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Getting Out of Debt, December Edition - Page 6

post #101 of 116
I have been tracking my spending for several years in excel, which is how I came up with my budget amounts:


My problem is that I am just not self-disciplined enough to stop spending!!! I mean, we are able to save/pay off dept about $800 a month but I know I could be saving/paying debt more like $1,000 if I was disciplined. Maybe I should just not be so hard on myself? I just know it's doable to live on much less because we have done it before. But now I have gotten used to the creature comforts and not having to say no to myself and it would be hard to go back. I mean, don't get me wrong, I shop at thrift stores, don't buy new clothes and don't just go out and drop money on stuff. But we could go out to eat less and I could make less impulse purchases on stuff under $10.

I don't really have a goal as to when I'd like to pay such and such off but basically, as soon as we've saved enough (and there are no layoffs in the forseeable future!) I'd like to pay off the motorcycle.

I will try and check that book out to motivate myself better.

Thanks for the tips!
post #102 of 116
Spending is my problem, as well. Like you, I could be putting more into my snowball if I reigned in the spending. I don't think you should be so hard on yourself but perhaps I'm not the best person to answer this question. I know that when I listened to DR, he advocated tightening your boot straps as tight as you could and just deal with it until your out of BS2. I haven't been able to stay on that type of plan so I'm hoping that if I just say my snowball must be xx amount every month and any commission checks, bonuses, unexpected money that comes in goes straight to BS2 that I can stay on plan this time.

Any advice from the more seasoned veterans about staying on track?
post #103 of 116
A lot of visual - sitting down to LOOK at the progress monthly for some, having that sign of the wall for others, for me it's an ongoing app in my iPhone.

I'd re-read one of his books to get re-motivated and I certainly do that off and on throughout the year, the tightening the bootstraps is really great when it FEELS like it has a purpose. It's a lot harder for me post-BS2 in that saving up to pay at least 50% down on a house is SLOW SLOW SLOW and I need to kick myself in the pants on that one.
post #104 of 116
Thanks Maluhia - I've dug out My TMMO and I'm going to reread that. I think I need to start downloading DR's podcasts as well. I'm a gadget geek (which is where I need to reign in spending the most) and I have an iPhone so I'd love to know what you use on your phone. I'm a visual person so I love the idea of having something visual and portable.
post #105 of 116

surprise...kitchen reno!!

So my FIL came into some free cabinetry. We bought our house fairly cheap 3 years ago knowing the kitchen would have to be re-done to get a decent price back when we sold (5-10yrs). So, our kitchen was totally liveable, but with DH going to school out East in the fall AND free cabinetry coming our way we figured if we were going to re-do the kitchen, now's the time! Having a finished kitchen was the main goal for this house as the turn-around when we sell (maybe this Fall, but probably not) would at least be reasonable.

So, instead of a relaxing holiday together, we're tearing down walls and cabinets and leveling floors together.

So far it hasn't cost us any money 'cause we're still in the demo stage, but DH and I have both agreed that we're only going to do what we can as we go and we won't spend $$ we don't have to finish it. We're keeping our appliances and our sink. We'll likely have to dip into the emergency fund, but hopefully not. I'm willing to live with plywood countertops until we can pay cash for finished ones (which can take 3 wks to come in anyhow).

There have been a few surprises along the way (like the current walls being plywood, and the original 1920s outter wall having a 1" cavity and no insulation) so we'll have to re-dry wall all the walls, frame-up and insulate the outter wall so far. But we can handle that. I'm hoping there won't be too many more surprises as we go!

The flooring I love was on sale too, so a new floor will only cost us about $150 (not including the leveling of the sub-floor). So...it was a big jump, and kind of scary to commit to, but I'm hoping it will pay off and I am soo happy to be rid of the previous kitchen- whoever made/designed that made a huge mess of it.

We're aiming to be finished (minus the countertops) by next weekend.
post #106 of 116
This was a great year!
Thank you to DR even if I hate having a budget and hate having to be accountable.

Next year I hope to finish BS3. YEA!
post #107 of 116
eirual-that sounds awesome! We need to do our kitchen too and I am not looking forward to it. DP is going to make cabinets but he's not super experienced so that should be fun I hope no more unexpected expenses come your way.

As for my goals for the new year, I REALLY want to stay on budget, even just for one month. I KNOW we can do it. It's just having the discipline. The last two months were crazy. Lots of birthdays, holiday parties, Christmas, I don't even want to know where the money went. All I know is that if we can save $400 each payday and stick to our budget, then by the end of March/early April we will have enough to pay off the stupid #$%$#%$# motorcycle. Then I'll get to work on my student loans (around $6,000) and BS2 should absolutely be done by the end of next year if not sooner. Then (and I know DR doesn't say to do this) I would like to start throwing $$ at the mortgage because right now we owe more than it's worth and I would really like to be able to drop PMI and be able to move if we want to. I guess he does say to try and drop PMI. So anyhoo, that's what we'll be doing next. YAY.

Love this thread for accountability. Hope you all have a happy New Year!!
post #108 of 116
Thread Starter 
Ack, I had long replies to everyone and then lost them. Sigh. Back from vacation without a single inlaw story to tell. Only drawback to the trip was it was cold

Welcome MyTwoAs and Codys'momma. Cody's, are you on bs2 or bs1? Bs1 is saving the emergency fund (1000 normally). I'll add you to the master list.

beansmama, great job on the ffef and on lowering your bills.

lalaland42, how is the new budget working out?

eirual, you've made a lot of progress this year! I bet you'll get to your 6000 by the fall. We need a pic of the graph please!

mamatowill, what motivates my dh is being able to plan to do stuff. He's more rewards based than I am so for each debt paid off or level reached we built in small rewards, dinner out, etc. He's really on board now that we're saving for a vacation once we're done bs3. Figure out what will help your dh, is it a reward built in? Is it seeing how fast you can get out of debt? Saving for a house? I do think you can do it on your own and hopefully win him over but it is harder if he doesn't get on board.

Cody'smomma, do get tmmo out of the library, I found it quite helpful to see the worksheets, read through it. It will help clarify some of the why's behind doing things in order.

MyTwoAs. good job sending that big payment in!

eirual, yay on the new kitchen remodel! ;

Rev1053, you have had a great year!
post #109 of 116
Thread Starter 
As a last hurrah for 2009 anyone want to do a challenge? Go back and find your first post of the year and lets see how far everyone has come this year!

I searched mtm and ramsey and got the threads back to feb. Feb was a great month for us, that's when we entered bs3!
post #110 of 116
Oh, I'm on BS2. I was all set to send $5,000 to the bike yesterday, but then DH got to saying that he hopes he still has work come April. So I decided to hold off till then, I even have a stamp on the envelope! So as soon as I know for sure that he has another job coming up, I'll throw that baby in the mail.
post #111 of 116
Eirual- the kitchen sound awesome! If you want to go cheap, have you considered concrete countertops? If you're handy, they're not too diffucult to make and relatively inexpensive. I've checked out several library books on the topic, and it's amazing how good they can look! Google 'build concrete countertop' and you'll find a wealth of information.

I haven't been posting much, but we're still plugging along on BS3. I'm not a die-hard DR follower; we're also contributiong to 401ks, ROTHs and 529s while we're working on the FFEF. But we're at 60% FFEF, so hooray!
post #112 of 116
Originally Posted by mtm View Post
As a last hurrah for 2009 anyone want to do a challenge? Go back and find your first post of the year and lets see how far everyone has come this year!
What a good idea!

So here are a few things I said on Jan 1st 2009 (on the Jan. 2009 DR thread):

Originally Posted by annethcz
I'm joining back in. I'm going to state at the start that I'm not a big DR fan, I disagree with some of his advice. But I am a fan of the snowball concept, and since I'm still in debt I'm going to hop back onto this thread to get some more support.
Still the same

Originally Posted by annethcz
I'm trying something different this year. DH gets paid every two weeks, and I'm a SAHM. In the past, I've always figured out our budget for every 4 weeks. This year I'm going to budget based on calendar month, and see if that makes a difference.
I've tried to do this so many times, because it seems like that's the way everyone else budgets. But it just never works for me, so I should stop trying. Budgeting for 4 weeks (rather than month to month) just makes more sense for us.

Originally Posted by annethcz
So here we are:

BS2: 6902 balance Jan. 1
And here I am at the end of December 2009, after quite a bit of floundering and falling down:

BS3: 60% FFEF

If we were following DR, we wouldn't be doing these things, but.....
BS4: 12% gross income to retirement accounts
BS5: 2% gross income to college savings accounts for our kids
post #113 of 116
annethcz - I budget based based on two paychecks/four weeks instead of on a monthly basis. The bills come only one time a month but I budget them out of those two paychecks and then twice a year, I alter my budget - move bills around so we have "extra" money in those paychecks. That money goes to the snowball.

Congrats on the great year you've had in 2009!
post #114 of 116
BS3 Emergency Fund: $549/$9000
(BS3b Down payment for house: Done
BS3c Car replacement: $0)
BS4 15% of household income to retirement: Done

Well, I'm also glad it's January. We had our emergency fund up to about 50% and then determined that we needed to replace our 22 yo vehicle.

BS3 FFEF: Done
(BS3b 20% Down payment: Done
BS3c Car Replacement: $4050)
BS4 Retirement: Done
BS6: 27%

Goal for 2010: Hit 40% in downpayment fund...or, I guess, buy a house.

I miss my beater car. When I see it on the road now, my heart skips a beat. Yeah, I'm pathetic.
post #115 of 116
Originally Posted by mtm View Post
As a last hurrah for 2009 anyone want to do a challenge? Go back and find your first post of the year and lets see how far everyone has come this year!
Jan 2009:
We are now 50% done of a fully funded emergency fund BS3. And our budget till next payday on the 15th is pretty tight, but if I am even one dollar less into savings, then we are only 49% there, and I really want that 50%. I know I can make it work though.

Dec 2009:
BS3 - We now have a 100% FFEF, and a new (to us) car that was paid in cash and paid 10K to our condo mortgage.

BS4 - 8.5% to retirement
post #116 of 116
(a wee bit late, but I wanted to play!)

January 09:
so my question is: does the home equity loan count as debt that needs to get paid off before we start to save. we currently have two retirement accounts and three college accounts we contribute to. do we stop that in order to pay off the equity loan?? and we DO NOT have three to six months of expenses saved.

December 09:
we stopped the retirement/college until we had a FFEF, then started those up again and are now attacking the HEL. So I guess my biggest difference in a year is that BS3 is DONE and we have paid 7K of a 35K HEL
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