A Blessing in Disguise

One of my biggest dreads this past fall was living in the camper for the winter.  Going outside and up and down slippery stairs to go to the bathroom, inadequate heat and just being cooped up in the tiny space, literally on top of each other.  If I let my mind go there, the darkness would overwhelm me. We were all so excited to escape for the holidays to my grandmothers home and our short jau [...]

Financial Goals: 2017 & Beyond!!!

For the past couple of years I've made our family's financial goals public, sharing them with you all and tracking along throughout the year to see how we did (see 2015 goals here and 2016 goals here). We met our financial goals the past two years and hope this year will be no different. 2017 Financial Goals: Pay $30,000 Toward Debt. This may seem like no big deal since we had this same goa [...]

And we are on the move again...

Hello BAD Community and Happy 2017!  I hope your holiday season was fantastic and you were able to spend some down time with friends or family.  The kids and I have enjoyed a sabbatical (for lack of a better word) here in Georgia with a quick 10 day trip to Texas.  It was the first time we'd seen most of my siblings (there are 5 of us) in over two years. We had a very frugal Christmas and lo [...]


Am I ever glad that 2016 is over!  Those last few weeks were absolutely brutal! Now that things have settled down between the flood and the death in our family, I feel like I can finally get past just surviving, and can start thriving!  As part of thriving, I have been rereading several of the wonderful comments from readers and I am readjusting my plans in regards to budgeting, savings and d [...]

2017 Planning

Hi friends! How is 2017 treating you so far? So far, so good over here! Just trying to balance work and childcare (always!!) The kids have been out of school all last week (they go back to preschool this coming Monday) so I’ve been drowning in work-related tasks while I’ve been trying to juggle childcare with hubs. Yikes! Speaking of hubs – a quick work-related update: Remember when we [...]

Ashley's Year In Review (2016)

It's funny how almost universally across-the-board, people have complained about what a terrible year 2016 has been. Was 2016 good to you and your family? Or did you also have your share of bad luck and/or mishaps? I think for our family it was a bit of a mixed bag. Overall, we did quite well on the financial front. No complaints there! But there were still some quite challenging parts of 2016. [...]

I'll be back!

I just wanted to post a super quick note...I have not forgotten about blogging here!  Shortly after the flood in our basement we had a family emergency occur that we are still dealing with.   This has meant that overnight our household grew by six kids!  Things have been crazy!!!   I will have a post up soon!   [...]

Ashley's 2016 Goals Wrap-Up (With December Debt Update)

2016 has been a rough one for many. Have any of you seen this meme floating around the interwebs? (Here's one source, but I've seen it on multiple accounts. It's everywhere.) Makes me chuckle. Although 2016 has been tough in many regards (and I have a year-end wrap-up post in the works with more info on my 2016), it hasn't been all bad. In fact, I've had a pretty good year when it comes to [...]

Debt Payment - Processing

Hi all! I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays : ) I'm just peeking in quickly today to say that my December debt payment post is..."processing." I made a very large payment scheduled on 12/23 and, I suppose due to the holidays, it still shows as Processing on Navient's website. It has not yet posted. Soooooo, I'm holding off any my debt update post until the payment [...]

Home Ownership: 1 Month Status

We've now been in our new-to-us (1980s) house for just over a month. I haven't talked much about the house since we closed, so I wanted to talk about some of the financials in the past month of home ownership. Monthly Bills The house is larger than our last home so although it's too soon to tell true differences in heating and cooling costs, my guess is our new house will be a little more e [...]

Teacher Christmas Gifts

  Hi all! I hope you're having a happy Thursday! The girls and I are headed to Texas on Christmas Day. We are flying (on Christmas because its much cheaper) instead of driving because hubs has to stay back and work. He's still planning to quit and go back to school in the Spring (he's all registered and ready to go), but he has a couple big jobs in the meantime that need to be wrapped u [...]

Dad's House #2 is Under Contract!!!

For long-time readers, you know that my Dad was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia in August 2015. By November 2015 we'd moved him out of his first home (in Utah) and down to his second home (in Texas) to be closer to family. By February it was already apparent that he really shouldn't be living independently. In March, we moved him into an independent living facility. It still allows him [...]

The Best $0.46 I spent this Christmas

How many of you are members of rewards programs at the different stores you are shopping at this Christmas?  Go ahead and raise your hand, we can't see you.  I think I've mentioned before different earnings I've gotten from the rewards programs.  I am members of a ton of them...only free ones.  And this month I've gotten lots of freebies or special coupons because it's my birth month. I men [...]

Whoops! and side hustles.

We have had a disaster hit our lives in the past week!   It all started with being fast asleep until our sweet dog jumped on our bed and wanted to snuggle.  The problem was that she was  soaking wet and smelled of raw sewage.  You can imagine the excitement waking up to that brought! After investigating, we discovered that our sewer backed up into our basement due to some construction that [...]

You Told Me So

When we were going through the process of getting a mortgage, we shopped around with a lot of different lenders and ended up with a company that we were...luke-warm about after it was all said and done. The experience, itself, wasn't exactly pleasurable. I know it's stressful anytime you buy a house, etc. etc., but there were some things I didn't share that were really frustrating. But the one [...]

The Savings

I received several questions about the $200 budget item towards savings that I listed in my last post.    The answer is a bit complicated.   We currently have have several savings accounts that are for irregular expenses...with the idea that we could also use those accounts as an emergency fund in a true emergency.   These funds are currently auto-drafted into the savings accounts every pay [...]

Christmas on a Shoestring Budget

Today we leave to stay at my grandmother's in Georgia for a month.  I cannot wait! I get to sleep in a bed, have heat day and night and have indoor plumbing (have to go over to the trailer to use the bathroom where we are at now.)  It is going to be joyous.  These are things I will never take for granted again! I have less income now than I've had all year with the cut in the twins' adoption [...]

The Budget

I have to apologize for not getting this post up sooner, we had a stomach bug ravage the house, and I have been behind ever since! I have told you about our debt here and now it's time to reveal our budget!  Honestly, I really don't know how doable this budget is.  I know that we typically eat out a ton, but I am planning to cut that out completely for budget and health reasons.   I also ha [...]

Ashleys November 2016 Debt Update

Another month is over - time for another debt update! November was a good month! In some regards it was pretty pricey (hello, new house!!!), but in other ways we were able to be thrifty and save. In the end, we had a decent debt-payment in November and are expecting an even BIGGER one in December! Our first mortgage payment isn't due until January and rather than let the "extra" money float awa [...]

Different Priorities

Hello BAD community, thank you for your inquiries.  I thought I would pop in and share a quick update. Debt My sole debt at this point are my $32K-ish student loans which are in Income Based Repayment requiring $0 per month. Income I am still on the hunt for work, chasing any and all leads.  It's been very frustrating and I can't explain why this has been such a challenge.  It's bee [...]