count me in as a newbie...here's my (long) sob story...
I have completed baby step #1 a long time ago, actually we have almost 3000.00 of what we have always called a "nest egg", which is for those big emergencies like the car broke down, or the washer, or whatever. My goal has always been to save this up to a 3-6 mo fund or build it up to 10,000, but it has never happened. I do have a saving account with some stuff like a minor car repair fund/oil changes, clothing, gifts, etc. as well. We use the Budget map to keep track of stuff http://www.budgetmap.com
Time to get started on the other steps, but I am a bit confused how to tackle in what order. I'll explain more below. First of all, I will share my debt...as of now almost 30k (eek!). I am so ashamed to admit that. This is a visa bill, and a line of credit. The credit line has a used car on it (we got 2 years ago when dh went to school, for only 5000.00), some school related expenses/small loans, and what was left of a past smaller visa bill and our truck payment. We wanted to lump everything to have one payment. In our stupidity
we let the Visa get up again over the last year, so of course that has to stop and it is time to tackle this. We have not put anything on credit card in the last 6 mo that we have not had the cash to pay immediately (like that day) so I am proud of that.
We have been living on a budget and getting things like groceries under control and paring down nonessentials, I have been able to take extra shifts outside of my regular part time job and dh now works full time evenings, making it easier for me to take extra work (we homeschool and work around each other, we have always been adamant that hs'ing would be the last thing we would ever give up) but of course life gets in the way. Last Friday I rear ended someone, and may have to write off my 10 year old Dodge Neon!
I have the money for the deductible, but I can't remember if the car is collateral, so we will see what happens. It would KILL us to have to make a vehicle payment on top of what we try to put on the line of credit, unless of course I ask for a small increase like 3000.00 for another second vehicle (we live rural and need two with our varying schedules). we were just about to ask to roll the Visa and LOC together but now that is on hold. AND the same day I did this the municipal office phones and says we owe 700.00 more on property taxes. (we think this is a clericial error and hope to get it straightened out). Believe me I was a bawling blubbering MESS that day.
I feel like I will NEVER be able to get ahead here with the other steps, and am confused as to how to do it....
For instance, we used to be able to make a 130.00 biweekly investment contribution before the Visa got a balance on it again, (RESPS, RRSP's...we do have 60,000 in RRSP's currently) and cannot do that now. Dh is 42, and I am 39, so it makes me nervous that our investing is so "on hold" at our ages. So do we contribute what we can, then how can we ALSO tackle the debt, and ALSO chip in to a 3-6 mo fund for BS #3 Do you do that all at once, a little bit to everything??? Or do I just go gung ho on this 30,000.00?? I worry about not having at least 10,000 saved up for that step #3, especially with our history of illness and bad luck Dh had almost a year of being very sick and working in a very limited capacity and is now dealing with a chronic illness (sarcoidosis...no acute flareups now thank god but you never know), and I was off with an injury for 2 mo this year which set us back more...gov't sick benefits did not pay me much believe me. AND THE CAR.....AAAAaagh! We had just hatched a plan about saving 50 bucks or so a month and tax refunds and whatnot to have a bit of cash for the next vehicle while we eeked out (hopefully) 5 more years on this car....and now it is most likely GONE.
We also have the great misfortune of living in an about 80 yr old house that needs alot more work than we thought. We have been able to do a fair bit (like insulating the attic and blowing it in the walls plus the furnace/water tank all done through the utlility company, the roof was a gift from the inlaws, etc), but I have basement that we need to gut due to mold (most appears to be surface due to not having things like proper venting for the dryer or a bathroom fan), probably 40 year old windows, only half the house is sided etc ad nauseum! I have posted about my house woes before. I can't be concerned about the hideous lino in my bedroom, and the painted plywood cupboards, but I don't want to still be sitting 5 or more years from now with that mold in the basement and my leaky leaky tin windows. And there's other little things like that rusty well/water pump that could quit any minute! We were so focused on how low the mortgage payment was compared to renting that we didn't stop to think how much the repairs would cost in the end. We just walked in thinking we would do just a bit at a time, but I feel so pressured about it now! I have played with an online mortgage calculator or two, and 30-40,000 more on the mortgage is only 100.00 or so more a month roughly, not bad, but with so much other $$ stuff in our life now....aaaagh! When do we do all this stuff for the house as well, cause it feels like it would never happen?!?!?! We crunched some numbers recently with our Investors Group guy, and if we just up and sold we would lose major money again...!
Well, that is our finances in a very long nutshell...if anyone has read this epic tale thus far! If anyone can give me advice on in what order/manner to tackle more steps I would appreciate it!!!