Friday, May 16, 2014

7 Quick Takes about debt, frugality, and library love!

It's been a long while since I've done a 7QT! Complete with memes and text which absolutely refuses to left align despite my pursed brows and sighs of consternation! 


A couple of years ago I spent a few weeks devoted to Dave Ramsey. I was determined to get us out of debt (student loans + mortgage). I was also pregnant and knew that I would be quitting my job before the baby was born. Our debt wasn't too bad. We didn't have credit card debt or a car payment (though we accrued one due to a surprise run-in with an old lady with a blind spot which would destroy the entire passenger side of my husband's car 2 months before the baby was born). The issues I had with Dave Ramsey were 1) he was critical of women with college degrees who decide to stay home with their kids, and 2) unless you could put a massive chunk of money toward debt, he seemed to always recommend that the woman keep working. I knew this wasn't an option for us at the time, grew discouraged and stopped listening to him. 


But I had to learn to budget. I started out doing straight up envelope cash-only system, but since our bank is not in town it was a hassle to acquire the cash. Then I started using the Goodbudget app on my iPhone, but the free version only allows you to have 10 budget categories and things got a little complicated. We also failed repeatedly to enter purchases as we went and the app was rarely correct as to how much money was left in each category. Yesterday I admitted failure and downloaded a free trial of the You Need A Budget software. The good thing about it so far is that you can create the budget on your computer and everything is also linked to your smart phone. You can also enter in transactions on your phone and keep track of them that way. Here's hoping that the hubs and I can get into that habit!


Sadly, this is not so far from the mark...
I also faced the music and looked at our bank account and added up the amount of money we spent eating out in May. The hubs had a lot of overtime in this first paycheck, so we had a lot (for us) of extra money in the beginning of May. It turns out we spent $150 eating out, plus several non-essential purchases which left us in the familiar barely-holding-on-till-payday scenario! If we spent the same amount eating out every month, we could have saved $2800 to pay down our student loan bill! This sobering realization brought me to think of ways to cut out some expenses. Dave Ramsey, be damned. We can be miserly and pay some debt on one income. In the interest of cutting some expenses such as my insatiable appetite for the written word...


...I finally, finally, finally got my TexShare card! This means that though I live in a small, small town with a teeny tiny library, I can now check out items from San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) even though I live out of county. Usually you have to pay for the privilege of using SAPL, and at $200/year it wasn't gonna happen. With TexShare my local library vouches for me, and I get limited access to SAPL's inventory. Score one for alleviating the temptation to buy books!


SAPL splurge

My degrees are in English, history and library science. You know I love da books. It took great willpower to choose only three to take home today when there is a limit of five. Lillian helped me by peppering my arm with muscle spasms due to her becoming fussy and demanding to be held. I knew that I would need to arrive at my vehicle before my arm gave out, plus parking is free for the first hour.


I already have gluttonous ideas of the delicious books I will check out next time I go to the library:

Blessed, Beautiful and Bodacious by Pat Gohn
Discipline that Lasts a Lifetime by Ray Guarendi
Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith
All the books, ever. Amen.

Last, but not least: Something Other Than God. SAPL has it. I have already read it, because I do not have the patience to wait for library books to be ordered and processed. BUT...I used the "Suggest A Purchase" feature in SAPL's catalog and was notified that due to my recommendation, the library has decided to purchase the book that I suggested. And there are 49 people waiting to get their hands on it. I am famous. Collection development for the win.

For more quick takes, visit Jen @ Conversion Diary!


  1. your 7QT !! I can so related to almost everything. Yes...if you want a major guilt trip about taking any school loans our or using a credit card to keep a car going cause you can't buy a new one, just hop on over to Dave Ramsey's site and feel crappy about yourself : )

    I have been using YNAB for a couple of years now...I guess that means I like it LOL!

    Nothing so lovely as a libray card AND inter-library loans...getting ones hands on a delicious out of print book! I will have to hold off on reading Jennifer though. Budget constraints you know *winks*.

    Many blessings~ Theresa

    1. I'm hoping to get YNAB on sale...I heard it goes for $15 at sometimes! The hubs doesn't want to dish out $60 for it, and I guess I don't blame him! My fingers are already itching to get more books lol