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Anyone else ready to GET OUT OF DEBT? #2 - Page 3

post #41 of 139
Thread Starter 

I like the "little things" updates, after all that is how many of us got here, buying a little thing here and there that we didn't need, and so-- little steps will get us out of it!
post #42 of 139
Jumping in here. We really want to get out of debt. We don't have too much, but we do have a car loan and DH has a student loan, and a mortage. The car loan will be paid off by Nov 2005 at latest, but I want to get it out of the way faster. Currently we aren't paying ANYTHING on the student loan, since we paid a lot at once, and are paid up through 2006, but in the meantime it is just accumulating interest, which I HATE. We do use one cc, but we pay it off in full each month, but I would like to not rely on it. As it is, we often have to use it go buy food and gas if we have no money and dh doens't get paid for a few days yet. Thankfully, it has a large grace period for payment within the dealine, so we never have to pay interest or fews, but I still don't like using it. Plus, we really need to beef up our savings. We don't have nearly enough saved up, and need to really work on that.

The hardest part is finding the extra money to make extra payments. I am not very good at giving up the "little things", so I really need inspriation from all you mamas. My biggest downfall is the grocery store, I spend way too much on food and other little things. I am not good on bargain shopping for food or clothes, (I really hate shopping) and despise going to different stores and looking for things we need, so I usually end up paying more for convenience. Plus, each week the grocery bill just seems so high (80-90$). I am working on lowering that, but it just seems sooooo hard.
post #43 of 139
I think I'm going to get the "Tightwad Gazette" I've heard such good things about it. I really need some inspiration. I'm landsliding right now..... :
post #44 of 139
We spend about $50 a week for groceries for 4 of us (baby's not eating big people food yet! I know different areas of the country w/ be different, but it can be done! Soups and homemade breads, cooking in the crockpot, etc. and it will stretch. I coupon, but only combine with sales. (Just spent $119 the other day, but saved $92, that will last us about 3 weeks!)

I just became a sahm again, so we had to adjust to not having that income...though we'd have had to adjust anyways with the new baby and daycare costs on 3 kids...we made the right decision there.

Helps that our home is paid in full. We do have 2 car payments, but I used my maternity pay to pay down the credit card and all of the extra bills and get used to living on the one income for 6 months (I was on medical leave for a couple of months on top of maternity leave, thankfully I had STD insurance!)

My problem now is keeping the credit card away from DH. I don't want to get rid of it completely as we don't have any savings built up and have had things pop up in the past (furnace went out 3 days before Christmas, busted pipes etc.) that the cc really comes in handy for, but DH has a problem with spending...too many years as a bachelor! UGH!
post #45 of 139
Update from me:

Dh and I just had our second weekly meeting. Even though he has a bunch of work to do and it would have been easier just to put it off to tomorrow, we decided that we can't slack. Especially since neither of us did everything on our action lists for the week. Dh did change his fax plan and managed to get 2 free months. I did nothing on my list (make expense/income graphs, open our property tax savings account), I did manage to get some things that we needed at yard sales for CHEAP!! Check out my scores below:

-awesome farmhouse style braided wool rug that will fill our whole livingroom: $15.

- antique telephone table and small chair: $45 (this is more than i normally would have paid, but it honestly is an antique and so damn cute, I couldn't pass up. will look even better when i'm financially independent and have the time to refinish it..lol!!)

- second highchair for my mom's house for when she watches dd: $5.

- new ball for dd and small black frame: 1.00

I should tell everyone that we recently moved across country and sold all of our furniture before we left, so we have very little. We've had a lot lent to us and I have radically changed what i think our needs are. I am so into yard sales right now, the thought of buying anything new is not even appealing.

I have been perusing the Simple Living boards and getting inspired from the folks there who are really living the steps and many who have already made it happen. I recommend checking them out... its cool to have some real live examples of success.

Oh, and we are going away for the month of July to visit Dh's family and our friends back in Cali. We decided today that rather than just have my mom take care of our animals, we will try and sublet our house and make some money. We are on teh coast of Maine, so there are a lot of tourists. But i think we are more going the sublet route, and might even be able to get our mortgage payment covered. We'll see! That would be awesome though.

I really enjoy reading everyone's contributions. I think this is the longest I have stuck with any thread!!
post #46 of 139
I just picked up The Tightwad Gazette and YMOYL at the library. Planning to dive into them tonight after the baby is in bed. Dh gave him a late nap so who knows when bedtime will be. Anyway, I've been thinking so much more about this whole thing. I'm SO bad at budgeting. I make a budget and never look at it again. I don't work "with" dh on it because he freaks out about money but doesn't do anything to help conserve it so I know we would fight and I can't handle that right now. So, it's basically me budgeting. Thank goodness I pay all of the bills and do 90% of any kind of shopping. Dh's weakness is eating out and buying crap at the grocery store. That's not bad, I guess. It just adds up, ya know? Anyway......
post #47 of 139
I did not spend one cent today. Well, unless you count utilities--ran the dishwasher in off-peak hours and cooked spaghetti sauce. It's 100 degrees here and we aren't running the air conditioner. Downstairs, it's really comfortable. Upstairs, it's an oven. Last summer we ran the air constantly; this summer, we'll only run it at bedtime and then only if the breeze doesn't kick up at night.

We've got a houseful of food, although there are a few regular items that we're running low on. But we've made a family agreement that we will get by on what's in the house--even if it means getting creative--until we leave to go on our trip to Oregon next Sunday. One week without a trip to the grocery store.

If I can do this, I can do anything. I tend to stock up even when I don't need to, and can say without a doubt that I am a grocery store addict.

I also paid off the credit card with money from the savings, figuring the interest on $1400 was money we didn't need to spend.

Feeling good, very motivated. Hopefully this will carry me through this grocery-less week.
post #48 of 139
My goal is to NOT run the A/C at all this year. I know most of you probably don't use it anyway but I did. I promised myself when we had a house with windows we could open I wouldn't use the A/C anymore. I hear my neighbor's go on and I think "I'm saving money" Anyway, that's one of my summer goals.

This Tightwad Gazette is so interesting. Unfortunately I'm already doing alot of the things that are suggested yet we're still broke, LOL.
post #49 of 139
Originally Posted by ekblad7
This Tightwad Gazette is so interesting. Unfortunately I'm already doing alot of the things that are suggested yet we're still broke, LOL.
We have that problem too. I checked out a bunch of links and made a chart of what bills to pay off and how long it will take to pay them all off. Roughly it will take a year and a half without adding in the raise dh will hopefully get this fall or our tax return. (things we usually apply to our bills) I am also putting a small amount of money aside for a piano for my boys. So I'm slowly getting where i want at least I see an end in sight.
post #50 of 139
I'm wondering about the line drying thing. She says in the Gazette that using the dryer 100% of the time adds $20 to your electric bill. Our dryer is gas. Plus, we live in a subdivision with little to no yard. I'm wondering if it would be worth it to me to buy one of those circular clothes line dryers or would the cost of that be more than I would save?
post #51 of 139
It's 100 degrees here and we aren't running the air conditioner
I am in awe! We run the air conditioner all summer long, I try to keep it set at a really high temp (80-85 degrees), but we have it set on automatic. We hardly ever open the windows. I am by myself alone in the house a lot, and I just don't feel safe with the window's open, even during the day. We live in a really safe neighborhood and all, and have a dog which would bark at anyone, but I still dont' like to have them open. So, I guess we spend more in the air conditioner, that we need to.

I also don't have a clothes line. I don't really know anyone in this subdivison who does, and to tell you truth, I am not sure if they are allowed. I have been throwing our sheets and blankets over the back porch duirng the day to dry, so I guess that saves a little money (but mostly because they don't dry so well in the dryer, tend to get tangles up). Plus, DH doesn't want to get a clothes line. He is of the opinion that time is money, and that even though line drying saves money, it takes so much time, so unless you really enjoy it, it probably isn't worth it.

I think that is our biggest problem with saving money. DH espeically thinks "time if money" and won't do something to save money if it takes A LOT of time. So, we end up buying convenience foods and doing things like that.
post #52 of 139
Thread Starter 
Well, air conditioning.... last year when dh was taking our a/c out of the window (I live in Central NY, so no need for central air really), he dropped it out the window :LOL, it was actually REALLY funny to watch. Anywho- can't afford one now- so- this summer we are going without! Tomorrow is supposed to be 90 degrees and VERY humid- so, that'll make me sweat and be proud of not going out to spend that- only $80 at walmart- for a new a/c.

So, I mentioned before cashing in a life insurance policy I had- it came to $2900 (not to worry I still have another policy). So, I am having a dead tree taken down (so I can sleep at night and not worry about it killing us by falling on the house)- $600. The rest I am keeping in savings for now, as dh still has his crappy job where we have to pay $650/month for health insurance. If/when he gets a new job, whatever is left of that money will go directly onto the CCs. I am also taking all money I make off of ebay and putting it on the CCs. Yesterday, instead of buying a new table for our deck (they were only $90 for a table, umbrella and 4 chairs at walmart - and a year ago, I would've bought it right up)- instead I bought a $3 can of rustoleum to paint the hand me down table we have, and we'll just use lawnchairs from the yard and porch when we want to eat on the deck .

We were talking to our neighbor/friends last night and they have some CC debt and are thinking of trying to get pregnant with their first soon, I told them "GET OUT OF DEBT NOW, WHILE YOU CAN!" and ranted and raved for a good 15 min. about it, I think I made an impression . (or maybe they just won't come out back when we are in our yard anymore :LOL)
post #53 of 139
on line drying:
my goal is to hang one load a week. to save money, energy and because i like how it smells when it comes in. If it is a nice day and i'm out more, then i hang more.

on ac:
if you have central air and don't have a programable thermostat - get one. They are super easy to install yourself and reasonably priced. We have one for heat and we more than saved the $30 purchase cost in the first two months alone.

on TWG:
I have paged through it at the library, but honestly -- I find it so darn disorganized and not really a simple thing to do. Don't get me wrong, there are lots of good ideas in there -- I just *choose* to spend my time otherwise. I scan the grocery ads and shop at the store with the most savings for me for that week rather than go to each store. I also don't really stock up for erin ahead of time. The stuff I bought last spring for her just didn't fit in the right season.

My influential in my attitude has been this spring I was taking a grad class in natural resource policy -- my minor toward my phd is water resources science. Anyhow -- I did the paper on consumption. And read Affluenza (which apparently was also a pbs special. do a goggle search and you'll find an interesting website) and the overspent american. The second, by juliet schor, really struck me. Americans spend more time each week shopping than they do on average playing with their kids! And of course ymoyl has helped too.

and finally on budgeting:
i really think the thing that helps with this is being aware of how much $$ you throw away. And to do that you have to know how much you spend. Not how much you *should* spend, but how much you do spend. Then you can make a decision of "gee i really want to swing by and pick up take out" but then come to the conclusion of "but i don't *choose* to spend my money that way I want to ____"
post #54 of 139
I guess I just feel so discouraged. I mean, we never, ever eat out. We have the most basic ($10/month) cable TV only to save $ on our internet. I kept track for a few months of what we were spending and while I spent probably about $40 at the coffee shops/Starbuck's that was about all the excess spending we (I) did. Dh almost always comes home for lunch but maybe twice/month will grab fast food. I guess I just feel like having five kids, one income, and a "normal" life is expensive. I mean, two of my kids take music lessons but both are very, very cheap. The boys despise any kind of organized sports or classes of any kind, really, so we don't have that expense. The girls are both in one dance class each but I pay it in full at the beginning of the year so it's not a monthly thing. I know having two cars is a problem but I really don't see a way around it right now. There are tons of free homeschooling events that we attend during the day and I'm just not willing to give those up. I guess I could drive dh to work but then he couldn't come home for lunch. He could pack a lunch, I suppose. I'll have to think about that one.

Thanks for letting me rant.

post #55 of 139
Thread Starter 

It is discouraging and it is expensive!

I think a goal for you might be just one less trip for coffee (just one less, not giving it up completely), and making sure not to aquire any new debt. You are going to be starting at gymboree soon, right? Where will that income go? Could that go directly to the debt, since you are getting by without it now?

Look for little things like what you'd like to buy but you don't buy- like my a/c, that makes me feel good, even though it's not taking away any of my debt, at least I am not making it worse, and there is definitely something to be said for that.

My goal for today- get to the library to get YMOYL .
post #56 of 139
You're so sweet! And yes, I started at Gymboree about a month ago. She pays me once/month and my paycheck is sitting up in the cupboard. Dh, ds3, and I are going to CA on a business trip for dh. His expenses are 100% covered (food, lodging, rental car, plane) so I got my parents to buy me a plane ticket for my birthday/Christmas gift and ds3 doesn't need a ticket so we're going. I'm saving all of my Gymboree money for that right now. After we get back from there it will for sure be going to the debt! I try to include the fact that my youngest two get free Gymboree classes in my "income" from there. Not that I would pay to send them, though, so....Anyway, I'm going to work two nights/week in the summer and then see about the fall. I may have to go down to 1 night depending on how the homeschooling is going. I really think we should get rid of dh's car. That would save us tons of money. Enough to buy him a cheap car with cash within 18 months or so. I suggested the idea to him so we'll see what he says.
post #57 of 139
Hello, everyone!

I am pretty new here. I had posted to the previous "get out of debt" thread. I have been reading all of the posts in that thread and this one. Thank you all for sharing your stories.

We were doing pretty well a couple of years ago, then DH lost his job last year and was out of work for 2 months. We have had to have a lot of stuff done to our home or things replaced, so that has really eaten into our budget.

Currently, I am a SAHM. We had looked into me going back to work, but I could only get entry level jobs in my field (if they would even look at me, because I have been out of the work force for 6 years). By the time I pay for full-time daycare for DS and before/after school care for DD, most of my earnings will be eaten up. Not to mention the extra gas, convenience food/items, work clothes, etc. So, right now, I will continue to be a SAHM and I will work on getting debt paid off and living more frugally.

Sometimes I get the "I wants" and it is so hard to live frugally. I get frustrated, because I see all the material goods that people purchase. I try to keep in mind how hard DH works and that frivolous purchases will keep us from our goal of being debt free.

Thank you so much for sharing!
post #58 of 139
hi kathsmom-- i read your posts on the other thread, really i did. and i think i might have even responded to them. I think when we start a new thread we should pm the moderator to ask her to lock the old thread so no one can continue to post there. too darn confusing.

Sometimes I get the "I wants" and it is so hard to live frugally. I get frustrated, because I see all the material goods that people purchase. I try to keep in mind how hard DH works and that frivolous purchases will keep us from our goal of being debt free.
this really struck me for a couple of things --brielfy because I;m a t work.
1. I too get the want-it syndrome. I have lessened it since I've begun to re-evaluate my purchasing choices. But I have a "I want" list. And sometimes it is enough to put it on the list, and not buy it.

2. It is essential for me to have some "mad money" -- to do things that are not essential but make me feel like I'm not totally denying myself of everything. It helps me keep from binge-shopping. Things I do with that extra cash: haircut for me, pedicure, buy a cheesecake for the family for dinner, get a new shirt, buy dd a new toy, etc. My dh has his too. He does whatever he wants with his. Yes, every red cent could be going to pay down our debt -- but this system is working well for us.
post #59 of 139
Originally Posted by kathsmom
Sometimes I get the "I wants" and it is so hard to live frugally. I get frustrated, because I see all the material goods that people purchase. I try to keep in mind how hard DH works and that frivolous purchases will keep us from our goal of being debt free.
I think the biggest "carrot" I hold up in front of me during these times is thinking about how much extra money we'll have when we are debt free.

It is very hard to deny yourself so many things in such a consumer-driven society. And let's face it, not all of those things are totally frivolous!

But I think if you look at it as a temporary situation, it helps alot. My situation is perhaps more temporary than most, but even 5 years is not forever. Five years is high school - think of how fast that all went by!!

And then, when your debts are paid off, you will have that extra money lying around and can make those extra purchases that you are denying yourself. And it will feel a THOUSAND times better to buy them b/c you know you aren't putting yourself in debt to do so, and you will have developed the skills by then to get a good deal, pay cash rather than finance, etc.
post #60 of 139
I can lock the old thread if you want.
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