My Frugal Journey: See the Big Picture

Posted by Marianne Thomas | 3/20/2009 04:00:00 AM | | 5 comments »

This month, we paid off our van about five months early; this felt good on so many levels.

We are not, however, debt-free.

Not yet, anyways. ;-)

While the plan in place included sending the amount we had been paying on our van loan off to the next obligation, that plan is currently in flux.

We have a backyard that is in need of our attention. Why? Don't worry; we're not adding a hot tub, a pool, or a mini tennis court. But we do have issues with how storm water runs through our yard, an issue we inherited from the previous owner.

Normally, I wouldn't be concerned about the dampness; I can handle muddy feet. But my older son has a mold allergy and his little brother shows signs of one as well. It's imperative that we eliminate any potential mold-growth areas from our yard.

This means that the money that's been sitting in the bank, just waiting to go smackdown a bit of debt this month, may need to be better allocated to the backyard situation.

And I am totally ok with that. My older son spent several days in the hospital after having his first (and very severe) asthma attack this fall. The trigger? Mold.

In my big picture, there are some things that are bigger than debt smackdown and this is one of them.

So there you have it, the two-steps-forward-one-step-back version of My Frugal Journey this week. I'm getting there a little more slowly than I'd hoped but it's worth it in the end.

Where are you on your Frugal Journey? Just starting out? Or are you a frugalista extraordinaire?? And have you had some bumps to overcome as you travel down this road?

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  1. Anonymous // March 20, 2009 9:15 AM  

    I am so far away from where I wanted to be right now. But like you I take it one step forward and two steps back. I feel good that at least I am trying now. So keep it up and remember you are not alone.


  2. kelly @ yummypears // March 20, 2009 1:00 PM  

    Congratulations on paying off the car early! We are saving for a “new” car and it is has been a 2 step forward and 1 step back journey as well. We found out today that our federal taxes will be $1200 less than expected. We have the option to spend the money on a trip to visit my husband’s 93 year old grandmother or putting it toward the car. The trip will actually cost more than $1200. But as Suzie Orman says “people first, then money….”

  3. The Googeg's // March 20, 2009 6:03 PM  

    Paid the car off -- that is awesome! We were chugging on debt and chugging on the savings and then dh lost all of his overtime and weekend work. Granted, we are thankful he is employed, but the chugging part slowed to a trickle. We are changing our lifestyle to be more about family and less about stuff. My son said that he really likes being "poor"! Ha Ha! We are very far from what I think most of the world would term poor, but he can sense the shift and it is good.

  4. Marianne Thomas // March 23, 2009 7:07 AM  

    Anon: Thanks; I do think most of us are working hard to elimiate debt. But life has a way of happening. It's so important to keep your focus.

    Kelly: Thanks. It felt good to send that payment.

    And I totally agree on the idea that people come first. No amount of money in the bank will ever be a replacement for the relationships we build with those we love in this world.

    The Googegs: I love that your son is excited about more family time and less "stuff". I think that's what all kids want; the Wii's and trips and shopping excursions pale in comparison to just spending time together as a family.

    All: Thanks for commenting and sharing bits of your Frugal Journey.

  5. Natalie // March 24, 2009 10:36 AM  

    AS of right now the only debt my husband and I have is my car. Other than rent and our utilities. I am relatively new to the frugal lifestyle but I am enjoying it. PLus my husband is amazed and BRAGS about how I make laundry soap and all the other things that I have started doing. I am currently working on an emergency fund and trying to get my car paid off by next year. We did not get back as much on our taxes which I had planned on using for our deposit on our new duplex and then putting the rest towards my car. That is going to make it a little bit harder to get it paid off but I know that at the latest it will be paid off by the middle of next year.