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March Getting Out of Debt

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
Welcome to March.  If you want to get out of debt and start saving this is the thread for you.  Some 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: 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 deductibles 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: http://www.daveramsey.com or if you want a good DR discussion forum, llnoe.com Gail vax Oxlade's Til Debt do Us Part is great tv show, very motivating. Her website is: http://gailvazoxlade.com/blog Please join us!
Edited by mtm - 3/3/11 at 4:12pm
post #2 of 97

I am joining. Question though..Is it only me but I cannot see anything in the OP.

post #3 of 97

Blazing through BS2.....we were at the end of it just at the end of summer, but then we moved across the country for DH to go to school and now we're back again. We incurred very little debt in the grand scheme of things, but none of which we want to hold on to! We anticipate finishing BS2 in a couple of months, but we also have a cross-country trip for my brother's wedding AND tuition for school-attempt-number-two to save up for.

 

I'm very much looking forward to September when the large expenses will have been saved up for and passed, my DH starts school, and I return to work full time. It will free up a good portion of our finances and we'll move into BS 3 (knock on wood....)

 

 

post #4 of 97

Thanks to tax return we are about halfway through BS3..

We have tons of expenses coming up though. HOA fees, escrow underpayment, and a few other 200-300 dollar expenses. So that may set us back a bit. However we have been selling things on ebay and craigslist like crazy. Hopefully that off sets it a bit. It is helping me get decluttered and organized too!

post #5 of 97

I can see the text in the original post but it is all pushed over to the right, funky boards! heh

 

eirual - Good luck with the rest of the debt payoff and saving for the big expenses! What will your DH be studying?

 

corrie43 - Congrats on making it halfway through BS3! Good luck with the big fees coming up.

 

February was good to us - we are at 93.4% of our baby step 2 debt paid off. We should have all of our debts paid off in 2.5 weeks - woo!

post #6 of 97

Pre-Step 1: Get current on your debts and do a budget
DONE

BS1 $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
DONE

BS2 Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
With our Taxes we cleared..

1. Old apartment charges - 842.50

2. Credit Card - 1489.06

3. Car Warranty Bill - 1254

 

What we still have

1. Midwife - 3200 (maybe less, waiting to find out how much the insurance will pay)

2. Car - 14000 (first car loan, unexpected baby, our car couldn't fit 3 car seats)

3. student loans - 28k (on forbearance right now)

 

 

 

 


 

post #7 of 97


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyTwoAs View Post

I can see the text in the original post but it is all pushed over to the right, funky boards! heh

 

eirual - Good luck with the rest of the debt payoff and saving for the big expenses! What will your DH be studying?

 

corrie43 - Congrats on making it halfway through BS3! Good luck with the big fees coming up.

 

February was good to us - we are at 93.4% of our baby step 2 debt paid off. We should have all of our debts paid off in 2.5 weeks - woo!


93.4 !?!?!?! ....AMAZING!!! How long have you been working on BS2?

 

DH will be taking Electro-Mechanical Engineering.....sounds fancy, but it's ultimately an extension of his previous manufacturing experience. It's a much more logical next step for him. Our university adventure was more something he had to do for himself to see if he could do it.

 

post #8 of 97

Thanks! We started in January 2010 - original BS2 completion date was September/October of this year but I sought out new clients last fall and my husband worked harder (commissions) and we've sped it up considerably.  I can't wait to not have to send off those payments!!  :)

 

Is your DH excited about returning to school? Does he enjoy the field he was in previously?  I think building upon that is smart!

 

Dex - grats on getting those debts paid off - woo!

post #9 of 97

We are starting out March on a good note... CC debt free!  We still have the car loan (23,000) and my student loans (28,000) but we kind of aren't focusing on the student loans right now.  They are consolidated at a REALLY low interest rate and we are on the IBR payment plan so our payment is 0.  I know it is still debt but we aren't planning on buying a house/making any other large purchases.  We are now trying to focus on savings and paying off the car faster :)

post #10 of 97

MyTwoAs--- congrats on almost be done with BS2!! That is awesome!!!

 

Welcome dex-millie!

 

February went well for us.  We were gifted some money awhile back and are using it to buy a house.  We found a repo on a little over an acre outside of town and have put an offer on it.  If we get it, we could have it paid off this year, which would be so awesome.  It will be nice to be in our own home again and have a big yard for my boys to run around in and explore.  We should hear back this week.  Pretty crazy that a year ago we were really struggling and now things are going so well that we are buying a house.  

 

I have also been able to make snowball payments on dh's student loans.  We have one in IBR and are going to put another one in IBR as soon as dh prints off our taxes for this year.  I think though that even with the students loans, we are sitting pretty good.  I have increased our EF and may slowly build that up to the FFEF while we pay on the student loans.  Anyone who feels discouraged, let me tell you, it can turn around.  Just hang in there!

post #11 of 97

How strict do most follow DR when you have a spouse. DH isn't too bad but he doesn't see the big no CC thing, like he prefers to pay gas with the CC because he don't want something like our VISA Bankcard getting stolen. Even though I tell him the bankcard visa has the same protection. He says with the bankcard if money get stolen, it will take a while to get it back and we wouldn't have any cash available but with the CC we would still have our cash and just sitting back waiting for the company to refund us back. So I am always checking the CC and making sure each week any new charges have been cleared. The CC dept we had was part of trying to fix the older car we had and some other things that came up.

 

Not only that but holding off on vacation is not something that he is interested in. Even right now he plans on going to a coworker wedding on an island that may be around 1700(not sure yet), he did ask if it was ok, but I guess I wasn't thinking it was going to cost so much. I just knew that he haven't been on a good vacation in a while and me and the kids usually go somewhere once a year, which is encouraged by him because I usually just visit my parents in the islands and he wants the kids summers to be spent in the carribbean as much as possible. The last vacation he had(he came to meet us) it rained the whole week he was there..I felt so bad for him. 
 

Now we might be also going together for a vacation(to my moms island) because my mom decided to pay for our son. All we have to do is pay for 3 tickets and we will have a house to stay in so he is all in for that. Once again these are the two things I compromise on because it does no good to keep trying to make him see it DR way as he doesn't see the point with these two things.

 

So basically we compromise on the CC and vacations.

 

 

oh...on more question about paying off debt.

 

My student loans are actually broking up and the smallest one is 8K so the other is about 20K(I need to go check it out again but they are no more than 28K.

 

My car loan is 14K.

 

Now we was thinking it would be best to pay off the car loan first instead of the 8K student loans because incase of any finacial problems student loans can always be put on forbearance/deferment.

 

Is this something that is ok..or it is still best to go from smallest to largest.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyTwoAs View Post

I can see the text in the original post but it is all pushed over to the right, funky boards! heh

 

 

Oh..I can't see the text at all. I looked up the other Threads to get the info.

post #12 of 97

BS1 - now done! We have $1070 in our EF. Happy dance.

BS2 - I guess it's done. Our debt is mortgage and student loan, and the student loan is not something we can pay in less than... well, many years.

 

So by DR's steps, we're now in BS3, but we're not following him strictly. Next steps for us:

1) Arranging to contribute 1% to our retirement. Paltry, yes, but I am excited to actually start something on this. We have some IRA savings from years ago, but we haven't contributed for so long. I am going to ask my boss if he will give me a 401(k) benefit and maybe match the 1%. What match do you guys think is standard/reasonable? I mean do I dare ask for a 100% match on my 1%? If they do a 50% match is that fair? 30%? I am the only employee so I'm on my own for figuring this out.

2) Continuing to beef up EF, a la BS3

3) Continuing to make small prepayments to mortgage and student loan. I should put all my eggs in one basket, probably, and not split the money between them, but I feel more comfortable this way and I think that's the main point of DR. I despise making the minimum payment on either. More of my prepayments are going to the mortgage than the student loan, because of the higher interest rate - also counter to DR's advice. But the student loans are just not going to get paid off anytime soon no matter what, so I am more motivated by sending extra principal to the mortgage payment and feeling like I'm saving a lot of interest payments in the long run.

4) Continuing to build sinking funds

 

For the PP, I personally don't think that your description of your husband's use of the credit card is worrisome at all. He's buying gas with it, right? So he's not spending more than he would. That's one credit card trap. If he's going to Target and spending more than he would because it's easy to do with the card, that's something else. And if you're paying it off in full every month, no problem. You don't have to pay it weekly unless you think you might forget or something. I have 15 years of experience paying off my credit card in full every month, and there's no interest or anything. I also have chosen to use credit cards over debit cards. We once had to pay hundreds in fees when we were out of town and our paycheck didn't hit the account as we expected. It was our fault but it just would not have happened if we had used the cc. We would have come back and paid the bill and that would have been fine. Instead, we had a $25 charge on every single transaction, most of which were transactions under $25 (one was for $2). So for us, based on our experience, we feel using the cc is a smart choice, and we have yet to regret it. For someone else, the smart choice might be a debit card. It all depends on you guys.

 

The vacation thing is just something you have to decide about. I mean, I'm not working 8 jobs <shrug> You do what you do, you work as hard as you want, you cut as much as you feel comfortable with. Personally, I would not be able to take the vacation, but that's me. You are not obligated to please Dave Ramsey or anyone else. If taking the vacation allows you to keep at it, and it doesn't cause you to fall behind, and you feel more motivated because of it - well, I just can't argue with that.

post #13 of 97



 

Congrats!! on your accomplishments!! I can't wait until I can be on BS3, it will feel so good.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seashells View Post

BS1 - now done! We have $1070 in our EF. Happy dance.

BS2 - I guess it's done. Our debt is mortgage and student loan, and the student loan is not something we can pay in less than... well, many years.

 

So by DR's steps, we're now in BS3, but we're not following him strictly. Next steps for us:

1) Arranging to contribute 1% to our retirement. Paltry, yes, but I am excited to actually start something on this. We have some IRA savings from years ago, but we haven't contributed for so long. I am going to ask my boss if he will give me a 401(k) benefit and maybe match the 1%. What match do you guys think is standard/reasonable? I mean do I dare ask for a 100% match on my 1%? If they do a 50% match is that fair? 30%? I am the only employee so I'm on my own for figuring this out.

2) Continuing to beef up EF, a la BS3

3) Continuing to make small prepayments to mortgage and student loan. I should put all my eggs in one basket, probably, and not split the money between them, but I feel more comfortable this way and I think that's the main point of DR. I despise making the minimum payment on either. More of my prepayments are going to the mortgage than the student loan, because of the higher interest rate - also counter to DR's advice. But the student loans are just not going to get paid off anytime soon no matter what, so I am more motivated by sending extra principal to the mortgage payment and feeling like I'm saving a lot of interest payments in the long run.

4) Continuing to build sinking funds

 

For the PP, I personally don't think that your description of your husband's use of the credit card is worrisome at all. He's buying gas with it, right? So he's not spending more than he would. That's one credit card trap. If he's going to Target and spending more than he would because it's easy to do with the card, that's something else. And if you're paying it off in full every month, no problem. You don't have to pay it weekly unless you think you might forget or something. I have 15 years of experience paying off my credit card in full every month, and there's no interest or anything. I also have chosen to use credit cards over debit cards. We once had to pay hundreds in fees when we were out of town and our paycheck didn't hit the account as we expected. It was our fault but it just would not have happened if we had used the cc. We would have come back and paid the bill and that would have been fine. Instead, we had a $25 charge on every single transaction, most of which were transactions under $25 (one was for $2). So for us, based on our experience, we feel using the cc is a smart choice, and we have yet to regret it. For someone else, the smart choice might be a debit card. It all depends on you guys.

 

The vacation thing is just something you have to decide about. I mean, I'm not working 8 jobs <shrug> You do what you do, you work as hard as you want, you cut as much as you feel comfortable with. Personally, I would not be able to take the vacation, but that's me. You are not obligated to please Dave Ramsey or anyone else. If taking the vacation allows you to keep at it, and it doesn't cause you to fall behind, and you feel more motivated because of it - well, I just can't argue with that.

 

 

Thanks. I am just letting those two things go. Vacations will always hold us back somewhat because the money spent for it could have gone on dept. But at least to my husband and even me they are important so we don't feel like we can't do nothing. And most of the places we go is to where I, him and my mom grew up (so mainly three islands) so we always have a place to stay and a vechicle to travel in.

post #14 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by dex_millie View Post



 

Congrats!! on your accomplishments!! I can't wait until I can be on BS3, it will feel so good.

 

 

 

Thanks. I am just letting those two things go. Vacations will always hold us back somewhat because the money spent for it could have gone on dept. But at least to my husband and even me they are important so we don't feel like we can't do nothing. And most of the places we go is to where I, him and my mom grew up (so mainly three islands) so we always have a place to stay and a vechicle to travel in.


Thanks :)

 

Of course it will hold you back somewhat, but what I meant is that the important thing is that you still get ahead overall. So if you spend (say) 2 grand on a vacation, at the end of the year are you going to be closer to being out of debt or further away? I assume the former, so it's just a matter of choice, of priorities. Just working on the debt and making progress rather than getting behind already puts you in the group of responsible people :)

 

post #15 of 97

Hi mamas,

Lauren here, I am somewhat new to the finance threads but I have begun reading up on DR and love it for the most part. 

I am going to be totally honest here and admit to my internet friends that we blew DH's ENTIRE tax refund on bills and a few goodies (DH's PS3, my new camera and laptop)...Ouch. It makes my stomach turn thinking about it. We were in line to get this great apartment and it fell apart both of us majorly depressed went a big shopping spree, guess how that made us feeljoy.gif thenbawling.gif

 

So here we are, I am trying to get DH on board to start the steps, he is going to be tough but I want to badly for us to do this! So wish me luck, we are having a serious talk, one amongst many we are having, I think it will be an evening of serious talk. 

 

For those of you in the middle of DR's plan how did you find it has gone if you were big spenders before and now you are not spending on ANY extras. Is it really hard? What has been easier than you thought? I would love to get as much insight into the actual process as possible!

post #16 of 97

We're on BS2 still and are quite a bit closer to paying off our first student loan! In a couple of months it will be gone! Then just 2 more and the car.

 

Our plan is to have these paid off by the time DH comes up for tenure in 2 years. Our house also comes up for mortgage renegotiation at that time, so it will be good to just have the mortgage as our only debt.

 

We're able to put about $1000+ per month into our snowball at the moment, though this will drop to nothing over the summer when I am not working.

post #17 of 97

We are not big spenders so I really can't say, but it's my theory that big spenders might also get quicker/better results on DR than those of us who have already been tightwads. So it might be a really good thing for your motivation.

 

If you spend a lot, you have a lot more leeway to make a lot of progress by cutting back without having to take second and third jobs and such. Look at it that way and it might be really motivating :)

post #18 of 97

Ldavis24 - We were BIG spenders, seriously. Newest iPhone, bought the first iPad the day it was out, multiple laptops (we're tech geeks obviously), a new Coach purse every year for Mother's Day, out of control Christmases, multiple vacations a year, etc. I'll be honest, it was hard for about 3 months. Once I started to see the debt go down it got quite easy. I ended up cutting way more than we needed to - cable, mobile WiFi, etc. So for me, the hardest and easiest things were one and the same - hard to stop spending but once a few months passed it was easy to not spend frivolously. Looking back at my spending is embarrassing.

post #19 of 97

I have a question having not read DR's books yet, does he allow for any extras at all?

I'm thinking of a camping trip DH and I take each year for our anniversary, DH will be devastated if we don't do this, it is something he truly looks forward to each year. Are things like that allowed or is it so bare bones that you don't spend a dime on any recreation of any kind?

post #20 of 97

Ldavis24... You can still go camping, you just save up for it before you go so you pay cash.  Also, if you were big spenders before, then maybe you should make sure each of you gets an allowance each month to spend on yourself so you don't feel completely deprived and be unhappy.  We don't budget allowances here, but have in the past, may do so again soon.  The thing with personal finances, is that they are personal :D  You can follow DR to a t, or you can adjust it to fit your  circumstances.  We all on here don't follow him to a t, we are just all about taking charge of our money and of course, knocking out that debt so we are not slaves to it.  

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