September is Get out of Debt Time! - Mothering Forums
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Frugality & Finances > September is Get out of Debt Time!
mtm's Avatar mtm 05:22 PM 08-31-2010
Get out of Debt, September edition

Its hard to believe its almost September. How the heck did that happen? Lets make this the month we get our finances in order. If you want to pay off your credit cards, start savings or get budget help, this is the thread for you. 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!

mtm's Avatar mtm 05:23 PM 08-31-2010
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
chistinawc
dfunk98
Gray's_Mommy
kittywitty
lactivistmama
luckybamboo
madsommer
Miasmamma
papayapetunia
punkrawkmomma27
redvlagrl
Stephenie
waldorfknitmama
Zamber

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

BS#2: Pay off all Debt (except the mortgage)
100%Mom
2Rubies
AAK
AFwife
AllieFaye
astar326
Belia
Bluegoat
canuckgal
claddaghmom
Cody'smomma
ColoradoMama
Contrariety
cparkly
cymbeline
dagny.galt
Deir
dkenagy
eirual
excitedtobeamom
FeelingBlessed
FiveLittleMonkeys
goldfishkate
HappyMommy2
Hedgehog_Mtn
herwitsend
hollytheteacher
indie
jeliphish
jjawm
kat.c.stevens
kavita
Keeta
killick
kings5queens4
KnittingKara
ktg
lalaland42
lakeruby
laohaire
Leav97
leigh2006
LittleBirdy
lizziebits
Livi's_Mama
llamalluv
LZP
major_mama11
mamabain
MamaPam
MamatoWill
mamimapster
mich
mrstice
MyTwoAs
my2girlz
Nickarolaberry
okapi
onlygirls
onthemove
Pernillep
PluggingAway
PPK
proudmamanow
Resque
RisingSun
RoadWorkAhead
samandhenrysmom
scrandall1173
Shellie
shllywlly
smallmama
Softmama
stanleymama
stellarae
sweetjasmine
thenaturefreak
Tradd
tricia80
triscuitsmom
tynme
twin_mama
whiddle
wife&mommy
willew

BS#3: Build up to 3-6 months of savings
akichan
annethcz
beansmama
corrie43
Crunchy*VT*Mom
Denvergirlie
HappyHelpmate
MomtoWilmo
mammamo
maryjane
MCsMom
Nora_SEA
phatui5
phillytwinmama
p1gg1e
Rev1053
rionnhannah
sarafi
sparkprincess
Stone_Fence
Turquesa
yasinsmama

BS#4
mtm

BS#5
Maluhia

BS#6
kanga1622
rebeccalynn
Sarah8Jane
mtm's Avatar mtm 05:26 PM 08-31-2010
Welcome to Zamber and ltlmrs who joined at the tail end of the last thread. We had lots of road blocks last month, a couple big moves, some murphy's etc. Lets hope Sept is smoother. I think its an extra paycheck month for a bunch of people.
MyTwoAs's Avatar MyTwoAs 06:12 PM 08-31-2010
Happy September.

Here's my monthly update:

When I posted my August goals I had no clue what the commission/bonus payout would look like for the month. It ended up coming in on the lower end of the spectrum because my husband only received his Q4 payout and not any of the end-of-year bonuses. I *think* those are coming this month but it may be October before we see some of them. I didn't set a firm goal but figured I'd be anywhere between 37% and 50% complete. We ended up at 42.5% by the time the dust settled. We did pay off two accounts in August, though, so I'm happy.

My goal for October 1 is 48.2% paid off.

Welcome Zambers and ltlmrs! I hope that you find motivation and support in this thread, I know that I have.

Off to read the last week of updates on the August thread.
Zamber's Avatar Zamber 09:18 PM 08-31-2010
Thanks for the welcome ladies!

September is a 3 check month for me as well, but it is going to be super hard come October with the way the bills land if I am not extremely careful. I already figured out the bills that need to come out of that last check, and the rest of the check is being rolled into next month. I can only hope 1) that my hours do not get cut any further, and 2) I land a better paying job really really soon! In the meantime, I have figured out what I need to take out of this months first 2 checks for the envelopes, so here's hoping we can make this work!
ltlmrs's Avatar ltlmrs 10:14 PM 08-31-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyTwoAs View Post
Welcome Zambers and ltlmrs! I hope that you find motivation and support in this thread, I know that I have.
Thanks MyTwoAs and mtm for the welcomes! The past threads have been so inspirational for me, they really got me thinking about the fact that getting out of debt is possible even for people in our shoes

I know one couple in RL who got out of debt via DR and it worked out so well for them that when the husband lost his job for almost a year, they were able to live purely on the wife's part time income without tapping into their EF! But, they both had full time work when they did the Financial Peace U, so my thoughts were, "good for them, but our situation is so different." Well, I've been lurking here for so long that it made me realize how blessed we actually are and how possible it is for us to be free of this debt baggage.

That's great that you were able to pay off so much in one month, MyTwoAs That is incredible, actually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zamber View Post
Thanks for the welcome ladies!

September is a 3 check month for me as well, but it is going to be super hard come October with the way the bills land if I am not extremely careful. I already figured out the bills that need to come out of that last check, and the rest of the check is being rolled into next month. I can only hope 1) that my hours do not get cut any further, and 2) I land a better paying job really really soon! In the meantime, I have figured out what I need to take out of this months first 2 checks for the envelopes, so here's hoping we can make this work!
Hi, Zamber! I hope that things go well for you in September! Please keep us updated on how the envelope system works out for you, I wish we could switch to cash/envelopes but I buy most of our stuff and pay bills online and have to use checks for paying the farmers for the milk/eggs/meat shares so envelopes are just not practical for us. I did actually open up a couple more checking accounts though with our bank and they are all linked and I use these as my envelopes.
chistinawc's Avatar chistinawc 11:40 AM 09-01-2010
Please add me to pre-step 1. For my birthday a week ago, DH gave me a $50 visa gift card, and I used it to purchase the You Need A Budget software program. I am in love with the program and am anxious to build up a $4000 buffer so that we can always be a month ahead on our bills. This will not happen quickly by any means though, and getting the first $1000 is my first goal.

Pre-Step 1: Get current on your debts and do a budget - BUDGET DONE! WILL BE CURRENT AFTER I RECEIVE A CHECK FOR SOME CONTRACT WORK I DID RECENTLY.
0.1 Commit to NEVER borrow $$$ again - DONE!
0.2 Talk with spouse and get him/her on the same page as you concerning finances. - DONE!
0.3 Do a written budget - DONE!
0.4 Temporarily stop all retirement contributions - DONE! (THIS INCREASED OUR MONTHLY TAKE HOME BY A LITTLE MORE THAN $100)
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 - DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING HIGH VALUE, BUT AM STARTING TO PUT THINGS ON CRAIGSLIST
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. - THIS ONE IS HARD FOR ME, BUT I JUST ASKED MY EMPLOYER IF I CAN TAKE ON SOME EXTRA HOURS FOR A WHILE. CONSIDERING GIVING UP MY DROID FOR A REGULAR CELL PHONE. AND HAVE CUT OUR EATING OUT BUDGET SIGNIFICANTLY.
0.8 Get current on ALL bills - WILL BE DONE BY END OF THIS MONTH.
major_mama11's Avatar major_mama11 12:26 PM 09-01-2010
Hello everyone!

ltlmrs, I know what you mean about thinking this can work for anyone but us. I have been really discouraged about getting debt-free until lately. The only people I know IRL who are debt-free are my parents (though my dad had a higher income than my DH by this stage of life). It's easy to get discouraged, but when I think about the concrete changes that we CAN make and ARE making, I feel like we're finally making some good progress!

Where we are:
BS2- $7500 remaining on car loan. Payment= $250, but I plan to treat it as a $500 payment instead. This is a 3-paycheck month for me as well. The 3rd paycheck is going straight on the car loan. 15 months is the goal!

Other financial goals for this month:

-Yard sale at end of month! Which means, get off my butt and sort out what goes in it now, rather than waiting till end of month...
-Pick up extra work if the opportunity comes up! I turned down 2 extra shifts last week, but it would REALLY help our finances if I said yes now and then!
-Set up health savings acct, as we have several medical appointments coming up and a high deductible.
-Approach my boss re: whether she will pay for a week-long training that is the career I REALLY want to be in (lactation). I heard through the grapevine that they are thinking of hiring more lactation nurses soon, so this would be really good timing for approaching her on this issue.
dagny.galt's Avatar dagny.galt 03:50 PM 09-01-2010
Hey, all!

My goals and plans for the month:

--Pay off $1400 in family debt by 9/28
--Pay off IRS as soon as possible
--Add remaining $$ after debt & budgeted expenses to our savings as a Hill & Valley fund
--Have a garage sale, put all proceeds toward the snowball for next month


I've cut our weekly grocery budget back a LOT for this month, since it's just our two little guys and me at home. I'm doing a pantry challenge, trying to clean out one of our deep freezes and get ready for the bulk beef purchase later this month. I'm also trying to cut back on our utilities, which were way up for the last month that my DSS was living here. This next billing period should be much, much cheaper on everything except water!

Warning: whiny-baby vent ahead

I'm trying to maintain optimism since things are looking so good, but these next few months are going to be tough emotionally. After Labor Day, we might not get to see DH again until the end of October. Then there's talk of another job right after that which will run 110 days of 12-hour days. That means more than $36K in take-home over 3.5 months, but he'll be gone the whole time, even holidays. It definitely meets the definition of gazelle, but it seems like too much, even though it would send us straight to the middle of BS#3, 4, & 5. It's a good problem to have, and I realize we're blessed. It just gets frustrating thinking how much time he spends away from us in order to make money. We've spent more time apart in the last 6 years than we have together, even counting the 6 month layoff this spring!

Ok, done whining.


A question for you -- would anyone else want to get onboard with bi-weekly (as in, twice a week) or so posts about our little successes, behavior changes, and the fun frugal choices we make in the process of getting out of debt? I think it could be a great motivator, maybe even a source of ideas for lurkers/newbies. What do you think, good idea or no?
laohaire's Avatar laohaire 04:12 PM 09-01-2010
dagny.galt, that situation definitely merits feelings of stress, overwhelm, etc. I hope it works out well for you. This is intended as helpful - that it probably feels scarier for you looking ahead to it than it will when you're right in the middle of it. Well, I hope that will be the case, anyway. Either way, there will come a day when you're done with it.

For our update, DH and I are considering selling our house and moving to a bit of inexpensive land and putting up a yurt. The goal of that would be freedom, and a big piece of that freedom would be freedom from debt. We would not be debt-free right away but depending on how things roll out, we could be debt free in 6 years or less (as opposed to 27 years on our current plan).

Our mortgage would drop from about $850 to about $350 - and naturally we'd just keep on paying $850.

If we do this, we'll also (hopefully) see savings in other ways. For example, the state we're looking at is $450 a year cheaper for LLC fees. The property we currently live on does not have enough sunlight for more than a 3x3 foot garden - so a piece of land would allow us to grow more of our own food (including chickens/eggs). The COL for the area we're looking at is lower - some site said that we'd save $6,000 a year on living costs if we kept the same income (and we will - our jobs are 100% portable). I'm not taking the $6k as gospel (it was just some site calculator) but that's significant for us, it's about 14% of our income right there.

DH would like to switch to wood fuel (we're on oil currently). We're obviously a little concerned about increases in costs for oil. He would want to sustainably manage a stand of trees himself - if that works out, the heat would be "free" except for the land (which will be 40%-50% cheaper than what we have now) and his labor (plus initial investment of tools of course). So that would be yet another savings (we spend about $1200 a year in heating costs).

Smaller living space would mean lower electric costs, no doubt.

Anyway, it's just what we're spending a lot of time and mental energy looking into right now.

So this month we're not overpaying our student loan - just the minimum payment. We'll put the amount we've been overpaying into a special bucket in our savings account, for closing costs and so on. If we decide not to make this move, we will transfer everything we saved into the student loan as a lump payment, so all that we'll lose is a little bit of higher interest (which is not much, anyway - I think it's around 2.5%).

I do feel a little weird about this though, like we committed to a 3.5 year plan of paying this off and only a few months later we're changing course. But the course change might make a HUGE difference. The way we were headed, we were going to pay off the loan in 3.5 years, and then 100% of the student loan payment would have to go to BS3 (full emergency fund), then after that it goes to BS4 (retirement) forever. We would never have extra money to pay off our home early - not unless something big changed, anyway. Oh, and BS5 (college savings) would not even be a consideration, we could never save for that unless we decided to do that instead of saving for retirement (that's rhetorical - I'd never consider it). Whereas if we make this move, we could be debt-free including the mortgage in approximately 6 years, and also have enough to fund retirement AND a little college savings for DD. That's a huge, huge difference.

Also, it would mean if I got laid off, we'd be in much better shape - reducing our payments to the minimum would be pretty small payments compared to most people.
Turquesa's Avatar Turquesa 05:07 PM 09-01-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagny.galt View Post
Ok, done whining.
No, you're definitely entitled to whine. I have two tiny ones and would lose my head if DH had to be away that long.

Please add me to BS3. This could take us at least a year, to I'm wondering exactly what to record month by month....(??) Or do we just check in for ongoing inspiration? There are a lot of BS3'ers in here, but it's such a long and incremental process that I can see where it would be easy to lost motivation!
dagny.galt's Avatar dagny.galt 05:31 PM 09-01-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
Whereas if we make this move, we could be debt-free including the mortgage in approximately 6 years, and also have enough to fund retirement AND a little college savings for DD. That's a huge, huge difference.

Also, it would mean if I got laid off, we'd be in much better shape - reducing our payments to the minimum would be pretty small payments compared to most people.

Wow, this sounds awesome. I can see why you're considering it!! Good luck!
hadleys_mom's Avatar hadleys_mom 10:34 PM 09-01-2010
Please add me to BS1!

This is our first month as conscious consumers. We've made our budget, cut out the extras and are prepared to have a major lifestyle change in order to be debt free. Its all a little scary. I'm worried I won't be able to resist the urge to spend. I admit I have a spending problem. I nickel and dime us to death. I rarely make a big purchase but all those little things add up. I have such a hard time resisting the red clearance tags at Target!
ltlmrs's Avatar ltlmrs 11:15 PM 09-01-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagny.galt View Post
I'm trying to maintain optimism since things are looking so good, but these next few months are going to be tough emotionally. After Labor Day, we might not get to see DH again until the end of October. Then there's talk of another job right after that which will run 110 days of 12-hour days. That means more than $36K in take-home over 3.5 months, but he'll be gone the whole time, even holidays. It definitely meets the definition of gazelle, but it seems like too much, even though it would send us straight to the middle of BS#3, 4, & 5. It's a good problem to have, and I realize we're blessed. It just gets frustrating thinking how much time he spends away from us in order to make money. We've spent more time apart in the last 6 years than we have together, even counting the 6 month layoff this spring!
I don't think this is whiny at all. DH is x-military, before we even met. We've been through some extremely tight financial times, without work for months and no prospects. Only once did I wish that he was back in the military for the financial stability and I now realize I had PPD at the time. Being separated from one's husband for such a long time is one of those cases where asking for sympathy is not even borderline whining!

!
Contrariety's Avatar Contrariety 02:29 PM 09-02-2010
Ugh. I'm in summertime financial recovery mode.

For some reason we used the CC for car repairs, even though we had the cash in our EF... and you know how that goes... oh, well, we have the card already, let's just get xyz, too.

SOOOO. I suck and I am trying to repent. Because I absolutely can't STAND having CC debt, I am going to work on knocking that down as quick as I can before rebuilding my EF. It will be tricky because we still have some car repair that is needed, new tires, lots of b-days coming up, and some medical bills I'm expecting in the mail any day. Ugh. It's going to take MONTHS to get back where we were when the summer started. AND we need a new car because my Dave Ramsey car ain't cuttin' it anymore. We plan to pay for it with cash in the spring time. We are going to save save save as soon as we get the CC paid off and we plan on using some if not all of our tax return.

BS1
EF- $500/1000

BS2
CC- $0/1200
My Student loans- $0/11,500
DH's Student loans- $0/10,000 (In deferrment, he is an active student)

Thankfully that is all the debt we have, and hope to ever have unless we buy a house sometime far, far down the line.


I need this accountability!
eirual's Avatar eirual 05:28 PM 09-02-2010
Well, we're back to BS 1 as our savings have been drained and we're racking up the student loan (not beyond necessary, but it is proving necessary).

I'm HOPING that our situation will improve and we can get right back to where we came from and beyond (nearly at BS3), but on one minimum wage income, tenants who are too cool for rent, and the costs that come with school and a big move, we're just trying to keep sane.

I'm working on getting a better paying job and once I do, I hope we can catch up with DH's student loan and hopefully even get ahead to save up next semester's tuition (or maybe next year's...).
laohaire's Avatar laohaire 07:12 PM 09-02-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Contrariety View Post
Ugh. I'm in summertime financial recovery mode.

For some reason we used the CC for car repairs, even though we had the cash in our EF... and you know how that goes... oh, well, we have the card already, let's just get xyz, too.

SOOOO. I suck and I am trying to repent. Because I absolutely can't STAND having CC debt, I am going to work on knocking that down as quick as I can before rebuilding my EF. It will be tricky because we still have some car repair that is needed, new tires, lots of b-days coming up, and some medical bills I'm expecting in the mail any day. Ugh. It's going to take MONTHS to get back where we were when the summer started. AND we need a new car because my Dave Ramsey car ain't cuttin' it anymore. We plan to pay for it with cash in the spring time. We are going to save save save as soon as we get the CC paid off and we plan on using some if not all of our tax return.

BS1
EF- $500/1000

BS2
CC- $0/1200
My Student loans- $0/11,500
DH's Student loans- $0/10,000 (In deferrment, he is an active student)

Thankfully that is all the debt we have, and hope to ever have unless we buy a house sometime far, far down the line.


I need this accountability!
There's no rule that says you have to follow DR like gospel - I sure don't. But I just wanted to remind you that he says you should start with the baby EF. The problem with going right to the debt is exactly what you described - if you don't have the cash to cover the emergencies that you will definitely have, then you go back to the CC and then you feel like a failure.

If you have the EF you can truly commit to getting out of debt, by never touching the CC again.

Anyway, you might not agree or have a good reason to do it another way, but I just wanted to mention it so you could be sure it was a conscious choice.
Contrariety's Avatar Contrariety 08:07 PM 09-02-2010
Oh, yeah. It's a conscious choice. We should (hopefully) have that CC paid off by the end of the month, or pretty close to it. I feel comfortable only having $500 in the EF. We live rent/utility free, have decent food storage, and if disaster struck, I could quit paying the student loan if I had to use a forbearance. Also, if we absolutely HAD to, we could go down to one car if we had any majorcar repair pop up. I just want to get that CC GONE from my life ASAP! I've had no CC debt for the majority of the year and miss that feeling!

If we can get another year out of the tires on our Jeep so we don't have to buy new ones to register, we should have our little EF up and running soon after. I think after that, we'll split any "extra" money each month half toward a new car, half toward snowballing my student loans.
stanleymama's Avatar stanleymama 10:36 PM 09-02-2010
Laohaire- We are thinking of building a yurt too! My parents may buy some land next year and we will both live on it. A simple way of life sounds so freeing!

Well after a slight set-back in August, we are back to snowballing. Dh will be getting OT next week ( 40 hrs. worth at time and half) so will have a little extra to snowball against the debt. We should only have just one student loan to pay on come Feb 2011. It feels good putting money aside in envelopes and having it ready when a need arises. No more scrambling
MyTwoAs's Avatar MyTwoAs 12:38 AM 09-03-2010
Yay for those with 3 check months in September, October is our 3 check month - woo!

ltlmrs - Thank you, big shovel + big hole + commission month = jump in payout. Blessed for sure.

chistinawc - welcome to the group! I'm still doing horrible with my eat out budget. =x

major_mama11 - Yay for putting that extra paycheck straight on the car loan. I like your goals listed out for the month, I need to look into doing more besides a straight BS2 paydown goal.

dagny.galt - Vent away, that sounds hard. My husband travels every few weeks for a few days and I think that is hard - my kids are older and in school so I'm the whiny baby hehe. I love your idea of checking in a few times a week, little milestones or achievements or to discuss setbacks to prevent them from snowballing as the month continues would be great!


laohaire - That sound fabulous! Good luck making your decision.

Turquesa - i'm not there yet but I'm planning on setting a monthly savings goal once I get to BS3 to help keep me focused.

hadleys_mom - welcome to being a conscious consumer!

Contrariety - Good luck with the CC payoff - its probably good that it feels yucky to have credit card debt, you'll remember that feeling next time.

Eirual - Sending good thoughts your way that your renters will decide to be nerdy and PAY, you'll find a better paying job, and get ahead for next semester!
Zamber's Avatar Zamber 10:48 AM 09-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltlmrs View Post
Hi, Zamber! I hope that things go well for you in September! Please keep us updated on how the envelope system works out for you, I wish we could switch to cash/envelopes but I buy most of our stuff and pay bills online and have to use checks for paying the farmers for the milk/eggs/meat shares so envelopes are just not practical for us. I did actually open up a couple more checking accounts though with our bank and they are all linked and I use these as my envelopes.
I sure will!

I just pulled out the budgeted amount from the ATM, separated the bills into their proper envelopes, and crossed my fingers and toes. Did a trip to the store for a some of groceries and only spent $11 so far (in addition to knowing my limit, it helps that I now have a calculater in my wallet to track every single penny). Will have to start going to the food bank again to help out, but we'll be ok. They did cut my hours even further, but I managed to pick up a shift on Labor day to bring them back up a bit.

Oh, having some property and a yurt sounds wonderful! Go for it ladies if you can!!!

I hope all goes well for all of you ladies this month!
dagny.galt's Avatar dagny.galt 12:56 PM 09-03-2010
Ok...our minor successes for the week:

--I've stuck to our meal plan with only minor variations, none of which required a trip to the grocery store.

--I've found ways to "make do" when a few things ran out unexpectedly.

--I didn't spend *any* of my blow money this week.

--I'm currently waiting for a call back from our electric co. to put our billing on the average pay plan. We're going to make a game of coming in under the average, and might even make that part of DS's "commissions" if he'll help with turning off lights, unplugging when not in use, etc.


I did spend some money this week out of our school fund to buy the Financial Peace Jr. kit with the books. I'm surprised their shipping is so fast; I ordered on Tuesday, and the package was here yesterday morning! Looking through it, I think this was just what I need to help get DS (he's 6) to understand why we're doing what we're doing, and to really grasp the concept of money and saving. Now I just have to figure out what his "jobs" are going to be...

I will probably be away for the entire weekend...DH is coming home tonight for his last visit 'til the current job is done, so I'm going to make the most of it. That means extra cleaning and if I have time I may see if I have everything on hand to make a ginger cheesecake.

Happy Labor Day and a good weekend to all of you!!
Contrariety's Avatar Contrariety 02:28 PM 09-03-2010
Payday!

I had a small bonus check from work this week, so I was able to put a little more toward the card than I had budgeted. A nice little jump-start to the month!

BS1
EF- $500/1000

BS2
CC- $500/1200
My Student loans- $0/11,500
DH's Student loans- $0/10,000 (In deferrment, he is an active student)
Turquesa's Avatar Turquesa 03:00 PM 09-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagny.galt View Post
Ok...our minor successes for the week:

--I've stuck to our meal plan with only minor variations, none of which required a trip to the grocery store.

--I've found ways to "make do" when a few things ran out unexpectedly.

--I didn't spend *any* of my blow money this week.

--I'm currently waiting for a call back from our electric co. to put our billing on the average pay plan. We're going to make a game of coming in under the average, and might even make that part of DS's "commissions" if he'll help with turning off lights, unplugging when not in use, etc.

Is the average-pay plan the same thing as what they call "level pay" here? Do they just charge you the same amount each month based on your average use? I'm debating doing that, but I worry that it might not work in our favor if we use less.

Great accomplishments, by the way. I'm supplementing my DR regimen with the monthly No-Spend and Pantry Challenges!
MyTwoAs's Avatar MyTwoAs 03:05 PM 09-03-2010
Turquesa - We use the managed pay plan which is the same bill each month. Right now we are at $175/mo but our actual bill this month will be over $300 but in the winter the bill will be under $100. The electric company looks at our usage a couple of times a year and adjusts the monthly fee so that we're not underpaying or overpaying. I like it from a budgeting perspective, I know exactly what to budget each month.

dagny.galt - Yay for your minor successes this week!! Both of my kids are light switch fanatics - always turning off anything that isn't in use. I'm an environmental writer so this is something I've talked to them about since they were youngins (they are 6 and 9 now).
dagny.galt's Avatar dagny.galt 04:44 PM 09-03-2010
Ok, I lied, I had to come back.

My new monthly electric bill will be only $80ish!! It's the average of *each* month's previous 12 months of usage, so it doesn't ever build a huge credit or deficit, but it also shouldn't fluctuate more than about $10 either direction unless we make huge changes. It only took 5 mins on the phone to set up. Yay! Now I just need to get on the same thing with my gas company!

Turquesa -- I've heard it called level pay, average pay, and various other names. I found out about my company's program online, on the company website. It's worth looking at, IMO, especially from a budgeting perspective.
Softmama's Avatar Softmama 05:10 PM 09-03-2010
I'm here, still plugging away!

mtm-can you move me back to BS2 as we are paying off our home equity loan right now.

For three months we have not sent anything extra to the HEL because we were using that money to pay for a bulk order of organic meat. This is the last month for the meat payment, so next month we should be able to really hit the HEL again
chely7425's Avatar chely7425 07:13 PM 09-03-2010
I'm here Right now everything we have is going to pay off CC debt... I know we need an EF but we are currently separated and we both want to work things out but we can't survive with the amount of debt we have. Hubby is deploying in about a month a half and we will have a LOT of extra money then since I am staying with my parents. Should have all our CC debt paid off by August 2011 and that is a conservative estimate. Right now I am just focusing on not using the cards!! We also paid off about 1500 worth of debt last month which was very nice.
stanleymama's Avatar stanleymama 11:54 AM 09-04-2010
chely- I remember you! We were in a due date together ( jun 09). I see you have another little one on the way. Congrats. Your dh will be in my prayers as he gets ready to deploy.

Good for you for wanting to kill the cc debt. Life will be much more freeing and less stressful when that cc debt is gone. We didn't have cc debt for years. We are set to be cc debt-free in Jan. Can hardly wait! One thing I do is use my debit card and hide the cc. There is a lot more accountability ( at least for me) when I use that debit card, because I do not want to overspend the bank account.
chely7425's Avatar chely7425 01:38 PM 09-04-2010
I remember you too!! I have all but 1 CC put away in our file cabinet... I keep one in my wallet just because it is our emergency card... the "omg the car is dead and we need it towed" kind of car I am good about not touching that one though!
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