Getting Out of Debt, Feb 2010 Edition - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 118 Old 02-11-2010, 12:52 AM
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beansmama, woohoo, nine days til you start your home fund Good start to bs4 too.

welcome sparkprincess, we just slogged through bs3, we kept our snowball from our debt repayment and it took us about a year to get through it. Re your housing question, do you think things will look up in your area in the next year or two? Is the house causing stress to you? You sound like you are doing okay to me, bs3 might just take a bit longer.

MyTwoAs, you know I think that's my problem. We finished bs3 this month, got the paper started for bs4 and it just feels like nothing is happening right now. I've got to make a retirement and other stuff chart so I can see the project. thanks!


PPK, I like hearing what other people are doing and we're not just DR although it seems that's the general guidelines most of us follow so please do keep contributing! For future reference, I like the Bogle stuff for investing.

corrie43 great job finishing bs1. Look out bs2, here you come. Holy snowball last month.

welcome cparkly! No need to hide, most of us have done stupid at one time or another. You sound off to a good start with just student loans left.
Thanks mtm! Funny, I bookmarked "Bogleheads' guide to Investing" last night and just found their website. Any books in paricular you like??
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#62 of 118 Old 02-11-2010, 12:23 PM
 
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I just got the appraisal back on our house. The value of our house has dropped 35k in the last year and a half. I was expecting a drop but not this big. So, no refi.
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#63 of 118 Old 02-11-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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I just got the appraisal back on our house. The value of our house has dropped 35k in the last year and a half. I was expecting a drop but not this big. So, no refi.
Ugh I'm so sorry. Can you try another bank? Did they show you why the value dropped so much ( comps?)
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#64 of 118 Old 02-11-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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sweet jasmine, that's good news. Will he listen to DR on the radio? I've never heard him but that might be the sneaky way to get some of the ideas across.

I've got a case of the feb blahs. Doing good with not spending money but just feeling blah. Anyone want to post their savings tips to help motivate me?
No, mtm, dh isn't interested in listening to DR on the radio but he is receptive to my (well most) budgeting and saving ideas. He feels strongly about getting a new car this year because he's been with me long enough to know that all the money we threw into my last car for repairs and all the stories I've told him of my lemon before that is just something he doesn't want us to go through again.

Do you still have the blahs? Sometimes when I want to spend money I'll look around our place and realize how blessed we are with so many things and that really, we have quite enough. But I seriously will need to buy clothes here soon but I'm going to be careful about how much I spend on them and only get what I need.
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#65 of 118 Old 02-11-2010, 04:51 PM
 
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I'm checking in for a spank, as it appears per my logging in the "no spend thread" DH & I are in a spending storm.

Gah I think its because we're super excited from our tax return to pay off his SL. But we haven't gotten it yet, and we are spending $$ as if we were drinking water. Best of all - its not even halfway through the month yet!

leav97 - bummer about the refi. Have you shopping around to other banks? Did they give you a reason for the low estimate?

sweetjasmine - I have the $$ blahs a lot, mostly its I want this NOW, but we can't afford it or its the newest snazziest thing on the block. I don't even want to face the fact I'm going to need work clothes soon too as I know its going to be an arm & leg up front to get the quality I want, so the items last for a very long time.

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 118 Old 02-12-2010, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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PPK, I took out a couple from the library. I think it was the Common Sense one that I liked best. I don't think you can go that wrong with any of them.

Leav97, sorry to hear the appraisal dropped so much. Is your whole area down?

sweetjasmine, my blahs are mostly gone. I threw my first chunk of cash at my rrsp (Canadian retirement for all you Americans) so that helped. My dh is making his budget for his birthday trip so once that's done, I have one less sinking fund or rather, I can rename one!

_ktg_, bad girl. Get back on track. Do build in some spending money for you once your return comes, just don't do it now just in case. You never know with the irs.
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#67 of 118 Old 02-12-2010, 12:45 PM
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ktg-

I don't look at the 'NO Spend' thread, but IME, whenever I try to commit to something along those lines, I *always* rebound and do so much worse!!!

For me its almost like dieting. This week I told myself I was going to start to cut out sugar (not like I eat much of it anyways), and what did I do?? I ate half a pumpkin pie for breakfast with a square of dark chocolate on the side Very unlike me, I guess I'm just rebellious like that.

I don't know what it is, but I react the same way when I tried for things similar to a 'No Spend' challenge!

Instead, I think about a purchase and say "this is x hrs. of my (adjusted)working wage, and do I really want to have to work more in order to get this item?"; sometimes its worth it, sometimes its not.

Also, learning to save reciepts and leave tags on items and give yourself a day or two to really decide on some purchases..I find after a day or two I'm not nearly in love with a certain shirt or book, or whatever and then can return if needed.

HTH!!
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#68 of 118 Old 02-12-2010, 01:11 PM
 
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Gah I think its because we're super excited from our tax return to pay off his SL. But we haven't gotten it yet, and we are spending $$ as if we were drinking water. Best of all - its not even halfway through the month yet!
Me too! That's why I could never do that thread. I hear you on the spending. I think in the back of my mind that we have this $$ so I can buy things that I've been putting off. Now these are not frivolous purchases mind you (ok, well maybe a couple small things!) but things I've been wanting for a LONG time (good water filter for house/DS food allergy test...). For me what happens is I'll be so die hard frugal for awhile at some point I just break down. I think I need to find a more happy medium. However all the extra money that I haven't spent in recent months is now there to spend on those things so I guess I could just look at it as I was saving to pay cash for stuff... I'm still paying off debt right on schedule.

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I don't look at the 'NO Spend' thread, but IME, whenever I try to commit to something along those lines, I *always* rebound and do so much worse!!!
Yes to this!

Leav97 - We are in the same boat. I'm scared to know what the appraisal would be. Did it cost you anything to have the appraisal?

beansmama - woohoo! Awesome.

corrie43 - That's great! Must feel good.

cparkly, sparkprincess, proudmamanow - welcome!

proudmamanow - I will say that just having a small goal written down on paper (well actually in excel, with a cute little pie chart!) helps SO much. I mean, I hear what you're saying about having a vision and I think that is so important. But that is long term and for me, I need little things to keep me going. So like, if you get one little debt paid off then it is like a small victory and you celebrate somehow.

Anyhoo, I've been kinda mia lately cause I was feeling bad about spending $$ but I think I need to stay and check in even when I'm doing that. Still haven't heard back about the job in September but hopefully anytime now.

                                       DS 7 ~ DS 3

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#69 of 118 Old 02-12-2010, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought this was neat, DR takes budgets and analyzes them.
http://www.daveramsey.com/specials/b...xtra.021210_06
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#70 of 118 Old 02-13-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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ok, I've been out of the loop for a few months. When I first signed up for this thread last year I was seriously contemplating a move from Full to Part-time work which required us to take a serious, hard look at our finances. While I lost momentum with our budget when I remained full-time, and I could not shake my entitlement (a.k.a. brat) syndrome to buckle down and exert some financial constraint. (ie. I work hard so why shouldn't I buy a Starbucks coffee, or an expensive haircut, or take-out). So, we have remained STUCK at BS#2, and just like last year, I plan on using our tax refund to pay off our visa and then we can finally move to BS#3. We are no further ahead then we were this time last year. However, we are on a slippery slope. We are expecting our 3rd child this summer which means increased child care costs and a minivan. I hope I'm back here to stay this time.
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#71 of 118 Old 02-13-2010, 06:16 PM
 
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I thought this was neat, DR takes budgets and analyzes them.
http://www.daveramsey.com/specials/b...xtra.021210_06
I saw them discussing that on the MyTMMO forums and then I think DR mentioned it on hiss how. However, I forgot to follow-up and look at them so thanks for posting this!

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ok, I've been out of the loop for a few months. When I first signed up for this thread last year I was seriously contemplating a move from Full to Part-time work which required us to take a serious, hard look at our finances. While I lost momentum with our budget when I remained full-time, and I could not shake my entitlement (a.k.a. brat) syndrome to buckle down and exert some financial constraint. (ie. I work hard so why shouldn't I buy a Starbucks coffee, or an expensive haircut, or take-out). So, we have remained STUCK at BS#2, and just like last year, I plan on using our tax refund to pay off our visa and then we can finally move to BS#3. We are no further ahead then we were this time last year. However, we are on a slippery slope. We are expecting our 3rd child this summer which means increased child care costs and a minivan. I hope I'm back here to stay this time.
Welcome back! I, too, was here before and back again and I'm really hoping to stay on track this time. Congrats on your 3rd child, that's got to be great motivation to stay here.
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#72 of 118 Old 02-13-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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Big sigh. We're in BS1/BS2.
We've never had debt beyond federal student loans (and we managed to pay off my partner's HUGE student loan last year). But, DP was unexpectedly unemployed for almost 9 months, we had to move, TWICE, etc, etc. We're in a hole, and we've got to get OUT!
Looking forward to going back and reading all these posts, and maybe finding some ideas to fast track things. Current plan has all debt payed off in Sept.2010, which seems so far away, but really isn't, so on we go.

For greater things are yet to come...

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#73 of 118 Old 02-14-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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sweetjasmine - I have the $$ blahs a lot, mostly its I want this NOW, but we can't afford it or its the newest snazziest thing on the block. I don't even want to face the fact I'm going to need work clothes soon too as I know its going to be an arm & leg up front to get the quality I want, so the items last for a very long time.
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sweetjasmine, my blahs are mostly gone. I threw my first chunk of cash at my rrsp (Canadian retirement for all you Americans) so that helped. My dh is making his budget for his birthday trip so once that's done, I have one less sinking fund or rather, I can rename one!
It appears I still had the $$ blahs when I wrote my last post because I just rationalized a few days ago that I've been mostly good for months so I bought myself a few items online. It's not that I spent alot but most of the items I didn't really need. Sigh. Well, to make myself feel better I told myself that that's a rarity for me these days. Now I have to go post in the no-spend thread. I do like that thread, it makes me more mindful than I otherwise would be.
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#74 of 118 Old 02-14-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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Thanks everyone for the much needed "spank". I wish I could say I was spending the $$ on some even tangible stuff, but it was a lot of lunches out and dinners too.

I love the "no-spend" thread as it makes me be very accountable for what I am spending and helps me keep my goals. BUT I totally understand why its a tough thread to follow or participate in.

Good news is though, we're rallying and reining in our spending, mostly because we've blown through all our cash. I've also decided since it was mostly meals which were our downfalls this past week, I'm cooking up a storm today to stock the fridge with goodies to take for lunch. NO EXCUSES this week for spending.

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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#75 of 118 Old 02-17-2010, 12:13 AM
 
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Checking in for the first time this month. The end of this week will mark the last of the kitchen expenses (I hope!) and see us back on track by payday at the end of the month (or at least heading back in the right direction- saving not spending!).

DH and I have been brooding over money and trying to figure out how to get our house in shape to rent out or sell (we've only been in it for 3 yrs, I don't think we could sell and pay off our mortgage without penalty- we've gotta meet with the bank), come up with moving expenses and university tuition.

We're toying with the idea of moving out of our house early and either in with my parents or into a cheaper rental so we can be getting rent payments instead of paying high living costs ourselves. We live in a university town and many renters are looking to rent at the end of the school year (May). So even though we won't be heading out East for DH's schooling until mid-summer, it would be nice to get out of here and get it making us some money sooner rather than later.

I feel like we've been financially frantic with our kitchen renos. I'm looking forward to being done with them and getting back into go mode. I'll post pictures when we're done- the final pieces are taking time to come together.

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#76 of 118 Old 02-17-2010, 12:24 AM
 
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Curious- what do you have a sinking fund for? How much do you put aside each month for each fund?

This isn't exactly sinking, but I find my intention is to leave the extras from any given category from month to month, so eventually when we have a month with many whatevers in it, the money will be there. However, in reality that doesn't ever happen because something will come up and it's often a matter of taking leftovers from one category and using them to cover the unexpected in another. I'm worried that sinking funds would get robbed from in much the same way. I guess there's nothing to lose by trying though....

anywhoo...what do you create a sink fund for and how do you manage it?? I've been thinking about car repairs and birthday parties and house repairs and all that jazz lately.

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

 

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#77 of 118 Old 02-17-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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I use sinking funds for the big ticket items - right now I have them for my air conditioning unit on the house, my graduation party, and roof repair. Other items I'll cash flow since I have the ability to pick up extra income when I need to (this is how I paid for a Disneyland trip in 2008 - worked a bunch for 5 weeks and stock piled the cash).

However, sinking funds for regular items like auto maintenance, new tires, etc are all a great way to plan ahead for expenses that will happen. The way I do it is put it all into the savings account and then keep track of each fund's balance on paper.

Example:

Savings account has $10,000

My Excel spreadsheet has the following:

Air conditioner - $8,000 - fully funded
Graduation party - $1,000 - 50% funded
Roof repair - $1,000 - 75% funded

These are just examples, I don't have a quote on the air conditioner or roof repair yet.
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#78 of 118 Old 02-17-2010, 06:13 PM
 
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Curious- what do you have a sinking fund for? How much do you put aside each month for each fund?

anywhoo...what do you create a sink fund for and how do you manage it?? I've been thinking about car repairs and birthday parties and house repairs and all that jazz lately.
Taxes, Travel, Car repair, Car replacement, Computer replacement, Holiday, Household (med-large appliances).

We rent so we don't have a household repair category. I really should start a clothing sinking fund.

Like the pp, I have a spreadsheet that I keep track of the various totals on.

me, 28 & dh, 32.
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#79 of 118 Old 02-17-2010, 08:22 PM
 
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Taxes, Travel, Car repair, Car replacement, Computer replacement, Holiday, Household (med-large appliances).

We rent so we don't have a household repair category. I really should start a clothing sinking fund.

Like the pp, I have a spreadsheet that I keep track of the various totals on.
Thanks for sharing yours, I always find it helpful to see what other people have.

The kids had a dentist's appointment today and I realized I need to start orthodontia sinking funds for both of them. My daughter has inherited my tiny palate and my son my funky teeth (orthodontia fixed 'em, thankfully!).
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#80 of 118 Old 02-18-2010, 09:44 PM
 
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See, for some reason I had it in my head that a sinking fund would be cash squirrelled away somewhere. I never even considered blending it and banking it. That would work much better for us!

Glad I asked!

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

 

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#81 of 118 Old 02-19-2010, 04:07 AM
 
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Hey all,

I've been absent the last couple of weeks... There's a light at the end of the tunnel, but it's a speeding train!! My DH is self-employed, but has had zero work lately and we are burning through the money we've stockpiled for slow months. We're on a triple XXX austerity budget, only paying the minimum on our debts, and praying that when business picks up again, it will do it fast enough to meet our expenses. I don't know when we'll be able to start snowballing again! Ugh!
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#82 of 118 Old 02-22-2010, 02:46 AM
 
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smallmama - Good luck with the business picking up quickly so that the snowball can start rolling again.

So I looked back at my goal for the month and then the sinking funds I need to fund and we decided to take the bulk of the money we were going to use to pay down consumer debt and fully fund the two sinking funds that have a May deadline. This won't affect our overall payoff date because the money I had budgeted for the sinking funds will now go towards the debt. I just won't get that rush of seeing the % jump and paying off a debt as quickly. However, it does feel good to know that the air conditioner, roof repair, etc are funded.
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#83 of 118 Old 02-22-2010, 11:40 PM - Thread Starter
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smallmama, glad you're back posting. Hope the work picks up soon.

eirual, we'll need to see pics of the kitchen reno, glad its almost done! If you can move early and save money, go for it!

My dh is away on his big vacation so he's using up the travel fund and getting a much needed break. Its hard to see the money go though even though its going where it was intended.
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#84 of 118 Old 02-23-2010, 09:37 AM
 
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we found new renters
Our current renter is Honda for their expat who is returning to Japan mid March (they had the house for two years). We just got it all fixed up to find new renters and Honda called to ask if they could have it for 3 years confirmed with an option to extend to 5 years!! They have another expat family coming over who have seen pictures of it and have requested it
we will only have one week in between the renters which means we won't have to float it very long at all. I am soooooo excited!!
The hope is that when this next contract is up the economy will have made a major rebound (it's got to happen sometime, right??) and we'll be able to sell the house.
I've been so worried about getting new renters and finding good ones....this is such a major relief (we love renting to Honda as the company pays the rent/writes the checks so they are always right on time).
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#85 of 118 Old 02-23-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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BS #1 is DONE!

BS #2
CC 1 - 400
CC 2 - 3300
CC 3 - 5275
Med Bill 2 - 1200
Car Loan - 12173
Medical bill 1 - Done
Signature loan - Done

BS #6
SL 1 - 11801
SL 2 - 13095
SL 3 - 64212
Home Loan - 165,324
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#86 of 118 Old 02-23-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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we found new renters
Our current renter is Honda for their expat who is returning to Japan mid March (they had the house for two years). We just got it all fixed up to find new renters and Honda called to ask if they could have it for 3 years confirmed with an option to extend to 5 years!! They have another expat family coming over who have seen pictures of it and have requested it
we will only have one week in between the renters which means we won't have to float it very long at all. I am soooooo excited!!
The hope is that when this next contract is up the economy will have made a major rebound (it's got to happen sometime, right??) and we'll be able to sell the house.
I've been so worried about getting new renters and finding good ones....this is such a major relief (we love renting to Honda as the company pays the rent/writes the checks so they are always right on time).
That is GREAT news - congrats!! Knowing that you have a long-term corporate renter in there has to take a lot of pressure off. Best wishes on the housing market rebounding during this current lease period.
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#87 of 118 Old 02-23-2010, 06:26 PM
 
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Welcome!

I don't follow DR per se, so I don't know the reasons he says to cut all cards.

I closed several cards but keep two major cc's open with zero balance, or, if I need to use it in emergency/necessity, I pay it off in 1-2 months.

I know there are times I can't get a rental car without a major cc, unless they use my debit with a huge deposit AND a credit check..which I don't like..so anyways, I do keep those open.

I read/follow "Your Money or Your Life" and I love it! You might want to read it and go through the steps since it deals with your particular concern for future goals/values/motivation/lifestyle. The only part I'm not so ccertain about is his investment advice...I need to learn more and will quite possibly go another route on that (but not to that step yet!!).

Sorry, I know its mainly a DR forum, but the main steps are pretty similar between the two and its been hugely impactful for me to follow the YMOYL steps. It was tedious, but soooo worth it to set up.

Thanks so much for this encouraging post--we have been away & out of touch with the computer but are now back & will be starting.
It's good to hear your feedback on YMOYL--I have read it/skimmed it a few times, but always found it very hard to get past the first few steps (lazy perhaps!). But we are now back & ready to get engaged 100% with this process. It has also helped that we have identified a goal with a set timeline, that will definitely help us be motivated.
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#88 of 118 Old 02-23-2010, 06:35 PM
 
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proudmamanow - Welcome!! It helps to have your partner on board so yay for that! I haven't gotten rid of all of our cards but kept two open plus my husband has a corporate card (his company pays it off directly, he didn't have to sign anything). I haven't used credit in over a year though so I have that controlled. I think I'll feel more comfortable getting rid of the last cards once I have that FFEF. I know that is anti-DR thinking but it is *my* comfort zone. When I travel I use my business debit card because it has a $7,500 daily spending max (no I don't have $7,500 in there heeh).

Like you, I do get sucked into that sense of entitlement every now and then. I think "We make X so why can't I spend Y on Z?" The answer is "Because you have a buttload of consumer debt." If I look at what we could be doing without these payments on BS2 the answer is "I'd be in that house in the school district I want to be in." For me, that keeps me on track. We have a 2 and a 5 year plan and each month we look at our progress towards it. My children have varying special needs so for us, *that* school district is important.

As far as extra money, I'm a freelance writer but also a student. I've picked up some extra writing gigs to throw at our snowball.

I've been eating out too much the past few days - I'm not over budget for the month but definitely ahead of the curve. I joined the home cooking challenge and then I've been dealing with some crazy health issues and quite frankly haven't felt well, at all. I need to get back…on…track…!

My DH got his final numbers on his bonus and it looks like I'll be pretty close to that 9% progress towards goal at the end of the month.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Thanks for the welcome MyTwoAs! We are really ready to get going on this now, and have a good 2 yr goal in mind, I think getting another goal would be good too. Great that you're a freelance writer, I was once and would love to get back into it.

I have another question for the group, other than his website, is there a way to get access to more details on the Dave Ramsey program (other than buying the book!). I will look for the book at our local library as a starting point.

Great to hear how everyone is doing. One of our major challenges right now will be keeping our food budget tight with dd2's many, many allergies!

I will continue to read this thread with interest!

Oh and we paid off our outstanding cc in full last week, only to find out that we had an additional 51 cents in interest they hadn't told us about. So our credit rating still hasn't cleared. grrr. I am going to call them back to try and sort this out, as the fact that this one cc is in my name (we didn't get the bill for 4 months, sent to the wrong address) is very problematic, as I have 100% of the income and therefore the bulk of the credit rating. sigh.
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#89 of 118 Old 02-23-2010, 06:43 PM
 
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welcome proudmamanow. Try not to stress too much about what is already done. My advice is to take a deep breath, write down your bills, their due date and the amounts (minimum and total) and make a checklist so you know when everything is due and then check it off each month. You can do this Having your dh on board is great.

I agree that its a good idea to get rid of all the ccs. They really do end up getting people in trouble. That said, I kept one open personally but its a pain in the ass to get to (hidden away) so I really have to need it to bother.

What we did was make a plan, how long til we were out of bs2 and bs3 and then set up mini rewards for each step (cc or bs) we finished. Don't think 5 years ahead, think 3 months ahead, what can you do in 3 months? Can you get rid of one card forever?

I got a part time job to jumpstart our snowball and it went entirely to debt repayment. For me it was becoming a buliding superintendent in our condo. For others its babysitting, a friend of mine bakes pies, another does leather work. Do you have any hobbies you could turn into moneymakers? Could you add a day of overtime each a month then you still have time with the kids but an extra kick for the bs.
thanks mtm. Everyone on this thread is so kind & supportive and I really appreciate it. My dp is looking into tutoring to supplement our income, so that would be a big help, and I could also consider going up to working one or two extra days a month, if I can get permission...my employer isn't always that flexible.
but thanks again & its great to read about everyone's progress!
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#90 of 118 Old 02-24-2010, 01:22 AM
 
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I don't want to bother with uploading more photos of our kitchen reno. I'll link to my FB album and leave it up for a day or two and hope it works without crazy stalkers! lol

http://www.facebook.com/#!/album.php...6&id=509269939

Grand total: $1,800 (can't complain about that!)

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

 

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