has not been a corner/cabinet/floor/closet that has not been touched, decluttered, or cleaned.  I can only do so much in the areas of my children’s bedrooms, the stairs to my bedroom, and my bedroom floor.  This carpet was here when we bought the house, 10 years ago.  I’m not sure how long it had been down before we moved in.  We have ranged from having 2 dogs to having 5 dogs in the house (currently we have 1 big dog and 2 little dogs).  We also have 3 cats now.  Luckily, the cats use their litter box, but the dogs…well, they have accidents because one of my kids cannot remember to take them out.

Reasons or Excuses?

Most of my house has laminate flooring, so we just mop it up.  The bedrooms, though, are carpeted.  Add the mix of the dogs/cats, and having kids in the house.  This yields to the carpets are stained, smelly, and just flat out gross.  I’ve had a couple of Bissell carpet cleaners over the years.  In a nutshell, they are pretty much a piece of crap.  They have messed up within 6 mths with no promise of help from the company.  So, we just refused to sink more money into them.  We have also had our carpets professionally done and they looked fantastic for quite a while.  Over time, the stains reappeared.  This happened because the dogs had accidents, kids puked or spilled food/drinks all over it and they are not disgusting again.

Getting an Opinion From the Man

The other day, I texted Big Daddy, and I asked him if he would rent me a carpet cleaner.  I am striving to maintain my groove and get the carpets cleaned.  He quickly texted me back and said that he would rather just spend the money, and buy one, rather than rent one.  Our goal is to use any “extra” money, towards debt, not a carpet cleaner BUT I also know one key thing.

Bucket List:  Be Carpet Free

Replacing our carpet, in the bedrooms, was the last thing on our list.  It is on our master “to-do” list, but it is dead last.  Right now, it is doable and livable.  Bart was right.  We needed to invest and spend that $130 on a machine.  I can clean the carpets a couple of times a month.  That will at least put a band-aid on the issues at hand.  In the end, we are saving money.  We are pushing back spending the money to replace the carpet.  When we do replace it, we will pay cash.  Hopefully, we will already be debt-free (with the exception of our house).

Bend but Don’t Break

Sometimes, you have to bend a little, on your debt-free plan.  Weigh out the options of whether it is easier to buy or rent something.  I am not sorry that he spent that money.  I actually enjoy cleaning carpets.  Though those 10 yr old stains don’t always come up.  The satisfaction in watching it suck up all the dirt and grime LOL.

There is something profoundly wrong with me 🙂

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Debt Train is Derailed

Debt Train is Derailed

 

Our Debt Train is Derailed. For the love….that’s really all I have to say about that.  We are doing SO well at controlling our spending habits.  Finally, chipping away at our debt.  What does one do when their train is suddenly derailed.

That’s sort of how it is feeling, right now.

It has rained, in our part of the world, a lot.  I mean, it has rained.  It has rained so freaking much I halfway expect the ark to resurface and go down my road.  It is so irritating because this mama NEEDS sunshine.  I don’t want to sweat and I don’t want to be cold…I pretty much want to dwell in heaven where the weather is perfect and everyone is kind to one another.

Sorry, sidetracked.

Well, Big Daddy went to the closet to get ready for work and he noticed the water was coming from our air vent.  He had no time, so he put a Christmas cookie jar under it to catch the water :/  (Seriously).  He whispered to me there was a leak and he used the cookie jar.  I half-heard him and went back to bed.  When I got up, I walked into the closet and I saw the leak, but there was no cookie jar….so I put a Tupperware bowl under it.  It was in the crease of the wall dripping down the wall.  Let’s all rejoice in the fun when I called him and asked him where the cookie jar was and come to find out…there are two leaks.

Yep…there’s that.

Fast forward a few days and G noticed there was water on the side of the downstairs toilet.  Well, I have a lot of boys in my house, so I assume it is pee.  What do I do?  I wipe it up and I sniff it.  It is not pee.  The toilet is leaking from behind the toilet.  Cue excitement.  The toilet is around 800 years old, so there is no other solution than to replace the toilet.  As luck would have it, it wasn’t as easy, and cheap, as it should’ve had been.

Crap Dishwasher

Oh, it is not done yet.  Water is our nemesis in this house.  Noah has said MANY times that there is water on the floor, on the other side of the kitchen in the dining room.  I have dogs….assumed it was pee.  Therefore, I wiped and smelled.  It was not pee.  It was now a quest to find where the water was coming from.  We found out.  Noah was running the dishwasher, in our kitchen that we remodeled a year ago, and he said there was water on the floor.  The dishwasher was leaking.  Then Daniel said that he cleans water up there every day.  He thought it was pee, he didn’t want to get in trouble (his job is taking out the dogs), so he just cleans it up and doesn’t tell me FOR WEEKS.

Calling in All Reinforcements

I stop the dishwasher, clean it out, call Bart and not realize that 1+1=2.  Then my son in law comes over.  He had been helping Bart replace the toilet.  He walked down the hall to the bathroom and I heard him say “Brandi, there is water in your hall.”  I, of course, think it is pee.  What I saw, was where Noah sits and the water is under the bar.  I clean it up, sniff it, and it is not pee.  Sadly, that is not the spot my son in law was talking about….he was standing further down the hall, where there was a puddle of water that had seeped from the dishwasher, under the wall, under the laminate, in the hall.

Yep….there’s that too.

We go to the kitchen and we realize that the spot Noah had been talking about and Daniel had not been telling me are that water had been leaking for quite some time and it had seeped under my brand new cabinets, new bar, and new flooring into the dining room, as well.  Youtube told us that the internal gasket needed to be replaced, so we just cleaned everything up and started stepping all over our brand new floor to see water seeping up from the cracks in the kitchen and bowing in the dining room and hall.

You get the point.

There were dirty dishes in the sink, so Noah was hand washing them…no big deal that was until I opened the cabinet, under the sink, and there was water under my brand new sink.  Yep.  It was leaking.  Luckily, Bart and Ben fixed that.  The leak, under the sinks of the downstairs bathroom sink and upstairs bathroom sink…well, those we are ignoring.

Emergency Fund

We are going to have to use our emergency fund.  Big Daddy is going to work some overtime to cover the costs of all these repairs.  We are going to try and do as much as we can.  Sadly, there are going to be no more band-aid repairs.  These things have to be fixed before more damage occurs.  I don’t want to use all our emergency fund, but that is what it is there for.  That is why it is THE FIRST thing one should do before paying off debt.  Assuming, of course, bills are caught up.

Things come up in an instant or a flurry of them comes up at once.  You want to be prepared, in all circumstances.  It is so hard, but we sold things, we saved coins (literally), he did over time, we used tax money…this is how we stocked up our ER fund.  Once it is gone (and sadly it probably will be), we will start putting money back again to stock it back up.

Sigh…………..this too shall pass, right?
Life or Something Like It

Operation Get Out of Debt Update

Operation Get Out of Debt Update

Operation Get Out of Debt Update.  It has been a minute or two since I’ve done an update on our debt journey.  We are still plugging at it.  Once we got our van paid off (in 4 mths…which is 3 yrs early), last November, we took a bit of a break on the strictness of our budget.

Wrenches in the Plans

I had already allotted for our one November birthday (we spend $60 per child on their bday) and our 4 birthdays in February.  We had also allotted for Christmas for our 7 kids, plus 2 extra people and our family.  We did really well staying within our envelope frame system.

Also, we had a 2-day hospital stay for chemo and IVIG in January, a two day stay in February, and a 2 day in March.  We will have those continually because of the fragility of our son and his medical needs.  In February we also had 2 bridal showers, for my oldest daughter.  Then, in March we had her wedding.

Loosening up the Grip

So, our “strictness” had to be loosened up because of those things.  We took out no loans for any of these things.  We actually have been blessed with a super wonderful adult Sunday school class that donates to our travel fund to Louisville, so that has been taken off our plates and out of our budget.  I am also blessed with wonderful family/friends who donated their time and talent to pull off a wonderful wedding. If it weren’t for the talents of my mom……..we couldn’t have done all that we did.

Now that all those things are off our shoulders, and tax money is in, we are back at it.

With our tax money, we allotted for our yearly expenses.  They are tucked away, in envelopes, to be used when their time comes up.

  • House Taxes (due in November)
  • Car Taxes (due in June)
  • Fire Taxes (due in December)
  • Blog upkeep (due in February)
  • Cow/pig (we buy one of each yearly….we may not do the pig this year because we still have lots of meat left)
  • Vacation fund
  • ER fund (we just got that back up to $1000 and use that only with emergencies)
  • Birthdays/Christmas

With the money that was leftover from our taxes, that headed into our general savings account.

 

Our next “debt” we are paying off is my student loan.  We currently owe $19300 and the interest rate is 6.8%

  • Regular payment
  • Old van payment
  • Monthly payment from kids (they pay us for their cell phones and part of their car insurance)
  • Big Daddy’s “extra” from his raise
  • Travel checks
  • OT
  • Leftover at the end of the month
  • Change Jar
  • Any leftover from envelopes
  • 1 other source of income

We are looking to have this paid off by December of this year.

It will not be easy getting this paid off by December….it does not give us much time, but we are comfortable with extending it until February if we need to.  If we pay it off by December, we have to make payments of $1903 and if we hold off till February, we will pay $1608.  Those seem like steep numbers, but I have faith we can do it.