Getting Out of Debt, December Edition - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 116 Old 12-14-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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...to B6?

Congrats!!!!

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#62 of 116 Old 12-14-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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thanks MCsMom, we'll be plugging away here for a good long while!

mtm, good job on those stocking stuffers
I have finished up all the buying for presents, just need to get the kids together over the next two weekends and have them do some of the handmade/baked goods to go into our little gift baskets for aunts/uncles that we will be seeing on Christmas day.
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#63 of 116 Old 12-14-2009, 06:17 PM
 
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I've been with SIL at the hospital, poor thing has kidney stones at 33 weeks!

I've got the last box to send and I'm DONE for Xmas I'm being really really good - I keep looking out for Murphy.

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#64 of 116 Old 12-15-2009, 01:08 AM
 
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I'm feeling much better about this Cristmas than previous Christmases (obviously!). My first outting I ended up getting things I didn't feel great about by the time I got home, so I realized I needed to make a concrete list and have a plan. I can't be trusted to go by my gut while I'm out.

It's actually great 'cause I've been able to price compare and check stock online before heading out to the store- no mess, no stress. There were a few instances where I realized our local store didn't have an item I wanted, but a store closer to where I work did, so I saved myself a bunch of time knowing where I was best off going. I head out with a plan and stick to it and it's delightful!

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#65 of 116 Old 12-15-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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[QUOTE=eirual;14800847]I'm feeling much better about this Cristmas than previous Christmases (obviously!). My first outting I ended up getting things I didn't feel great about by the time I got home, so I realized I needed to make a concrete list and have a plan. I can't be trusted to go by my gut while I'm out. [QUOTE]


I agree with this 100% I feel so much better about this holiday season, because we have a set amount for gifts, lists for the gifts we want to get for the kids, family and etc. (well except for us), and we've planned ahead enough that we are actually enjoying the season instead of stressing out about trying to find that gift!! for someone. Also DH & I now have a plan to set up an account to let us plan for the holidays, and birthdays so we don't have to worry where this $$ is coming from to cover gifts and etc.

I can't wait till January where I will feel super awesome because I won't have added to our cc debt at all for the holidays. Not 1 cent!

I just want to say thank you to all you ladies for this thread and helping me get a better grasp on how to manage money, instead of it managing me.

treehugger.gifAnd you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.treehugger.gif

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#66 of 116 Old 12-15-2009, 01:16 PM
 
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ahem, you're not all hiding b/c you're out being bad I hope? I'm down to stocking stuffers and packing before we head out for the holidays on Friday night. Stockings are my worst expense killer but I think I'm doing good so far this year, a couple lip balms for the kids and some Christmas beer for dh and I'm good to go.
Um, maybe? I got carried away with stocking stuffers for my 12-year old dsd. I kept finding little things I knew she'd like. I sorta got a hole in my pocket this month. The worst since I started keeping track back in the summer!

Gotta get back to a normal routine come January.
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#67 of 116 Old 12-15-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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Still here :-) the end of this pregnancy is starting to really get to me.....mainly because it's so close to Christmas and I just don't know how to schedule anything!

DH has been home more which is nice but it's lowers the paycheck We've cut costs so we aren't overbudget which is great.

I have over 1000.00 set aside for either an emergency when the baby comes or to throw at debt if we don't need it plus any paychecks for the rest of the year.

The bad news is I haven't gone Christmas shopping for my family so I'm planning that for tomorrow. I had to borrow a car to do it so my mom is staying with my kids while DH and I go in her car. I'm taking cash and no backup. The hardest part is buying for my 4 siblings and their DH/DWs my parents, my MIL, FIL and niece for about 300.00 plus all the stocking stuff for my 4 and 1 gift each for the 2 I haven't bought for yet. Yikes that's a lot I still have to do! I hope this baby cooperates LOL
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#68 of 116 Old 12-15-2009, 05:41 PM
 
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Just hanging on by a thread here! And I am not done Christmas shopping yet! BUT I am getting my January budget started so I am excited about that!!

"If we are to heal the planet, we must begin by healing birthing."
~Agnes Sallet Von Tannenberg
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#69 of 116 Old 12-15-2009, 06:05 PM
 
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We are back on track with the house so far. The contract was extended. The sellers are paying for the roof and its triple paycheck month followed by tax return and bonus....So we should have our last debt paid off in a couple months and I get a new washer
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#70 of 116 Old 12-15-2009, 06:07 PM
 
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Be proud of me! I've been doing this pantry challenge thing and blogging about it (here, if you're interested) and last night I was feeling crampy and crabby and DH wanted to go out and buy a rotisserie chicken and I was all "NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!" I made a pretty yummy chili. I'm hoping to eat mostly from the stockpile for the next week or so and have a really nice Christmas dinner.

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#71 of 116 Old 12-15-2009, 06:47 PM
 
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Go Anette - that is the hardest for me when DH wants to "treat" me and I'm feeling low....You go woman!

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#72 of 116 Old 12-16-2009, 05:26 PM
 
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I haven't updated in a while, but we've made a good bit of progress. I'm doing FPU online with DH, and it has helped get us on the same page.

Pre-Step 1-Done!

BS1 $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund-Done!


BS2 Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball-So that moves us to Baby Step 2. We have paid of all of our medical bills now and one of three credit cards. We have paid off most of CC number 2. DH has been able to land some free lance work that has enabled us to to do this. Once he finishes and is paid for some of these jobs, we'll be able to eliminate the CC #2 and a good chunk of #3. By some time in January we should be debt free! I'm so excited to be so close.
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#73 of 116 Old 12-16-2009, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
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eirual, list is the key, I'm a tad obsessive these days, I make a list, check sales, remake the list, then buy. We cut our budget down a lot so its really paid off. I'm a sucker for online shopping esp with free shipping so I don't have to go to the post office.

_ktg_, no december debt is so liberating, you rock!

sweetjasmine, I wanted a spanking smiley but apparently you can't use a spanking smilie or the gentle discipline people will smack you. Don't wait til January to get back on your routine. Start now.

Hedgehog Mtn, late pg is tough enough without Christmas stuff added in. All cash is a good idea, hope it goes well tomorrow, you can do it!

lactivistmama, good job starting the january budget, I've been puttering with my year long big sheet so haven't tackled January yet. Sigh, maybe I'll do that New Years eve.

p1gg1e, you and the house. We're going to pop a when you are finally in the house. Awesome that they're paying for the roof.

annettemarie, great job! I fell to the pleadings of my falafel loving kids and we did 2 for 1 takeout last night.

MamaPam, thats fantastic progress! What a relief to start 2010 with a couple of the debts already knocked out.
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#74 of 116 Old 12-16-2009, 07:49 PM
 
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OK so I'd like to start tackling our horribly high HEL in January, maybe using the DR system. We don't have any CC debt but does a HEL count as "BS2 Paying off debt"?

Or would you see it as "Paying down the mortgage"?

So I guess my question is: in the DR system would you prioritise paying down a HEL (because I view it as debt, especially when your house is worth less than the mortgage + HEL combined ) or starting a 3-6m EF?

Thanks for the advice

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#75 of 116 Old 12-17-2009, 03:10 AM
 
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hi, i haven't been posting much at all, but i read a lot posts

we are just starting this program so we are on babystep 1. so far $400/$1000. i hope to have the EF fully funded by the end of next month.

i have a question about the budgeting, how many different categories do you have? so far this is what i've come up with:

food/household
gas
clothing
work expenses (like boots, etc.)
haircuts
birthdays/christmas
car expenses (oil changes, registration,etc.)
kids activities
entertainment/fun

and how do you organize this in envelopes? do you use regular envelopes? i was thingking about maybe using a coupon organizer. what do you guys use?
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#76 of 116 Old 12-17-2009, 09:48 AM
 
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hjrowan- I believe the "official" answer is that if the HEL is more than 50% of your annual income you move it to BS6 (lump it in there with the mortgage).

Personally, we are paying our HEL now in BS6 even though it didn't qualify for that in the official sense (it wasn't over 50% of our income) because I was not comfortable going that long (2 1/2 years) without a fully funded emergency fund.

I think it's a personal decision and you need to look at the % of your income that your HEL represents as well as how long it will take to pay if off before you get your answer as to when to tackle it.

I hope that was clear, it all sounded much less muddled in my head!
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#77 of 116 Old 12-17-2009, 12:28 PM
 
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hi, i haven't been posting much at all, but i read a lot posts

we are just starting this program so we are on babystep 1. so far $400/$1000. i hope to have the EF fully funded by the end of next month.

i have a question about the budgeting, how many different categories do you have? so far this is what i've come up with:

food/household
gas
clothing
work expenses (like boots, etc.)
haircuts
birthdays/christmas
car expenses (oil changes, registration,etc.)
kids activities
entertainment/fun

and how do you organize this in envelopes? do you use regular envelopes? i was thingking about maybe using a coupon organizer. what do you guys use?
In my accordian file folder (small enough to fit envelopes perfectly) I have the following which I set up monthly:

Tutoring Income
DS Allowance
Gas wk. 1
Gas wk. 2
Gas wk. 3
Gas wk. 4
(ocassionaly gas wk.5)
Clothing
Gifts
Oil Change
School Prizes
(Suppliments)
un-expected food purchases

and I take a look at the month ahead and see what other random things I'll need cash for that month. This month included Christmas envelopes (gifts and accessories). Other months have included library fees, sport registration, DS birthday party, petty cash (bad idea for me- it went way too fast and frivolously!)

This is our 5h month doing the enevlopes and it changes every time. I think I am going to add: Family Activity and Personal Care to the regular regime.

For me, if I have them in broad categories it's easier to justify a purchase willy-nilly-ly ...(?) and for the money to disapear. If I know it's set aside for a specific item or purpose than it's easier for me not to touch it.

DH isn't doing the envelope system, but he has much more self control with his debit card than I, so he takes out the grocery $$ and his own $20 of spending each week, otherwise I'd have an envelope for that as well.

ETA:: I'd love the envelope thing for sale on DR's site. I feel a little....I don't know what....when I pull out a typical white mailing envelope to pay for things. However, I like that you can take out only what you need, and you don't have to take $700 with you when you want to go spend $3 on socks.

I'd love a more cash-friendly wallet too...the design of mine is very plastic-oriented, even so for the time when I used plastic more frequently it drove me crazy that the cash-area was so poorly set-up.

Laurie, wife to guitar.gifDH (Aug/04), mom tobikenew.gifDS1 (Nov/05) and bfinfant.gifDS2 (June/12).

 

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#78 of 116 Old 12-17-2009, 04:37 PM
 
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sweetjasmine, I wanted a spanking smiley but apparently you can't use a spanking smilie or the gentle discipline people will smack you. Don't wait til January to get back on your routine. Start now.
That's where my headache is coming from!

You are so right, mtm! I need to pick myself up and start again instead of giving up. Thanks for the push!
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#79 of 116 Old 12-17-2009, 10:57 PM
 
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Thanks softmama - the HEL is less than 50% income BUT I think it's going to have to be a priority as we will have to sell this place at some point in the next few years

Widowed mummy to T 6/08 and a crazy blue dog

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#80 of 116 Old 12-18-2009, 01:44 AM
 
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I love seeing everyones envelope catagories!! Can others share theirs?? I am going to start the envelopes with my first paycheck in Jan so I would really like more ideas!!

Thanks!!

"If we are to heal the planet, we must begin by healing birthing."
~Agnes Sallet Von Tannenberg
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#81 of 116 Old 12-18-2009, 11:15 AM
 
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On the topic of envelopes, I'm curious if anyone's tried various denominations?

Someone mentionned in another thread about going as low as possible (5s?). I don't need your specifics, but generally speaking do you go high or low?

Unless an alotted amount is say $50 and I need two 20s and a 10 I usually stick with 20s and that actually hasn't been working well...especially when money needs to be shuffled a bit since your only option is to take a 20 instead of say a 5 or 15.

I think I may try 5s for January. I never thought of going so low, but it might be worth it- I'll try it and see! I'll keep the consistent ones like gas streamlined since it all goes in the tank in one go anyhow.

Laurie, wife to guitar.gifDH (Aug/04), mom tobikenew.gifDS1 (Nov/05) and bfinfant.gifDS2 (June/12).

 

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#82 of 116 Old 12-18-2009, 11:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RainbowSprinkles View Post
hi, i haven't been posting much at all, but i read a lot posts

we are just starting this program so we are on babystep 1. so far $400/$1000. i hope to have the EF fully funded by the end of next month.

i have a question about the budgeting, how many different categories do you have? so far this is what i've come up with:

food/household
gas
clothing
work expenses (like boots, etc.)
haircuts
birthdays/christmas
car expenses (oil changes, registration,etc.)
kids activities
entertainment/fun

and how do you organize this in envelopes? do you use regular envelopes? i was thingking about maybe using a coupon organizer. what do you guys use?
We use a combination of envelopes & savings accounts.
Here are the various savings accounts we have established & pay into each month so we can pull from them instead of blindly spending.

Prop tax/water
Gas/Electric (we pay a set amount into it each month & pay out what is due, so the remainder is rolled over)
Repairs (house & car)
Health (the minimum for a HSA at my work was $100/month, so we just do our own)
Kids (Zoo Memberships/childrens museum membership)
Emergency Fund - the name says it all!
General Savings account - we've had this forever

Envelopes - each month:
Groceries - $500
Target - $75
Gas - $75/each for DH & I
Fun $$ - $100 for me & $120 for DH (he has the kiddos to cover some of their activities during the day)

DH & I split up our gas & fun $, and then groceries & target just stay in 1 envelope to pull from. We stick in all our receipts for the month into the envelope. Our budget is getting fancier in tracking how we are doing since DH freaked out last night and thought we lost $110. Luckily it was just a user error in addition/subtraction.

treehugger.gifAnd you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.treehugger.gif

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#83 of 116 Old 12-18-2009, 11:41 AM
 
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Ours are a little complicated....DH has 2 jobs until April so we have 1 Budget for now and will redo for spring/summer.


From DHs normal Full-time job it's direct deposit and we take the following out during the month: Mortgage and debt repayments. At the end of the month everything left goes to debt. NOTHING else comes out of there unless we have fully discussed it and agree it is necessary (so far 1 quarterly house insurance payment is the only additional item since mid-september)



DH works a 2nd winter job and gets paid cash on Fridays based on however many hours he shows up. That money goes into the following envelopes for each week:
*Gas (8mpg truck - no other options) 40.00
*Groceries - 100.00
*Hay - (we raise milk and meat animals) 70.00
*DH - 50.00 (coffee 'cause he is gone 17ish hours per day but I'm working on a system, I pack lunch but he has other expenses too)
*Household - 20.00 when possible
*Savings - 200.00 goal

For savings we "try" not to touch it. This month it was Christmas money. In Sept/Oct it was the EF. The rest of the time it goes to debt at the end of the month.






Our situation is a little different because we are off-grid and heat/cook with wood so we have no heat, water, septic, electric, gas etc bills. If a car needed parts DH fixes it, orders parts at cost and that money would come out of the savings envelope. We pay any unexpected bills that are unavoidable from savings. Since unexpected spending/impulse buying hasn't been an issue this system works for us. We save all receipts and review at the end of the month to see if there is any possible way to cut something out for the following month.
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#84 of 116 Old 12-18-2009, 02:33 PM
 
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has anyone compared Dave Ramsey's method with Start Late, Finish Rich (split your snowball and put half towards debt and half in savings)? i'm really not sure which way would be better. i just know i have to do something!
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#85 of 116 Old 12-18-2009, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm heading out of town for 12 days, lets end 2009 on a great note!
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#86 of 116 Old 12-18-2009, 10:36 PM
 
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Just dropping in to update!

Although I haven't been "perfect" with my finances...I was able to put in nearly $2000 in our FFEF and it's currently at:

$3716.54/$8000 or 46.45%!!!!

Woohooo!

I also called my 'net service and got my bill lowered to $46.99/mo for a year (no contract!!), it was $59.99/mo before.

AND I purchased a OOMA and will officially start using it on the 22nd, once our phone service is fully shut off.

So I've been able to cut our phone/net bill from $87/mo to $46.99/mo!

I went down to 1 dvd at a time on netflix as well, but that only saves $5/mo.

STILL...I'm feeling the old frugal me creeping back in and I'm LOVING it
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#87 of 116 Old 12-19-2009, 01:56 AM
 
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Wow, what a feat! Keep on truckin'!

Laurie, wife to guitar.gifDH (Aug/04), mom tobikenew.gifDS1 (Nov/05) and bfinfant.gifDS2 (June/12).

 

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#88 of 116 Old 12-19-2009, 01:35 PM
 
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As far as the envelope system goes...well, we actually use a coupon file, but I think it still counts

We use cash for everything that isn't a "bill". Our sections are:

Food
Toiletries
Gas
Fun/Entertainment
Misc. (co-pays, meds, haircuts, clothes, etc)

Every payday I make a list of the money we'll need and dh takes the cash out of the bank. I *NEVER* just get a bunch of $20's...no way would that work.

I make a list of how much we need in EACH category...and then the denominations.

So, dh goes to the bank with a list something like: 8-$20's, 6-$10's, 5-$5's, 3-$1's and a roll of quarters.

Okay, that's not the *exact* list...but ours is random like that. It was a little weird at first, being that specific with the teller...but you know what? I really don't care what she thinks. It's my money and it's what works for me...yanno?
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#89 of 116 Old 12-19-2009, 04:47 PM
 
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has anyone compared Dave Ramsey's method with Start Late, Finish Rich (split your snowball and put half towards debt and half in savings)? i'm really not sure which way would be better. i just know i have to do something!
It depends. If you save your emergency fund with DR and then get your debt gone you are more focused and it doesn't take as long to go from one step to the other.

The benefit would be though if you wanna split your snowball and savings if you have a major event that may happen soon , like a baby or job loss.

DR though gives you more then just paying off your debt its behavior modification and putting your life financially in order. I though have no idea how star late is organised.
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#90 of 116 Old 12-19-2009, 07:21 PM
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Just checking in to say hi. I am officially on BS2 but what I've been working on the last month or so is getting a new budget under wraps.

One positive, we moved to a village outside the city and that lowered our insurance by $75/mo. It also raised DH's train pass by $75/mo so I guess it is a wash.

I did calculate that we are probably saving $600/mo just from getting rid of our cars and going to only public transit.
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