Dumping Debt and building wealth with Dave Ramsey JANUARY - Page 13 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-14-2008, 01:14 AM
 
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Help, help, help!!! I so want to do something about my budget and crazy credit card debt and the fact that now I'm a single mom without any cushion...but I don't know where to start. I don't have the $$ for software or whatever, what's the first step? Check book out of library?

Can someone help me start? Don't mean to derail thread-pm if you want.

Thanks!
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Old 01-14-2008, 02:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Al Dente View Post
Help, help, help!!! I so want to do something about my budget and crazy credit card debt and the fact that now I'm a single mom without any cushion...but I don't know where to start. I don't have the $$ for software or whatever, what's the first step? Check book out of library?

Can someone help me start? Don't mean to derail thread-pm if you want.

Thanks!
I have not gotten a hold of the book yet myself.
From what I understand

#1 cut up your credit card.

#2 you want to build your emergency fund up to $1000.
Budget your expenses. Cut out any spending that is just 'I want'. Only buy it if you can't survive with out it. (check out some of the living frugaly threads, they are great).

#3 when you EF reaches $1000, start to put that money into your debts(on top of your monthly payments). Start with the smallest debt.
When that debt is paid off you then put the money you were paying into that into your next biggest debt.
Its called snowballing, because the amount of money you can pay off into debt gets bigger and bigger when ever you succesfully pay off a small debt.

Then you save up a 2 month living expenses amount of money (I think).
And then you invest.

Decluttering 500/2010
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Old 01-14-2008, 01:35 PM
 
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Thanks everyone Thanks to couponing, menu planning and sticking to my grocery list like glue, I was able to walk out of the store with $30 left in my envelope. I am going to put it in the piggy bank right now. Bringing the EF up to $871.59.

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Originally Posted by Guinevere View Post
Jaime, that's totally impressive, hooray for you!

How long have you been building up the EF?

Guin
I started at the tail end of December. I read Dave's book, talked at length with DH, and we decided that getting out of debt was more important than:

1. Any extra driving trips.
2. Eating out.
3. Not planning meals so we end up buying way too many groceries.
4. Buying household items that we think we "need" but probably wont use anyway.

Those were the biggest steps for us.

The main reason it filled up so fast, and I am embarassed to admit it, was that I stopped going to the local Big Box Store. I took a hard look at our checking account history and I knew exactly where my money was going. I feel that at least $600 of my EF is due to me not walking in to that store. I did not go in for over a month. I get my medicine filled there, so I had DH go instead to pick it up for me, then I switched to a local pharmacy instead, one that is on the way to my job. When I go to Big Box Store I always walk out with a hundred dollars or so of things I "need." When the time did come for DH to need new work shoes and for me to need winter boots, DH and I BOTH went to Big Box Store and we walked directly to the shoe section, compared prices for over an hour and walked out with only one pair of work shoes for DH and one pair of boots for me. Then I imposed the ban on Big Box Store again until the time comes in the future where we can get the best price there, and only if we BOTH go in- I don't trust myself there at all.

The second thing was fast food. I work a lot, 70 hours a week, and I would use that as an excuse to hit a drive through instead of eating at home. No more. Now I plan ahead. Bonus, I have lost 25 pounds! So it worked out as a money savings AND a health savings.

The third area was groceries. I never had a plan, never had a goal. I would just walk in the store aimlessly, filling my cart, then throwing a lot of stuff away when it would go bad.

Now I sit down and plan a menu for two week's worth of dinners. I take in to account the nights we eat dinner at church with the prayer group, and family dinner nights. Then I pick a meal that we both like that also fits in to the time I have for that day. For example, I sleep at work several nights a week, so on those nights I know I need a quicker meal that I can prepare in the afternoon before work. On nights when I don't work, I can make things that take longer to cook because I have more time. I also figure up if there will be leftovers. This helped too because DH and I would overeat. Now if I cook something that is supposed to have 4 servings, I get the 4 servings. I take out two of them and put them away for leftovers or lunches, then serve us on the plates. So I then know how many leftover lunches DH and I will have to eat. So once I do that, then I know how many days I need to pack DH a sandwich lunch. I only buy enough lunch meat for those days, so I don't have any waste. For myself since I work nights, a lunch at home is usually soup and some homemade bread. Cheap and good. I also attribute some weight loss to this as well

I also go through coupons for the week. I only have one store I can shop at because the other option is said Big Box Store that I refuse to go in to. I have found that I save a lot more at the local grocery store than I did going to Big Box Store, so I am not out anything, I am actually saving. I only use the coupons I have for things we EAT. I don't use a coupon just because I have a coupon. I also only use a coupon if the item is going to end up cheaper than the store brand. Sometimes the store brand is always a better deal, so often that is what I end up with anyway. I am fine with store brands of soups, mac and cheese, juice, etc.

So I started out with a food budget of $200 every two weeks. When I first started Dave's plan I cut out $25 of it automatically, so when I go shopping twice a month I only take $175 cash with me. And so far I have always saved even more on top of that. I saved $30 today, and I actually shopped for more than two weeks because I had a lot of coupons and they had some good sales. So I probably wont spend that much next trip because of this one, which will save me even more.

I feel good about it. I don't feel deprived at all. I find that I actually enjoy cooking a homemade meal rather than going out to eat. And if we want a treat once in a while, I make homemade brownies instead, and it is just as good as any dessert we could go out and buy.

So after over a month of no Big Box shopping and no fast food, I had a surplus of money in my account that I used for the EF. Plus, I haven't really "needed" anything, per say. I mean, I haven't noticed anything that I "need" to have, because I realized that I already have enough!

So in two weeks when we get paid again, I should have the EF at $1000.
Sorry to ramble. I hope this helps someone. If you had told me last month that I would ever have over $800 in savings I would have laughed at you. Honestly, I am 29 years old and this is the most I have ever managed to save. My husband is just blown away that I have done this. He keeps going "Are you sure? We will have $1000 by the end of the month?? How did you manage that? I don't feel like we have given that much up!" And I say yes!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggi315 View Post
Get ready, I'm going to indulge in a bit of self-whine today....



So we talked with an attorney and 2 real estate agents. We sent letters explaining our situation to our mortgage companies, we have a prepayment penalty of 9K on the first one.

No good news. We "unofficially" put the house on the market ourselves, no bites. Looking at local comps and other houses for sale, ours would at most go for 310K right now.

Soooo, that means right off, we'd have a short sale of 20K, our second mortgage is 80K, they would lose 1/4, none of the people we talked to thought that they'd go for a 25% loss.

Plus, we'd need the 9K for the penalty, company is known nationally to be unwilling to budge on this, in fact, just talking to them on the phone has been a real pain, there are tons of complaints against them (our mortgage was sold, we didn't originally go with them). I tried to talk to them about even refinancing with them to get of the prepayment penalty, they were really rude.

Then, we would need closing costs, another 10K (figuring 4%, if we did a fsbo type of thing and used an attorney), and moving costs (if we rent, 1st and last month rent, hookups for utilities, moving van, etc.) comes to about 2K,

So total needed to sell: 21K out of pocket with a 20K short sale.

Totally sucks that we can't even afford to sell our house!!!

We did get an offer for a place to rent that has wonderful benefits but a few drawbacks, not sure what to think. It is a log house that my amish own and are moving to take over the farm, the amish will always keep their land, but they are willing to rent it to us for a few years for 800/month.

Benefits: They don't care we have dogs, no water or sewer bill, heating costs would be 0 in the winter because there is acres and acres of woods and it has a 2 story fireplace with blowers and a basement woodstove. So, I figured, looking at the real estate part, it would save us over 30K/year.

Disadvantages: Main: If we moved, and house doesn't sell, we would be stuck with either two payments(we can barely pay one now, so can't see that as an option) or letting house go into foreclosure. At that point, our credit would be horrible and we would be stuck if family wanted house back after 1-2 years.

Other disadvantages:
- -House is in the middle of nowhere, it's a good 45-60 minute drive to places, so we would be on the road much more (even to go to church, there's none up there our religion, we would have to travel for that).
--- House is on a steep, long hill so a 4X4, plow, something like that is an absolute necessity. Many people up in these hills have ATV's for when they need to park at the bottom, that wouldn't be so easy with 7 of us, including little ones. It's probably at least 1/8 to 1/4 mile up a steep hill!
---Given my mounting health problems, I can't see myself out cutting wood, or walking up a steep mountain. (besides my pituitary tumor, I found out I have chiari and syringomyelia and may need surgeries for both of these).
---Hubby would be gone much longer hours, leaving me home alone with kids to watch, my oldest is moving to go to college probably, so I will be stuck home without friends nearby to help when I am sick or recovering from surgery)
---House is 1/2 size of what we have now, we would have only 2 very small bedrooms to fit everyone into, plus a small loft for playtoys and such. So, not much privacy or anything. It's a gorgeous layout and house, just not really built for a family of 7.

Anyway, any comments or other ideas would be appreciated. When I first joined, our plans were for hubby to work more (he is commissioned), and me to continue teaching college 2 days per week, plus pick up more midwife clients. Because of my illness, working more isn't an option for either of us, we'd have to cut back. And I don't see that improving for at least a year, hopefully by then, I will be back on my feet and ready to go back to work.

Sometimes, I think this just isn't going to work, with the decrease income, stupid house purchase, mounting medical bills that can't be paid (we are working out payment arrangements, but when they keep coming, it's easy to owe over 1000/month which is what we are doing now), and other bills, I think we're going to end up in bankruptcy!

The fact that my husband and I are constantly thinking about money, arguing, refiguring budget,etc. is wearing me down both physically and mentally (I don't make cortisol anymore, so doctors tell me I have to avoid stress! yeah, well, that's not happening). We fight about stuff like the fact that he still chews tobacco, which I think is ridiculous since the kids and I are shopping at goodwill, he is driving a volvo (which he is over 7K upside in the loan and can't sell the stupid car), chewing tobacco, eating out when he works, drinks tons of soda, and basically thinks he should do whatever he wants. Yeah, I know, I should get him to change, show him the books, watch the videos, etc. Done that, even our pastor has talked at length with him, ain't working and is exhausting to me, 'cause bottom line is that a person doesn't change unless they want to. And his lack of financial savy is what got us into this mess!


Thanks for letting me whine and think this through on paper! I've been trying to use my secret principles, meditation, Louise Hays stuff, prayer, counseling, did the dave ramsey course, etc. And now, I'm just tired today, maybe tomorrow I'll feel better about everything, but today I have pain, feel sick with stomach bug, and just basically b@tchy about the whole thing.

End of whine....
I don't have any advice, but I wanted to offer a

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Dente View Post
Help, help, help!!! I so want to do something about my budget and crazy credit card debt and the fact that now I'm a single mom without any cushion...but I don't know where to start. I don't have the $$ for software or whatever, what's the first step? Check book out of library?

Can someone help me start? Don't mean to derail thread-pm if you want.

Thanks!
I agree with the PP, cut up that card and hit the library for the book

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Old 01-14-2008, 01:38 PM
 
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Bunnyslippers and Al Dente (and other newbies), here are the steps:

1. $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund

2. Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball

3. 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings

4. Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement

5. College funding for children

6. Pay off home early

7. Build wealth and give! Invest in mutual funds and real estate

And you can listen to archives of his radio show here:
http://www.daveramsey.com/tdrs/

I'm listening to Friday's show now. The debt free calls are really inspiring.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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Old 01-14-2008, 01:54 PM
 
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I've made the decision anyway, but I'm wondering if it's what I *should* have done.

My sewing machine broke. I NEED a sewing machine, I use it constantly, it saves us a ton of money as a family. I also need a new wrap... the one I have isn't cushy enough and cuts off my circulation when I try to do back carries.

So, I'm selling my serger to fund both things... I don't use it much, and I'd rather have a new machine and wrap. Obviously I cannot wait until the end of the babysteps for these things

Just curious on opinions...

Our EF is down to $80 from a bit over $100 because DH needed a part for his car But that's still not bad, I don't think.

I'm going to try to go through the house and find more to sell today... throwing money at the savings account is addicting!

Dawn, mama to D (3.06) & N (9.07) C (11.09) & Still-in-shock surprise due in Aug!
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Old 01-14-2008, 02:03 PM
 
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I would probably put the money you would have spent on the wrap into the emergency fund and just skip the back carries for now.

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Old 01-14-2008, 02:29 PM
 
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I would probably put the money you would have spent on the wrap into the emergency fund and just skip the back carries for now.
Yeah, but then I wouldn't be able to clean the house... and while I would be okay with that, DH would lose his mind I wish DD was like DS was... he was perfectly content to hang out on his blanket... DD must be held all.the.time.

Hopefully I'll be able to sell my old wrap once this one gets here, and then I can put that money in the EF...

Dawn, mama to D (3.06) & N (9.07) C (11.09) & Still-in-shock surprise due in Aug!
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:31 PM
 
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Daisie125... as a mama that is babywearing; (usually a back carry) while cooking no less than 2 meals a day, I understand about babywearing being a need and not a want.
Have you looked on the FSOT board at the Babywearer? Or have you looked into another kind of baby carrier like a Patapum? That is a great choice for a lot less money typically than a good wrap.
Good luck searching,
TM
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:52 PM
 
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I have been babywearing with four different kids for the past seven years. With carriers that I've gotten either used or free.

I can say now that I have the BEF in place, if I had only $80 in an emergency fund I wouldn't do it. I'd be making one myself with a sheet before I spent that $80 or used money I could have added to it. (When I worked at the Y, one of the ladies did a back carry with half a sheet she tied in the front)

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Old 01-14-2008, 04:46 PM
 
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Don't forget pre-baby step #1 is get current on all your bills.

Carrie, mom to Johnathan (7-02), Brodie (2-04), Kate (12-06), Jordan (9-08), (4-09) & Maggie (3-10)
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Guinevere View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm new to this thread and hope you don't mind me joining in, since I'm definitely still learning the ropes and have only read one book by Dave Ramsey thus far.

Right now, I have two main questions regarding my family's budget.

1. Every month, our food budget ALWAYS goes over, despite menu planning, making extra meals for the freezer, and vowing only to eat out once a week (on our date night.) Do you have any other suggestions for me to try and keep it more in line? I'm nervous about using an envelope system, b/c I don't want to have cash lying around that I could potentially lose. I have thought about buying gift cards to our local grocery store, though, to help keep me within my budget. What do you think?

2. Looking over Dave's steps, I see we've done some things sort of backwards. For example, right now we actually do have about 2 1/2 months' worth of living expenses socked away in savings, but we also have about $6600 of cc debt (at 0% interest) that we still haven't paid off b/c our former house hasn't sold. The savings is earning close to 6% interest right now and we aren't in a place to be able to put anything new towards it until the old house sells (and who knows how long that might be at this point?) Would you deplete your savings to pay off the debt, knowing that you won't be able to replenish the savings? We are making payments on the debt, but only about $150/month, b/c that's what we can afford right now.


Thank you so much for any input you could give me!

Kind regards,
Guin
You can keep with the tea/coffee and maybe an app or desert instead of a whole meal, or try a local cafe. Planning is good. I make my shopping list based on loss leaders (front and back pages) at the local stores. You can plan meals around those. I take out $75/wk cash for my envelope for groceries, but my folly is that I don't use a calculator and if I go over, I tend to swipe my debit card! Which I went over $8 the last trip.

Dave works on emotions and not really the math. Not everyone here follows it to the letter. Is the o% until paid in Full? If that is the case, then IMO it is foolish to pay it off and deplete your savings. If you have an emergency, then you will have to use CC again and I doubt new purchases or Cash advances are 0%. I would just put anything extra into the debt snowball, and then work on building emergency fund after debt. DR also says that $1,000 emergency fund may not be enough for everyone, so it sounds like your 2 1/2 mos of living expenses is a good Baby emergency fund for you to have in place.
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:39 PM
 
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I just found out that dh and I are getting half of our FPU fees paid by a scholarship! : This means we are only paying $50 for the course and childcare is free! Starting this Sunday evening, the next 13 weeks will have two hours dedicated to learning how to get out of this mess.
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:51 PM
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Barb, hang tough. You're in a tough spot. I'd claim bankruptcy and think about where else I might live. Amish place sounds tough.

Best of luck!


Jaime, congrats! You and I started about the same time and we're both doing great! It feels so good to know HOW the bills are getting paid this month.
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Old 01-14-2008, 07:42 PM
 
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I have thought about buying gift cards to our local grocery store, though, to help keep me within my budget. What do you think?
I think if that will help you stay in budget, it's a great idea. Our grocery budget is $100 a week for the six of us. I don't go over it because if I do, well, that'll screw up my budget. Some weeks I take cash with me. If I get to the register and I've gone over, I pick out things for them to put back.

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Old 01-14-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Daisie125 View Post
Yeah, but then I wouldn't be able to clean the house... and while I would be okay with that, DH would lose his mind I wish DD was like DS was... he was perfectly content to hang out on his blanket... DD must be held all.the.time.

Hopefully I'll be able to sell my old wrap once this one gets here, and then I can put that money in the EF...
Do you have a ring sling? I can do a back carry in a ring sling now. I saw it on youtube. I can also do it with a sheet. You could also go buy a good length of fabric and the cost would still be way under $80.

hh2.gif

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Old 01-14-2008, 08:53 PM
 
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Eeks, I have to say I can't imagine going around the grocer with a calculator (and a toddler...). What I do is weekly go to the ATM and take out what is our cash for the week (for lunches, groceries, etc. that all are "flexible" in the amount they can total). i do the grocery right off the top. Whatever I don't spend in groceries is our spending cash for the week. Gives me an incentive to keep the grocery bill down, but not so much that it makes shopping a pain. also, I think the amount of spending cash I need is sort of related to what I buy - - if I buy stuff to pack my and dh's lunches, then we don't need cash to buy it out...

Everyone is doing so amazing! Cognrats!

Barb- hugs! sorry you are having a crisis...

thinking of the student loan thread here (I'm in the 75-100K range), I really am feeling like I have to take the student loan debt out of the debt snowball and include it with the mortgage... are others doing that too?
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TanyaS View Post
I just found out that dh and I are getting half of our FPU fees paid by a scholarship! : This means we are only paying $50 for the course and childcare is free! Starting this Sunday evening, the next 13 weeks will have two hours dedicated to learning how to get out of this mess.
That is wonderful

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Originally Posted by Red View Post
Barb, hang tough. You're in a tough spot. I'd claim bankruptcy and think about where else I might live. Amish place sounds tough.

Best of luck!


Jaime, congrats! You and I started about the same time and we're both doing great! It feels so good to know HOW the bills are getting paid this month.
Congrats to you too! I love this program

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Old 01-14-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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thinking of the student loan thread here (I'm in the 75-100K range), I really am feeling like I have to take the student loan debt out of the debt snowball and include it with the mortgage... are others doing that too?
I am in the 100-125k category and I plan to add it to the mortgage step. It would take me long over 2 years to pay it off with the debt snowball. I do plant to pay a bit extra each month I think, just like the mortgage.
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by namellea View Post

thinking of the student loan thread here (I'm in the 75-100K range), I really am feeling like I have to take the student loan debt out of the debt snowball and include it with the mortgage... are others doing that too?
We have $62,000 combined in student loans. We don't have a mortgage, and the student loans are our largest chunk, so they are last on our snowball anyway. Does treating them like the mortgage mean start saving for retirement and finish the emergency fund before paying them off? With just our consumer debt, if we are really intense, we could pay it off in 3 years or less. But the student loans will take forever.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 born at 31 weeks Oct. 2014
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:08 PM
 
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Hi! I've been lurking! I have a few questions about the DR site and the free trial:

-do you have to remember to cancel your free trial? (what i mean is when the free trial is over will it start charging you or just deny you entrance to the site?)

-are the budget forms i have heard some people mention downloadable (<--new word, folks!) or only able to be used during your membership?

thanks!
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:30 PM
 
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The main reason it filled up so fast, and I am embarassed to admit it, was that I stopped going to the local Big Box Store.
That was a trigger for me, too. Our local Costco is cheap, yes, but when you count the extra I'd spend on other stuff that seemed "too well priced to pass up" I wasn't saving any money!

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Plus, I haven't really "needed" anything, per say. I mean, I haven't noticed anything that I "need" to have, because I realized that I already have enough!
I noticed this, too. It's amazing how a shift in attitude for one reason (wanting to save) creates a chain reaction of attitude shifts (towards what we're eating and what Things we *thought* we needed but really don't).

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If you had told me last month that I would ever have over $800 in savings I would have laughed at you. Honestly, I am 29 years old and this is the most I have ever managed to save. My husband is just blown away that I have done this. He keeps going "Are you sure? We will have $1000 by the end of the month?? How did you manage that? I don't feel like we have given that much up!" And I say yes!!!
That is SO fabulous and such an inspirational story. Thanks for sharing!


And Barb, I just read your story and am so sorry. I guess this is an example of the housing market disaster we keep reading about here in Canada? I'm hope you guys can find a way to keep your heads above water...

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Old 01-14-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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Jaime, I lost weight too when we started the plan (that's what we call it - the plan- as in "DH, that computer part is NOT in THE PLAN!"). I was embarassed for DH to see the fast food when we would go through the bank statement. We should write a diet book!

Doesn't DR say if you have massive student loans, you outta be making a great salary, so you should be able to snowball them? Maybe you all could see how it looks when you get to that point. We didn't plan to pay ours off, but we were on a roll at the end and went for it. A lot of people who call in to do the "We're debt free!" thing say the last thing they paid off (ie biggest debt) was the student loans. Just rambling here, I'm not in the huge SL situation, so I don't know...

For those having problems getting DP on the plan, one thing I did was plan a car trip when I knew DR would be on the radio. DH really got into the show. Maybe try setting small goals to start, like making his lunch for him (no effort on his part), then calculate how much you're saving and show him. Or add up all the $ the BOTH of you blow on sodas, junk, etc and point out how you could pay off a credit card if you saved that money for one month (or two or whatever).

How is everyone doing on the steps? My debt free date is still Feb 22, 2008!

mom to DD 3/09
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:08 AM
 
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Eeks, I have to say I can't imagine going around the grocer with a calculator (and a toddler...)
Snacks and toys are my best friend. And stickers. Though I am lucky because DD is 4, and she is a little better about sitting still while I shop - and my parents will usually keep an eye on her while I run to the store.

I think having flexible money works well - I do something similar. I take out all of my "blow" money at the beginning of the month, and my grocery money comes out weekly. I don't budget for toiletries, medicine, haircuts, clothes, eating out, etc. - I just take it out of my blow money. So if I am doing my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's, and I want to get toothpaste, I will take it out of my grocery budget. If I am at Target buying toiletries and they are having a good sale on food items, I will just buy them out of my blow money, rather than trying to split the bill between two envelopes. Eating out is considered blow money (which makes me not want to do it because I don't want to waste my "fun" money on food!), but this week we have a pizza party with our playgroup, and since a small pizza will be dinner for 2 nights for DD and I, I just budgeted that into my grocery money for the week.

So I do some borrowing back and forth with the envelopes, but it all works out. And at the end of the month, whatever's left over from both envelopes will just be extra money that I will tack on to my debt snowball.



What I do is weekly go to the ATM and take out what is our cash for the week (for lunches, groceries, etc. that all are "flexible" in the amount they can total). i do the grocery right off the top. Whatever I don't spend in groceries is our spending cash for the week. Gives me an incentive to keep the grocery bill down, but not so much that it makes shopping a pain. also, I think the amount of spending cash I need is sort of related to what I buy - - if I buy stuff to pack my and dh's lunches, then we don't need cash to buy it out...

Everyone is doing so amazing! Cognrats!

Barb- hugs! sorry you are having a crisis...

thinking of the student loan thread here (I'm in the 75-100K range), I really am feeling like I have to take the student loan debt out of the debt snowball and include it with the mortgage... are others doing that too?[/QUOTE]
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:13 AM
 
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We have $62,000 combined in student loans. We don't have a mortgage, and the student loans are our largest chunk, so they are last on our snowball anyway. Does treating them like the mortgage mean start saving for retirement and finish the emergency fund before paying them off? With just our consumer debt, if we are really intense, we could pay it off in 3 years or less. But the student loans will take forever.
I have heard him tell people with large student loans to do them with the mortgage in certain cases, and in others, I have heard him tell people to put them in the snowball. I think if I were in your shoes, I would probably do the debt snowball, then do the 3-6 month emergency fund, then pay off the student loans ASAP, and then work on retirement.

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-do you have to remember to cancel your free trial? (what i mean is when the free trial is over will it start charging you or just deny you entrance to the site?)
You have to remember to cancel, or they will bill you. Also, check the terms of your trial. Mine was only 7 days, but I have heard of others getting 30 days. You can always check your account status and it will tell you when you are due to be billed.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:38 AM
 
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I have $19,000 in student loans, thanks mostly to working two or more jobs the whole way through college and paying a lot of it up front. I have a teaching degree, but sadly teachers do not make much, and right now there are no open jobs so I am working at the DV shelter anyway, though still using my degree because a lot of it works for the kids who live there. I don't feel that I wasted the money getting my degree, but I did know going in to it that I would never make a lot of money.

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Old 01-15-2008, 12:39 AM
 
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Today I was able to pay off my gymboree card ($1225) since we got an unexpected refund check from our old mortgage company. We refinanced in December to get out of an ARM.

Here I come Target card!!

This is so exciting!

SAHM to the munchkins (14.5, 11.5, 9.5, 3, and almost 2)
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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I have a small victory! Somehow, our electric bill is down about $50, from $200 to $150. I don't know WHY it was so high, but I've been turning out lights, trying not to use the space heater. I finally switched our main kitchen lights to compact flourescents.

When you are at the brink of spending just more than you make or spending just less than you make, it's nice to come out on the positive side of the equation.

I suspect part of it had to do with being out of town for 4 days, but that doesn't account for all of the difference.

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by my2girlz View Post
Today I was able to pay off my gymboree card ($1225) since we got an unexpected refund check from our old mortgage company. We refinanced in December to get out of an ARM.

Here I come Target card!!

This is so exciting!
That's great!

Did you cancel the card? Do you have a good plasectomy story for us?

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:26 AM
 
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That's great!

Did you cancel the card? Do you have a good plasectomy story for us?
I did not cancel it. No good plasectomy story either. I've taken it out of my wallet though.

SAHM to the munchkins (14.5, 11.5, 9.5, 3, and almost 2)
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:32 AM
 
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Just stumbled upon this Dave Ramsey thread. DH and I started his plan and August and have paid off over $60k so far. Our snowball is on hold for the moment since I am pregnant, but will resume once our little one is here safe and sound. We have about $20k of debt to knock out still and will have it done by the end of the year!

~ deb, BFAR mommy to ds1 Dec 7, 2003, Jan 08, ds2 Sept 20, 2009
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