Proverbs 22:7

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

Friday, July 30, 2010


With the house situation, we hadn't made any true progress on our debt in the last 2 months because we were holding our funds for the house situation. Well, now we're in, it's painted, I have *some* new furniture, but for the most part, we're working on getting settled in. I am excited to see what our monthly utilities are going to look like, because if things go like I think they will, we'll be saving on our regular monthly expenses now, and will require the budget to be adjusted, which will give us a bigger snowball payment each month. That's the plan, anyway.

I also recently opened yet ANOTHER checking account. This one is with USAA and it's going to become our primary checking account....sort of.

Remember how a few months ago we started on the "month ahead" plan? Well, it's working out fine, but I've realized that I'm a little OCD about the money I'm using this month, mingling with the money that I'll be using NEXT month. I know, I know, it sounds corny, and it shouldn't matter since I have a budget. But it does matter. It's a mind game, that's kind of kicking my butt so what I've decided to do is starting with August, I'll let my paychecks deposit to my Regions bank account as it always has. Right now, I'm transferring all the spending money I have for August to the USAA account and will pull out cash each week for my weekly expenses (gas, groceries, blow money, etc). I'll basically leave Regions alone during the month and won't touch it at all until after the final paycheck for August has been received. After it's been received, I'll immediately transfer it all over to USAA to use for the month of September, and the process, will start over...

This way, I wont be tempted to pay September bills early, which will jack me all up with my budget, and whats been spent for THIS month, and what's been spent for NEXT month....and all that mess. I'm certain this will make it easier to manage....

Oh! You may have noticed that I changed the debt thermometer recently. That's because the $50612.50 total figure was the total figure of all my debts prior to us really starting the plan - maxed out CCs, total car loan prices, etc...). I mentioned when we started in Feb 2009, that we had ~$42K in I decided to change it to reflect only what we owed when we started and how much we've paid during that time.

I guess that's all for now... :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sweet Home Alabama

When this Georgia Girl returned from being in the navy, she swore she'd never leave Georgia again.

So much for that. 

Jonny and I bought our first home today in Smiths Station, Alabama. Our home is located not even 10 miles from the state line. Benefits to  buying in Alabama include lower taxes, lower insurance and a whole lot more house for alot less money. We bought our 1279 sq ft house, as a foreclosure for $100K. When we looked at houses in GA, the houses that were in this price range were much smaller and not near as nice.

Smiths Station AL actually runs on Eastern Time, even though Alabama is Central time. It's a good thing, too, because it was going to SUCK trying to adapt to living in one time zone while working in another.

I don't have any pictures of our own yet, so for now, I'll cheat and post this one that I saved from the MLS listing. You can tell this pic is from the winter because there are no leaves on the trees.

We got our entire earnest money deposit back, so today, we went SHOPPING! I bought 3 new tables for the living room to match the coffee table I already have. They had to be ordered, so it'll be about a week and a half before they come in.

Here's the coffee table I already had. I bought it from Big Lots in 2005 with 2 broken tiles that I replaced at Home Depot. It's an Ashley Furniture piece - the collection is called Antigo.

Blogger is not cooperating for me to upload alot of pictures, but the 3 new tables I bought today match this one. 2 end tables, and a sofa table. Pictures of the finished product will come as soon as we're moved in and set up.

We also looked at rugs while we were at the furniture store and I had just about given up when we were walking out and I found the $99 rug section...which of course NEVER have anything good to choose from. YEAH RIGHT! I found one and it was GREAT. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture yet.

Tomorrow will be a busy day - more shopping, more prepping, etc. This is such an exciting time, and I'm so glad to finally be able to do this..... YAY!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Grand Canyon University: Financial Aid CRAP.

Dear Arman,

I emailed yesterday, and I called, and the lady I spoke with told me that you were going to call me back. I didn't hear from you.

I wanted to let you know that a check for $706.54 arrived yesterday. While I am grateful, this is nowhere NEAR what I expected it to be. 

For starters, I am taking 3 classes for Summer term. 

Marketing Management: $1455.00
Management of Working Capital: $1455.00
Sales Tax: $6.23
Canyon Connect?: $75.00
Investments: $1455.00
Sales Tax: $6.23
Canyon Connect?: $75.00
Total for Summer: $4527.46

HOWEVER, that doesn't even include my military scholarship, OR the Post 9/11 GIbill payment that the school should have received on my behalf. The military scholarship should have reduced the cost of the classes from $1455.00 to...what? I'm not even sure how much the scholarship is. 

Nevertheless, according to the NSLDS, $6873.00 was disbursed for Summer term. So not even taking into consideration the scholarship or the GIBill, the cost of my attendance was only $4527.46. 

$6873.00 - $4527.46 = $2345.54. I only received a check for $706.54. Where is the remaining $1639.00????

I've been a student at this university for over 2 years now, and I have NEVER had this much trouble. I am trying to graduate in December, and I should not be having to jump through so many hoops to get my financial aid sorted out. I do not understand what the problem is. PLEASE process my scholarship. PLEASE disburse the rest of my loans, and PLEASE send my post 9/11 GIBill benefits ASAP. We are now finishing the 3rd week of the SECOND 8 week session of summer term. It's going to be really pathetic if my summer aid has not been fixed before I have to go through this mess again for Fall term. If I had the money available, I'd pay cash for Fall just to avoid going through this again.

Please help. If you haven't learned by now, I'm a VERY persistent individual and I am not going to give up on this until I get some answers. I promise I will leave you alone if SOMEONE would just answer my questions and quit giving me the run around.

Thank you.

Amanda Hicks

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Reality of our wish list....

5 days now.... Jonny and I spent the day together yesterday, driving around, pricing items we're going to need to paint and clean and get the house ready. There's so many things we want to do to the house, but we've got to remember to take it slow and only do what we can actually afford to do,when the time is right.

3 years ago, I wouldn't have hesitated to open up a new credit card at home depot, lowes, or kohl's and buy everything we "needed" to make the house perfect. But because we don't use credit anymore, we're going to have to do things little by little, as we have the money to be able to afford to do it.

Sure, I would love to buy a new bedroom set, and new living room furniture, replace out current bathroom theme, replace the carpet in the master bedroom, get new faux wood blinds instead of ugly plastic ones, get a new front door with a window in it to allow in some more natural light, refinish the kitchen cabinets, etc etc etc. Yes, that's our wish list that we've come up with so far. But the fact of the matter is, we cannot afford to do all of that right now, so we have to prioritize.

For now, we're going to paint, and we're going to rent a carpet cleaner from publix to clean the carpet in the mater bedroom and throw a rug on the ugly stained spot. I priced carpet at Home Depot yesterday, and even for one room, for the kind of carpet we want is going to be about $500. I've got other things more important to spend $500.

We're going to use Mr Clean Magic Erasers to clean the kitchen cabinets for now. They need to be repainted, but that will have to wait for now. Eventually when we repaint them, we'll replace the handles and knobs because I don't like the yellow gold color - I want silver or white.

The ugly wallpaper in the guest bathroom will have to stay. It's not a priority, but it will eventually be changed.

While our mortgage, rent and insurance will be less expensive then paying rent - this wish list more than makes up the difference. It's all good though, because I'm hunting for deals, thrift mall, flea marketing, and yard saling to see what I can find. I'll be able to do a little something new each month until we've finally fixed everything we want. I cant fix it all at once, but I can have fun fixing it all over time....and that will be an adventure.

Friday, Friday. I cannot wait.