Need advice for getting out of debt LONG - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 24 Old 04-01-2008, 02:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Here are our stats:

Monthly Net Income: (we pay $500 a month for medical insurance out of gross income)
$3445

Here's our debt (not including mortgage):

$19,000 in credit card debt
$6000 car loans
approx. $400 in medical debt (plus all 3 of us need dental work that will probably be another $700 total on the credit card)

Estimated Debt: $26,100

Monthly budget for family of 3:

Mortgage 680
Utilities 40
Gas/electric 160
Car Insurance 169
Car Payments 327
Credit Cards 380
Cell Bill 110
Home Phone/DSL 60
Gasoline 280
Medical Copays 400
Groceries/Household 400
Pets 50
Personal Spending (usually goes to restaurants and homeschool outings/classes) 240

There's about $100 more left over that's a cushion for unexpected (non-monthly) things.

Here's our situation:

Dh is the sole breadwinner and I am medically disabled. We've never had a savings account and we use credit cards for unexpected expenses. We've been skating by just paying minimum payments on credit cards for years and it's finally caught up with us.

We spend too much on going out to eat (at least $200 a month.) Besides going out to eat, our luxuries are cell and home phones with all the features and two cars. I don't know if our reasons for having the luxuries are reasonable or are just excuses.

Here is our rationale for our luxuries (no excuses for the going out to eat!):

Having two cars: Dh drives a lot for work (part of our net income is a car allowance and mileage reimbursement.) I have lots of doctor appointments to go to. And ds and I go a lot of places as homeschoolers. According to my mom (who doesn't own a car), our public transit system stinks and we live in a suburban area outside of the major city, so we get even less bus coverage here. It would be great to only have one car (especially because our cars have needed a few thousand dollars worth of work in the few years we've had them.) I just don't know if it's doable in our current situation. (But I'm open to ideas!)

Cell phones: Dh needs a cell phone for work (though they won't pay for one.) My cell phone costs another $15 a month and we share minutes. Dh relies on a PDA to help with his ADD and since his old one crapped out, he decided to replace it with a cell phone/PDA combo with internet, text messages, etc... Our cell bill went up from $85 to $110.

Home phone/DSL: We used to have a regular phone line, but dh wanted a faster connection for his World of Warcraft playing and in order to have high speed internet here, you have to get call waiting and caller ID on the phone too. (It's a package deal that added $30 to our phone bill.)

The biggest thing I struggle with is actually doing what I know I need to do. Not going out to eat is an obvious one. How do you develop the self-discipline it takes to really get responsible with money and get out of debt?

Book-lovin', relaxed homeschoolin', dog snugglin' mom of the best kid EVER!  AND...waiting for baby #2, due 5/9/14!  stork-boy.gif

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#2 of 24 Old 04-01-2008, 02:51 AM
 
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When you think you are going to spend money...Think of how many hours of work it would take to pay for the item(s). Usually 9 out of 10 times it's not worth it.

Lists are your friend! Keep a running list of 'wants' take a week or so to think it over. When you cut out impulse buying, you spend less or hopefully nothing.

I would trim your budget ASAP, dial up 'net. Sorry DH, WOW isn't THAT cool. No eating out, cook from scratch. Stay away from pre-packaged foods...You will spend more $, so you might as well just eat out.

Since you have a home phone, drop your cell. Cut back your DH's service. (I know ouch right?)

Your utilities are already pretty low so there isn't much to trim....

Check out Dave Ramsey and the no spending mamas threads.

HTH, I feel for you...For the last two years my family has been pretty strapped and it's just stressful. The COL seems to double every few weeks.
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#3 of 24 Old 04-01-2008, 06:42 AM
 
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If you are going to keep DSL at home, you really need to cut back on your personal spending. Have you looked for cheaper car insurance rates? Those seem high to me. We also have full coverage on two vehicles, but only pay $115 a month with Progressive. Maybe it would be easier if you start slow. Give yourself $100 in personal money this month and see how it goes. Put the credit cards up!! That is the best advice I can give. I also highly recommend checking out Dave Ramsey. There is a great support thread here, and you can check out his books at the library. You can do this. We have been in a similar situation with $15400 in cc that is now down to apprx $5800. We are slowly knocking away at it. We have a $1000 emergency fund in place, and have not used our cc's in months. You can do this!!

Carrie, mom to Johnathan (7-02), Brodie (2-04), Kate (12-06), Jordan (9-08), (4-09) & Maggie (3-10)
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#4 of 24 Old 04-01-2008, 09:04 AM
 
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Another vote for Dave Ramsey. He isn't a save all, end all, but his methods can give you some structure that your family needs.

Once you get things going, you can tweek his plan to better work for you.

Eating out is history. The only reason you should see the inside of a restaurant is if one of you is working there part time.

Cuts everywhere. Even shaving off $5-$15 dollars off every bill will add up to a good savings that you can roll into debt payments.

I've paid off close to $30K in a little more than two years, it's do-able, but it takes disapline... now if I could only apply that disapline to taking off some extra weight I carry around.... ah well, it's progress.

Chin up, you've done the hard part, you've admitted you have an issue. You and DH need to sit down and figure it out together. No anger, just work together to get a plan in place.

Good luck
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#5 of 24 Old 04-01-2008, 09:25 AM
 
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I think that finding the discipline is like quitting smoking or any other bad habit, you just have to be in the position where you are so sick of this debt looming over your head you'll do anything to get out of it... that's what's finally clicked for us. We had to realize that if we had $5 that was $5 that could be put towards a credit card. No eating out, we each get $15 a week mad money and that's it. We try to make it an adventure every week to find fun outings that are free or close to it.

I find it helps if you can make a list of all of the things you can do & accomplish once the debt is gone, it will help keep you focused. Good luck!

SAM, momma to 3 beautiful babies: Tristan (5), Gabriel (4) , & Brighton (2)

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#6 of 24 Old 04-02-2008, 03:35 AM
 
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Two cars sound completely reasonable in your situation. But make it two cards you pay for in cash. I'd sell one or both cars (unless you have just a mere few months left on them) and buy something in cash. If you can't make any $$ off the sale, then I'd make my focus (after saving a few hundred as a little emergency fund) saving up to buy a used but reliable car. If you got rid of both payments, an extra $300 a month can go a long way--four months and you'd have the medical debt paid off plus saved for the dental work to pay in cash (which may get you a discount--worth asking the dentist!).
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#7 of 24 Old 04-02-2008, 04:30 AM
 
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How about 'trying' out the public transportation system. Just because you mom doesnt like it, doesn't mean it wont work for you. You can keep your car for now but occassionally take the bus. Also combine trips/appointments. When you are out, pack your lunch, drinks and snacks.

If you are disabled, are you getting SSI or disability income, are you able to babysit or work part time for a few extra $$'s

$240 for 'personal' spending... I would be cutting that asap.. thats approx 3000$/year you can toss toward debt payments. Homeschool field trips are fun but most are $$, look for free activities and discount days. 2 months of no personal spending and your medical is paid off.

Also do a pantry challenge month, use up what you have and dont buy many groceries for the month. Its fun, creative and really opens your eyes to what you have.

I'd call around for internet/phone service. If you are paying that much for cell service your home phone should be minimal or not at all. There are many different internet providers, i think verizon has a special going on now.

good luck and keep us posted....
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#8 of 24 Old 04-02-2008, 11:33 AM
 
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Your Car insurance seems steep to me. Is there a reason for it? Bad drivign record? Accidents? I know that insurance rates are being based on credit rating more and more, and with that much CC debt its possible you're not getting the best rate, but that seems *really* steep.

Some of your reasons for the luxuries are just excuses, IMO. Getting the cell/PDA combo was overkill, especially since I'm betting that it went on the CC, didn't it? I'm still using a 7-year-old Palm to help me keep things on track. You don't need color or fancy stuff to have it do reminders, keep your tod-do list and calendar, etc.

In fact, I'd say that for someone using it to help with ADD, having the integrated cell/PDA could be detrimental -- alll that added distraction in the ability to be constantly checking for emails, checking for text and calls, fiddling with it, etc.

I would bet if you call around you can get DSL without the extra services on your phone. There's also often 2 levels of DSL service, one significantly cheaper than the other. I understand that people need some kind of downtime activity, and at least WOW keeps a DH home, but when you're running that close to the edge something has to change.

I know you didn't list it as a luxury, but 400 in copays? I wonder if that can be negotiated down? Do you qualify for a select benefits account through DH's work, where you can set aside pretax money to pay medical bills including copays? That could save you some serious money if you're spending that much on copays.

I second the idea of tryign public transport to see if it works for you. On the one hand, if you're not using it becuase you MUST be someplace at Hour X (eg, you're going to the museum and don't have to be there at a certain time) it can be less frustrating. On the other hand, it can be more difficult with kids in tow. On the OTHER hand, kids often find public transport an adventure!

Reduce that fuel bill - drive as much less as you can, combine fun homeschool outings with errands where possible. Stay home - if you're not out, you're less likely to eat out (I know that when we do fun outings on weekends somehow "just grabbing some lunch" always becomes part of the plan). Have "stay at home days" and challenge yourself to drive less - make it part of talking about reducing your carbon footprint or using family resources more responsibly. If your child is old enough, you could make it into an activity - chart the miles driven on each car each week!

And yes, if you really cannot work, have you applied for Social Security disability benefts?

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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#9 of 24 Old 04-02-2008, 12:05 PM
 
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Things I see:

Gas - Anything above what your DH needs and you have to have to get to med appointments should be cut. Errands on way to or from Dr. only, and no trips to HS events for a few months.

Groceries - We're living on $200 for a family of 3 eaters plus special water for our non-eater

Car insurance: I'd call around on that quote - DO you need all the services you have?

Phone/INternet - Try 2 different companies. I get a basic stripped down line, and then I have DSL from a different company and in total (for extra speed DSl, not the most basic) I pay $33

Cell bill - NIx it. If his work doesn't pay, then he doesn't truly have to have it. If they can't get in touch with him, they would be much more likely to provide one. Get a preapid one for emergencies so he could call in if need be, and limit the minutes to just a few a month. Or just go with the most reduced plan possible and no internet.

Pets: What do you spend 50$/month on? Can you order pet meds like heartworm and flea treatments online to get better prices? Are you saving the rest of the 50$ for vet bills - If not, cut it just to food/meds, and build an EF or better yet, put the extra pet $$ in a pet vet fund for annual shots, etc.
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#10 of 24 Old 04-02-2008, 12:09 PM
 
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Oh, and forgot to add...The 240$ for going out would pay for med bill and dental work in about 5-6 months. It could then pay off half of your cars in another year. NOw combine it with cutting your cell bill and home phone and you could probably pay off both cars in a year or so. Which leaves 327$ PLUS the 240$ plus what you've cut -we'll say 100$ towards CCs. Thats 667$ more each month, and means you could pay off your CCs in 2-2.5 years after cars. Realistically, you could be out of debt in 4 years time and starting to save.

I'd also check about extra work your DH could do, you could do on the down low, etc. If you can drive, you could throw papers. It sucks, but its an income. Or your DH could do it. Like I said, that 650$ extra here really makes the ends meet
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#11 of 24 Old 04-02-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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Do you feel fortunate? Consider this: You have A LOT of room here to make your budget work. Previous posters have made many great suggestions that could add up to real change for you. Many folks aren't so lucky. As a previous poster stated, the real question here is Are you and your DH ready?

You have a chance to get the debt snowball to really work quickly for you. The sooner the better. Time is money here. The longer you put off getting your budget under control the larger the problem becomes. Ask me how I know. We've gotten really serious though and have made great progress. You can too.

I agree with starting with Dave Ramsey. He's no god but the steps he suggests will give you a very good foundation.

Good for you for posting for help.

Now don't lose momentum - Get Going! (Where's the cheerleader smiley?)
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#12 of 24 Old 04-02-2008, 02:07 PM
 
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I don't have advice for cutting your spending because I need help myself.. and I like luxuries...however, that said, I will make a suggestion when it comes to your medical copays becaue I live that nightmare due to a very costly medical condition. If the majority of your copays are in prescriptions like mine are (eg. 5 drugs with $60 copays, and several others a month at $25) I would ask your doctor about samples. They do receive them and can often ask for and get them from their pharm. sales reps and they help considerably. I recently lost my health coverage due to a change in employment and it was either ask the doctor or go without because two of my scrips were over $300 for a month supply each. He had them in the office and had no problem getting additional samples so he gladly gave them to me.
Please don't feel uncomfortable or guilty about asking, just because we have health coverage doesn't mean we can afford the copays that go along with it when we need to see the dr. on a very regular basis and then have a handful of regular meds as well.
Good luck with everything else.
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#13 of 24 Old 04-02-2008, 04:40 PM
 
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Sorry this is short! I some how found the self-disciple to quit eating out and manage my money better after participating in the NO Spend thread on this board and reading The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Have you read it?

Homeschooling Momma to DD, DS, DD and DS two furry labs. Wife to my wonderful husband.
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#14 of 24 Old 04-02-2008, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, you guys are AMAZING! I feel so uplifted and supported by this thread! Thank you!

I'll try to answer the questions first. I am on Social Security disability and my son receives a monthly payment from the state for his disability. I included that income in our total net income in my first post. Although I am disabled, I can babysit when I am well. (I don't know anyone to babysit for though!)

Regarding medical insurance, I have Medicare Part A (hospital benefits only) and am covered for everything else through my husband's work's insurance. I am looking into whether it might be beneficial for me to switch to a Medicare plan for the rest of my insurance instead of being covered through my husband's work. Since we are not low income, my son can't get Medicaid or state insurance.

Regarding copays, I take 5 medications regularly. My son takes 4 and dh takes one. I would say our copays are pretty evenly divided between medication copays and doctor copays. At least $60 out of that $400 for medical copays goes toward medical debt.

I'm not sure why our car insurance is high. We have to have full coverage on both cars because they aren't paid off. I've had a few minor accidents. But we've always had the same insurance company and it's the same one we have for homeowner's insurance (so we get a 10% discount.) I will call Progressive and get a quote.

Our pets eat a big bag of Canidae every other month ($25) and they both are on Frontline and Heartguard. We buy the Frontline monthly (about $14 per dog) and buy the heartworm preventative 6 months at a time. Our little elderly rescue dog (we found him 5 months ago) is on 4 medications for skin allergies and arthritis. I don't save for vet bills. Usually the annual visits are paid for out of our cushion for the month and unexpected bills (Mac has cost us about $500 in vet bills since we found him-not including his medications) go on a credit card. Our vet charges reasonable prices compared to other vets, but they don't take payments. Like most vets now, they recommend getting Care Credit (which we don't want.)

I will talk to dh about "his expenses"--the technology stuff--but I think he feels like he doesn't get much fun stuff for all the work he does, so his technology is his reward. I'll try though.

Thanks for all your ideas. I hope I answered all your questions! Oh, I have read Dave Ramsey's book, but I never actually put any of his ideas into action.

Book-lovin', relaxed homeschoolin', dog snugglin' mom of the best kid EVER!  AND...waiting for baby #2, due 5/9/14!  stork-boy.gif

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#15 of 24 Old 04-03-2008, 12:43 AM
 
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First, stop borrowing money! Freeze those credit cards in a big block of ice.

Then start saving up an emergency fund so that you're not using the credit cards as your emergency fund.

You have $26k in consumer debt and are talking about charging dental work. You can pay for the dental work in cash if you work it into your budget.

Assuming you can sell them for enough to get out of the loans, I would sell at least one, if not both of the cars and buy cheap cars until your debt is paid off. Then pay cash for more reliable cars.

Is it possible for you to switch to generic drugs? I know that both Target and Walmart offer $4 prescriptions on generic drugs.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
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#16 of 24 Old 04-03-2008, 01:34 AM
 
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Here are my thoughts:

The internet would be gone. DH and I have never paid for the internet. I have it now because my Father got a deal on dial up for like, $4 a month and he bought us a chunk for a gift. Once it runs out, it runs out. We will not pay for it ourselves, because we really want out of debt.

I was another one who was told she "needed" a cell phone for work. I am on call basically 24 hours a day. We cancelled the regular phone service and got prepaid after we realized that in the year I have worked at my job, they have never once called me on the cell. They always reach me by landline, which is cheaper than the cell was. So I have a prepaid in case they truly need me. So I would look at your DH's phone plan and see just how much he needs for his job. I would eliminate a lot of the extras. I used to be a hard core text messenger. My cell phone company told me once that they stopped counting my texts after I hit 3000 in a month- and that was like, in the middle of the month when they said that : So yeah, I texted a lot. But when I got serious about getting out of debt, that had to go. I am still alive I have a texting friend who needs a 12 step program from not texting me, but it is okay

DH and I get a really small allowance to use. Maybe $40 a month, if that. Sometimes I eliminate it altogether. I think that the amount of money you spend eating out is outrageous. No offense, but you could do so much debt paying with that same chunk of cash.

I also agree with the others, no more credit cards!! Cut them or freeze them. Stop adding more debt on to what you have.

Also, I would get rid of one car payment and pay cash for a car. Something good enough to get you from point A to point B. I am still driving my first car. A 99 Cavalier. It is old and not so pretty, but she gets me to work and back, and she is paid for, so I am happy

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#17 of 24 Old 04-03-2008, 11:38 AM
 
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Just an idea on the internet...You could get high speed internet only through the cable company and then drop your land line alltogether and just use the cell phones.
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#18 of 24 Old 04-03-2008, 12:01 PM
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For the eating out habit, what we did was stock up on easy foods to keep in the house the first month that still seemed like treats. So a pizza crust and sauce, green curry sauce and chickpeas, stuffed noodles, stuff that we could pull out and be eating quickly the nights we were busy or didn't feel like cooking. Once we broke the habit of reaching for the phone we went back to our healthier eating habits. Now we'll splurge and build in a planned dinner out once a month or so.
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#19 of 24 Old 04-03-2008, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Lots of great ideas. Last night I printed out the bus routes in my town. There's not a lot of coverage, so I'll have to try it out and see if it would be doable. My car is a 2001 and dh's is a 2002. We bought them used and both of them have cost us around $1500-2000 in repairs since we got them 3-4 years ago. We owe a little over $2000 on the 2002 and more like $4000 on the 2001. I would love to be able to figure out how much we'd save a month by having one car.

We've considered a cell and no home phone before, but we wonder if that really works for people. We have 1100 or 1400 minutes to share with free nights and weekends, free long distance, and free incoming calls. The problem is, dh is on his cell phone ALOT for work. He drives all around and talks on his phone alot--and goes to a lot of meetings. That's pretty much his job. I am probably most reachable by cell phone too. I'm just wondering if we'd go over minutes without a home phone. I looked up getting high speed internet without a home phone and it's $30 a month. So we'd be saving $30 a month on that bill.

I know about charging the dental bills. It's because the dental work is needed right now and our dentists don't make payment arrangements. I should be able to save some of it before the appointments at the end of this month though.

Thank you all for all the ideas! I will research them and see if dh is on board with cutting down on the technology. I'm really going to try to give up going out to eat. It's like I'm addicted to it. It's a bad habit for me!

Book-lovin', relaxed homeschoolin', dog snugglin' mom of the best kid EVER!  AND...waiting for baby #2, due 5/9/14!  stork-boy.gif

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#20 of 24 Old 04-04-2008, 01:43 AM
 
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no trips to HS events for a few months
i wouldn't cut your homeschooling trips for a few months. i am assuming that you are your child's only teacher? and being an only teacher means its up to you to provide every experience and educational oppurtunity to your son, otherwise he misses out. please don't skimp here. money can be always be saved, but time can't be turned back and experiences had.

education and nourishing food are two sections that i will not skimp in. i will wear clothes with many obvious mends, sell our TV etc before i skimp on stuff that nourishes my kids body and mind. that said, try to do it as cheaply as you can, but don't eliminate that section entirely in the name of saving some dollars.

i also do understand wanting to keep the internet and i think this a reasonable request. it's pretty shitty when you work all day, day in day out to earn 3K and can't even get 1% of what you earn a month to fund something that is very lesuirely for you. could you look around for a cheaper plan though? maybe cut the home line entirely and use VoIP?

goodluck!
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#21 of 24 Old 04-04-2008, 03:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamamelia View Post
i wouldn't cut your homeschooling trips for a few months. i am assuming that you are your child's only teacher? and being an only teacher means its up to you to provide every experience and educational oppurtunity to your son, otherwise he misses out. please don't skimp here. money can be always be saved, but time can't be turned back and experiences had.

education and nourishing food are two sections that i will not skimp in. i will wear clothes with many obvious mends, sell our TV etc before i skimp on stuff that nourishes my kids body and mind. that said, try to do it as cheaply as you can, but don't eliminate that section entirely in the name of saving some dollars.

i also do understand wanting to keep the internet and i think this a reasonable request. it's pretty shitty when you work all day, day in day out to earn 3K and can't even get 1% of what you earn a month to fund something that is very lesuirely for you. could you look around for a cheaper plan though? maybe cut the home line entirely and use VoIP?

goodluck!
I agree with what you said! I do spend $50 every 7 weeks for two homeschool co-op classes. It's fun for ds and he gets to be around other kids. But if I'm being totally honest, most of the money spent on "homeschool field trips" really goes to going out to eat while we're on our way! Most of the things we do (swimming, zoo, lego club and game day with our homeschool groups) are free or don't cost much.

I don't know what VoIP is, but I did talk to dh about getting rid of the home phone and just have internet. He prefers to keep the home phone for now, but he was willing to cut our personal spending by 2/3. It's a start. Instead of just the $100 cushion, we'll now have $258 a month to work with.

We talked about Dave Ramsey's steps. He agreed we can put that $258 in a saving account for an emergency fund and then start the debt snowball with it after we get to $1000. Quick question: How should we pay off the medical debt and dental bills in relation to saving up the emergency fund? Which has priority?

I looked up our cars' values on the Blue Book website and found that we owe about $1500 less on dh's car than it's worth. That doesn't mean we could get someone to buy it for $3500, but it was interesting to find out. My car is worth about what we owe on it. Dh was a little nervous about the selling a car idea. He said we wouldn't be able to get a very good quality car for $1500-2000. And wouldn't we just end up having to pay more to get repairs on a cheaper car?

Thanks again for helping me. I look forward to being FREE of debt!

Book-lovin', relaxed homeschoolin', dog snugglin' mom of the best kid EVER!  AND...waiting for baby #2, due 5/9/14!  stork-boy.gif

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#22 of 24 Old 06-21-2008, 09:45 PM
 
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How should we pay off the medical debt and dental bills in relation to saving up the emergency fund? Which has priority?
I believe Dave Ramsey's philosophy is that you should pay things off in cash rather than racking up more debt even while you're trying to save up your emergency fund. The point is to avoid yet another payment which will end up costing more in the long run. So, I guess the (new) bills would be priority. As soon as they are paid, then start saving your emergency fund. Even if all you save in a month is 10cents, it's 10cents you didn't have before.

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And wouldn't we just end up having to pay more to get repairs on a cheaper car?
When you buy a second-hand car, make sure it's in good condition and reliable. Try to buy something which is easy and inexpensive to repair (usually this means domestic and not computerized). The point of getting rid of one car and replacing it with one which has been paid for in cash is that then you have *one less debt payment*, which means more "disposable" monthly income to throw into your savings or debt snowball.

Regarding VoIP: it's an acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol. I don't know much about it beyond that it allows you to use the internet to place (and sometimes receive) phone calls. An example is Vonage.
HTH

Wife of Michael , SAHM to Aristotle 09/99 Raphael 06/07 and Marius 05/09 Known only in dreams but never forgotten: Euphrates Decluttering 290/2010
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#23 of 24 Old 06-22-2008, 09:10 AM
 
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You have had so many great suggestions. I just wanted to point out that if you start hitting your debt hard now (maybe even finding a second income of some sort), once that is gone -- you will have your frugal ways (priceless!) AND about $700 extra income a month (car and credit card payments). That money can be saved and invested. So many people like the Dave Ramsey steps and since it is clear that you have a bit of extra money every month (mostly your eating out money - sorry about that!), you can probably start knocking down debt pretty quickly. Some alternatives to eating out: going out for breakfast or lunch rather than dinner, going out just for dessert (maybe ice cream cones?) or coffee. Buying some frozen entrees for those nights when it just seems impossible not to eat out. Keeping a list of "instant" meals for those same kind of nights (scrambled eggs, grilled cheese, stuff like that). Figuring out how far what you spent at the restaurant would go toward a credit card (say you spent $50 but that same amount of money would be worth $56 toward a 12% credit card debt, $59 on a 19% card). Learning to cook (can be a fun homeschooling challenge). You may also want to seek out some other homeschoolers enjoying the frugal life that might be up just for cheap playdates or meeting at the playground or a cooperative learning activity. I imagine all homeschoolers are being hit hard in this economy with the gas prices and being one income families. That was one of the reasons we stopped homeschooling - all the activities were too far away and the gas prices hit us hard. My family is just coming out of a couple of years of extreme frugality and finding that we have extra $ at the end of the month. In retrospect, it wass't that bad (even kind of fun), and the peaceful feeling is wonderful. You can do this.
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#24 of 24 Old 06-23-2008, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, interestingly enough, two days after my last post, my husband lost his job! And he still hasn't found another one with benefits. He's doing construction with friends until he finds a job that will meet our needs. So while paying down debt isn't possible right now, the frugal tips sure are! Thank you!

Book-lovin', relaxed homeschoolin', dog snugglin' mom of the best kid EVER!  AND...waiting for baby #2, due 5/9/14!  stork-boy.gif

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