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Getting Out of Debt, December Edition - Page 5

post #81 of 116
On the topic of envelopes, I'm curious if anyone's tried various denominations?

Someone mentionned in another thread about going as low as possible (5s?). I don't need your specifics, but generally speaking do you go high or low?

Unless an alotted amount is say $50 and I need two 20s and a 10 I usually stick with 20s and that actually hasn't been working well...especially when money needs to be shuffled a bit since your only option is to take a 20 instead of say a 5 or 15.

I think I may try 5s for January. I never thought of going so low, but it might be worth it- I'll try it and see! I'll keep the consistent ones like gas streamlined since it all goes in the tank in one go anyhow.
post #82 of 116
Originally Posted by RainbowSprinkles View Post
hi, i haven't been posting much at all, but i read a lot posts

we are just starting this program so we are on babystep 1. so far $400/$1000. i hope to have the EF fully funded by the end of next month.

i have a question about the budgeting, how many different categories do you have? so far this is what i've come up with:

work expenses (like boots, etc.)
car expenses (oil changes, registration,etc.)
kids activities

and how do you organize this in envelopes? do you use regular envelopes? i was thingking about maybe using a coupon organizer. what do you guys use?
We use a combination of envelopes & savings accounts.
Here are the various savings accounts we have established & pay into each month so we can pull from them instead of blindly spending.

Prop tax/water
Gas/Electric (we pay a set amount into it each month & pay out what is due, so the remainder is rolled over)
Repairs (house & car)
Health (the minimum for a HSA at my work was $100/month, so we just do our own)
Kids (Zoo Memberships/childrens museum membership)
Emergency Fund - the name says it all!
General Savings account - we've had this forever

Envelopes - each month:
Groceries - $500
Target - $75
Gas - $75/each for DH & I
Fun $$ - $100 for me & $120 for DH (he has the kiddos to cover some of their activities during the day)

DH & I split up our gas & fun $, and then groceries & target just stay in 1 envelope to pull from. We stick in all our receipts for the month into the envelope. Our budget is getting fancier in tracking how we are doing since DH freaked out last night and thought we lost $110. Luckily it was just a user error in addition/subtraction.
post #83 of 116
Ours are a little complicated....DH has 2 jobs until April so we have 1 Budget for now and will redo for spring/summer.

From DHs normal Full-time job it's direct deposit and we take the following out during the month: Mortgage and debt repayments. At the end of the month everything left goes to debt. NOTHING else comes out of there unless we have fully discussed it and agree it is necessary (so far 1 quarterly house insurance payment is the only additional item since mid-september)

DH works a 2nd winter job and gets paid cash on Fridays based on however many hours he shows up. That money goes into the following envelopes for each week:
*Gas (8mpg truck - no other options) 40.00
*Groceries - 100.00
*Hay - (we raise milk and meat animals) 70.00
*DH - 50.00 (coffee 'cause he is gone 17ish hours per day but I'm working on a system, I pack lunch but he has other expenses too)
*Household - 20.00 when possible
*Savings - 200.00 goal

For savings we "try" not to touch it. This month it was Christmas money. In Sept/Oct it was the EF. The rest of the time it goes to debt at the end of the month.

Our situation is a little different because we are off-grid and heat/cook with wood so we have no heat, water, septic, electric, gas etc bills. If a car needed parts DH fixes it, orders parts at cost and that money would come out of the savings envelope. We pay any unexpected bills that are unavoidable from savings. Since unexpected spending/impulse buying hasn't been an issue this system works for us. We save all receipts and review at the end of the month to see if there is any possible way to cut something out for the following month.
post #84 of 116
has anyone compared Dave Ramsey's method with Start Late, Finish Rich (split your snowball and put half towards debt and half in savings)? i'm really not sure which way would be better. i just know i have to do something!
post #85 of 116
Thread Starter 
I'm heading out of town for 12 days, lets end 2009 on a great note!
post #86 of 116
Just dropping in to update!

Although I haven't been "perfect" with my finances...I was able to put in nearly $2000 in our FFEF and it's currently at:

$3716.54/$8000 or 46.45%!!!!


I also called my 'net service and got my bill lowered to $46.99/mo for a year (no contract!!), it was $59.99/mo before.

AND I purchased a OOMA and will officially start using it on the 22nd, once our phone service is fully shut off.

So I've been able to cut our phone/net bill from $87/mo to $46.99/mo!

I went down to 1 dvd at a time on netflix as well, but that only saves $5/mo.

STILL...I'm feeling the old frugal me creeping back in and I'm LOVING it
post #87 of 116
Wow, what a feat! Keep on truckin'!
post #88 of 116
As far as the envelope system goes...well, we actually use a coupon file, but I think it still counts

We use cash for everything that isn't a "bill". Our sections are:

Misc. (co-pays, meds, haircuts, clothes, etc)

Every payday I make a list of the money we'll need and dh takes the cash out of the bank. I *NEVER* just get a bunch of $20's...no way would that work.

I make a list of how much we need in EACH category...and then the denominations.

So, dh goes to the bank with a list something like: 8-$20's, 6-$10's, 5-$5's, 3-$1's and a roll of quarters.

Okay, that's not the *exact* list...but ours is random like that. It was a little weird at first, being that specific with the teller...but you know what? I really don't care what she thinks. It's my money and it's what works for me...yanno?
post #89 of 116
Originally Posted by meandk0610 View Post
has anyone compared Dave Ramsey's method with Start Late, Finish Rich (split your snowball and put half towards debt and half in savings)? i'm really not sure which way would be better. i just know i have to do something!
It depends. If you save your emergency fund with DR and then get your debt gone you are more focused and it doesn't take as long to go from one step to the other.

The benefit would be though if you wanna split your snowball and savings if you have a major event that may happen soon , like a baby or job loss.

DR though gives you more then just paying off your debt its behavior modification and putting your life financially in order. I though have no idea how star late is organised.
post #90 of 116
Just checking in to say hi. I am officially on BS2 but what I've been working on the last month or so is getting a new budget under wraps.

One positive, we moved to a village outside the city and that lowered our insurance by $75/mo. It also raised DH's train pass by $75/mo so I guess it is a wash.

I did calculate that we are probably saving $600/mo just from getting rid of our cars and going to only public transit.
post #91 of 116

I made a graph to represent our progress....

...and it was rather depressing!

So, when we started DR, we had 6mos left on our car payment, a line of credit, and credit cards which we didn't use often (but used, and they were starting to get ahead of us). I thought we were in good shape...HA!

I made a graph to represent our financial path. I made the sections into a long stem with a flower at the top with a fat $6,000 in the centre which is our current financial goal (to finance a move and DH's first semester of tuition without getting into debt). Up the stem there are 84 sections each representing $100: the $2,400 we have left to go in the dept department and the $6,000 we need to save. I threw a few more on the bottom since we've paid off the car, the CCs, and some of the LOC already.

I made the ground line at the 0 mark, where we'll be debt free. I love having the visual, but I never realized, even after crunching all the numbers and summing it all up, how financially flabby we were. and just how far we still have to go.

Before starting DR we though, oh, we're only about $1,000 in debt...um no! Do the math! We were more like $7,000 in debt! Laying it all out visually has really made it clear how far we've come and just how much we need to keep up with the momentum to have a prayer of reaching our next goal. I'm looking forward to colouring in squares as we continue.

Anywhoo....I've made a graph this week....what do you do from time to time to keep motivated?
post #92 of 116
Well I am still trying to convince DH about DR. He thinks he is too simple (finances for dummies) and well we are doing really well with our debts. He keeps telling me we are better than others and look how far we have come. While a few things have come together I am realizing that it is BOTH of our mindsets which are the problem. I just don't think we will get that far if he doesn't change his mindset. I am still processing my immature attitude to debt and what is really funny is that his parents are trying to tell us what DR says to some extent. They are disappointed in our money management and I have to say so am I. How did you convince your partner to get on board? He has checked out DR but I am not sure that he is really listening to what he is saying. Can I work on DR's plan by myself and keep encouraging him and showing by example?
post #93 of 116
DH was very sceptical. I told him to give me a month. We fought like crazy over the emergency fund. He couldn't justify saving money when we have money on a CC gaining interest. I used the notion that if it had been all about the math we wouldn't be in this mess, explaining DR's thoughts that if you didn't have a safety net you're likely to get off track when life comes at you. I was pretty emotional about it at times. I found it frustrating that something had moved me so deeply and he was pulling away from it barely willing to give it a chance.

During one of our last arguments I had asked him what the harm was with trying it. By then I had dramatically changed my spending habits and pointing out how much I HADN'T spent (especially during back-to-school time as a teacher) and explaining how I had changed and this was something I at least wanted to TRY.

Anywhoo, he ended up giving me a month and that rolled over into 5 where we are now. He hasn't complained about our $$ being in an emergency fund (in fact I think he's appreciated it, as he's a worry wort constantly thinking he'll be laid off) and I think he likes having that net there and knowing we'd be able to manage at least for a little while if something were to happen. He too found our visual chart rather depressing- neither of us realized it was as bad as it was.

ETA: For your DH, I'd really emphasize that the fact that there IS debt shows that you're NOT doing okay. You don't want to keep your head above water, you want to move forward. I'd share the point that DR is very behavioural. It's not about the math, it's about changing your behaviour, gaining momentum, and being encouraged by seeing results. It's likely true that you're better than others, but that doesn't make it right....I can't remember the quote at the moment, but something to the effect of "if you compare yourself to a society that's on the wrong track, then that doesn't prove much". His reasonings are very juvenile, as are the "I-want-it-now" cravings (which I realized I had huge, and didn't clue in that maybe that was a problem...). Good luck!
post #94 of 116
Dh has been out of town for business training since the 14th.

He should've been back yesterday, but instead his job flew him from OK to TX for MORE training...there was even a possibility of him being flown BACK to OK if things in TX didn't go well...but thank goodness he's finally coming home tonight!

Nothing sucks more than missing your hubby during the holidays.

That being said...I freaking hate his new job! He works so much now and he's on salary...so it's just not adding up. He'll be home at 1030-11pm tonight, and is going to work tomorrow from 6am-430pm...I pretty much wont see him until it's actually *christmas*. Gah.

I do have a point to this dh-work-rant post.

It's TOTALLY helping me get motivated to save as much of our money as possible. I hate that he has to work. I'm thankful that he does work and has a seemingly stable job...but I miss him SO. MUCH.

I can't wait until one day we are financially free and can just bask in the sun and spend time together, hahaha.

Anyway. His job pisses me off and motivates me to stay on track with our TMMO. I just hope I can stay focused and not blow all of our money on retail therapy...hahah
post #95 of 116
Originally Posted by eirual View Post

Anywhoo....I've made a graph this week....what do you do from time to time to keep motivated?
We have a Graph/thermometer that hangs in our bedroom so its the first thing we see int he morning and when we go to sleep.
post #96 of 116
The graph/thermometer idea sounds like a great way to stay motivated. I remember a few months ago, someone stated they posted their debt in big # and updated it as they paid it off. I was thinking about getting some from our local school supply store after the holidays and making that display in our kitchen.

On a sad note - DH & I were crunching the numbers from our holiday shopping and realized somehow we have either lost or misplaced around our house $60 cash. This is really bumming us out as we're trying to decide whether to eat it or ...pull from somewhere so we can continue to get some gifts for individuals who we had budgeted for, but now we don't have the $.

hmm maybe I'll go try the "ask a psychic thread" in TAO for a little help
post #97 of 116
Hi mommas,

I'd like to join you, even though December is almost over. I was a DR listener a couple of years ago and I'm familiar with his program (I've read My TMMO, etc). My husband just started a new job and we're lucky enough that it comes with a nice bump in pay. In the past, we fell into the trap of adjusting our lifestyle up to accompany the bump in pay and I don't want to do it this time. I want to take this increase in income and get out of debt sooner. Soooo...I'd like to join to help stay motivated.

We are on BS2 and if all goes as planned, we should have it done in ~ 18 months.

post #98 of 116
I would like to join as well. I previously joined the no-spend challenge a couple of times but just don't find it very easy to keep up with. I found myself reading this thread everyday and looking for new posts! So I figured this is where I belong. Currently, DP has a good job to more than cover our expenses and I SAH. Our debts are a motorcycle and about 6K in student loans. Then the mortgage of course which is interest only but these last two payments I started paying the amortized amount. We also contribute about 5% to a 401K. The remainder is savings. I plan to use most of that saving to pay off the motorcycle in the spring. The interest on it is a flat $$ every month so it really doesn't matter if I throw money at it now or when I have the full amount. And I'm very good about not touching $$ in the savings account! We also have some major spending coming up, will likely need a new fridge and need to fix the truck soon ($1800 ) Other than that, my main goal is to pay down on the house so we can sell and move somewhere else (maybe). Or maybe to just stop paying PMI. Not really sure. I'll say my main problem is that after so many years of just barely scraping by and being really frugal, now that DP makes a very decent living, it's hard to keep living that frugally. I want to but I don't have so I have a hard time forcing myself to go without. The main area that I overspend is food. I love food and going out to eat. DP doesn't care to spend money, it's all me! (other than the beer $$) Oh, the other thing is that now that DP makes $$, we can no longer have the kids on the state medical so that is costing a bit each month. Plus we finally got life insurance but DP is a smoker so that costs a pretty penny each month too.

Whew! Sorry to ramble. I REALLY love this thread and I love thinking about ways to save $$. Can't to share in the paying of debt with you all!

Oh as far as DR goes, I haven't read his book or anything, I"ve been to his website and I really like the ideas. I feel like I kind of have my own way of doing things, but I have taken some good ideas away. Like we are trying to do an all cash budget for purchases rather than the debit card. That is going ok, but I do have a tendency to "steal" from other categories when the $$ runs out in one.
post #99 of 116
Cody'smomma, Welcome here!

Definitely pick up DR's Total Money Makeover from the library. It has more than just concepts in it, he really gets inside your brain and gets you motivated. It really is a life-altering shift in thinking. Since starting his method in August we've established an emergency fund, paid off our car, our credit cards, and are on our last LOC. He really moves financial freedom to the top of the priority list (and I'm thankful for that because life is so much calmer now).

A good place to start is to at least track your spending each week and crunch the totals. How are you organizing your envelopes now (like which catergories do you have)? Do you have a budget drawn up and an Idea of when you'd like to accomplish your financial goals (e.g. save an emergency fund, pay off CC, pay off vehicles)?
post #100 of 116
Good to have another "newbie" on the thread cody'smomma, I think that tracking your spending is a good start, as well. The first time I did that it was certainly an eye opener.

So I logged on to my online banking today and saw that my husband's vacation payout from his previous job was deposited - just a tad over $3,000 went straight onto our BS2 snowball; I immediately logged on to the account and made the payment so I don't get tempted. I wasn't expecting it today so it was a nice surprise.
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