I'm getting out of debt, with the snowball method. Wanna play? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 302 Old 08-20-2006, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
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What have ya got to lose? A few bills?

Ok, I'm willing to honestly give some personal info, like the fact that at 48 I'm still trying to get out of debt, well, really to get out AGAIN. ANd we need to hurry, dh will retire in 4 years!

In return, I'd like some get outta debt buddies. I'm GOING to do this. I mean, pay off the credit cards, the mortgage, all of it. And I'm not borrowing or using another credit card. Ever.



(Uh, but one of YOU has to tell dh about his plans for a two yo car being put waayyyy on the back burner, ok?)


So, here we go. The snowball method, which I just read about in a Dave Ramsey book, works because you pay off the smallest bill first, and use that money to pay more on the next bill, therefore paying IT off much sooner. When you add that bill's payment to the next bill, your making a BIG extra payment every month.

(BTW, this method wasn't created by Dave Ramsey, he got it from reading other books, so it's ok to post about it.)

Interested? I'm impatient to start and am going to organize things tomorrow. READ some of Dave Ramseys stuff. He doesn't recommend the SAHM's going off to work! Something I was just about to do. But he's right, I never make much after expensesa and save loads by planting a garden, cooking from scratch, etc.


Oh, please, come play with me?
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#2 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 12:22 AM
 
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We're in! We've been working on a snowball plan that will have us free of all debt except the mortgage by ds' 3rd birthday in April 08. We don't have cc debt or car payments, but will be paying off a home equity loan and two student loans. We are psyched to get rolling!
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#3 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 01:34 AM
 
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Very cool. That is what I was planning on doing but I didn't know it had a name!

For this past week, for the 1st time in my life, I have been tracking EVERY PENNY. I know exactly what we've spent at every moment. Just by doing this, we have stopped spending on anything extra. Because the budget is being tracked so closely now, it is getting easier to make frugal choices. Before I felt overwhelmed and now I feel like I have a real goal!

Today, I made my menu for the next 10 days. I knew my grocery store budget. I went shopping when it was quiet, without the kids, and I actually managed to get everything and have $30 left (which I'll use for more fresh stuff as needed). We NEVER usually stick to our grocery budget, so I will be amazed if we do it-- after all of these years.

I have been wanting to take these steps for a long time and wanted to get DH on board. He wasn't into it. Now, I have taken charge. I don't nag him at all, but I do (1) ask him what he's spent (not to judge, just to track) and (2) send him an e-mail daily as to the status of our budget. (He always knows how much is in the bank, but he doesn't keep track of exactly where it goes). I don't know if it will last, but he has been fine with it!

I am realizing that with money (for me) it's all about baby steps. In the past, saving a $1 here or there didn't matter to me. Now I realize it does-- every little bit helps.

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#4 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 02:22 AM
 
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I am starting a get-out-of-debt plan as soon as I am gainfully employed after graduating this fall. My only sore spot in the plan is that several of the items on my recently acquired credit report are DH's. Things like credit cards he had when I was overseas in the Navy. : There are a few things that he doesn't know what they are any more than I do, but because a few payments were made on them, the collections people don't believe me when I say it was fraud or identity theft or something.

So, I'm doing the pay-off-the-debts-I-know-are-mine-first method, with weighting for working with the collections people who aren't mean to me. Also, some of the older debts say they'll be gone from my credit report within the year, so they're my last priority for paying off.

Currently, the only things I'm paying on are a cc and a loan that went to collections some time ago. They've frozen the interest as long as I keep making small payments. Once I have a job, I'll toss any extra money at paying off the smaller of those 2 first. Then the other one. If I find a job quick, I should have the smaller one paid off by the time I have to start paying on my student loans. Then, I'll pay minimum on the student loans until I pay off that other old debt, and attack the student loans with a vengeance.

Somewhere in there I may need to save for and buy a car. With cash. Winters in my hometown are not terribly bicycle-friendly, and long-term not being able to get out of town (like to the nearby city with a farmer's market, etc.) without the goodwill of relatives is likely to become a hardship.

But I plan to have one less debt owed by the end of 2007. We're going to be getting a very small place and living frugally, and I've applied for subsidized housing. The plan is, move into housing and take the difference between rent in the unsubsidized place and the subsidized one and put that to debt payoff. I'm also going to apply for food stamps and WIC, even if I think I could manage to buy groceries without aid. The difference will go to paying off debt.

For this fall, my last semester of college, I have at least managed to turn down any further student loans to add to the pile.

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#5 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 09:44 AM
 
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My dh (who hates to read) is currently being badgered one page at a time through Dave Ramsey's book. Last night while he was reading I took our savings acct. and paid off the 2 smallest cc bills - $500 and 1700.

Now the hard part is going to be sticking to the budget.. if we actually stick to it we should be able to send at least $500 a month to the next cc and then to my student loans...

If we keep going, we should be debt free and have a nice savings in 2.5-3 yrs!

Lisa, mama to Lauren, Elliot, angel Marion, and baby due in the fall.
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#6 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 10:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa2976
Now the hard part is going to be sticking to the budget.. if we actually stick to it we should be able to send at least $500 a month to the next cc and then to my student loans...
I think if you do 2 things . . .(1) make a realistic budget and (2) track every penny, you will be able to do this! I am far, far, far from being an expert but that is what has helped me very recently. We've had a budget in place for a long time but had trouble sticking to it because we weren't tracking well. (For example, DH would take out cash and we wouldn't know where it went!)

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#7 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 11:03 AM
 
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Just a comment ... check out the interest rates and monthly fees on the cards (or other debt sources) THis can be an important factor in paying off!
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#8 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 11:05 AM
 
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We're in, right now we printed off sheets keeping track of interest rates, min monthly payment, and total amount. Once we get all that in order we plan to sit down and make a list of what to pay off first.
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#9 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 12:01 PM
 
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I'm in - I am just getting back to WAH fulltime so our income allows to pay a little bit more. Thank minimums. Are we going to post actual #'s or just be vague? I'm open to either. We have too much CC debt after buying/renovating the house & me not always working. But I really want to be CC free in the next 18 months. BUt like I said we have a LOT of debt so I'm not sure how do-able that is.

Kate, BioMama to Emma Lu, Elliana - Almost Mama to Martin, & Foster Mama to Baby T
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#10 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 12:05 PM
 
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Sleepless, yep, the interest can be a big factor... lucky for me our biggest card is the one with the 2.99 balance xfer rate on it...

BUT the whole point of "snowballing" is that it's motivating to SEE debt go away - if you start by listing all your debt from smallest to largest, and then you attack them one at a time and cross them off until there are none left...

It's much easier to scrimp and save and work hard at the smallest debt first, as it's much more motivating to make ONE DEBT go away than to chip away at the big one forever...

Lisa, mama to Lauren, Elliot, angel Marion, and baby due in the fall.
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#11 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 12:19 PM
 
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I read Dave Ramsey's book too, it was a big help for me! I have my nest egg in savings now, which was an important step for me, and our car is paid off. I have a few thousand on a credit card that we are working on now and then it will all be gone. I can't wait!

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#12 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 03:38 PM
 
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I'm in I'm in!

We are just starting out on our get out of debt asap plan...
After we pay bills and buy groceries, we have somewhere around $25 left. That's paying minimum payments on everything and no savings. (DH took a major income cut-to a 1/3 of what he used to make in the space of about a year and a half....)

So. That being said, I'm due at the end of October. When I started my new job, I had them withhold in a pretax acct $750, which is my maternity deductible. I'm thinking that we should put that money in an emergency account and add the hospital bills to our snowball....because otherwise, we will seriously never, ever get there. (Unless DH gets a different job, which is likely to happen before long but I'm not counting any chickens, kwim?)

What do you think? good idea?

I haven't gotten the book yet-I'm saving my lunch money for it (instead of buying it with a credit card....I don't think he'd approve of that! ) but trying to do what I can with what I know commonsensically (no it isn't a real word...)

Lisa-short of reading it out loud to your hubby, how do you get him to read it? Mine hates reading-unless it's a hunting mag.....
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#13 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 04:11 PM
 
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Magster, started a thread sort of like this. I guess it's buried. I revive it now and then.

DH and I are totally snowballing. It's great. We're not approaching paying off the highest interest rate first because like it's been pointed out, you may lose motivation fast. We have our debts lined up how we want to pay them off. First, we decided on the truck loan because it was the smallest. We just paid it off last month! Now we are adding the truck payment to the first cc we're paying off. Our car insurance is less now as well so we're adding that extra money to the cc payment too.
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#14 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 04:57 PM
 
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This is just awesome! Thanks for starting this thread, Red!

Tonight I am going to come up with some ideas of what I can sell-- little things-- to put towards our first cc debt. Once that's paid off, it will be one down and one (much bigger one) to go. Maybe with the big one I'll mentally divide it up into smaller goals. But, first things first-- gotta get rid of the first one!

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#15 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 05:21 PM
 
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If feels *so* good when you finally pay something off....no matter how small. It gives me a thrill of excitment to send that extra $250 a month to the cc.
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#16 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 05:29 PM
 
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We are doing this now. I didn't know there was a name for it. The priority is the one with the most interest, which thankfully is the smallest. When that one is paid off in about 10-12 mos (depending on any emergencies) we will pay off the next one using the same money.

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#17 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 07:04 PM
 
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Got my book at the library.. had to wait a few weeks for my turn (it's popular!) but it was worth it. Actually got email from the library today that the dvd is in too, maybe I can get dh to watch that instead of reading?

Laurel, it's like a bad cartoon of the nagging wife. I hand him the book when he goes into the bathroom, I hand it to him at dinner time when he's done eating (right now we eat in our living room, we're uhm remodeling the dining/kitchen area the long/hard way), and sometimes it gets interesting and he reads a bit more...

I know the biblical references are a big turn off for him, so I gently remind him to just ignore the BIBLE and read the quotes as if they were just some smart financial guy spouting them off... and once in a while I read little bits to him, like today I read about 2 paragraphs from the college savings part (dh didn't go, thinks it's a waste of time/money) and philosophically he and Dave Ramsey are almost on the same page, so he's now a bit more interested.

He hates reading though... reads airplane books and technology stuff for work, and generally avoids books beyond that. Hopefully by the time my3 weeks with the book is up, he'll have read it.

I told him to skip the personal stories too if he felt like it, once you read one or two they are all the same anyway, just different names and amts of money that got paid off.

Lisa, mama to Lauren, Elliot, angel Marion, and baby due in the fall.
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#18 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 08:04 PM
 
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double post.....

never mind me.
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#19 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 08:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa2976
I hand him the book when he goes into the bathroom, I hand it to him at dinner time when he's done eating (right now we eat in our living room, we're uhm remodeling the dining/kitchen area the long/hard way), and sometimes it gets interesting and he reads a bit more...


I guess I'll have to get a bookshelf installed in the hooter......now if I could just get the fundage to get the darn book......all in good time I guess...

I amgoing to go home tonight and sit down w/ dh and make a list of what we're paying off first. If I could get rid of the stupid cell phone and dish bills, that would open up close to $200 a month: there's nothing on dish that's worth watching anyway and cp's are a pain in the rear...(as I wrote that mine started ringing. Go figure!)

IF I'm figuring right, (and that's a big if!) We should be out of debt in about 5-6years-not bad considering we're about $90K in the hole now, including a 2nd mortgage, but not including the first....It'd be quicker if I was completely in charge, but I'm a scrooge by nature and dh likes to buy stuff......*sigh.
Better late than never right?
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#20 of 302 Old 08-21-2006, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa2976

BUT the whole point of "snowballing" is that it's motivating to SEE debt go away - if you start by listing all your debt from smallest to largest, and then you attack them one at a time and cross them off until there are none left...

It's much easier to scrimp and save and work hard at the smallest debt first, as it's much more motivating to make ONE DEBT go away than to chip away at the big one forever...
Also, it's quicker to pay off a small one and then you have that money to put toward the next one. I didn't see the wisdom in this till I read his book. I've been fighting to pay down the one with the highest interest first, as that made more sense to me. But now I see his point.

Laurel723~ GO TO THE LIBRARY! Do NOT go out and buy a book to help you get out of debt! If your library doesn't have it, ask themn to order it for you. I couldn't remmeber the name of the one I wanted, so they ordered EVERY book he'd written! WOW!


Kleine Hexe, I saw Magsters thread, but I felt like I was starting out so far behind everyone else! You guys can be our inspiration!

Ok, so I'm getting personal, and giving specifics. Partly because it will help me andpartly because I think it will help some of you.

First, we're OLD. I'm 48, dh will be 56 in Oct. He retires at 60. (Not exactly mandatory, but strongly suggested, and financially rewarded by his union. ) So I need to have most of our debt gone is the next 4 years!!!

In going over our stuff tonight I found a huge BOO-BOO! I got a washer and put it on a 90 day same as cash deal. Planned, of course, on paying it off in the 90 days. HA! THe interest rate is, are ya ready....22.98%!!!Screw that! I'm transfering THAT balance to our biggest card, which I just got. It has no interest till Oct of 2007.

I'm starting with our credit cards. Smallest first. Here's my list:
Walmart, $15 a month, $40 left on it. I'm going to pay the whole $40 this month. THen I'll add that $15 to the next one....which is...

Discover, $18 a month $577 balance
Capitol ONe (what's in YOUR wallet? ) $30 a month, 965 balance
Chase (no interest!) $51 a month, $2852 balance

I usually put an extra $10 to $20 on each card, every month. Instead, I'm going to trust this snowballing thing and pay the minimums, and try for an extra $40 on the card I'm working on at the time.

I also owe back taxes on the house. I need to get my home equity line (variable) switched to a fixed rate mortgage. I might have to put the taxes for this year on the loan...or maybe I can slide by!

No car loans.

Once I pay these off, ( and the money I owe the electric company ($800 freaking bucks!) it's on to the mortagage. ($85,000) I'll have about $200 a month more than I do now to put on it.

Can I do it in 4 years?????


Goddess I hope so! I'm sure gonna try. We'll have considerably less after we retire to live on. (And if you aren''t bored with me by now, you could all say a prayer that I become a PUBLISHED author THIS year. I NEED to make some money.

How are we managing Christmas? Oh, and dd18 starts college in 2 weeks.

So, play with me!:
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#21 of 302 Old 08-22-2006, 12:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Red
How are we managing Christmas?
I am so glad you brought this up.

This is who we buy for:
-kids of our family (we have 7 nieces/nephews + 2 of our own children)
-our moms
-his stepdad
-g-ma
-my sort-of-aunt (she doesn't have a lot of $ and she's blind)
-my almost-homeless cousin
-my other cousin who has no real family besides her mom (and she always gets us stuff).

We usually spend $30/child (more on our own, closer to $100/child), $50 on our moms, $20-30 for all other adults. By my quick estimation, this comes out to $660. DH might say we should get something for each other, too. Dunno. In the past, this was no problem for us (before we bought a house and when we had no debt) and now, NO WAY. That's more than our general living budget for a month, and that would be assuming we spent zero extra (not even gas for a car). Oh, and we have had to do one of those grab bags things in the past, too (even though I tried talking people out of it) but I think this year we're finally giving it up.

I wanted to see if I could somehow spend a little of our extra money every month toward Christmas (shop early, get sales) but now when I look at the figure . . .ack. Save for my almost aunt and almost homeless cousin, NO ONE in my family needs anything. We all have too much as it is. All of the kids have entirely too many toys (my sister is buying wooden toys because she has literally bought everything she wants from Toys R Us . . .her words) and our parents are comfortable financially.

And then, EVERY month there are gifts to buy for someone (usually a child's birthday). My latest situation . . .my dear friend and I have birthdays close together. I don't usually buy my friends anything . . .maybe I take them out to eat, but that's about it. So, I didn't get her anything. But then, she got me presents worth over $100. I am at a loss. Other than a nice thank you note, I have no idea what to do.

Sorry to go off like this. I am just lost!

Oh, and Red, I think it sounds reasonable! I think you can do it!

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#22 of 302 Old 08-22-2006, 09:23 AM
 
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Mizelenius, oooh I agree... for xmas we have the 3 of us (plus one on the way), my parents, his parents, my grandma, his 3 grandparents, my bro (and gf), his sis, his bro/wife/2kids, and my niece. TOO MUCH! And 10 bdays between now and Feb 1. UGH! My plan isn't much yet, but will include making something for MIL, baking for the grandparents, gift cards for the kids ($15 to go to the toy store and pick ANYTHING is tons of fun when you are 10), and itunes for our siblings. Cut way back from previous years, yet still $$$ more than I'd like tos pend.

And yes, I think a thank you note is plenty, really, people shouldn't expect gifts back!

Red, you can do it! After dumping our savings acct the other night (and paying off the 2 lowest balances) we have left $3600 and $8900 on 2 ccs, about $11000 in a student loan (grad school for me), and then just the house. Our cars are paid, our utilities are up to date (actually we overpaid the gas bill on budget, so that $ comes back this week and will become the payment to the midwife for the planned HB in Feb.)

I WILL do taxes Feb 1 if I can, I really don't want to put it off for months like I usually do, and we should have a return tihs time (even if it's small) to send off to cc.

IF eveyrthing is perfect, and we have no crazy emergencies, I think 2.5 yrs to be debt free and then one year to save the BIG emergency fund, and then woohoo!!!

Lisa, mama to Lauren, Elliot, angel Marion, and baby due in the fall.
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#23 of 302 Old 08-22-2006, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Mizelenius, I have an idea for the blind aunt! Get in touch with Perkins school for the deaf, in Massachusetts. (I'll ask dd if she has an address.) You can order books on tape, newspapers, magazines, etc, for free. They come in the mail, and are returned by putting them in your own mailbox. YOu don't even pay postage. I don't know if they only operate in Massachusetts...but by setting her up with the system, you'd be doing her a great favor. They have Braille too.

DD has a severe, well, two severe learning disabilities and is able to use the system. It's great. They even send a tape player!

And CUT THOSE LISTS! Sheesh, I'd be sick if I had to buy for all those people.

I do baskets for lots of my list. Homemade stuff. Jams, cookies mix in a jar, CHEAP mugs (like a buck apiece), flavored vinegars or oils. I make the stuff in the basket have a theme, maybe cookie mix, a few packages of cocoa, 6 different tea bags (the individually wrapped ones).

My kids each got a santa mug a few years back from their aunt, some cocoa packets and a movie. THey LOVED it, and they were teens!

My favorite aunt gets jam, always. She loves it. I do three jars, with a piece of pretty cloth over the lids. We pick the berries in September, so it's long since paid for.

I'm thinking of doing a grab this year. Everyone picks one name, and you HAVE to make that persons gift. (Burn em a CD, knit em a scarf, write up recipes that you know they'll like)

My friend gives my kids $50 each for Christmas! I freak! Her kids are lucky if I get them anything.

Funny, I give YOU guys ideas and I feel better. Whew!


lisa2976, before you pay all those bills, get $1000 in the bank. Emergencies are how I got to this place. Everyone has emergencies. If the car breaks ddown and you have no savings, you'll HAVE to use a cc. If you have $1000 and the car breaks down, you'll just loan yourself the money, put it back a certain amount a month.


For all those kids birthdays...can you get stuff like sidewalk chalk, bubbles, jump ropes, or really cheap sleds etc? Are they old enough to like to cook? Jar of cookie mix (search the web for cookie mix in a jar) a cookie sheet and a spatula?

Thanks fo rthe encouragement! I CAN do this! I DO believe in Santa!
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#24 of 302 Old 08-22-2006, 11:40 PM
 
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Lisa, yes, I think we are just going to have to trim, trim, trim the budget!

Red, thank you for the idea but my aunt already does that. She's pretty well set up! I usually try to give her some other sort of sensory present . . .some CDs, some handmade (not by me) soap, coffee that she loves, things like that. I am going to think about who I can cut OUT instead of down on, like you said! I'm going to use some of your ideas for homemade stuff, too.

As for the gift exchange idea that you had, I tried to convince my family to do that. I thought it would be fun and bring back the true meaning of Christmas. No one wanted to (my family isn't too flexible with Christmas). I also tried to do a "green grab bag" where you give something cool that you ALREADY OWN (but don't want) and recycle it as a new gift. Regift and save money AND the environment. No one liked that either. One year (when we were doing well with $) my mom asked me what I wanted. She gives me pretty nice gifts. I said I truly had everything I needed and I just wanted her to donate to the Heifer foundation. She LAUGHED and wouldn't do it. This coming from a woman who is so into social justice you wouldn't believe. Bah, humbug!

Re: birthday presents. You would not BELIEVE birthdays I have been attending lately. Kids get bubbles, whole bubble kits, even Build-a-Bears as the party FAVORS. It is so crazy.

Man, I am already getting stressed and it's only August. :

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#25 of 302 Old 08-23-2006, 09:22 AM
 
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Someone on another board mentioned the book Unplug the Christmas Machine. Has anyone read it? I looked to see if it's at my local library and it is, so I'm checking it out tonight!

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#26 of 302 Old 08-23-2006, 09:46 AM
 
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We draw names with DH's family. It was a great idea but now even that has gotten bad money wise. One gift for one person, right? Now that we're drawing names and we only buy for one person DH's family now buys many multiple presents for the person they drew. I've considered suggesting a price max for gifts. Then again I figure anyone giving gifts above the "norm" should not assume to get the same in return. I also wish we drew names much sooner so I could have a long time to scout out deals. We draw names on Thanksgiving and then it's crunch time. Sigh.
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#27 of 302 Old 08-23-2006, 10:25 AM
 
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Red, yep, we have the little emergency fund already, and a second one for the midwife bill in Feb. - it's the 2.5 yrs and then start on the BIG emergency fund that makes me giggle!

Sidewalk chalk. Yes! Dollar store is my friend!

Lisa, mama to Lauren, Elliot, angel Marion, and baby due in the fall.
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#28 of 302 Old 08-23-2006, 01:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe
We draw names with DH's family. It was a great idea but now even that has gotten bad money wise. One gift for one person, right? Now that we're drawing names and we only buy for one person DH's family now buys many multiple presents for the person they drew. I've considered suggesting a price max for gifts. Then again I figure anyone giving gifts above the "norm" should not assume to get the same in return. I also wish we drew names much sooner so I could have a long time to scout out deals. We draw names on Thanksgiving and then it's crunch time. Sigh.
We draw names in our fam too...but we do the draw at christmas after dinner for next year. (The only drawback to that is remembering who has who....Grandma is the Ultimate Keeper Of The List). I think we have a limit of $40 per gift.

Not bad, works pretty well....some people go overboard, but not many. The big thing in our family is gag gifts-a pair of really nice gloves inside a metal box with a chain welded inside that lets it open just enough to pour out the peanuts that were put in with the gloves....or a nice coat inside a cardboard box inside a wooden box that's completely screwed shut (and glued on three sides-the bottom is left unglued so you can get into it)

The time and effort and ingenuity some people (namely my father) come up with is absolutely hilarious...and usually, the bigger the box, the smaller the gift...a huge box full of other nested boxes with a "treasure hunt" clue inside..that goes over big with the kids-

HTH w/ Xmas....

Happy note-DH got a call last night from a dealership owner that he used to work with-not for-who's been after dh to come and work for him for about 7 years or so called again last night (we've been dragging our feet on dh going to work because it would mean moving to Moses Lake-not where we want to be right now, for family and financial reasons) with a job offer that is here in town! He said he doesn't know just what yet, but if the rumors that dh was looking for a job were true, let him think about it for a couple days because he wanted dh in his organization! If he does find a place for DH he would start in October. (Fingers crossed while I do a happy dance!...)
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#29 of 302 Old 08-23-2006, 03:06 PM
 
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OK, I'm lovin' this snowball idea. We have 2 cc bills (that is our debt other than DH's school loan and our mortgage). Anyway, we SHOULD be able to pay off the smaller bill in less than 2 months (if DH sells his TV like he said he was going to . . .). I am so excited! Then we tackle the big one. Not so excited about that, but poco a poco!

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#30 of 302 Old 08-24-2006, 06:58 PM
 
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For this past week, for the 1st time in my life, I have been tracking EVERY PENNY. I know exactly what we've spent at every moment. Just by doing this, we have stopped spending on anything extra.
Miz
could you possibly elaborate about your system for tracking every cent? I've tried to do this before (it seems like it's the 1st step of every budget/get out of debt plan), but after assiduously writing down amounts on scraps of paper in my purse while out, I don't know how to conglomerate the info into some kind of system that will give me an overview.

Were you already set up with all your spending in Quicken - does the penny tracking fit into that somehow? Or an excel spreadsheet?

thank you! I am determined to really do this starting Sept 1.
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