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The G.O.O.D. club (August thread)

post #1 of 91
Thread Starter 
The old thread was getting pretty loooong, so welcome to the newest thread for the Get Out Of Debt Club!

bamboogrrl: I thought about what you said. If I understand you correctly, you are suggesting that maybe those from higher income backgrounds actually find it easier to get into the "frugal" mindset, because it isn't something they've sort of been saddled with forever...is that right? Like, it's almost a "novelty", as opposed to someone who has "gone without" all their lives, and/or who has little hope of making much more money than they do now...? Interesting points...


Quote:
i've found in the past the more I make, the more I want. must rework this idea...I really do want to feel at a gut level that I don't "need" something better. I guess it is about embracing what you have (family, happiness, etc.) the nonmonetary things. I appreciate those, but man oh man it is so tough to loose everything you were raised on, you know?
I can Soooo relate to this. I have spent my life, it seems, looking ahead to "brighter days" financially. I've had to really work hard on getting myself to "stop and smell the flowers", appreciate what I have today, and stop thinking that a nicer car, owning a home, etc...are going to make life really all that much different/better.

Peppermint, I must confess it's posts like yours that reinforce my desire to never again live in a house, lol. I just love our small spaces - less to clean, less to fix up, less maintainance...but I do admire you for prioritizing and focussing on the things you can do now, inexpensively.

As for your friend, when I get into that situation I just tell myself things like this: my kids would destroy nice furniture right now so it's a good thing we don't have any. I could care less what gets spilled or scratched or busted...that sort of peace-of-mind is worth something!

You mentioned something about not being a two-income family. That's us. Between DH and I we have lots of earning potential, but we are making choices about family: being home with the kids (at least one of us), moving to a place where we truly want to raise them (even if that means giving up some career options), etc....I don't regret them for one bit, but it is frustrating sometimes to feel that you aren't reaching your "potential" financially.

kathsmom: congrats on saving that money!! that's fabulous!

Rowantree: could you not trade in your car for something smaller or more economical? I would think a car payment would be one thing you *could* do something about...

Well, I'll finish off this lengthy post with my own peice of celebratory news: I got paid today (I get paid once a month) and we have officially made it through a whole budget month without going into the red (we were ahead by $8.87, lol). This is the first time in months that we have done so, and we are very proud of ourselves!
post #2 of 91
yay piglet!!! the real celebration is to actually save that spare money to have a rainy day fund right? or are we having a potluck supper?


good point about the furniture being destroyed. storing that one away for future use. i will need reminding.
post #3 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc
the real celebration is to actually save that spare money to have a rainy day fund right? or are we having a potluck supper?
Oh yeah, our $8.87 is going to get us far! :

....but I do appreciate the advice (and thanks for the congrats!). We have only one month left on this budget, then everything changes again. We move, and DH begins a new job (and we have no idea what that is or how much it will make right now, lol). But still, we stuck to our budget, paid all our bills on time...so yay for us.
post #4 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68
you are suggesting that maybe those from higher income backgrounds actually find it easier to get into the "frugal" mindset, because it isn't something they've sort of been saddled with forever...is that right? Like, it's almost a "novelty", as opposed to someone who has "gone without" all their lives, and/or who has little hope of making much more money than they do now...? Interesting points...
I agree with this. My parents are fairly well-to-do, though they live entirely on revolving credit. All my life I have had anything that I wanted as soon as I wanted it (esp. from my mom). Instead of becoming demanding and spoiled, it had the opposite effect: I never wanted to ask for anything, and I learned that getting your every material whim instantly didn't necessarily make you happy. Dh, on the other hand, grew up poor (though his parents do well now), and whenever he wanted something he was told they couldn't afford it and so he never got instant gratification.

FF to the present: Dh calls me from Wal-Mart (that's another battle) and says he has to have the complete first season of Spongebob on dvd for $40. He asks me if it is okay (I keep the budget) and then lists all the reasons he needs it. I say, "Well, why not wait 3 days and see if you still want it then?" (I was trying to be nice, but the true answer was "hell no!" since I quit my larger-income job to be sahm for awhile and we are B-R-O-K-E.) He says, "I knew you'd say that," and gets a little pouty. Turns out he didn't get it, but he is buying it tonight after work.

Dh has never had the freedom to buy whatever you want whenever you want and so he does not want to give up the possibility. I have always had it and so do not care so much. It is making our budgeting and my sahm-ing difficult. Dh is a great guy, though, and he wants me to be a sahm, but it is stressing him out.
post #5 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilli78
Dh has never had the freedom to buy whatever you want whenever you want and so he does not want to give up the possibility. I have always had it and so do not care so much. It is making our budgeting and my sahm-ing difficult.
Have you considered budgeting a monthly personal allowance for each of you?
post #6 of 91
Um, well, we had that when I still worked. Dh always spent it on clothes for himself and I spent it on books. But I just got my last full paycheck and we are going to be bringing in less than we owe out until I figure out how to make some money!
post #7 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68
I can Soooo relate to this. I have spent my life, it seems, looking ahead to "brighter days" financially. I've had to really work hard on getting myself to "stop and smell the flowers", appreciate what I have today, and stop thinking that a nicer car, owning a home, etc...are going to make life really all that much different/better.
We've always found that our wants and needs seem to keep right up with our income. But (aside from the addition of the kids, who give us so much joy) we're not really any happier than we were when we were livin' on nothin' and making do.

It's always my goal to budget, to keep to it, to save where I can...hasn't worked yet. Part of the problem is that I am close to having a hoarding problem (it's not technically there yet, in a psych sense, but there's the potential). Lots coming in, little going out:-(.

I'm new to this thread and forum...sounds like a good place to be!
post #8 of 91
Piglet- Yeah! That is a great accomplishment (and thanks for starting the new thread.

Off to a wedding today!
post #9 of 91
Thread Starter 
lilli78, that's a good point.

I, too, have experienced much "richer" times than we have now. I, too, know from experience that dropping hundreds on nice clothes, or dining out in fine restaurants, does not really make one more happy. I know what it's like to have that "instant gratification", and I know that the newness of the new clothes wears off just as fast as the newness of a bargain diaper-pail find at a thrift store!

That's a very good point, and presents some interesting psychology around "being frugal"!
post #10 of 91
well I would like to join this club. We have been trying to get out of debt since my dd was born. we have a lot of hospital bills that we have been trying to get paid off, and other bills have been put on the side and are adding up. We have had 5 overdrafts on our checking account since January which add up to $3000.00. I am starting to look for a child to watch to make some extra money while staying at home, but am really not looking forward to it. We are having trouble cutting back, but dh is reluctant about cutting out things like dish network.
He needed to buy a new sportscoat for a funeral and paid over $300 for it. Can we afford that? NO But yet he gets mad at me for buying things we need. I have had to stop going on the diapering board because it was too tempting to buy what everyone else had.
post #11 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68
Rowantree: could you not trade in your car for something smaller or more economical? I would think a car payment would be one thing you *could* do something about...
well unless you ladies have any ideas. the situatio is like this. We bought a Tahoe cause DH needed the truck aspects for work (carpenter) and it seats the kids nice for trips and stuff. It cost us 20,000 and we still owe 14,000. we refinanced once to get the payments lower, thank goodness. But its all trashed cause DH uses it for work. We would take a huge loss on it if we tried to get rid of it. its worth more to us as a car, but if anyone has experience ill take advice! I have a VW golf that I love and OWN. we also have a vw bus that DH loves and would totally drive if we could get rid of the Tahoe.
post #12 of 91
hmmmm. on trashed cars. dunno. My car (honda accord) is nice and we owe something like 3500 on it. Since about 3 weeks ago it has smelled awful. tried leaving windows open, etc. but darn it thing is just stinky. so we finally recalled that we let dd have some milk on a car ride from a bottle and that might be it. I rented a steam cleaner + upholstery attachments yesterday for 33 bucks (including soap) and I spent over an hour shampooing the carpet and seats. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!! I had to empty the dirty water three times before I was done. I've owned this car for about 2 years and have a big, furry golden retreiver. Some of the dirt on the seats was from the week before erin was born when I walked him and forgot a towel to dry him off.

anyhow, on to the couch and dh's car today. If you do rent a steam cleaner, we went to the small local hardware store cause it isn't open on sunday so we get to keep it an extra day free.
post #13 of 91
Thanks for the new thread, Piglet. After a couple weeks pretty much off MDC (busy with little Dd's birthday, obsessed with Tour de France, then on vacation), I'm back. Unfortunately, my time away from MDC involved a little too much spending, but it definitely wasn't as bad as it could have been.

We rented a beach house for vacation, and the owner cut me a great deal ($150 total for three nights). Plus I paid that about four months ago, so it wasn't money out of pocket right now. We brought all our own food, spent every day on the beach, and only splurged on ice cream cones each afternoon.

However, before we left, we had a birthday gathering for little DD's fifth birthday. A bunch of kids and parents over for a barbecue and art projects. I need to go through the statement and figure out exactly how much we spent, but I'm certain it was more than the $100 I'd budgeted. We rarely entertain, though, so an occasional splurge like this hardly seems too frivolous. (But maybe that's just me making excuses.)

On this subject of frugality in relation to income level, I was raised in an upper-middle-income household and am still in that situation now. I see my parents, now retired, continuing to live well because they were smart and frugal with the money they had. DH and I make decent money, but we spend too much. Our only debt is the house. So my Get Out of Debt goals are maybe a little different than some of yours: I'm trying to establish better spending and saving habits so we can pay off the long-term debt (mortgage) and save for our later years. The challenge here is that we HAVE the money to blow, so blowing it is always an option. I just know it's not a smart thing to do. So most of my battle involves staying motivated and on top of it.

I was the one who spent $980 on groceries (our biggest trouble spot) between June 15 and July 15, so today I'm going to sit down with the statement and see where we are mid-cycle.
post #14 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by witch's mom
I'm trying to establish better spending and saving habits so we can pay off the long-term debt (mortgage) and save for our later years. The challenge here is that we HAVE the money to blow, so blowing it is always an option.
Would it help to NOT have the money to blow? If it would, then you might want to consider making larger extra payments on your mortgage every month.
post #15 of 91
Hi! Hope you ladies don't mind if I join in! I've been lurking for a while and getting inspiration from you!
Between student loans, credit card (just one!), car loans, and mortgage, we owe... waaaaay too much! So, I recently read The Complete Cheapskate by Mary Hunt, and we're trying to implement her strategies. I've also gone through the Tightwad Gazette I, II, and III in the past week. SO much good information there!
My biggest challenge is curbing my wants - I see things that others have and I want them. Strangely, since I read Mary Hunt's book, I've been able to tone it down a little. I hope it sticks, and I can "stay on the wagon."
srain, have you thought about having your mortgage automatically deducted from your checking account, and then writing an extra check toward principle every month?
post #16 of 91
We're back from our el-cheapo beach vacation and am ready to face the budget!

Today marks the first day of our son's reduced pre-school schedule which saves us a little over $200 a month. We've also just received confirmation that my student loans have been consolidated (for a longer term we hope not to use as well as a lower interest rate) so we'll save almost $400 a month there as well.

I'm still working on convincing my husband to sell the one car we're paying on. Our other two cars are paid for, although one is kind of dicey. We live in a smallish town, though, and it's not like he'd be hours away from me if something happened - why have a car we're paying on sit around for hours all day in a parking lot? The miles just turned to 56,000, though, so I'm not sure if we can get out from under it or we have to grit our teeth and press on.

As for groceries and household supplies, we have a goal of $50 a week. I can usually come close as long as my husband stays out the grocery store (where he buys only ice cream and chips - makes me insane!). The $50 includes all food, cleaning products, paper goods and pet supplies. It's loss leader city around here!!
post #17 of 91
Thread Starter 
chalupamom: congrats on the extra savings to your budget! Now....what are you going to do with that extra cash each month?

rowantree: that's an interesting point. if you owe alot more than you think you will get for the car, that could be a problem. though you may be suprised how a little elbow grease will help. i guess the thing is: right now you owe $14000 and will be making payments for X number of years. If you sell it, even taking a loss, maybe you can at least cut that amount down substantially, and that will mean getting out of debt sooner, and paying less interest overall. Just a thought, but I get what you are saying and that it might not be worth it.

witch's mom: I can so relate. That is one reason I'm sort of glad we went through this experience. It taught me that budgeting isn't so bad, and mostly that buying cheap isn't always so bad. I was just telling DH the other day, that even when we have money again, there are some things I will just not bring myself to pay full-price for again. Some brands I just don't care to spend more for. I've definitely noticed a big change in my spending attitudes, something I thought would never change! It gives me alot of hope for the future.
post #18 of 91
PLEASE SUPPORT ME!! Im about to go try to sell my VW Bus. I would rather sell the big nasty car but realisticlly its just not possible with out a HUGE loss, and its more stable than the bus - and theres the whole NE Winter with no heat factor. DH loves the bus, as do I , but we need $3000 way way more. I probably can only get $200 for it but still, thats 4 months of Tahoe payments......
BBAWWAAHHH!!! if I could do those little faces Id give you a sad one

Camp put us into overdraft - if they cash the check before friday, thank goodness for overdraft
post #19 of 91
rowantree- here's some support for you . You are doing what you have to do.

Well ladies, we had a little budget scare here yesterday. We thought our refrigerator was dying, and oh how we were having trouble knowing what to do. The fridge came with the house, it is easily 20 years old, so we thought paying to have someone come fix it might be pointless, yk? Then we considered buying a used fridge, but that would be another "unknown" although possibly half as cheap. We looked around and found one for $339 online with free shipping, but it was a brand we have ever heard of , so then we found a frigidare one for $390. We were so unsure of what the best way to go was, Home Depot had one for $299, with a $50 shipping charge (we don't know anyone near us with a truck)- and that price was only good for yesterday, dh wanted to jump at that, but I talked him out of it. Later on, his brother called with a lead on a free 2 years used fridge for us, and said he'd let us know if we could wait a few days, we decided we could.

Oh, I'm getting awfully long-winded here, turns out the condensation on the outside of the fridge was b/c one of us had inadvertantly hit a switch for power saver on it, and it says right on there "If condensation forms on the outside of the fridge, turn power saver off.", so we did, and all appears to be ok. I am going to wait a week and put $300 that we would've used onto the credit cards.

Question- I have a few hundred dollars in an account that theoretically should go on the credit card, but I am reluctant to put it on there, b/c I am afraid something will come up (like a broken fridge), we'll have no "cushion" and then we'll use the credit card again. Then again it might be just smarter to put it on the credit card so that we're paying less interest, and then if the fridge breaks charge it, b/c the fridge may not break and the money does no good sitting in savings when we have interest sucking debt. Thoughts?
post #20 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peppermint
Question- I have a few hundred dollars in an account that theoretically should go on the credit card, but I am reluctant to put it on there, b/c I am afraid something will come up (like a broken fridge), we'll have no "cushion" and then we'll use the credit card again.
Put the money on the card, unless you're in danger of losing your credit. Keeping it out so you won't possibly maybe have to use the card more doesn't really solve anything-
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