How we cut the cable and lived to tell about it

Back in January Mr. Right and I had a serious talk about how much money we were wasting on cable. Like, our bill stupid high and we really didn’t even watch much TV.

The first time we talked about it, I was pretty against it. I have a beautiful big screen TV purchased pre-marriage and the thought of leaving it blank, with no TV news, no live events, no Bachelor Mondays was just too much for me.

And then Mr. Right dangled the “with all the money we save we could get a cleaning lady” card. And I was hooked.

Cable, my friend… I don’t miss you at all.

We figured out that we could save about by getting rid of cable and movie rentals and leaving just internet. For that same amount we could afford a cleaning lady twice a month.

And what a gift that has been for us. I’ve got a demanding job and that requires me to work a lot of nights and weekends. Mr. Right juggles a job as a minister, working a full day on Sundays, with a full load as a graduate student. Together we teach ESL and volunteer quite a bit at church. Plus I’m launching a small business. Time is precious for us, and it has been such a blessing to have one thing crossed off my list completely. I realize it’s a total luxury and in the future we may not always be able to swing it, but in this season of life, it has been so very thankful.

So how do we watch TV? We actually think we have a cooler set-up now than we did before.

1. We got a digital antenna so we can watch high-def local channels live. There’s no DVR, no fast-forwarding through commercials… but after the initial investment (less than $100) our TV is free. We like free. Free makes the commercials worth it.

2. We got a blue-ray player that hooks up to our wifi. Through that player we can stream Netflix (movies and entire seasons of TV shows) and Hulu Plus. Hulu allows us to watch current shows as if they were on DVR – I can literally watch any show, the entire season – without ever setting my DVR. Cost of the blue ray player was less than $100. This is especially handy during these summer months filled with re-runs… I’ve been discovering new shows I’ve never seen before and watching those straight through.

3. The blue-ray player also allows us to play Pandora over our TV, which is a fun new toy we never expected. Think, dance parties in the living room. It also has an Amazon app where we can rent movies much cheaper than we ever could rent through AT&T’s payperview.

4. We also use our laptops to watch tv/movies in other rooms. This is what I do while I’m in my sewing studio.

And guess what? I think we’re better off now than we were before. Not to mention my floors are now a lot cleaner.

And that, my friends, is how I got a cleaning lady without spending any extra money, and in the process got a much better tv-viewing experience and regained a tiny bit of my sanity.

New stuff, old stuff

Lot’s of news on the “new” and “old” front:

We sold our truck. And in true Mr. Right fashion, by the end of the transaction he was besties with the college kid who bought it. We sold it to a missionary kid from South Africa, and this was his first car, which made it sweet. Even sweeter because WE SOLD THE TRUCK!
We think we may have found our new car. A used-but-decked-out Sequoia, complete with DVD players and leather interior. And room for one… or two… or three car seats in the back. You know, in case we ever need them. (Note – we have no need for them now, so don’t even ask). Even better… we’re going to pay cash for it (thanks Dave Ramsey). Fingers crossed that we might get it Friday – if not, then we’ll wait and find something after Mr. Right gets home from his big trip.
We bought a new, gigantic ottoman. We’ve been throwing around the idea of selling our leather couch and love seat and replacing it with a big leather sectional. I always swore I’d never own a sectional, but they are so comfy, and we don’t really fit very well on if we want to lay together on the sofa and watch a movie together. However, we found this ottoman when we were buying our bed frame last week, and when you push it up to the couch, it’s more like a giant chaise lounge, and it’s super comfy! And, an ottoman is much cheaper than buying a new sectional. We laughed, because we’ve added lot’s of new pieces to our house this year, but this is one of the only ones we’ve actually purchased together. Everything else has been thrifted/handed down/generously given to us. 
Speaking of which… our next big house projects are going to include (1) new shelving for my laundry room and (2) extending our back patio and building a pergola. I had to sacrifice my beloved rose bushes, which were in the way, but it will all be worth it by summer. In the meantime, I need to use my new Instagram feed to take pictures of all of our new home projects – we’ve been busy!
I wore this old dress to a wedding last weekend… our third wedding in a month. I absolutely love weddings – and I cry at most all of them. This wedding was on a particularly chilly night and at the last minute I opted to borrow my sister’s dress… which happens to be the bridesmaid dress from my own wedding. So for all those brides who say “And the best part is, you could wear this dress again,” I’m the one bride who actually meant it… see? I just paired it with some sparkly heels and this little beaded cardigan that didn’t fit for most of last year, but thanks to the half marathon fits once again! Hooray! To celebrate I may wear this cardigan every day next week. Would that be weird?


We’re debt free!!!!!!!! (everything but the house)

After eleven months of saving like no one else, we are officially debt free! The car was paid off Friday and we went out Friday night to a fancy dinner to celebrate.

It feels so good.

But we’re not done. Since we’re already used to living on a tight budget, we’re going to stay hunkered down and save so Mr. Right can buy a bigger car (one with a backseat, just in case we want to fill that backseat with babies someday) and then we’re going to work on knocking out a chunk of our mortgage.

So we’ll be keeping those envelopes for the time being. Or forever. I kind of like them now.

Found it!

I found my lunch/pedicure/Starbucks/random-I-want-to-buy-this-envelope – it had slipped between the pages of a work notebook that I brought home with me one evening. Several days later I went to a meeting, flipped the page and my envelope slipped right out.

This is me breathing a sigh of relief.
And this is me making a mental note to clean out my gigantic mom-purse.
I know Mr. Right would have graciously let me take additional money out, but I felt like such an air head for losing a wad of cash in the midst of our two-mortgages reality. Which reminds me, I’d love it if you’d say a prayer that house #2 sells quickly. It’s been on the market for about a month now, and I’d love to see it go! Please join me in praying that God will be glorified even in the mundane selling of our beloved little house.