Closer to Being Debt Free

It’s been three months since my last blog post. We have been gazelle intense on simplifying our life and taking bigger strides to becoming debt free. Yes, downsizing our house was a huge step but we still have lots of work to do.

It’s been one year since we started our journey and I am SO PROUD of what we have accomplished. We have learned so much about ourselves and others during this past year. We are choosing to live like no one else so in the future we can live like no one else. We are just so freaking pumped to be moving in the right direction!!

So here is the latest scoop. We both have/had leased cars. Worse. Decision.Ever! But had be not we wouldn’t have had this learning experience. We paid our stupid tax. Good new is that I sold my car before the lease was up and walked away breaking even (taking into consideration my last two payments, turn in fee and I had some body damage). YEAH!!! And an even bigger yeah is that I bought a van with CASH! I haven’t bought a car with cash since I was 16 years old (that was a Ford Escort EXP!! a 2 seater!!). I can’t tell you how excited we are to have gotten rid of the car and now have a FANTASTIC van that we got for a FANTASTIC price.

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It’s a 2005 Honda Odyssey EX-L with about 101,000 miles. One owner and is in great shape. All of the service was done at a local dealer. It also has the rear entertainment system so Parker is in heaven.

As for my car I sold it to CarMax. I would highly recommend that if you we wanting to see your car and you are in a weird situation (leasing is my weird situation) just take your car and get a free apprasial. It was super easy and I didn’t feel pressured to do anything. I actually took my car there back in September and we were pleasantly surprised by the quote. That is what really go this ball rolling. Overall great experience.

The next goal will be to buy Ray a car and get his car either turned in or sold to CarMax. We haven’t have it appraised yet but we will. Again super easy straightforward process. We will weight our options and see which one will work out best for us.

So car payments should and could be totally gone by the end of 2014. This would be a great way to start the new year.

Last but not least we are finishing up the 6th week of Financial Peace University. This class is being facilitated at Cypress Church and is taught by Dave Ramsey. We have read all of his books and I listen to the podcasts daily. Taking the class has been such a blessing. It has given us a night away (love Parker but we all need a break) to solidify the plan we put in motion one year ago. My Aunt Robin has been coming over each week and keeping Parker while we attend. She encouraged us to go and I am so glad she did. My parents are also taking the class so that has been great as well! 🙂 More on the class later but check out http://www.daveramsey.com for lots of good info!

Thank you to everyone who has supported us through this journey! We are so blessed to have you in our lives and we are so excited to be moving in a positive direction!!

Love you all 🙂

Reflection: I Want Less. To Have More.

I wrote this in March 2014. Our house had been on the market for less than a month. I was dreaming of a time when things would be more simple. Now being on the other side of selling (large house) and buying a house (smaller) I can confirm, having less has given us more.
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Preparing to put our house on the market reminds me of the things I love and things I hate. As I clean and declutter each room I appreciate the space more than ever before. Having the house clean and [somewhat] organized makes coming home from work so much easier. At times it seems unrealistic to keep everything so clean but it really does work. It’s hard to tear rooms apart when the house needs to stay in near show conditions the majority of the time.

I dream of having less space and less stuff.

With less we will have more. We will have more time to spend with family. I want less windows to clean. I want less carpets to sweep. I want less tile/wood to mop. I want less to dust. I want less toilets to clean. I want less storage to dig through. I want less of a yard to care for. I want more time with my family. I want less weeds to pull. I want less grass to mow. I want a patio to sit on. I want a yard for Parker to play in. I want to live closer to fmaily. I want less to have more.
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More posts to come on living more simplify and finding our way out of “normal”.

Parker Learns To Ride…

Parker started riding a strider bike in December 2012. He was 2 years old and mostly rode it around the house (it was new never outside). That next Summer he rode it some but didn’t really get the full use of the bike until spring of this year (2014). As you can see from this video he had mastered balancing and striding. We knew he was ready…

Take a minute to read how Stride Bikes came along. Parker is a perfect example of how children can learn to ride without training wheels. He learned how to ride in less than 30 minutes. Toward the end of the day he was already super confident about his bike riding skills! 🙂

Ray and I are so proud of Parker! We have been beaming with joy and pride since Sunday. We can’t wait to see what other great accomplishments he makes! So proud!!

We have a new HOME!

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We are so happy to share with the world that we have a new HOME! The Gibbs have moved to Hilliard and we couldn’t be happier!!

We started a journey last fall of making some very significant life changes in order to get ahead. Ray and I have been working together, more than ever before, toward achieving the same goals. It’s kinda scary that we are on the same page but we are. If you read back through the blog you will see posts about spending money and other life changes.

Because life has been so crazy over the last few months the blog has been quiet. I have some posts saved but didn’t want to post anything about the process of selling our house until the papers were signed and we were in our new home. Here is a quick time line of the house saga.

February 12th – House put on the market
February 15th-23rd – Vacation to Hawaii
Sunday May 11th – Visit a house on Circle Dr. (now our new home)
Thursday May 15th – Receive an offer on our home, need us out & close on June 6th
Saturday May 17th – Agree on contract to sell our home
Sunday May 18th – Make an offer on Circle Dr. house
Monday May 19th – In contract to buy Circle Dr. house

After going into contract the next two weeks were filled with lots of drama (people buying our home). Inspections and appraisals are normal but you never know how “demanding” the new buyers will be. I compared this process to playing poker. You take a risk declining a request and the other person has to decide to either go all in or fold. We are grateful for the end result but the process to get there was very painful, stressful and not something we hope to go through again anytime soon!

We have been in the new house for two weeks and we love our new home! Parker is adjusting very well and loving being so close to his grandparents! We will have lots more to share about our new adventure so please check back for more updates. Until then we look forward to seeing lots of friendly faces in Hilliard!

6 month Update

Well, it’s been 6 months since we started down the path of financial freedom. It’s been a HARD road but a rewarding road. Our marriage is stronger. Our family is stronger. We have a plan. We know where we want to go. We have a plan to get there. We still struggle and debate at times but the point is that we are talking. We are planning out the scenarios for the good and for the bad. Having these important discussions are allowing us to know how each other sees different paths so when we get there we already have a plan. I know we can’t plan for everything. I know things don’t always turn out the way we would hope. But we actually know where we want to go and why we want to go there.

The road to get here has been tough but less emotional that I thought. We both feel a calm that we have not felt before. We are purging “things” and it feel so good. The weight of stuff is being lift as we donate, sell or give away items. We can’t wait to have less to have more.

More posts will come about our adventure. Our house is still on the market and praying for it to sell very soon! We will keep you posted!