Home Recommended Reading Workshops About RSS

Happy Dance of Gratitude

happy dance

About 10 minutes ago I paid off the credit card debt that was producing so much stress in my life.

Right after, I happy danced around the computer and “high 5’d” my husband a couple of times, I am going to sit down and make a master plan and budget for the next two paybacks/ pay downs on this list, because I do not wish to be in this position again.

We went out and bought $400.00 of food supplies and restocked the pantry! Freezer is full from the garden.

Payback = money to replenish our retirement accounts

Pay down = finish paying off the house

New Expense = We must have $6,875.00 x 2 = $13,750.00 yearly in an accessible savings account for our medical co-pays and deductibles.   Not having this amount in savings is what got us the credit card debt in the first place.  We are also going to do our best to stay healthy!

How did I do this?  The same old way that I have paid off every debt incurred by my family and myself over my life time; I spent no money that was not absolutely necessary.  ZERO!

Focused on the principle of the loans.

I set up an account for my partner’s bicycle needs and trips,  we will now add training food funds to that account, so he will have the funds he needs to make choices about  his preparation and tours that bring him so much pleasure.

I need to say Thank you to Vered of Blogger for Hire and Tracy  of I hate my message board as both of them write for the site MONEYNING and they referred me to  the Get out of Debt e book that is free on that site when one subscribes.

The Get Out of Debt book did not really offer any new solutions, but I did take Ning’s suggestion that I just pick 5 of the list of ideas and process those ideas each day and each expense.

Here are the 5 that I chose:

#1.  Focus on the Prize. The prize for me was relief from the pressure, sense of failure, and embarrassment of being in debt.  I think my health will improve too.

#2.  Debt Snowball. Concentrate on 1 loan or debt at the time and keep the ball rolling.

#3.  Get a Side Job. I did get a month long job which got the happy engines revved up and running and I received enough donations and book sales to pay for my blog bills.  I am in gear and moving forward.

#4.  After paying down debts, do not spend new money – SAVE!

#5.  Take Ownership and Get REAL. Celebrate and praise the work that is completed and make a real plan of action to keep the debt relieved.

I am also cleaning out closets and things that we do not use or need any more- opening up.  We are only giving the gifts of food for this holiday season (– yes!  I am cooking your favorites and I will pack a lunch and supper for cross-country skiing – just in case my kids thought I changed my mind. )

I go over every bill, line by line and found overcharges and bank errors in my favor, which added up to nearly $1,000 in 2010.  I put us on a strict food budget and made menu plans that stuck to the seasonal selection.

I have done this before and I will do this again.   I am just rejoicing in the relief and happy dancing.

Do you have any tricks for paying down debt?   Does having debt make you ill?  What makes you happy dance?

RELATED READING
Being Hung Out to Dry – DIY Healthcare
Your Money or Your Life
Health Care of the DIY Kind
I Have Failed

32 Responses to “Happy Dance of Gratitude”

  1. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. that seems wonderful & what a relief .. to pay off that one big one. The ebook certainly seems to have set the tone for you & with your self-discipline and your love of good, seasonal food, home made meals .. makes so much sense.

    Well done – happy dance from me here – I can hear the lightness in your voice .. keep it up and here’s to the next goal notched up – you’re amazing .. brilliant news ..

    Now enjoy the week .. happy times .. Hilary
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..Hanging Hooke =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    This afternoon I go and pick up my turkey from the farm – it is snowing and it just feels like a great Thanksgiving for me…one daughter is coming home to eat!

    I am also rejoicing that we were able to keep our business office going through the truly rough spots and all the employees working. Does a heart good in deed.

  2. Betsy Wuebker Says:

    Hi Patricia – Congratulations! Literally lightening the load! I love the idea of only gifts of food this holiday season, too. I think I will have to co-opt that one. It is getting harder for me to go out and buy stuff that doesn’t have a real purpose, and as we de-clutter in anticipation of our move, I am feeling lighter, too. Good job!
    .-= Betsy Wuebker´s last blog ..Adventures in Customer Service- Micro Center =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    I am making Pete’s award winning pumpkin pies this week – I have to make GF pie crusts ahead so I can get them very cold and they will work into the pie dish….As I said to Hilary it is snowing and as I clean the house for company, I find myself humming “over the river and through the woods….”
    I am truly feeling a huge gratitude for the relief that has come, and for the generous folks who said “pay me when you are able”….a true blessing of Thanksgiving.

  3. Talon Says:

    High 5’s indeed, Patricia! It must feel like a ton of weight dropped off your shoulders!

    The food gift idea is wonderful. A gift for body and soul!
    .-= Talon´s last blog ..MoodoopsMoon Ring =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    Talon,
    a 10,000 pound load has been lifted – plus all the shame and guilt and embarrassment….getting real is really truly worth it.

    Wow it is really snowing now…hope I can get myself out to the farm…Dyscalcula meeting the road with out all the right land marks is a major experience for me!
    It snows so rarely here that we do not have all the equipment for roads and travel – we usually just stay home!

  4. Dot Says:

    Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Patricia Reply:

    High 5 and happy dancing!

  5. jonathanfigaro Says:

    Double High Fives fro you Patricia. ( i stole this from Talon..lol) Number 4 is my favorite, for if the will to save is not withing you, the will to succeed is also gone. nice post.

    patricia Reply:

    jonathan,
    Welcome and thank you for your great words…I am still dancing this morning…it took me a long time to understand pay yourself first, but I do not think we would have made it to this point if I had not figured it out.

    With one of my children, I see that saving is going to be a very tough lesson indeed.

  6. J.D. Meier Says:

    Congratulations!

    Owning your debt and climbing your way out of the hole is a great achievement.

    It’s amazing how much it costs to cover health. It’s another reminder of how many things we aren’t entitled to by default and how it really is a DIY world.
    .-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..Energized Differentiation Separates Brands from the Pack =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    DIY is certainly the call for us…
    I have found getting as real as possible and as honest as possible feels muddy and painful, but so much better than numbing with shame and fear….

    I am wondering if you are getting this snow?

  7. vered | blogger for hire Says:

    Patricia! WOW!

    That’s so amazing.

    You should be so proud of yourself.

    HUGS. I couldn’t be more happy for you.
    .-= vered | blogger for hire´s last blog ..Your Life- As It Is Right Now- Forever Do You Take This Deal =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    Vered,
    Thank you – I am being rather proud today myself and still happy dancing…tomorrow I need to keep working on my plan for the next round. Having no retirement funds in the account is still keeping me on my toes.

    We are also having quite a snow, wind and ice storm today…tomorrow 18’F and sunshine. A bit tense and the power is blinking tonight…so I am going to turn off the computer and prepare for company

    happy dancing while I vacuum!

  8. Katie Gates Says:

    I love this post, Patricia. And CONGRATULATIONS! You do that happy dance, girl! I’ve been in debt for many, many years now, and most months, my always variable consultant’s income enables me to chip away at it. It doesn’t make me “ill,” though, and I think that’s because I own it. I appreciated item 5 — take ownership — for that reason. I’ve had people suggest that I declare bankruptcy, but I refuse to go there. The debt is mine, and it is my responsibility to pay it off. Someday, someday, that’ll happen. Until then, I remain at peace with my life, my work, my integrity, and my product.

    I loved hearing, too, that you are cleaning out closets and so forth. Brought Evelyn to mind — her cleansing in the Quilt Room!

    Happy Thanksgiving!
    .-= Katie Gates´s last blog ..Monday Reruns- In Gratitude =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    Katie,
    Thank you so much for your happy words. We took ownership of the debt when we applied for and got the card – but we did not know the recession would cut us so deeply. Then to have two major medical problems just compounded – I had to relieve the fear before I could relieve the debt.

    I spent a whole month in blame mode, that never heals anything

    Yes, I too thought of Evelyn during the cleaning process; starting with the foundations of the stress is the only way to heal.

  9. Barbara Swafford Says:

    That’s fabulous Patricia,

    I hope you’re still doing your happy dance.

    Like you, we also got snow – 6-8 inches on the ground; much more in the mountains.

    I like your idea of giving food gifts for Christmas. They more original than things we can buy in the store, plus I’ll bet you add lots of love to your dishes.

    Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
    .-= Barbara Swafford´s last blog ..I Shoulda… =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    Barbara,
    I am actually scrubbing floors and bathrooms today, because we are going to have overnight guests for Thanksgiving! But that feels better too, with the debt cleared!

    We have absolutely glorious sunshine today, and about 3-4 inches of snow, but as the sun went down it turned to ice pellets – everything is covered in ice/even the snow, we are on the foot hills so most of the streets in our neighborhood are closed to traffic, the old lumber mill down town is on fire – black smoke filling the river valley and the Cascades and the Olympics from view.

    We keep losing power as the ice is pulling down trees – the rain for Thanksgiving sounds wonderful Happy Day to you and yours also

  10. Robin Easton Says:

    You are so dear, Patricia. I can relate to this. Good for you!

    I was stunned by the $1000 you found in overcharges on bills. Wow, that is incredible!! I have to start checking mine!! :) Also love the food budget idea and strict menu plans. You are so incredible in your honesty, courage and inspiration. I applaud you for it.

    I loved the photo you chose for this post. So so soooooo adorable, hug-able and happy!!!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Break and stay warm.

    Hugs, Robin
    .-= Robin Easton´s last blog ..Choosing to Love =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    Robin,
    $400 of the overcharges were in the water bill…yep, I have to check them every month because there are so many mistakes. I have trouble with numbers so I am not sure I catch all of them.

    IT Girl chooses most of the pictures on the post – but I thought it was a grand choice also.

    It takes work, but it is so worth it
    Happy Thanksgiving hiking to you and too…enjoy
    and sending big hugs your way

  11. suzen Says:

    Hi Patricia! A well-deserved happy dance indeed! Congrats! I had nothing growing up so when I actually did have some money, I still paid cash for everything and always have. Maybe I’m just an old fashioned weirdo. Making do and doing without runs thru my veins but the biggest plus was being married to an accountant! :)

    Have a joyous, full of love Thanksgiving!
    hugs
    suZen

    Patricia Reply:

    Suzen,
    After having our bank accounts cleaned out by a creative teenager we got the credit card. We use it like cash, paying it off the day after the purchase – until we had the two giant medical emergencies in the middle of a year with no income.

    My partner, who is brilliant at math, leaves all the money matters to me with dyscalcula – I have to hire an accountant and a financial manager to do taxes and invest. They make me a list of rules to follow and I do just that, but this credit card debt was truly my doing to stay afloat.

    I work at keeping us healthy to keep the medical bills away.

  12. Sara Says:

    Patricia — It’s so good to read your happiness:~) You have done something special and not easy. It is hard to budget, like you’ve had to do, but you did DO it!!!

    I celebrate this moment with you and I know you manage the rest. You are a very special, creative woman:~)

    Patricia Reply:

    Sara,
    Many thanks for you kind words, they truly add to this happiness I am feeling.

    I really did everything I could think of and then threw out what was not working and saved the rest. When my good budget person left town to do mediation overseas, I had a panic, but I just kept saying to myself “What would Liv suggest to do, what did she suggest to me before.”

    All the good comments and connections from blogging were blessings too.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you

  13. Val Says:

    Well done Patricia!
    :)
    .-= Val´s last blog ..Mrs Icy and my Hidden Self =-.

    Patricia Reply:

    Thank you Val, some big ones to go but the pressure point one is now history!

  14. Tony Single Says:

    Patricia, I’m so thrilled for you! There’s nothing like being debt free to lift the weight of the world from one’s shoulders! Congratulations! :)

    Cass pays into our phone and electricity accounts every fortnight so that we’re always in credit, and we always make sure our bills are taken care of before we do anything else. Plus, we have a savings account that we make sure not to touch except in extreme emergencies. It’s all worked out for us so far… knock on wood. 😛

    Patricia Reply:

    Tony,
    Thank you for your great words. It was grand to have this debt relieved – now a few more to knock off, but with this success under the belt – I know that I can keep the ball rolling.

    Looks like you and Cassie have a great system which works for you and keeps the pressure off, be sure to say thank you for your great health care system daily – our health care system really keeps us on our toes, and can quickly bankrupt a family or the elderly.

  15. Davina Haisell Says:

    This is wonderful news, Patricia!

    I’m SO happy for you. Yippee… happy dancing — yes.
    .-= Davina Haisell´s last blog ..Jannie’s Encore =-.

  16. Patricia Says:

    Davina,
    thank you – still happy dancing! Yippee indeed

  17. Chris Edgar Says:

    Hi Patricia — thanks for this — I definitely felt my body relax as you let go of some of your debt woes — I know this has weighed heavily on you for a long time and I’m glad to see it let up a bit.

    Patricia Reply:

    Chris,
    I truly celebrated Thanksgiving this year – now am focused on keeping finances and body healthy….attempting to stay relaxed.

    I am still playing a bit of catch up so will be over to do some reading soon…Working for a month was great fun too and helped to make me feel more active in finding relief.