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Getting Out Of Debt In January 2013! - Page 7

post #121 of 155

eirual - I am sorry that you are struggling with the budgeting. I suck at it too. Despite being into the DR plan for month 5 now - there's still too much month left at the end of my money.

If cash works for you - go back to it by all means. And a new month is almost here!


ps - I just figured out how you got your user name.  I feel silly - I will blame it on being a blonde :)

post #122 of 155



I took the coward's way out and stole from savings to pay off the CC (!!!! I've been doing this for more than 3 years now, when have I EVER used a freaking CC!?!?!duh.gif).


I need to sit down with DH and figure out exactly what we need and how to pay back what I took from savings and how to come up with quarterly property taxes (it ain't gonna be pretty).


I also think I need a way to track spending daily. I have a horrible habit of doing uo the monthly budget so I know roughly where we're heading, then winging it through the month only checking in if there's a blip and not following up at the end of the month.


Are there any aps or software anyone would recommend? If it would update multiple devices, that would be peferable compaired to it only being on my phone or only on the desktop. ....oh, first world problems bag.gif.

post #123 of 155

BaileyB, you're absolutely right. I had given up before it had even began.


Any tips on tackling those defeatingly tight months? It doesn't help that we started homeschooling too so I find anytime there's a major transition it's like something's got to give.

post #124 of 155

eirual, the tight months mean more concentration on cash for groceries for me.  Otherwise I spend more at the grocery store and that makes the budget got out of wack.  If you know cash works for you, I would focus on that. You have done it before, you can do it again.


I was reading through my blogs and came up on this series of blog posts that might be useful to some of us for encouragement - http://thepeacefulmom.com/living-on-less-than-28000-a-year-series/

post #125 of 155
Originally Posted by whalemama17 View Post

1.4 Amputate cars that you can't pay off within 24 months DH has a car payment-won't be paid off in 24 months; can't get rid of it. Car is a Toyota Matrix, so hopefully will last for a long time after it's paid for.

Coming from someone who owns a 2003 Toyota Matrix that just barely had it's first real problem, I don't think you'll regret it.
Originally Posted by eirual View Post

I would just like to confess that I have freaking SUCKED at staying on budget....like, so much so that I've given up and don't care anymore and keep spending money.

Seriously. Awful.

I've made such a mess of what was knowingly a really tight month to begin with. I need to get back on CASH and nothing but.

I am the EXACT same way. What it took for me to finally get on track with a budget was the cash envelopes. My mother thinks I'm crazy (she's convinced I'm going to get robbed) and sometimes it's inconvenient (like when DH buys gas with his fun money and we have to pay him back from the envelopes or how I forgot to bring the money for our music class payment today), but it's worth it to keep me on track. Ever since we switched, the "bad" months went from spending more than we made to taking money out of envelopes that I shouldn't. Still not a good thing to do, but it's the difference between adding debt every month and not.
post #126 of 155
blah. I have had to take a couple shifts off because every time DD gets a tooth, she gets a cold/fever along with it greensad.gif I have 2 shifts left in January, and unless I make a ton of money it looks like I may have another week or 2 until I get my Mini EF fully funded. oh well. I would have been right on, if not for missing shifts, so I did ok for my first month budgeting.
also I got the wrong info fixed on my credit and it made my credit score go down. I am soooo frustrated. I do not want a cc, but I do want a mortgage. I feel so torn.

eirual + lactatinggirl, I use cash too, and I am always moving it around "owing " myself money, but at least it's just myself and not some big bank. I used to use ing, but took my money out when they were bought by Chase. now I just use my local bank, but am looking for credit union.
post #127 of 155
Thread Starter 

Got a $0.65 raise today at work!

post #128 of 155

TiredX2- My mother owned the '96 wagon before giving it to me, and she was on top of maintenance and repairs-sunk a lot of $ into repairs. So, barring a major repair, I think it could keep chugging for a few years. The paint is peeling off of the roof, is scratched on the sides, and has a hole in the carpet on the driver's side, and the gas mileage is around 19 mpg I think, but it's paid for. I just have to remind myself that while I might want a newer car, there are other financial priorities before that, and it is a safe car.


I'm not sure what our timeline is for home ownership. Hopefully, I will find a school counseling position this fall, with a salary around $40,000 and DP earns around $30,000. We both have very good/excellent credit. So, I'm not sure how a bank would view us in terms of a mortgage-if they would want me to have a longer employment history, if it would bother a lender that for the past few years we have had a decent amount of credit card debt, how much $ we should have saved up for unexpected repairs, etc.


Thanks for the info re: ING accounts-I just opened one!

Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post


Wow, you're doing great with your steps! 


How much longer do you think the '96 wagon will last? If several years, you could pay off the Matrix (increasing the payment after you pay off the credit cards) and then, once that was paid off use the money you have been paying towards the car to start saving for your next car. It sounds like you will be completely done with credit card repayments after your income tax refund, so that could hypothetically accelerate your car payment quite a bit.


What is your time line on home ownership?  If you have 5K to start your fund, especially if it may be many years before you purchase,  you might want to consider using that money to start a Roth IRA instead.  You can withdraw contributions without tax or penalty at any time and you can even withdraw earnings without penalty for a first home purchase.  I'm assuming you do not have a 401(k) or 403(b) or other company sponsored retirement plan--- if you do, especially one that has matching, you should look into those before an IRA.


As for how many accounts.  We have a checking and saving account at a local credit union.  (my kids are older--- 11 & 14 and they each have their own savings and checking acccount at a credit union, as well as ATM cards) We do bill pay through them, so it holds the amount we need for bills plus about $500 for security and ATM withdrawals.  We then have an ING account.  That ING account has *many* subaccounts.  For example, we (DP & I) each have an account to hold our personal spending money, we have one for major home costs, one for vacations, medical ...  When we actually spend money from those categories, we then transfer it out of ING to our credit union.  I cannot imagine a bank would look poorly on too many SAVINGS accounts.  It sounds like you could use our method quite easily--- just open an online account with subaccounts for each major area (holidays, insurance, down payment, etc...) and keep those funds there until you actually use them (for example, transfer the holiday money into your regular account in November).   CDs are a common savings vehicle for home down payment--- you just need to decide on your time frame for purchase.

post #129 of 155
Originally Posted by trekkingirl View Post

Got a $0.65 raise today at work!


post #130 of 155

Congrats on the raise!


I find that along with being more conscious at the grocery store that doing more trips and buy less at each trip has been helping. Every time I think I am going to save by buying everything all in one trip or buying in bulk I end up with waste and with not enough cash for food at the end of the pay period.


Also, I am finding that doing more envelopes makes me more accountable to myself for spending. I use to just use 3 envelopes: gas, spending (which was groceries and everything else), and sinking fund. I found that I was spending more on drive thru or coffee, etc. than I even realized and it was really eating our $ for our needs. I am really good and $2 and $3 dollaring ourselves into problems.

post #131 of 155
Originally Posted by ILoveMyBabyBird View Post

6 days left in the month and I think it is safe to say I am living within my means. I have 160$ to last me the rest of jan, I plan to pay alot of my cc debt off in feb..

biggrinbounce.gif Way to go!!!

post #132 of 155

veganmama, sorry to hear your DD has been sick.  You have been gazelle intense about saving and that is commendable.  Keep up the intensity, even with the set back.

trekkingirl, congrats on the raise!  

whalemama, good luck finding a school counseling job.  I have my masters in school counseling and every time I look at doing agency counseling I am reminded that schools pay better. I hope you find a good fit.

BaileyB, I am glad to hear that having more envelopes helped you to see where the "leaks" were in your budget. Always seems it is the little things that can cause a big problem in the long run.

post #133 of 155
Thread Starter 

Have any of you filed your taxes yet?


DH did ours the other day and we are expecting $5600 back!


That should help the buying a house cause.


We are back to making offers, didn't take the fixer.

post #134 of 155
Trekkingirl, glad you followed your instincts even though I am sure you are anxious to find something. Hopefully you will find just the right place soon.
We filed our taxes yesterday and are getting a good amount back. We plan to take a portion of it for car maintenance/tires and the portion of our emergency fund that we used. The rest will go to paying down our car loan. This is the first year in a very long time that we haven't been desperate for the taxes to come back so we can catch up on bills/debt. And in the years before that it was always spent on "stuff" so this feels so good.
post #135 of 155

Trekkingirl- Congrats on the raise!  I actually just got started on our taxes tonight (I always use H&R Block, online version) but I can't finish them until I get a couple more documents in the mail (1 from my college, 1 from our mortgage).  We typically get about $2000-$2500 back.  I'm anxious to get all the paperwork so that I can complete our taxes to find out exactly what we are getting!  I'm working my butt off to fund a Roth IRA for 2012, a nice refund will make all the difference for us! 

Over the weekend I went through our pantry and both freezers & took a written inventory.  This will make meal planning easier and  I can shop for just what I need to make best use of what I already have.  It's amazing how much we have on hand and forget about.  I soaked and cooked lots of beans & I froze them all in glass canning jars. 

post #136 of 155

Trekking girl- Congratulations on the raise!  New year, new houses to look at!


CookiePie: Can you fund your ROTH 2012 after you do your taxes? I thought it had to be done before in order to claim the ira 2012 on your 2012 taxes


In my case, I am trying to fund the last of my traditional ira 2012 and then I will complete my taxes. If I did my taxes now I would owe 500, once I max out my 2012 tax I will get a 1000 return.  (The half shaft on my car just broke, so maxing out the IRA will take a pay period longer, but I'm still waiting for some tax forms to arrive anyhow).


SO I do have a budget, but I am a few months behind on it :), Car maintenance fund wasn't funded yet and IRA payments are a bit behind, (but I take the April due date in to consideration). I'm at the dave ramsey stage of creating sinking funds (is this a stage?) along with adding to an EF (which I do not want to touch) and IRA.  I do not have any cc debt or any other debt other then mortgage.  The last item I crossed off on his list was getting life insurance.  Im at the stage where I have some cash for unexpected events, but I usually borrow it from one fund to cover another expense.  Im trying to build these funds (new car purchase, travel, etc) At least its not on credit card or $ from the EF.

post #137 of 155

Cookie pie - actually I was thinking, maybe you can do your taxes and then fund the roth 2012 but then its just not included in your taxes? Maybe with the ROTH it doesnt matter?

post #138 of 155

We did our taxes last week, but they won't be submitted for a bit because the IRS isn't ready to take certain things yet with the new tax laws and one of those things is the credit we're getting for putting in new windows last year (only $35, but better than nothing!). Our expected refund is $4500 and a good majority of it is going to savings to pay for my schooling next year (with putting away $100 a month, we still need 3K for the next two semesters). The rest is going to fixing the wheel baring in the van, upgrading our sprinkler system to automatic, and then putting away the rest to pay for my daughter's preschool next year while I'm in school. I know it's silly, but I was hoping to find money for a new dog (want a playmate for ours while I'm in school) in the taxes somewhere and it looks like that won't happen. Oh well. 


I keep flipping back and forth between which car I want to drive. The Matrix is in better shape and gets better gas mileage (dropped down to 25 MPG when the weather got cold and I'm hoping that's not an indication of something wrong), so that's what I've been driving. Even with the van being a piece of crap though, it's nice to drive. Getting the kids in is a breeze and there's enough room that I can let my younger one roam while the older is in preschool and maybe get some work done. The problem is, it gets anywhere from 14-18 MPG, which is a significant drop. I'd be okay with dealing with the issues (though the barring would need to get fixed before I could start driving it regularly) because they need to get fixed anyway, but I just can't get over the drop in MPG. It's silly to want to drive a car that's more expensive to drive just because it's more comfy, right?

post #139 of 155

I started my taxes but still waiting on my W-2s from two jobs and mortgage information. I think I need to down load the school loan statements of how much loan interest I had.


Last night I got bad news.  My current job will end in June 2013. Now I need to find a new job. It takes so much work to fill out job applications. I have been at the same teaching/counseling job since 2001 so it is a major mind shift.  Filled out 4 job apps today. Hopefully some other teaching jobs will open up as "that time of year" comes into season.


We have our money saved for our IVF that is covered by my current job's insurance so we are moving forward with that in March. Changes afoot.

post #140 of 155
lactatinggirl, I think it depends on how much you have to drive. if it's a ton of miles daily go with $saving, if it's just a quick trip go with comfy. (although comfy would be better for the loanger drives)...

lilacvioletiris, I'm sorry about your job:( that stinks. but I bet you'll find a better paying gig in no time! change is hard, by good !

I can't believe it is almost February! I was good at sticking to my budget, and I just barely missed my savings goal, so that's good smile.gif I am going to try to pick up a shift or 2 in Feb to make up for My lost shifts this month, and throw that money directly at my emergency fund.
I also found this 12 month savings acct at my bank. it is an automatic monthly withdrawal from checking, up to 500 a month, 6000 total for 12 month period with a 5 percent interest rate. so I'm thinking of using that to at least start my big EF. I think the early withdrawal fee is 15 bucks. and at the end of 12 months it just ends up back in checking acct. I think it end up being 165 dollars in interest, by that's more than my regular savings right?
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