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Roe Intense for almost a year… and still Roe-ing.

We hit the ground running two months ago getting our home ready for sale. We put it on the market June 26th and kept it in tip-top shape for a solid month. We’re happy to announce that it has sold. What a headache that was.

Yet, through all that headache and my own tendencies to get really whiney, I received some subtle reminders about my blog. People wanted new stuff. And they want to know about money. And how we’re doing. I can handle that, no matter how emo I feel sometimes. EmoBunny

People care about results. Cold, hard results. And warm fuzzy results. My wife and I have produced many results as we have ploughed into our debt like a kid in a bubble soccer match. 

As of September 21st, I will have been delivering pizzas for a year.

October 1 of last year, I posted that our payoff date was calculated to November 2015 or sooner. We had just got the balance of the credit card down to $3,000. Meredith’s student loan had hovered around $11,000 or so. My student loan was $18,000. That’s $32,000 of total debt to pay off in a supposed 14 months.

Here’s where we stand:

Halfway between then and now, Ruth was diagnosed with an epigastric hernia. The total bill on that was $6,000. The hospital reviewed our case and took off 75% of the cost. Thus the hospital bill.

We’ve conducted major repairs on both vehicles since the Roe Intensity began. We’ve sold my guitar, furniture, and other sundry items. Even our house.

Speaking of the house, selling it was costly. Our total repair bill was in the neighborhood of $2,500. And I just learned today that I am going to be caulking our concrete and putting in a handrail.

With all those setbacks, we’ve gone from $32,000 total in debt to $18,350. That comes out to an average of just under $1,670 paid toward debt every month. To be out of debt by June 2016, we will need to make $1,835 debt payments every month until then. That involves making more money than we now do with my two jobs, my translations, Meredith’s job, her sales… current income as it stands in general. If we offer to clean out your gutters, don’t take it personal. The more people we ask, the more likely we are to find someone willing to part with $20 to do it.

This money stuff is a race to beat all races, and statistically, most of us are running in the wrong direction. The direction we’re running is the easy one with the wide roads. It’s the one with the junk food vendors that will sell you a snack. Don’t worry about being broke. They take credit.

I am turning around. That means uphill. That means heat, not from the sun, but from people around me. That means isolation from the lemming pack. I don’t feel inspired. I feel tired. I feel steeled. I’m not chipper those mornings when I go to work, knowing I am going to be off after 11 PM that night. But that’s the name of the race. And run I will. As I do, I will raise my voice and encourage everyone I can to turn around and run up hill, to quit spending their money on stuff that really doesn’t matter. To quit spending their money ahead of even having it. To quit cutting themselves off from the amount giving we need in this mess we call Consumerism.

Will you turn around? I doubt it. I can’t be unrealistic or I might get depressed. But I’m rooting for you. I’m pounding the pavement, raising my voice.

Check this out:

Pete Kostelnick of Lincoln, Nebraska, and Nikki Wynd of Lysterfield, Australia, won this year's Badwater Ultramarathon, the 135-mile race from Badwater Basin to the top of Mount Whitney in California. Kostelnick's time of 23:17:10 was just more than an hour faster than the men's winning time in 2013, the most recent previous run over the classic Badwater route. Wynd, who finished fourth overall in 27:23:27, surpassed the 2013 winning women's time by more than two and a half hours.

The weather gets so hot in Badwater Basin that the runners have to make sure their footfalls hit the middle of the white line on the side of the highways. You know why? Because the bottoms of their shoes melt on the asphalt if they don’t.

The altitude goes from the lowest place in the continental U.S. to over 8,000 feet. Come on people. Think. That’s 135 miles uphill.

And yet here’s a Nebraskan that thumbed his nose at those temperatures, those altitudes, those strange other people and kept on running. Kostelnick finished 135 miles and won the race.

I don’t know how he felt, but my guess is he was at least a little focused. He probably encouraged others to keep going. He probably felt a rush crossing that finish line almost a full 24 hours after starting. He probably also felt like quitting once or twice. 

The similitudes are uncanny. Finances drive us to some of the lowest lows of our lives. Reversing our financial problems takes us to some of the highest highs. The difficulties are great. The weirdos are many. But there we all are. Christ stands at the gate to the road to the top with arms outstretched, telling everybody to get in and keep running.

I’m tired of being broke. Actually, I’m sort of rested from being broke. Meredith and I haven’t been paycheck to paycheck for years now. But broke we still are. Negative net worth = broke. Don’t lie to yourself.

Broke people can’t feed hungry kids.

Broke people can’t build homes for the homeless.

Broke people can’t fund orbital satellites that reveal key military information in the fight against CRAZY VIOLENT PEOPLE in already terrified nations.

Broke people can’t raise a not-broke generation.

We’re a nation of debt-broke people. Heck, our nation is debt-broke.

OUR family almost isn’t. We’re almost done with debt. For good. Debt is bad. Come join us. It’s hard, but the uphill part isn’t forever, and it gets easier.

Or you can just be Emo about it. Your choice. But your money problems are on you, nobody else.



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