January 2011 Get Out of Debt Thread - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-22-2011, 02:04 AM
 
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Well, I filed our taxes today... and we are getting enough back to pay off our CC debt (about 9K) plus put 1K in savings and buy a few small things!!!!  I can't wait to pay it all off!!!!


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Old 01-22-2011, 10:52 AM
 
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Well, I filed our taxes today... and we are getting enough back to pay off our CC debt (about 9K) plus put 1K in savings and buy a few small things!!!!  I can't wait to pay it all off!!!!


That is awesome!! I can't wait for us to get all of our paperwork so we can finally file!! I keep checking the mail...

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Old 01-22-2011, 11:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by chely7425 View Post

Well, I filed our taxes today... and we are getting enough back to pay off our CC debt (about 9K) plus put 1K in savings and buy a few small things!!!!  I can't wait to pay it all off!!!!



That's a pretty hefty chunk of change! Did you plan it that way? YAY, FOR BEING CC DEBT FREE!!! (....will that mean entirely debt free??)


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Old 01-22-2011, 01:16 PM
 
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We always get a REALLY good refund even with not paying really anything out because we make diddly squat.. our whole refund is basically the EIC and child tax credits and stuff...  We won't be totally debt free, we will still have my student loans and our car (about 50K total, eesh) but we are doing the IBR for my student loans and the car should be paid off in a few years so it is all manageable!


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Old 01-22-2011, 03:18 PM
 
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On a side note,

 

I've been listening to DR on the local christian radio station....I must say, I much prefer reading his books than listening to him speak!


Yes, there is an art to enjoying his radio show, at least IMO hehe.  I first started listening in 2008 but because of the election I had to stop - I kept getting riled up over things that I shouldn't have.  When I started listening again last year I conditioned myself to take what I enjoy out of the show (motivation, expanding my knowledge in certain areas, etc) and just leave the rest.  I find myself not listening to some of his rants but since I have it podcasted, I can switch to the next one easily.  ;)

 

chely - congrats, that has to be such a good feeling knowing that is coming soon.  Just a note for those that are waiting to file (itemized deduction, education credits, etc) - the IRS has announced that beginning 2/15 they will accept returns that have been on hold.

 

lucky mia - Congrats to you as well.  That is a HUGE step.  :)

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Old 01-23-2011, 11:55 AM
 
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I'm home alone, bored, and know DH is out spending money (his dad's taking him and DS out to a monster truck show, and DH is treating his dad to a birthday lunch)....trying my darndest not to follow suit. I need a hobby...a free hobby...lol, maybe I'll just clean...


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Old 01-23-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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Our accountant friend helped me with our taxes last night and our return is HUGE! :D I am so excited! I'm pretty sure we'll be able to get caught up on everything that is behind, make an initial small emergency fund, AND pay off small lingering bills...and will then be debt-free except for student loans. The student loans will be the next things to tackle. I'm absolutely dreading that part because I've defaulted and the monthly payments they want now are so incredibly high that I kind of laughed/cried when I saw the amount...like equal to all of our monthly bills added together. But I'm going to put that out of my mind for the moment and celebrate all the other good things. :)

 

 

And sort of related, but when I left my ex-H I had to get on food stamps...it took me nine agonizing months to get a job...and my reassessment from social services came in December and I was so excited that I make too much money to get food stamps anymore!  biggrinbounce.gif I happily left a message with my worker saying that I was over the limit and not applying again, thank you very much. Maybe it is a silly thing to celebrate, but for me it marks just one more step toward financial stability and being able to better take care of our family. It was only in early 2009 that I was jobless, there was a roof over our heads only thanks to the goodness and love of a friend, and we were on food stamps...and now we have an apartment in a nice area, I have a good job, I'm back in school part time, have all sorts of other good things going on, and we're about to get rid of a bunch of debt. I have to say, I'm kinda proud myself...


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Old 01-23-2011, 04:02 PM
 
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That is awesome Pariah!!!  Definitely something to celebrate :)


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Old 01-23-2011, 06:58 PM
 
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Pariah-- That is wonderful news!!!

 

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Old 01-23-2011, 08:40 PM
 
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Pariah - not a silly thing to celebrate at all, congrats!!
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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joy.gif Thank you! I was feeling a bit down, but when I started thinking of those things it gave me a bit of a confidence boost.


 


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Old 01-24-2011, 11:12 PM
 
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Hi all,

I haven't kept up with the threads lately, so hope everyone is doing well. We're still trucking along on BS 2. I just mailed off a huge (painfully huge) payment to the car loan, and now we only owe ~$1600 on it. Woo-hoo! It might take 2 months, but I intend to pay it off before spring. Of course, I did I just cut my hours way back at work, but I'm hoping to fill in the gaps with a WAHM gig, so hopefully I can continue making big payments on that loan until it's gone.

 

DH's job is waaaay better this year than it was in Jan 2010.... part of my reason for cutting way back at my work is due to the new contract they got which involves quarterly out-of-town trips. Yay! We miss him on those weeks, but I'm so happy that they're busy enough now to allow me to work less!


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Old 01-24-2011, 11:22 PM
 
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Pariah, that's a great thing to celebrate! I remember how great it felt a year or so ago, when I realized we suddenly were making too much to qualify for WIC anymore. Yay for getting back on your feet! :)


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Freedom is slavery.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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joy.gif Thank you! I was feeling a bit down, but when I started thinking of those things it gave me a bit of a confidence boost.


 


It sounds like a well-deserved confidence boost!  Some HUGE steps!

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Old 01-25-2011, 01:41 PM
 
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So I ran the numbers on our tax return today and we should be able to pay off all but $1600 of our credit card debt when we get our return back. But I'll be honest and say that it scares me to part with that money. It's so much easier to buy the things we've been holding back on or put it in our savings. But I know paying down debt is better in the long run. I think my hoarding mentality comes from the fact that DH works straight commission and we never know what his check is going to be like each week. But he's been doing great and we're 3 weeks ahead on bills and have saved up enough for him to take 2 weeks off when the baby comes to help out. We also have another fund that equals six weeks of his pay (or what we need to survive) in case he hit bottom at work or got injured, etc. He bought me a couch for my birthday so there's nothing we NEED to spend the money on. If we can get the credit cards paid off we only have the cars to pay off ($15k total) and a small loan. We need to pay off these cc's right?? We have good rates on them but it still needs to be paid off! Why is it so scary to part with money?


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Old 01-25-2011, 08:07 PM
 
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I haven't been around on this thread in forever.  I think the reason was that DP had this REALLY expensive motorcycle that we were making a monthly payment on and I was full of resentment about it.  But get this, he decided he wants to sell it!!   joy.gif  I am SO over the moon about this!  Also, he is making really good money lately so I've been able to stockpile some, but I didn't want to use it to pay off the bike because part of me felt like if I did, he would never want to sell it.  But he came to his own conclusion and so I sent the check off yesterday to pay the thing off.  I'm embarrassed to admit that it was over $10,000.  However, now we will sell the thing and use the money to fix up our kitchen and do some other odds and ends around the house.  Of course I will have an emergency fund as well.  My question for you all is this:  should I put more into the 401k or should I work to pay down our mortgage?  Currently we are putting 3% into the 401k because that is what the company matches.  However we also pay PMI on our mortgage and we owe more than our house is worth.  I guess I"m leaning toward throwing money toward the mortgage.  What do you think?

 

Also, what is an acceptable emergency fund for you?  


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Old 01-26-2011, 06:18 AM
 
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Also, what is an acceptable emergency fund for you?  



DR says 3-6 months of living expenses. But I think that's more of a reasonable goal for wealthy people (who make a lot of money). Unfortunately, for the rest of us, I think we need more, even though it's simultaneously difficult or impossible.

 

For example, I think a new roof probably costs close to $10k. That would be 4 months salary (not living expenses, but straight salary) for us. And that would entirely wipe out the fund (if we actually HAD $10k in it).

 

A new (old) car probably costs close to that amount. DR recommends "bondo buggies" (for like $2-3k in cash) but the idea is that you only drive it for a year or two until you're coasting free and clear. We'll never be coasting, and while I think buying one bondo buggie is reasonable and probably a great idea, buying them one after another for the rest of your life sounds like a bad financial deal. Why? Because you are seriously gambling on hoow long the thing is going to last. When you buy a piece of junk, you have a good chance of ending up with one that needs a new transmission in 2 months. Some buys might be good - 2 years of decent car before it falls apart on you. Others will need maintenance on the level of financing a newer car each month. I think buying a newer used car for $10k and driving it into the ground is a much better choice for people who aren't just shaking a latte habit.

 

Of course, for the wealthy, you would just have a sinking fund for your roof, and a sinking fund for your car, and so on, so 3-6 months expenses would really only cover a job loss and nothing else. Of course in this economy, if you lose your job it will probably be closer to 12 months before you replace it (that's what I've been seeing in my circle, anyway).

 

Well, if I had money coming out my ears and no fear for my job, I'd probably save 6 months expenses before seriously working on paying off the mortgage - but even so, I'd still keep fluffing the sinking funds after that, and have one for every possible conceivable cost (plus have a very good pantry). For me, I have no hope of acheiving either a FFEF or a paid off mortgage within the next decade, so I am just doing my best sending a bit extra ($20 or $30) toward the mortgage and saving the absolute most I can every month, without a particular goal except to just keep on keepin' on.


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Old 01-26-2011, 11:37 AM
 
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Haven't been around for a while, but I've been plugging away with putting money into savings for my teeth - just over $2K in savings now. I just file an EZ form (it's just me), so I filed online with TurboTax (free for Federal since I'm a State Farm customer - was able to do state return - IL - free on state website) and got my $910 back from the feds direct deposited in my checking account yesterday. $425 went to pay for a class I'm taking and $400 into savings for teeth, and $100 on my cc.

 

I've planned for some months to go out to the PNW next November for a triennial national church convention where I was going to meet up with a whole bunch of friends. Originally my priest had some thoughts about me representing our parish which meant part of my expenses would have been covered since I was already planning on going out. It was nothing official. Parish votes on Sunday who at annual meeting who our delegate will be. Priest now tells me someone else has indicated an interest in going and since this person has a close relative who works for a major airline, would fly free.

 

I could still go out west myself, but the cost would be over $1K for hotel, airfare, convention registration, etc. I was planning on sharing a room with a friend who is on local planning committee for convention, but airfare alone would be $$$.

 

Soooo...

 

I'm going to be the financially responsible adult, as difficult as it is, and NOT go. :(

 

However...

 

That means I should very well be debt free by the end of the year! :)


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Old 01-26-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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Well, guy and I are just friends, so no wedding to consider for the future. However, paying off debt is always good!


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Old 02-01-2011, 11:58 AM
 
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Quote:
DR recommends "bondo buggies" (for like $2-3k in cash) but the idea is that you only drive it for a year or two until you're coasting free and clear. We'll never be coasting, and while I think buying one bondo buggie is reasonable and probably a great idea, buying them one after another for the rest of your life sounds like a bad financial deal. Why? Because you are seriously gambling on hoow long the thing is going to last. When you buy a piece of junk, you have a good chance of ending up with one that needs a new transmission in 2 months. Some buys might be good - 2 years of decent car before it falls apart on you. Others will need maintenance on the level of financing a newer car each month. I think buying a newer used car for $10k and driving it into the ground is a much better choice for people who aren't just shaking a latte habit.

We have had really good success with what you call "bondo buggies".  We buy savage title cars- for those who don't know these are cars that have been totaled out and fixed to the standard of the state to be titled again with lower mileage say around 80,000 miles.  Now my husband paints and we get them needing paint jobs.  We also get the ones that are older say around 98-01 model years so they have been totaled out mainly due to age.  Mine just need fender, bumper, and battery and it was ready to go.  Not bad for only 2,500 and less than 100,000 on a '01 Nissan Altima.  We bought it already fixed and titled, but can buy it non fixed or non titled if want to do work yourself for less money.  We had a 97 Nissian Sentra for 6 years and 100,000 before the standard transmission lost 3rd, 4th and 5th gear in it.  Just did not feel like fixing it.  Got more than our money out of it.  Sold it for $300 to someone who needed the body:)  I think you just need to know what you are looking for and find it.

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Old 02-01-2011, 01:59 PM
 
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Thanks, Brandy, that's interesting. I'm certainly no snob of bondo buggies, really my only consideration is reliability (both from financial and safety perspectives). I don't know if DH or I know enough about cars to know what we're looking for. Well, hopefully this is not a decision we need to make for a long time (we plan to drive this car into the ground.. but granted we planned the same for the 2 previous ones, but one had a major unsolvable brake issue and the other, well, drove into the ground after only 3 years).


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Old 02-02-2011, 07:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Thanks, Brandy, that's interesting. I'm certainly no snob of bondo buggies, really my only consideration is reliability (both from financial and safety perspectives). I don't know if DH or I know enough about cars to know what we're looking for. Well, hopefully this is not a decision we need to make for a long time (we plan to drive this car into the ground.. but granted we planned the same for the 2 previous ones, but one had a major unsolvable brake issue and the other, well, drove into the ground after only 3 years).

I understand.  I wouldn't have a clue either- I have learned so much from my husband:)  We also believe in driving our cars until the wheels fall off!!!  Ask around if you don't have a good mechanic and ask them if they know of anyone who does this type of work.  You never know unless you ask.  We found one guy that doesn't do it very often, but once or twice a year to make a couple extra thousand dollars on the side.  He goes to salvaged auto auctions(you have to have a permit to even get in or know someone who is willing to take you- it is the insurance companies auctions) and buys cars that don't need that much work then sells them on Craigslist.  He knows what to look for and won't buy junk from the insurance companies, but gets them dirt cheap... I would love to get into the auction just to see what the cars go for and maybe find one to fix up for a money maker also since the hubby can do light body work and auto paint.  Don't know anyone with the permits to get us in:(

Hopefully you will find someone to help you find better cars and deals- they are out there!!!!

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