MARIASPARKLE   196,432
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And now.... my BECOME DEBT FREE plan...

Friday, May 23, 2008


So much debt, so little time....

I'm following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover Plan. www.daveramsey.com
I read his book about a year ago and it has been a revelation.

MAY 2007 to MAY 2008:
13,000 paid off in credit card and other debt.

END MAY 2008:
I've saved 1,000 in my baby emergency fund.
I have 1,875 saved in my big emergency fund (BEF) and I am thinking about renting out a bedroom in my house - an extra 100 per week to put into my BEF.
I have only one little loan which will be paid in November 2009.


**** ((( UPDATE - 10JULY2008 ))) *****
I've put my name on nearby college accommodation lists. Hopefully, two students will take me up on this - an extra 200 per week into my BEF.


**** ((( UPDATE - 07SEPT2008 ))) *****
I've found a lodger, lovely girl. That 450 per month extra to be saved straight into my BEF.


**** ((( UPDATE - 15OCT2008 ))) *****
Since last week, my hours at work have been cut by 20% (so I'm losing 510 per month from my take-home pay, sob!!). My retirement contributions have also been cut by 20%.
emoticon
My Debt Free Plan needs some serious re-adjustment.... I urgently need to get a second job! I've got my CV (resume) out there in the big bad world, looking for a part-time job at weekends.

There have been lots of adjustments to the weekly budget, spending has been whittled down to bare necessities only and the occasional splurge at weekends.

**** ((( UPDATE - 06NOV2008 ))) *****
Still no weekend job, there's nothing available in my line of work, so I'll have to do some lateral thinking. I've applied for all kinds of weird & wonderful jobs, but no joy so far. In the meantime, I readjusted my budget & savings plan, there has been some serious belt-tightening!! I've spoken with my bank manager and she looked at my bank accounts and put me on the best rates available.
I'm now back on track to have my 6 months expenses (12,000) saved by the end of 2009.
Today, I've just passed the half-way mark, so I'm getting there. It's pretty slow though...
I've also got a holiday fund started, and a car/household expenses fund started.

Hopefully the wage-cut will be temporary, but in these hart-hit times, it's not looking hopeful, is it???



**** ((( UPDATE - 14JAN2009 ))) *****

- The Irish Government has, since 1st January 2009, added an "employment levy" of 30 per month to my tax bill. That 30, together with the 20% cut in my working hours, adds up to a total of 540 per month gone from my pocket, sigh. It's depressing but I try not to think about it. I'm lucky to have a job I suppose....

- I've got a few small jobs at the weekends, bringing in about 200 per month.
Every little helps!

- I've got 8,000 saved towards my 6-months expenses fund.
I'm on track to having the full 12,000 saved by the end of this year.

- Then I need to start saving to replace my car. At end of 2010, I'll have 2,000 saved in that account. It's not much, but I have to concentrate on replacing my roof first.

- My roofer says the temporary job he did in November 2008 will only last a year or two, so I've got to focus on getting this money together asap in 2010.
Jan 09 - I've just opened a "new roof fund" account in the post office, saving 20 per week. It'll take forever at that rate, hopefully I'll have 8,000 saved by the end of 2010.




SO, IF I KEEP MY HEAD ABOVE WATER...

BY DECEMBER 2009:
I will have saved my Big Emergency Fund of 12,000 AND I WILL BE DEBT FREE EXCEPT FOR MY MORTGAGE. However, my roof needs replacing and my car will be 9 years old!

BY DECEMBER 2010:
I will have 8,000 saved in my "new roof fund".
I will have 4,600 saved towards a replacement car.
No doubt at that stage, there will be something else to save for...but that's the current plan anyway!




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESSIAMMA 5/30/2008 8:14AM

  WONDERFUL!!

I have a testimony of my own in this area. In 2004 my husband and I were $40,000.00 in debt (US Currency) Today we are debt free!!! God is faithful.

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EMMYLOU1981 5/23/2008 6:19PM

    WOW! sounds like you have done some major overhauling! I need to get that book...My hubby and I have very little debt compared to the average American but we cant seem to find a way to get out...I have heard wonderful things about his books:)

Anyway congrats! You are definately on your way to a debt free life!

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Kinda getting there....

Friday, May 23, 2008



This week.... I've definitely thought more about every morsel that I've eaten, rather than just scoffing everything in sight. Since Easter (Mar 22) I've been a disgrace - my daily walks turned into twice-weekly ones, my 8 glasses of water turned into 3 or 4, my careful menu planning went down the swannee! This week was much better, I planned ahead and made sure I had fresh fruit & veg in the kitchen. What a difference! And since Monday I've lost 4lbs. Dunno how, but I did!

This weekend will be a test - my fave rugby team (Munster) are in the Heineken Cup final tomorrow at 5pm. It's not on terrestrial tv and I don't have satelite unfortunately. So, I'll have to watch it in the pub with my buddies. My plan is to drink mineral water & go home straight away, rather than staying till the end of the night guzzling empty booze calories.... emoticon

So, here's to a new start and getting my healthy plan back on track!

xxx Maria

  


A NEW START!!! (again)

Monday, May 19, 2008


Okay so...

I weighed myself this morning - now 160.8lbs - nearly fell of the scales with the fright! I've put on 8lbs in 6 weeks. Talk about a total lack of motivation! I hadn't realised how I'd let myself go. I kept making excuses "I'll get back on track after my exams / everyone puts on weight after quitting cigs, etc".... Well, the exams are now over and I'm going to lose the flab for once and for all.

So - enough, enough, enough!!

I've made a pact with myself:-
- bring a healthy lunch to work every day;
- drink my 6 glasses of water;
- do at least 30 minutes of exercise ON TOP of my walk to work.

I'm back in action and will reach my goals!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JULESGL 5/19/2008 1:12PM

    Ok, keep in mind that your body is readjusting. (mine is too) and the weight fluctuations are normal. I like your plan!

Don't let any detours get you off track. You may be packing on muscle, but it will start coming off soon enough and all those muscles will be toned and beautiful. Keep up your hard work!!

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CHERI13 5/19/2008 7:37AM

    Sounds like a great plan Maria!

I'm right there with you!! I am ready to REALLY get with the program, summer is right around the corner. I have been exercising regularly but my eating (and wine consumption) has been throwing me off track. I started yesterday staying OP and I am going to continue! You can do this too. If we could quit smoking (over 100 days ago) we can DO ANYTHING!!! emoticon

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HELP! I'm falling off the wagon!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Please, please please....I need a boot up the ASS!!!
I've put ON 2lbs this week.

I seem to be going back to my old ways - not drinking enough water, falling behind in my exercise goals, eating too many calories per day (and not really caring!)....

I need to get back on track FAST!

HELP!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATIE135 4/10/2008 9:22AM

    This is a journey a life long journey. Some weeks will be great some weeks will be not so great. But I encourage you to keep moving forward, don't give up don't look back just make this moment a better moment. Those moments add up. They will I promise you. Keep the big picture in mind. And you know what if you choose not to exercise today so be it, you made a choice. But start at getting your water in and your fruits and veggies today. Choose to be a success one moment at a time! What is your choice today?

Comment edited on: 4/10/2008 9:22:16 AM

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CHERI13 4/10/2008 7:39AM

    Hi Maria! I was going to send out a plea for help yesterday. The same thing is happening with me. I wonder if it is a faze of quitting. In the beginning we are so elated to quit and we focus on eating right, exercise, etc. but now we are comfortable and start slacking. I am up 4 pounds in the 2 months since our quit. Having my house under remodel is NOT helping me at all. I have been eating poorly, drinking more wine then necessary and not exercising like I was. Maybe we can give each other a kick in the ass to get back on track again.

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RENA1965 4/10/2008 7:37AM

    Hi maria, please get back on trail. Next meal make it decent and stop thinking about the past as your digging a unnecessary hole and the more you think about the wrong you have done the hole gets deeper. Just wipe the table clean so to speak and think aversity is grinning at you, get angry and use this anger to get strong not feel sorry for yourself... I never believed in myself before I lost 176lbs and have kept it off the past year. Baby I believe anything is possible now, give it one more chance try keep thinking sugar and fat are not your friends, they only visit a while and leave us screaming feeling like we need more ... Try and close the door and focus 100%. kind regards Rena xxx

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Day 59 - almost 2 months smoke-free and feeling great!!

Friday, April 04, 2008



Wow, I can't believe how much healthier I feel. The cravings are practically gone, the only time I feel the "urge" is in the pub with my smoking buddies. But, that too is getting easier.

I've definitely turned a corner, I can now objectively see how nasty cigarettes are - smelly, deadly and expensive. Why would I choose to have them in my life?!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLEMAMMY 4/4/2008 3:54PM

    You are a star Noeleen

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ROLOHA 4/4/2008 10:32AM

    Congrats to you Maria for all your efforts to get and stay healthy!

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PATTIP2011 4/4/2008 10:05AM

    Maria,
I like your sign !!! Per your earlier question, I've saved around $100 (USD). I averaged about 15 a day at the time I quit. From my perspective, the money savings is "icing on the cake", but gotta be careful with the "cake" now :):):)

All the benefits of being a non-smoker are truly "priceless".

Enjoy your weekend as you "turn the page" to TWO MONTHS !!!
Incredible !!!
Pat

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CHERI13 4/4/2008 9:33AM

    I know exactly how you feel Maria.

I find myself watching people that are smoking and thinking to myself how nasty of a habit it really is. Honestly, I do miss it at times but it's like missing a part of something you had in your life for so long. But, I will never go back. NOPE!!

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STARRTWINKLES 4/4/2008 9:31AM

    Congradulations and way to go on your quit. I also quit its been 3 years for me and I am feeling great. Keep up the good work Stop by my page and keep me posted. God Bless Starr

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DONELLE 4/4/2008 9:25AM

  You have taken one of the most important steps to a better you. As a RN I have seen the devastating chronic health issues that smoking does to a body. So yeah for you! Your Spark friend Donelle

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