Thursday, November 21, 2013

Our $900 car

This was a year ago now, but it's still an important story to tell.

In 2011, we purchased a 2012 Hyundai Accent. It was exactly what I/we wanted: 4 doors, 5-speed manual, small, great on gas and perfect for my 60-mile commute.

You know what wasn't perfect about it? The $300 car payment each month.

When we learned that I was pregnant last year, we decided it was time to get rid of the new (and pretty!) car. It was time to get serious about getting out of debt.

Selling the car to Carmax required us to pay off about $1500 extra on the car loan to make up the difference for what Carmax would purchase our car for.

We replaced the car with a 1998 Nissan Altima for $900.

Stock photo.

The Nissan has ... character. Only the driver's door unlocks with the key. The rear-driver's-side door has to be manually locked and unlocked. Sometimes, the volume on the radio goes the opposite way you think it would. The gas door has to be gently punched to open. When the car doesn't start, you just need to jiggle this section under the hood. Let's not exclude the time it was keyed.

To sum it up, it's a pretty glamorous ride.

We paid $900 for the car and about another $1000 for new tires, title transfer, registration and some minor repairs. So, $1900 plus the $1500 we had to pay off on the Hyundai.

$900 + $1000 + $1500 = $3400

Since we were paying $300/month for the Hyundai, it took 12 months of owning the Nissan to actually start banking money. That might seem like a lot, but guess what? We have been driving the car for three months beyond that and we haven't had to pay a single car payment on it, and it hasn't needed more than regular maintenance.

One debt paid off.
One step closer to becoming debt-free.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Deals 11/2

Who doesn't love a good deal? Here are a few of my favorites:

Need to send a gift? Use coupon code 31137 to get a new Fannie Mae Chocolate Card for just $5.95 shipped! Comes with a quarter-pound assortment of chocolates, a $5 reward card for the receipiant and your personal greeting!

Super chic and convenient CitySlips foldable flats and rain boots. With their current Buy More, Save More Sale, you can snag the boots for just $27.30 and the flats for a mere $14! Want free shipping, add FRSHIP at checkout.

For the flannel-loving friend in your life, pick up THREE flannel shirts for $30! You pick the size, they pick the colors. 

Need a gift this holiday season? Three bamboo mixing bowls in bold colors are just $9 with coupon code BHWELCOME! This is an amazing deal on these mixing bowls.

Save 40% sitewide at The Body Shop with code TREAT40 at checkout. Stock up on those stocking stuffers!

Hot deal on these fitness leggings for just $7.99 from Aeropostale and matching tank for just $5.99. Plus, get FREE SHIPPING when you pay with Paypal. 


Sunday, October 27, 2013

No TV for Baby Z

Until this week, it never struck me that Baby Z has never watched TV.

Why doesn't she watch TV?

Really, I don't know. Since we don't have cable television, I guess that's a root of the reason. But at the same time, she has so much fun exploring, playing, trying new things and getting into trouble, that we've never thought to turn on the TV for her

What do you think? Do toddlers benefit from watching TV?
Baby Z at the park.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Give Green!

One simple, fun thing to do when giving a gift is to opt for a reusable tote in place of a standard gift bag.

  1. They come in a wide variety of cute colors and patterns!
  2. They cost the same (or less!) than regular gift bags.
  3. They are more durable than regular gift bags.
  4. Your gift recipient can reuse the bag for grocery shopping, farmer's markets, giving another gift, library books, an overnight bag to grandmas, etc.

Check out Dollar Tree's selection. Each bag is $1 each:

Here are some other fun options:
$2.59 for two bags from Amazon.

$3.99 from World Market.
$7.99 for 2 bags from
Market bags, 4 for $17 at Direct From Mexico

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We're moving!

Sorry for the silence lately!

We've been so busy. I recently took a new job, which is 65 miles from our home. With lots of prayer, we made the decision to sell our home. After just 32 days on the market, we accepted an offer. In a whirlwind of cleaning, packing and rental shopping, blogging has slipped. So here's a little treat for you!

Here's a before and after tour of our home. The before photos were either from the original listing when we purchased, or right after we closed on the house.

Kitchen, before:

Kitchen, After:

Bathroom, before:

Bathroom, after:

Living area, before:

Living area, after:

Master, before:

 Master, after:

Nursery, before:

Nursery, after:

Office, before:

Office, after:

Sun room, before:

Sun room, after:

Exterior, before:

Exterior, after:

I guess in three years, we did a fair amount of work on the house. We are so sad to leave, and this house holds a lot of memories for us. But at the same time, we are excited to jump into new waters and we pray that this house can bless another family for many years to come.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Laundry Room Makeover

Laundry room makeover before and after

Let's face the facts: Our basement is not pretty.

Our laundry area looked like a dungeon where clothing begged and pleaded not to be left alone. Doing laundry is bad enough for most folks (I secretly enjoy it), but to have to do it down there is like being in a horror film.

The before:

This is pretty embarrassing. Sorry, Mom.

After cleaning out empty bottles, scrubbing the sink, hosing down the walls (I must have killed at least 20 spiders), sewing a sink skirt and a curtain and a minor bit of painting, the place looks one hundred times better.

Basement laundry room makeover
The cabinet on the far wall is actually from our original kitchen. I painted it and sewed a curtain using the same material that I used on the bookcase-turned-bar in our living room.

Sew a $6 skirt for a cast iron sink. Use a dowel and over-the-door hooks to hang it.
Sink skirt is sewed from three yards of muslin and held by a dowel and two over-the-door hooks.

The plant had been broken out of the pot, so I snagged this little lady for $4 from Marshall's!

Basement laundry room makeover

Put detergent in cute glass jars instead of the bulky boxes.
Because making things cute is fun.

Basement laundry makeover

Cost breakdown:
3 yards of muslin from Joann = $6
1 dowel from Home Depot = $1
2 over-the-door hooks from Target = $3
1 Plant from Marshall's = $4
2 glass jars from Marshall's= $10
1 rug from Marshall's = $10
Total Spent = $34

This area will never be glamorous, but I certainly think it looks much better, and less like a torture chamber.
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