I am so tired. Going back to work has had our whole family flipped upside down. I really felt the pain when I had both kiddos in meltdown mode when I left for work. Talk about pulling on my heart strings! I know time will easy the transition and hopefully some sort of normalcy will set in.

On the $$ side of things it is awesome to be contributing to the family pocketbook. We have chosen to keep my income in separate from the rest and just use it to pay childcare and loans. I’m super pumped to get my first check on Friday!

We also had a garage sale this past weekend and unloaded a ton of random stuff we just don’t use. Still lots to unload but we are seeing an improvement already and making some cash along the way.

Last night we good a bottle of wine and some ice cream to finally sit down and make a serious budget. We set it up in mint.com so we can check it on our phones before making purchases. I still want to watch all the tutorials on nomoreharvarddebt.com but right now it is a good start.

The cause of my resent blog abandonment? I got a job! In my field… And they are a great company! Holy crap, there really is a Santa. I’m in the middle of training and adjusting to being a working lady but I’m really pumped! Granted a good portion of my day shift hours $$ goes to the nanny but everything after is gravy.  I feel really good gong back to work and contributing to the household. The best part is I still get to hang out with my kiddos in the morning. I’ll see less of the husband but absence makes the heart grow fonder!

I have obviously avoiding the saving money portion of this debt reducing scheme.  Why? Because it feels tough enough as it is, I can’t imagine how we could stretch our dollars even further.  But then my husband emailed me this today. A family of 7 on $44,000!  Holy crap.  I feel like a big whiny baby now.  So it is time to get serious about budgeting and find a ways to cut our spending. The first thing we did this week, is park the car.  My husband biked to work 13 miles one way and I biked everywhere with the kiddos!  Since we spend about $2500 on the cars per year it is a great step or rather peddle, in the right direction.

Job option two: career change to the extreme!

Last night after checking out glassdoor.com for the average salaries of the 4 jobs I applied to (yeah, I know should of done that first, but I kinda knew they would be crap). I started having third thoughts, ya know, I already had second thoughts before applying.  Anyway that got me thinking of going into tech, which tons of folks I know do after realizing their dreams just won’t pay the rent.  But, that would be a day job, which means childcare, which means the end of stay at home mom.  Total life flipper for me.

I stay home with my kids for thousands of reasons.  Most days, well a good handful of days, it is amazing and great.  Of course there are the days when I am spent, totally burned out, and become jerk mom.  To be honest is scares the crap out of me to have a stranger raise my kids.  I now we can’t do daycare, since we have done that before and it was just really overstimulating for my highly spirited bigger kiddo.  Most likely we would do a nanny, since there is two of them and that would be about the same cost as two in daycare.  The other thing to consider is the other peoples kiddos that I watch and will be watching.  What about them?  It would awesome to find a high energy, yet calming nanny that would be willing to take them all on.  And maybe it would be best for my kiddos to have someone that comes in fresh and ready for kids and not totally burned out from dealing with their sleeplessness all night.  Also Ma and Pa would also have been kid free all day and super pumped to give them 100% attention.  I am once again trying to talk myself into something.

I could possibly just do this for a couple years then quit after the loans are paid off and homeschool like I had been hoping to do.  If I look at as temporary maybe it won’t seem so awful and sad.  Because as I write this the littlest kiddo is sleeping peacefully in the Ergo for nap.  If I work all day this is something I will not get to see anymore, and that makes me super bummed out.  I guess I should actually get offered a job before I start mourning the loss of my SAHM status and the loss of my daily nap option, because the that perk of staying home is freaking awesome.

I’m trying to decide how badly I want to work in my field.  To be honest lately I have been going a little nuts only getting to talk to little kiddos with the short bursts of conversation with adults at the playground.  My plan has been to go back to work in the evenings but really the only options out there right now are a few major companies that run their businesses like…I can’t think of a metaphor…they run them like crap.  It purely about the owners making money and nothing about the client or the employee.

Here is the pickle I am in:  I haven’t worked in my field in over a year and in hands-on industries you get a little rusty, well anyone would, but most places want you to hit the ground running.  However, when working for a major chain, they tend to not give a crap because like I said it is not about quality but quantity.

So do I just bite the bullet, forget my morals and become a cog in the machine, so that I can get the experience under my belt (I can think of lots of industrial like metaphors here)?  The bummer would be that it would pay sad but will give me the work experience to get into a decent place after a few months or a year.  Once I get out of a chain I could make mad cash in my field and there is lots of room for growth.  I guess I could just apply to them all and see what happens right?  Ugh, I’m feeling slightly dirty already.  But like I keep asking myself, what will feel worse, really feeling the pain for a couple years or having a dull ache of student loans for decades?  I guess I know that I need to sell out…at least for now.

I’m feel pretty stoked right now. I just sold $270 worth of random stuff we had around the house on good’ol craigslist and we de-cluttered the kitchen cabinets! The plan is to have a garage sale in two weeks and to keep selling the big stuff on the internet. When I pull together another $450, I’ll have enough to pay off the next as smallest student loans. Thus continuing with the snowball method, which we started last winter. That will then make six lovely $0 on our list of loans owed. That’s 1/5 of our loans (i know, i know, not actual dollar amounts but the snowball is all about mind games anyway). Baby steps, but it feels awesome!

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Car trade????

The husband found this and thought we should apply!

In the process of figuring out how to get rid of debt, I have totally gotten caught up in the tiny house movement! I was really inspired by this mom who when she said that she sleeps well at night because they no longer worry about money. I want that!

So I have started a list of stuff to sell, donate, and give to friends. Also over pizza and beer last night with the husband, we have decided to rent out the whole basement! That means major declutter and simplification. I think it is going to be awesome and hard work. When we were first married we lived in a tiny shack by a lake, it had to be about 500sq ft max. Even though the wind blew through it and the roof leaked, we were no less happy there then when we were in a HUGE loft or in our house now. To be honest I think we were happier, life was simple. That is what I really want simple, peace, zen…and to not have to wash tons of dishes. Do we need more then 4 settings? Not if we go tiny house style!

No More Harvard Debt

Hi guys, SmarterBucks recently asked me for my thoughts on if I paid off my loans too quickly. Here’s my response:

On August 29th 2011, I embarked on a mission to pay off $90,000 of Harvard MBA student loans as quickly as possible. By zeroing out my savings, looking for ways to increase my income, and cutting back on expenses like flying home to see my family for Christmas, I was able to make my final loan payment seven months later on March 29th.

Was I too aggressive in paying off my loans? Should I have taken advantage of the full 15-year repayment period?

The typical analysis starts with the math. If the interest on my loans averages 5% and the S&P and DJI indices are low-volatility and experiencing consistent returns well above this, then someone with a pure profit motive and just a smidgeon of risk tolerance would favor…

View original post 1,290 more words

I’m wiped out! Long drives to rarely seen relatives with two kiddos taking turns having meltdowns, leaves me so glad to be home and ready to get back to my latest skeme to fix our finances.

Brainstorm to get $$$$ (this is a lotta dollars thus lots of dollar signs):
Sell stuff. For example, random kid crap, extra bike we don’t use, videos (if anyone still buys DVDs), a car…. OK so the car…. We have two old reliables but one needs break fixing that costs more then the car is worth. So we should ditch it and be a one car and two bike family. Right? Save in gas, insurance, and repair costs. That is huge, but two cars is so nice in the cold, cold winter. But so is not having crazy debt till the kiddos go to college. And a couple cold inconvenient winters is totally worth decades of stress free bank balances. Can you tell I’m talking my self into this. I don’t know why in being such a baby about it. I didn’t have a car for years, biked or bused everywhere and was super fit. Granted I was never pulling a trailer with kiddos and all their crap, but maybe that just what I need to turn this soft mom bod back into super fit biking mama. I could use a little help on the hills with this! Is it wrong to make a small investment for a long term payoff? Or am i just falling into the same backward thinking of the loans? We shall let that simmer a bit longer.

One obvious way to make money is to get a job. I do watch a extra kiddo every other week but that really doesn’t help much. What I need is an evening gig that pays mad cash. Unfortunately I have tried waitressing before and I’m just awful at it. So I’ve been poking around craigslist and indeed and have put my toe back in the job pool. Hopefully I’ll get some bites, that are worth the kiddo babysitter handoff drama and the grumpy husband who would have to do bedtime solo.

We have also thought of renting out or basement like the Harvard debt dude. But we would need to fix up the place so someone would actually pay to live there. Making a small investment in finishing the basement could have huge paybacks in resale value, besides renter income. Truthfully I am worried about peados ….. we would have to but the renter through major background checks and personal references. Anyone willing to go through all that would have to be legit…I hope. I’m going to invite a couple of my favorite mid twenties, professionals, who love cheap rent to critique our basement and give me honest feedback as to what we would have to finish and how much we could charge.

So I’ve got the ball very slowly rolling towards making more money. Next I’ll have to look at how we can try to save money, yuck, that one is less fun.