That's hot.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tony and I live paycheck to paycheck. I have no pride in saying that, but I also have no shame. It's the status quo for most Americans, but even more than that I have no shame because we have a plan to change this standard for our family.

In the past year, we have paid off almost $23,000 of debt. This includes car loan, home mortgage, line of credit, credit card and student loan payments. During this time, we have also squelched the outflow of money by failing to incur any additional debt. Tony and I committed ourselves to the principles that we learned through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and our goal is to be debt free. We have a long road to travel, but we've been so encouraged both by others and by seeing the effects of our changes, like meal planning, buying a new to us vehicle in full and budgeting our money to a cash only system.

Unfortunately, we have hit a bump in the road that requires faith in action. While Dave Ramsey's plan includes an emergency fund, we find ourselves in a situation that isn't really helped by $1,000.

After a few days without use, I turned on our air conditioner Monday night before we left for a walk because the house was pushing 80F and I knew that meant our upstairs bedroom would be even hotter and need some time to bring it down before we went to bed. When we returned home, it was 81F. An hour later, it was still 81F and that's when I knew we had a problem. Sure enough, there was no cold air, just the fan blowing cooler air.

We weren't too discouraged at this point, because we felt confidant that because the unit was still working that it was just low on coolant. Sure it would suck to pay a few hundred dollars to have a technician come out just to fill up the coolant, but we were prepared to pay to have the use of our air conditioner again.

Except, once filled our AC still didn't work.

And won't, because we need a new unit.

And we don't have the money for that, especially when you consider that our furnace is potentially also on it's last leg and we would stand to save a bundle of money by purchasing both units together.

So, we're going to be sweating it out.

Pray for a mild August.

And that our furnace works this winter, as we save for this purchase next spring.

27 comments:

Jeannie said...

As hard as it may be, you can do it! Rob and I battled 5+ years in the MN summers w/o air. We got to a point in the last few years of that, we resorted to a window unit. It provided some much needed relief on those sweltering days.

Jeannie said...

One thing you could check in to is a used unit. We got our unit from one of Rob's parent's neighbors. The unit had some hail damage, but was in perfect working condition. We got the unit for free!! Really such a blessing! Buying a used unit that works great could really save you a lot of money and may be worth doing some checking. Just thought I'd toss that out there.

BriannEm said...

You can do it! It's so hard, and I really wish I had AC, but the money we're saving helps on the days I have to resort to ice cream and cold showers. I also find myself spending more and more time in the lovely air conditioned public library!

Sarah said...

Oh man, Leah, that is a bummer. You and Tony have done so well, though! I know how hard it is to say no to taking on more debt and paying off already accumulated debt. San and I have a long way to go.

I guess this is one reason to be thankful that the summer is 2/3 over because you don't have as long to sit in the heat! I have already been praying for a mild August because I want San and I to be able to have our wedding outdoors like we've been dreaming and there is no way we will force people to sit outside if it is like it has been in July. I hope for your sake it stays fairly cool as well.

I'm looking forward to seeing you tonight and downing some Caribou!

AJ said...

That IS hot. We could be in the same situation soon, because our hot water heater only has one working burner. One day we're both going to end up taking cold showers and heading to Menards the same day. Luckily water heaters fit within the emergency fund, but who really wants to have to use the emergency fund?

Nice progress with the debt! I didn't add up what we paid on our mortgage, student loans, or our vehicle (which is now paid off!). I just added up our CC debt, and it's still so encouraging! Little by little girl :)

Here's hoping for a mid August, or at the very least less humid!

The Slacker Mom said...

Been there. When we first moved to Minneapolis we didn't have central air in our duplex. Every night we'd come home from work and either head to the lake or go out to dinner. On weekends we'd stay out of the house as much as possible and hang out at Mac's. Every weekend we made it through we convinced ourselves it was no big deal- we could wait until next year. And we did! And as soon as window units hit the shelves at Target you can bet we were buying one. I have no idea why we didn't just buy one, certainly all the meals out put us back more than a window unit. We still talk about that one hot summer.

Jen said...

If it makes you feel any better, when we replaced ours a couple years ago, the cost savings from a much more efficent unit has pretty much paid itself off. Hoping for a cool August for your family (and for pregnant friends too).

MgnAddler said...

I was inspired by your blog to get my husband & I on the Dave Ramsey plan & it has made a huge difference. Funnily enough I work at heating company & understand the AC problem. I hope it all works out well. I don't know how you rebates work in your state, but make sure you check into any potential Federal tax credits for replacing the units or even possibly with the utility companies if they have an upgrade incentive or rebate. Carrier is a brand of furnace/AC unit & they offer a Cool Cash option if you purchase their equipment. This may just give you a little back to help with the situation.
Hope everything works out.

Erin said...

It is a small bump in the road for all you have achieved. In 2.5 years, we've also paid off over $45k in various debt, and that was even with a period of unemployment! Dave-O is awesome, we love him in this house, too!

Olga said...

I am half way done finishing "the totally money make over" by dave ramsey. such a good book!

I will pray for cooler days for you guys!

Amy said...

Well, when you do get one, you should be able to get a tax credit if it's energy efficient! Ours went out two summers ago (it was the orignal one that when the house was built) You guys rock for paying off debt, it's hard and we are working at it but yep, it's hard.

allisonia said...

That is tough. Although I grew up in central WA where it's normal for temps to reach 100 toward the middle-end of July and for my whole life, we never had an air conditioner (parents still don't). They just routinely left tons of windows open at night and closed them by 8 or 9 in the morning when it would start to get warm. As the windows were closed, so were all the curtains, and big windows had shades outside. Yeah, it was dark inside but it was surprisingly cool! If it stays hot at night, doesn't work very well, but maybe worth a shot?

Erin said...

Oh man, that is hard! Maybe someone out there can loan you a window unit at least for your upstairs... that is the most brutal for sure - we even HAVE central air but still have to use a window unit upstairs because we only have one vent. Even try the classifieds at work...

I for sure will be hoping for a cool August, for all of us! This heat sucks!

Wonderland Papers said...

Major props to you guys for sticking with the program the whole way through. I've read his Money Makeover book and that it was great but I feel like I haven't followed it as diligently as I could. Its awesome that you and Tony are both on the same page when it comes to finances and can help each other be accountable.

Kier said...

So are you saying that we should do lunch at my mom's house on Wednesday?! :)

$23,000??! That is amazeballs!

Sarah Louise said...

1. Congratulations on paying off $23K!!!! WOW! Way to go!

2. I am definitely praying for you guys and a mild August! I hate to say it, but I am looking forward to fall- I hope we have a good one :)

3. Tips for keeping a cool house with no AC: keep the windows shut during the day. Open the windows at night only if it isn't really humid, and it is actually cooler outside than it is inside...and if you guys can afford to buy a few reversible twin windows fans they will become your best friends. For about $20/fan they can both suck in the cool outside air at night, and push out the hot air from inside- they are great...and if all else fails, camp out in the basement.

L.C.C. said...

I can't even imagine having an air conditioner in your house. Over here you only ever find them in shops! But then again it rarely gets hot enough to justify them...

littleglimpsesoflife said...

Oh my goodness...I feel for you. We have been having temps in the 100's for over a month.....yesterday was 110. This summer has been brutal. I don't know about the difference in window ac or portable, but I know that they have portables available. Maybe that could be an in the mean time alternative. I assume one positive is that you could move it room to room.

And just a huge congrats on paying off the debt.

DianeTaylor said...

Congrats on your debt pay-down - awesome! I Love Dave R but have a hard time with it. A 6 month emergency fund doesn't help when your husband is out of work for a year!!! His concepts are good - but sometimes I doubt him and I know I shouldn't. Money is by far the biggest stresser in my life - it would be nice to be able to sleep at night and not have to live paycheck to paycheck.

admin said...

I can't get over the paying off $23k in debt! That's awesome! I know you were doing the e-meals online thing, but what were some other ways that you were able to accomplish this? I've read the DR book too, but seem to have a hard time putting it into action (especially with H).

Schmei said...

Congratulations on your accomplishments so far! We just paid off the last of our debt, and it's such a great feeling of liberation. Hang in there - you can do it!

You can also live without A/C, though I know that's not fun - been there, done that. At least it's hopefully temporary, and at least you're not still pregnant!

Whit said...

Lurker delurking here.
I have found your debt free Dave Ramsey journey very inspiring and I think about it on many occasions. I ended up buying a budget binder and am slowly working my way toward paying off my debts. As a single woman living alone, it is HARD. (Big reason is because I incurred several unexpected medical expenses last year, and had no money to buy groceries each month because the hospital bills were so high, therefore I turned to my credit card. Oh and then I had to buy a new car.)
I hope August is mild and when it comes time to kick the heat on in October, it's nice and toasty. My fingers are crossed for you!

Jen | Our Life Accounts said...

Oh boy that's tough. Our last house had no AC and the bedrooms were on the 3rd floor next to the attic...it was brutal but there are a few tricks to help you survive. First, look on craigslist for window units, people give those things away all the time. Use blackout shades and curtains to block the sunlight out during the day-the second it starts cooling down, use box window fans (walmart has them for $11, also saw them at aldis) to blow the hot air out. Generally about 8pm we turn them back around and start blowing the cool air in. We only turn our AC on when it gets to be over 100 outside and its humid, otherwise we use the method above to keep the house cool. Good luck! Hopefully August will be nice and mild for you guys. And congratulations on paying off so much debt! We are so so close and I'm just so ready to be done! Told my husband that was what I wanted for my birthday! :)

Megan said...

Holy crap, 23k in debt last year?! You're my hero.

It has been 85-90 inside our home for the past couple weeks as well, as we apparently rented a house that does not know how to vent hot air, so while our a/c still works fine, there's no where for the hot air to go.

The plus side to all of this... at least you live in Minnesota and not Kansas. Or Texas. Ha!

Praying for you friend. Also I don't know if anyone else has already suggested it, but maybe there's a used unit you could use or borrow? Keep us updated. <3

Megan said...

Congrats on the big debt payoff! That is impressive that you guys managed to achieve that.

Bummer on the a/c and upcoming furnace issues. We had to replace ours this year unexpectedly so I know how that goes. I wish we lived closer so I could lend you my window a/c unit! Hopefully one comes your way.

Amy said...

{i tried posting this already but i think it got eaten by blogger}

I'd love to hear more about your debt payoff and your budgeting system. I don't think that I could put myself on a 'strict' budget but if you guys can do it with two kids, I have no excuses!

Do you have a post somewhere here on your blog that I could read? You say that you have a cash only system, that sounds so scary! :)

How does it affect your social life? (visiting family, county fairs, stuff like that)

Do you and Tony have date nights whether they cost $ or not? What do you do on the weekends for family fun?

My Beautiful Life said...

Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry Leah. I remember when a friends a.c. went out, and it was 90+degrees. I went to walmart, and bought the biggest, baddest fan I could find. Coupled with the fans she had at home, it helped bring the temp down by a few degrees until it was fixed a few days later. Since you are in it for the long haul, you may want to go buy a box fan for each room. They will definitely help you feel cooler.

P.S. It is awesome that you did the Dave Ramsey thing-we did that years ago, and are so glad we did. It is a good feeling. Kudos to you, friend.

 

Blog Design by Nudge Media Design | Powered by Blogger