Family Finance

Excel spreadsheet debt bills Excel Microsoft Office Google Documents spreadsheets

I know this is a little out of order, but I thought I should do a quick update on my progress....
In the summer, since my daughter and I are usually out hiking, swimming, biking, get the idea...I cancel all unneeded memberships. Such as - the home phone, internet, and cable/tv. Yes, that's right. NO TV IN THE SUMMER AT MY HOUSE. I have a TV, WII and movies, but why in the world should I pay for all these channels that we are not going to watch??? I have saved nearly $100 a month (for up to 4 months)! How easy is that??? SUPER EASY! I did recently however, get a cell phone. At nearly $80 a month, I did set myself back a little but by being sure I am on the lowest plan, I don't go over my minutes (or overuse my data plan) I know that I can afford it.

Other ways to save  money in the summer:

Find free things to do with your kids (or with friends)---such as --

Take a picnic with you when you go to the park or lake. Let the kids help pack the snacks!

Keep a kite, soft ball and baseball, tennis rackets and balls, Frisbee, hula-hoops in your car at all times!!! 

Find a place to hike (remember to bring lots of water and snacks). Explore your area or seek out a place you have never been.

Plan out your meals for the week - let the kids help make the menu and post it to the fridge! Try one new recipe a week (or month).

Visit your local farmers market for fresh veggies, breads, and other items.


Have you heard all the company's that promise to get you out of debt? Do you know how much they charge you?? 
OUTRAGEOUS!! Did you know you can do it all by yourself? As a single mom, I have worked several jobs at a time and I was getting no where, mainly due to the fact that I had given up. I was throwing my bills in the trash! I want to share my story with you of how I got out of debt in less than 2 years! If you check out my Countdown, you will see that I have 586 more days to go!! 
My first step, was asking for help. Not from a company, but from a friend who I knew who could help me create an Excel spreadsheet that could not only totally my debts, but track them in charts and graphs so that I could see my progress and the date at which I would be debt free! The feeling I had when I could see the light at the end of the tunnel was amazing!

If you would like help setting up an Excel spreadsheet, visit

Copy of Bills Adjust for website

Google documents Excel Samsung Galaxy Nexus 
After creating my spreadsheet with Google Documents, I felt like I really knew what I was doing. After all, with a second job, I could see the money coming in and see the debts going down! I have my new pay off date!!! FABULOUS right? WRONG! I decided I wanted a new cell phone. A Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This phone can do everything I need and more! I found a great deal on Amazon and I just had to have this phone! I knew I would be getting a discount through my work with the carrier so I went for it. After getting my phone I was so happy!!! The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is AMAZING!!! The bill, not so much. I did put a limit on the data so that I would know when I was getting close because I am trying to get out of debt, not create an outrageous bill. I did everything right! Or so I thought. After getting the first bill, and adding it to my Excel spreadsheet, I realized I had set myself back almost 3 months because I WANTED a new phone.
The money that I had thought of using to apply to debt, I am now using to pay a new bill. 

Teaching good money habits to my daughter is now all the more difficult. How can I teach her to spend money on only things she needs, and teach her the difference between WANTS and NEEDS? The world is against me here. This country is based on instant gratification. Whether that be fast food when you're hungry, or getting a loan for a new car because 'it's pretty'. If you want to not be disappointed, look around and think about how many things you have that  you don't hard did you work for what you have? Are you proud of yourself? I want my daughter to be a hard worker, proud of her work, and proud of the rewards she will get for herself in life. I'll start by showing her. I want her thought to be, 'if Mom is strong enough to do it, so am I.' What a wonderful lesson in self-discipline. 

Sometimes, when you get something you want, you are disappointed because as it turns out, it's not what you wanted at all. Either you had such high expectations that now you are completely disappointed or you wanted it a particular way, and that was not how you got it. Maybe you had no idea about how you wanted it to come, but just feel now you must change your mind, once again. Like going to the beach on vacation and it rained one day. Well, that one day you would have been upset. However, did you check the weather report? I guess not, since you were so excited to get to the beach. Did you pout in your hotel room or did you make the most of it and visit a local art museum or local shops? The key to being happy is not getting what you want, but being content with what you have. Open your mind and accept the fact that the Universe will give you what you need, when you need it. Be grateful and never take anything, or anyone for-granted. Sometimes, all someone wants, is to hear how much they mean to you.
Barefoot Beach, Ocean City, MD, OBX, vacation

- - 1.64 YEARS -- 85 WEEKS -- 19 MONTHS -- 600 DAYS - - 

If you are following my debt, I have reached the 600 day mark!! I'm really excited to finally put my debt behind me and move forward with life without financial worry.
This month, I am putting all of my extra money into savings. It's tough having extra money just sitting around, crying to be spent. ...I...MUST...BE...STRONG...
Thus far, I am paying everything on time, budgeting the bills for the whole month at the beginning of the month so I'm not surprised later, and setting up my regular bills (ones that do not vary month to month), on an automatic pay system so that I can subtract it and forget it. As time goes on, I will be able to pay more on bills to pay them off faster and watch the date get closer and closer.

Just a quick update...after reviewing my bills thus far, I have learned that I am even closer!! Now just 568 days to go!!

Subpages (2):

So after my set backs, you can see I'm back to 800+ days before I can say I am debt free. I am a little frustrated  but life happens. Always plan for the unexpected, and in my case, I failed to do so. Additionally,  the holidays in my family are littered with birthdays; and as I type this, I realize, I am still finding excuses. If you can always find an excuse, you'll never find a way out. You will stay on the path that is a circle vs the path that is straight. 
I am back on track and happy knowing that I can do this! I am determined and will find ways to save money, as well as pay off my debt.

Something to think about.

Forgoing even relatively small expenditures can make a big difference over time. For example, by bringing a reusable bottle of tap water to the workplace instead of spending $1.50 a day on bottled water from a vending machine, you will save $7.50 a week, or about $30 a month. Invest that $30 a month at 4% annual interest calculated monthly, and after 10 years, you will end up with a pretax balance of about $3,744. After 20 years, your bounty will grow to about $7,488.