Thursday, February 28, 2013


I had a conversation the other day with a friend that turned into an argument, but it was helpful. How often can we really make that statement? I wasn't happy with the way the conversation ended, but it did begin with us discussing what happiness is. Happiness is something that we all are seeking to gain on a daily basis or we think we can schedule it on our calendars. All I've ever wanted was to be was "happy", and I've yet to find that complete sense of happiness.

I like many think that happiness resides in having a great career, a wonderful spouse, a sense of success and self-fulfillment, but if all of those things were to be taken away would I still be happy? Probably not. See, I can't be happy if I try to find a permanent state of being in temporary places. People will die, money will come and go, and time will continue to pass by. I no longer search for happiness in the material things of life. One of my most earnest prayers to God is that I do not get caught up in the hype of stuff. I have looked for it in people or travelling- temporary places- and when the friendship/person was lost and the trip was over, now what? I came to the conclusion a while ago that happiness isn't something that I should seek externally. It should be an internal peace and a sense of contentment. So instead of looking for this ever evasive sense of happiness, I will seek contentment instead.

Why contentment? Isn't that just reaching for the middle rung of the ladder instead of the top rung? Well, let's look at the definition of contentment or contented. Thanks to Merriam Webster, contented means feeling or showing satisfaction with one's possessions, status, or situation. I even like the example they give "contented smile". (It can be argued and even shown on Merriam's site, that content and happy mean the same thing. However, I chose to go with the connotative meaning for both words, so I can make my point.) Now reading over this definition, I feel that you can run into the same problem as trying to achieve some ultimate sense of happiness because what will determine when you are satisfied? Who will say that enough is enough? Well of course you will. The goal is to determine what enough is to begin with, set an "Enough" goal, assess that goal, and reassess that goal, to make sure that you aren't trying to achieve something that you already have. Oftentimes, we forget that many of the things that we think we are lacking are often in front of us. How many times have you found yourself in excess of some product because you forgot you had it? I've done this quite a few times. I've done this because I didn't take a true inventory of my pantry to see if I had something that I thought I needed. Don't miss that analogy. This may require creating a new perspective about a situation, people, or life. It will require some soul searching, but you have to be willing to put in the work. We shouldn't be afraid to find out some things about ourselves. "I'm too busy." and "Ain't nobody got time for that!" have become quick phrases that allow us to put it off until tomorrow or not do it at all. I wonder what life would be like if procrastination was illegal....let's get to assessing! 

Where am I with all of this? That's a good question Kim. I think I'm at the point where I need to reassess my assessment. I've gone without a lot this year. Living off of one income was scary, but we've found more peace in this process than before when we didn't know where the last dime went. I'm doing something I thought I would never do, and it's working. We've had our internal strife, and Lord knows I've been on my knees looking for strength in our marriage. Year four has been tough, but that's another blog. Nonetheless, we continue to be Team Watkins. I don't think I'll be done with the reassessment of my assessment any time soon, but at least I'm working on it. 

This is all of my humble opinion of course. None of this is avant-garde, but it may serve as a little reminder.  I don't know it it will mean a hill of beans to anyone; I just hope that during a time period when things are so dark around us people can still take a little time to find that silver lining or some small joy that can bring a smile on their faces. Hopefully, it will be contented smiles. 

Numbers on the Debt and Weight Loss

Weight Loss-  I'm down 11 lbs down for the year. I have a minimum of 19 lbs to go. (Woot, woot!) 

Debt Loss- We've paid off  $6,146.80 in student loan debt! It hasn't been 100% of the plan. We had to do some crumb snatching from the debt money, but that's a little more than half of our student loan paid off.

I hope you've enjoyed! 

#TeamWatkins #DebtSlayers2013  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Simple Conversation Leads to Major Changes

Hello Blog World!

My name is Kimberly Watkins, and I'm getting the hell out of debt. Also during the process, I'm giving back at least 30 lbs to the fat Gods. Thanks, but no thanks. So what was the simple conversation? Two friends and I meet up to go through a Bible Study (don't stop reading because I like Jesus) at least twice a month when we can. After one of our discussions, a friend of mine mentioned that she and her husband live off of one income. I was absolutely shocked. My husband and I had aspired to live like this, but after moving to the  DC Metro area we almost gave up on the idea. Our plan was to pay our bills, do some savings, and then eventually get out of debt. We found ourselves spinning our wheels because we would pay off our credit card one month only to find ourselves doing it again in a couple of months. We'll just pay it off in a few months and then we can move forward, but we never really adhered to our budget! It's laid out in a wonderful spreadsheet, but it meant nothing for three years because we spent at our leisure.

The dreaded "b" word will determine if you have control of your money or if it has control of you. How were we making all of this money, and we didn't know what was happening to it every month? Did I just rob Peter to pay Paul? How did that happen? Well we said ENOUGH! We paid off the last of the little credit card debt that we had, and decided it was time to get radical. We are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and we don't accept this to be our norm. We are Team Watkins, and we are the Debt Slayers of 2013 (insert Lion O's HOOOOO here).

From here on, I'll be blogging about our Adventure to get out of debt and hopefully other wonderful things as well. I would like to thank Deanna and Simone for being a part of some small conversations that led to major changes.

- Debt Free in 2013