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Samantha's goals

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 1:27 pm
by Samantha
Its good to have goals. So here goes. I hope to keep up with this post to track my progress.

Obtain Life Insurance for both of us (Applied, waiting on approval... September 2008)
Purchase the Will/POA package from US Legal Forms (October 2008)
Pay off Car Loan: $8,250 at 5% (Done by March 2009)
Save $15,000 for a Wedding (Dec 2010) (and get married...haha)
Save $15,000 Emergency Fund (Dec 2012)
Start fully funding both ROTH IRAs (Begin Jan 2012)
Pay off Student Loan: $13,000 at 2% (Dec 2012, if not before...)

I think we've set realistic goals, but now we just need to continue to follow-through. Basically we just need accountability. Right now we are throwing every cent towards the car loan. Once it is paid, we will have an extra $1,000 every month, at the very least. (Although, this is assuming both our cars make it to the year 2012.)
So in Dec of 2012... We'll be 28 and 30 years old. Married. Debt-Free but the house. Fully-funded emergency fund and fully-funding Retirement.
And the question is... then what?

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:10 pm
by dtr
You have kids and kiss your debtlessness goodbye. :)

Posted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:33 am
by Samantha
We are not going to have children.

The End.

Posted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:02 pm
by dtr
Samantha wrote:We are not going to have children.

The End.

He had the V? I enjoyed the Valium part of my procedure.

Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:40 pm
by Samantha
Mini successes:

Phone call today, we were (finally) approved for the Life Insurance. Should get the policies/bills in the mail any day now!

Car Loan is down to 7,263. I've got $500 more in the pipeline.
We're on track to have it paid off by Spring!
Still need to purchase the wills...Maybe I'll look into that today.

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:00 am
by Samantha
Great news. We got a $500 check in the mail this weekend. It was technically a refund from our escrow account. Our county property taxes were lowered... And the bank did the math and sent us back the difference. Its a nice little windfall. So we "rolled" it right up into the snowball, and the current balance on the car is... (*drumroolllll)


... ahead of schedule now, actually!

I am so happy to see this number dropping so quickly. On August 1st it was over 10k. Its crazy how you find money when you start paying attention. I guess we always got these kind of windfalls before... we just blew them.

Also... I have another $400 that I'm holding back for our life insurance bill. (still hasn't come yet...Arg.)

Tonight we are sitting down and making a Christmas budget. I've got $200 set aside for it so far, but I'm afraid that won't be enough.

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:31 am
by sandi_k
Samantha, sounds like you're making good progress. Yay!

Yeah, I'm unclear about Xmas this year. I'm having surgery on 12-2, and can't drive for ~ 6 weeks post-surgery. So we're staying home. I doubt I'll be in any shape to decorate or shop, so I'm wondering about a pass this year. :)

How much do you normally spend on Xmas? Is there any way to limit the list?

With DH's family, we exchange gifts of <$15 per person - it forces you to get creative, and it can be a lot of fun. Some years, we play games, and the winner picks from a pile of wrapped "generic" gifts, like a picture frame, new bath towels, a kitchen gadget, etc. That way, the focus is on the time together, not the gift itself.


Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:13 pm
by Samantha
Although I am sorry to hear about your surgery... I wish I could come up with a good excuse to "pass" christmas this year!!!

Honestly... I have NO idea how much I usually spend on Christmas. I've never cared before/ bothered to look. I'm sure it was ridiculous though. I never budgeted before this year.

The gift exchange is a good idea, maybe I can talk my family into it this year.

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:54 pm
by Cleverbeans
Samantha wrote:Although I am sorry to hear about your surgery... I wish I could come up with a good excuse to "pass" christmas this year!!!

Try Ukranian Christmas! It's just like normal Christmas except it's in the middle of January. You avoid all the hubub assosiated with normal Christmas and get great deals on all the gifts. My immediate family thought it was a great idea last year and it went over really well with out extended family especially since we hosted the dinner. Something to consider at least for at least close friends and family if they're willing to give it a try.

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:14 pm
by sandi_k
Samantha wrote:Although I am sorry to hear about your surgery... I wish I could come up with a good excuse to "pass" christmas this year!!!

Well, you DO have the control to "pass" on crazy expensive Xmas, right?

I've certainly had the conversation with family about how finances are tight, and we'd like to focus on time together, rather than a crazy, tiring, expensive shopping spree...And it's ALWAYS been greeted with some relief.

Right now, our recent excuse has been that DH's granny is essentially housebound. So she gets grumpy if everyone goes shopping, because she feels that she's not participating in kind. It allowed us to come up with the $15 gift exchange idea, and it's worked well. We've had some Xmases when we assigned a theme - FUN, MEDIA, HOME GOODS, BAKING, etc. That's worked well.

Samantha wrote:Honestly... I have NO idea how much I usually spend on Christmas. I've never cared before/ bothered to look. I'm sure it was ridiculous though. I never budgeted before this year.

So, it sounds like maybe you whipped out the credit card instead. Can you go back to last year's statements to see and estimate?

Samantha wrote:The gift exchange is a good idea, maybe I can talk my family into it this year.

I'll bet you can, if you broach it early. If you wait until Thanksgiving to have that discussion, there will be earlybirds who will object because they've not only started, they've FINISHED. :)

The other easy way to do it - exclude grownups (only buy for the kids, or your spouse), or draw names amongst the adults, so you just buy one gift (for $40-$50, so it's still affordable).

Good luck!


Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:43 am
by Samantha

The bf had a minor accident with the table saw in our garage. I rushed him to urgent care, and 10 stitches later, I figure we'll be out appr. $500. Thank god we have this emergency fund. Six months ago it would have gone on a credit card. Through the whole thing, I didn't worry for a second about how much it might cost us. (his deductible is like $2k)
So next month, the snowball will be postponed to pay the bill...but we won't even have to touch the fund.

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:48 am
by sandi_k
Eeek! I'm glad he's OK.

My DH sliced off a bit of his ring finger bone on a table saw ~ 10 years ago. You can see the groove in the bone on the xray. :D

Once the wound is healed, our hand specialist advised Eucerin on the scar tissue, and flexion exercises...he now has full range of motion, but it was scary.

I'm so glad the medical bills are "absorbable" - it makes a difference in an inherently stressful situation. Best of luck in the healing!


Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:52 am
by Sam
Sorry to hear about the injury, glad you have the funds to cover.

On the Christmas issue, over the last couple of years I've been trying to 'train' some folks in our family. I tell family and friends that they really don't need to buy us gifts, hubby and I don't exchange gifts instead we put that money into vacation/travel fund, and I've been cutting back on gift expenditures over the last couple years. If I cut back on gifting, others will start to do so as well. Also, I've been making a list and setting a budget to help me stay on track. Good luck!

Posted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:09 am
by Samantha
A few updates! All good news, really. We received the bill from the urgent care visit. The total bill was $458 for the stitches and the tetanus shot. BUT apparently...although his insurance deductible is ridiculously high, and they won't pay a cent, they 'negotiated' the price for us, so we only owe $260. We got off CHEAP! He says its divine providence.

Also, the life insurance policies came in and look good, so I sent off the $400 today for our first year premiums.

AND regarding Christmas... first I sat down with my mom and talked to her about the situation. She already knew we were doing the Dave Ramsey "snowball" thing, so it was a very easy conversation. I just said I thought it was silly to buy gifts for my aunt, uncle, two cousins (and their significant others) and grandparents. And I didn't think they should have to buy for all 6 of us, either. So I asked her about the drawing idea, and she said... Why haven't we done this sooner?! So then I called my aunt, and she had some great ideas too, i.e. putting the names of our two families in two separate hats to ensure that I don't get my own brother, etc. And writing down a few things we'd like to have on the paper with our name on it, too. So we set a price limit of $30 and we are drawing names on November 16th!! It worked!

In November we might not put anything towards the debt. (400 life insurance, 260 medical bill, 265 annual membership renewal).... BUT in December we will come back strong!

Posted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:11 am
by sandi_k
Yay! See, the brave are rewarded. :)

You'll find December MUCH less stressful, I suspect, since you'll be able to stay with the snowball. And it gives you an opportunity to model financial prudence, if anyone asks how you got the idea.