One Knitted Present Done, One to Go, and a Lesson on Budgeting

Pattern: Hat with Fox Pattern in Lima by Drops Design (free on Ravelry)
Yarn: Malabrigo superwash merino in Lettuce and Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Orange, White, and Coal.

Pattern: Variation on the Tin Can Knits Rye pattern
Yarn: Regia Hand Dyed Effect in color 06551
Book: The White Coat Investor 

I finished the fox hat! Super excited about that. The duplicate stitching was not difficult at all. Two great tutorials for that on Craftsy and Purl Bee. I like how it turned out. Though I want to practice with my color work so the tension is more even. I blocked it but that can only do so much for the tight tension on those foxes. Oh well. It will fit my daughter and I think she will love it. I got distracted watching Elf with my boys and knit too much before starting the decreases for the crown so it is a little slouchy of a hat on top.

I now have only one knitted Christmas present I am trying to finish. I was going to make a tiger stuffie for my daughter but have postponed that until Valentine's day because 1. her sister is giving her a fox stuffie from IKEA and 2. she is already getting more gifts than the others. I normally don't make the number exactly even but no sense in stressing out to rush and make another when it isn't needed.

So I am trying to finish my husband's Christmas socks. If I knit 2 inches a day until Christmas I will finish them. I started this plan on Sunday and so far it is working out. We will see. I am kind of using the Rye pattern with a few variations.

I am not a super fan of this yarn. I like the colors but it isn't a really tight twist so it splits a lot. I have dropped a few stitches and they are a PAIN to pick back up. I dropped one and didn't realize it for several inches. I almost threw my knitting against the wall while trying to fix that mistake. I am getting use to it though and I think the husband will enjoy them. I gave up keeping this gift a secret and am just knitting it in the open, pretty much the only way to have time to knit 2 inches a day.

The Book

I started working a few months ago as a business manager for the White Coat Investor . It is interesting work and I am learning a lot both as a business manager and from the personal finance posts that I now have to read and prep for publishing. The editor published this book and I recently finished reading it. We are on a quest to pay off our student loan debt from my husband's graduate school and are pretty intense about budgeting to make that happen as quickly as possible. What I liked best about this book is the way it makes you think about spending your money intentionally. For instance, the author says that financially successful people live far below their means, saving 20-30% of their income.

After reading that I went back and figured out what % of our income we had been paying on our student loans this year, 22% and we saved 4%. But after reading this book we decided that we would take 30% of our income to pay off our loans and try to live on 60% (after 10% goes to tithing). So far it is working great and our debt is decreasing nicely.

The financial education journey, that we have been on the last two years since Dave Ramsey gave us hope it was possible to get out of debt, as led me to know that when we are financial wise with what God has given us by living within a budget and getting/staying out of debt, AND being generous with our means to help His children, He blesses us immensely. I have seen this in our lives the last 2 years. As we have learned to be wise and generous, our income has increased to pay off our debts.

Have a great week! Sharing with Ginny, Nicole, and Andrea

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