The "Get Out Of Your Car!" Fund

Sunday, March 30, 2014

March Celebration

March celebrations:

1. Paid $1200 towards debt.

2. started keeping an everything journal (daily journal with notes, reminders, to-do lists, budget, etc.)

3. half of my adult students that I teach in the evenings scored 12-17 points higher on the posttest this week, and I successfully ended another semester of teaching.

4. started cooking at home (tonight's meal was vegetarian Cornflake Loaf, Grandma's greens (I made them with Grandma's recipe), homemade cornbread, and cranberry sauce)

April goals:
1. create educational items to sell online

now paying rent

When I went to live with Aunt and Uncle Theo, I prayed that I would be a blessing while I was there. I hoped that my rent would help them out financially and that I would be a pleasant person to live with.

Now that I’m with Jasmine and Mr. Jasmine, I hope for the same. I’m learning that Mr. Jasmine has some financial difficulties. Jasmine is so caring; she is willing to help him if he will let him in, but men (more than women) can be so closed (or stubborn) sometimes. 

I’m all too familiar with the stresses that he is having according to what Jasmine has described – the bills, phone calls, avoidance, tough decisions, having to cut loose projects and possessions that we love. However, having a multitude of counselors has made it easier and less lonely. I pray that he goes to the Michelle Singletary classes I invited him to (which I now attend each month when possible).

Jasmine asked if I could contribute a small amount to the household because her husband is under so much financial weight and it must be hard to have several working adults in the house and he's paying almost all the bills alone. I gladly agreed to pay more than she asked. 

Even though I'm renting, I'm still making sacrifices for a better life. I'm working at a job that has long hours, working a part time job, renting a room, living without my Jefferson, and using cash stuffed in envelopes for everyday purchases. 

I know (and she has mentioned) that they will need this room I'm renting back in the summer because her mother-in-law visits almost every summer. That's fine. I'm prepared to move out at any time, but I can't stay in my car during the summer. It will be too hot. I have 3 options: 

1. rent an apartment (I think I could stay in an apartment in a less desirable part of town for just the summer). 

2. rent a room

3. go down South and stay with relatives for the summer (especially if I don't plan to teach summer school up here). 

This situation is also why I still keep up this blog called the Homeless Teacher. Although I've been in this room for 3 months, I knew it probably wasn't long term. 

Revamping the envelopes

I'm still learning to use the envelope system. I had 6 envelopes, but now I have 8. I had to add more categories. So right now they are:

1. food
2. gas
3. hair
4. toiletries
5. car maintenance
6. household supplies
7. work supplies
8. fun

I didn't list any amounts because many of them change monthly as I adjust and tweak this system.

However, I've found when you commit to paying off debt and being a better steward of money, it doesn't matter so much that you stick with hard and fast rules and systems as much as it matters that you keep moving toward the goal.

For instance, I haven't stuck hard and fast to the envelope system like it SHOULD be done. Most of the time if I run out of food money or realize I needed something that I didn't have an envelope for, I would just borrow from some other envelope. Not the way financial experts recommend you do it, but it did accomplish one big thing - I still refrained from using my debit card and was forced to survive only on the money that was in the envelopes. I thought twice before making purchases.

I keep reading comments from people who insist that you must pay off the higher interest rate loans first - any other way is just dumb. Actually, if you pay off your debts PERIOD, regardless of the order, you have accomplished what you came here to do. It's actually hard to miss the mark if you simply keep moving towards the goal, even if your moving includes missteps.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Snow Days

I wish I could see into the future. School is closed tomorrow due to snow and may be closed on Tuesday. If I had known, I would have travelled down South to be with Daddy and not taken any time off work. Well, since I’m here, I’ll use the time wisely. I prepared for upcoming lessons while treating myself to Ledo’s – my reward for paying off TWO credit cards this month. Yay, God!

1 Samuel 15:22.

Do you think all God wants are sacrifices— empty rituals just for show?
He wants you to listen to him!
Plain listening is the thing, not staging a lavish religious production.
Not doing what God tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult.
Getting self-important around God is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors.
Because you said No to God’s command, he says No to your kingship.

I believe that God is blessing me financially since I’ve started wisely managing all of his money and not just thinking that giving tithes and offerings was honoring Him.

"God will allow us, if we insist, to live in a prison of our own making."