You remember me trying to figure out what Mr. Brickie’s check was going to be after the raise with overtime, right? If not you can check it out but it might make you feel really confused because I was crazy confused while trying to do the math.

I won’t actually have the pay stub until the mail comes this afternoon (Oh, what’s that? You get your mail in the morning? How NICE for you. Yes, I *am* jealous.) but the check itself was direct deposited and my guess of $891.59 was wrong. The check was $1013.43.

Yes, I screeched. It was a happy screech and then I looked like a cartoon character grabbing my priority budget and scribbling changes wildly based on the new numbers. I know that maybe for some people $121.84a week extra wouldn’t make much of a difference but for us this is a life changer. That’s almost $500 extra per month which is huge. HUGE. We can use that money to pay off debt and save, save, save.

Please remember: This blog is written in real time. When I say we WILL this or we will be debt-free by THAT DATE it is accurate as of the moment it is written. If an emergency comes up or something changes, I will blog about it! 

In redoing the budget that extra money is going to see us credit card debt free by the end of August. That includes the $300 in school supplies I bought on and the $462 that will go onto the credit card automatically for auto insurance. Everything. It includes everything.

It will open up September to save for Christmas and my girls’ birthday parties they want this year. (One is “Turning Tween” as she calls it. The other is having her “Golden Birthday” and so they are both beyond jazzed and asked if they could just this once have a big party.)

As much as I want to push all extra money after those credit cards toward the car or buying a second car (because y’all the freedom having a second car has given me is beyond amazing and I don’t know if I can go back to not having access to a second car) it’s important to me that the girls have something very nice now and then to keep in the memory bank. They don’t really know how much they are sacrificing compared to other kids. In fact, they have cell phones (because of our Freedom Pop debacle) and electronics and books. Really, I’m not sure if they know we are poor.

It is a real bummer that the foreclosure went through when it did. The way we save and the money he’s making right now? We could more than pay the mortgage. Timing just isn’t going to work the way we hoped and we will have to move next year (hopefully next summer) and we will probably move to Indiana because the cost of living is lower and it won’t add but fifteen minutes to Mr. Brickie’s commute. We know people who are renting now and they are happy and have a guy who rents houses so we are going to go through a friend of a friend (which always makes me feel special because, “I know a guy…” is awesome lol)

Now it’s time for the grind. No more surprises until the next raise. If he keeps working overtime, will happen 10/23/2014 and that is the absolute soonest it can happen so don’t write that date down in pen because I have it written in the lightest pencil possible … things happen and clinging to a hope as if it were a fact is a recipe for despair.

So today with the magic-big check we have to take out $150 for Mr. Brickie to buy a new pair of boots. He’s been dealing with $20 Walmart boots that last 2-3 weeks because we didn’t have a chunk for a better pair. He tried last week to get a $42 pair at Payless he thought were stitched instead of glued. That would make them last longer and be a better long-term value. Unfortunately those stitches weren’t real and the boots fell apart in four days. So he needs good boots.

Here is how we spent this week’s check (we are switching back to a zero-based budget):

$1,013.00 Check
$200.00 Living Expenses
$150.00 Work Boots
$161.00 Utilities (past due)
$95.00 Net10 (cell phones)
$407.00 CapOne CC Pmt
$0.00 Leftover

After so many bummer surprises and so many weeks of not having enough money today I feel really good.

I feel lighter.

Of course my good mood might also be attributed to the mile walk I took this morning. I know, I said I was going to yesterday and I did it today. I did it before I had coffee to make sure it was going to get done. It didn’t take long but I am doing my best to commit to #wycwyc (What You Can When You Can) and getting in more hugs, more dishes, more walking, and more smiles whenever I can.

I’m doing kind of a Baby Step approach to the money that’s coming in. Pay off debt first, then save 3-6 months of expenses. I’m a little nervous because when winter comes … I’ve heard it’s going to be a crazy-mild winter which means Mr. Brickie will be working but it’s possible he won’t work during the winter again which means a combination of unemployment and working where and when he can get it.

I hate to always be looking toward the next possible problem, but I want to have a plan and be prepared.

I’m so bad at balance.