Getting Out of Debt in May - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 51 Old 05-01-2011, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Do you want to get out of debt? Start living on a budget? Be able to start saving? Then this is the thread for you.  Some 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:

Pre-Step 1: Get current on your debts and do a budget
0.1 No new borrowing.
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) to help snowball
0.7 Cut lifestyle (Cut cable, cell, extras, eating out) and/or get a second job to raise $1000 EF.
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
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

BS2 Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
2.0 Do the debt snowball, paying all your debts from lowest BALANCE to highest.

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: http://www.daveramsey.com or if you want a good DR discussion forum, www.llnoe.com is good but hardcore. Gail vax Oxlade's Til Debt do Us Part is great tv show, very motivating. Her website is: http://gailvazoxlade.com/blog Others like Suze Orman or Mary Hunt, really doesn't matter whose method you use, just start the process to getting out of debt.

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#2 of 51 Old 05-01-2011, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank goodness April's over. I've now got my kids spring and summer programs all paid for and can't wait for my May cheque. Its funding my trip out to see my sister in June! This is the start of a four month period where we should be able to throw a decent snowball to bs4. If we really scrimp, there may be extra to up the kids school funds. Hope everyone is having a good month.

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#3 of 51 Old 05-01-2011, 02:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtm View Post

Thank goodness April's over. 


AMEN!!

 

I'm looking forward to May! thumb.gif

 

We're living off of one income now, so our progress on debt repayment (one more month to go!!!) should be phenominal and hopefully continue on so we'll get a good savings going too (as a teacher, I'll be off work at the end of June, then in September DH will be going to school and I'll be working FT- which will be great for us).

 

I'd love to fast forward to July :)


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#4 of 51 Old 05-01-2011, 03:21 PM
 
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This month is going to be horrendous and mostly likely a step backwards.  We are moving and a bunch of stuff came up that wiped out our savings so moving is going to HAVE to involve some CCs, not moving is not an option obviously.  I should be able to get most stuff paid off before DH gets home from deployment so... yeah.  Hopefully by fall things will be back on track *facepalm*


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#5 of 51 Old 05-02-2011, 09:54 AM
 
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BS 0 : Complete!


BS1 : Complete!

BS2 Working on BS2 here!  $9,943.72 to go! (Started 2011 at about $17,500)
 

 

I don't expect to see progress over the next few months. We are closing on our dream home may 23rd, and I expect to spend the new few months doing some updates and decorating to suit our style (which is not...country floral wall paper). Also, I won't be babysitting after the month of June, so that is a $500 a month loss in income. Other than the new mortgage (we currently do not have one, our two rental properties are paid off) we will not be incurring any debt over the move or the redecorating plans. The new mortgage will be a 20 year fixed at 4.6% (not exact on the interest yet, but that # is close). We are putting down at least 25%, the payments will be about 25% of our take home pay. Our goal is to double up the payments and have the house paid of ASAP, neither DP or I like having debt.


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#6 of 51 Old 05-02-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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Glad April's over.  Easter cost way too much.  I took the opportunity to buy all the kids dress clothes and most of them shoes for church, so they are properly outfitted, but it is hard to see that money go.  But, with as much work as I have put into paying off debts, we actually had the money to spend. Yay!! thumb.gif

 

Started using our new budget with last Friday's paycheck.  This is the tight one, with mortgage and nearly everything but utilities due.  If we can squeak through this half of the month, the second half should be a breeze.  We have two birthdays this month, too.  This'll be so much easier next year with the gift fund firmly in place.  

 

We have a few hundred left to establish our EF, less than $900 on our last CC to pay off, and just started funds for auto maintenance(including stickers), insurance, gifts, and back-to-school. BS???  Most of these things come due in the middle of summer, so I wanted to start the funds now to get where I can, and by next year we should be golden.  I am so thankful for this forum!!  We live on a very tight income, but we can make it with proper planning.


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#7 of 51 Old 05-02-2011, 03:56 PM
 
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Hooray it's May! Really looking forward to paying our second car off (first one was bought with cash) once we receive our tax refund and then we are going to sell it! DH commutes quite a distance to his great job so we are keeping one for the moment, but my situation recently changed so I now either walk, bike, or bus to my jobs.

BS1 and PS1 are complete so time to lose our debt! Credit cards are zero balance each month so besides mortgage and car number two we just have my student loans - $17,100 in four separate loans. Should be able to snowball what was our car payment into my lowest balance student loan soon.

We also continued making great progress last month cutting out nonessentials like a gym membership and a parking space we didn't use. We also cleaned out a storage unit DH had from before we met that we should sign closing papers on this week. I'd like to keep finding and eliminating more things like this in our life.

Good luck to everyone!

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#8 of 51 Old 05-02-2011, 07:53 PM
 
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Well I am still working on coming up with the baby EF. Not quite $200 in there so far. I feel like I'm not getting very far very fast. I guess Dave would say to sell my car? Then I would need to come up with the $5,000 that I'm upside down and have no way to get around. I guess not eveything is black and white.

 

Geez I'm really cranky! On a better note, I am waiting for a call back about a side job that has the potential to make a lot of money. I'm a little skeptical though. I'm already working my shift at the crack of dawn so I can work before DH goes to work. That way we avoid child care costs. No wonder I'm cranky. Now I have to go do chores!


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#9 of 51 Old 05-03-2011, 08:01 AM
 
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subbing back again... as I've been lurking and following in March and April.  We have some tight times coming up, but I am hopeful we will make it without hitting up any of the credit cards.  We have actually been very good in not touching any of them or using them to the point where we're considering canceling them this year.  The only reason we've left them open is to maintain a good credit/debt ratio for our credit reports.

 

 


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#10 of 51 Old 05-03-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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ktg... love you sig line :D

 

Chely... bummer you gotta use the CC's, but I am sure that you will get back on top again. :D

 

trekkinggirl...let us know about the job.

 

Not much new here.  Still house hunting ( we may have found a steal, but not for sure yet).  Dh is seriously thinking of getting back into law and some opportunities have come his way that look very promising.  I have had to add to our vacation fund since the price of gas has gone up.  I hope it doesn't continue, but I am prepared in case it does.  I still have been throwing a bit extra at the student loans, though I probably should throw it at our down payment on a house.  Glad I have this group or this slow progress could make me crazy :D

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#11 of 51 Old 05-05-2011, 10:51 AM
 
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So far today has been a bit of a bummer. I had a few unexpected medical expenses pop up - a dental bill that was about $100 more than I had expected and a visit to the walk-in for Tendonitis. I had to wipe out my sinking funds for DS1's birthday party and my car registration. I didn't have to touch my emergency fund, and I am confident I can build those two funds back up before they are needed. I'm having a hard time watching the amount in my savings account decrease, but at the same time I'm glad that I had the money available. In the past the $ would have come from my grocery budget, or the bill wouldn't be paid. Hoping the rest of May is less expensive!


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#12 of 51 Old 05-08-2011, 06:26 PM
 
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so DH wants to pay down the first creditcard without saving the BEF first. I told him we need it so we don't have to charge a credit card when murphy hits. He says he needs some gratification and is anxious to have some momentum of the snowball. He thesiden showed me the $44 per month were being charged interest on the $2000 credit card he is trying to pay off. That was an eye opener to me! I had no idea it was so steep! He said we are getting an unexpected $400 check coming up here because he didn't use his sick leave last year. He agreed to put half of it away and the other half to the card. It is just taking us so long to come up with the darn BEF! I am anxious to start paying off some debt too but I want to follow the plan so we can have a shot at success. I still only have $200 in there. My last check was my first since maternity leave and I was only paid for one week instaed of two because payroll is a week behind, otherwise I would have added more when I got paid.

 

I never got a call about that side job either. I would call but I was referred by a friend and don't have any contact info myself. I followed through with the friend to remind him to call. Maybe I will get a call this week. My baby is only three months old. Maybe a second job right now is a little unrealistic at this point. I just really need more wiggle room to get things rolling.

 

 

 

 


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#13 of 51 Old 05-08-2011, 06:34 PM
 
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trekkingirl, do you have stuff you could sell off? Areas in the budget you can cut for a month? I had to fight DH to build the BEF before paying off debt too- I used the argument in Dave's book that if the math worked everyone would be debt free. It's behavioural and taking ownership/care of yourself that gets you set in the right direction. It's totally worth focusing on the BEF before paying off your debt. 

 

Good Luck!!


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#14 of 51 Old 05-08-2011, 07:36 PM
 
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I am interested in joining again.  When did Dave add all of those extra steps?  The last time I was in this thread there weren't that many of them.


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#15 of 51 Old 05-09-2011, 05:03 AM
 
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I'm not sure I've seen that official list directly from Dave, but it's all the little things he mentions in TMM. I'm assuming it's just been summarized and compiled.

 


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#16 of 51 Old 05-09-2011, 11:51 AM
 
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I am joining in.  I just depleted my savings with needing four tires.  I mean, I am an intelligent person but tires never hit my radar screen.  So many things I need to learn now that I am single!

 

I will start on my budget today.  Do you include any fun money in your budget?  My Dave books are in storage.  I need a Dave refresher.


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#17 of 51 Old 05-09-2011, 07:34 PM
 
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I tried to sell a 15 piece lot of cloth diapers on Craigs with no luck for the last two weeks in a row. I even dropped the price by $25. I looked up books to sell on half.com like others have mentioned but the few I looked up were only worth a few bucks each! I have a couple strollers I could probably sell. I never use any of them. I always keep DD in the ergo or the moby. What have you guys sold? I need some ideas.


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#18 of 51 Old 05-10-2011, 06:46 AM
 
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Hi ladies, can I join? We don't have much debt but the debt we do have is enough!

We have a $13k car loan, $25k student loans plus $10k parent plus loan that I have to pay my parents back for, $1,000 charged on the CC since last statement on various things that were needed plus a plane ticket to go see my sister's new baby and the $170k mortgage. All in all, not bad.

I am going to start using cash only when I am out and about because I tend to go overboard with the debit card! In fact, I accidentally threw the debit card away and I will NOT be replacing it! joy.gif

Here are our steps so far

Pre-Step 1: Get current on your debts and do a budget - CHECK
0.1 No new borrowing. - CHECK
0.2 Talk with spouse and get him/her on the same page as you concerning finances. CHECK- we had a long talk, luckily neither of us are spenders
0.3 Do a written budget - CHECK- just did that but need to redo it because my hours were cut
0.4 Temporarily stop all retirement contributions - CHECK (we weren't doing this anyway! ugh)
0.5 Get current on all the basics (Shelter, Food, Utilities, Basic clothing) - CHECK
0.6 Amputate "toys" (bikes, boats, ATV's etc) to help snowball - CHECK (we are working on this, we don't have many toys but DH has a vintage car that he is trying to sell, yay!)
0.7 Cut lifestyle (Cut cable, cell, extras, eating out) - CHECK (we already only had prepay cell phones that we don't use much, $20 vonage home phone, $10 cable tv for just the network channels, and $30 internet which we need for DH's side business)
0.8 Get current on ALL bills

BS1 $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund - CHECK - just saved up enough to put $1,000 in savings for an EF!
1.1 Chop up/freeze CC's (You have an EF now) - We do still use the CC for gas because I can't leave the kids in the car to go pay in cash
1.2 Get Health insurance NOW if in the US - CHECK
1.3 Get Life insurance NOW if you have considerable debt/your family couldn't make it financially if you died. - CHECK but I want to increase it.
1.4 Amputate cars that you can't pay off within 24 months - Working on this now!!


So that is how far we are now, looking forward to reading along, thanks!! joy.gif

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#19 of 51 Old 05-10-2011, 07:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by trekkingirl View Post

I tried to sell a 15 piece lot of cloth diapers on Craigs with no luck for the last two weeks in a row. I even dropped the price by $25. I looked up books to sell on half.com like others have mentioned but the few I looked up were only worth a few bucks each! I have a couple strollers I could probably sell. I never use any of them. I always keep DD in the ergo or the moby. What have you guys sold? I need some ideas.


TrekkingGirl, my advice is just keep trying! I have listed stuff on CL over and over with no bites and then one day, someone actually comes along that wants to buy! I listed these cloth diapers so many times and then I decided to just try one more time and then someone came and bought the whole lot!

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#20 of 51 Old 05-10-2011, 02:35 PM
 
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Would love to join in (if you'll have me!). I used to post over on LLNOE re:Ramsey stuff,  but it's not up anymore :(.

 

We have recently made some HUGE progress that I am really excited about. It helps that DH now has a steady paycheck and is no longer full commission sales.  Yay! And even better that he's able to continue to do the sales-thing after work hours. He sold $50k in products last week and we are supposed to be getting his front-half this week. Going straight to the ccs!  YAY!!! He'll probably only continue this double shift until June, but I'll take it! We have an  ENORMOUS amount of consumer debt, but we've made a significant dent in it and are hoping to be out from under it by the end of next year. We are doing DR a little bit more loosely simply because our last two years have been so rocky with DH's employment. Our sinking funds are already funded through the end of the year. Once dh has a little more job security (he just started a month ago) we may go back to doing things in strict order, but for right now my security gland is working overtime!

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#21 of 51 Old 05-10-2011, 05:06 PM
 
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Well, I can officially report that WE'RE DEBT FREE!!!!!!

 

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After a move across the country, a semester's tuition, a move back home again and drastically reducing our living costs at the end of it all (3BR house with 2 cars to 1BR apt with 1 car...paid for) we're back in the black!!

 

We get 2 more pay checks before I'm off for the summer, so we'll save those for next year's tuition (no more student loans) and our trip out west for my bro's wedding, then anything leftover goes to building our FFEF and vehicle sinking fund. BS3, here we come!!

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#22 of 51 Old 05-11-2011, 07:55 AM
 
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I'll join - Im working on sinking funds and a reno, retirement and paying off the last of a cc.

 

I have 3 mths living expenses.

Approx 500 emergency fund

I have a small mutual fund that is tagged for retirement, but it is not an IRA; perhaps a backup emergency fund

And 4500 credit card debt

 

My goals are:

to create a sinking fund (for travel, a roof and a sofa)

kitchen reno fund

open an IRA fund

increase living expense fund to 6mths and then a year

pay off cc

 

Current:

I recently got mad at the debt and moved 2400 from living fund to debt (last month). The rest I will attack aggressively over the next few months.

Last month I redid budget

This month, May, I will reach my 3mth living fund goal and will decrease the amount that goes here re allocate the $$ towards a sinking fund.

Up the cc monthly payment

And start a sinking fund.

I also put 166/mth into a house account for emergency; this is the "emergency fund" for the time being.

 

I loosely follow DR. But I also recently read an article in Real Simple (I like the financial advise in the magazine) She suggested to first create emergency fund and then living expense fund or sinking fund, open small retirement fund AND then pay off credit card. This way if you have to get something you have the $$. And then tackle the debt, increase retirement fund, etc. I think the big difference with her and DR, is getting a little more cash on hand before paying of debt.

 

Kitchen reno may be way down on a list but it is an investment/increase value of home for me. Its currently gutted right now and I will start saving towards the new stuff in the fall (need approx 8000.  Getting it gutted before having $$ to renovate, the kitchen was a disaster and I am much happier with it empty them with what it looked like before. Risky perhaps, but sanity is good.

 

I am able to shift money around monthly to the different goals, depending on my mood. (see moved a bunch to pay of debt)

 

Retirement fund is also huge on my list. I need 3000 to open fund, so that is a goal for the end of year. And then in 2012

most of my extra money will go to this. (as reno savings will decrease, sinking fund will decrease, etc)

 

Ill just add that I am 44, with very little retirement money. The job I have pays well, but its contract work, year by year, so it becomes stressful, not knowing whether I will have an income for the following year. So having a big living expense fund is important as well as working on retirement.  I have very little extras (no cell phones, no cable etc) car is paid off, but will need a new muffler, house payment is 10% of income. Oh, a biggie expense, is health insurance, 1000/mth. 60/40 ratio. I always consider dropping my portion which is already down to catastrophic (60% of expense). My kids portion is subsidized by the state.


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#23 of 51 Old 05-11-2011, 07:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trekkingirl View Post

I tried to sell a 15 piece lot of cloth diapers on Craigs with no luck for the last two weeks in a row. I even dropped the price by $25. I looked up books to sell on half.com like others have mentioned but the few I looked up were only worth a few bucks each! I have a couple strollers I could probably sell. I never use any of them. I always keep DD in the ergo or the moby. What have you guys sold? I need some ideas.



I recently sold cloth diapers on ebay and it was successful.


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#24 of 51 Old 05-11-2011, 10:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trekkingirl View Post

I tried to sell a 15 piece lot of cloth diapers on Craigs with no luck for the last two weeks in a row. I even dropped the price by $25. I looked up books to sell on half.com like others have mentioned but the few I looked up were only worth a few bucks each! I have a couple strollers I could probably sell. I never use any of them. I always keep DD in the ergo or the moby. What have you guys sold? I need some ideas.


We sold some pretend kitchen sets which were given to us or we picked up on the curb ($10/ea), a changing table, some kids toys (it was a little chair & a electronic play table).  We are in the process of trying to sell the crib we had bought but really never used (ever!), along with a set of diaper bags, a ring sling, and a lullabye nightlight.  I recommend to just keep re-posting with pictures (that was always a help for me when I was shopping ala CL).  You don't even have to drop the price, but the reposting bumps the ad up so if folks are just scrolling through vs. doing an actual search often I'll stop scrolling after a I've seen like a day or 2 worth of ads in a section.

 

Good Luck as we've been trying to sell some of these items for almost a month, but I'm going to give it a bit more time because it seems to flux when people nibble or express interest.
 

 


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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#25 of 51 Old 05-12-2011, 05:53 AM
 
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Congrats eirual!! joy.gifjoy.gifjoy.gif



We paid off our $13k car loan today!! joy.gif Also paid the $1k CC balance off (we pay it off every month, but last month got high bc of a lot of needed things). Wohoo! Feels good not to have a car payment- and weird!

Proud Mama to Abigail Noelle and Brady Phoenix (August 29, 2009) and Claire Zoe (October 26, 2010)  love.gif
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#26 of 51 Old 05-12-2011, 07:30 AM
 
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Congrats GirlBoyGirl. That must free up some monthly money!


Sara - Mum to C (10/02) ; m/c 10/07; 7/08; 3/09; Lucy Olive Feb 28, 2010 !
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#27 of 51 Old 05-12-2011, 07:56 AM
 
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CONGRATS  eirul and girlboygirl!!!  So excited for you!!!

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#28 of 51 Old 05-12-2011, 12:19 PM
 
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I would love to join,   I progressed really well last time I was here.   I need to earn more money or spend a lot less :)    I have cancelled two visits this week that involved driving because I am out of gas money.    I would like to try more frugal ideas.    I got my spring flowers free on craigslist and they make me happy every time I walk by and look at them !!

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#29 of 51 Old 05-12-2011, 02:01 PM
 
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Hiya, I'd also like to join (newb)...I'm rarely on this forum thread but need to ;).

 

I have a home rental so make a little off that, wohm f/t as does my husband.  He is much better at saving than me so this is primarily for me to stay focused on reducing my spending and paying down debt.

 

Current debt I'd like to work on:

 

1. CC owe $5000 (was 4500 but am fixing the rentals fence this month)

2. Used car just purchased for $16000 (I hate the car and want to sell it this summer).  The mpg are less than I anticipated and I want to buy a smaller used car.  DH wanted an SUV as he has a small car so I acquiesced but wished that I didn't....oh well my fault.  I did get a great interest rate under 3% for the car so need to do some research on a used smaller car and what interest rates are expected to be later this summer.

3. Equity Loan owe $6000

4. Grow a savings account and college fund for my kids.

5. Get masters degree

 

I was going to pay down my CC by $800 a month but can only do that now through July as I want to save that $$ for my maternity leave which starts in early October.  I have enough disability insurance and PTO to get paid for 8 of the 12 weeks I plan on taking off but will have a month without income.  Also my son and daughter will both be DC/preschool so I need to have enough to pay for that when it starts up again in January.

 

My goal is to have the:

1. CC paid off by April 2012

2. Sell my car by August and buy another car for under $12k with a good rate.  Pay off new car by December 2013

3. Pay off Equity Loan per loan terms and try to save for school

 

I was thinking of pulling out my pension in a few years and going back to school.  Would it be better to take out loans instead?

 

Thanks for letting me share.

 


Knitting mama to Crabby Patty and Lovebug .

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#30 of 51 Old 05-13-2011, 10:47 AM
 
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Congrats to those who posted debt free and car loan free!!!! That is so awesome!

 

I would like to join you guys :)  We just moved and plowed through some of our savings and we need to get back on track immediately! I have never seen  plans that tell you to save before paying off debt, besides like a $1000 or two for emercencies (or so I thought anyway, maybe never paid enough attention).  We paid off our credit card a year and a half ago and it was SO liberating, and then started saving. Right now we have 1 and a half months in saving, plus a little for unexpected expenses (non emergencies).  Our goals are to continue saving, add a savings account for my ds to go to private school next year, and we are PAYING OFF OUR MORTGAGE!!!!!!!  That is the last of our debt, we are at 81 K ... Basically our approach is to spend as little as possible, then after 10, 10, 80 to put some additional into savings on top of the 10% and then put all our extra cash toward the mortgage balance. It is such a ridiculously high number that process feels so slow, but in reality we are doing pretty well...

 

I don't know if this approach really fits with what you ladies are doing but I'd like to post here to keep track of progress and keep accountable :) If that's alright with you guys :)

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