My Epic Journey Out of $30,000 of Debt

No matter how long you’ve been frugal, just about everyone wrestles with large bills and debts at some point in their lives. You’ll be going along fine and something blows you out of the water. Maybe it just wipes out the emergency fund, or maybe it does a whole lot more damage, leaving you in a deep dark hole that you slowly have to dig out of. It could be medical, legal, or some act of God that just cleans you out above and beyond anything you can prepare for. (I live in Tornado land, I’ve seen this first hand!)

In my case, I was hit with a string of huge life events over several years that made it feel like I would never climb my way back out of that hole. And let me tell you, the truth really is stranger than fiction. I could not make up the crazy stuff that’s happened to me in the past few years. If I can pay off $30,000 in medical, credit card and consumer debt, anyone can. Let me tell you my story.

Spending some family time hiking at Starved Rock State Park shortly after the divorce.

Me and my older boys at Starved Rock State Park shortly after the divorce.

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Bookcase Explosion

cheap book case explosion

So…this happened. Excuse the blurriness. I was in shock!

I confess. I’m a bookaholic.

While some people have trouble with alcohol and other substances, my drug of choice is reading material! I love books, whether they are e books or “dead tree books” (traditional books), I love them all. The problem is, where to put them? I’ve always had tons of books, and always had storage issues. My ex husband tried to break me of my book-loving ways. He said it was him or the books. Hence the “ex” in his title! Continue reading →

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Cheap Thrills @ Goodwill

I confess. I’m a thrift store junkie. Goodwill has kind of become my Walmart. I can often find things made better and for far cheaper than the Chinese junk Walmart is peddling these days. As a working mom, I don’t always have time to stop for yard sales, especially on the weekends with small kids in car seats. But I can always slip away to the Goodwill and other thrift stores over my lunch hour to scout out good deals. And I can do it year round, which I love. Yes, the prices are higher than garage sales, but I spend a lot less time and gas finding things at the local thrift stores. For some reason, this area of central Illinois has some great thrift stores which are well organized and make you feel like you’re shopping in a boutique! What’s not to love about that?

I was really excited to get the exact same model coffee maker I've used for over ten years. I love this model, and we literally  wore out the last one. These sell for $70 used on Amazon, about $30 on eBay, and similar new models are well over $100. $2.99 was steal! And it works! And it still has the stickers on it!

My best deal this trip: I was really excited to get the same coffee maker I’ve used for over ten years. I love this model. We literally wore out the last one. They sell for $70 used on Amazon and $30 on eBay. Similar new models are well over $100. $2.99 was steal! And it works! And it still has the stickers on it!

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Back, After a Long Hiatus

I’m getting back to blogging, finally. I must be crazy to try to fit more things into my life, but just can’t help myself! I love to do things and write and share. Just built this way I guess.

A lot has happened in the past 3 1/2 years since I last posted. I moved 40 miles away to a hundred year old farmhouse, then found out I was having another baby. At the age of 43! I commuted 125 miles a day (round trip) for work while pregnant, had my fifth beautiful boy, spent three months on unpaid maternity leave, then commuted again for another 3 months until I was able to change jobs to a closer location. The stress of all of this aged me immensely. I look back and I am not sure how I did it. I was even breastfeeding at the time. Just crazy. I’ve been blessed with a very full life!

During this wild time of my life, a tornado destroyed the town of Washington, IL, and blew out all the windows at my kids’ daycare. Thank GOD it was on a Sunday. Everything was embedded with glass, particularly the infant room! It also completely destroyed the apartment complex I lived in after my divorce back in 2007. My older kids used to ask me what we’d do if a tornado hit, since we were on the third floor. I’m glad we didn’t have to find out, and also glad no one in that complex lost their lives when the tornado literally took the top two floors off. It also went between two churches full of people worshipping. What a day. Sadly, one person died, half the town was leveled, but the community was amazing and rebuilt.

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This entry was posted in Misc.