G.O.O.D (getting out of debt) October thread - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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Frugality & Finances > G.O.O.D (getting out of debt) October thread
kerc's Avatar kerc 12:03 PM 10-22-2004
Originally Posted by annettemarie
Thanks- I'll have to check it out if the wee ones can behave themselves in the grown-up section of the library!

my secret for that -- 1 of two things -- either I ask the librarian to get the book off the shelf for me because my kiddo is just past her limit or (shh don't tell anyone) I go to the library without my kid!

I stopped at a yard sale this morning and bought erin's bday gift from us for 50 cents. I also bought my dh's birthday gift last night using a gc we had at amazon.com. I think I paid about 5 bucks more than I might have at another online store and it kind of kills me to buy from amazon but...no cash out of pocket.

its_our_family's Avatar its_our_family 12:50 PM 10-22-2004
Good news.... Dh appliedfor a new job! Its making over 2x what he is now and over what he was making in VA. Which will be very very good. We've paid off quite a bit from his severance check plus what we paid off by seeling our motorcycle. It'll be easier to live ont hat amountof money. Then wecan focus on paying thigns off!

What is nice about his current job is that he is collections for a credit card. He now knows a lot more about credit and interest rates and loans and everything. So, now he has a new perspective on things. Its nice.

So, hopefully things will move along!

Everyone keep your fingers crossed!!!
cinnamonamon's Avatar cinnamonamon 12:57 PM 10-22-2004
**fingers crossed**
kerc's Avatar kerc 01:01 PM 10-22-2004
ooo. The job sounds great. I hope it goes well.
dinade's Avatar dinade 02:12 PM 10-22-2004
today and got a good rate 5%. So now I will be able to cut up the 20 and 26% interest rate credit cards. Why do they punish you for being a few days late by jacking up your rates? It's so not fair. Anyway I'm glad we are gettin gto cut up all the cards and never go back into debt again!!!!

Congrats on the job possibility. HOpe it all turns out.

Kerc I shop yard sales all the time for gifts. I'm giving my oldest a perfection game I got at a yard sale for 1.00 and it has all the pieces to my oldest for Christmas. It's great to think outside the box!!

newmainer's Avatar newmainer 02:22 PM 10-22-2004
Well, after doing our monthly totals last night and beign utterly frustrated that we *still* are not spending any less each month, i have come up with a new system.

We will write checks only for monthly bills- committed expenses. The rest of the money allocated for the remainder of the month, we will take out in cash each monday. For example, i am hoping that we can do $200 a week for the remainder of the month for everything- food, gas, any clothing purchases (at goodwill or otherwise) gifts, doctor's bills/health, etc... If there is any cash left over each week, it will go into the savings account for surprise expenses that would bring us over one week- that way, we never have to dip deeper into the account. theoretically, this should work and we should start accumulating extra money that can then be put toward the credit card the following month. GOT to get the lowest balance one paid off so we can start on the biggies. So, we'll start next week- we'll see how it goes. Well, it has to go- we're running out of options
cinnamonamon's Avatar cinnamonamon 03:21 PM 10-22-2004
Sounds great, newmainer -- we need to start doing that!!

We are actually doing really well -- turns out our house has gone up 55,000 in the last 3 years, so we were able to get a 14,000 increase on our home equity line (with the option of 35,000 more -- which we won't use unless we decide on another remodel in a couple years to increase the value of the home that amount!!) -- all at a 4.5% rate. As of the 26th, our 28% credit card will be paid off along with a couple other little ones! I was so mad when they increased our rate from 9% to 28% -- if we hadn't been so overextended they never would have done that -- but they knew we couldn't just transfer the balance somewhere else. I will enjoy writing and sending the letter canceling that credit card a great deal! If they hadn't done that, we may have never been nudged enough to consolidate! That's their loss.
lunchbox's Avatar lunchbox 07:24 PM 10-22-2004
Joining in....

I am a SAHM with one dd. My DH works for the state so we will never be wealthy. We accumulated a lot of debt in dd's first year due to medical bills (mine and her's) and some carelessness. I don't think we knew how hard it would be to live on one income. Actually, if it weren't for cc debt, we would be doing just fine. We have about $11K in credit card debt and are just making the minumums on two of them.

I did finally call and close my account and got them to lower the interest rate from 24.9% to 14%. They also stopped the overlimit fees. I hadn't used the card in two years anyways. I was really surprised at how they were willing to work with me on getting it paid off. That was a load off my mind. DH plans to do the same with his big balance card.

I always shop thrift stores and yard sales for 90% of our clothes. I would like to start selling on ebay. My brother sells books on ebay and abebooks.com and makes a very nice living at it. I have a ton of collectible antiques type stuff to sell, including my precious lunchbox collection.

I cannot believe how much food we used to waste before dd. We never ate leftovers and ate out a lot. I can recall spending $60 on groceries for ONE dinner. Now, I spend about $100 a week.

We've come a long way but we still have a way to go. Cash tends to burn a whole in my pocket - I am a very compulsive spender.

Christmas is 2 mos away! Ack! We have pared down our Xmas spending a lot. I make 80% of our gifts - jewelry, knitted/crocheted stuff, jams and chutneys. We limit spending on kids to $10. We don't really buy for each other anymore, just dd.

So that's my story in a nutshell. I am looking forward to hanging out in these GOOD threads.

ETA that we got rid of our debit cards and that helped a lot. Its so easy to get $20 out and then wonder where the hell it went, KWIM?
lunchbox's Avatar lunchbox 07:56 PM 10-22-2004
If anyone is military or ex-military, USAA is really cheap for car insurance. We pay $94 a mo. for two cars. However, they are really strict about good driving records.
dinade's Avatar dinade 08:16 PM 10-22-2004
lunchbox. I love your username btw. It frustrates me about cc interest rates too. I'm glad yours were so nice. That's awesome. I could spend too but am having to control. I'm always in awe of people who have money leftover to apply it to their housenote or have a need new tires fund funded before they need it. There's rarely anything left here. Now that I've applied for a heloc there is at least a light at the end of the tunnel (albeit 37 mos from now and then our huge van note will be gone too!!) Anyway welcome to our little area of frugality and spending less! Hope you learn lots.
kerc's Avatar kerc 02:38 PM 10-24-2004
aaak I fell off the wagon yesterday. Well sort of. I was invited to a body shop at home party -- You know a tupperware party kinda thing. I went, knowing it would be a big $$ suck, but I like the woman who invited me and she's shy so I didn't want to say no. But I ended up buying about 50 bucks worth of stuff. I was good and only bought stuff that's on my "buy at big box store" kinda list, but I spent about 15 bucks more than I might have at target.

Ok i needed to share, trying to feel no guilt -- from YMOYL.
cinnamonamon's Avatar cinnamonamon 02:44 PM 10-24-2004
Well, I think $15 isn't bad for an afternoon spent with friends, and a potentially better quality product...not to mention that buying it helped your friend get points or whatever I'm sure.

Not that I'm advocating doing it again!
newmainer's Avatar newmainer 05:49 PM 10-24-2004
kerc- if those parties are like most parties, and you agree to host one next time, you'll get free stuff depending on how much the guests buy. I'm hosting an Usborne party this week, and hopefully will make out enough to get some new books for dd for Christmas. So, maybe if you agree to host a party in a couple of months, you'll make out for what you spent?

not much new here. we took out our $200 for the week. Dh already spent $40 at the hardware store for various things to do house projects. So- $160 for a week of groceries and..? I *hope* we can do that!
dinade's Avatar dinade 06:38 PM 10-24-2004
Parents night out. They took donations only for a youth camp for next summer. So my dh and I took this opportunity to go Christmas shopping. I'm pretty happy we only spent $90 (put on layaway) and got 2 outfits a piece and 3 toys that they will use a piece!!! Whoohoo. I'm very excited to think we didn't just fill our carts with junk like we used to. Now we actually think about each purchase...will it last...will they play with it...limits the amount of junk that way.
Peppermint's Avatar Peppermint 07:08 PM 10-24-2004
Hey ladies, just checking in.

Meagan- when will your dh hear on the new job? I'll say a little prayer for that to work out.

I am so glad to see new mamas posting here, and a few of us who have been on these threads for months now. It is so great to see new people "getting it" and "old-timers" sticking with it .

I am so excited about dh's new job and the extra money that will soon be coming in. It will be 3 weeks before he gets his first check, and I can't wait to see how much his take home will be so I can figure out our budget. In the meantime, I am writing down what needs to be paid when and how much on calendar pages I printed out, and getting tax stuff together so we can get taxes done early in 2005.
its_our_family's Avatar its_our_family 10:43 PM 10-24-2004
Patty-- Th job posting comes down tomorrow at 5. He could hear something by next monday or as late as 1 month. We are hoping we hear from them soon.....really really soon!!!

We have been scouring the clearance aisles. We bought Tracy 4 hhotweels for 75 cents. We bought him some sidewalk chalk for 10 cents. And one of those automatic bubble blowers that you hold for 2.00. We have a couple other ideas and his next bday present. We still have to think about Bryce though. He is little so jut about anything will due. For T's first xmas we bought him 3 little sport balls that came in a pack. Bryce loves all kinds of things so he will be easy.

Anyway, thats how we are handling cmas. I can see why ppl buy presents all year round. Sales are the best....especailly cheap clearance sales.
kerc's Avatar kerc 12:37 PM 10-29-2004
call me cheap. call me what you want but my neice is getting a little farm i just bought for 50 CENTS! at a yard sale.

and umm, I got my dd a doll cradle, a wooden doll cradle for a few dollars.

and you can also call me a trashpicker because yesterday i stopped in the rain and almost picked up some plastic kitchen and one of those beauty mirror thingys (do you call them vanities?) that kids sit at and put on makeup. i didn't pick it up for a handful of reasons -- the wooden kitchen is coming to my house and i can't imagine as an adult needing a little place to sit and put on makeup -- never mind the message I'd send to my dd by getting her one. I did consider in the back of my brain the fact that I could sell it in the paper or somethign and make some cash (ads for merchandise <75 bucks are free), but then it was raining...and I had the stroller in the trunk.

that's been my morning. how are ya'll doing?
peppermint -- only a few weeks till the new paycheck? how're you doing?
megan -- have you heard anything on the new job for dh?
piglet? anyone heard from piglet? she did have the baby...but ??

and newmainer -- somehow my dh forgot to get your fabric int he mail. It should have gotten there by now.

speaking of mail ---> I discovered this week that if you can weigh your package and buy the postage online at usps you can get free tracking info -- so essentially delivery confirmation is free. And you don't have to wait in line with a kiddo at the post office.
dinade's Avatar dinade 12:58 PM 10-29-2004
and we're approved. Yay! We close on Sat. at 5% instead of 20 and 26% on those stupid cc. We have 30 years to pay it off. LOL I'm planning on doing a 37 month pay off plan. That's how much I was sending to the cc co anyway. But if something catestrophic happens (won't I'm sure) then we can send in interest only. Yeah let me pay interest for 30 y and then still owe the same amount. That's crazy.

Nothing new here. I cooked dinner every night and wanted to go out to eat bad. I hate pms time I just want to sleep and sleep and not cook or fix food. gotta go.
newmainer's Avatar newmainer 09:23 PM 10-29-2004
kerc, i got the fleece the other day. thanks! pretty.....

well, this operating strictly with cash is working really well. It is really showng me how *un* conscientious I was when I was using my debit card. I have been thinking constantly about how to make the money stretch and realizing that there are things i would have gone out and bought this week if i was using my debit card, but since i'm not, I didn't. we have $11 for the rest of the weekend! oh, wait, $16 cause dh has 5 bucks in his car. I think that will buy some Halloween candy . Maybe we'll even come out in the positive a few bucks. whoohoo!
cinnamonamon's Avatar cinnamonamon 09:29 PM 10-29-2004
congrats newmainer -- we start the cash system on monday
newmainer's Avatar newmainer 12:24 AM 10-31-2004
good luck, cinnamonamon! I'll be interested to hear how it goes for you. I thought we had this week all beat and would come out ahead and bam! AF shows up and i had to send dh out to get me some tampons. of course, i only get the organic kind, so we have $1. until tomorrow! But- that's better than having to "borrow" against next week. I am already trying to figure out how we are going to stretch through my chiro appt. and the animals need new food... hmmm looks like a week of rice and beans .
cinnamonamon's Avatar cinnamonamon 12:33 AM 10-31-2004
Well, I'll admit I cheated a bit -- I went grocery shopping today, bought the rest of the stuff I needed for some crafts, and tomorrow I'm finishing up a "replenish the fridge" shopping trip along with getting cat food. We start our system on Monday, so we'll be starting out ahead... of course we immediately need to start saving up to get our 2 cats spray & neutered -- and any/all shots...:0 Goll, I might just do that with the little bit of extra $$ from our home equity line -- I'd hate the cat to get pregnant before we had her fixed!

Ah well, here's hopin'! Dh seems to think it should be a breeze -- then again, he doesn't realize what our weekly grocery bill ends up at...
Peppermint's Avatar Peppermint 10:53 PM 11-08-2004
How is everybody doing?
A&A's Avatar A&A 11:31 PM 11-08-2004
Yeah, somebody start a November thread.

Our medical insurance went up an extra $60 per month. Grrr. Oh well, at least we have insurance.
leomom's Avatar leomom 11:44 PM 11-08-2004
I have been BAD! My newborn is 7 weeks old, and I haven't followed my budget since she came along!

I am spending more money on things I don't need...mainly because we take short "outings" so I can keep my sanity and I end up shopping..

Our entertainment bill has gone up because now DH and I have a "date night" and we eat out...we weren't doing that before, so it's not really in our budget.

Also, some nights I'm too tired to cook after all ady with Kate, so we end up bringing food in...another money zapper.

Any suggestions for getting back on track???
newmainer's Avatar newmainer 11:59 PM 11-08-2004
I was wondering how we were all doing! Thanks for giving the nudge, Peppermint.

We're doing ok. Our cash system is *awesome* and we are sticking with it... It requires a lot of planning. Like, "ok, i have a chiro appt. this week so dd's jacket will have to wait until next week and hopefully the cat wont' run out of food, etc..." Its requiring us to do a lot more planning and waiting, rather than just buying and feelign frustrated about how much money we are spending. Dd needs a new winter jacket and after checking out both the consignment store and Goodwill and finding nothing, we went to TJMaxx. But, with only $20 left in the kitty, i couldn't get the jacket. So, we put it on layaway. I never would have done that before! Not that i have anythig against layaway, but i would have been like, oh well, just get it! Ha! The story of my life!

And, my business is going. Slow, but going. The challenge is only to buy new material with what i make, which is hard. So, there's no real profit yet, but its still early.

Congrats, leomom!! Teeny, tiny babies...sigh. i love them.
Can you and dh do a cheaper date night? Like appetizers instead of the whole meal, or rent a movie? the cooking part is tough. freeze, freeze, freeze. make big ole pots of soup and just freeze portions- I put mine in a tupperware that holds about 3 bowls worth and freeze that. perfect for lunches or "whatever" dinners. roast chicken (if you arent' a veggie) is good too. Pop some onions, apples, and whatever else in the cavity, sprinkle with olive oil, s and p, and in the oven about 2 hours before you want to eat. So easy, tasty, and leftvovers!
cinnamonamon's Avatar cinnamonamon 12:19 AM 11-09-2004
leomom -- try making up a couple freezable meals when you do have time (i.e. double batches), then u can just grab one of those when you don't feel like cooking. And depending on where you are, can you go to a park for your short outing? Just sit on a bench & chat with other moms, or go to a mall that has a play area & sit & watch/enjoy the older kids?

As for the date night -- I'd bend over backwards to find a way to keep it if you feel you need it, ya know? Maybe try going to the grocery store deli for food, and the 2nd run theatre for movies? Good luck!

We are 1/2 way through our second week of the cash system. Food-wise we are great, which surprised me -- $150/week, which includes dh eating lunch out almost daily, and one or two cheap take outs/week. You'd think that with that and our budget for bills, we'd be all set...well, I have (once again) not left any money available for things like presents, household goods, new baby prep. goods/services, entertainment, misc. home improvement/repair, etc...so it's back to the drawing board to find an extra $100 or $200...
kerc's Avatar kerc 02:45 AM 11-09-2004
we are doing ok. i don't have time to write a ton here.

wtg to those of you on the cash system. that requires so much planning, how do you find the mental energy to do it? or did you just take one big gulp and give it a go?
cinnamonamon's Avatar cinnamonamon 03:09 AM 11-09-2004
:LOL kerc...I just looked at what bills we had & made the leftover $$ our cash system -- it really is great for keeping us within what we have...although I still have some tweaking to do -- newmainer sounds like she is doing great!
Peppermint's Avatar Peppermint 11:25 AM 11-09-2004

What size coat does your dd need? I have a cute 3T coat Mary wore last year from Carters, and surely have a 2T in the attic, if you can get out of the layaway one .

I am anxiously awaiting Friday for dh's first paycheck from his new job so I'll know what we have to work with, I think we'll be moving to a cash system too, sounds like a great way to go.

Gotta go buy boots today- DAMN SNOW!
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