Saturday, April 13, 2013


I'm on Pinterest.

Goodness is a very inspiring, motivating, time-sucking, make-you-feel-terrible-about-yourself place.

I look at the things that some moms do with their kids and I think, "Holy smokes...there are some days I feel good about making sure my kids go to school and take a bath."

I see some people's meals that they have whipped up for their families and I think, " least we ate today, and boy was that cereal good..."

I find myself looking at homes and decorations on there and feeling envious of the homes some people have built for their families to enjoy.

And then I look around.

I see my piles of laundry and my children on the kitchen floor painting their nails together. I see the playpen still up in the living room from when I had my sweet nephew last weekend. I see the baby dolls, the baby bottles, and the baby doll accessories in the hallway.

And I smile.

I think about how blessed we are to have clothes.
I think about the moment my life changed when sweet Greyson came into this world.
I think about my girls nurturing their baby dolls and being so sweet to one another as they play together.

I am so blessed.

Yes, I struggle with keeping my house clean, cooking big extravagant meals, and keeping up with everything else that I have said "yes" to over the past few years. I come home to a dirty kitchen, with sleeping kids in the backseat, and clean clothes piled up on the chair.

I am not a Pinterest mom.

But I still love Pinterest. It it inspiring and motivating, and it is helping me to keep my eyes on the prize with our debt snowball.

I've created a new secret board called "New House".  I have started pinning items that I want to remember when we build a house (in 5-7 years...ha!).  I know I won't use every single thing on there, but when I am sitting at dance waiting on the girls or at home early in the mornings before the girls get up, it sure is fun to look at things and add them to my "hope board" of "someday" things!

I'm pinning ideas like the one below this...this one is just for the layout.  I love how open the plan looks and how the windows on the side of the house kind of pull the whole house together.

These are BIG dreams.  I get that.

But over the last few months, Matthew and I have taken a serious look at our debt, our current home, our family, and just the general "state of our life".

We have decided that being content right now in the house we have is very important.  There are things we need to do to our house to get it ready to sell some day: decluttering, new cabinets, redoing the bathroom, cleaning up the yard.

And while we're working on this will be fun to watch our savings grow and our debt diminish.

I use an awesome $0.99 app from the Apple Store on the iPad & my iPhone called "DebtPayoffPro" to track our debt snowball.  We started with $1,000 worth of savings in an emergency fund, under the guidance of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover.

We will then pay off our medical debt, business debt, vehicles, and lawn mower.

Next is finishing up the four months of living expenses in savings.

Then the house, another big addition to our savings, and finally the student loan (my degrees aren't going anywhere, and it's really low interest, so we saved it until the end...)

Here is the current debt and the FINAL step of our debt snowball...

Yes, it looks like we have $275,315 worth of debt.  That does include our mortgage, adding a significant savings account by 2024, and as you can see...almost $50,000 of it is student loan debt.  Whew.  That's a lot of money for a few pieces of paper.

Here's the deal.  We want to pay down our debt in a way that is not completely binding to our family right this second.

We also want to pay it down in the quickest way we can and still have plenty of savings by the time we're done to have a significant down payment on our "dream" property and house.

Our idea is to pay down the debt as quickly as we can, by really focusing on paying extra whenever we can and still being able to provide for our family and tithe every month.  We have a budget that we live by, but need to be more "gazelle intense", as Dave says.

And so, I'm introducing a new piece of the blog.

Snowball Saturday.

I will be sharing updates on debts we have paid off, percentages we're working on, house projects, building thoughts, budgeting ideas, and everything else that has to do with "working our plan" to be where we want to be in ten years!

So although I'm not the best blogger in the world...I am going to try REALLY hard to at least post a snowball update!  It's pretty personal to throw out our complete debt goals out there on the internet for the world to see, but I'm hoping we can inspire some other people to get focused on telling their money where to go by seeing the dent we make in our debt and the goals we will be able to reach over the next few years!  :)

Thanks for reading.  Much love and Happy Saturday!
                                                      ~ Hannah

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