Getting out of Debt in April - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 62 Old 03-31-2010, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Ahhh, spring is coming in my neck of the woods, its so lovely to see all the new beginnings! Lets make April a good month for getting out of debt! Most of us use Dave Ramsey's method but please join us even if you're following someone else/your own plan. All welcome!

Here's DR's plan:

These are the Baby Steps:

Pre-Step 1: Get current on your debts and do a budget
0.1 Commit to NEVER borrow $$$ again
0.2 Talk with spouse and get him/her on the same page as you concerning finances.
0.3 Do a written budget
0.4 Temporarily stop all retirement contributions
0.5 Get current on all the basics (Shelter, Food, Utilities, Basic clothing)
0.6 Amputate "toys" (bikes, boats, ATV's etc) if they will keep you from completing the snowball within 12 months
0.7 Cut lifestyle (Cut CATV, Cellphone, Regular phone "extra's", Internet, Eating out, etc) and/or take second job if $1000 EF will take more than 30-90 days.
0.8 Get current on ALL bills

BS1 $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
1.1 Chop up/freeze CC's (You have an EF now)
1.2 Get Health insurance NOW if in the US (chances of getting sick w/ major medical bills are larger than that of death)
1.3 Get Life insurance NOW if you have considerable debt/your family couldn't make it financially if you died.
1.4 Amputate cars that you can't pay off within 24 months
1.5 Consider raising insurance deductables to $500 or $1000

BS2 Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
2.0 Do the debt snowball, paying all your debts from lowest BALANCE to highest.
2.1 You can take your first vacation since finding Dave if you can pay cash for it (no using the EF !!!)

BS3 Three to six months of expenses in savings
3.1 Start car replacement fund
3.2 Save up 20% for home purchase OR pay down existing mortgage to the point you can drop PMI.
3.3 Start furniture or other non-essential stuff replacement fund

BS4 Invest 15 percent of household income for retirement

BS5 College funding for children

BS6 Pay off home early

BS7 Build wealth and give! Invest in mutual funds and real estate


Here's the link to Dave Ramsey's website:

www.daveramsey.com

Please join us!
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#2 of 62 Old 03-31-2010, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
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If you need added or removed from the list, or I got your details wrong just let me know and I'll fix it.

Pre-Step 1
anstar
BelovedK
BonnieNova
chanibell
dfunk98
Gray's_Mommy
kittywitty
lactivistmama
luckybamboo
madsommer
Miasmamma
papayapetunia
Stephenie

BS#1: Save up $1000
2lilsweetfoxes
annettemarie
Contrariety
CookiePie
crunchymomof2
dex_millie
Evenstar
fairydust020409
greenmom4
JamieB
JenniferH
JustKiya
Kaitnbugsmom
Krisis
Ksenia
lakeruby
lj2blessed
mamabain
mommaknowsbest
neveryoumindthere
NWmt_Mama
prana
Sihaya
teenyToona
Tryingforbaby

BS#2: Pay off all Debt (except the mortgage)
100%Mom
2Rubies
AAK
AFwife
AllieFaye
astar326
Belia
Bluegoat
canuckgal
claddaghmom
Cody'smomma
ColoradoMama
Contrariety
corrie43
cparkly
cymbeline
Deir
eirual
excitedtobeamom
FeelingBlessed
FiveLittleMonkeys
goldfishkate
HappyMommy2
Hedgehog_Mtn
herwitsend
hollytheteacher
indie
jeliphish
jjawm
kavita
Keeta
killick
kings5queens4
KnittingKara
ktg
lalaland42
laohaire
Leav97
LittleBirdy
lizziebits
Livi's_Mama
llamalluv
LZP
major_mama11
mamabain
MamaPam
MamatoWill
mamimapster
mich
MyTwoAs
my2girlz
Nickarolaberry
okapi
onlygirls
onthemove
Pernillep
p1gg1e
PluggingAway
proudmamanow
Resque
RoadWorkAhead
samandhenrysmom
shllywlly
smallmama
stanleymama
stellarae
sweetjasmine
thenaturefreak
Tradd
tricia80
triscuitsmom
tynme
twin_mama
whiddle
willew

BS#3: Build up to 3-6 months of savings
akichan
annethcz
beansmama
Crunchy*VT*Mom
Denvergirlie
MomtoWilmo
mammamo
maryjane
MCsMom
mtm
Nora_SEA
phatui5
phillytwinmama
PPK
Rev1053
sarafi
sparkprincess
Stone_Fence
yasinsmama

BS#4


BS#5
Maluhia

BS#6
kanga1622
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Sarah8Jane
Softmama
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#3 of 62 Old 03-31-2010, 10:17 PM
 
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WOOHOOOooOOOo!!

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

 

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#4 of 62 Old 03-31-2010, 11:32 PM
 
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Happy April!

In March I said my goal was to be at 9% of goal by 4/1 and I'm only at 8.3%. However, a check I was expecting didn't come in yet. Had we received the check in March then we'd be at 9.1%.

My goal for 5/1 is 11.5%. Looking ahead to 6/1 I think we may be able to hit 21% of goal, depending on the size of my husband's commission check. He also recently found out that a product he sold is eligible for a big bonus of the final contract is signed by 6/30. If for some reason that gets processed this month (not holding my breath but who knows) then we'll be at 17% by 5/1 and 26% by 6/1.

Now I know that the bonus money isn't guaranteed but it still gets me a bit excited to see big jumps - I am hoping that it will keep me on track in April. I went a little off budget in March and need to batten down the hatches, so-to-speak. Thankfully the commission money is all but guaranteed as the quarter is almost over (they run on a weird quarter) and his team is above goal.

I am starting an AmeriCorp internship next week but I'm not sure when I'll receive my stipend. I am guessing that it won't be until July when the project ends but that money will go straight to BS2.

I graduate on May 15 and after that I've got a few clients already lined up so I'm hoping to up my income and really try to get BS2 done in 16 months. Thanks to this thread I'm able to keep myself more accountable. Thanks ladies!!
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#5 of 62 Old 04-01-2010, 02:17 AM
 
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I'm still here, but we have a major road block now. DP got laid off this week. I have no idea how long he'll be out of work, the company may want him back in a couple of months when work picks up. I'll be crossing my fingers for that. Until then, I'm glad I didn't pay off the bike because now I have a good amount of savings that will help us get through this. Of course he'll be getting unemployment but even with us spending the bare minimum, we'll have to dip into savings a little bit. Hopefully, if he doesn't find work soon, I can always look for something temporary. I haven't worked since I graduated from college two years ago and I have no experience in my field. My sister said that I could do an unpaid internship at her work to get experience so I think I may do that for a couple of weeks or something. (Accounting)

Anyhoo, I am in super frugal mode now so maybe I'll go join the no-spend thread! I still want to be here too so I can get back in pay-off mode when the job situation stabilizes. Plus I want to see you guys' successes!

                                       DS 7 ~ DS 3

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#6 of 62 Old 04-01-2010, 08:03 AM
 
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Sorry to hear that, cody'smomma. It sounds like you've come to terms with it and have a plan though. Here's hoping it all gets back to normal sooner rather than later!

MyTwoAs, I like the idea of tracking percentage. You're making some great progress!

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

 

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#7 of 62 Old 04-01-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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Woooohoo for April!! We're here and still trying to figure out quickly managing some of the house projects and keeping the $$ going to our CC debts.

I think I need to set some new short term goals because DH said yesterday, he didn't care anymore if we kept snowballing, because we'll just paydown more debt with next years tax return

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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#8 of 62 Old 04-01-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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Can you add me to BS2. I probably won't post our numbers every month, but I want to join in and have the accountability. We were debt-free for years and then dh went to back to school. Wish we found DR before he went back. Oh well We are trying our best to knock it out now. We could have our CC debt and a couple misc. paid off by early next year and then just have student loans left, which are so much I look at them as a mortgage. So anyway...excited to be walking the path to financial freedom with y'all!
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#9 of 62 Old 04-01-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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ktg - is that Norwegian?

                                       DS 7 ~ DS 3

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#10 of 62 Old 04-01-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cody'smomma View Post
ktg - is that Norwegian?
Noooooo, its the swedish! The swedish chef! I got borked- happy april fools day!

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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#11 of 62 Old 04-01-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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I hopped on the tail-end of March, but I'll re-post it here. We're in Baby Step 2

Quote:
I'd like to join the group. I've got the DR from library and I'm working my way through that.

I'm currently on maternity leave and will be returning to work waitressing in May. My husband is a Chilean immigrant who has been in the US since last May (in fact, I became pregnant with Ela the day that he arrived in the states. What can I say, I missed him during the visa process! ) He has been working as a food runner at a cafe since last August. He only has three shifts a week right now, but summer picks up a lot there and he should have more shifts soon. It's a crappy minimum wage job, but we're just happy that he found employment with economy the way it is lately. Since he's been working there for almost a year we're thinking of looking for other opportunities for him. I was thinking of trying at Trader Joe's because they offer benefits for part-time employees and generally offer a bit better than minimum wage. I graduated from UCLA this summer but I'll likely keep waitressing for the rest of this year and then try to figure out something better for 2011.

We have $1,000 in an ING account and I think we'll be able to keep it there as an EF, but we do have a week-long vacation coming up at the end of June and we might have to tap into the EF to cover the lost wages (flights are a gift from my aunt and we'll be staying with family, so the only expense will be food). We usually wouldn't take a vacation under these circumstances, but it's quite possibly the only chance that my extended family will have to meet our daughter, at least for quite a number of years. We planned the vacation before discovering DR, so it will be our last until we're able to take the next with cash. Other than that, we're current on everything, so I guess we're in the BS2 group.

Mostly we're going to be trying to figure out how to make our new situation work with the new baby and both of us working. We will be working opposite schedules in order to avoid having to arrange for childcare, but we don't want to work so much that we never see each other and burn out. Right now we're planning to planning to put $750/month towards the consumer debt which will have us paid off in 36 months. I'm hoping that once things stabalize a bit we'll be able to find a way to put more than that each month. Definitely during the summer months we shouldn't have a problem doing $800-900/month.

Married 12/08 to Chilean DH and mama to DD 2/2/10. We're a bilingual home and we familybed1.gif and toddler.gif

 

Expecting #2 in late June!

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#12 of 62 Old 04-01-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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stanleymama - Welcome! Is your DH finished with school?

cody'smomma - I'm sorry to hear that your DP was laid off but I imagine knowing you have that money sitting there has to take a wee bit of stress off of you all. Fingers crossed that he's back to work ASAP!

kitteh - Welcome as well! TJ's and other places that offer benefits for part time employees are a great place to start. Although benefits can cut into your net pay, I'm pretty fond of the safety net that they offer. Best wishes!
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#13 of 62 Old 04-01-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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I'm in BS1 now. Hoping to move on to #2 next month!

In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Buddha

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#14 of 62 Old 04-01-2010, 06:43 PM
 
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I think "snoobelleeng" is my new favorite word.

In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Buddha

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#15 of 62 Old 04-02-2010, 12:04 AM
 
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I'm jumping back in here after a loooong break. Unfortunately because of some bad choices and some Murphy combined we are not as far along in our journey as we should be. I need to get our emergency fund back to fully funded (we have $1000.00 there, but I want double that for security). We can do that and get back on our snowball thanks to some windfalls this month.

BS1 $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
*As of April 1st*
BEF: $1000.00/$2000.00

BS2 Pay off all consumer debt using the Debt Snowball
BS2.1: Apr 1 balance=$96.35
BS2.2: Apr 1 balance=$328.16
BS2.3: Apr 1 balance=$488.50
BS2.4: Apr 1 balance=$1303.79
Start of April TOTAL=$2216.80

Alison
Mama to Toad (08/06), Frog (01/09)... and new baby Newt born on his due date, Sep. 8, 2010
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#16 of 62 Old 04-02-2010, 10:35 AM
 
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We are car debt free!

Less then $1700 to go on a student loan and we move on to BS#3!!
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#17 of 62 Old 04-02-2010, 11:36 PM
 
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So I popped into the March thread, got TMM & workbook and am here to start!

I need more time to read through the above mentioned books but I was so eager to start I keep skipping around which I know I shouldn't but we just got a big tax refund and I wanted to start paying down debt!

So... Pre-Step 1: Get current on your debts and do a budget
I made a budget for April which we will try very hard to stick to. Having not done one before I feel like I am probably missing something but hopefully not. We did build a bit of a cushion into this one as a learning curve but hopefully can put any extra towards our debt snowball.

What do you guys use for budget keeping? I know DR has an online tool but I think you have to pay. Was thinking about using it during the free trial period to get started but worry that I won't get out of it in time to avoid paying monthly.

BS1 $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund= Complete thanks to tax refund.
We are stopping our credit card use (well DH will once he gets a new debit card)
And I'm not sure what to do about this one... 1.4 Amputate cars that you can't pay off within 24 months. First I need to figure out if we can pay our cars off in that time frame because my car is the newer one and we have to keep it as our kids don't all fit into DH's car! I bet if we made some sacrifices/maybe I could work a few evenings a week we could swing it.


BS2 Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
So far paid off three hospital bills totaling $1143.33. Next on the snowball chain is $909.84 that we owe my dad, but we are skipping this one as my DH is trying to complete a work project for my dad for which he would get paid about the same amount. And we will be putting $3,500 towards our $7,005.90 credit card debt. So happy because I think we should be able to pay off the credit card within two months. We've been carrying it for a while and I'm so excited to see an end to it very soon! Then we have to tackle car loans (and mortgages.) Ugh! But we can do it!

Jess ~mom to DS1 8/05, DS2 6/07, DD 7/09 and one surprise 5/11!
Melanoma survivor/patient. Diagnosed 11/09. Wear sunscreen. Check skin. See a derm.
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#18 of 62 Old 04-03-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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stanleymama - Welcome! Is your DH finished with school?
!
Thanks! Dh is done with school, but the economy hit and we have had a hard time. Things are looking up though now. He is in a job that will give him the experience he needs to move up, and another pt job may be coming that will also help with experience and paying off debt. We are currently living in one of my mil homes, and are so thankful! We got our first tax return since dh started school and was able to pay off one of our credit cards. Right now we are trying to settle with an old landlord ( we had to move out early due to bad economy and broke a lease). If he accepts then we will have a 0% interest CC to pay and one other misc. Get those out of the way and then we will just need to tackle the student loans. Both of our vehicles are very dependable and paid off. So nice we don't have to worry about that!

Anyways, like i said, we were debt-free for years and are looking forward to getting back to that!
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#19 of 62 Old 04-03-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanleymama View Post
Thanks! Dh is done with school, but the economy hit and we have had a hard time. Things are looking up though now. He is in a job that will give him the experience he needs to move up, and another pt job may be coming that will also help with experience and paying off debt. We are currently living in one of my mil homes, and are so thankful! We got our first tax return since dh started school and was able to pay off one of our credit cards. Right now we are trying to settle with an old landlord ( we had to move out early due to bad economy and broke a lease). If he accepts then we will have a 0% interest CC to pay and one other misc. Get those out of the way and then we will just need to tackle the student loans. Both of our vehicles are very dependable and paid off. So nice we don't have to worry about that!

Anyways, like i said, we were debt-free for years and are looking forward to getting back to that!
It is definitely a weird time to graduate - in the middle of a recession and as unemployment rates climbed into the double digits for the first time in over 20 years (I write about the job market often hehe).

Your plan is fantastic and with your experience having already enjoyed the debt-free life I can imagine it will be very easy for you to stay on plan and get through the loans! I got my first credit card my sophomore year of college and I've been in debt since.

I graduate next month but I'm a freelance writer so I don't have to do the job search thing - thankfully!
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#20 of 62 Old 04-04-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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Could you add me to BS 2? I came on board late in March.

We have our $1000 emergency fund, although I really think I'd be happier with $2000. It just seems too small.

We just paid off a couple of small things, and our next is $3900 bank loan. After that is our van, and then a big $29,000 HEL. Yuck. But, we're excited to really be starting!!

Thanks!

Kristin, Mommy to 3 boys : (11,9,5) :

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#21 of 62 Old 04-06-2010, 07:21 AM
 
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Just bumping the April thread....

nothing new here really. DH worked some extra hours last week and wanted to take DS and me out to lunch yesterday. I suggested packing a picnic lunch and going to the park and saving the $$, but he wanted to go out so I agreed. $45 later! We both had a burger and a beer, then a meal for DS. While it was enjoyable in the moment, that's half a week's worth of food money!! I'm trying not to dwell on that, but man, I don't miss eating out.

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

 

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#22 of 62 Old 04-06-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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I just discovered the Dave Ramsey show and have started to watch that daily to help keep the motivation high. My smallest bill is over a thousand dollars and will most likely take us 5-10 months to pay off entirely, so it's nice to have the show to help boost my motivation since we don't have a quick payoff to get us fired up.

I posted this in the March thread, but I downloaded this debt repayment calculator and have been playing around with figures on there and that also helps keep the motivation going, as well as inspiring me to come up with more money each month to put toward repayment.

Married 12/08 to Chilean DH and mama to DD 2/2/10. We're a bilingual home and we familybed1.gif and toddler.gif

 

Expecting #2 in late June!

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#23 of 62 Old 04-07-2010, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Is everyone feeling blah this month too? I'm finding bs3/4 tough. It seems like by upping retirement we still have no extra money. Logically I know its because we spent a ton last month on spring and summer programs/camps, reserving our camping trip etc. but its tough to be back on a tight grocery budget again.
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#24 of 62 Old 04-07-2010, 06:26 PM
 
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I'm feeling pretty good about this month actually. I've kinda lost my "gung-ho"ness as far as seeking extra supply work (but I'm still doing extra tutoring) which is good since DH is taking up my slack by working extra hours and doing some side projects. I can see how BS 3 and 4 will be tough. I've only been at DR for 8 mos and while I can't complain since there's nothing more liberating and empowering than to break the cycle of debt, I'm hopeful there's an end to the means. I'm not sure how I'll feel 3yrs from now! ETA: (I'm sure it will be better than I'd feel 3yrs from now with $50,000 worth of consumer debt )

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

 

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#25 of 62 Old 04-08-2010, 12:25 PM
 
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Hey there,
well we are now into month 2 and also on Baby-Step 2 (if I could be moved that would be great thanks!)
Some things are going well...we are getting the hang of you need a budget. I like it, though it has some glitches for us (we use multiple accounts, not all with on-line capacity) that we are still working out. It definitely keeps us honest but not as honest as envelopes, kwim? On the other hand, the envelopes were making me tear my hair out in frustration. And I do feel like we are WAY more on top of things.
We paid off our first cc last night! yay! a good feeling indeed. Now we just need to cancel it. And we are selling about $300 worth of stuff at a giant consignment sale on the weekend, so that will go straight into debt reduction too.

Dp is bringing in $120 a week with her daycare job, which is fabulous, and now I am moving up to working 5 days a week. Which is hard, I miss the time with my family, but I am seeing it as a temporary measure to be 'gazelle intense' while we pay off debt. Plus, to be honest, doing the serious & realistic budgeting we are doing with YNAB & Dave Ramsey has revealed that we were totally relying on credit cards to fund some basics as well as frills and that our budget was not at all realistic or sustainable with my working only 4 days. sigh.

Laurie--great that you've been at it for 8 months! and that you have the extra tutoring etc. My dp is trying to do some of that too (she is a teacher).

Oh and I see that you're in Guelph...I might need to PM you as we are vaguely thinking long-term of moving back to S.W. Ontario and Guelph is on our list...hmm
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#26 of 62 Old 04-08-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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MTM - I read similar sentiments on the My TMMO boards. It is like some people think "woo, BS3+, I've got all kinds of extra money." However the money obviously has a name on it (like you've mentioned for summer programs, etc) so it isn't a total free for all with the budget. I'm not there yet but I think I'll probably have similar feelings once I'm a few months into the post BS2 steps.

proudmamanow - I'm glad that you're getting a hang of YNAB. I haven't taken the envelope leap but after looking at our dining out expenditures in March I'm thinking that perhaps I need to go that route for food and groceries. Congrats on paying off your first cc!!

I know I've mentioned it a few times but I graduate next month with my bachelor's degree. My husband bought me my grad gift - the new Apple iPad. We did pay cash for it and it was in the budget (we had a sinking fund) but a part of me feels weird for having bought it. I guess that means I'm changing the way I feel about spending money? What it did do was make me reassess my graduation party plans - instead of the fancy steakhouse for $2000 we're going to go to the local Mexican food restaurant for $300 (cash, of course).

I'm having a hard time figuring out how to cash out my $800 in mutual funds to put on to BS2. The money was in a Roth IRA but we converted it to a standard money market mutual fund account because the fees on the Roth were too high and we haven't contributed in a while. We can't contribute to a Roth anymore due to income phase outs and there is no penalty to cash it out so we want to put it on BS2. However I can't figure out how to do it online so I need to buckle down and call the investment advisor in Arkansas (I don't live in Arkansas anymore).
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#27 of 62 Old 04-09-2010, 11:28 PM
 
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So another newbie question most likely... when you guys mention YNAB, is that where/how you keep your budget? I was going to get iBank (I have a MAC) but I think it might be too complicated/not quite what i want. How do you like YNAB?

Thanks!

Jess ~mom to DS1 8/05, DS2 6/07, DD 7/09 and one surprise 5/11!
Melanoma survivor/patient. Diagnosed 11/09. Wear sunscreen. Check skin. See a derm.
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#28 of 62 Old 04-10-2010, 02:29 AM
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Well, I'm still "rewarding" myself for getting to BS3 I guess; I've been clothes shopping and going out to lunch with DS alot this month.

True, I'm needing some new clothes, but I want to try to rein things in a bit again.
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#29 of 62 Old 04-10-2010, 02:33 AM
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MyTwoA's I feel ya on feeling weird over spending money on big items now. I take it as a blessing though that I'm changing perspective!
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#30 of 62 Old 04-10-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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BS3 is harder than I thought. Maybe because we started with less debt? IDK. It's discouraging to be only done with 37% of BS3 still. I want to be making progress. We want a fairly large FFEF and I know we could lower it, but DH is insistant.
I love putting our money into our own account but it's so much harder to say "no" to all of the things we have been putting off for the last year.

Only 63% left to go!

Mom to '97, '07, '09 and birth mom '00 and wife to my BFF
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