"In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take."

Month In Review: July 2017

Saturday, 7/8/2017 – We FINALLY got a load of mulch and get it put down in our newly transformed flower bed.  (Partially as a result of doing really well with money on our Colorado trip)  What a dramatic change!  We still need to put edging up around the outside of the sidewalk bed, mulch that and then finish everything off with a few stepping stones.  But, for now, we’re pretty pleased!

The BEFORE
The AFTER

Friday, 7/14/2017 – I woke Josh up at 5:40am because I just couldn’t wait any more…it was finally the day to pay off our next debt!  Out of our original 6 debts, this was number 2 and this pay was the pay we planned to pay it off.  Well, kind of.  Actually, our original debt reduction plan didn’t call for it to be paid off until April of 2018, but, since we’ve made some stellar progress on our debt-free journey, now was the time!  What another exciting day!  I do want to say though, for the record, that I wish lenders would make the momentous occasion of pushing “PAY IN FULL” a little more rewarding.  I know it’s not very exciting for them, as they like that we have debt with them and don’t really want to stop making money off that every month, but, for me, I was some kind of thumbs up picture that pops up or a “WAY TO GO!” message to flash across my screen or SOMETHING to make it a little more fun!  Instead, it just disappears.  Not even the ability to look at it say “$0.00.”  Just…nothing.  How anticlimactic!  But, we had our own little celebration and gave thanks for being in the position we are to reign in and pay off our debt.  The outstanding balance that we paid at 5:40ish this morning was $1,097.38.  We’re down to three outstanding debts – my car (scheduled to be paid off in three months), our tractor (scheduled to be paid off in March 2018) and Josh’s truck (scheduled to be paid off in September 2018).  We also decided that we were going to add another $20 per pay (40 per month) toward our debt payments, since we haven’t increased our payment toward the debt monster in a while.  So, that will start this pay.  I got a raise on 7/1/2017, so I should be seeing about $50 extra per month from that, too, so we’re planning to put that towards our debt payments, too, hopefully starting next pay.  Total, we’re looking at increasing our monthly debt payment by $90 starting this month which should definitely help out.  Oh!  Also this morning before 7am, I saved a turtle from getting run over on my way to work.  Karma coins into the karma pot, right?!

Saturday, 7/15/2017 – We FINALLY got to take a Saturday ride!  The weather was beautiful.  It was only 95ish miles, but, we spent from 11am – 7pm on the bikes, making stops at The Boro, The Wooden Nickel and the Carsonville Hotel.  It was a good day!

Sunday, 7/16/2017 – Another beautiful day on the bikes!  We started at Lawn Fire Company’s monthly biker breakfast, which was a minor let down because they apparently discontinued BACON from the breakfast buffet.  What a sad, sad situation.  We took a trip to Iron Valley Harley Davidson, as Josh was toying with the idea of getting a new bike.  We looked and talked and ended up asking the saleswoman to run the numbers on what a new bike would cost.  Even though the decision was a joint decision, I really wanted Josh to have the determining say in what happened.  And he did.  Not long after getting the number, he decided that it simply wasn’t worth it.  Accruing another $12,000 in debt for a measly 4 years of enjoying a new motorcycle just didn’t make sense.  We have a perfectly good motorcycle (that’s paid off!) that we enjoy very much and we plan to keep it that way.  But, going through the mental process of wanting something, getting a price on it, seeing how that will impact things and then making a decision based on the question “Will this get us closer to our goal?” was a good exercise!  And, realistically, the first time that Josh has wanted a big-ticket item that I haven’t been the devil’s advocate.  It felt good to have a logical, rational decision making process established that made it pretty easy to evaluate and decide.  Ultimately, we decided that the $12,000 that the new bike would have cost us over the next 4 years would be MUCH better spent on navigation gear for our future boat, or lithium ion batteries for the solar set up on our future boat, or months of living expenses.  And that felt good!  After that roller-coaster parked itself, we headed to the Parkside for hanging out on the porch and downing orange crushes.  Motorcycles and cocktails…the perfect combination!  Josh’s brother hosted an impromptu cookout to finish out the evening.

Saturday, 7/22/2017 – Sunday, 7/23/2017 – We ROCKED it at our house this weekend!  Saturday, Josh finished putting the mulch down in our new flower beds out front.  It looks pretty incredible!  So, that project is complete.  For this year, anyway.  Sunday, we FINISHED the extra bedroom upstairs by completing the built-in gun cabinet and the few small pieces of baseboard that were left.  That room is 100% COMPLETE.  And that’s a pretty good feeling!  On Sunday, we also took a trip to Co-Op In The Cove, which is a local antiques co-op that offers vendor booths for monthly lease.  We tried the Facebook yard sale thing, Craigslist and regular yardsale routes with some luck but not overwhelming success.  Since the monthly rent for a 5′ x 9′ booth is only $70 with no commitment from month to month, we decided to give the co-op a shot at helping in our “getting rid of stuff” effort.  The current occupant will have their items moved out by the end of July and then we can move our items in beginning Tuesday, 8/1/2017.  We’ve agreed that we’ll give it three months to see how we do trying to sell our stuff there.  If, after three months, we’re not making any progress (getting rid of stuff or making money), we’ll pull the plug.  I’ve got some work to do to get things priced and ready to go, but, it should be a pretty simple process.  I’m optimistic that there will be lots of buyers for all my junk…fingers crossed!

Friday, 7/28/2017 – A few weeks ago, Josh asked if I was interested in going to a “benefit” with him being hosted by one of his clients.  I’m always up for a good time, so I agreed, sans details.  Come to find out, the benefit was called “Pours for Prostates” (insert childish giggle) and was actually a wine tasting at a vineyard.  On a Friday evening.  After a hellacious week at work.  I’d never actually been to a vineyard.  Or a wine tasting.  Or a fancy benefit event for some pretty big-name clients.  But, the owner’s of Josh’s company and Josh’s coworkers are a hell of a good time, so, sure!

We never actually made it to the wine tasting portion of the event, but, we had a great time!  I highly recommend the Straws and Stripes Strawberry Cider (recommendation after drinking three pitchers of it, of course).  It was rainy, but that didn’t stop us from being the last one’s to leave the vineyard.  The band, Tropical Soul, was pretty good, too.

Saturday, 7/29/2017 – We set out early in the morning to get the 15 stepping stones we needed to finish our front flower beds.  It was a quick job and it felt really good to call the entire project completely finished!  The before and after comparison is pretty incredible, actually!

Monday, 7/31/2017, marks the last day of the month AND means we only have 220 more Monday’s to go!  Hurray!

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