Me vs Dave

All I want to say is: sure am glad that I have the extra money I posted about yesterday. Details to come soon…

20140609-192834.jpg

But it brings me back to the me vs. Dave Ramsey thoughts (and I’m not really against Dave – I have serious respect for him and his teachings). If I was following Dave’s baby steps, I’d be out some cash that I might need in order to make a more serious investment toward paying off our debt. But I’m not following his baby steps (although the 10 stones aren’t all that different) because I think my personal situation and comfort level don’t really jive with them.

But if Dave works for you – great! I am glad you have found an approach that you can dedicate yourself to. I have, too! And we can still support each other in our efforts and not pass judgement on who is doing things right or who is doing things wrong. (I’d say personal finance has no right or wrong, but I think if you are reading this blog you totally know that there is a wrong.)

While we are at it, let me confide in you that I am contemplating not doing a debt snowball of the smallest loans to the biggest because you end up paying more in interest. But I ran the numbers and attacking the highest interest rate loan first (with little snowball) only saves me a few months in repayment, so that hardly seems worth it. What is worth it: a combination. Clearing out a few of our tiny student loans, using them as the snowball, and then attacking highest interest rate to lowest. My quick estimates say that could save us over a year on our repayment. We will be running the numbers again as we approach this possibility because of the variable interest rates that our loans have.

The other consideration is keeping momentum. We have 12 loans, so I want to set us up to be able to pay off about three loans a year. We may want to hop back and forth between small balances and high interest rates in order to keep our momentum going.

Some of you are going, oh geez, I don’t want to run numbers once, much less multiple times a year. But as a rocket scientist (really), running numbers isn’t intimidating and I think it’s actually sort of fun. I know. I’m a glutton for punishment.

Seriously, though. We are in debt with over 100k in student loans after 10 years of repayment. So I think momentum is important, but so is finding the way that works quickest. And if that means I have to adjust course here or there, rather than just sticking to some solid advice because it’s easy and clean cut – that’s the way I want to go.

There are tons of people who offer really solid plans for getting out of debt, it’s not so much about who’s (solid) advice you follow. It’s about just starting. Just picking a direction and heading down it as fast as you can. And while we are at it – some folks are going to run breakneck speed down that path and some are going to crawl. That’s fine, too. Just keep moving!

What about you? Are you a Dave Ramsey believer? Or have you found your own path out of debt?

Not TGIF – Maternity Leave Ends

12 weeks ago today, with little advance warning, we rushed in the middle of the night to our birthing center. I went upstairs, a bath was run, I got into the tub, and my baby slid out a few minutes later. And just as quick as she was born, our special time together is over, because it’s here. The end of maternity leave. And I do not want to budge from this house today.

Birth center sisters

Inside, waves of panic strangle me because the last thing I want to do is abandon my child to the care of strangers for over 9 hours a day. I do not want to let her out of my arms. I want to hold her forever. To nestle her next to my chest and feel her baby breath on my skin. I don’t want her to cry and be comforted by another woman. Or worse yet, ignored.

I know I’m the one who made this bed and now I have to lie in it. But it’s going to be a tear-soaked, debt-stained bed. Especially since my 12 week old refuses bottles and pacifiers and swaddling – anything the daycare could offer as a comfort, she hasn’t shown any interest in accepting. I worry for her and I worry for her caregivers and I worry for me – how will I subject her to this every day and not lose my mind?

image

So I had to put this in perspective.

God gives food to the birds of the air, and He tells me He’ll do the same for Me. I have no want for food. Even with meal planning, I have thrown away a lot of food at the end of the week. Oh yes, He has provided.

God clothes the lilies of the field and He has assured me that He’ll clothe me. And He has. So much that I have clothes in three closets and spilling out of our dresser. He’s kept that promise and then some.

God didn’t tell me that He’d give me everything I’d ever want. He said he was going to take care of me, and He has.

God calls us to trust Him, but that doesn’t mean we can’t grieve the possibilities. And so I do. I grieve, but I trust.

And it’s becoming easier and easier to trust because I’m actually listening to Him. I’ve opened my heart and my eyes and I’m listening with them. At completely random moments, a sense of peace will envelope me, and I knew it is Him comforting me. With a sweet baby cradled next to me, softly suckling, I feel answers. even if I don’t understand them. I am washed with calm, as if He’s leaned in to tell me that it will be alright. I’m becoming keenly aware that his answers are everywhere. He’s telling me “you may not understand, but I do. And I have got this. I have got you. Do. Not. Worry.’

image

 

 

I know that is all a post of its own, but I want to link up with Lisa Jo and her Five Minute Friday link-up. The rules are simple: she provides a writing prompt and you write for 5 minutes flat, without editing. Today’s word is nothing.

There is nothing I want more than to stay home today. Every day. Nothing is more important to me than my children. My family. Nothing will come between me and them – not even a job that I dedicate myself to because God says that, whatever I do, I am supposed to do it in the name of the Lord.

Which means that some days I come home and I feel like I have nothing left to give. And some days that means I barely try. But even on those days, I do still try.

Because there is nothing I can do to change my circumstances today. At least for now, I have to work.

There is nothing I won’t do for my girls and I mean that so earnestly, that I am ready to get rid of 100k in debt just as quickly as I can. For them. And not feel punished or upset about it.

There is nothing than my girls can’t do, but I am going to teach them that there are some things not to do. Like, if you want to be a astronaut (like I did), that’s all well and good. You can do it. But be sure to afford your dreams.

Stop.