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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dh and I decided to go on the cash system and put away our credit and debit card. We are finding it too hard to keep up with entering receipts in the checkbook after using the debit card. The CC is just too tempting. It was very useful the last 2 years to help pay dd's medical and feeding expenses but she's getting better now and there is no reason to justify using it.

We just keep having unexpected expenses. In the last few mos we've had to buy a new stove and dishwasher, repair the fridge, a car repair, and then our a/c broke!
: So we are about at the same place we were with the debt a few mos ago.
I was hoping to pay it all off in a couple mos but it's not happening.

First we tallied up the monthly bills: mortgage, car payment, car insurance and registration (monthly average), utilities, cell phone (which we only use for emergencies) etc, we get the following in cash envelopes. We don't want this money sitting around so some of it is "virtual" with a small paper stating the date and amount put there in place of money. Then when someone wants to spend some of the money from the evelope they can take out the paper receipts and toss them and withrawl that much from the ATM. We will know it will be there because we are not spending any money on anything unless it comes from a certain envelope or has been budgeted towards bills. Some of the money we use weekly and are not saving up is real money.

Also, there is some money that is probably over budget

This is per week:

Grocery, cleaning suppies, and spending for me 100
Clothes/shoes for me 15 ---> 720 per year
Clothes/shoes for dh 15 ---> 720 per year
UU church offering 5
Vacation fund 15**
Spending money for dh 10
Yard care 10
Incidentals for kids (shoes, clothes, etc) 30

** Vacation will be 720 per year plus 2 weeks' worth of food money, 920 per year. We like camping and driving so this should go really far vs hotel costs and airfair. We usually rent a car to save wear and tear on our car.

We have cancelled cable in favor of Netflix and library DVD's. We have cancelled our Y membership. It was nice but we were not using it enough to justify the cost. Will not be renewing the Science Center membership but will keep the zoo membership b/c that is used almost weekly in good weather. We are not renewing our mag subscriptions.

I am going back to college, one class at a time. In about 3 years I should hopefully get into nursing school which is expensive. After we pay off the debt we will put that same amt into a college fund for me, so I should have enough to pay for nursing school. Hopefully I will get some scholarships though. I'm hoping my new career will help us be more comfortable just as the kids are getting to be fully school aged and not needing me 24/7 like they do now.

Oh, and we are all flying to India in the winter and plan to use our tax refund to pay for it. At around $1200 per ticket it's going to be expensive but we have not been to India for 5 years and it's time to see them all again. The grandparents are not getting any younger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by BinahYeteirah
Sounds good.


Assuming all goes to plan, in how long to you expect your debt to be paid off?
Assuming no more nasty surprises with appliances and stuff, 10 months.
Dh gets an extra paycheck this month that will apply to the debt. Then we have the home equity loan to pay off after that but it's not as urgent. The interest rate is low and it has improved the value of our home (we put in tile flooring everywhere because of allergies and a ruined carpet thanks to my little puker.) We will take awhile to pay that off.
 

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All of those "surprises" are what keep holding us down as well.


Everytime we have a concrete plan, something unexpected pops up.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by USAmma
In the last few mos we've had to buy a new stove and dishwasher, repair the fridge, a car repair, and then our a/c broke!
:
I posted on another thread about our fridge quitting. What did it cost to have yours repaired? Our freezer is putting out too much cold, and the temp controller isn't working, and the door botl to the fridge is bent so the door won't shut all the way. I was hoping to have an idea about repairing so we won't have to get a newer one. We couldn't afford it anyway. We live in Anchorage, Alaska, so I'm not sure the price will compare to here, but at least I'd have some idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The freezer was not working right and was thawing/freezing so that we lost all the food in there. I'm glad we had most of the food in our chest freezer! Anyway, we called Sears and it was $195 including the $30 part. Crazy, huh? We have had that repaired twice in as many years. The repairman said that our model tended to have the thermostat go out a lot. I wish we had known that ahead of time.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by USAmma
Assuming no more nasty surprises with appliances and stuff, 10 months.
Dh gets an extra paycheck this month that will apply to the debt. Then we have the home equity loan to pay off after that but it's not as urgent. The interest rate is low and it has improved the value of our home (we put in tile flooring everywhere because of allergies and a ruined carpet thanks to my little puker.) We will take awhile to pay that off.
You need to have another envelope with money to help cover the surpises. could you pull $10 a week from somewhere else to go towards that?
Dave Ramsey suggests saving $1000 for an emergency fund before you start debt reduction, that way you don't get sucked back into debt when those unexpected expenses come up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by rsps
You need to have another envelope with money to help cover the surpises. could you pull $10 a week from somewhere else to go towards that?
Dave Ramsey suggests saving $1000 for an emergency fund before you start debt reduction, that way you don't get sucked back into debt when those unexpected expenses come up.
Yep, we have that amount set aside in case we need it but we try not to touch it.

We also dip into our clothing fund since that's not really essential. I mean, we can get by with half that amount if it's really necessary. I don't think I've ever spent $720 on clothes and shoes for myself and neither has dh. It's just that we want to afford some slightly nicer things that thrift shop and Target. We've been doing that for years and our clothes are worn out.
 
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