Thursday, January 28, 2010

Taxes are done!

I'm glad to breathe a sigh of relief now that our taxes are finished. I decided this year I wanted to save some money and ventured into cyber land and used turbotax online. It cost us about $60 to file our return and it was VERY easy to use. I highly recommend it. We had 2 W-2's and 1 1099 and I still felt it was an easy process.

We got our confirmation email today from turbo tax to say it was received and accepted. We should expect our money next Friday. I decided to just have it direct deposited.

My hubby tells me we will be rich for a couple of hours!!! Then it will be time to start paying off some debt. Being rich is only going to be short lived!! BUT we will be a couple steps closer to being debt-free and that is what really matters in the scheme of things!

~danielle~

Monday, January 25, 2010

Julie's rockin'!

video

I took this video of Julie today in her exersaucer. The quality isn't great as I'm using my webcam! I have a video camera but the software is no longer available to put it on my computer! I'm hoping to get a flip video camera for my birthday :)

She loves her exersaucer and get's herself so excited! I can't believe how much she is rockin in that thing. She is 5 months old now! :)

~danielle~

Eye opening!

Mikie and I have been married for 6 years now. We've been through a lot in those 6 years! We got married, I moved from Va to Texas, we bought a house and had a baby all in the first year. It's amazing how much happened that first year together. We managed to do alright, but we did have to most of our first christmas on credit cards. That was a huge mistake, one of which we're probably still paying for, 5 years later!

We now have two kiddos, two cars, a house and a whole host of credit card debit. My parents introduced us to Dave Ramsey in the summer of 2009. We listened to him in the truck (mikie has xm radio) when we were running errands. We read up on him with his website and eventually got a hold of some of his books. We decided we were sick and tired of being sick and tired. We wanted better for ourselves and our family. We wanted to be debt-free and to be able to build a house. We got such a great deal on the current house but we knew it would be too small before too long.

It's amazing how real your situation becomes when you start to right it down on paper. We sat down together and got real with ourselves. We had more debt than I think we realized. We decided we no longer wanted to live that way. We started our debt snowball list and decided what we needed to do to start getting rid of it.

We currently have about $22,000 in credit card, student loan debts and mikie's truck. My car is at $11,500 and the house is about $43,000. Our goal is to have the $22,000 in credit card, student loan and mikie's truck paid for by December of 2011. That will leave us just my car (by then should be around $6-8,000) and the house. That means we need to pay off $11,000 this year and $11,000 next year to meet our goals.

Budgeting tends to be hard for us since Mikie works concrete and his actually pay check is dependent on the weather and work. He gets paid weekly and we sit down now on Sunday nights to work out the bills and budget. I have started to really work on being "frugal". I clip coupons, shop at multiple stores, buy what's on sale and price match as much as possible. I don't keep a running total of what we save, but I KNOW we're making a huge difference. I manage to spend about $100 a week on groceries (that includes baby stuff, dog food, toiletries, laundry, etc). For a family of 4, I feel that's very reasonable.

So! We've been working our tax refund and it seems we are going to get a nice refun (close to $6,000). We plan to pay off the care credit card ($979), Mikie's truck ($1400ish), Best Buy card (1,382), put $250 in the savings to have a $1000 in our emergency fund. Mikie is getting his crown put on at the end of February and we'll pay cash for it ($850). I am getting my cricut for my birthday and Mikie is getting is $100 that we used for pay bills last month (from his original christmas money). The rest will go towards the next debt to pay, which is the Capital One bill ($1800).

It's amazing how real it all becomes when it's all sitting in front of you. There's no way to hide or ignore the fact we've gotten so much debt. You can't erase it and you can't pretend it doesn't exist. So here it is. We are getting real with our debt. Just by paying those debts off, it will free up about $400-$450 a month to go towards other debt (hence the debt snowball theory).

Our "new years resolution" is to get out of debt. 2 years and then we'll have just my car and the house. After my car is paid off, then we can start to look for land. We want to build. Our goal is to be out of debt and into a new home in 4 years (our 10 year anniversary). Here's to the long road ahead of living like "no one else" so that we can LIVE like no one else!

~danielle~

Cash is King and being Frugal is cool!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Prayers for my Grandpa!

My grandpa has been fighting his battle with Alzheimer's for a couple of years now. He's also had to fight bladder cancer andmom called me tonight to tell me things aren't looking good. He's been moving to a nursing home a week or so ago (grandma had to have a stint put into her heart, she was 80% blocked) and he's now refusing to eat, doesn't want to get up or go into sun light. He's come to the point he doesn't recognize anyone and asks for his mom and dad a lot.

Please say a prayer for my grandmother and grandfather and of course my dad and his brothers and sister. It's been a long time coming but it certainly doesn't make it any easier. Sometimes I hate being so far away from my dad's side of the family (Ohio).

~danielle~

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My hopes for my buisness

As most of you know, I've started a new business venture. I felt it was time to do something for me and help to bring in some extra income. I am an Independent Vantel Pearls Demonstrator. I love the people that I work with and for and I love the products. I'm very excited about this new business for several reasons:

1. Vantel Pearls in the Oyster is a relatively new company and I get the opportunity to help build a wonderful business. There aren't any demonstrators in my area and that allows me free rein for my business!

2. It gives me a reason to get dressed up and feel like a girl!! I LOVE being a wife and a mother and I wouldn't trade it for anything!! But I love the idea of being able to get dressed up and go hang out with other ladies! I'm able to get some adult time, which I really need and enjoy!

3. Vantel Pearls is so different from any other home party I've ever experienced and I know, if given the opportunity to experience it, others will love it as much as I do.

My thoughts/feelings/goals/ideas for my business is as follows:

1. To become a qualified demonstrator by the end of the month.
2. My goal is to do 4-6 shows a month, which I think is realistic with small kiddos (5 and 4.5months) and a hubby who does concrete work and tends to be very unpredictible.
3. I would like to become a Manager by the end of the year and eventually Sr. Manager.
4. To earn a paid for vacation/trip for my husband and I (who never had a honeymoon). I don't know that I will earn it THIS year, but I WILL earn one!

My goals/expectations are not crazy or out of this world. I know I just need a couple good parties so that I can get the bookings I need to get up and running. I'm going to pray about this as I know others will love Vantel Pearls in the Oyster as much as I do!

I am excited to meet some of my team members and upperlinks at the end of the month in North Richland Hills. I am also excited about having a party scheduled for that same night and getting to see someone people I haven't seen in a long time!

~danielle~

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

THE SICKNESS....

is taking over my house!!! I hate that I can't get rid of the sickness of my house. I was able to get everyone healthy during christmas vacation and Lane went back to school last week and now the nasty cough is back. Julie ends up getting it and can't have any meds due to her age.

I'm soo frustrated!! I know it's part of going to school but it's really REALLY hard when your kiddos are coughing and throwing up (due to the mucous) and no fever so there's nothing they can do.

Back to catch up on laundry. So tired..

~danielle~

Monday, January 4, 2010

Julie's 4 month checkup.

Julie had her 4 month checkup today! She weighs 12lbs 14oz and is 24 inches long. She's definitely getting bigger and the doctor said she's right in the middle of the measurements. She is holding her up really well and it wont be long until she's rolling over from back to front. She was NOT happy about the doctors checking her over today and of course the two shots she received.

Lane also had to have a swine flu booster shot today. That was NOT fun and I had to wrap him up like a pretzel. I hate that he had to get two of them but with his allergies and asthma I felt it was the right decision. Plus we don't need him to bring it home from school and share it with his sister. I'm just glad he wont need to have any more shots anytime soon.

What a rough way to start a Monday! My babies are sleeping now though. Mikie is still working and I hate that he has to be out when it's so cold. That's part of the job though :(

Tomorrow is another day! We have our prayer shawl meeting and I'm excited to see the ladies. I really enjoying knitting and spending time with the ladies. They are such a great group of people!

~danielle~

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Blockbuster express codes!

We recently have gotten a blockbuster express in our local grocery store. I'm very excited about this, even though I'm a member of netflix but this will allow me to rent a movie when I don't currently have one, or to get new movies quickly or to be able to get a movie that both Mikie and I want to see and use my netflix more for myself! I have gotten a few freebie codes and I thought I'd post them here for myself and anyone else. Keep in mind, you may use the codes more than once as long as you use different credit cards. Not that I'm suggesting you should have credits cards, nor should you USE them, BUT if you're good enough to return your movies and not get charged an extra night, might as well enjoy it while you have it :)

GW9TB5 - ROGO 1/5/10
GW11B3 - ROGO 1/25/10
G211A2 - ROGO 1/28/10
GT11A - Free Rental 1/31/10
KIOSK - Free Rental 2/11/10
GT95A - Free Rental 2/28/10

My hope is, we will get a Redbox at our McDonalds to create some competition and hopefully more codes in the future! :)

~danielle~

6th Anniversary!

Last night Mikie and I went out for our 6th wedding anniversary. Today we can saw we've managed to stay married for 6 years (and not kill each other)! We were able to put money away into our envelope system (thanks dave) and went to Texas Roadhouse and then to see Avatar 3D!! We had cash for gas and a babysitter!

Stephanie came over to watch the kiddos at 4:30pm. I had gotten them a walmart pizza to eat and had most everything out and ready for her. We went to Texas Roadhouse where I had my usual ribs and Mikie had a steak! I got myself a strawberry daquari, yummy they are so good. I haven't had one in ages! My dinner was wonderful, as always! Once we were done we made a stop at the Verizon store to see if we could get a new phone for Mikie. His phone gets very little reception, drops calls and doesn't ring half the time. He was able to get a new one, which should arrive on Tuesday!

We then headed back to Marshall (cheap theater, but VERY nice). We got our tickets to see Avatar 3D, which was Mikie's first 3D movie. It was completely amazing! The graphics and the world of Pandora was just too cool. The colors were so vibrant. I'd love to meet the mind behind that movie. It just amazes me. It was defintiely one you want to see in the theaters. It's ashame we don't have an IMAX theater closer, I can only imagine what that would be like!

We came home and watched the rest of the Texas Tech vs Michagan St. game! It was an awesome 4th quarter!

So today, we can say we've been happily married 6 years. Here's to another year!

~danielle~

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Years Resolutions

I don't usually make New Years Resolutions but here's to trying something new:

1. Lose the last 8 or so lbs from being pregnant with Julie and "tone up" my body some - Wii fit and Zumba
2. Work on the kiddos scrapbooks
3. Finish up some UFO knitting projects
4. Build my Vantel Pearl Business
5. Continue to work to help get our family out of debt and closer to our "out of debt plans"
6. Ride my horse more often
7. Continue to be a good mom to my kiddos (and neice and nephew when needed).
8. Read more books (because I love to read)
9. Have a date night once a month with the hubby.
10. Blog more and post some of my "scores" and "deals" I find when I'm being frugal!

Some are easier than others and all I can do is my best to continue to do what I do and to improve on others.

~danielle~