Saturday, July 4, 2009

Breathing A Little Easier

So G finally got his paper orders and we are leaving in about a month! There are still flights to book, movers to arrange, furniture that's damage should have been assessed 2 years ago, but we are headed home in a month! I know I should probably be feeling more pressure, not less, but I am feeling calmer than I have in weeks.

It came to me the other day that we won't have to move our furniture until we are ready to go to the hotel before leaving. We are picking up quite a bit of furniture, dishes, etc from my grandmama's home, so we can afford the time that it will take to get our furniture in Maryland. Another breather.

We're getting ready to sell some things that will not be going with us. Including our couch, good riddance. We're keeping the matching loveseat (I think, I am still debating this) for the office.

And that, along with reading a post by Bonjour Madame got me to thinking about finances. G and I haven't traveled hardly at all the 2 years I've been living here. We discussed it and decided that putting money away for the move home was more important. We both love Europe so much that we will be coming back quite soon, and so we didn't feel a rush to get all of our traveling in now. It took us about a year and a half of marriage (until just this last fall) to really figure out how to save (because we do like to eat out and buy things, I will admit). Since then we try and save about half of each paycheck. Some months we don't save as much, others we save more.

We have a lot to spend money on once we get home. We will have to buy a car (and we will most likely be taking out a loan), pay deposits on housing, and foremost we will be paying to get from Maryland to Kansas City because the military only pays to get us to Maryland (but we cannot check in there for another month, so we're headed home). And we have to pay to ship Sophie home. Fortunately, while we are home we are planning on being frugal and not going out to eat every night (we're staying at my grandmama's home, so we'll cook there), so by the time we reach Maryland there will be 3 paychecks almost untouched. This will help with the move tremendously.

Our only debt is my student loans (and we have a plan to pay them off within the next 3 years). We won't be buying a home anytime too soon (Maryland is quite the expensive place to buy). And we don't have any credit cards. Having sat through some of the Dave Ramsey classes, and having parents who always told me not to get a credit card, my first one wasn't until I was 22 and engaged to G. I got it as a way to make reserving things easier, and my limit was $1000. I never maxed it out, and it's now been paid off and closed. G and I opened a military one together in order to buy some furniture when we first got married, because we had no living room or dining furniture. After it was paid off, we closed it. We both realize how easy it is to get into huge debt if you have one of the magic little cards that helps you forget you cannot afford something. We get some weird looks from friends when they realize we don't have credit cards. But we have a debit card that has a credit card symbol on it, so we can use it anyplace that takes cards.

Now, we do plan on getting a credit card once we move back to the US. We're researching which ones have the best rewards and plan on using it for most purchases, simply paying it off each month. I know of other bloggers who do this and are able to get some nice rewards (gift cards to their favorite places). G and I talked about it, decided we're pretty good at being strict with ourselves, so we would give it a whirl. And if we ever don't pay it off, then it gets closed and we go back to being cash only.

Okay, I think I've rambled on quite a bit, so I will wrap this up. Basically I wanted to talk about how G and I try and live frugally. We occasionally splurge on something nice, but only if we think we can afford it. For us, affording it doesn't mean we have it in the bank, it means that we have it, plus a substantial amount more in the bank. I'm already nervous about our account getting so low when we move back home, but that's what we have been saving for! We still eat out, although not as often as we would like (because let's face it, with this move, cooking rarely sounds fun). We go out for drinks, we go shopping, we have a good time, just not all the time. But we have an even better time when we go out because we don't have to worry that our bank account if going to suffer for it.

So on this 4th of July, I am thinking about freedom. And for me, right now, foremost on my mind is us striving for financial freedom. Now if only we didn't have so many taxes...


  1. Great post! You are so far ahead of the game that you've started your married life out this way with these good habits. People think we are weird too, it will never change and I've gotten used to it. Continue to live below your means and you will continue to have financial freedom. Good luck with the move.


  2. financial freedom is a big one. Good luck on your journey!

  3. Congratulations on getting some finality to it all! If you're going to be in KC, we absolutely have to meet up - I'm only 3ish hours away in Omaha (and maybe we could meet in the middle or something!).