Greetings, I am new to this forum, but have been reading for weeks now and am completely inspired and ready to begin anew with our money situation. I've already cut our food budget from 1,000 to 650 a month! I'm feeling super proud and hopeful. DH is a school teacher in VT (read: $35K gross) and I am SAHM who earns an extra, say, 10K annually. DH works a bit extra also, but we usually cover car repairs and fuel with that. Suffice it to say, things are tight around here. I'm trying to figure out where to put our money... how to attack this budget and debt.
I'm open to any sort of discussion here cause I can really use any and all help, but specifically I am curious what you all think of Dave Ramsey's advise to halt retirement contributions while paying down debt? We only contribute a *very small* amount per paycheck for dh, and I have no retirement at all. We put the small amount in, b/c we are worried that if we don't, we will never get anywhere.
We have 21K borrowed in a HELOC for our adoption. It is at 2.7% APR variable. We also have a CC balance of 5K at 0% for one year. We own our vehicles, but do also have a educational loan. We recently got sucked into moving to a really nice house. We still own our old house, but rent it out to cover the mortgage plus a tiny bit more. This new house is over our heads, but owned by my folks who intend to sell it to us when we sell the other home. For this house, we agree to pay a minimum of $600 a month. The expenses are more than that, and borrowed from a HELOC in their names. The interest and amounts accru for us but... well... technically, this is my last obligation. My folks are the bank, but a very flexible one. Still scary. We also only have an EF (savings) of 1K. And we dig into it for expenses not within our budget like car registrations, repairs, garden supplies, etc. I have NO CLUE how to proceed with saving up EF. To top it all off, family car #2 is about... to.... fall... apart....for good.
So my plan is to pay everything I can scrape together to my HELOC. Pay minimums to the CC until it is due, then pay it off with the HELOC. (I'm just trying to knock down the interest first, not paying off less debt all together, just putting it all in the pricier loan at the moment). I don;t have a clue what I'll do after that, but I guess I have time before that.
In the meantime, do I really cease the contributions to the retirement and put that toward the loan? I'm guessing I could easily replace the money after the loan is paid since it will free up a ton of cash. But I have to have a strong argument for dh, as he is NOT GONNA LIKE IT.
Thoughts? Advise? Please... fix me up ladies! I'm super excited to see this money we owe go down.