dcsimg The Get Rich Slowly Forums • View topic - Elliebelly's Goals 2008

  GRS Home  Forum Home
Bank Rates Center
   Savings Account Rates
   Money Market Rates
   Highest CD Rates
Insurance Rates Center
  Auto           Health
   Life              Home
Mortgage Rates Center
  Mortgage Rates
  Mortgage Quotes

Last visit was:
A place for Get Rich Slowly readers to ask questions
and exchange ideas
It is currently Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:54 am




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 60 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Elliebelly's Goals 2008
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:40 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:13 am
Posts: 148
I'm struggling to find a healthy balance between spending and saving. It's embarassing to me that I still have credit card debt. I've cut back on my spending, but am still out of balance. My vices are eating out at work and doing things with and for my 11 nieces and nephews and other family. I'm saving a little, but not building up my funds this year. I take out money every now and then to pay cash for things I used to put on credit. An improvement, yes, but shows that I'm still overspending and/ or not planning well enough.

My husband and I have our own savings and credit accounts, but joint accounts for household savings and checking. Spouse is exceptionally frugal and consistently balanced with his money management (no debt, rarely touches his savings) which makes it easier to plan for joint goals like building up emergency savings. He's very easygoing, using "the force" to maintain his money equilibrilium. (I.e. always underspends and has a general idea of what is in the accounts, but never plans on paper, never balances the accounts, or shops around for better deals.) Because I consistently overspend (consciously or not) I'm a bit of a nutjob with pen and paper planning and recalculating, looking for better deals, and better ways to save in order to both compensate and contribute.


I'm determined to not let my personal spending problems interfere too much with our mutual goals of building up our emergency savings and paying down the mortgage. I automated most of the savings and additional payments at the beginning of the year.

My goals for remainder of 2008 this year

1. pay off remaining credit card debt $4557
2. rebuild $1000 in personal savings ($892)
3. max out my 401k after 1&2

Joint goals
4. $5000 in house emergency fund ($2900)
3. Pay down mortgage to $25,000. ($40,136)

A shout out to Sam. I read all of your journal posts and was inspired.


Top
Offline Profile   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:33 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:13 am
Posts: 148
three money things making me a nutter today:

Oil & Taxes blahblahblah

Anxious about upcoming prepay oil bill. It's gonna be a budget buster, but the question is how much of one? Mostly because the range of what I have heard other people are paying is goes from plain ugly to ridiculous. If it doesn't come tomorrow then I will start calling around. I need a solid number so I can figure out my options. Ok. I mean options to my already complicated options. Hate to use stimulus check as a subsidy for oil bill, but that's what it is.

The new quarterly tax bill hasn't arrived yet and I'm wondering if that is going to be a big change. New assessments=$$? Value of house down 20%.
Due about the same time as pre pay. Pay this first and know what's left in the account to work with. ( I have a special savings account just for oil and taxes
that I pay into weekly.)

My credit card statement came. I took my card out for a little joy ride when I had my car repaired last month: coffees, a movie, a few lunches at work.
At the time I just figured that I'll add another payment to my what-seems-like-forever-'cause- I-feel- broke- but- really- is- no- time- at- all- debt- repayment plan, big deal. This kind of thinking keeps me in debt. I transferred money from my savings today to pay most of it off.


Top
Offline Profile   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:04 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:11 am
Posts: 1088
Location: Sunny Florida
Ellie, Welcome.

As you know, I'm the spender (except for Home Depot) in my marriage. A spender/saver marriage does breed conflict at times, but at least you won't need to convince your sweetie to reduce his spending.

A couple of things that worked for me to reduce my spending:
(1) Track all spending in Quicken or a notebook for a month and see where the money goes. You likely will end up peeved at the amount spent on eating out at work. Add up the eating out money for a month and you realize that could pay off a huge chunk of your CC debt or it could bump up your emergency account or it could just equal a really nice pair of shoes (or whatever makes you happy). When I started on my Total Money Makeover, I dragged out a couple years of CC statements and reviewed those as well.
(2) Can you switch from CC to a debit card? Spending current money (vs. future) really helped me cut down on spending.
(3) If you switch to debit, you might try setting an allowance. Mr. Sam and I both get $500 a pay period (2 weeks or 15 days) for spending to cover gas, groceries, dry cleaning, eating out, personal expenses, Home Depot, gifts, etc. When the money is gone we stop spending.
(4) I use No Credit Needed's $100 rule. If a purchase is more than a $100, I have to wait at least a day before purchasing, $200 - 2 days, $300 - 3 days, etc. Mr. Sam and I also have a rule that any purchase over $300 has to be discussed and agreed.

Good luck!

_________________
Sam

http://adventures-of-sam.blogspot.com
(Follow Sam's financial and real estate adventures.)


Top
Offline Profile E-mail   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:13 am
Posts: 148
Thanks, Sam for your suggestions.

I've only taken my card out twice this year. Most of the time it sits in my desk drawer and taped up with messages like: "using this would be a bad idea".
On both occasions I could have used my debit card. Both times I had a few nonessential add ons that I slap my head afterwards for. Something magical takes over when I use credit cards, I neglect to remember that I have a balance on it and will regret paying for last month's iced mocha next OCTOBER!


I mainly use cash and a debit card. I'm trying to phase out the debit card for most of my day to day expenses except gas. I mostly record my expenses and so I know that an extra $5 a day in unplanned spending between now and December = $1000 that doesn't go to savings or mortgage. My husband gets paid 26 times a year and I plan our yearly spending based on just 24. Every June and December is like a report card for us---does extra check get used like a bonus toward our goals or are we still paying bills?


Top
Offline Profile   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:08 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:13 am
Posts: 148
At breakfast this morning I circled my goal date on the calendar for paying off credit cards.

September 26, 2008
September 26, 2008
September 26, 2008

So close, so far.


Top
Offline Profile   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:27 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:13 am
Posts: 148
My heart goes out to the people who lost everything in the flooding. Just devastating. I hope there is an overwhelming response for their recovery. I hope the government can help provide leadership and assistance this time.


Top
Offline Profile   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:34 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:13 am
Posts: 148
goal update:

1. cc debt (3256)
2. personal savings (325)
3. House emergency savings (2900/ 5000)
4. mortgage (40,136/25,000)

The next two months our emergency fund is going to get tapped to assist with higher than expected oil bill. Don't expect to make much progress here until
cash flow improves after oil and taxes get paid in July. Got an estimate on oil bill so I can see what the gap is between what we saved and owe. We'll be ok. Seriously, every year things are a little tight around this time of year and we plan and we save to make the next year better. And the weather is gorgeous and I have some vacation time to relax at the end of July. I couldn't pick a better time to stress out about this winter's oil bill. We are very lucky.

My job is offering long term disability for the first time and HR says this may be the only time to sign up. They are likely to continue carrying it for people who sign up this year, but not offer it again. Must sign up for both short and long term. Currently have short term and will likely stick with that because the expense, even pretax, relative to potenial benefit not worth it. Better off agressively saving, I think. Long term disability is something I would like to consider if husband's job ever offers it.

New wrinkle that I hadn't anticipated this year is medical expenses. Husband had major dental expense that we planned for through our pre tax medical account this spring, but neglected to plan for the other regular expenses (co-pays mostly) for the rest of the year. I've got to look more closely at this. Husband has more ongoing medical expenses (drugs, doctor visits, etc) than I realized and I haven't even thought about my own. This month alone his expenses have been $300 not covered my insurance.

Made a big dent in credit card debt this month, in part because I shifted a good chunk of change from my personal savings to pay off new debt.
I have $2500 in old cc debt at a 12 month low (1.99) interest rate and new- this- year- debt on a department store card ($457 @ 22.9) and another card ($292@14.99).

I'm paying off my old debt by cutting back on my retirement contributions and as soon I pay it off I will resume maxing out my retirement funds.

Reviewed costs this morning of paying off smaller, newer, more costly debts sooner with money I was using to pay off old debt and came to the conclusion that this would only might make sense if I could be sure I wouldn't incur new debt. Based on the past 6 months, I'm not sure I can. Plus I tend to have irregular big expenses and I have budgeted monthly for some $ for new expenses on other two cards every month but maybe not enough.

I budget $100/month for department store card in part because I work there, shopping is convenient and I have access to amazing deals coupled with my employee discounts, and employee $s off coupons. This is a tricky part of budgeting/spending for me because spending here falls into both necessity and optional and the spending opportunities are plentiful. I am here every day and there are always good deals in one department or another. This is a big chunk of my personal and household spending for gifts, personal items, household items, furniture and clothing. After 8 years I have cut way back on most of my spending here as my house is now set up and we both have basic wardrobes. I know if my card isn't paid in full each month, then some of my best deals are not the very best deals I can get. In order to take advantage of the best deals on what we need or want, I need to either figure out a way to have either the cash available pay off the balance or figure in the interest cost when figuring out the deal. Ideally, I'd make a payment as soon as I purchased something to take full advantage of discount and avoid a bill. For now, I'm willing to live with balance as I had an unusual opportunity to buy something we need and will use for the long term. Until this is paid off, I'm not buying much else with the card.

The $292 remaining on the last card is a pain, but I'm going to pay just a little more than minimums and keep it on the back burner for a couple of months.
I want to keep what I have in savings and take care of the other stuff for another 6-8 weeks.


Top
Offline Profile   
 Post subject: cost of getting along at work
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:54 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:13 am
Posts: 148
Was relieved today when split tab for appetizers at gathering for co-worker's birthday was $12.50. Plus we did without the gift and card for the first time.
One upside to the uncertain economy is downsizing expectations. It was the first gathering I attended and really enjoyed in several years.

The flow of cash to get along at work dumbfounded me when I first started with this group of ladies at work: $2/week for lottery, $weekly for saving up for a big dinners out, and donations for birthdays, weddings, funerals, get well soon, etc. Plus the tupperware and candle parties. The comraderie was nice, but this was ridiculous. Going to the lunch room felt like a daily shakedown. I eventually opted out of most of the activities and collective giving because it just wasn't me. Some people I work with get this, but others are offended and act accordingly. Isn't this silly? I think so.


Top
Offline Profile   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:17 pm 

Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 12:00 am
Posts: 132
Hey Ellie,

I have a few tips from when I worked in the U.S. Like you, I spent ALOT of money going out to lunch. I did the following and ended up saving money:

1) Plan to go out to eat once a month. It's fun and you won't feel deprived. I also enjoyed it more.

2) Pack really nice lunches. If you don't like sandwiches, buy nice tupperware and make a little extra for dinner and pack that instead. Also, I did not pack the night before's left-overs. So if I had a tasty pesto pasto with grilled chicken on Monday night, then I saved it for the Wednesday lunch. It takes a bit of planning but I really enjoyed it.

3) The salad bar at work usually killed me. It charged by weight and I'd end up spending $14 on salad! I liked the fresh lettuce b/c if I brought it from home, it would get slimy by lunch-time. So I bought the lettuce (which was about $1 or so) and then brought the grilled chicken, dressing, garbanzo beans & etc from home.

4) Buy tasty sides (such as yogurt) and pack that in your lunch also.

I did all of the above and while I added about $10-20 to my monthly grocery bill, I saved overall.

Good luck to you! You're inspiring me too!

Btw, I am NOT looking forward to the daily shake-downs for b-day parties and etc. I hate that sort of thing! The only thing I actually want to buy are girl scout cookies and nothing else!


Top
Offline Profile   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 3:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:13 am
Posts: 148
Thank you, Saro

I definitely need to start planning my going out to eat money more. I value eating out at work every once in a while. You're right, it is easy to get carried away and spend a lot more than I planned with nothing to show for it. Eating out at work usually doesn't imply great meal or great food. I like the solitude or the social group depending on my mood. A nice group goes out to the food court on Fridays. I may join them because but only get a little something instead of a whole meal.

Temptation to spend at work on summer dresses for nieces. Decided to give it another day before considering purchase.


Top
Offline Profile   
 Post subject: paying bills without a fuss. finally
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 11:37 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:13 am
Posts: 148
Oil bill prebuy contract came yesterday with only a 5 business day offer. Normally we would have 4-6 weeks to cough up the cash.
I'm glad that I open the mail every day now and basically had a plan using currently available cash to pay it off. Thank you stimulus government check. We had just enough in our oil/taxes account +that check to make our payment that afternoon at the office. I'm pretty pleased with myself as I also recalculated for next year's expenses and reset the weekly payments at the same time. It does get easier to plan for the regular stuff. This was the second year we saved weekly in a special account for this purpose.

Dh started keeping a open ledger of his daily expenses on his bureau. I love it.


Top
Offline Profile   
 Post subject: Restless & my wallet is filled with cobwebs instead of c
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:11 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:13 am
Posts: 148
I'm feeling a little restless and reckless. Bills creeping up that I can't control. End of season clearance at the mall looks tempting. Husband is away this week visiting his family on the lake and I'm working. It's freaking hot. I'm conscious that this is a recipe for trouble. Time to rein it in.

My spending looks like I'm on vacation. Meals out with girlfriends, bringing fancy food and ice to the picnic, movies and ice skating with nieces and nephew ate up my cash allowance and then some the past four days. Those fun things I planned for at least. The bags from Macy's and the stop at Starbucks at lunchtime were not. And I'm feeling it: the twinge of regret from overspending.

New plan.
Wake up and pull out the debit card from my wallet for the rest of the week.
Return most of the things to Macy's.
Make the iced coffee and lunch tomorrow to bring to work.
Get thee to the library for free dvd rentals to watch in the cool of the basement.
Time to work on those projects I keep meaning to do but hate to pull everything out for. Make a list.
Hello, gym workouts I've been avoiding while playing and spending.


Top
Offline Profile   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:38 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:44 am
Posts: 216
your plan sounds really good (especially the dvd in basement part- just because you need to stop spending money doesn't mean you should suffer). hopefully you'll feel better after you work out and get your errands done. I know I usually do. Good luck!


Top
Offline Profile   
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:04 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:19 pm
Posts: 620
Nottheangel wrote:
your plan sounds really good (especially the dvd in basement part- just because you need to stop spending money doesn't mean you should suffer). hopefully you'll feel better after you work out and get your errands done. I know I usually do. Good luck!


Yes, the DVD in the basement is a good idea. I've just realized that if I get the basement cleaned up, I can move the TV I never watch down there, and have a lot more room in my living room. A project for my vacation...


Top
Offline Profile   
 Post subject: No listening to finance news
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:35 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:13 am
Posts: 148
I was having a good day until I started listening to NPR's Marketplace last night and I literally cramped up with financial angst on the couch after listening to all the bad news. Layoffs! oil up again! more bank writedowns! this is only the end of the beginning of the financial crisis!

Got me thinking about strategies to stretch through bad times and the resources we could tap to survive. A future post, I think.

I have the debt paydowns on the fridge and I stare at that, focusing on the progress we are making. Ok, better.


Top
Offline Profile   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 60 posts ]  Moderators: kombat, bpgui, JerichoHill, Fiscal Fitness Moderator Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Theme created StylerBB.net & kodeki