The Weekly Ramble

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The weekly ramble: where I blog like it’s 2004.

sack lunch

This week was monumental in several ways, the main one being that I’ve turned my “gazelle intensity” back up. Those of you who’ve read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover will know what I’m talking about. For others, here’s my brief explanation.

Years ago we found ourselves in a heap of debt. We read the aforementioned money management book and made a plan to get out of debt and build up an emergency fund. Dave Ramsey has these “baby steps” . Dave describes the desire you muster in order to truly get out of debt as “gazelle intensity”. Like a gazelle being hunted by wild animals, you will move quickly and crazily to preserve yourself. We’re currently on Step 4, but I have mixed feelings about “retirement planning” so it hasn’t been a whole-hearted effort.

This week we came to peace with the fact that we’ll have to pay a bunch of money to get out of our rental property. It was bright blue when we bought it. Even though its color was changed the first week we owned it, we’ve always called it The Blue House. And it’s always made us blue. It has been nothing but a bad experience for ten years and we’re ready to be done with it. It will take a hefty chunk of our savings to do so.

Thus, the gazelle intensity is back. And it’s okay, we know how to do this. We’ve got a financial goal and we’ll hit, Lord willing.

In fact, working on our finances has been one of the best things for our marriage. Ever since we started this war against debt and low finances seven years ago, we’ve had to talk more about hard issues and work through disagreements. We’ve had to strategize ways to make things work, to enjoy good things for less, and to make do. One of the highlights of the experience has been the feeling of camaraderie as we do battle together.

FishPapa now keeps a box of cereal and a container of milk at work so that he can make a cheap lunch instead of eating out. Yesterday when I met him for lunch, I packed salads made with bits of leftover items in the fridge, grabbed water from home, and sneaked some cooked out the door so the kids wouldn’t see. We saved $15 right there!

pizza night

Find Homemade Pizza recipes here.

Last night I made pizza instead of leaning on Costco like we did a few weeks ago. It tasted way better and was tons cheaper.

The Gazelle is back! Seven years ago when we started battling debt, I had a lot more time on my hands. Now, I feel like I have no time to do what’s on my list, let alone to add things to the list. But, I know the end result will be worth it. I can’t wait to sell that house to someone else.

Meanwhile, here’s what’s been happening on Life as MOM:

Here’s what’s been happening on Good Cheap Eats:

Coming next week:

  • free printables for Back to School
  • the New Organizing Life as MOM calendars
  • How to Create a Budget
  • Elementary School curriculum
  • Fun photo tutorial

Be sure to let me know what stories and articles are helpful to you and what you’d like to see more of in the coming weeks. I want to make your “life as MOM” as fun and as easy as possible.

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  1. Tiffany R says:

    We do Dave Ramsey too and I understand how it can feel to have frugal fatigue. We were very gazelle intense during BS2 & BS3 but loosened up the reigns during BS4. I find it easier to be gazelle than to loosen up. I understand the gazelle and can focus on making efforts to stretch the dollars. When we loosened up, it felt as though we were too loose. I think we are going to have to find a happy median that works for us but we aren’t quite there yet. Good luck, Jessica. And I hope the house sells soon.

  2. We only recently learned about Ramsey’s 7 baby steps. We had already done many of them, but not in order. We have an emergency fund (BS1). We have 6 months of take home pay set aside in savings (BS3). We invest 15% of our household income in retirement accounts (BS4). We have college funds for our daughters (BS5). We have shortened our mortgage payoff date from 30 years to just 10 (BS6). BUT, we have credit card debt (BS2). I know we could easily pay off the debt if we quit paying for our children’s piano, guitar and vocal lessons and paying for fees and equipment for participating in tennis, cheer leading and Girl Scouts. However, I am not willing to do that. My kids will only be young once and I have made a conscious decision to carry some debt until they are older. I know it is probably not the best financial decision, but I think it is a good one for our family at this stage of life. To keep our debt in control (we are not adding to it) we are frugal in many areas of our life, starting in the kitchen. For the most part, we eat at home and cook from scratch. BTW, your pizza looks awesome!

  3. christine says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey. We are on bs2 and are almost done! I started pulling out cash again for my spending money and I set up a cash account in quicken so I can track where it goes. I really hate using cash but it does keep me from overspending. I need to continually remind myself to not buy stuff I don’t need. I am really good about justifying unnecessary purchases.

  4. First, I have to say, wow, your pizza looks gorgeous! 😀 Your recipe and foodie bride’s are the only 2 pizza recipes that work for me — yeah for homemade pizza that makes my family excited instead of groaning! 😉

    And thanks for the “real life” posts you always have on your blogs – you have encouraged me once again to keep it up on being wise with our finances. Good luck on selling your rental property!!!

  5. I’ve been waiting for your elementary school choices. Can’t wait to see them and compare.

  6. Jessica,

    We have had the same experience with a house that was hard to sell, we finally reduced the price, and just got rid of it. The peace of mind was sooo worth it, I wished we would have done it earlier…The family who bought it could have never afforded to live in that type of neighborhood otherwise. They are both teachers at the local high school and this was a huge blessing to them. As an added bonus, my former neighbors love them!! In the years since, we have made the money back 10 times over. Don’t overthink it, it just delays the inevitable, free yourselves up and move on!!

  7. Your pizza above does look delicious! Did you do anything differently when preparing or baking it?

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