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Frugality & Finances > Dumping Debt with Dave Ramsey/DECEMBER
ReikiMommy07's Avatar ReikiMommy07 07:01 PM 12-21-2007
BEF = $388.89/1000. Pretty good considering what month it is... And we haven't spent any of it this month; we even added to it. Yes, I'm a little proud.

ReikiMommy07's Avatar ReikiMommy07 07:17 PM 12-21-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
Jaimie:

Blow money: don't need it
No, you may not need it. But you deserve it if you can truly afford it. What's the point of saving every single penny *if* the resulting feeling is that you have no quality of life. Not saying this is the case, just that it is for some people. There's a difference between spending, say, $25 on something/things you want, and going overboard and putting yourself in debt b/c of it.
ReikiMommy07's Avatar ReikiMommy07 07:40 PM 12-21-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by annethcz View Post
Stephanie, we don't use a cash envelope system, but we do have budgeted categories. Right now I transfer all unused funds into our savings account ASAP, so we won't use it for something else. For example, we came in $25 under budget for DH's grandma's Xmas gift. Rather than splurge on something, I transferred the money to savings immediately. I'm not sure what I'd do about other categories, though.
This is what I do, regardless of the category.
ReikiMommy07's Avatar ReikiMommy07 07:43 PM 12-21-2007
OT but Stephanie, anything you post here can be viewed by the public if they stumble upon it, not just by MDC members.
Purple*Lotus's Avatar Purple*Lotus 08:03 PM 12-21-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
Jaimie:

Blow money: don't need it

Cats: I honestly don't know why you need to spend on them yearly.
I can understand if you need frontline if they go outside, or you live in a warmer climate where fleas/ticks are a problem. You could order from dr fosters and smith or online at pet meds for cheaper rates on those products.
As far as yearly exams and vaccines go... I used to work for vets and it's been proven that yearly vaccines are completely unnecessary. Vets just told people they HAD to come back for vaccines because they wanted the pets to get the exams every year and people weren't going to bring their pets in yearly just for the exams.
Cats given the boosters as kittens, then at 1 year, stay protected from what you vaccinated for a minimum of two years, an average of 8-12. I stopped yearly vaccinations on my cats when I found that out. I give them rabies every 3 years since it's required by law. Even rabies no longer is done every 1, just every 3 years. I go to a vaccination clinic to avoid exam fees. I called around when I moved here and found out the local Pet Zoo (pet store) has a vaccination clinic every 6 months. An AAHA certified veterinarian sets up at the pet store and give free exams with the vaccinations. They cost me $60 to have my one dog and two cats vaccinated for distemper and rabies, (they hadn't had distemper or rabies in 3 years) and their exams were free. So, maybe you can look around for deals such as that, as long as you make sure it's still quality care, as in the vet is AAHA certified.
Thanks for the cat information!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DesireeH View Post
Welcome Jaime!! I think your budget looks pretty good....Maybe can you reduce the "blow" money to $40 each instead of $80 each? Maybe the cats monthly to $50 instead of $75?

Way to go on doing Curves. I used to go back in the day....and I really liked that place. I did WW too, but I did it by myself for free, saving the $12 a week. I lost over 100 pounds in a year that way and its stayed off for going on 1.5 years now. I mostly used the website http://www.dwlz.com for all the info/point/restaurant info for free. I liked being able to save the weekly cost of meetings for clothes instead!
The blow money is actually a total of $80, so $40 each. I think that is pretty high myself so I am going to talk to DH about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tannersmommy View Post
Welcome, Jamie!
I think your budget looks pretty good. Here is something that I found very helpful from the book - Dave's recommended percentages for each budget category (this is percent of net income, I think):
Giving 10-15%
Saving 5-10%
Housing 25-35%
Utilities 5-10%
Food 5-15%
Transportation 10-15%
Clothing 2-7%
Medical 5-10%
Personal 5-10%
Recreation 5-10%
Debts 5-10%

This let me know that my budget was reasonable. All of my numbers are within these ranges, except for Housing - very low at 18%, Food - a little high at 16%, and Recreation - very low at 2%.
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReikiMommy07 View Post
BEF = $388.89/1000. Pretty good considering what month it is... And we haven't spent any of it this month; we even added to it. Yes, I'm a little proud.
What does a BEF stand for? I know EF is emergency fund.
~PurityLake~'s Avatar ~PurityLake~ 08:23 PM 12-21-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*Jaime View Post
Thanks for the cat information!
You're welcome and I hope it helps.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*Jaime View Post
What does a BEF stand for? I know EF is emergency fund.
I believe it stands for *basic* emergency fund, for those who may have many ef's, with specific purposes in addition to their bef.

{nak}
Maggi315's Avatar Maggi315 08:52 PM 12-21-2007
Jaime:

Your budget looks pretty good, I think having blow money is important, you don't want to feel deprived while doing the plan or you won't do it.

About the cats: We have a plan through our vet for wellness care, we buy a bundled package, get our shots through the local petsmart, and it has reduced our cost greatly. We have 3 dogs, so I know how it can add up. You can also buy frontline and that kind of stuff much cheaper online. For our three dogs, it's about $150 each for the whole year. I would definitely call around, shop around and get a better deal.

Other than that, I think your costs are pretty low. As far as curves goes, I think having the contract and not being able to get out of it, is a good thing because now you will feel obligated to use it so you aren't wasting money!!! And spending money on your health is always worth itin the long run.

just my opinion...
~PurityLake~'s Avatar ~PurityLake~ 08:52 PM 12-21-2007
For those of you following my posts, my husband's second check from this job was due to deposit on the 25th, but due to Christmas, it went in today, early.
so, I'm sitting here paying bills online and over the phone...
one I can't pay til tomorrow, because the statement doesn't go out til then...so I just subtracted it from my checkbook now, so I know what it left.

So...

Last check we had $74 per week post bills.
We received a $50 costco gift card from a fellow, generous, much appreciated MDC mama which we used for food.
plus, my next door neighbor bought us diapers (although I've been cloth diapering to save money, but he wouldn't take no for an answer, told me he wanted to make my life easier. FTR, I hate cleaning cloth diapers, so I did appreciate the paper diapers).

so, my question is:
after paying the bills, we have $182.81 in checking ($91.45 per week) and I'm trying to decide how much to add to our emergency fund, which is $30/$1000

Ha, I had to look in my savings book to find out how much the savings were, and I forgot I have those two checks, one for $250 from my mom and one for $75 from my grandma that I haven't deposited since they wrote my name wrong....

So, I guess that adds another question, where should I put those checks? I figured I'd put them in ef, and only withdraw later if we need any of it.

But I'm a saver at heart.

So, what do I put in from what we have left from my husband's check, excluding these 'holiday' gift checks?

ETA:
His first check was $740, this check was only $486.10 (he gets paid twice a month).
this one was so much smaller because CS was not taken out of the first one, and they are still charging the amount from when his income was more than twice as much annually, plus extra for the month he couldn't pay because he had no income in November.

He already submitted a request for child support modification due to his huge drop in income, but it takes time to take effect.
In the meantime, he's paying $622 a month until the order is changed.

ETAA:
I am so happy I prepaid our rent, otherwise I would have had to pay out $355 for rent from this check, and clearly, we don't have that.
Areannasmom's Avatar Areannasmom 09:08 PM 12-21-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReikiMommy07 View Post
OT but Stephanie, anything you post here can be viewed by the public if they stumble upon it, not just by MDC members.
i hate to look naive , but what did she put that she would worry about other people seeing? is it a copywright thing for the % she put on?
Areannasmom's Avatar Areannasmom 09:44 PM 12-21-2007
Here's the budget. I'm putting the % instead of actual amounts (i hope thats OK) i've included the $ my roommate gives me for rent in my income

Shoud be Actual
Giving 10-15%- wish I could, no room
Saving 5-10%- 20% of whatever is “extra” from overtime & commissions
Housing 25-35%: 44%, holy cr*p that’s bad
Utilities 5-10%:7% (my roommate pays 1/2)
Food 5-15%: 10%
Transportation 10-15% less than 1%- pretty good
Clothing 2-7%- haha
Medical 5-10%- less than 1%
Personal 5-10%- 2%
Recreation 5-10%- 5%
Debts 5-10% 10% 16% (that includes the equity loan, should it? or should that go into housing?)
daycare 16% (wowzars! :- and thats with her dad paying 1/2)

EF 1000/1000

I'm starting in January. all extra will go to CC (only have 1 active) and then to equity loan till paid off.

Another question from the newbie with no book:
I know that i shouldnt be getting back a large tax refund as a general rule, but theres not much i can do about that for this year.
So, i'll get back about 5k. I'll be needing a new car, should i just use that towards the car or pay the CC and whatever is left towards the equity loan?
TIA
~PurityLake~'s Avatar ~PurityLake~ 09:55 PM 12-21-2007
I'd use the tax refund to pay off debt first before buying anything new.
~PurityLake~'s Avatar ~PurityLake~ 11:12 PM 12-21-2007
Well, I just put $20 into savings, bringing our EF to $50/$1000
phathui5's Avatar phathui5 11:22 PM 12-21-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by tannersmommy View Post
Baby Step 1: EF = $920/1000 Wooo Hooooo!
Yay!!!!!!1
phathui5's Avatar phathui5 11:24 PM 12-21-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by mumkenna&lucas View Post
We are doing horrible we are - in our bank and no $ coming for 2 weeks dh does have some cash jobs this weekend and next weekend so as long as we can get through Christmas we should be alright. So stressed.
I hate this! I applied for a pt job a few days ago, but I haven't gotten a call back yet..
I would give them a follow up call in a day or two if you don't hear back from someone.
phathui5's Avatar phathui5 11:28 PM 12-21-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Areannasmom View Post
My muffler fell off my car, there was a problem with my finicial aid for school and my daughter throw up on my coat. :

So i used a CC for the muffler, but i'm going to transfer the $ from EF and send right now to CC

EF (after transfer) 1100/1000

due to all the drama of yesterday i never made it to the library, so i have a question for those experienced with the program

I already have the EF, but i also have about 6k in CC debt. what comes first- EF or paying off CC?
To answer your question: The first step is to not charge anything else. From there you make sure that the $1000 emergency fund is in place for when you need it. Once that's done, you send every spare dollar you have to paying off debt. If you have a situation where you have to tap the emergency fund, you put a temporary halt to the extra debt payments and refill the emergency fund, making only minimum payments until the EF is at $1000. Then you go back to working on debt.

Quote:
Groceries: $400- this includes cat food, cat litter, cleaning supplies and toiletries
Jaime, you may be able to cut that down, as that's the same as my budget for our family of six and one cat.
Purple*Lotus's Avatar Purple*Lotus 12:53 AM 12-22-2007
I agree, DH and I decided to cut down our food budget, eliminate the cat budget for now and to eliminate half of the blow money. I feel great, that is progress
shanetedissac's Avatar shanetedissac 01:51 AM 12-22-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Areannasmom View Post
EF (after transfer) 1100/1000

due to all the drama of yesterday i never made it to the library, so i have a question for those experienced with the program

I already have the EF, but i also have about 6k in CC debt. what comes first- EF or paying off CC?
According to this you are $100 over the baby emergency fund. It is funded. Take the $100 and put it towards your smallest debt.

Cut up your cards. Close the account. Then you can't use them. Make sure your BEF is very liquid so you can get to it.

You'll get there,
shanetedissac's Avatar shanetedissac 01:59 AM 12-22-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*Jaime View Post
Okay so here is our budget. Feel free to be brutally honest if you think there is something I can cut down on.

DH's Car Payment- $212
Eating out: $60
Misc. Blow Money for both of us is a total of: $80
Christmas: $20
Postage: $15 I mail baby blankets out for charity, so I budget for postage

That is all I have, what do you think :
1. Sell the car
2. Stop eating out
3. Blow? What blow you're getting out of debt
4. To pay off debt craft is Christmas. We did not purchase our kids gifts last year, we let everyone elses gifts be their gifts. We also did not purchase gift for anyone.
5. Other than Tithing (sp?) why are you giving to charity? Give local.

Everything else looked pretty tight As soon as the curves membership contract is done cancel and get out and walk.

You can do it!
shanetedissac's Avatar shanetedissac 02:06 AM 12-22-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Areannasmom View Post
DesireeH - thanks

I've thought of another question:

I am hourly and commission- how do i budget? my commission can vary by 2-800. do i budget based on an average or the lowest it could be with whatever is over going to CC and savings?
You work with an irrigular income budget. List all needs in priority. Food, shelter, transportation are at the top. The priority to all others. When money comes in it goest to #1 and so on. If you know that you have a minimum that comes in every month then you can spend that on paper before the month begins then with anything above goes down the list.

Be well
shanetedissac's Avatar shanetedissac 02:13 AM 12-22-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
So, I guess that adds another question, where should I put those checks? I figured I'd put them in ef, and only withdraw later if we need any of it.

So, what do I put in from what we have left from my husband's check, excluding these 'holiday' gift checks?
I answer in the perspective if I was in your shoes. I would put all of it, including the 'holiday' checks into the Baby Emergency Fund. If you get to your $1000 then off to baby step #2

Be well,

Shane
shanetedissac's Avatar shanetedissac 02:16 AM 12-22-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Areannasmom View Post
I know that i shouldnt be getting back a large tax refund as a general rule, but theres not much i can do about that for this year.
So, i'll get back about 5k. I'll be needing a new car, should i just use that towards the car or pay the CC and whatever is left towards the equity loan?
TIA

What's up with the current car? Is is still safe to drive? Keep it if it is. If it unsafe then get a $1000 beater or less. Put the rest to debt.

Be well,
TattooedMama's Avatar TattooedMama 11:39 AM 12-22-2007
Hello all, I've been reading this thread faithfully but posting little.
I wasn't paying attention at the beginning of the month when DP and I were discussing our debt snowball. I guess we ARE paying off our Best Buy card this month. Yay!
And we were really not SO gazelle intense this month. We We did a great job of budgeting for Christmas over the last 2 months, so that's nice for all involved. I wish I could send you all a new year gift basket. I want you to know you all are actually my favorite "tribe" out of all the places I frequent oin MDC!

We did have to dip into the EF to take the baby to the Dr. and to pay for abx for the rest of us. We have been terribly ill.
But the next day DP got a $100 Christmas bonus check from one of his students so that was a wash. HOORAY!!!!
kEEP ON TRUCKIN' EVERYONE!
SugarAndSun's Avatar SugarAndSun 12:21 PM 12-22-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanetedissac View Post
You work with an irrigular income budget. List all needs in priority. Food, shelter, transportation are at the top. The priority to all others. When money comes in it goest to #1 and so on. If you know that you have a minimum that comes in every month then you can spend that on paper before the month begins then with anything above goes down the list.

Be well
We actually did this for the first time EVER. Holy crap, we were shocked. I think it is easy to say, "oh we can't budget," when you have an income that varies. This method helped a lot.
Areannasmom's Avatar Areannasmom 03:47 PM 12-22-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanetedissac View Post
What's up with the current car? Is is still safe to drive? Keep it if it is. If it unsafe then get a $1000 beater or less. Put the rest to debt.

Be well,
i suppose its *safe* buts its falling apart- super tierd 172kmiles & i've had it since brand new. i guess my thing is: at what point do you stop dumping $ into a car and get a "new" used one?
phathui5's Avatar phathui5 05:45 PM 12-22-2007
shanetedissac,

I wanted to say how much I value your participation on this thread.
phathui5's Avatar phathui5 05:46 PM 12-22-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Areannasmom View Post
i suppose its *safe* buts its falling apart- super tierd 172kmiles & i've had it since brand new. i guess my thing is: at what point do you stop dumping $ into a car and get a "new" used one?
Can you afford to pay cash for another car? If not, I'd start saving up for when the one you have now goes.
tannersmommy's Avatar tannersmommy 05:57 PM 12-22-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
shanetedissac,

I wanted to say how much I value your participation on this thread.

Red's Avatar Red 02:44 AM 12-23-2007
*Jaime, welcome to the group!


I wouldn't give up the Curves membership, unless you felt like you had a new plan that would work for you. If it helps you to be healthy, the thnik of a new way to pay for it, like:

Save money on the the animals as suggested above. Our town runs a 'rabies clinic' once a year. We go every 3 years. Other than that, the animals are rarely sick. I have a jar of probiotics for them, treat their fleas only once a year(but we live in a very cold area), and if I budgeted I could easily get them by on $10 a month. (that would cover the 2 cats, and the goat)


I budget $400 a month for food, for 2 adults, 2 17yos, and one 19 yo on occassional weekends, and the 2 cats and 2 bunnies. We have soup at least once a week, (Rachel Ray has great soups that can be made in 30 minutes on Food.com), pasta-only whole wheat! another night, a vegetarian meal, like tabouli or hummus and a whole wheat pita, and a small amount of meat at other meals. (I'm also doing a lot of recipes from Dr. Oz, as I really needed to manage my weight and lose a few pounds. His recipes taste a lot better than they look! Try teh curried lentil soup and the black bean soup!)


shanetedissac, it's possible that her 'charity' is local. I give locally, but also give to some worldwide causes. It's such a personal decision!

Also, $20 for Christmas is very low! You need to celebrate life sometimes! None of our relatives give our kids anything, except my mother, who conveniently sends a check. However, she expects that check to be spent, not saved. She can't shop anymore (she's 84) and wants to know what she's 'bought'. I do budget her check onto our holiday, but I can't imagine NOT buying any gifts for my kids! (however, I NEVER buy my kids anything, ever, except for their birthdays and this one holiday. Maybe if I did once in a awhile, it would feel different.)

So mostly out of curiousity, what did you tell your kids? Were they freaked? I have all these great memories of Chritmas morning as a kid and just can't fathom NOT doing what my parents always did.

That said, it's an all-cash, all-the-time holiday. I've saved enough to get everyone some gifts, we each make ONE gift for one person, and the focus is mostly on family activities and FOOD.


Areannasmom, start saving. That's how you get your car. With cash.
shanetedissac's Avatar shanetedissac 03:13 AM 12-23-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Areannasmom View Post
i suppose its *safe* buts its falling apart- super tierd 172kmiles & i've had it since brand new. i guess my thing is: at what point do you stop dumping $ into a car and get a "new" used one?

You stop putting money into it when you can afford to get a different one. If is it still safe and gets you around then keep it going. If you have the cash to get a better beater then do so. We have a van that is going on spots: running boards almost completly rusted off and falling off, no AC and mis functioning heat, interior that is a sight! But still runs

Be well,
shanetedissac's Avatar shanetedissac 03:15 AM 12-23-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
shanetedissac,

I wanted to say how much I value your participation on this thread.
You know it is only with the support of others that I'm where I'm at. Oh, and it really does help to listen to Dave everyday.

Be well,
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