2019 Debt-Free Goals


Welcome to the New Year! One week down and fifty-one more to go! 😁

This year, the goal is to not spend any money on take-out food. Toward the end of summer last year, I started ordering from Panera and on occasion dinner from Outback. Due to the time of year, Joe’s pay increased and so it made it easier for us to spend money on takeout.

I’m guessing, for the two of us, we spent at least $200 a month for the last three months of the year. That’s a total of $600 less that should have gone to our debt. ARRRGH! 😡

Was it worth it? No. It didn’t add to our happiness and only took from our wallets. So this year I’m on a mission of staying focused. The only expenses we’ll make, in addition to the ones that are already in our budget are: broken appliances, house repair, children’s necessities and medical bills if we have any. Anything else can wait until we’re out of debt.

Joe hurt his foot at work in December and we received the bill about a week ago. $323.17 OUCH! And I don’t mean in the foot. 🤣 BUT, it’s the first time, EVER, that we paid cash for a medical bill over $200 that we didn’t charge on a credit card. 🤗 Writing that out almost makes me cry because I’m so proud of our accomplishments.


Some of you have asked me debt-related questions over the past few months and so I decide to include them in this video too.


If you don’t have the money to pay your medical bills, be sure to call the doctor’s office, hospital or collections company and have them email or mail you a copy of your bill with an itemized list of charges. Not only for you to verify charges but to verify that you legally owe them the money.

Then get on the internet and google the medical code. It’s usually a five-digit number and you’ll find what the charge means or close to what it means. For example #99203 falls under “new patient” but can also mean “outpatient visit.”

After verifying and agreeing to the charges, ask them to make monthly payments until the charge is paid off. If the pay-off date falls within 12 months, they will usually agree to this schedule. Check out youtube if you have more questions about this subject, as there are lawyers giving out free advice over there.


In my entire life, I have never bought a new car and I’m not embarrassed to write that. For me, buying a new car is not a smart investment so we’ve always purchased used cars and just recently started buying cheap used cars.

When we first got married, we purchased used cars between $10k-$15k. Did we have that kind of money to pay cash? Not at all! So about two years ago we did an overhaul on our way of thinking when it comes to cars. Also in the past two years we’ve helped three of our children buy cheap reliable cars.

Most of the cars were found on Craiglist and all of them are Toyotas. The first car cost $3850, the second cost $4000 and the third cost $5000. They get between 29 and 39 miles to one gallon and are all very reliable.


There are SO many ways to live simply. Here are just a few to get you started.

  • 1 / walk daily
  • 2 / eat healthy
  • 3 / stay out of debt
  • 4 / buy what’s needed, not what’s wanted
  • 5 / rely on savings as back-up and not a credit card
  • 6 / and… smile 😍

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  1. Michelle says:

    Love your animated videos. You make me laugh. Thank you. You said your husband hurt himself at work that is workers comp. My husband had work related injuries at work and workers comp under law have to take care of all work related injuries and lost wages. FYI. We have been dealing with this for two years. The surgery bills were astronomical.

    • Darci Isabella says:

      The problem is that in order to claim workman’s comp, he needs to report a specific date and this is pain that has been slowly coming on until he couldn’t walk.

  2. Watched your youtube video before I read this blog. In the vid you said – and I hope I’m “remembering” this correctly! – something about a $45 “tissue” charge. I laughed when you said that. About 45 years ago, my son (now 55 years old) had a tonsillectomy. I knew, even THAT FAR BACK : ), to check the bill. In doing that I saw “Tissue – $10”. Well. $10 FOR A BOX OF TISSUE!!!! Grrr! So-o-o NOT an item I was going to pay THAT MUCH FOR! Called the hospital office. Uh. Well. The TISSUE was tonsil tissue that – by law – had to be “sent off” to be “checked”. For what, I never found out. for WHY – I never found out specificially. Other than someone, somewhere had mandated “tissue check” on LOTS of tissue retrieved in operations. So. Paid the bill. I have ALWAYS checked medical bills. Item by item by item. It doesn’t hurt to check ANY bill – item by item by item. Grocery bills might be a REALLY good place to do that. Thanks for the insights and the time and effort you and your family put in to making the videos and this blog.

    • Darci Isabella says:

      Yes, it was this video! 😁 Tonsil tissue? Wow, I’m guessing when my mother and her sister (70 years ago) had theirs removed, they hadn’t invented tonsil tissue yet. LOL! Thank you for sharing Edith! ❤️

  3. Elizabeth Wiste says:

    Darci….I love your live simply list at the end…would love to see it at the end of every blog post:)

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  • Alert! Sad story ahead. Don't read if your day has been fabulous so far and you don't want anything ruining it. 😄
So two days ago I cried into these stairs for soooo many reasons. If you've been following my stories, then you know the counter top installer cracked our IKEA no-longer-being-made kitchen sink. Because we had to run out and quickly buy a similar one, they didn't charge us for the install. Ya. What I didn't mention before is that even though these two came highly recommended, the install of the counters was poorly done. They left gouges in the wall, they didn't finish the trim and the trim they did finish was cut unevenly. Thankfully I knew how to fix everything but what a disaster. I should have just installed it on my own. Then this past Monday we had our carpet replaced. We paid extra so I wouldn't have to move the furniture. When they arrived, not only did they say that they don't move furniture, while it was being torn out (different than the counter top people), they tore off parts of the wall along the stairs. I only showed one photo in my stories but it was all along almost every step. Then he told me to expect lots of scuff marks on the wall. "It's to be expected. They should have warned you." What?! So I told him that I just finished painting this entire house and to please do his best in not scuffing them up. He agreed. They finished early Tuesday and as soon as they left, I got to work fixing their mess. Only this time around, it was a lot more challenging than fixing the counters. This is when I just broke into pieces. The next day we were refunded our "furniture moving" money but the damaged wall is in dispute. Ya. But let's look at the bright side, we were able to fix and repair all the damage left behind. Happy Thursday 👍 .

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