We’re DEBT FREE! Now What?


This post is part of Our Journey to Become Debt Free series. To see the others, please click here.

Let me just repeat this from my last debt free journey post (which can be seen here)–

“That means that yes, except for our mortgage, we are now DEBT FREE!!!”

Ahh! Like I said in my very first post of Our Journey to Become Debt Free, our goal is for me to be a Stay at Home Mom. So guess what, I’m now home full time with my 2 year old ball of energy. Of course, since my Etsy shop Aqua Anchor Designs has been doing so well, especially during the holiday rush I just made it through, I’m more like a work at home/stay at home Mama. But you get my point.

It’s surreal reaching this goal we’ve worked toward for nearly 2 years though. In 23 months, we paid off $23,491.25  in debt!

So surreal, I was afraid to quit my job. I kept telling Clint, but what if this, or what if that. I’ve told you, I’m a worrier.

But now I need something new to focus my busy mind on. And I’m a goals kinda gal. So we’ve decided to not let our momentum down and keep trucking it and set some new goals for ourselves. I mean, really, the last two years has not felt that depriving to us. We still eat out, more than we should, and we’ve been on two weekend trips since then.

Here is a little brainstorming we did to help us set our new goal(s):

  • We want Baby Girl to be born debt free.
  • We need a Fully Funded Emergency Fund.
  • We want to do some maintenance/upkeep on our home.
  • We may want to pay extra on our mortgage and/or save up for a downpayment on a bigger home.
  • We may want to save up for a vacation soon.

So we know these things now… we just have to make a plan of what order we want to do them in and how we’re going to do them.

For now, Baby Girl being born debt free is first and foremost. We’re praying that my shop income over the next few
months will build up enough savings to make that possible. Once that’s done, we’ll most likely focus on our Emergency Fund.

Do you set financial goals for yourself/your family? What do you do when you reach them: celebrate, make new goals, etc?

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Months 19-23 of Our Debt Free Journey: July – Nov 2014


This post is part of Our Journey to Become Debt Free series. To see the others, please click here.

Going from a full time income to a part time income really had an effect on our debt snowball. Of course, it had a major effect on my time to devote to spending with my 1 year old, Lucas and to housework. Last week, I told you that in Months 16-18 of Our Journey to Become Debt Free, we were not able to pay anything extra towards our debt snowball and only made the scheduled loan payment of $234 each month on the Civic. You can read that post here, if you missed it.
Well, as promised, things got exciting!
MONTH 19 – JULY 2014: We paid down $999.26 on the Civic, bringing the total down to $5125.08. This was made up of from some of my Etsy profit for the month, after the $1,000 Baby Emergency Fund we decided to create for Aqua Anchor. I was still too scared to put all of the remaining profit on the Civic though. 
MONTH 20 – AUGUST 2014: Paid down $634 on the Civic, bringing the total down to $4503.65. Same story for August, it was some of my Etsy profit for the month, but I was still too afraid to use all of it.  
MONTH 21 – SEPTEMBER 2014: Paid down $745.77 on the Civic, bringing the balance to $3,768.95. In September, I did use all of my Etsy profit. But only part of it went to the Civic, the rest went towards a weekend spent out of town for Lucas’ birthday at a wildlife exhibit. We decided to do it since we had just found out I was pregnant and Mama was having those “he won’t be an only child much longer” guilt emotions. But we had a BLAST! 
GWC Collage
 At this point, I knew we were headed to having the Civic paid off SOON and I started busting it to make that extra income in my shop, Aqua Anchor Designs to put towards it. I also decided to close out my little 401k that I had left at my previous job. There was only around $1100 in it, so they took the taxes required out and we’ll pay a little more on our tax return next year for it.
MONTH 22 – OCTOBER 2014: Paid down $2155.94 on the Civic, bringing the balance to $1622.90. About $1,200 of that was Etsy profit and the rest was my 401k check. 
MONTH 23 – NOVEMBER 2014: In November, we did it! We paid down the remaining $1623.22 and paid off the Civic! 
 That means that yes, except for our mortgage, we are now DEBT FREE!!!
It’s an amazing feeling! So now we have a lot more decisions and planning we need to do, and some we’ve already made/done! I’ll make a Follow-up post and update you on all of that next week!
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Month 14 of Our Journey to Become Debt Free: February 2014

Debt Totals through February 2014

I’m a little late with this post, but Happy March! 🙂 Our February finances were only partially affected by my new part-time job, so we still made pretty decent progress. Our budgeted snowball amount for March looks pretty meek compared with what we’ve been doing. BUT, I am home with my little boy 2 days out of the week that I would not have been, so I’ll happily take it.

Here’s what we look like on our Monthly Snowball Totals:

Snowball Total through February

Like I said, don’t look for March to be as high next month. And here are our debt balances as of now:

Debt Totals through February 2014

So we paid the Civic down another $1,134 and are currently sitting at $7,242.71. That totals to 69% of our debt paid off. Yay!

If you’ll remember, I had set another small goal for us to have the Civic down to at least $7,000 by the end of March. We got this!

Not only do we have less income coming in now, but we’re also thinking of beefing up our $1,000 Baby Emergency Fund a  little bit. Our reasoning behind this is normally we have an extra $1,500 or so a month so if something did come up it was usually cash flowed through our budget. Being that we’re only going to have an extra $300 or so every month now, we feel like it would give us a little more security to have some extra. I’m not really sure when we’ll become “debt free” now though. Things are changing and I’m just so blessed that I have this opportunity to cut our income and be home more.

Our groceries came to $440.15 for the month. I am determined to get this D..O..W..N! Maybe March will be the month? We also went over in our clothing, eating out, and entertainment budgets by $25.70. We really need to get a handle on things like this now. We’re trying really hard to keep ourselves in check, but it’s HARD!

The CR-V also had some work done to it in February. It was leaking oil and had gasoline in the oil. It was in the shop about a half a day and cost us $190. The amazing thing there is normally when a vehicle needs work, it makes me mad. Somewhat irrational I know, but I think modern technology and we have this newer car and blah blah blah is going out and look at how much it’s going to cost me! Not this time. Instead I thought.. yep we knew buying an older vehicle might need more repairs here and there because some things are just wearing out and that’s okay. I mean at least it was only $190. I’m really excited that I have heat now! The thermostat had gone out so Lucas and I did not have heat on these cold mornings. Yes, Mississippi gets some cold weather too! It’s cold to us anyhow. 🙂

Have you started your Debt Snowball yet? How are you doing in 2014?

Month 10 of Our Journey to Become Debt Free: October 2013


This is the 11th post in Our Journey to Become Debt Free. To read the others, click here.

Oh October! October was a very spendy-rific month. You get to the end of the year and just lose sight, I guess. We are inching closer and closer to becoming debt free though, so I just need to look at it that way. 🙂

Here is where we stood at the end of September:

Totals as of October 2013

And here are our monthly snowball totals:

Monthly through September 2013


Let’s start with groceries, they were a whopping $769.63. Maybe it was another of those months where we ran out of everything? I really don’t know why but that’s crazy high. I do know that October is the month that Lucas stopped nursing. {insert Mama tears here} He seemed less and less interested and got more and more teeth and it would take some adjusting for him to get used to the new teeth when hey started to come through. Then, he got sick over and over again and he bit me two days in a row and then just wouldn’t latch anymore. It was really bittersweet. I hadn’t gotten to that, “I want my body back” phase. I still enjoyed the closeness tremendously and having him slow down long enough to snuggle and nurse. Now he’s too busy to slow down for anything. Haha!

My point is, I think that could have brought the groceries up a tad because we started weaning him to whole milk and buying a few more grocery items for him. Not $370 worth though.

October was the month that Lucas was sick several times so we had a couple of co-pays and prescription costs and then at the end of October he was hospitalized overnight for Croup. I got worried about the hospital bill and how much it would be, so I didn’t snowball at the the end the month whatever was left like I normally do.

Which means, we only made an extra $137.50 on top of regular monthly payments for our Snowball. We carried over $430.53 to November though.

That’s it folks! Only 2 more weeks left and then we will be caught up and you’ll get to see if we are going to actually be able to pay off the CR-V by the end of the year. The rest of the year has a lot of spending going on so I’m hoping and praying. Be sure to check back next week for November’s post 😉

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How are your holiday preparations going? Is everything ready for Christmas at your house?


Linked up at Living Well Spending Less’ Thrifty Thursday.

Month 8 of Our Journey to Become Debt Free: August 2013

Month 8 of Our Journey to Become Debt Free
This is the 9th post in the Journey to Become Debt Free series, click here to see the others. This post may contain affiliate links.

We got back on track, for the most part, in August. After not making any extra Snowball payments in July, I was ready to pay some debt off! Especially if we planned to have the CR-V paid off by the New Year.

As a side note, I added 20 new listings for earrings this morning at Aqua Anchor Designs! You should go check them out!


But first of all, here are our monthly Snowball totals through July:

Monthly Snowball Totals through July

And here are our balances as of August:

Debt Payoff Totals as of August

Last month, I had budgeted an extra $350 for some dental work Clint and I were both having done. After both appointments, our total was $293.50. The excess was placed in other budget categories.

I’ll tell you about all the money we spent first. We upgraded our phones which cost us a pretty penny. I budgeted $320 and carried that over to September because that’s when the bill for it would be paid.

I also had a CD player put in the CR-V and I had the windows re-tinted on it. Trust me, it was necessary. It had a tape player and the radio got lousy reception, now I have a CD player that also gets lousy radio reception, but at least I can listen to a CD or Pandora or something. Oh, and the windows—they were bad! Imagine purplish blue peeling tint that you can’t really see through. Not a good thing for me, especially since I have a hard time driving at night. All of that money came from what was left of the $3,000 personal loan we got for the CR-V purchase though. After the CD player, window tint, tag, and use taxes we had $284.02 left.

I spent a lot of August preparing for Lucas’ 1st Birthday. We got him these Melissa & Doug toys for his birthday:

[amazon-product alink=”0000FF” bordercolor=”000000″ height=”240″]B004PBSUMU[/amazon-product][amazon-product alink=”0000FF” bordercolor=”000000″ height=”240″]B000GYWXR8[/amazon-product][amazon-product alink=”0000FF” bordercolor=”000000″ height=”240″]B000SONEQA[/amazon-product]

Since we were already buying from them, I went ahead and bought for Christmas too. This is some of what he’s getting for Christmas:

[amazon-product alink=”0000FF” bordercolor=”000000″ height=”240″]B000MX7WBU[/amazon-product][amazon-product alink=”0000FF” bordercolor=”000000″ height=”240″]B000U4CUHC[/amazon-product]

On those gift purchases, I went overbudget in our Gifts budget category by $59.18. He’s worth it! 😉

August is the month that I officially bought NotYourMainstreamMama.com and I paid for the web hosting, which ran be about $100. Luckily, we did pretty good on groceries this month coming under budget at $255.03.

The $284.02 left from the CR-V Loan (personal loan) and another $111.88 went towards the CR-V this month, in addition to the regular payment.

It seems like we’re starting to fizzle out here towards the second half of the year. It can be really difficult to keep your eye on the prize with such a slow process. I think that setting the short-term goal to have the CR-V paid off by the end of the year is the ticket to help us stay motivated to reach our long-term goal!

Are you working to pay off your debt? Are you setting short-term goals for yourself to stay motivated? I’d love to hear them!