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Getting Out Of Debt In September 2012

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

Do you want to get out of debt? Start living on a budget? Be able to start saving? Then 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 are welcome!


Here's DR's plan:

Pre-Step 1: Get current on your debts and do a budget
0.1 No new borrowing.
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) to help snowball
0.7 Cut lifestyle (Cut cable, cell, extras, eating out) and/or get a second job to raise $1000 EF.
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
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

BS2 Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
2.0 Do the debt snowball, paying all your debts from lowest BALANCE to highest.

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, http://www.llnoe.com is good but hardcore. Gail vax Oxlade's Til Debt do Us Part is great tv show, very motivating. Her website is:http://gailvazoxlade.com/blog Others like Suze Orman or Mary Hunt, really doesn't matter whose method you use, just start the process to getting out of debt

post #2 of 39
Thread Starter 

Anybody out there? MDC has been really dead lately! FB must be sucking people in!!!!!  I don't know why really, pretty impossible to have an in depth meaning full conversation with like minded people there!

post #3 of 39

I'm here, I'm here!!


I have recently removed myself from buy/sell groups on FB. I was oogling over too much stuff that, had I never seen, I would never have wanted. It was just the fact that it was there and for a decent price I fielt like I *should* get some. I finally just gave away the stuff I had been holding onto to sell and I feel so much lighter and freer and better and hopefully made a few people's days by giving them some good scores.


Out of sight is out of mind, for me! ....it's the same reason we ask for no weekly flyers to be delivered. It doesn't matter how good of a deal something is, if you otherwise wouldn't have spent that money you're not really saving anything. We do look up the one weekly flyer for groceries where we shop, but that's it.


What are your approaches to sales and flyers??


I was also searching for a woven wrap and feeling nervous about spending $$ on it. DH reminded me I still had my Hypnobabies package I was intending on selling, so I did. It went quick and for enough to cover the wrap, so I feel good not guilty about picking it up. Yay, for no buyer's remorse!!joy.gif


Living within one's means feels so GOOD!!

post #4 of 39
It took 2 years but after loosing his job and now getting paid half of what he used to, DH is on board!

Of course now he makes half of what he made before..... My dd is in a private school and that is our one nonnegotiable expense. And it's a big expense. We just got rid of out AT&T cell phones and are going with page plus ( 42 instead of the 170 we were spending!). We still. Have Netflix and Internet- I would have a hard time giving up Internet as I help my daughter with her Spanish via the Internet, find lots of good deals,etc!

I work full time, cook most everything from scratch (I recently stopped making xrackers and bread but may have to start that again. At the rate we're going will will be almost debt free in a year and I look forward to slowing down. DH is looking for a second job right now and I am looking for little things I can do to get more spending money. We are eating on $200 a month (and entertaining on that!) and I look forward to being able to be a little more loose in my budget!

And I'm rambling but it's soooooo good to be where people are supporting each other to get OUT of debt not IN debt!
post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 

I don't know anything about buy/sell facebook pages?

post #6 of 39

There are no addictive baby carrier groups. Do not go join Babywearing Swap....not that there is such a group Sheepish.gif. Trust me, ignorance is bliss on this one! lol There are local mom to mom groups out there too- I had no idea until friends started adding me to them....such enablers....nono.gif.

post #7 of 39

I'm here too! Just registered dh and I for a FPU class that starts on Tuesday in town.  We were going to do this 6 months ago but it was kind of crazy with scheduling but now we are going to make it work.  I am excited but nervous to go but I am expecting it will be helpful in many ways - I have heard great things about this program.  I'll keep you all posted ;)

post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 

Yay! I'm waiting for my church to start up one too. We already have all the materials, just need to set a date.

post #9 of 39
I really want to join this group and start getting out of debt. I have no idea how to start. I feel pretty trapped. I've read Dave Ramsey, I know the steps but I feel incapable of doing it. There doesn't seem to be any extra money to put towards paying down debt. Everything is getting more and more expensive, we have nothing worth selling and at the end of the month I'm holding my breath that we'll make it to payday. I used to be so good with our money, we didn't use credit cards, I put money in savings every month, I just don't know what happened. I'm embarrassed to even write how much we owe. Plus 3 of my 4 kids have birthdays this month, California just added a new fire tax that's due at the end of the month and dh's truck registration is due, plus it has to be smogged this year. Every month I think I'm going to budget and save and pay extra and then every month stuff like this is going on and then there is nothing extra.
post #10 of 39

DH's bonus finally came in today's paycheck. I just made an additional $5,000 payment on his student loans. It feels both good....and bad. I get slightly nauseous every time I log into his student loan account and see the balances...and the reminder of how much interest accrued while he was in his surgical residency. Bleh. His balances are still higher on ALL his student loans than what they were when he graduated med school, even with today's extra payment. At least this is one of the only debts we have left (along with our mortgage).


On a positive note, we have started a savings account towards a new car, I'm really hoping the next time we need to buy a car we will not have to take out a loan! 

post #11 of 39

AngieB, you are definitely not alone!  I feel the same way a lot of the time.  This group provides inspiration/motivation for me and some ideas too.  Sometimes it helps to know there are people in the same situation as us.


Maybe just hang out here for awhile and see if you have any ideas or write out what you are spending and see if there is any wiggle room at all.  I like that Dave Ramsey's program calls them "baby steps" because big changes can be intimidating and harder to keep up with. 

post #12 of 39

Trekkingirl, wish you lived where I do - you could buy an awesome 4 bedroom, 3 bath house in the historic part of Battle Creek, MI with 2 car garage for $89,900.  In so many ways, I wish I would have done Dave Ramsey sooner, rented for awhile longer, and been able to own a larger home.  Right now I am stuck in my 2 bedroom home that I bought for $71,900 when houses like the one above was for $120,000 and I didn't want to be house poor.  Yep, hindsight is twenty twenty.  Now houses my size are selling for $20,000 or less.


dziejen, I ought to look into going to a class again and just reviewing what is there.  DH and I have been doing great with budget meetings.  Not always what he wants to hear about the fact that we don't have extra to "play with" but we have enough to cover our bills and put a little in savings and we are snowballing our debts.  Still haven't gotten his educational reimbursement - grr!  We are going to use that to pay for our IVF, but it looks like we will do that IVF cycle next summer when I can relax from teaching.


AngieB, welcome, I hope you can get back on your Dave Ramsey kick with the help of this group.  I find it exciting to hear of people making progress, like nyssaneala above, that keep inspiring me to spend more wisely.


AFM, I got an extra check from proctoring the ACT.  They now do direct deposit and the test was Sunday and the money was deposited today into my account.  Just in time for my trip to Las Vegas for work.  Nope, not going to gamble.  I don't do that kind of thing anyway.  Even more so that I am trying to get my debts paid down so that I can stay home with children I want to have.  Focus, focus, focus.

post #13 of 39

Subbing in here. I seem to have missed last month's thread entirely, whoops!


Our current debt load is $1762 @ 0% and my student loans around 20k on IBR right now. I should probably be tackling that student loan debt right now, but for some reason I feel compelled to build our savings instead.


We've got around $7,500 saved right now and will hopefully be at 8k by the end of the month. We need 16k to have it fully funded (8 months) so I'm trying to be gazelle-like about that. 16k seems a long way off, though!

post #14 of 39
Thread Starter 




AngieB I live in Northern Ca too, Petaluma. When I first started TTMM I used to feel stuck too. I would get pissed at Dave and feel like he was writing to the middle class and not someone poor like me. He would say sell your toys and I would look around for a jet ski or harley and laugh! Baby step one \especially pissed me off. Gee Dave if I could just instantly come up with $1000 would I be reading this book! That's A LOT of money. I got mad, I got CRAZY and made drastic decisions to change. Dave said I paid too much rent. So I moved into my RV. I went from $1650 a month down to $350 for rent. That made things start moving in the direction I needed it to. Dave said I should sell my car but I have a $4000 upside down car loan so to me that doesn't make sense. I have only paid off one of my four credit cards but I am well on my way to home ownership which has been a life long goal of mine. If you have no wiggle room and you really want freedom get MAD and CRAZY. Down size, get rid of everything you can. Work two jobs, I do. Make a budget and stick to it. I still haven't mastered that. Good luck girl, you're in the right place!

post #15 of 39

Hi, I'd like to join this group. I just finished reading DR's Total Money Makeover and am feeling very overwhelmed.  I think I am going to be at pre-step one for awhile - getting current on all bills. It seems that when I get current on one bill - 2nd mortgage for example, I fall behind in something else like student loans!

post #16 of 39

When action seems too overwhelming for this month, just arm yourself with knowlege. Calculate your net worth (yes, that means adding everything up that you owe, but that's what will trigger the rage and light that fire and you WILL find a way to make it work!). I'd suggest starting there (it may require wine...or hot tea...but DO IT!!!! It's even free! :) )


I like to remember too, that even if you can't follow the path exactly, if you make an effort, you'll likely find yourself heading int he right direction at least (which is a lot better of a place to end up than backwards and way off the mark).

post #17 of 39

eirual - thank you for the kind words :)


I did calculate my net worth and it scared the pants off of me - no rage there, just terror. I am using that fear to make the few changes that I can see at the moment - what with cutting down on cell phone costs and struggling with the student loan people.


I will keep reading - I have ordered DR's Financial Peace from the library - don't know if it will be helpful but I like the "peace" part in the title.

post #18 of 39

I'm STILL not sure how I did it, but about 4.5yrs ago my ex filed for divorce (to get jump on me) and left me hanging with 2m of bills, drained joint acount a day after I'd been paid (I made 2x his income), and kept dragging me to court costing me 30K before it was final.

I was paying around 1300/mth in daycare and my ex didn't pay a dime in childsupport until it was finalized because he wasn't forced too (grr) and he pays 540/mth. LOL.


we had jointly 15K in debt, of which I was given 6K, and my car blew up shortly thereafter so I bought a new kia since I'd had bad exp in the past with used cars and GREAT luck with my sephia until it died... I was making 42K at the time all this went down and for the next year after.


I cut out ALL spending I could. turned off cable etc. I'm not a huge spender anyway...even with kids the reccomended toys/gifts/clothing always baffles me.

handmedowns and freecycle and thrift are your friends there.


I don't eat a heck of a lot to be honest, my biggest food expense is probably my dew habit, but even so we were eating PB&js or ramen or cereal quite a lot.


You just have to buckle down to a "will I DIE if I don't have this" mentality. and not a "It's my industrial sized blowdryer and I can't live without it!" die, I mean your heart stops beating and you stop living kind of die.

Pay off highest interest debt first, call CC companies and argue rates and amount owed (I paid 3500 of the almost 6K by threatening filing for bankruptcy and them not seeing a dime) if you have debt.


I went from NO 401k, no savings, no emergency funds, and having CC debt when we seperated in feb of 08

currently I have no CC debt, a car payment (mainly to try and rebuild all the damage my ex did with the credit cards), the house, and a fast growing savings, investment acct, and 401K plans.


Oh, and they ALL say it, but I firmly believe that whenever you get a raise (my income went up to 55yr and stayed there for +3 years, and is now 82yr), make extra money, or free up cash with paying off something - IMMEDIATELY put that into savings.

I have my bank acct setup to move a certain number into savings the monday after my payday every 2 weeks. when my younger son started kindy this year my daycare bill went from 240 down to 160. I promptly upped my biweekly transfer by 150 dollars.


I'm still living like I make less than 42/yr, and in the last err....3 years i've put away around 33% of my salary (if I average) each year.


I also made it abundently clear to my bank that while my accts are linked so I can transfer to savings I did NOT want what-you-call-it...where it'll transfer from savings to cover a purchase?

all the banks I've ever used would charge me a NSF fee, then a fee to move over my money from savings, etc. I'd been charged over 40 dollars for a cup of coffee because of this crud.


now if I make a purchase with my debit and the money isn't in there, my transaction is declined. I usually keep a pretty good buffer in checking, but my previous job I was travelling about a week out of every month and paying for tickets, hotels, and expenses out of my checking acount and waiting weeks (I quit beg of may and i JUST got my final expense check end of aug!) or months to be paid back. at one point my previous employer owed me 5K in expenses!

with all that travel sometimes I forgot or hadn't had chance to login and Xfer a bit over from savings to cover the added expenses. Sometimes I just needed the reminder to do so!


When I was still married our JOINT income was around 50K and i'd tell my ex i'd payed extra towards CC or something and not to buy *anything*. I am usually pretty good at keeping a running tally in my head of total and knew if I had 500 or 100 in my account +/- a few bucks. I'd login to our acct and find we had -300 bucks because of a handful of charges and a TON of nsf/transfer fees. I'm talking on a monthly basis. If I wasn't afraid it would cause my ex to snap and hurt me (which I had all rights to be paranoid about it turns out...he got quite violent since divorce/seperation and has attacked me several times since) I would have given him an allowence!


if you or your SO have issues with impulse control, setup accts or prepaid cards with $$ to cover gas and food and whatever like an allowence but any large purchases would need to come from another acct that you don't carry access around with you. Ie - master acount that has pay put into and you use to pay bills etc but doesn't leave the house unless you both agree on it beforehand. then smaller $$ either with prepaid cards or joint cards (for awhile paypal did debit type cards? not sure if thats the case now) with a fixed limit that should cover just your normal expenditures for 2w or a month.


Those are my big things. if I ever remarried however, I don't think i'd ever do a joint acount again. I think i'd take suze orman's suggestion of figuring out total bills and each person contribute a % of that total based on their income (same income = 50% each, one person makes less they pay lower %) to a acct that is used for joint expenses and then each person retains control of the rest of their income.

But I was burned :)

post #19 of 39
Thread Starter 

If me and my DH had separate accounts I would have to charge him for childcare! Otherwise I would always be broke. He only keeps the kids for 10 hours a week........

post #20 of 39

orangemomma, I too liked the "peace" in "financial peace"


basylica, thank you for sharing your story.  It is encouraging to hear of other people making significant changes to their finances that make significant differences.


AFM, my trip to Las Vegas for a convention was great.  Except for the $13.99 to use the internet, the foundation people who financed the trip, took care of all my expenses while I was in Las Vegas.  I had to pay for food on the way there and on the way back, but I will get reimbursed for those.


On the twentieth of each month, I consider how much I have paid off $8355.63 since January 2012 - about $900 a month.  Makes me mad that I pay about $1800 in credit card and school loan payments, and only half goes to actually paying it off. I think I want to call the credit card companies and see if I can finagle a new interest rate so what I am paying in actually gets to pay on principle not interest.

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