I guess I haven’t posted on here in a while..

although I’ve been faithfully reading all the messages. My husband and I have just RE-started the Dave Ramsey plan over the last week or so. By Friday of this week, we will have the $1000 EF in place, and if we follow our budget, we are on schedule to pay off 3 credit cards and 4 other debts totalling about $5,000… (using a combination of our tax refund and living very meagerly for the next few weeks).

We are now GAZELLE INTENSE and plan on being DEBT-FREE except the house by the end of 2006!!! I CAN HARDLY WAIT !

We are in Houston as well

It might not help by spring, but start composting. My wife grows cucumbers, squash, peppers, sweet potatoes. We have raised beds. Seeds aren’t that expensive. next time you by a cucumber, save the seeds. By a squash, save the seeds. If you don’t have bees, you might have a hard time doing fruit. Veggies are pretty easy. Anything that grows in the ground .

Not off plan

Sigh. yeah, you’re likely right. It’s just hard for me to go directly to the bank and bypass “go and spend”. The only way it seems like I can control that is to rigidly stick to a literal plan: Friday- pay X creditor, Saturday, pay Y creditor. I don’t know why, but when that plan goes awry, it really throws me for a loop.

It’s better now that I figured out how to do electronic deposits through my phone and have regular amount(s) from child care coming in on a weekly basis….but now that I’m making fast progress, i just want to pay it off NNNNOOOOWWWW !!!

ARGH !! It’s SO HARD to give creditors money !!!

Seriously, you would think it would not be this hard!! TMobile was so nice a few months back to break up my son’s phone bill into monthly payments. So I called them 2 days ago to find out the remaining balance since I knew I had money coming in from payday loans online service www.gshloans.com $270 they told me, including the $90 I hadn’t yet paid for this month (I paid the regular bill but not the installment.) Hm. $270 seemed low, but ok :) But it happened to be the same amount as I owed on two credit cards (total). So I debated for a day about which ones I should pay off, and decided to go with TMobile. Yeah, just called. They’re like, don’t know who you talked to, but it’s $270 PLUS the $90. Sigh. I just deposited the babysitting check (350) so I only had 200 of it active. Could I have paid off the whole thing? Yes, I could have. But the vote was barely in tmobiles’ favor, so I ended up just giving them the 90 and paying off the two credit cards. So the good news is 2 CC’s gone. I’m grateful, but the nerd in me is flipping a gasket because we went OFF PLAN !!!

Happens to be that

we just had two neighbors trees removed and have giant stumps in the yard! I will call the tree removal crew tomorrow because I think they’re coming back anyway… maybe they’ll bring some of the wood chips (or leave us some from their next project).

I don’t know how much space you have

but if you start NOW, you can turn cruddy worthless soil into wonderful soil by getting real wood chips from trees and just piling it about 4-6 inches deep on the ground and leaving it there through the winter. I’m talking REAL wood chips, like when the tree services come and chip/shred it up.

If you call around, most places are willing to drop it off in your driveway if you will take a full truckload (some will do less.) If you BAG those wood chips in brown plastic 30 gallon trash bags and leave them tied up in a heap on the side of your yard, they will decompose and turn to WONDERFUL compost/dirt in about 3 months.
You need a lot more wood chips than you think you will, even if you are bagging it to turn into compost, so if you’ve got the driveway room for them to dump it, don’t be afraid to take on a whole truckload. There are always tons of people on freecycle who will come take bags of it off your hands too.

I have a 4 foot square planter which is 9 inches high made from free-cycled bricks. Right now it has 16 sweet potato plants growing in it (ah, the blessings of living in southern California) which cost me .75cents or so for the original sweet potato. I grew slips from it, and hopefully in a few more weeks, I’ll be harvesting sweet potatoes 😉

Gardening on a budget question?

Dh and Db built me a raised garden box from scrap wood (I have been asking for one)! We put it in the corner of our yard, where it will receive the most of the Eastern sunrise (and be most out of the way).

Its a modest-sized planter approx 2.5 feet wide and maybe 8-9 feet long. It stands about 2.5 feet tall.

I am trying to work out two things right now: Inexpensive ways to make cheap dirt into gardening soil by spring, and which veggies or fruits to plant which will give me the most bang for my buck.

I want to plant items that will be an inexpensive start, but yield us a fair amount of produce next year. Its a hobby garden or sure, but I don’t want it to cost more to grow our own veggies than buy them from the store.

What tips do you all have? Has anyone tried to start their gardens from seed, which I gather is the least expensive start?

I am in Houston, I guess we are zone 9-ish.

Texas didn’t used to allow HELOCs

now they do, but you can only borrow I think 50% of your equity. On one hand, it helped Texas survive the foreclosures, on the other hand, it is my money tied up in an asset that could have large equity. I think as long as the percentage of how much you can take out leaves some equity, a responsible person should be able to use the money for home improvements or medical bills, but not to buy a car or vacation or some other use that has no value.