Category Archives: My Frugoal Diary

Debt UPdate

Adulting.  Why did I not relish in the glory of being a child as much as I should have?  Why didn’t I take more naps?  Draw on more walls with crayons?  Eat more dirt?adult-life

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of amazing things about being an adult!  You can go to bed whenever you want and even spoil your appetite before dinner.  Hell, you can have ice cream for supper if that tickles your fancy.

However, all of the luxuries of being an adult are outweighed by the one cruel reality that comes with living on your own:

BILLS.

It is ALWAYS something!  Every time I feel like P and I are getting a handle on our debt and we are starting to make progress in the road to one day being DEBT FREE …

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Cue joyful Whoopi gif

life throws in a speed bump, then a pothole, and finally just for shits and giggles one heck of a financial detour.

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Followed by discouraged Whoopi

Let me preface this rant by just stating a few things.  I’m so incredibly lucky.  Everyone is healthy, I am 33 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby that I can’t wait to meet in mere weeks, and we have a roof over our heads, a bed to sleep in and bellies full of food.  Life for the most part is amazing…

BUT why does there always have to be a BUT?

When we found out I was pregnant we had been trying for years.  We had definitely planned for the extra finances that a baby requires.  We also bought (ok, we actually financed) a new vehicle that was safer and more family friendly for myself and baby.  We crunched the numbers and an extra car payment could squeeze into our budget.

BUT…

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The reality of your computer’s motherboard dying isn’t nearly as stylish as when it happened to Carrie in Sex and the City

Then my husband’s computer crapped out (his motherboard died). It was 8 years old (which is like 150 in computer years) and he works in IT and has to have a top notch computer in order to do his job.  Well, a top notch computer is expensive.  P built it himself with all the bells and whistles.  Let’s just say it’s black with red components (he was going for a Darth Vader theme ) and the red LED lights he placed in his new computer now make our office look like a XXX store.  It was definitely an expense (not to mention office decor) that was unexpected for me.  We ended up having to finance it.  Boo. On the upside we were able to get 12 months no interest, but still its an extra monthly payment that we were not planning on this year.

Then a few weeks later P’s Jeep decided that it was sick and needed to go see the Jeep doc.  That damn Jeep racks up more medical bills then any other Jeep I know.  Then the following week, my old Jetta decided it also wasn’t feeling well and racked up another bill 4 times over what the Jeep bill was!!!!

WTF!

So in a nutshell, our debt is back to where it was last year.  All the progress we made is now back to square one.

BUT…

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I’m discovering that all of the bills, the stress, the responsibility, and the unexpected twists and turns are just a part of being an adult.  Time to put my big girl pants on (and oh, how BIG my pants have gotten) shake it off and start all over again tomorrow with a big girl panty attitude!

 

Til next time,

Ang

Ready For Fall

Well hello to my GORGEOUS readers (I’m drinking wine so I may or may not, but probably do have my beer goggles on).

It has been one looooooooong summer and I am so ready for fall (and no, it is not because of “pumpkin spice latte” season…geez, I’m not THAT much of the stereotypical white girl).

Summer sucks for the following reasons:

  • Any temperature over 85 degrees is miserable.  I already know I am going to “Hell”, I don’t need to get acclimated to the temps yet.
  • anigif_enhanced-buzz-29343-1373055715-0Wildfire season.
  • Bugs.
  • Bikinis (I gained 15 pounds this summer, so even a moo moo was hard to squeeze into).

P and I also had a very expensive summer.  With a summer mix tape that included songs like “Not Cooking At Home Boo (Too Hot To Turn On The Oven)”, “Oh SH$# My Car Broke Down…Again”, “We Broke As F&%$, But Let’s Go Out Of Town Anyway”, and the always classic “Sipping On $8.00 Beers With Our Friends (You Only Live Once) Remix” our debt has gotten out of control.chow-yun-fat-lighting-cigarette-with-burning-money

Why is it that I always feel like we take two steps forward with our debt promptly followed by two steps back?

Whoa…

Holy late 1980’s Pop Song Epiphany Batman!

I just realized when it comes to how P and I view money, I am Paula Abdul and P is that cartoon fox with the wife beater and suspenders (it is a fox, right?) in the classic “Opposites Attract” video.

See?  Who needs therapy when some old school Paula vibes will suffice?!

Back to what this blog is about:  Fall!!!!

This is what I LOVE about fall:

  • Soup.
  • Hot chocolate.
  • Boot weather.
  • Football season (Go Hawks).
  • Leaves changing.
  • Bugs dying.
  • Halloween.
  • Clothing that covers everything is finally acceptable to wear once more.full-body-sweater
  • Blissfully making the transition from summer social butterfly to spinning a hermit cocoon for the fall.

I LOVE FALL!!!!!

Can’t wait to drop some lbs and save some monies (not a typo, just had to drop a rhyme) this fall!

Ang

Friday Night Quotes: Movers, Shakers And Dream Makers

Anyone else feel that they are on a perpetual hamster wheel in their life?  Going through the motions but not really getting anywhere?

In a rut?

Or do you feel like you are a supporting character in your own life?

Anybody?

Don’t get me wrong, I have a great life.  I am married to the love of my life, have the best fur babies any fur mama can ask for, a house that feels like a home, and great family and friends.  I can actually say that I enjoy my job most days and I have my health -which is definitely something money can’t buy.

But I want more.

My eyes are constantly on my phone and my head is in the clouds.  I’m not really living.

I’m definitely drinking.

And watching.

And judging. 

BUT

I’m not growing,

Or thriving.  (Hmmm, may need to use this material for the next local amateur poetry jam night).

I need some inspiration from some folks who didn’t waste their time checking their iPhones or updating their Instagram/Facebook daily (yeah, yeah, I realize I just shared this post on Facebook).

Thanks for reading (and perhaps relating) to this blog.

Much love,

Ang

Hobbies and Hubbies

This blog has been building for awhile in this head of mine and I have been hesitant about writing it for two reasons:

1.  I am pretty sure it is going to make me come across as a nagging, negative nelly of a wife.

2.  I never want to throw my husband (P) under a bus (unless it’s that time of the month), and I am quite sure that this blog is going to do that.

This is my thought this morning…screw it.  I need a place to vent!  I mean isn’t that why ALL of my fellow bloggers started writing in the first place?

Anyone that reads this blog on a regular basis knows that P and I are “trying” (aka “struggling”) to get out of debt.  There are months that we take several steps forward, then there are times that we decide to stop trying and take bigger leaps back.  I think I finally figured out what one of our biggest issues is:

Our hobbies.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it is a beautiful thing when someone has hobbies.  Having hobbies means that we are able to focus on various projects and activities that we are passionate about, and passionate people make the world go round.

Enter rant.

I just think there is a HUGE amount of financial discrepancy between P and I’s hobbies.

Let me break it down for you.

OUR MUTUAL HOBBIES

Travel

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Price:  $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$  

Yes, this one is our most expensive ones, but we usually try to fit in one vacation every couple of years (if we can afford it or not).  Our thought process is this:  You only live once.  So when the opportunity to go to Mexico or Hawaii comes along just put it on the credit card and figure it out later.  Not a good mentality.

Hikes/Drives

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Price:  Free!!!

P and I are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the country!   There are some Sundays when we take the Jeep (ugh…the “jeep”…more on that later) and just drive.  We also love taking the dogs and going on some gorgeous hikes!

Eating

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Price:  $$$

P and I are HUGE foodies!  We love food, but who doesn’t?  Going out to eat should be a luxury for us, given our debt situation BUT it happens at least a couple of times a week.  This hobby is probably one of the hobbies we need to work on being less passionate about!

MY HOBBIES

Reading

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Price:  Free!!!

I have loved reading since I was a wee one and I typically don’t spend any money for books.  I either go to the library or buy books with money or gift cards I receive as birthday/Christmas presents.

Writing/Blogging

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Price:  Free!!!

Another free hobby that I LOVE!

Photography

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Price:  Free!!!

Besides the initial cost of the camera, taking pictures is something that also happens to be fabulous and free.  I mostly enjoy taking nature shots and pics of my cute little animals (Juju, Orville, and Scully).  Yes, I realize taking regular photo shoots of my animals is kind of sad but aren’t they just too adorable for words?!

All things Bravo

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Price: $

Andy Cohen is the SHIT when it comes to tapping into what a twenty-something…okay I can’t lie to even you guys about my age…a thirty-something wants to watch for brainless entertainment.  Since we don’t have cable, I do have to buy episodes online of my Real Housewives.

P’S HOBBIES

The Jeep (Just Empty Every Pocket)

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Price: $$$$$$$$

My hubby loves the other woman in his life. His damn Jeep.  He spends much more time with her than me and has spent thousands on tires and accessories.  Not to mention that this bitch is one gas guzzler.  Another annoying part about owning a Jeep:  You have to WAVE at everyone else who is driving a Jeep when you are in a Jeep.  Some people wave but others ignore you and then your feelings get hurt.

Guns

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Price:  $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Between the price of guns, ammo, time at shooting ranges, and accessories, this is almost on par with the money we spend on traveling.  P wants to get into shooting competitions too.  He sees fun, I see even more dollar signs.

Gaming

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Price:  $$$$$$$

I will say, P has been much better about buying video games lately.  He still has a collection of hundreds of games that were anywhere from $30-$60 a pop, but he has gotten better.

Camping

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Price:  Normal people ($$), my husband ($$$$$$$$$)

P loves camping and being out in the woods with nature.  This girl needs a toilet and AC.  One day when we get an RV I will happily join him on his excursions out to the woods.  This weekend my husband went out camping sans me to shoot guns, ride ATVs, drink and pee outside.  Man stuff.  Normally camping is a great way to get away for cheap.  Well this lady checked our bank account and found that he spent several hundred dollars on three days of camping.  WTF!!!!  He gets home today, so their will definitely be an interrogation waiting for him (of course this will be after I kiss and love on him and tell him how much I miss him).  He may have to try to “Sharon Stone” his way out of this one.

I’m not saying I’m a savings angel and P is my Tasmanian spending devil (but I am implying it *wink*).  I’m just saying that there is a huge difference financially in what we spend our money on in our free time.  P works hard and I work hard…sort of.  If we weren’t in such a financial hole I would definitely be more apt to loosen the purse strings for myself and let things go more with what he spends his money on.  The truth is that we are in debt and I don’t want to be in debt forever.  I know many people think that it is a part of life to have a car payment, a house payment, student loan debt, and credit card debt, but I don’t want that to be our story.

Anybody out there feel the same?  Is it just me or does your spouse also have more expensive hobbies than you?  How do you deal with it?

Thanks for letting me vent guys!

Ang

Hello Old Friend

This morning was simple.  I hit the gym, grocery shopped for the week, visited my parents, caught up on laundry and bad TV, then paid most of my bills for the upcoming month.  I was rocking this Sunday like a champ.  Then it occurred to me that I have a blog that people actually do read (a truly beautiful thing) which I have been neglecting.

Bad Ang!

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My pride of my accomplishments for the day were suddenly replaced by guilt.  So now I am drinking wine, since alcohol postpones guilt until at least the morning.

So why have I been so absent?

The answer is simple:  laziness, excuses and anxiety over anything related with money and since the primary focus of this blog is chronicling my struggle with getting out of debt, I was avoiding this blog like the plague.  my-reaction-when-I-get-into-an-argument-with-women-homer-simpson-hide-in-bush-disappears

But I am back.

This year has already presented itself with triumphs and challenges when it comes to my finances.

The triumphs have been eating at home more, getting healthier, and I am FINALLY out of student loan debt!

The challenges are having any semblance of a social life, my husband, and a little bit of keeping up with the Joneses.  Oh, and we went to Maui in February, which we are still paying for (but boy was it fun).

I wish there was a day that goes by where I didn’t have my mind on my money and my money on mind (that is actually pretty catchy, I should write a rap song that incorporates that…).  But since the entry fee for entering the magical land of “ADULTHOOD” is a steep one, I can’t imagine that happening until dementia kicks in.

I just want to say thank you to all of you who read my blog on a regular basis.  I appreciate you and I am back!  I promise!

Ang

STUDENT LOAN DEBTLESS!!!!!

March 31, 2015.  A date that will forever be remembered by me as the day that I am student loan debt FREE!

Commence the dancing!

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After close to a decade of paying off those loans, it is time to CELEBRATE!!!!

Sorry, just had to brag for a moment!

Ang

5 Simple Ways To Start Getting Out Of Debt Now

After years of drowning in credit card debt and student loan debt, this gal started a blog 2 years ago in the hopes of chronically her journey to becoming debt free.

2 years later…

Well, shit!!!   I am still in debt but at least my head is finally above water enough to breathe again.  Ahhhhh.

Even though there is still a loooooong way to go for me to becoming debt free, my debt is dwindling little by little each month.  If you can relate to being in debt (which according to an article published by nerdwallet.com most of you can) I would like to share some simple things that YOU can do NOW (God, don’t you just love the power of capping specific words) in order to get out of debt sooner rather than later.

1.  Get Honest.

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Though I am sure there is a more eloquent way of expressing this step, to put it simply this step sucks donkey balls.

Get honest with yourself.  Get honest with your partner if you share (or are planning to share) finances.  Find out how much you owe, to whom you owe it, and how much interest you are getting slapped with each month.

Yes, this means opening up that stack of mail you have been avoiding.

Yes, this means getting on the phone and trying to lower your interest rates.

Yes, this means being proactive about your money…or lack thereof.

2.  Put Those Credit Cards On Ice.

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Saw this trick in one of my fave guilty pleasure movies Confessions of a Shopaholic.  Any credit card you have in the house, freeze it.

Now.

If by chance you don’t heed my advice, think of it like this:  Credit cards are like the Kardashians.   Evil, vile things made of plastic that do more harm than good for the American public.

3.  Cut Off Your Cable.

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This step sucks too, but only initially.

Do I miss my DVR?  On Demand?  Bravo?  Yes, yes, and sweet Jesus, YES!

By shutting off the cable, am I saving money?  Am I still breathing?  Did life continue to go on?  Yes, yes, and YES!

My husband and I shut off our cable last spring and we ended up saving an additional $70.00 a month.  That is an additional $840 a year we can put towards our debt.

With options like Netflix, hulu and youtube do any of us really need cable?

4.  Staying In To Eat.

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It is amazing to me how much it costs to go out to eat.  I didn’t realize it was an issue for our household until my husband and I had an epiphany a few summers ago.  We could not figure out where our money was going each month.  When I went back a few months to review our bank records (step 1, getting honest) I was shocked to learn that we had been spending an average of $1,000 a month on eating at restaurants and going to bars with friends!  Shocking and also embarrassing.  Now we try to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner ourselves 85% of the time.  That extra money we save goes to extra payments on our debt.  You live and you learn.

5.  Start Now.

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When it comes to getting out of debt, it is a marathon, not a sprint.  Unless of course you win the lottery, then getting debt free is a sprint.  A beautiful sprint that ends up with beachfront property in Maui, and with a pool that comes with a pool boy named Fernando with washboard abs and an ass you can bounce a quarter off of…errr…sorry, got off topic.

Where were we?  Oh yes, start getting debt free by making small changes in your everyday life.

If you go to Starbucks twice a week, change it to once a week.  Then cut it down to just a monthly visit.

If you make it a habit to routinely go out to dinner with friends/family and order an appetizer, an entree and a couple of cocktails, cut it down.  Opt for just an appetizer or entree and a water (alcohol is waaaaay more expensive at bars/restaurants, and people won’t judge you as much when you down a few drinks in the privacy of your own home).  Not only are you cutting down on the price BUT you are cutting down on calories too.  Win-win.

Instead of going to an expensive salon, try out a beauty school instead.  This past fall, I got a great haircut for $10!

Prioritize what your “wants” are vs. your “needs”.

You will be feeling like a baller as your debt gets smaller.

Thanks for reading!  Now go get honest with your bad self!

Ang

Also, don’t hesitate to like my facebook page and follow me on instagram!

An Island State Of Mind

Just returned to the mainland after spending eight beautiful days in Hawaii for the first time (which I will blog about soon).  My body is slowly recuperating from mai taing one on…and on…and on.  My pocket book and liver are reeling from a week of absolute gluttony, but the one positive thing I am feeling is an appreciation for the island life.

A life more stripped down and simplistic.  More easy and breezy where everyone moves at a much slower pace.

I think I brought back the best two souvenirs money can’t buy from Maui:  a calmer state of mind and an appreciation for living in the moment.

Mahalo for reading!

Ang

Ringing in the new year with new debt

We are only into the new year by two weeks and this house is already into another several thousand dollars worth of debt.

Here is how it happened.

P wanted a plasma TV.  According to P, plasmas were endangered and quickly heading into extinction which meant we had to get one “NOW!  NOW!  NOW!”

I looked deeply into his eyes and told him that we didn’t have the money set aside for a plasma TV, and we already have two TVs so we don’t need a third.  I offered him sex if he agreed with me.

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He did.

Then the next morning…

P and I carpooled to work and he brought up the plasma AGAIN.  I thought we put this thing to bed (if you know what I mean, *wink* *wink*).  P and I went back and forth.  Since he has way more energy than me when it comes to fighting, I just said “whatever you want to do”.

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What my baby wants my baby gets because my baby now has a new plasma TV in our living room.

With the new TV came a new problem.  Our TV stand we currently had couldn’t hold the weight of our new TV.  So now our new plasma TV is now placed atop a new entertainment center.

Then for shits and giggles we decided to look for sectionals.  After all, we couldn’t enjoy the new TV on the new entertainment center with our current “old” couches.  So now our living room is filled with a brand new sectional to enjoy the new plasma TV placed ever so beautifully on our new entertainment center.tumblr_mbg0bv8sn31qjj0j1o1_500

I guess when all else fails it is at least material for my blog!

Ang

New Year, New Frugoals!

Happy 2015 everyone!!!!  I haven’t looked out the window yet, but I will be sorely disappointed if it doesn’t look anything like the 2015 featured in Back To The Future II.

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Damn!  Hate to spoil it for everyone but just stepped outside and there are no teens riding hoverboards in my neighborhood.

Bummer.

It is always so refreshing to start a new year.  It is like taking a bath after you have accumulated 365 days worth of stench. January 1 we all wake up fresh as a daisy and ready to bring IT the next 365 days.  I have lots of goals (both of the personal, professional and of course, frugoal variety).

I don’t want to lose a specific amount of weight.  I WILL get healthier.

I don’t want life to happen to me in 2015.  I WILL make life happen.

I don’t want to hit a certain number of blog hits or reach “X” amount of followers.  I WILL continue writing and knowing that this blog fills my soul with nothing but pure happiness.

I don’t want to focus on the fact I won’t be out of debt in 2015.  I WILL keep climbing out of debt a dollar at a time.

I don’t want to dwell on negative things from the past or negative thoughts about the future.  I WILL experience life day by day and know that happiness is as simple as appreciation for the moment that you are in.

With all that sappiness laid out on the table what are your goals for this year?

Thanks for spending part of your new year with me!

Ang