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<p>Do you want to get out of debt? Start living on a budget? Be able to start saving? Then this is the thread for you! Some of us use Dave Ramsey's method but please join us even if you're following someone else/your own plan. All are welcome!</p>
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<p id="user_yui_3_3_0_7_1304277727156159" style="margin:0px;padding:0px 0px 2px;">Here's DR's plan:</p>
<p id="user_yui_3_3_0_7_1307578309727161" style="margin:0px;padding:0px 0px 2px;">Pre-Step 1: Get current on your debts and do a budget<br>
0.1 No new borrowing.<br>
0.2 Talk with spouse and get him/her on the same page as you concerning finances.<br>
0.3 Do a written budget<br>
0.4 Temporarily stop all retirement contributions<br>
0.5 Get current on all the basics (Shelter, Food, Utilities, Basic clothing)<br>
0.6 Amputate "toys" (bikes, boats, ATV's etc) to help snowball<br>
0.7 Cut lifestyle (Cut cable, cell, extras, eating out) and/or get a second job to raise $1000 EF.<br>
0.8 Get current on ALL bills<br><br>
BS1 $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund<br>
1.1 Chop up/freeze CC's (You have an EF now)<br>
1.2 Get Health insurance NOW if in the US<br>
1.3 Get Life insurance NOW if you have considerable debt/your family couldn't make it financially if you died.<br>
1.4 Amputate cars that you can't pay off within 24 months<br><br>
BS2 Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball<br>
2.0 Do the debt snowball, paying all your debts from lowest BALANCE to highest.<br><br>
BS3 Three to six months of expenses in savings<br>
3.1 Start car replacement fund<br>
3.2 Save up 20% for home purchase OR pay down existing mortgage to the point you can drop PMI.<br>
3.3 Start furniture or other non-essential stuff replacement fund<br><br>
BS4 Invest 15 percent of household income for retirement<br><br>
BS5 College funding for children<br><br>
BS6 Pay off home early<br><br>
BS7 Build wealth and give! Invest in mutual funds and real estate<br><br>
Here's the link to Dave Ramsey's website: <a href="http://www.daveramsey.com/" id="user_yui_3_3_0_15_131248037831920" style="color:rgb(96,73,154);" target="_blank">http://www.daveramsey.com</a> or if you want a good DR discussion forum, <a href="http://www.llnoe.com/" target="_blank">http://www.llnoe.com</a> is good but hardcore. Gail vax Oxlade's Til Debt do Us Part is great tv show, very motivating. Her website is: <a href="http://gailvazoxlade.com/blog" id="user_yui_3_3_0_7_1307578309727166" style="color:rgb(96,73,154);" target="_blank">http://gailvazoxlade.com/blog</a> Others like Suze Orman or Mary Hunt, really doesn't matter whose method you use, just start the process to getting out of debt</p>
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Discussion Starter #2
<p>We had lots of people join us last month with lots of momentum heading in the right direction. Let's keep it going through February!!</p>
<p> </p>
<p><span><img alt="joy.gif" id="user_yui_3_4_1_2_1328149944031_151" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/joy.gif" style="width:42px;height:39px;"></span></p>
 

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<p>Back for another month.  Still plugging away at BS2.  We've made tremendous headway over the last several months (we're relatively new to DR).  My job was restructured at work and I got a raise with that -- we're planning on sending all the extra money to debt repayment.  At the rate we're going, we'll probably be completely debt free by December of this year, and able to start working on our FFEF.  After that, our goal will be to start saving to buy a house in cash!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We continue to find that our life improves as we get more and more into discerning wants vs. needs.  Life is turning into its own art -- cooking, cleaning, indoor gardening.  All of the things you can just pay someone else to do have so much more meaning when you're doing it yourself.  I read a book last month that had a real impact on me, called Radical Homemakers -- while I'm not quite as radical as the radical homemakers in the book by a long stretch, I think she has a great vision of the home as a unit of production rather than a unit of consumption.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Best,</p>
<p>Anka</p>
 

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I started our tax return last night. We're still waiting on some 1099-INTs (and anything else that might show up...I always seem to be surprised by forms I wasn't expecting) so I couldn't finish it. But right now TurboTax is estimating our return at just over $3,000. Nothing like what we are supposed to get from last year (still waiting on that...), but it will go a long way to building back up our funds and paying off a few little things at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>AnkaJones</strong> <a href="/community/t/1343992/getting-out-of-debt-in-february-2012#post_16859496"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><p>... vision of the home as a unit of production rather than a unit of consumption. ...</p>
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<p><br>
I like that idea a lot. I'll have to look into that book. Thanks for sharing! :)</p>
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<p>I'm here for another month!</p>
<p>Today is the last day that I'll be without money. Tomorrow is payday and hopefully a large one.</p>
<p>I'll be putting money into my BEF and getting my budget taken care of.</p>
<p>I'm so excited.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'm still waiting to do my taxes. My 1099 hasn't come in yet either. Ugh.</p>
 

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<p>I wonder for those of you who have done turbotax before, how long it takes for your refund once you've efiled?</p>
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<p>Yesterday totally screwed up our budget and it was all my fault. DH screws up the budget ALL THE TIME and I never give him crap. Well this time it was me and he won't stop picking on me about it. He says I wanted to fix our finances not him and then I blew it. Jeez, give me a break!</p>
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<p>It was a pretty bad error though. I went through costco to get diaper wipes. I thought I would be saving by buying in bulk. Boy was I wrong I went through the line and got slammed with a stupid membership fee. So the wipes ended up costing $80 of our rent money. I'm just so tired of being so broke ALL THE TIME. I even gave up our rental to try to free up some slack and I am still just totally broke. I feel so defeated which is totally stupid because I am expecting a GIGANTIC tax return.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Great now I'm crying.</p>
 

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<p>Hi Trekkingirl,  I think we've all had those moments on our journey to financial solvency.  They really suck, especially if you have someone picking at you along the way.  My own was realizing that I had been paying like $100 per month in recurring payments for things I didn't know I had signed up for. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>It gets better, and gradually you plug the leaks (I forgot who used that analogy on this thread in the past... but it was a good one) and things get better.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Anka</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<p>Originally Posted by <strong>trekkingirl</strong> <a href="/community/t/1343992/getting-out-of-debt-in-february-2012#post_16860272"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a></p>
<p> </p>
<p>DH screws up the budget ALL THE TIME and I never give him crap. Well this time it was me and he won't stop picking on me about it. He says I wanted to fix our finances not him and then I blew it. Jeez, give me a break!</p>
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<br><br><p>Give you a break indeed! I don't care if he's so perfect with the budget that quarters come out his butt while he's looking at it, there's no excuse with him blowing his stack at you for a mistake you accept you made. <span><img alt="Cuss.gif" id="user_yui_3_4_1_2_1328225097280_161" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/Cuss.gif"></span></p>
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<p><span>I mean, I would be annoyed at DH if he just blew money on crap and didn't care (which is, thankfully, not the case). But if he tries hard and made a mistake? I've got nothin' to say about that.</span></p>
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<p><span>Sorry you're having a hard day. I wonder if you can return the purchase and get your money back on membership.</span> Also, if you find yourself in deeper than you wanted to go, it's ok to say "uh, I gotta think about that" and step out of line and think. It's just an assumption but I imagined you feeling kind of cornered when you were told you had to be a member, and signed the dotted line because you didn't want to be embarrassed and didn't want to hold up the line or anything. Which I totally get. But have gotten old and cranky enough to not care anymore.</p>
 

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<p>Yeah I felt cornered but I did ask if I could pay the annual fee my next time in and they said no. I guess knowing we had the big tax return on the way I said yes when I would normally say no. I'm thinking if I had done the opposite DH would probably say something like you took all that time to drive down there and load and unload the  kids and you walked out empty handed. Costco here is always a zoo and a genuine effort.</p>
 

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<p>I just listed a stroller on craigslist so maybe I can make up some lost money.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>trekkingirl</strong> <a href="/community/t/1343992/getting-out-of-debt-in-february-2012#post_16860438"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p> I'm thinking if I had done the opposite DH would probably say something like you took all that time to drive down there and load and unload the  kids and you walked out empty handed. Costco here is always a zoo and a genuine effort.</p>
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<p><br>
Sheesh, so you can't win?</p>
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<p>Wish there was an ass-kicking smiley so I could at least do it for you virtually. For a smile at least. <span><img alt="orngbiggrin.gif" id="user_yui_3_4_1_2_1328229767073_161" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif"></span></p>
<p> </p>
 

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<p>yeah it's a good thing I love that BOY!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>trekkingirl</strong> <a href="/community/t/1343992/getting-out-of-debt-in-february-2012#post_16860272"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>I wonder for those of you who have done turbotax before, how long it takes for your refund once you've efiled?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Yesterday totally screwed up our budget and it was all my fault. DH screws up the budget ALL THE TIME and I never give him crap. Well this time it was me and he won't stop picking on me about it. He says I wanted to fix our finances not him and then I blew it. Jeez, give me a break!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>It was a pretty bad error though. I went through costco to get diaper wipes. I thought I would be saving by buying in bulk. Boy was I wrong I went through the line and got slammed with a stupid membership fee. So the wipes ended up costing $80 of our rent money. I'm just so tired of being so broke ALL THE TIME. I even gave up our rental to try to free up some slack and I am still just totally broke. I feel so defeated which is totally stupid because I am expecting a GIGANTIC tax return.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Great now I'm crying.</p>
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<p>That sucks but don't beat yourself up for it.</p>
<p>When I did turbotax, I think it took two or so weeks. I think. Did they give you an estimated date after they accepted your return? It shouldn't be long.</p>
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<p>I hear you on being sick of being broke. I am too.</p>
<p>I got my paycheck today. It was a little more than I expected but now that I've sat down to budget, I have maybe 5 dollars left. I wont complain though.</p>
<p>My BEF is back up to $74 so at least that's in the works.</p>
<p>My tax returns came in today too so I'm about to continue working on my taxes. Hopefully that will come in soon though its going to take me a while to finish.</p>
<p> </p>
 

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<p>trekkingirl, I'm sorry that DH is giving you a hard time about your mistake. I hate it when I make dumb mistakes that mess up the budget that I'm trying so hard to work on, and it would be even more devastating if DH got on my case about it too. I beat myself up enough for that stuff.</p>
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<p>Speaking of which, last night I messed up big time. I forgot to lock up my bike after DH left for work, and this morning when he got home it was gone. We don't have a car and we use our bikes to get everywhere, so it will have to be replaced, which is gonna cost upwards of $250. *Sigh*</p>
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<p>Other than that, our budgeting and debt-repayment is going well. Without taking the bike (and last month's fridge fiasco, which ended up costing us $800 on a 0% credit card that will be paid off in 17 months) into consideration, we should be poised to have all the credit cards paid off, and our EF funded somewhere between 3 and 6 months, by the fall. And then I think we're going to start TTC. I'm excited!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>eirual</strong> <a href="/community/t/1343992/getting-out-of-debt-in-february-2012#post_16859949"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p><br>
I like that idea a lot. I'll have to look into that book. Thanks for sharing! :)</p>
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I concur on that Radical Homemaking book.  Just put in a request for our library to get it.  Looks like an excellent read.</p>
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<p>I used TurboTax to do my taxes and efiled on Jan. 26, they were accepted Jan. 27, and my return was deposited today (9 days later including the weekends).</p>
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<p>Sorry to hear about the "membership fee".  It is one of the reasons I stay away from "Sam's Club".  I can't buy enough stuff their to agree that the membership fee is okay.  I am trying to break myself of my stuffitis.</p>
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<p>Our tax return is going to be double what we had planned. I'm so excited! We're planning to save the entire thing which will fund 2/3 of our big EF. Unfortunately we had to file on paper, though, so there is no telling how long it'll take the money to get to us.</p>
 

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<p>I really enjoyed reading  Radical Homemakers.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We are back to the pre-steps, trying to catch up on bills, but we should be getting a hefty tax return, so that should help a lot.  Also, DH's second job just offered him more hours.  Wohoo!</p>
 

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<p>Former lurker, newly subbing. I have some financial goals this year so this group has inspired me to get focused!</p>
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<p>As far as turbo tax...I submitted electronically on 1.26.2012 and my federal was deposited 2.2.12! I was so excited. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>For 2012:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>1) I have paid off my dh's last student loan! Yeah! Those people were driving me crazy. I would make extra payments last year on one so I could pay it off and they would spread it over the 2 loans! Grr! Then they changed their phone system so I was forced to go on their website to check out the balances. So yesterday I made an electronic payment and I am done with them! It feels so good to check another debt off my list.</p>
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<p>2) I have my $1000 (and some change) in my emergency fund</p>
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<p>When my state comes in I will pay off a car loan I have which will increase my monthly by $344! After that, I plan on getting caught up on some minor household repairs. And then in March I will start chipping away at my home equity line of credit and continue to add to my emergency fund.</p>
 

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<p>Hello Everyone!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We have been following Dave's plan for a little while now, and it was around this time last year that we got out of debt.  To encourage those of you who are trying to get out of debt, it is so so frustrating during the times you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, but when it works out and you pay it off.... it is one of the greatest feelings in the world!</p>
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<p>We have completed baby step 3. We have 3 - 6 months in savings, but a small car fund saved.  My husband will be maxing out his retirement soon, which brings us to baby step 5, right?  College saving.  And who knows how long we'll be on this step, but I cannot cannot cannot wait to get to step six and of course, seven.  Anyone have any advice for us on college savings?</p>
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