We’re in the Foothills

That’s the best way I can describe our current financial situation.  A lot of people compare getting out of debt to climbing a mountain.  As of Tuesday’s paycheck we will only have one more thing to save up and pay for before we can tackle that mountain.  I am so excited to be at this place!

I tried to explain things in our money story.  We have two sources of income: regular income from our jobs, and irregular income from the farm.  When the farm gets random checks it is so tempting to throw them at our debt.  However, that would be a really bad idea.  When bills come in for seed, fertilizer, or land rent we need to have the cash to pay them so we don’t take on more debt.  So a lot of the farm income needs to be set aside for those things.

Besides predictable expenses we also needed to cash flow any improvements.  The electrician starts on our house rewire tomorrow morning (he had to reschedule last week due to an injury) and the builder plans to have our new barn finished this week or next.  We were very fortunate to have Brian’s Mom gift us some money to use on the rewiring project, we just have to cover the difference.  That’s what Tuesday’s paycheck will do: finish paying those guys.  It feels so good to pull in the driveway and see that new barn out there and know it’s completely paid for.

The next and final improvement we’re saving for is a semi trailer.  We got a once in a lifetime deal on the semi tractor and last year we were lucky enough to have a friend loan us trailers to pull behind it.  Having our own trailer(s) is very important because we need them in the fall when everyone else is using their own.  If we can’t find any to borrow we’ll be stuck relying on friends to haul our grain.  Starting this week any extra income will go straight in the bank for a trailer.  Our goal is to purchase one by early to midsummer for the wheat harvest, or by fall at the latest.

The sooner we knock out the trailer the sooner we start paying extra on our debt.  Depending on how the harvest goes we might, just MIGHT, be debt free before 2011.  I’m going to drift off and dream about being in that place…

How are things going in your financial life?  Do you feel like you’re in control and heading in a good direction?  Any encouraging words?  Any specific questions or information that would help you?


8 thoughts on “We’re in the Foothills

  1. Lindsay

    Congrats! You both should give yourselves a pat on the back. It is so hard to get your finances under control. I have been so fortunate in my life to have parents that were open and honest when it came to money. They taught me the in’s and out’s of finances. When my boyfriend and I first met he had really dug himself into some back debt but finally two years later he is on the right track.

    Something that helps us out alot is our budget. We live by our budget! We write down everything we have bought and how much it has cost. We estimate how much we need at the end of each week in order to pay off a monthly payment.

    Good luck with being debt free before 2011, I’m sure you can do it!


  2. Farmer's Daughter

    We’re gearing up for 6 months without my paycheck, so we’ve been saving as much as we can, but since my car died and we had to buy a car, that’s one more monthly payment to make.

    Ed’s been lining up side work for weekends until clamming season starts up again in the spring, then he’ll be working there on weekends.

    I’m not sure how I feel about not having a paycheck. We’ve always been equal financial partners, and I know that being home with the baby for 6 months is hugely important to me, but I’m just not sure about how I’ll feel to not make any money. I guess we’ll see what happens.

    1. marriedtothefarm Post author

      Well hopefully you’ll be feeling blissful with the baby and not worrying too much about the money part of it. I’m usually pretty fiercely independent but when I was in college I had to rely on Brian to pay most of our bills. I don’t think it would bother me not to have a paycheck. I would feel obligated to do certain things like work on the farm more and keep up with the house/dinner/laundry a little better. Right now I don’t feel too bad if things get let go since I’m working just like him.

    2. Carrie

      I also am going without a paycheck to take care of a baby right now…I’m Jena’s cousin. I’ve been off work 4 1/2 months but was getting a paycheck up until Christmas. I go back in March and am not even worried about the money. No one ever died saying they wish they’d worked more but everyone always wishes they’d spent more time with those that are important to them and who could be more important than a new baby?? I made sure all my bills were paid off last spring just incase I needed/wanted to go without pay for awhile so it’s been a blessing. Good luck & congrats 🙂

  3. Julie

    That’s awesome! It must be a really good feeling. We have the mortgage and car payment and bills, but we’ve paid off the credit card and have had a little extra to put aside for a couple home improvement projects we’ve been talking about for years (bathroom and new windows to start with). How much extra we can pay on the mortgage and car really depend on Steve’s job. We have two family friends who are plumbers and between the two of them they’ve been keeping him working. I guess we should be thankful just for that!!!!! If the one company gets “the big job” Steve could be making considerably more than we’re used to. We plan to pay down our mortgage as quickly as we can manage…or we’ll just hope for work and keep on living within our means- whatever they happen to be.

    1. marriedtothefarm Post author

      Congratulations to you on getting the CC paid off. I think that’s what gets most people. So many of my friends have multiple cards, I just don’t get it. It seems like smoking, once you start using those things it’s hard to quit. We have a couple student loans for me but the biggie is hubby’s truck. He bought it when we had been dating for just a few months. At the time I just loved the truck but if I had known the deal he signed up for I would have talked him out of it. It’s a little comforting to think that since the payment is almost two weeks pay for me that we could live on less if we had to once the payment is gone.
      You’re so right about just being thankful for the work we have. I whine about my job but I’m darn lucky!

  4. Carrie

    Remember: don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. I’ve really struggled with that over the years. I commend you for all your hard work but make sure you have some fun along the way. Don’t become one of the people who have a ton of money because they’re too afraid to spend it. Trust me, it’s more miserable than being in debt! Life’s too short 🙂


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