Early Returns

It’s been roughly a week now since the clan executed it’s master plan to crawl back to the world of the financially stable, and much like a sickly sweet middle school couple, we’re celebrating an all too early and unnecessary anniversary. One week!!! Woooooo!!! Let’s take stock, though, shall we? In the midst of everything we’ve given up, what have we gained? You’d be surprised. I was.

We’ve paid off one store credit cards and appeased another – which means that we now actually own many of the shirts in my closet and about half the lawn tractor. (Does this mean that the compost I create from the grass I mow is technically part owned by Sears Financial Services? If I sell that compost, are they entitled to a cut? And if so, can I insist that they do half the raking?) Even better though… Our phone has stopped ringing! When it does ring, we answer it! The people calling us are people we want to talk to! I’m going to end this sentence with an exclamation mark too! It’s already strange to think that we’ve screened our calls for almost a year. Heck, we even let the kids answer the phone now.

Our house – is clean. The kitchen – has no dishes piled up, clean or dirty. The laundry – is clean and folded. And I attribute it all to the lack of cable TV. Now that we’re no longer feeding the time-sink, we suddenly have all kinds of time for the day-to-day stuff that’s always needed doing but rarely got done. The house feels downright pleasant now. We’re no longer afraid that doing a project with the kids will add to the overall mess. We’re no longer avoiding having friends over for fear of them witnessing our hovel or for dread of having to clean it first. Getting the house ready for guests the other night only took a few minutes, and fifteen minutes after they left you’d never have known that we’d just hosted dinner for eleven. My mother commented on how neat and clean the kitchen was. That’s the endorsement of the year, right there. Feels good. Feels damned good.

Finances are shaping up nicely. I finally opened all the mail, so now we know for sure who’s asking us for money, and how much. Every. Last. One. The girls saw a dentist this year?!? My God, we should pay him. My initial gusto to throw ridiculously large amounts of cash at large creditors one at a time ran smack into the wall of reality when I remembered that there’s some things that can’t wait to be paid. Like the car insurance. We’re late on it now, but we’ll be fine as long as it’s done before the end of the month. I need to talk to them anyway. We were dumped from our original car insurance company over a year ago for non-payment. That’s when I learned that getting a new policy to replace it involves shelling out the entire year’s payment up front. Not doing that again. I’ve got some open eBay auctions that will really give us a boost when they close in the next week and I’m going to put the efforts into cataloging and preparing to ship my entire PEZ collection. I’ve been debating between selling it whole or piecemeal, and while I might get more out of it if I sell it in lots, the time I’d have to invest doing all that individual packaging and shipping just isn’t worth it. Unless nobody will buy it whole, that is. In a nutshell we’re trying damned hard to get all our accounts up to date so we can start making regular payments on ’em. From where we stand now, that should all come together by the end of February at the latest. I mean, it will come together by the end of February.

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One response to “Early Returns

  1. It’s a great feeling isn’t it? Been there – came back from it myself. You’ve actually inspired me to get a grip on my own finances this week. While not behind on anything (like we were several years ago), I haven’t been keeping accurate records. Quicken was getting lonely. All I knew for sure was that we weren’t in danger of bouncing any checks. This week I updated ALL of our accounts in Quicken, filed a scary-big pile of papers and bills, and have reclaimed a clean desk!

    However, a word to the wise … once you feel like you’ve got everything neatly categorized, itemized, caught up and filed away, the *REAL* trick staying motivated to keep it that way. Keep it up!

    Bravo!

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