The Economy Ate Your College Fund Kids, So We’re Going To The Park

This weekend we got our share of the bailout. It was “free admission” day at all of the National Parks. We elected to go see the new visitor’s center at Mt. Rainier National Park. Our bailout amounted to a grand total of a whopping $15. (We then bailed out our local economy by spending $20 on gas and $44 on dinner (yes, we broke the rules).

We did break our new covenant of not eating out until the end of the year, but we were careful to keep the bill minimal. We’ll get ourselves back on track this week.

We took a four hour hike, and visited the park, enjoyed the views and the far-cooler weather than we have at home.

We’ve done a great job otherwise of keeping up on the new budget and spending program. For the first time since implementing our written budget last December, we’re actually UNDER budget in the food category. Our budget is $25 per person per week, which still works out to be plenty generous provided that we aren’t eating out.

This month I’ll be paying off all of the remaining debts other than our one credit card balance (and no, we didn’t pay them off with the credit card). This should really get the snowball rolling, now that we can put all of those resources into our one big debt and hopefully deflate it fast.

In more good news, I’ve picked up more freelance work (which is one of the reasons this blog has been quieter lately). All freelance work income goes directly towards our debt repayment.

Many people have emailed to ask how I’ve found freelance projects and jobs to fill in the gaps. I’m using the Hire My Mom service, which bills itself as  “Every Mom’s Best Friend.” I pick up projects here as piece work to come up with a little extra money (need summer camp money?) but I’ve also met several long-term clients through Hire My Mom. I highly recommend it if you have a freelance skill to offer. (Accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation, web design, graphic design and many others). It’s a quarterly subscription service, but it’s always worked out to be worth it to me (about $30 a quarter).

If you’d like to see some more of my work, I’m doing a regular debt-busting column at and I also write about peer to peer lending (a hobby of mine) at