Friday, April 11, 2008

Taking a Closer Look at Frugality Part 2: My Frugal Journey

I should go back and tell you that most all of the credit card debt was due to stupidity and trying to keep up with the Jones'. I don't really remember or want to (remember)what was purchased with the cards.

I will tell you that $10,000 of it was medical bills that was from my open heart surgery. My parents got stuck with almost all of them. They had independent insurance and there was a clause in the policy about the surgeon not being of relation to the patient. Well he was a cousin to my Daddy. Anyhow, my parents never knew that I put that bill on a card and it was one less that they had to worry with.

Now, back to the story...............

Being farmers we did not want to build another house on that farm. We knew the farm would stay in the family and my parents wanted us to have their house one day when they were in their heavenly home. So, we looked high and low. We talked and debated and prayed. With our answer we bought a manufactured home. It is paid for and yes we had some help on that.

It is quite nice to not be a site built home. It has six panel doors, steel front and back doors with storm doors. You will also find Berber carpet, thermal pane windows, crown molding and extensive insulation. It is about 2200 square feet. Four bedrooms, family room (w/ fireplace), den, kitchen, dining room, retreat off of master bedroom, walk in pantry, utility room and two baths. We love it and could live in it the rest of our lives if necessary.

We own a 1999 Chevy pick-up and a 2006 Dodge Durango. Both are paid for in full.

We have worked VERY hard to pay off the credit card debt. We have two left. The total cc debt left is about $2500.00. We hope to get this paid off soon. When we get this paid off, we will owe no man nothing!!! Praise the Lord!

I also worked at the Farm Service Agency (a federal job) for 5 months in a temp position. i was bringing home $500 a week and that was 8 years ago. I loved the work, but this is where my heart and soul are. It was a temp position nonetheless.

Our children's (twins) medical bills over their two years of life total a little more than $1.25 million dollars!!! We have only had to pay $31,000 out of pocket. Now, imagine yourself coming up with that in two years....... Thankfully we had $18,000 in savings. God has been so good to us! Our babies are such a blessing!!!

I stopped working when I was pregnant with the boys, in November of 2005. I do a few things for my parents but not officially go to a job day in and day out like before. I will go back to work on the farm this June. I will have my regular mother's helper to care for the boys. They are 2 minutes away at most and will come to see me at work and stay some.

My husband works for a trucking company that specializes in hazardous waste. He also works on the farm when not at his public job.

Now, to answer my own questions. We are not poor.........nor are you more than likely! If you live here in the states and have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, food on your table and know Jesus Christ you are rich indeed! That is my family.

Why do I feel the need to be frugal? Because it has helped us to get out of debt and still is. Yes, I would still be thrifty and frugal if I were debt free. I want things in life. Things like sending my kids to college, taking a vacation once a year, giving some money to someone when I know it is needed. Things like that.

I am proud to grow my own food and can it. I am proud when I can save money in some area and put in on debt or a new outfit for one of us or something of need. I hope I offend no one as that is NOT my intention. I am just blessed by the hands of God and am loving my life. I am content and need not another thing. It is just nice to have an extra dollar or two for a R.C. Cola and a Moon Pie when you want it!

Blessings to you all and this thing we call the journey of life!!!


Mrs. Darling said...

Your manufactured home sounds lovely. Thats huge as manufactured homes go. For you guys to have had 18,000 saved was phenomanal. It sounds like you guys have done what a lot of people cant do and that is to crawl out of debt and actually come out ahead of the game. I have no doubt youy will get that credit card paid off.

I think frugality is just being responsible. Everybodys frugality looks different but nevertheless I think it's important not to waste resources and buy just cause you can. Good post Marva.

Marva said...

thank you Mrs. Darling. I hope to get my home tour finifshed up this week. That will give you a good look at it.

I agree about frugality and being responsible. It is important not to waste and buy like that. You are so right!


KyliesMom said...

Thanks again for sharing. I can not believe the amounts of those medical bills! Unreal!

Mimi said...

Great post, Marva. You have really done well with getting rid of your credit card debt. Credit cards can take a toll if you don't pay the balance in full every month. You should have a big shindig to celebrate when you pay off the remaining $2500!

MyKidsMom said...

Great post Marva!

And I totally believe the medical bills, my last pregnancy really hit us between the eyes in that area. But like you said, the cost was well worth it!

I'm glad you didn't share the (credit card)debt details, that's really only your business anyway. But sharing your journey OUT OF DEBT is a great inspiration to other people that it CAN be done.

Keep those frugal details coming our way!:)

Southerner said...

Love the "Only $31,000." part! My daughter was only $150.00 and $50 was for my optional private room. I am sure that being faced with heart issues and baby medical needs makes you look with different eyes. It is all such a choice. You can be glad with what you have or find that no matter how much you have it will not ever be enough. I love to see people who are content where they are.

Looking forward to the home tour.

Marva said...

Yes, they were quite high. It all seems like a bad dream Kyliesmom. God is good though and we made it!


Marva said...

Thanks Mimi! We are really trying and cannot wait to payoff the rest! Blessings!!!

Marva said...

Thanks mykidsmom! Many blessings and yes I know your Princess was worth every penny, prayer and tear too!

Marva said...

Thanks southerner! I cannot get it do fast enough! i havebeen trying to get it for a few weeks nmow, but with my mil's sickness and death it has been hectic!