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Getting Out of Debt in November

post #1 of 106
Thread Starter 
Welcome to November!

Yikes, winter is around the corner and that brings Thanksgiving for the US posters followed by the holidays. Lets make this the month we get our finances in order. If you want to pay off your credit cards, start savings or get budget help, this is the thread for you. Most of us use Dave Ramsey's method but please join us even if you're following someone else/your own plan. All welcome!

Here's DR's plan:

These are the Baby Steps:

Pre-Step 1: Get current on your debts and do a budget
0.1 Commit to NEVER borrow $$$ again
0.2 Talk with spouse and get him/her on the same page as you concerning finances.
0.3 Do a written budget
0.4 Temporarily stop all retirement contributions
0.5 Get current on all the basics (Shelter, Food, Utilities, Basic clothing)
0.6 Amputate "toys" (bikes, boats, ATV's etc) if they will keep you from completing the snowball within 12 months
0.7 Cut lifestyle (Cut CATV, Cellphone, Regular phone "extra's", Internet, Eating out, etc) and/or take second job if $1000 EF will take more than 30-90 days.
0.8 Get current on ALL bills

BS1 $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
1.1 Chop up/freeze CC's (You have an EF now)
1.2 Get Health insurance NOW if in the US (chances of getting sick w/ major medical bills are larger than that of death)
1.3 Get Life insurance NOW if you have considerable debt/your family couldn't make it financially if you died.
1.4 Amputate cars that you can't pay off within 24 months
1.5 Consider raising insurance deductables to $500 or $1000

BS2 Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
2.0 Do the debt snowball, paying all your debts from lowest BALANCE to highest.
2.1 You can take your first vacation since finding Dave if you can pay cash for it (no using the EF !!!)

BS3 Three to six months of expenses in savings
3.1 Start car replacement fund
3.2 Save up 20% for home purchase OR pay down existing mortgage to the point you can drop PMI.
3.3 Start furniture or other non-essential stuff replacement fund

BS4 Invest 15 percent of household income for retirement

BS5 College funding for children

BS6 Pay off home early

BS7 Build wealth and give! Invest in mutual funds and real estate

Here's the link to Dave Ramsey's website:


Please join us!
post #2 of 106
Thread Starter 
If you need added or removed from the list, or I got your details wrong just let me know and I'll fix it.

Pre-Step 1

BS#1: Save up $1000

BS#2: Pay off all Debt (except the mortgage)

BS#3: Build up to 3-6 months of savings



post #3 of 106
Hi there, we are starting down this road. I've heard so many good things about Dave Ramsey's system, and "envelope systems" that we're finally going to try it. We're not able to take any of the in-person classes, so I'm trying to decide which to buy. I was going to get the Financial Peace University online or DVD. Doe anyone have any thoughts or regrets on this? I'm completely confused with people talkinga bout TMMO, FPU, this online forum of his or that one. It seems he asks you to 'subscribe' to things a lot as well. I want to make sure I make this purchase carefully, if it's worth it I am fine with it, but I don't want to just throw more money away on the road to being better with money! LOL.

Thank you
post #4 of 106
We don't really follow Dave Ramsey persay... just kind of our own lose version of it We should start seeing our BAH in our paychecks this month (I hope) so we can hopefully start paying things off!! There are a few things I need to get first (DH needs a camera) but I can't wait to start paying things off!!
post #5 of 106
I would recommend reading The Total Money Makeover and then join this board http://www.livinglikenooneelse.com/forum/index.php? along with following the no spend and get out of debt threads here.
It is free unlike Dave's board. After that if you want to do FPU online go for it but if you do the things above you will have a good handle on it and they are free if you get the book from the library! Good luck! Dave Ramsey's plan has changed our lives and we are so thankful!
post #6 of 106
Happy November!

Here's my monthly update:

BS2 Paydown Goal: 50.5%
BS2 Paydown Actual: 49.3%

Savings Goal: $5100/$7500 (68%)
Savings Actual: $7184/$7500 (95.8%)

Goals for December 1
BS2 Paydown Goal: 52%
Savings Goal: $7500/$7500 (100%)

We're cash flowing Christmas with my income this month so we probably won't see a big jump in our BS2 paydown.

Melaniee - I did FPU online and I enjoyed it. I have all of the MP3s saved and on my iPhone so I can re-listen to them on demand. However, I think you can get a lot out of just reading his book The Total Money Makeover, keeping up with this group here and then check in at the llnoe.com forums like excited suggested.

Chely7425 - Good luck with the new income and debt paydown!!
post #7 of 106
Thanks MyTwoAs! It is really the only upside of deployments... getting debt paid off!
post #8 of 106
Here comes another curve ball for us! Looks like we're moving back home. DH has came and done the school thing and decided it's not for him.

Part of me wants to stay here because it's beautiful, but we're just scraping by here and it's not in our long-term interest. If we go back home, we can stay with my parents rent-free, DH can make a decent wage, and so can I and we can pay back what little money we borrowed to do this by summer. We'll find a rental in that neighbourhood so DS won't have to move schools again and stay put for a few years (we hope!).

After 6 yrs of marriage and doing everything newlyweds are "supposed to do" (even though we don't think of ourselves as conventional folk, we still fell into that go to school, get married, get a car, buy a house, have a kid box) we're ready to sell the house we shouldn't have bought, start saving and start again financially. Time to pay our stupid tax, and start from scratch!

We've done all we've wanted to do, we've made mistakes and learned from them, and I think we're both really ready to move onto the next chapter in our lives (moving home, settling contently- at least for a few years), thinking about adding to our family, and finding a balance between work, learning, finances, stuff, simplifying, staying active, and future goals.

Sooo....we need to scrounge up $2,000 to get home, which will come from our RRSP contributions from last year.

As crazy as this experience has been I can't say I regret any of it. We were ready for an adventure and got one, DH got to do what he felt he needed to and won't have any "what-if" regrets. It got us out of living in a house that was really too big for us, having 2 vehicles and long commutes, and just a stretched-to-the-max kinda lifestyle. I'm content with where thing have led and where they're going and am greatly looking forward to moving forward in our life.
post #9 of 106

BS1 here! No time for full post, but subbing.
post #10 of 106
Thread Starter 
Welcome Melaniee! My advice is to buy/take out of the library My Total Money Makeover. A lot of people like taking the FPU class for motivation but I'd start with TMMO. I also like llnoe.com for support. The advice can be a little hardcore sometimes but well worth it, not to mention its free.

chely7425, post when you make your first payoff so we can cheer you on!

MyTwoAs, your numbers look great! You are so close to the 50 per cent mark. I'm using this month's cheque for Christmas too, sucks to not make progress but its so nice to have Christmas paid for.

eirual, wow that's big news. Will he finish off the semester first before coming back? might be good to get the credits in case he decides to go back at some point and I'm guessing the university won't refund tuition by this point.
post #11 of 106
Recommitting back to destroying our debt once again!!! DH & I have been skating on the thinnest of ice in struggling with life challenges (sickness, appliance breakdowns etc) and some unnecessary spending. We had a brief breakdown and put some on a CC, but its getting all paid off again.

We have decided that November is NO for eating out (beyond our spending cash $$), NO extra spending splurges and NO use of the CC.

We have been lazy about posting items on CL for sale and I will see if I can light a fire for that, and ramp up & promote my work with Barefoot books since taking that on recently.

Yay for November and a swift kick in our financial pants!
post #12 of 106
Yay for November. This month we should be getting the money gift from dh's aunt and paying off two debts that will total $6800. Then its just student loans, which most are IBR thankfully. Little discouraging at times that dh has a jd and a masters, but because of the economy we make little more than we did before he went on to law and grad school. But I am thankful that we do have an income right now, affordable housing, and food in our bellies.

Anyone feel like they lose that gazelle intensity? I want to have it, but I think because dh doesn't at the moment, I struggle with keeping it. Maybe I will get it back when the above debts are gone.

Anyways, best of November's to everyone.

eirul...so glad you know now that school was for your dh. You will be far ahead in the long run, I believe.
post #13 of 106
Hmm...so you all recommend TMMO over FPU? To elaborate a little more, our current problem isn't debt, it's our propensity to get INTO debt, overspending and lack of budgeting skills. Coupled with having just moved to an area that is more expensive (for employment) and wanting to make sure we can "make it" here. ATM we do not have debt beyond mortgage (for a house we aren't even living in anymore! It's being rented, for now, but if I could sell it we would have. We hope to own a home to live in again, someday, but it's hard to imagine currently) and cars (pretty sure we broke a Ramsey rule with the loans on these, but I'm so happy to have a loan over a lease and own it at the end). We also do not have decent savings, retirement, college funds that have any amount worth speaking of at the moment.

That is why I was leaning towards FPU, but honestly why do they have to make it all so confusing?! Do you all still recommend TMMO over FPU, in my case? We need someone to TEACH us what to do with our money. It's embarrassing and ridiculous that at this point in our lives we haven't figured this out yet. It's not for lack of trying, it's for lack of skill (and willpower).

Thank you everyone!
post #14 of 106
Melaniee-I would absolutely recommend reading The Total Money Makeover and taking FPU. I was just suggesting the cheapest way to get started. The more I listened to Dave, the more I got into it all. Taking FPU live at a church somewhere with you spouse is what I would recommend the most but there are ways to do it free if that isn't an option or doing in online is great to but do it together. Get The Total Money Makeover book now and it is a quick read and very motivatiing!!
post #15 of 106
Hi everyone, I am just checking in. we are still waiting for money from MIL, still waiting for the stupid insurance company and I am still waiting for my windows to be fixed (so it was raining in my bedroom when I got out of bed today ). I found out we might qualify for a program that will weatherize out house though so I am going to look into that. We went over budget on groceries last week so I cant go shopping this week but that's ok because I have enough food int he house to feed us for an extra week. Hope everything is going well for all of you guys!
post #16 of 106
Hi, I'd like to join! I've recently decided I've had enough of this paycheck-to-paycheck and have been looking into the Dave Ramsey stuff. I listened to TMMO last week (audio version) and watched a couple of dvds from FPU. A friend is going to send me a book and workbook that she has.

My dh is not involved in our finances, but I finally got him to look at and agree to a budget for November, which is a HUGE step. This is the first budget I think I've ever made - I've always handled our finances rather reactively, not proactively, so I'm excited by this step in the right direction. We're actually just starting BS2 - we have a couple of cc's and a big student loan. I'm struggling with finding ways to pay extra on the cc's - our finances are pretty tight. I can't figure out much of anything we own that would be worth selling. I've been looking for pt work that I can do, but my availability is pretty limited with one ds still at home with me and having to cook all of our meals from scratch due to food intolerances. I think I've trimmed our spending down almost as much as possible. So, that is my current challenge (well, that and actually sticking to our new budget).
post #17 of 106
eirual - Wow you've been on a roller coaster this year. What was your DH going to school for? I know that returning to school, especially with a family, is much different than going straight out of high school (speaking from experience here heh). At least he's figured it out sooner vs. later! It sounds like your plan going forward will definitely be beneficial - near family, getting back on target financially, etc. When do you think you'll start to make the move?

mtm - It is definitely nice going into Christmas with a plan. We've already notified the kids that the lavish Christmases of the past won't make an appearance this year and since they both know about DR they're a-ok with it (my daughter is almost 7 and my son is 9 so they're old enough to start to get it). How's your BS4-6 progress going?

keg - Welcome back and welcome to recommitting! Good luck with your NOvember - NO eating out, etc. Sounds like a good way to ramp up for the winter!

stanleymama - Yay for getting two debts paid off this month. Did your husband take the bar exam? When I tried this TMMO thing in 2008 I lost gazelle intensity after a few months and stopped. Looking back I wish I'd stuck with it because life would be quite a bit different now! Sooooo…having been intense and lost it and now coming back to it two years later, I encourage you to do what you can to get it back into your household hehe.

Melaniee - If you read TMMO first it will set you up for what you learn in FPU. Although you can go into FPU without having read TMMO, the book is definitely a good precursor to the program and it does discuss the getting into debt aspect of life as well as the getting out of debt (plus savings, etc). In your case I'd still recommend TMMO and the forum and then if you still want more, definitely do FPU.

Pogo - good luck with the insurance and money as well as the weatherization. I've covered the weatherization assistance program pretty extensively for a client of mine. I hope that you're able to qualify for it - if it is the one I'm thinking of you'll get a full energy audit, they'll determine the weatherization options that will make the biggest difference in your energy consumption, etc.

moonlitemama - Welcome! Yay for getting your DH to look at the budget. My husband wasn't involved in our finances at all - beyond a "just give me the bottom line" with regards to our total debt. Now I keep the budget on a Google Apps account so he can access it whenever he wants (since he travels for work) and it is helping! With regards to earning extra income - I see that you blog, have you thought about trying to get into freelance writing? It's what I do as a part-time from home business and although it started off slow nearly 4 years ago, it has blossomed into a full-fledged little business for me.
post #18 of 106
DH is (was?) doing his Bachelor of Science. He's going to finish off the semester and hopefully get the credits anyways. There's one CRAZY intense writing course that he's thrown his hands up at and I can't blame him; it's absolutely brutal (this coming from the gal who found APA formatting fun).

The plan will be to leave after final exams (they're the first week of December, so we should be packed up by the second week of December).

The more and more I think of it, the happier I am that we've decided to go back. My job is making me very thankful for teacher's unions!...I've been working for just over what I was making working PT (i.e. half-time) for the school board back home, doing an insane amount of coverages and duties and of course there's planning, prepping, and marking that go ontop of it all. Knowing that we'll be leaving I keep catching myself thinking "good riddance" more and more as the days go on!
post #19 of 106
MyTwoAs... yep, dh took the bar and is licensed, but after applying everywhere and being told he was 1 of HUNDREDS applying, he tried starting his own practice, but it was just too much. So we headed back home to family in another state where he is working as an pt administrator for the county and full-time as a chimney-sweep/wood stove installer. He will be running for city council in the spring, and has a good chance of getting in since he was on the same city council in the past and the gentleman he is going against is not liked at all. Dh is a guy who does well at everything and is a mix between a blue-collar and a white-collar. Honestly, we are really happy with where life has taken us. Dh is getting good experience working for the county that could open up doors for him in the future to the job he is most interested in.
post #20 of 106
Stanleymama - Wow, talk about a saturated market! I'm glad he found something that he enjoys doing and good luck to him on the city council bid!

Eirual - I had a few courses like that - I actually broke down and cried one day last fall because the class was just so overwhelming. Good luck to your DH finishing up this semester!
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