Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Jan 1st, 2020, Let's go!

     Look my blogging buddies a whole new decade to mess up!  That was a joke.  For those of you that are new here (keep the applause down please) a decade ago I was over my head in debt.  Through perseverance and starting this blog I am almost totally debt free.  I still have some debt, a car (at 0 percent) and a home improvement loan, needed to start fixing the house we are going to sell in the next few months.  I also have a few Christmas bills that I will pay off this month. But at the beginning of 2010 things were very grim around here. They are so much better now that I have to pinch myself.

   In 2010 I was working myself to death, often getting up early to be at a school rehearsal from 7-8:30, then sewing all day, teaching at a school from 2:30 to  4:00, then running to my studio until 8:00 then back to whatever school was producing a play until 10:00 and then we cleaned government buildings until midnight 5 days a week.  I often was in production of at least 10 musicals or shows a year, sometimes opening /closing or producing a new show a weekend.  It was hell.  I loved the kids.  I loved watching the results of their work, but it was killing me.

     I also took in my mother (with dementia) who lived with me for almost three years.  It was hard and painful work.  But I must say that in being forced to stay home and devote more time to her, I was able to really make progress on my debt.  Mom passed in June of 1018. Taking care of mom was a blessing.  I was able (or forced) to cook at home and really evaluate my busy lifestyle and realize that working all these underpaid jobs although rewarding personally was doing nothing for my bottom line. Mom before she got really bad often urged me to sew and keep up in the shop so it became a habit to make money, rather than running off to volunteer my services either paid or underpaid. As she became sicker and my need  was to be with her 24/7, I sold the studio, which was an albatross, a lovely rewarding albatross.  I have never regretted the decision.

     Now I am totally out of production work ( not that I would not help it asked on a limited basis).  I just have my sewing shop and my home and husband, and church duties. Life is slower and I am better able to control my need to volunteer. Realize I was paid a stipend for most of my work and it helped pay off debt.  But what I realized through blogging and taking care of mom is that the busy life style lead to debt.

     For those of you still trying to reach a point in your life that bills are not an all consuming part of your existence, try looking at what you really do to save and pay off debt.  Most of you will find, that many of your habits are just allowing you to spin your wheels. I know mine were.  I was so busy I was not able to plan, shop wisely, conserve, make do and just balance my life into a saving mode.  I had those skills and had used them all over the last 40 years, but it was hit and miss.  I was fooling myself into thinking if I took on an extra duty for say $800.00 (the usual stipend), I would be able to get out of debt quicker. But the fast food, the ability to timely pay bills (I was too busy), to balance the check book, to conserve and shop better, went out the window. How could it not when I was on the run (literally)for 19 hours a day?  I taught myself to go without sleep and it really affected my health.

     Life is just so much better now.  I have learned so much.  I just shake my head and wish I had started to wise up earlier.  But we cannot go back and undo, we must just move forward.  So if you find yourself stuck in old habits and a sad financial place let's make the next decade your decade to get out of debt and live a better life.

     I am going to try something new this year with this blog.  It will still be a diatribe of my incompetence so you can all laugh or scold as you see fit.  But I also want to start to really focus on ways to help others get out of debt   I know I have the skills to be a good teacher, and I think I can help others as they have helped me. (Sluggy, Rhitter, Jane, Belinda, Cheryl, Linda, Sarah (dear Sarah), Sam and many others who have been along with me on this very bumpy journey. I hope to be able to inspire and help others on the journey to save money and become financially independent.  In helping others I hope to be able to help myself stay debt free.  Old habits die hard and our society is not set up to help us or encourage us to save money.  We are always tempted to spend, spend.

     Do any of you want to come along for this ride? I can promise you it will be fulfilling and full of laughs and maybe a few tears.

Happy 2020!  Here we go.

Have a great and productive day staying positive while you are in the negative.



  1. You have done so well Kim. Proud of you! I would encourage anyone battling debt to consider blogging their journey. Debt is something most people don't want to talk about~but it should be talked about because it is a real problem. Kudos again for a job well done!

  2. You have reached for the moon and lassoed girl. You did fantastic.
    We are all in this frugality thing together - so YES lets make this the year that we ALL try to help others. We each grow in new ways every day, and I hope we can also help others grow along the way.
    WATCH OUT 2020!!!!!

  3. Thanks for the back story (since I'm one of those newer readers)

  4. Paying off your house was a monumental and inspiring act. I have thought about it hard and long for the last month and have found ways to make more money that will be possible. By the way, we are not done with the first decade of the new millennium. We have one more year to go to complete it. So, if anyone has a goal before the decade is over, they have one more year to get it done.

  5. Congrats to you on getting to this point! The saddest thing about our financial place, since my retirement in 2016, is the outpouring of our savings toward health insurance premiums every month!

  6. Count me in as tagging along for the ride! You inspire me to always do better.

  7. I'm definitely along for the ride, Kim. Thank you for mentioning me. We both learn from each other and you have been such an inspiration to me. What a great blog post about how you were able to get out of debt. I know others will be inspired by and learn from your journey. :)

  8. We are like Val, our savings is covering the medical. Getting out of debt ... or at this point NOT incurring debt while paying off debt.

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