24 November 2012


It's official.  As of yesterday, Michael and I are finally at zero!

When we moved here over the summer we had a little bit of credit card debt from the costs of registering for Michael's board exam ($2,500 for the test itself, plus a flight from New York to Florida to take the test, plus a flight from California to Florida to take the test once we found out we were moving earlier than originally planned and the original flight was from an airline that doesn't fly out of California so we couldn't just transfer the flight plans over, plus the hotel).  And there was the cost of the moving truck, the hotels and food along the way, and the gas to drive all the way across the country from New York to California.  And then there were the costs of staging our house in New York (which were worth it, since the house sold after just a few weeks for the full asking price, woohoo!)  And then we moved here, and Michael had some time in between the end of his old job and the start of his new job here (he needed the time to study and take his board exam, and then we really enjoyed having several weeks to just spend time together as a family, without the stress of school or tests), but that also meant no income for a couple months, so more credit card debt.  And then, of course, there were the unexpected expenses of both our cars breaking down within a month of each other -- the thousands of dollars spent to first get the cars in running order and get them smog checked and registered and licensed to drive in California, then the money spent on the new alternator for the minivan, then the money spent to try to have the electrical problem fixed on the minivan before we finally gave up on it.  Then my parents kindly helped out with the down payment for the replacement minivan, and we were able to pay them back for that.  And then, of course, Michael's car stopped working, and we put a little money into that too before deciding to just go with something more dependable, so then we had the down payment on Michael's replacement car too.  And then there was about $400 for Courtland's short visit to the emergency room to have the lego removed from his nose, of course.

So, anyway, we've had a number of expected and unexpected expenses since we moved.  But since we've been living with my parents, so we're not having to pay rent or a mortgage payment yet, we've been able to save carefully and get everything paid off.  [Everything except the medical school student loans, of course.]  But as far as our personal debt, we are now officially debt free!  And I don't know if anyone's ever been as excited to have zero dollars in the bank as us, because that means we now get to start saving for a house!!!  We sat down yesterday and updated our budget, and it looks like we may need to do a little searching, but we're crossing our fingers that we should be able to find a house in one of our desired neighborhoods, if it all works out.  And at this point we should have enough saved up for a down payment in 3 to 6 months, as long as there aren't too many more major unexpected expenses soon, knock on wood.  Needless to say, Michael and I are both pretty excited to be able to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

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