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Monday, May 17, 2010

official rules of the year without eating out:
1. no eating out period!
2. no buying a cup of coffee, tea, chocolate milk ect. while out.
3. if someone kindly offers to take us out to dinner i will not decline...did not say i would not step foot in restaurant, just not gonna use our own money to pay for it.

and that's it...those are the rules, plain and simple. on your mark, get set, go!

and it begins.

so we are in debt...just like most people i would imagine. we are in debt and want out. now the thing about our debt is it is not really self created debt ....we are not in debt because i can't stop buying shoes or my husband can't stop buying sports cars...we are in debt because our a/c broke and we live in fl. our faucet broke and we were broke so to home depot we marched. we are in debt because we were out of groceries and we have two kids to feed and no pay check in sight...now most of these debts sprang from my husband being self employed for almost 4 years. if you are, or ever have been self employed then you know the pain of debt i speak of...if not, i am not sure you could ever really understand. anyway, self employment tax SUCKS and when you can not pay it quarterly because you don't have it, well you end up owing more than you would ever imagine. call us stupid, or uninformed, or whatever you want...we are just regular people who wanted to have the freedom of self employment and it did not work out for us. for those that it does work for, i am ever envious.
so we get on a payment plan with said irs....we pay them 500 a month for a few years. then tada! we should be done....well, no so fast. it seems that they want 250 of that 500 for interest and pentalties. now i officially HATE the irs!! at that rate it will clearly take us double time we thought it would to pay them plus, it is gonna end up costing double the original owed amount. AWESOME..NOW I CAN T BREATH AT ALL.. oh did i mention i find this out when i am 5 months pregnant with our third child...well, needless to say one can not stop breathing when trying to grow a whole other person. ..BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH..so we suddenly need a plan and it needs to be a good one....
we have friends, lots of friends who have tried to live by dave ramsey's principles. after talking to them about these principles it seems to me that they would work. get out of debt and live on cash the rest of your life. seems like a no brainer really. but now we have to start doing really crazy things to get out of this debt. we are gonna have to sell anything we don't need and put that towards the bills....fine, i can live with that. after all it is just stuff. so i make a list and i get on craigs list. i tell myself that one day i can rebuy that guitar or sewing machine...i don't really need that coffee maker that is just sitting in the pantry..right??? and people on craigs list will buy anything!!! i mean anything...the dumber and more useless it seems to me, the quicker people seem to snatch it up. so i tally up how much i could possibly make...then i deduct it from the irs debt total(the rest of the debt is gonna have to wait for this chunk to go away)...CRAP..if i sold everything that we just don't need i am still gonna be short a few thousand dollars...and that is if and when i manage to find people to buy these things...so in the mean time i am crying sobs...and praying and yelling at the lord asking him why we are in this place...not proud of that yelling part.. but i know it would not be happening unless that was part of his plan from the get go....so i calm down a bit and head to the beach to get my head straight.
so we are at the beach and i am thinking about how i want nothing more than some sweet tea from chick-fil-a....the stuff is crack. now i know we have no money for even a sweet tea. the irs owns us now, remember...but i still consider asking my sweet husband, in my sweetest most pregnant voice if he will let me stop on the way home for said tea.....and then a thought hits me. and let me assure you, this thought did not come from me...i just know it...because, i am 100% driven by food...even when i am not pregnant i wake up and think about what is for dinner that night. i love food! i love coffee! i love not having to cook considering it is my job in our house for three meals a day. it is the one thing i will spend money on....not shoes, not clothes, but food and not cheap food either. we are very healthy in our house. we eat organic everything . if we do eat meat it is a very rare occasion. my favorite food is sushi...would eat it everyday...so you see where this is going right....we don't have the money to eat out. not now. not that i think we ever really did . we have never been able to save money...oh. cause we don't have any extra to save...blah blah blah..but i can find sushi money! i can always find money for starbucks or a donut if my little heart desires. but here i am now, wanting sweat tea and it hits me that i can not get that tea...i can not!!!! so instead of putting on my sweet face and sweet voice and begging for the tea, i ask my husband how much he thinks we spend in a year on going out? his answer is "not that much" but i know that can't be right. there are four of us in our family and one bun in the oven. one trip to starbucks with all of us in tow is gonna cost us about 10-15 bucks. after two coffees, couple chocolate milks and a few scones...moe's always cost us over 20 bucks...and back to the sushi..never, ever less than 50 bucks..CRAP. i just know it has to add up over a years time. even if we only spend 50-100 bucks a month going out here and there, that would put a dent in my tax payment...a small dent but a dent never the less.
so i purpose in a moment of sheer insanity, best i can tell, that we don't eat out for a WHOLE YEAR! what, no, surely not a whole year. what will we do when we are driving to and from atlanta to see family what will we eat...does that mean not coffee, not sweat teas, not water bottle from a gas station...yup, that's exactly what it means. nothing, nada, zip. if i can't make it at home then we don't get to have it. you want ice cream kids...well, we will have have that at home. you want coffee on the way to work in the morning...make it and take it. suck it up Ott family, it is gonna be a long year..but we will make it. i know we will cause i promised God that we would not waver. i know it sounds extreme but i have no better plan. and because God has never broke a promise to me, i find it really hard to break one to him if it is in my power not to. it was the only way i could stop smoking years and years ago. i finally just told God i would stop for 2 years. so i did. and after exactly 2 years, i lit up..felt convicted and promised i would not do it again for another 6 years, seemed i needed longer than i thought (by now i am sure you think i am totally insane) but it is what works for me. i hate math but love numbers. i have to give it a specific number of time and i can normally do what ever thing i am trying to do. i am stubborn and don't like being wrong either. with this eating thing, i feel like there is no other option. we make what money we make every 2 weeks. the debt is large and we have to pay it off or we will never be able to afford the things we need. another baby will cost more money and we have to be able to provide for our kids. i hate living paycheck to paycheck. who doesn't? i want to be able to give my friends money if they are having a hard time, no strings. i want the gifts God gives my family to be spread far and wide! and i am willing to try this crazy thing for a year and ask God to bless it. of course i hope some of those blessing are ones that will pay off my taxes and other debt in a years time. but i also know that our family will blessed outside of money through this. i know our kids will remember this year, maybe not always fondly, but it will have an impact on them. they will see Gods grace, mercy and provision through this little project. i hope it changes me..i hope and pray it brings my family closer together, closer to the lord and i hope it can do something for other people too. so here we go. day two of this project and i am nothing but excited.