We were supposed to have half of BS3 completed this month, but in walked Murphy. Our rental tenants have moved out (alleluia! but decided not to have paid last month's rent) and there are repairs to be done before getting new tenants in (flooring + lost rent for yet another month= bye bye any start on FFEF we had). We've learned a lot from this experience and will be VERY picky with our next tenants now that we have the luxury of being able to take our time.
This is my last pay cheque until the next school year starts up (because I took a leave for our move Out East, I don't get paid for the summer). It was supposed to go entirely to savings, but hopefully we'll have a bit leftover after dealing with house stuff.
Laurie, wife to DH (Aug/04), mom toDS1 (Nov/05) and DS2 (June/12).
I need to join. Purchased the DR book last month or so and have yet to crack it open. DH listens to DR on the way to pick up dd from pre-school, so, theoretically he's on board. He has a terrible problem keeping track of his expenses, though (he has ADD and a brand new $300/@2 mos prescription to go along with it) and an aversion to using the debit card. Technically, we have more than enough money. But, it seems to disappear almost every.single.month. Most recently, it's been car repairs, our refrigerator went out on us and we're in counseling and had to meet our deductible before the insurance kicked in. Plus, dd has some respiratory issues we're spending money trying to figure out.
So, this is part whine, part kicking myself in gear.
I'll be back with the debt details, because we have that, too. And lots. And we need a new car (see those repairs above - they're like duct tape to our piece-of-crap 2004 Hyundai Elantra - no offense to anyone who owns one, but, I will never buy another).
And I don't think I can ever bring myself to stop contributing to my 401(k). At the very least I think I should contribute enough to get the company match. I need that deduction. I earn a six figure income and we now have finally rented out our condo after carrying two mortgages for 6.5 years so we have rental income. And a ridiculous HELOC payment on that which, of course, was going to go away when we sold the condo which was the plan before 2008 happened. Now, looking forward to doing that next summer. And, can I mention here that we are going through our second IRS audit having won round 1 for the tax year 2007 (and no liability). On to 2008! Woo hoo!
We have a tiny EF, which is constantly being raided. It's around $3500.
We have to pay for pre-school if we want to send our kids. And we do want to send them. $8500 for dd and $2975 for ds who will start in the fall just 2 days a week. And that is cheap for the schools here in the City where we live. And yes, we have considered moving.
And dh is now trying to finish school. That was the other recent expense that he underestimated and I stressed out paying to the tune of $2800 in tuition and $500 in books in May/June. He'll have one more semester in the fall. Right before property taxes are due.
I really need to get the hand of sinking funds. I need them badly and don't have them. I think they would go a long way in managing my financial stress.
Anyway, that's my brain dump for now. Looking forward to getting it together.
Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
It sounds like you have a good idea of where you stand and where you want to be. I think if you can find the time to read TMM it will really help target your effors to help you knock out one goal at a time to ultimately get you to where you want to be quickly (i.e. debt free with a FFEF).
Laurie, wife to DH (Aug/04), mom toDS1 (Nov/05) and DS2 (June/12).
Welcome Honeybunmom - We also kept up with the 401k contributions up to the company match because it helped reduce our taxable income (husband is a traditional employee with a six figure income as well and I'm self-employed but nowhere near six figures hehe). I'm not sure how much of a dent it made in our taxes but it was a mental thing for us. We still managed to pay off our debt in about 14 months. Have you mapped out how long it will take to payoff your debt with and without the contributions?
Eirual - Eww, sorry about the murphy and the timing but yay for having the cash to make it over this speed bump. Do you use an agency to screen tenants? (I'm taking notes hehe)
Trekkingirl - Keep your chin up - murphies and EF depletions can get you (in general you, not you specifically) down but just keep on moving forward. Depending on what area of the country you live in, house prices may stay low for a good decade or so.
Mylilmonkeys - Congrats on your progress so far. I think the cash spending system is great, especially with a husband that "forgets" to tell you about debit card purchases (mine does! hehe)
Wolfcat - Welcome! Good luck with the new credit card, it sounds like you have a healthy respect of it and that should guide you towards making the right decisions.
After lurking on these threads for years, I am finally ready to jump in. I have a few questions about the order of the steps and about educational debt and where it falls on the spectrum. We will also need to do some updates on our house in the next year to prepare to sell and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed about where that fits into the plan.
Dh just finished law school in May with 115K in student loan debt and another 10K from undergrad. I finished my Ph.D. last May (completely funded through a fellowship, thankfully), but I do have around 40K in student loan debt from undergrad and a year in a masters program I left after the first year. So, education debt = 165K total. Yikes.
We owe around $180K on our mortgage. We bought our ~800 sq. ft., 2 BR cottage near a lovely historic neighborhood on the water in November 2006, just as the market was starting to tank. We got a great price at the time since the contractor who had flipped it was looking to unload it. We never intended for this to be our forever home and assumed we would sell it in a few years and move on. We both come from families that have used real estate as investments in the past and figured, at the very least, we would enjoy the tax breaks and break even a few years down the road. Two kiddos later and we have simply outgrown the space. We have also realized that we don't actually enjoy being homeowners and would prefer to go back to renting. The problem is that we are now in an upside-down mortgage scenario. While we were both in school full-time (I am self-employed as a doula and taught part-time during the last four years, DH did not work), we were only able to make interest only payments each month. My guess is that we would have to pay down at least $40K on our current mortgage to break even when we sell. And before we can even consider putting the house on the market there are some repairs (gutters, a new boiler, basement and plumbing repairs) that we would need to tackle.
Consumer debt is a smaller thing to tackle. We owe around $3K in credit card debt and about $3K on our car.
DH is studying for the bar exam full time until late July and has not secured a job yet. I recently accepted a full-time lecturer position at the university I have been an adjunct instructor at, but it is non-tenure track and the salary (which does include full benefits for our family) reflects that. This means that my DS and his part-time nanny will spend time on campus with me (at the rate of about $268/week) beginning in September, while my DD attends a Pre-K program (at the rate of $227/wk). Oy. Once my husband lands his dream job (and given his class rank and GPA I have no doubt he will ), we'll have second income to rely on, but in the interim it's just me and my 40K teaching gig, plus whatever money I earn as a doula (I won't conceivably be able to take on more than one client a month).
So. Where to begin? We do not currently have an emergency fund (we did, and then when the car was inspected last month it required around 2K in repairs). We are up to date on all bills. We have about 10K in our primary checking account and a savings account set up with a few hundred dollars (?) in it. We don't have a TV, so no cable bill. We do have a house phone and internet service ($80/mo.), but both our cell phone plans are "family plans" that our respective parents foot the bill on. We use wood to heat in the winter, but the kitchen stove and clothes dryer are both gas (we use the clothesline and drying racks in the summer). We do most of our food shopping at farmer's markets, WF, and TJ, and we grow nearly all of the vegetables and herbs we eat in the summer. It seems like developing a food budget would be challenging since eating locally is so variable, but then yesterday I did a "quick shop" at WF for fruit and pantry staples (rice, flour, grains, nuts, pasta, etc.) and wound up spending $124! So I think I am really going to need help figuring out how to develop a budget and stick to it.
I am also looking for advice about what to do first: pay off the car or CC, do the home repairs, build the emergency fund, or start trying to make a dent in that 40K we'll need to reduce the mortgage by. I'm also nervous about paying so much for child care and nursery school since the flexibility of academia and doula work has always enabled me to be the primary caretaker for my kids, with DH and old-school hippie, AP, MIL as caregivers when I'm working.
I know this is long, but I'm hoping you can share your collective wisdom on how to make this happen. All thoughts, comments, and words of encouragement appreciated :).
Good news! I called Wal-Mart and found out that the $312.72 for my husband's medication was a result of the prescription NOT being run through our insurance. I will be submitting that for reimbursement pronto! I don't know what the coverage will be, but anything is better than $312.72 every two months for this medication.
Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
Minor update: It's payday, and I've paid off the credit card for the past two weeks. Yay! Spend and pay it off right away... my credit score should keep going up at a nice rate!
Check out my radio blog, Pagan Musings.
I'm a head-covering witchy mama to DS ('06) and DD ('10) with DH, Stormie, a Heathen breadwinning daddy.
It's July mamas.... I am ready to save save save and enjoy the summer. DH and I have been thinking about buying an RV next year and living out of it short term while we finish paying off the debt and coming up with our down payment for our house. Has any of you ever done this? Any thoughts?
laneysprout you seem to have a lot on your plate! I would read The Total Money Makeover. Dave's steps are in simple and straight forward terms and might give you some clarity as to where to start. Or you could skip the book and look at the overview at the top of this thread. Hope you get some clarity soon.
living with alopecia universalis (google it), learning alongside my children DD 2003 DS 2007DD 2011
I don't see a July thread yet, so...
I'm so thankful for our emergency fund today! DH called this morning and reported that his car started leaking on the way to work. He has a 40 mi commute, so car issues are a big deal. Thankfully there is an excellent mechanic right next door to his work, and it was only a hose and not the radiator itself. Well within our EF, but this would have been a major crisis just one year ago. Even so, my husband started stressing about the money, and it was so nice to reassure him that we've got it covered and that's what it's there for!
We have an extra pay check this month, and we should be able to finish our $1000 BEF, as well as pay our annual car insurance and three vehicle registrations which will be coming due. I have just started funds for these, but not fully funded yet. We are about 2/3 of the way through TMM and it is nice to read together because we can stop and discuss topics together as we read.
ETA: Just found the July thread. I'm going to copy some of this over.
Mom to eight!! Our twin girls arrived 3-3-2011.