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Boomerang Buck is a blog exploring creative ways to get out of debt a buck at a time!Get Out of Debt a Buck at a Time!
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What Have You Had to Fix On Your Own?

February 27th, 2013 at 12:30 am

Growing up my family always purchased new. Never did we think to try to fix something ourselves. This gets costly and in my adult life has contributed to a great deal of debt!

For the 8 years that we have been in our home, never have we had to replace any of the appliances or other major items in the home. Until this month...

All At Once

First - the water heater!
Next - the dryer!
Also - Our vacuum (now this is not major but still couldn't believe it broke down on us so soon!)

3 months ago my response to these items would have been...let's go and buy a new one. Yet, while finally taking control of our finances and getting a hold of our debt, the response has changed to "can WE fix it?"

Fix-it Felix (or Andre!)

My wife simply asked the you think we could fix it? So we attempted to do things ourselves and save a few bucks:

Vacuum - took it completely apart and finally fixed it! Saved = $200-$300.00

Dryer - took it completely apart and fixed (with the help from YouTube!) Saved = $500-$1,000.00

Water Heater - we had to get help on this one due to being a gas heater, but did some labor ourselves. Saved = $100 off labor!

Total Savings = nearly $1,000.00

It felt good to save money and avoid debt! As much as I hope our items last a bit longer, I look forward to future challenges and savings opportunities!!!

What have you had to fix yourself and what did you save?

Who is Your Money Buddy?

January 28th, 2013 at 07:09 pm

We may have family. We may have friends. We may have co-workers or acquaintances. But, do we have a "Money Buddy?" What is a Money Buddy? How can having one help you get out of debt?

Roller-coaster of Resolve

During our journey to get out of debt, we ARE going to have highs and lows. Take this month as an example. By successfully using the power of NO, I was able to pay off 2 credit cards. Yet, my spending habits started to go back to their old ways the further into the month I went. Evidence of this can be seen in my January Debt report, as found in my "Sites I Enjoy" area. It seems as time goes on, our resolve begins to weaken at times.

Have you found this to be the case in your life? I know I certainly see it happen in many areas of my, work, family, and even personal finances. Yet, while having dinner with some friends, I had one of them ask me, "How did you do this week?" This was such an amazing question to have asked. Why?

The Power of a Question

First we must discuss why my friend would even ask me such a question. During previous time spent together, I explained how motivated my wife and I were to finally take control of our finances and get out of debt. By sharing this with my friends, they quickly jumped on board providing an environment of collaboration and support!

Fast forward to the dinner referenced above and the powerful question..."How did you do this week?" Having that friend or support system checking up on you can be such a great motivator in getting or staying on track! At the end of that conversation, my friend stated how we were "Money Buddies!" I liked the sound of that. We were not only helping ourselves but helping each other.

Who is Your Money Buddy?

So who is your Money Buddy? Do you have a friend or family member in a similar situation as you? Could you join forces with them to conquer the debt? Here are some quick tips on activities you could put into practice:

1. REVIEW who could be your Money Buddy
2. SET goals together to work towards
3. Once per week REVIEW your progress on goals
4. Find creative ways to stay on track, such as JOINING the 52 Week Money Challenge

The debt may be ours but we don't have to eliminate it alone. A Money Buddy can go a long way in helping us stick to our resolve to get out of debt. I want to hear from you...Who is your Money Buddy? What activities do you do with them to stay on track?

I have found many Money Buddies here in the SA community and thank all for their posts and personal finance blogs!

Saving Money - By Eating at Home!

January 16th, 2013 at 04:12 pm

In my last post, I mentioned the goal of eating every dinner at home. This may not seem like a difficult task to many, but for us, it was a change.

Below I will report on how things are going with this goal, as we are 1/2 way through January! Also, I'll discuss what is helping us along the way to continue through the remainder of the month and forming a new habit!

Take a look at some of these numbers (not big numbers but real numbers):

By the 15th of the month

December Fast Food (by 15th): $121.00
December Restaurants (by 15th): $203.00

Total by the 15th: $324.00

This is just on eating out. Not including groceries.

January Fast Food: $98.00
January Restaurants: $28.00 (Awesome!)

Total by the 15th: $126.00

Difference: $198.00

Yes, by simply eating at home for dinner and now including my lunches, I was able to drop $200 in my savings account.

So what has been helping me to accomplish this small victory?

Planning our meals for EACH day
Packing lunch - instead of eating out each day
Exploring variety using the AllRecipes App

There is so much more progress to obtain, starting with keeping this trend up for the remainder of this month. By doing so, I will easily be able to double the savings which will allow me to either, build up my emergency fund; or, pay off one small credit card.

Soon, I will be posting full debt payoff reports on the site in my favorites section!

I would like to THANK the SavingAdvice community and all who have and maintain their personal finance blogs. I read as many as I can gaining motivation and encouragement from them all. I look forward to posting future updates and results from my attempt to:

Get Out of Debt a Buck at a Time!

Make Every Day a Monday - Why?

January 7th, 2013 at 07:58 pm

How great is your resolve on Monday? It seems that every Monday, I am fired up to meet and exceed my goals. Goals at work; goals around the house; goals in diet/fitness; and yes, goals related to my debt (currently 20k of consumer debt).

Today is Monday and my drive is strong. In what way? As mentioned in my earlier post, I am going to try and explore creative ways to get out of debt, one buck at a time!

I am going to try and implement new habits each week that will culminate in saving opportunities, money generation opportunities, and spending my money in a way where it will make it's way back to me (hence a Boomerang). This idea of new habits each week could also be termed...Habit Stacking! I've read many posts from others in the SA community that seem to be working on similar steps. This can be quite effective.

Goal for this week: Eat Every Dinner at Home.

This may not seem like a big deal to some people, but for my family it is. I did not realize how much money we were spending on "eating out" until I sat down and really looked at where our money was actually going.

What helped me with this? I used a free online program that helps me track my spending. By looking at my spending in the form of a pie chart, it really opened my eyes to where our money was going.

Example: Last month we spent more money on FOOD than our living expenses, including house payment, insurance, utilities and gas for both cars. This is ridiculous for two people...yup, two people. This requires a change.

Imagine this scene: Eyes looking at pie chart and then over to debt total; back to pie chart; back to debt total; and so forth. By cutting back on something as simple as eating out, several hundred dollars could be applied to our consumer debt. Hence, that is this weeks goal.

Take Action Today!

(1) Review what you spent last month. Yes, every transaction.

(2) Identify what items could have been avoided or removed

(3) Identify where those funds could have been applied to assist with your current debt.

(4) Set a goal to make application of step 3 above

I look forward to hearing your experiences and comments. What changes have you had to make in order to eliminate your debt? What habit could you put in place today to make tomorrow better?

Resource used:

What is Boomerang Buck?

January 5th, 2013 at 06:03 pm

Being in debt is not fun. Have you ever been in debt? Are you currently in debt? Have you worked your way out of debt? If you said yes to any of these questions, you know how much of a weight debt can be.

I've been dealing with such an anchor for the past 10 years. I will admit, I had only been working half-heartedly on getting out of debt. But the time had come where I was tired of walking under this cloud, the cloud of debt.

When you think about it, getting out of debt is not some complex subject perplexing our minds. We know what to do. Yet, knowing what to do does not make it easy to do so.

In my quest to get out of debt, I've come across some pretty interesting or unique ways of doing so. This involves subjects such as:

Knowing Our Spending Habits - Where is My Money Going?
Setting Goals - Mini Missions
Habit Stacking - A New You in 52!
How to Ask for Money and Actually Get It?
Utilizing our Hobbies & Skills Creatively!

So much more!

It is my goal to get out of debt, eliminating nearly $20,000 of consumer debt. I intend on doing this one dollar at a time. I sincerely hope that the strategies that I explore bring you and your family success as well.

I encourage you to check back frequently, learning new and some not-so-new creative ways to get out of debt.

Take Action Today!

Bookmark the Boomerang Buck blog and stay updated on creative ways to get out of debt!