Going GreenWe have been pretty good at sticking to our changes this summer. We are line drying as much as possible (although it's been pretty rainy around here!), using green water when possible. I have switched to Seventh Generation Liquid Dish Soap and am VERY happy with it! Bonus, we recycle rinse water when possible for the garden! Remembering to bring our own bags to the stores (and not just at the grocery store folks - I take them to Hobby Lobby, Joann, Office Max, Staples, etc). This week I bought 40 dollars worth of produce and used brown paper bags to bag it all instead of plastic bags (although, I really want to invest in a really nice, thin cotton bag to use instead - for now, paper will have to do). When picnicing we are creating as little waste as possible - I bring real plates with, etc. The air is turned up (set to 80 right now). Walking when possible. So, yeah, we've managed to keep up with the changes.
However, we haven't added anything new to our efforts. And we are in the midst of planning a party and dare I admit it? We are planning on paper plates, napkins, cups, bottled water, etc, etc. Our party will not be eco-friendly at all. And I feel bad. But its approximately 125 people. And I don't have enough non-disposable to do it anyway. However, I read about Treecycle Recycled Paper from Stretch Mark Mama and the prices look good, so I should probably get on ordering that RIGHT NOW. But, I'm all about pretty. And I really wanted pretty plates. But, I also want a pretty planet in 50 years too, so I guess I have to ditch the pretty plate idea and just buy hte plain, eco-friendly ones!
So, we're moving along nicely here, but I know there is more we could be doing. We just need to suck it up and do it.
And I talked to someone from Method today. I don't know if there will be more to tell you or not. We'll see where it goes. But I'm excited that I even got to talk to someone today and that was pretty cool!
We are still chipping away at our debt. Yes, chipping. Not making huge progress. Not have it paid off yet.
Oh how I wish I could come here and tell you debt is paid off and that we were working towards building up our 6 month emergency fund! But it is not so. Nope. We've been fortunate enough to pay more than min. balance, but not by a whole entire lot. This summer most of our extra money went to dental work for me and vacation.
The promising news is that we knew the dental stuff was coming. We got a quote and paid cash for it. It was a few thousand dollars worth of work, so that was awesome that we didn't have to add more debt to get it done (and it all needed to be done).
Vacation is a bit more fuzzy. I can tell you that we didn't go into debt to take the vacation. Again, we saved and spent only cash. We did not go over our budget. In fact I'm pretty sure we spent less than we saved for (which is good, but we haven't worked out the budget completely so I'm not positive). However, at the same time, there is a part of me that is saying we shouldn't have even gone on vacation until debt was paid off. Oh, I can rationalize it SO well. Mostly, the heart of the trip was to visit family - my husband's mom. And you can't put a price on that really, because they average seeing the kids about once a year. And to us, it seemed worth it provided we did not go deeper into debt to see it done. Which we didn't.
Of course, the extra for this month and probably next month goes to the party I am throwing in a few short weeks. But again, it's worth it. We are doing something we feel is very important and won't be going into debt to do it. And then after that, the holidays come up. And after that an important wedding that requires travel and dresses (myself and the two girls are in the wedding, so when I say I have to buy new dresses, I mean it! It's not me wanting to buy something new)
And really, that has been our mantra lately - if it is important and doesn't cause more debt, then do it. Because at the end of every month we have less debt and healthy kids and a roof over our head.
We entered this year knowing we wouldn't make much headway. We entered the year knowing that we would not be debt free when 2009 rolled around. You could say our only goal was to not make more debt this year and so far so good. We thought we would have a bit more done though. We weren't factoring in groceries going up and gas going up as much as it has. But we have less debt now than we did at the start of the year. And we have more in savings right now than at the start of the year too. So I consider both of those things very good.
However, we are still not prepared should something really big hit us. And that makes me a bit nervous. But I am hoping and praying that next year, next year we can kick that debt to the curb. I would love it if 2010 would see us with no debt because that would just be phenomenal! But that would mean next year would see us buckling down, getting serious, cutting spending as much as possible, and really working hard to knock it all out!
So, there are my updates =) Probably I haven't given many because there just hasn't been much to share honestly.