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Life... debt... reality (long post)

March 16th, 2013 at 08:44 am

Since my last post a lot of medical has happened. My yearly exam had a lot of yuck, which means a lot of new medical bills. Surgery asap(hyst) which means I have to really focus on the bills and house in orderSmile

Our debt is as follows:
Car loan 1: 11,200
Car loan 2: 13,500
Amex: 7,800
Sears 1: 4,000
Sears 2: 1,200
Best Buy 1: 2,000
Best Buy 2: 600
Kohls: 400
Nordstroms: 800
Medical: 2,000

ugly, isn't it? but, it is finally out in the open...
More details on the plan to pay it off.

5 years later, finally focusing on our debt...

March 2nd, 2013 at 07:41 am

So much has happened in the past 5 years. I had hoped to be out of debt. That didn't happen. Probably because I didn't plan for it to happen. Haphazardly paid bills, didn't save when I should have, and life happened.
The good news is that I finally opened a new checking/savings account with automatic deposit to savings. And have set up a budget to finally get rid of the credit cards. I have to figure out how to do the sidebars and will update the rather nasty details of our debt, but feel so much better about at least acknowledging the issue! And my husband is on boardSmile

To coupon or not to coupon?

August 18th, 2008 at 07:36 am

Here is the question: I live in a small town (one small store, one gas station,no fast food), ~10-15 miles on either side of a bigger city. My friends that live in the bigger city swear by couponing. I have got a pile of coupons, but they are for things that I just don't buy, would prefer that we not eat, and a few gems in the middle. Yes, I have access to a Walgreens, Walmart, ALbertsons, $store, etc. I have read the blogs about great couponing deals, filling my cupboards with things that are free or close to, but I'm missing something here. What am I doing wrong? The cost of gas makes the couponing difficult- so I save $3 & spend $5 going into town?

Damage control

August 5th, 2008 at 07:51 am

Trying to do damage control from my lack of concern for the past 4 months:
1. No debit card for me. I had/have the nasty habit of pulling it out when I "must have" whatever is on sale and I have no cash left. So I have given up the debit card. It is not in my wallet. I have gone back to the envelope method.
2. Envelopes mean that I have to really think about every purchase. Do I need 3 extra bottles of laundry soap? Even if I have a coupon?
3. The cost of gas has my husband carpooling. This is a true blessing. Our price for his weekly commute is now $10. Before it was $30.
4. My daughter quit her truly horrible job. This means less driving for her, but I also have someone that is willing to run errands.

So I dropped the budget ball for a couple months

August 4th, 2008 at 12:26 pm

Somehow this summer has gotten away from me. I stopped reading this site, stopped being responsible with our money... Just quit. So now I am back. I read a couple entries on Saturday, and went full course today. You all have no idea how much I have missed this. I love to read about the success that happens here. I am learning that freedom from responsible spending doesn't make me (or my family) happier. In fact, I know that I have been more stressed. The positive choice I did make this summer was to have $200 a month taken out automatically to the ing acct. That way it's out of sight, out of spend.

Will this month end? Rant alert

March 29th, 2008 at 08:54 am

This has been a really hard month. Unexpected expenses & lots of travel have destroyed this months budget. The good news is my dd16 is gainfully employed. Today she is going into town w/ her best friend so they can "shop"... My dh says to me, lets give her the Nordstroms card (we had a budget review yesterday)- and I know we'll pay it off on payday. I'm like- uh, excuse me, but didn't we have a talk about not using the card (my sacred card that is rarely used & paid off immediately!)? And I really don't think that she should get acquainted with using a card instead of cash. He wanted to give her some money & the card on the promise that she would pay us back w/ her first paycheck. Somehow, between her paying her car insurance, gas, cell phone, and pop addiction- I just don't think she will have any money left. So we compromised on the cash part. My card is still in the drawerSmile. HELP! Even though we do budget reviews and we have the YNAB spreadsheets, he still just doesn't get it. It's like there are always "unexpected" opportunities to spend money in his world.
Ok.... rant over... Heres to April and a new budget experience.

March goal: 10 no spend days

March 10th, 2008 at 11:50 am

After starting off the month contemplating what a no spend day would look like.... That's all I did. In fact, it's like I went the complete opposite. After looking at the budget, and dropping $40 on gas today (over budget already), it's time I set it in writing. My goal for this month is 10 no spend days. And with each day of success, I will put $2 in my savings. Please pray for me to succeed.

I did the ing thing (yes!)

March 6th, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Thanks to Maismom I was able to get the extra $25! I am really excited about starting it. Just knowing that I can put any rebate/coupon/leftover money into an account that isn't in my wallet really makes the whole idea of building a savings exciting. And if the "tax incentive" in May really happens, I now have a place to park it.

ING invite?

March 6th, 2008 at 06:52 am

Would someone send me the ing invite? Thank you!

Started YNAB! Ouch.

March 5th, 2008 at 08:50 am

Ok, after reading here about YNAB, I sucked it up and bought the pro version. I spent the weekend figuring it out- still not there yet, but closer. It really enhances the budget I had on paper.
What I have learned so far, just from entering stuff on the register:
My debit card is lethal... The little trip to Home Depot & Target- which I just never really thought about putting ON PAPER- can mess up my budget.
I fritter cash... the kids ask for something (even if it's under $1), and those $ add up.
Gas prices are certainly rising... My budget for gas is woefully small. I will have to take money from savings to finish the month. Throw in a trip to the coast for DD 16th bd, and yeah, it's sunk!
I don't like seeing red... I hadn't realized how close to the edge we are. And because you all have shown me that it is possible to save even a small amount (the change adds up), I have decided that I will open an ING account. Today. If possible.

Getting ready for March

February 28th, 2008 at 11:08 am

Yes! I'm ready for March. I have set up the March bill pay & gotten the budget to zero. My goal for this month is to have my almost 16yr old daughter handle the grocery/gas/entertainment cash (I use envelopes)weekly. She wants to have a car, a job, MONEY!.... She has been working for my sister, earning a very good wage. Alas, the job has ended, as has the business (sis is going BK). She saved $3000, but along the way she bought a 87 mercedes and an Apple laptop, and learned to fritter money on cosmetics, fast food, and anything else she wanted. Which raises the question- is it possible to live a day without soda? And what is water if it isn't bought chilled in a nice, neat little bottle? Now she is back to life without charge cards and a Costco AMEX, and limited funds. Life is rough! Her attitude is good- she laughs when I clip coupons, but is learning to appreciate the free stuff.

Thank you for your blogs

February 21st, 2008 at 07:16 am

I have been reading these blogs for the past 3 months. I think that I found this site from the Dollar Stretcher site. You all inspire and encourage me to be better with my family's finances.
About me:
I am a SAHM, homeschooling 3 kids, happily married, and finally growing up about money. We did the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class. Somehow I had missed the "how to budget" class in life. So we have slowly been getting out of debt and working on a real budget. We have no credit card debt (paid off last of it last month), but also have no real savings. I have been reading about the ing savings accounts and am wondering if that would be a place to start a "no touch" savings.