Getting Out of Debt, March 2010 - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 123 Old 03-06-2010, 11:05 PM
 
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This might help:
http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc417.html

it talks about the exemption from self-employment tax and has another link.
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#62 of 123 Old 03-07-2010, 01:40 AM
 
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AnnetteMarie, I'm clueless when it comes to taxes and gov't issues. I hope it all works itself out without causing too much damage!

My Two As, that's awesome! I'm glad to hear the sol'n was so simple...and cheap!

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

 

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#63 of 123 Old 03-07-2010, 01:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
ARGH!!!! I just found out the my DH (and the D doesn't stand for D) hasn't been paying social security because he "couldn't figure out how." In his defense, he apparently tried to pay it one year and they kept sending it back. I'm really scared and angry and annoyed that tax law for the clergy is so freaking impossible to understand.

I think there's a small chance he could file an exemption to opt out of SS altogether, but I don't know if that's an acceptable solution to all this or not. He has a pension and we would certainly have time to tweak all that before retirement, right?
He can opt out actually he and the Amish are the only ones who can. If you think that he will max out his retirement ( over $750,000 401k I think) then he would not need the SSI. Its up to you!
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#64 of 123 Old 03-07-2010, 01:37 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure he would have (a) needed to opt out the first year he didn't file and (b) would have to claim he was religiously opposed to SSI, which he won't do because he isn't religiously opposed to SSI, although he is religiously opposed to fibbing, LOL!

I don't think we're going to get out of paying the money. And we probably shouldn't. I do wonder what people think of the ethics of waiting until we get this year's tax refund back and bills taken care of before we go 'fess up.

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#65 of 123 Old 03-07-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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You're right, he'd have to say he is religiously opposed to social insurance in order to opt out. As far as waiting, perhaps it is ethically a gray area but since you need the funds I'd probably make an appointment to meet with the IRS or an accountant for after 4/15 (or whenever you expect your returns).
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#66 of 123 Old 03-08-2010, 12:10 PM
 
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Just a little bump. Not much new on our front. I spent 2 hrs "shopping" yesterday- looking for window treatments, shoes for DS, and a few other tidbits (including contemplating a new bathroom motif), then put everything back! 2yrs ago that would have easily been a $75 trip, but I realised I neither LOVED nor NEEDED any of it and walked out empty-handed, satified and with money in my pocket.

I know it exists, and if I truly find myself needing any of it, I know where to find it!

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

 

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#67 of 123 Old 03-08-2010, 12:35 PM
 
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Just a little bump. Not much new on our front. I spent 2 hrs "shopping" yesterday- looking for window treatments, shoes for DS, and a few other tidbits (including contemplating a new bathroom motif), then put everything back! 2yrs ago that would have easily been a $75 trip, but I realised I neither LOVED nor NEEDED any of it and walked out empty-handed, satified and with money in my pocket.

I know it exists, and if I truly find myself needing any of it, I know where to find it!
That's awesome!! I applaud your strength. I love those moments of clarity when you can walk out empty handed. It is so easy to get one thing and then tell yourself a couple more things won't matter. Kudos!

We got our tax return and I put it straight into savings. We almost have enough to pay off the bike! Hopefully by April, but I also am looking into lowering our car insurance witch will require a lump sum payment. We've been doing month to month so I haven't saved for that. But we'll save quite a bit so I'll have to see which saves us more, paying off the bike early or waiting a paying car insurance. Hmmm...off to my excel spreadsheet....

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#68 of 123 Old 03-08-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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I'm only a couple of weeks in and starting to feel a little burned out, tbh. Still very dedicated, but a bit overwhelmed--maybe we've been trying to do much too quickly.
I think it's the envelope system, it feels so good to have identified all these categories & have it all out in the open, but it's so finicky, you know? We have so many categories & it's so complicated keeping track of all the various amounts. But so far so good, we stuck with it this weekend & managed to keep on track. But I think to make it sustainable over the long run, we need some kind of online management system--we are looking into wesabe.com that is compatible with our credit union.


Dd2's multiple food sensitivities may make grocery shopping more expensive, but they do save us money on eating out! This weekend we went to a maple 'sugar shack', a major seasonal event around here. Instead of spending $18 per adult and $5 per kid on an (amazing) pancake & bacon meal, we opted for little maple taffy sticks that everyone could eat--we saved about $25!

In other good news...I found a stale dated cheque--a tuition refund-- from 2006 for $825 (gee, I wonder how we got into this situation?) and filled out a form to get the university to reissue it. That will be a huge help in kickstarting our debt payback.

We still need to make a list of all of our debts so that we know where we are at right now.

Oh, and on the weekend, I enlisted dd1 to help me put about $200 worth of toys up on our used items site, plus we have an old bike & stroller up for an additional $150. Now let's hope we get some customers!


My biggest problem these days is staying up too late working on envelopes, used stuff sales, budget software etc. And I am soooooooooooo tired as a result. Plus almost 5 yo dd is sleeping badly lately, coming in to bed with us at midnight every night! sigh.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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#69 of 123 Old 03-08-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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Hi, all! Sorry I haven't checked in this month, but just wanted to let you know that I am going on a 2-week trip next month so I'm super motivated to scrimp and save any pennies I can these next few months.

And I'm GRADUATING from COLLEGE! Which is why I'm flying with my family to the mainland, it's really important to me to be there. So even though I don't have any debt, it's my goal to spend very little this next few months so I can replace the savings I will be spending on this trip in about 4 months' time.

Akie, single mom to M (02/18/06), E (08/04/07) and Z (06/22/09)
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#70 of 123 Old 03-08-2010, 08:56 PM
 
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Hi, all! Sorry I haven't checked in this month, but just wanted to let you know that I am going on a 2-week trip next month so I'm super motivated to scrimp and save any pennies I can these next few months.

And I'm GRADUATING from COLLEGE! Which is why I'm flying with my family to the mainland, it's really important to me to be there. So even though I don't have any debt, it's my goal to spend very little this next few months so I can replace the savings I will be spending on this trip in about 4 months' time.
Congrats!

proudmama, it can be hard to iron out the hiccoughs in the envelope system, but you'll find one that works for you. For me- having smaller bills so you can mix and match and take only what you need helped. Also planning the month ahead and realizing there would be different categories from month to month helped. Personally, I prefer specific envelopes to vague envelopes. And worse case scenerio, even if you go off track, THERE WAS STILL A TRACK from which to vere!! And that difference is HUGE! Spending with a plan that's gone wrong is still way better than spending with no plan at all (at least in my experience). Be gentle on yourself, and you'll figure out a system that works for you.

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

 

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#71 of 123 Old 03-09-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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thanks for the encouragement, laurie. I think you're right, it's all in 20s right now which makes it more difficult--smaller bills would help.
I just got off the phone with our credit union. Apparently our budget is off, because I took out $500 yesterday to transfer to another account for online bill paying and we are now overdrawn by $200
this is on top of a $10,000 line of credit that is currently maxed out.

I'm so glad to have found this system but I'm really really feeling down right now about how far our income seems to exceed our expenses.

Oh well, at least we have completed step 1. And we are no longer using our credit cards.
Stopping using the LOC is a bit trickier because it is linked to our account.

Oh and we are contemplating some other big changes right now, so I am looking for opinions. We currently have about $90,000-$100,000 equity in our house. What do you think Dave would say about selling the house and dumping that money into savings or investments & renting for a while until we had enough to buy again? This is because we are contemplating moving to a more expensive area that has better job prospects and is closer to family.
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#72 of 123 Old 03-10-2010, 01:28 PM
 
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eirual - Yay for putting things back. I'm starting to really understand when he talks about getting out of debt being more behavioral than anything else.

cody'smomma - Yay for almost paying off the bike. With the mandatory 401k contribution your dh is facing this summer, I bet it will be nice to not have the bike payment anymore. Good luck with the insurance shopping!

akichan - Congrats on graduating and enjoy your trip!! I graduate in May and can't wait.

proudmamanow - I've read it can take several months to not only get the envelope system right but to get the budget right. Yay on completing step 1! As far as selling your house, I *think* that Dave would say if you sold it to pay off the debt and not put it into savings. Then build your 3-6 month emergency fund, then begin saving for a down payment on a house. Good luck with your decision!

My husband was out of town in Vegas this week with a client (coming home this am - yay!) and I started thinking last night about how blessed my family has been but then feeling a bit down about how absolutely irresponsible we've been with money. My son has Asperger's Syndrome and epilepsy, my daughter was dx'd with classical autism at 2 but has made huge growth and has primarily subclinical symptoms now. She also has asthma and joint hypermobility - possibly ehler's danlos syndrome.

Needless to say, the kids see a bazillion specialists. However we have great health insurance through my husband's company (Cisco Systems is fantastic!) plus the children have state insurance because of their "disabilities". We essentially have very little out-of-pocket medical costs for them now. I wish I had stuck with this plan when I first began it in 2008.

I'm determined to see this through this time. I am thankful for this thread because it helps keep me accountable and helps remind me why I am doing this - for my kids. I know that no one knows what the future holds for their children but with their health issues, they're future is even more uncertain. I need to be prepared to provide for them long-term if needed.
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#73 of 123 Old 03-10-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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MytwoAs ~ I totally sympathize with the guilt feelings. I am having a really hard time coming terms with the facts of our stupid financial decisions in the past that we are still paying for. I keep saying, "we shoulda this, we shoulda that". I know it's totally pointless but I'm just not sure how to get over it. Mostly that we should NOT have bought our house, no money down, at the peak of the market. And that if we would have waited to save up the down payment (would not have taken that long) we could have bought a nicer house now. Makes me sick just thinking about it. But I suppose we are where we are now and there is no sense in regret. However what I am taking from this is to not get into the same situation again and to not be greedy and hasty.

I realize that is not the same situation as you, but I can understand the regret of spending money that you didn't have to.

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#74 of 123 Old 03-10-2010, 11:06 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing cody'smomma - while our stories may not be the same we do share the similarity with feeling a wee bit o'regret about how we got to be where we are. The good news is - we know and we're changing!
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#75 of 123 Old 03-12-2010, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
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eirual, good job leaving all that stuff behind! I saw some dress shirts on sale at landsend last week, loaded up the cart, talked to dh about if he needed them and then emptied the cart. It was a good feeling.

cody'smomma, yay on putting the tax return into savings!

proudmamanow, do you have a way of seeing your progress? Everytime I get burned out I like to see how far we've come. Remind me what food allergies you're dealing with, we're gfcf here. I've got no envelope tips as I've only ever mastered them for blow and eating out. Good luck with the garage sale.

akichan Have a great graduation!

proudmamanow, sorry to hear about the o/d, did you figure out how it happened, its tough getting the budget right at first. I think selling and using that money for the bs is a good idea, esp if you're planning on moving anyway.

MyTwoAs and cody'smomm, don't kick yourself for what's happened, we've all done stupid. You're off to a good start fixing it already.

I just had spring and summer registration for programs for my kiddos this week. I knew how much it was but seeing it all go out of the bank is making me redouble our efforts to save this month. My goal is no eating out at all this month, wish me luck!
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#76 of 123 Old 03-13-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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I have a question.

DH just got his tax return back and opened a tax-free savings acct (we're in canada). It's at a 1.25% interest "per annum with interest calculated on the daily closing balance and added to principal at the end of June and December".

DH figured G=1000(1+.0125) raised to the 12th.=1160.75 (meaning we'd have $1160.75 after a year).

G=1000(1.0125) raised to the 48=1815.35 (meaning that after 4 yrs we'd have $1,815.35).

Is that RIGHT?? It's been a looooong time since I've calculated interest (Grade 11 math?). It would be pretty cool if our EF would just grow like that, but I'm thinking there must be soemthing wrong 'cause that's just too cool!

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

 

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#77 of 123 Old 03-13-2010, 11:19 AM
 
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P.S. we're officially back on to BS 2

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

 

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#78 of 123 Old 03-13-2010, 08:55 PM
 
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Back with my bills Most of them, I am waiting on another one to come in the mail yet.

Hospital A (four MRIs to check to see if I have MS) $314.80
- I currently am on a payment plan of $80 a month. I am trying my best to get it paid off by June.
Hospital B (hospital stay and 4 days worth of IV steroids when I went partially blind) $655.50
- I am on a monthly payment plan of $100 for this one.
DME company to pay for the BiPap machine I need for my apnea. My oxygen drops below 50% without it, so not having it isn't really optional for me: $628.02
- They are very generous and letting me pay only $40 a month until I get caught up on some of these hospital bills.
Credit Card: Around $1100, not sure the exact total. This was a hospital bill that I put on credit because they scared me and made me think they would ruin my credit if I didn't pay it

That is it. I am working hard to get this paid off

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#79 of 123 Old 03-13-2010, 09:00 PM
 
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Does anyone here understand income-based student loan repayments?

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#80 of 123 Old 03-13-2010, 11:02 PM
 
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BS #2
CC 1 - 260 - May
Med Bill 2 - 875 - July
CC 2 - 3260- Dec
CC 3 - 5400 - 2011
Car Loan - 11995
Medical bill 1 - Done
Signature loan - Done

Slowly making progress.
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#81 of 123 Old 03-13-2010, 11:19 PM
 
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I guess I just don't get how they work. DH has a lot of seminary debt (I think it's between $70,000 and $100,000-- pretty much he took out student loans on 4 years of graduate school). I think IBR would be a good way to go, but I'm not good at thinking financially. Especially if we're going to have IRS payments, we've got to do everything we can to get the loans down.
Are these loans private or government loans?

Here's a link with a FAQ on the IBR for federal loans: http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/at...3109_FINAL.pdf

If the church he works for is a 501(c)3 then he may qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: http://studentaid.ed.gov/students/at...%2012%2010.pdf

IBR is going to be less expensive than any other repayment option because it is calculated based on your family's AGI and the difference between that and 150% of the federal poverty level for your family's size. It isn't based on the sum of your loans, which most of the other repayment options are. You do have to qualify for IBR as having a partial financial hardship (described in the IBR FAQ).

If you end up owing the IRS, I think I've heard Dave suggest putting student loans on hardship deferral, moving the IRS to the top of the snowball list, and paying them off ASAP.

HTH.
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#82 of 123 Old 03-13-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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Does anyone here understand income-based student loan repayments?
Yes, I've done a little research on this. What were you wondering?
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#83 of 123 Old 03-13-2010, 11:42 PM
 
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I guess I just don't get how they work. DH has a lot of seminary debt (I think it's between $70,000 and $100,000-- pretty much he took out student loans on 4 years of graduate school). I think IBR would be a good way to go, but I'm not good at thinking financially. Especially if we're going to have IRS payments, we've got to do everything we can to get the loans down.

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#84 of 123 Old 03-15-2010, 12:32 AM
 
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Hi Ladies,

I would love to come and join you. I want to get started with Dave Ramsey but I'm not sure how... I was hoping you might have some input. I've been told the best way to begin is to do his classes because it gives you a greater sense of accountability and accomplishment but I was thinking about just doing his online course and maybe you guys would be my accountability & accomplishment. I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you got started. Thanks!

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#85 of 123 Old 03-15-2010, 08:35 AM
 
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Hello, and welcome!!

Personally, his book "Total Money Makeover" was enough for me (maybe I'd be more "gazelle" had I took a class, but personally, I was looking for something to get me started and the book did it)!

Even if you plan to take a class, it can't hurt to start with the book and go from there (especially if you get a copy from the library) if you haven't already.

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

 

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#86 of 123 Old 03-15-2010, 02:19 PM
 
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I'm back again. And I wanted to thank everyone here for their fabulous support and insights.
We are officially on BS 2 now, which is very exciting.
What I really need now is a better way of tracking our debts & how far we are getting at paying them back. We have some paypal money right now from some of dp's online diaper sales, so we are really considering www.youneedabudget.com as a way of helping manage the crazymaking envelope system and

We did really well this weekend--we ate at home all weekend, despite the temptation of a hockey tournament...we did a frugal but lovely birthday gift for one of dd's friends and kept ot our budget at the grocery store.

And so far we've sold $55 worth of stuff off craigslist. Still hoping to sell lots more....
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#87 of 123 Old 03-15-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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Oh and welcome jwoodbri! I'm a Jess too. I also got Total Money Makeover out of the library and it gave me all the info I needed. You can also download some of his worksheets free from the website to save you copying them or photocopying them.

Slightly stressed about the girls birthday gifts...trying to find something fun but very cheap...need to hit our local consignment store I think.
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#88 of 123 Old 03-15-2010, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Welcome jwoodbri, please join in. I started with the budget sheets in tmmo and use this thread and llnoe as my sounding boards. I do think that if you can find a course, it would be helpful but I wouldn't wait to start until you found one.

proudmamanow, yay for reaching bs2! What's your first debt up? I've heard good things about ynnb and mint and I think mint is free.
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#89 of 123 Old 03-16-2010, 01:05 AM
 
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Thanks ladies! I just ordered TMM book and workbook which came with free pdf of the book and mp3 too. So I can start reading/listening right away. I'm excited! It's time to finally get our spending back in control. We were doing really well and then suddenly (had a third child and bought a new minivan) everything started slipping away from us. Hopefully I'll be able to post more soon!

Jess ~mom to DS1 8/05, DS2 6/07, DD 7/09 and one surprise 5/11!
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#90 of 123 Old 03-16-2010, 10:23 AM
 
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Hi there!
I would like to be moved into BS1 please!

I'm still having trouble getting DP on board with this plan, but I'm forging ahead anyway. He agrees with me, in theory, but when it comes to saving money he is easily distracted. He only has one debt, though, a smallish student loan, and I am keeping on top of him to get that paid off, month by month.

Yesterday I deposited an extra $200 from some babysitting I did recently, so I immediately transfered it towards the principal on my $8K student loan. I will be SOOOOO happy to have that paid off. I'm really trying to stay focused!

 Married to my sweetie and enjoying life with our fabulous dog.  Expecting #1 in August 2012!!!!

 

 
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