I can always find something to complain about

I hate banks. Why is it when you make a deposit at 2:04 on Friday you can’t touch that money until Tuesday morning after 9:00 am? Of course, any checks I write in those 5 days may or may not clear, it’s anyone’s guess. And the bank lady’s explanation is “ma’am, we present each item in the order we receive it”. Good, because you received my deposit on Friday BEFORE I wrote the check on Sunday, right? Apparently, I’m an idiot.

In other money news….

Those of you who know us and our crazy lives over the past 2 years know a little of our financial situation. For those that don’t, I hate to tell a long, drawn out, depressing but encouraging 30 page story so, I won’t. But, my darling husband sold his thriving business a few years ago. Through a series of unfortunate events we ended up 18 months later with a new failing business, and a big bad boy amount of business debt that was six figures long. This was after we sold both our home and a used BMW that we had paid cash for {cash for the car, not the house, we weren’t that rich} {we weren’t rich at all but we had $$ to pay all the bills and then some and buy plants and pay for private school so that is rich to me} {hate me}. We even had to give away our dog, Siler.

I still miss my old house like mad. We did SO much work to it and I loved it and the yard. Most of all, it was about 14 houses away from my sister whom I miss horribly. I’m such a dork who’s in love with petty material things like houses that I am now going to post a before and after photo of my beloved….
Need I say more? Love, I tell you! My husband MADE those shutters — with his bare hands! What a man. I drew out the plans for the porch and the paint? Well, I thought I would have to kidnap a painter and blindfold him to find one willing to paint my brick. Don’t get me started on the doors. Three months after we ordered them, they were delivered with what else but broken glass. It was worth every ding dong minute. I loved this house, I could almost marry it. It was me, it was us, it was our home.

We decided to sell it when the business was not growing like we hoped. By the grace of God it sold FAST. The people who bought it unfortunately had their own health scare and at this very moment my house is on the market again. This will always be my house.

PRAISE be to the God who created everything I love and even things I tend to complain about, my honey was able to secure a territory with his original business in a new city in North Carolina.

I have to admit, the house that we live in now is a GREAT house. We are renting. Probably 99% of people would say that this is a better house. It has high, smooth ceilings, some heavy crown molding and is quite large. But, it’s just a generic house to me and not OUR house. Does anyone understand this?

So, back to our financial update. We are big believers in the Dave Ramsey plan. We actually got pretty far on the baby steps a few years ago. So, in July, we stared all over again. We wrote down all of our debt in order from smallest to largest (that took about 4 years). Next, we got caught up on any bills we were behind on (that took 15 years). Then we saved $1000 (that’s taking an eternity). Meanwhile, we are paying minimum payments and any extra money we find is applied to our smallest debt. The way we find extra money is to break into our neighbors’ homes and raid their sofa cushions. Also, we don’t spend much. We hardly ever eat out, I cut coupons, I don’t buy many clothes and I try not to buy lamps, chairs and pillows. That is where the rubber meets the road if you know what I mean.

By the end of this month we will have paid off……$30,000!!!!!

That number is from July until the end of this year. We were shocked!! Yippie! We still have LOTS of debt. So many people helped us too and we, stupidly tried to help ourselves by using debt to fund a start up business. Slowly, slowly we are seeing results and beginning to pay back our debts. If you are reading this and we owe you money, thank you.

My honey works hard like a dirty dog and I am so proud of him. He hardly even complains. We are so thankful for a job. And a house. Even if the house doesn’t have a tree on the property that is taller than me.


  1. I love you Nester. Thanks for bringing the honest. I would miss that gorgeous, chubby, friendly, welcoming house as well. But I would miss my debt less.

    Starting over is scary, slow and lonely.

    It’s comforting to know there are others on the road up ahead.

  2. Melanie Bradford says

    I am so right there with you Nester! (In fact, it’s scary how similar our stories are.)
    Trying to decide how much work we should put in to making our rental home feel like OUR home. We’re looking at a brick home that we may be interested in buying, and I want to paint the brick and my hubby says, “No Way!” Can’t wait to show him your picture – maybe we can convince him yet!

  3. Eep. I clicked onto the picture of your old house expecting to see more pictures of it and instead got the story of how you had to leave it. I know EXACTLY what you mean about a house being YOUR house. And also about a house being generic. Every town/city has the generic subdivisions with homes filled with folk art and limited edition prints. blech. But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. And any girl that could transform HER house into what you did, has a lot more of that sort of thing to look forward to I’m sure. (that last part came out a bit confusing and messy, but you know what I mean) You did a GREAT job on the exterior of your old house. You’ll get another one. Good luck!

  4. I totally get the house thing. About 3 years ago my hubby decided to go back to school. again. We relocated from Tennessee to Kentucky and I had to sell my dream home. The house I still refer to as my house and the house I try not to grieve over. God has taught me some lessons about being content where I am etc. I am a really slow learner! I keep thinking I should have figured out a way to keep my house, but not being rich and needing money for tuition and living well we sold. Until recently we managed to stay debt free but poor. Which in this economy is a good thing. But, I had to have surgery so now I have some medical bills that werent’ covered by my insurance so we are in a little bit of debt again. Somehow God will provide. And I keep telling myself that someday he will let me have a home again. And it will be the perfect house and I won’t miss my other house so much. Love your site and decorating ideas. I wanted to get a degree in Interior Design – I went into Social work instead and then became and English teacher. I now work in Customer Service for a place that sells garden furniture. When my husband graduates I would love to take a year off and write a book. Sorry, I tend to ramble. I’ll be back to check out the latest soon.

  5. Your story is so inspiring– thank you for your honesty. Being content with difficult circumstances is always a challenge. Your blog is something I treat myself to every day! Once the baby is down, I come “hang out” at your “house.” My husbands jokes that I spend too much time with my new best friend, the Nester! You have a gift of making everyone feel like they are welcome.
    Blessings to you,

  6. I love Dave Ramsey. Chatted with Dave on his show over Christmas break this year. He gave me the encouragement to just keep going, just keep going, just keep going. Thanks for being so transparent.

  7. Thank you so much for your story. I know the pain of debt too.

  8. Your story is encouraging! We are going through the Dave Ramsey program and just have to finish paying off my school loan!! We hope to be done with that by the end of this year. I found your site b/c I’m looking for ideas on how to decorate our new home. We’ve been here almost a year and most of the old stuff isn’t working in the new house. So I’m trying to be frugal and VERY creative, but I’m not very confident with my style or even 100% what that might be! lol I’m praying for you and your family that you’ll continue in your endeavor to be DEBT FREE! I can’t wait for that day….hoping to see it soon. :o)

  9. Chris P. Varner says

    Love your story about turning around your debt. I’m always shocked when I see the bill and how a larger amount than expected is the balance. My husband is also an awesome dirty dog hard worker and we have 3 amazing beautiful daughters. We’ve lived in our home,my husband built, for 18yrs. and we are always barely getting by. We hardly do more that out to eat on Sundays and my TJmaxx shopping spree every few weeks(total $50) oh and coffee with the “Girls”. So that being said I’ve heard of Dave Ramsey and your testimony says that its doable. I just want my credit card debt ( about 9,000)gone ASAP so I can save for retirement. We just married off our oldest daughter and have 2 left in college. It seems like my paycheck only last a week and evrytime I get a big chunk paid off there’s a new season of needs,apt furnishings ,tuition,books,car repairs ect. UGG! I take my lunch everyday and cook 3-4 days of the week…I would love to see the end!Share thelove,and share your tips,I’m ready and willing! Love this site!!!<3

  10. So inspiring. Hey sister, a house is house until a family makes it a HOME. Who owns it makes no matter. You are an inspiration. Ever seen that commercial with the guy who has the giant house, pool, luxury SUV, country club membership smiling while he says, “Somebody help me. I’m in debt up to my eyeballs?” I never want to be that person. You never will be. I lost my job a year ago and it has been TOUGH, but I tell my husband all the time, there is NOTHING I want bad enough to be in debt for it. You’re doing it right! Keep up the good work. I’ll check this blog whenever I need inspiration!

  11. Oh, I love honesty and humility. It’s worth more than a million lamps and pillows.

  12. I love this post. Came to find it for a friend…I think it deserves a re-run!! xo

  13. oh.my.gosh. if you only knew how encouraging this post was for me- I now know why you have 29,000 followers haha! I think we may walk in the same shoes….or maybe just think the same- I could almost (never owned our own business) repeat this word for word in describing our situation {love Dave Ramsey}. We now live with family (there’s 9 of us) in hopes of being able to buy a home again- a tad bit scary! Anyways- thanks for sharing all this. I am also waiting on our home to feel like OUR home. Totally understand that one.
    (Colleen) @ PaRtY of 5!

  14. I have been a silent reader for quite some time but now I must speak up! This post really spoke to me. My husband and I have school debt coming out of our…ears. I married him a year ago and moved from my place of residence (we dated long distance) because he had the “steady” job. As a musician, work can be steady, but it does take a while to build your name in an area. For the past year we have been renting a real dump of a place (although it IS in a safe area and we have full ability to fix it up. So that’s nice) and I’ve been looking for work. It’s hard watching friends get married and move directly into huge beautiful houses with full sets of furniture and nice little matching things. We have almost all hand me down things in our place. When we get extra money it’s either, replace a broken piece of furniture, or put it on the debt. I know eventually we will be done with the debt but it’s a long slow road. And it can be lonely at times, especially when it seems like no one else has this kind of debt.
    Thank you for being honest. Your view of beauty in imperfection has really helped me to be more content with where we are living at the moment. My curtains don’t match – no biggie – I’ll just make pillow covers instead of buying – no problem. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged, but your words are always encouraging and I have huge respect for you, based on where you’ve come from and where you are now – positive and hopeful.
    Blessings to you and your family!

  15. Hi there – husband and I are thinking of painting our brick house — can you let me know the process? Thanks!

    • Our painters had painted brick before so they knew the process, I think they power washed it, taped up the windows, put a base coat on, then painted, you could probably google it and find more specific info, so sorry I don’t trust my memory!!

  16. Yes, we are starting all over once again. Your story reminds me so much of yours. I just won’t go into the whole ugly story here.
    Thanks for sharing. It gives me hope.

  17. Love your blog. Question about the front doors. We’re replacing ours and it hadn’t even occurred to me to put double doors, duh! Back to the question, did you hate having glass in the doors? I’m worried about people being able to see in. Thoughts?

  18. OMGosh! I KNOW this is an older post BUT I just found it and read it via FB. via Instagram and via your website! Crazy how that social thing works! Anywho, you blessed me! Your transparency and clarity speaks to so many of us AND you make it sound so easy! I was laughin’ my head off when you said…’If you’re reading this and I owe you, thank you!’….HILARIOUS! You’re like a friend that everyone has! So easy! Love it! #newfollower


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