Thursday, January 13, 2011

The digout continues

Photo: krossbow via Flikr

I'm not just talking about the 20 inches of snow that that got dumped on us today. No, I mean the excruciatingly slow process of digging out of debt.

There are hopeful signs. I suspect that as soon as I file my 2010 federal taxes my back taxes due the IRS will be behind us. Our car payments will end in May. Through frugal alternatives and generous gifts from friends, my kids are starting to have a life again.

My daughter goes in for her first orthodontist appointment tomorrow. We're saving thousands of dollars by going to a university dental school instead of a private doctor.

I'm a month away from retiring my last 29% interest balance on a credit card (thanks for nothing, CitiBank).

I finally got the courage to look at our credit scores. We're actually in the A or B category in almost everything, but we get an "F" in debt utilization. But at least we know the worst.

I've increased my 401K contribution to 12%. (I'll be 50 this year, so retirement looms).

I got the washing machine fixed, and even had the piano tuned for the first time in over a year.

Many of our kids' presents this year were hand made, refurbished or otherwise bargains. We even managed to send Christmas presents to our distant family this year.

Mr. Poorhouse and I are both in stable jobs. And Mr. Poorhouse has begun to take absolute delight in clipping coupons.

I've become a fan of The Fly Lady, who is gradually helping me to develop sorely needed neatness habits. I'm thinking she will also save me money in the long run but helping me to plan meals and find stuff that I would otherwise buy replacements for.

And yet...

We're so weary. It's going to be at least another 3 years until we're completely debt free. Unless of course we end up having to replace the 10 year old minivan in the driveway before then. 

I haven't managed to lose weight or increase my exercise. In fact, my weight is taking its toll on my knees, and I'm starting to worry about that. I don't have the money to join a club that has a pool where gravity might cease to be my enemy. I'm in a Catch-22. Can't exercise because of the pain--Pain because I weigh too much. 

So, everything is the same, but not so dire. Stamina's what we need now. 

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