Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What a busy, busy season...

Wow, I can hardly believe that tomorrow is the last working day of 2010. Where did this year go? It's been a crazy one for me for sure and I'm happy to see it go. I'm working hard on paying the debt down and putting every extra nickel towards it. I've taken on EVERY single survey opportunity that has come my way and this month alone, I have earned an extra $416.50 by doing this. Now that Christmas is over and the spending has been halted, I think I will really start to see more progress on the debt reduction. I'm looking forward to some down time in January and maybe a little hibernating. :) I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and is looking forward to a safe and fun new year! Welcome 2011!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Time to move onward and upward...

The divorce is FINAL!! As of Monday afternoon, I am a free woman. I have paid all of my attorney bills and now have an accurate accounting of where my debt is at. Now it's time to get through Christmas and really buckle down and pay off this mountain of debt. I have a local jeweler trying to sell the center stone diamond from my wedding ring on consignment and he felt very hopeful that he would be able to sell it for me between now and Valentine's day. If he does, that would be fantastic as it would make a great big dent in this debt. I only have about 4 gifts to buy for Christmas still and that should only run me about $100, so that's not too bad. It looks like we'll be getting a bonus at work this year too, so that will also help. I plan on going on a really strict, tight budget after the first of the year and working my fanny off to get this paid off ASAP. I'm working on cutting my bills as much as possible, raising the deductible on my insurance, I've dropped Internet at home and am being conservative with electricity and not watching much TV, I think I will even be able to drop cable all together here soon. I've been reading like a madwoman and haven't missed watching TV at all. I'm making a more concentrated effort to drive less and make more sense in the routes I'm taking, so less backtracking. I'm rarely eating out and am cooking enough so that I always have leftovers for lunch the next day. I'm on a clothes shopping hiatus, I have plenty of clothes anyway and if I really need something, I've been able to find it at the local consignment shops. I've decided that I am not sending out Christmas cards this year, I just can't afford it and I really am not fully in a holly, jolly mood with all that's gone on these past several months. I'll keep you posted on how the debt repayment is going.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Selling my wedding ring...

Well, the divorce is going to be final in 4 days...and since it's Christmas time and then Valentine's day coming up soon after, I thought it might be a good time to look into selling my wedding ring. My mom and I are heading the jewelers tonight with my ring to get an appraisal and to see what they think it's worth if I wanted to sell it. I have gotten a few offers from online places, but the place we are going to tonight is a family owned jeweler that my parents have dealt with for over 30 years and they know our family. I've spoken to the owner on the phone and he's excited to see what I have to bring in this evening. I'll let you all know how it goes. Wish me luck! :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cutting down Christmas expenses...

Over the past several years I've been trying to make the holiday as stress free as possible and more enjoyable. This year I am down to just buying gifts for 5 people and then some stocking stuffers. My family and I have all embraced this new, more carefree approach and really look forward to just spending the time together as a family. My mom, sister in law and I still take one day off from work to do all of our shopping in one trip, it's a sun up to sundown kind of thing, but it's less about shopping now than it is about tradition and spending the time together. My brother and I also have one evening where we go out shopping together and have dinner, he and I have been doing this since we were little kids with our dad, and after dad passed away, we've kept up the tradition. These are the things I look forward to at the holidays. I'm a big baker and make lots of cookies and candies, which I give to all of my friends and family and they all thoroughly enjoy and look forward to them. That gives me great joy to know that they look forward to my homemade treats. I should be able to do all of my shopping, baking, card sending and gift giving for under $250 this year. Yay! That will be great since I'm working really hard to pay back my divorce debt and won't have to get too far off track for the holidays and won't have a debt hangover after New Years because of overspending.

Do you have any holiday traditions that you look forward to that are more about the experience than money? I'd love to hear what they are....