Cranky's attempt at a budget/introduction

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Panda
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Re: Cranky's attempt at a budget/introduction

Postby Panda » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:24 am

Heh. Good for you for adjusting your claim.

I think there's power in being honest about needs vs wants. Not to deny ourselves the wants, but instead to celebrate that we're choosing to give ourselves something. Having moved it out of the needs category, let yourself enjoy the conscious spending that the want involves.

(Yup... consciously hedonistic, that's me apparently)

Bolt Crank
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Re: Cranky's attempt at a budget/introduction

Postby Bolt Crank » Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:43 am

I'm not gone!!!

I still read this site every day. I have to go switch internet browsers to IE in order to log in I've found. Get Rich Slowly doesn't support firefox?! Shame Shame! It's so much better than virus ridden internet explorer. Alas, I'm still here.

Current state of finances are such:

As of Jan 17th:

Mortgage: $107,338. Down from $114,490.29
EM Savings: $8,500 (3 months is $10,500)
Car Payment: $17,000 (still at 0%, no intention of paying off early)

Retirement account: $57,000 (Contributions last year roughly $5,000)

This years plan is still targeting the emergency fund. In 2010 we managed to save away $13,000. Obviously not all of that stayed in the emergency fund, but it's still a positive number that we weren't saving before.

I think my plan for this year (and feel free to comment on this, hence why it's a post):

I WAS going to continue with mortgage pre-payment but kick it up to 11 when I hit 3 months expenses in the bank ($10,500). My goal was to have my mortgage below $100,000 by the time I was 30. (May 15th).

Instead another option has been to: Save up as much money as I can so I have more in the bank than the car payment. Every month that car balance goes down by $365, and I can put about $250 a week into savings. I'd still leave my $85 a week going into the Mortgage principal, but won't be kicking it up this year.

If I went the second route, I would be further on my way to getting 6 months in the bank... and on that note, is it common practice to divide up the EM fund and do different things with it? Like... 3 months in just an ING account, 1 month in raw cash in the house, 2 months invested?

VinTek
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Re: Cranky's attempt at a budget/introduction

Postby VinTek » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:54 am

Bolt Crank wrote:I still read this site every day. I have to go switch internet browsers to IE in order to log in I've found. Get Rich Slowly doesn't support firefox?! Shame Shame! It's so much better than virus ridden internet explorer. Alas, I'm still here.


GRS most definitely does support Firefox. Clear your cache in FF and try logging in from there again.

Bolt Crank
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Re: Cranky's attempt at a budget/introduction

Postby Bolt Crank » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:32 am

I can't wait for my tax return to get here!!!! I want to have 3 months in EM fund so badly..... $10,500.... finally... it will have taken forever!

When it gets here, I'll take a look at what is next more.

Kate1
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Re: Cranky's attempt at a budget/introduction

Postby Kate1 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:05 pm

I just read through this whole thread and I think you are doing great! Don't get too upset when the emergency fund drops because of emergencies - that's the point. Just be happy those emergencies didn't require taking on debt.

Did you ever get your wills done? If not, that's important to do right away.
Kate

Bolt Crank
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Re: Cranky's attempt at a budget/introduction

Postby Bolt Crank » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:31 am

Kate, surprisingly, wills and life insurance are still not done :(.

However onto the good news:

EM Balance sits at: $10,981 as of today. Finally over the three month threshold. MAN that took forever and a day to build up. (about since this journal started)

For a while now, I'll only be sticking $70 a week in there. My goal is to save up money for some enjoyment, some new clothes for work, etc etc. This will continue until probably June. At which point, I'll be shifting extra money to the mortgage most likely for a veeeerrrrrrryyy long time. (This may be subject to change when the time comes later this year, but currently that's where it's headed)

Bolt Crank
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Re: Cranky's attempt at a budget/introduction

Postby Bolt Crank » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:05 am

So, I know it hasn't been long since I finally made it past 3 months in the emergency fund... but... let me just say this:

It is so F!@#! worth it. It's there, in it's account, doing it's thing. The peace of mind of having 3 months is so relaxing. I can not sing a higher praise for actually achieving it.

Granted some say to go to 6 or even a full year, and I will, absolutely. But getting to 3 months allows you to shift to other things. I'm always going to contribute $70 a week into the EM fund until it hits 6 months.

Part of life makes you feel like you go through being a slave to another. You wake up every day, and go to work for someone else, just for money to go home and pay off obligations and debts to someone else. Debt really is slavery, and that being said I am currently a slave to:

Wells Fargo.
Ford Motor Credit.

I'm going to take a full month off saving to "save" for a vacation we are taking in August. After that, I'll be targeting one of these two owners and figure out which is mathmatically better to target first!

suzwantstobefree
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Re: Cranky's attempt at a budget/introduction

Postby suzwantstobefree » Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:34 pm

Good for you! You are making great progress.

Bolt Crank
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Re: Cranky's attempt at a budget/introduction

Postby Bolt Crank » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:21 am

Check in time:

EM FUND: $11,500. (1 Month is $3,500)


Car Balance: $16,700 @0%
Mortgage: $105,500. @5.25% (Now officially Underwater! even though I bought the place at $192,000).


Monthly Bills:

Mortgage: $649
PreSchool: $95
Comcast Internet: $66
Food: $520
Association: $323
Car Payment: $365
Sprint: $107 (Two phones)
ComEd: $150 (Avg)
Insurance: $115
Vehicle Gas: $220
Property Taxes: $341
= $2,951.

Thats barebone recurring expenses. Gifts, Having a Kid, Entertainment, Food out, Clothing, random non-food related living expenses (Like cleaning supplies and house repairs) occasional treats fluctuate on the month.

Here is what we stick into savings every month:

$303 into EM Fund
$368 into Mortgage Prepay.

Income is: $5,600 a month.

$2,310 is left after the auto-deducts.

We usually stick an additional $780 into savings. Currently this is going into a vacation fund per month. When thats done it will probably go back into EM fund or car payment.

$1,530 is left after that. April was a pretty light month when it came to gifts, and that STILL ran us $500. May is going to be worse. These aren't big gifts, but we feel like we have to do them: Mothers 60th birthday, Sisters Baby Shower, Friends 30th birthday, Kids birthday parties are pretty absurd to even though we keep those under $50 each they still pop up everywhere.

Which generally leaves us with $1,000 left in the month for Clothes, Food out, entertainment, cleaning supplies, pet supplies, MISC Government expenses, small medical expenses, etc etc etc etc.

Basically, try as I might to cut into to that amount to save more, all attempts have been futile and I end up overdrawing into our overdraft protection line of credit.

Does anybody else see anything they would do differently / any advice or should I just keep going every month as is? Progress is being made.. just.. slowly.

peachy
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Re: Cranky's attempt at a budget/introduction

Postby peachy » Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:12 pm

I think the best way for you to save more money is to put more money into the vacation acct. or your savings account directly from your paycheck. I know that if I have extra money, I will find a way to spend it. Whether it's a more expensive gift for a shower than I planned, or I decide to get Haagen Daas ice cream instead of nothing or I decide to get dessert at a restaurant. If I don't see it, I won't spend it, and surprisingly (!), I make do.

Bolt Crank
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Re: Cranky's attempt at a budget/introduction

Postby Bolt Crank » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:59 am

Check in time!

The last time I posted in this journal was April and the reason for the delay is because there have not been any major milestones hit. Mortgage and Car Payment go down every month... Retirement funds go nowhere... however.. I am please to announce:

$14,000 in Emergency Fund. We have made it to the 4 month threshold. Despite all attempts otherwise we only seem to manage 2 months docked away a year. At this point until the Jan 1st I am probably going to take a break from the hyper savings we have been putting into the EM Fund. We have some things that we have been procrastinating on purchasing for the sole purpose of getting the EM fund to this point.

However fellow forum goers here is the next question:

Should I-
A: Continue putting money in the emergency fund until I hit the arbitrary number of comfort. (For us thats probably 1 year. Single Income, 1 kid. But that number is just so much damn money sitting there).
B: Start Saving for a new car. (One is currently 13 years old and starting to get down on its luck).
C: Start rapidly paying off the current car loan (which is still 0% interest $14,000 left over)
D: Increase Mortgage prepayment.. (the only loan I have with an interest at 5.25% $101,000 balance).

geoff_tewierik
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Re: Cranky's attempt at a budget/introduction

Postby geoff_tewierik » Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:03 pm

Weight up how hard it would be for the worker in the family to find a job if for some reason they lost their current one. That will help clarify for you how much you will need in your EF. If it's easy to get a job, then leave the EF as is. If it's hard, then add more cash, until you get to a level where you are comfortable. Not everyone has to have 6 months or 1 years savings in their EF, it's situation dependant.

Save for the replacement car. It's the one that has more potential to cost you money in the short term.

Then pay off the other car.

Then increase the Mortgage payment.

Good luck.

kaitlyn142
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Re: Cranky's attempt at a budget/introduction

Postby kaitlyn142 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:38 pm

I would focus on the new car fund. The last thing you want is to be forced into putting more money into car repairs than the car is worth. After that, mortgage then existing car loan, only because the car loan is at 0%.

Bolt Crank
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Re: Cranky's attempt at a budget/introduction

Postby Bolt Crank » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:37 am

Alright! Time for that yearly update. Last post was a long time ago for me but that is really because things do not seem to advance very quickly. Here is my status now:

Mortgage: $99,400 @ 5.25%
Car: $13,100 @0%
Emergency Fund: $14,000 (Exactly 4 months).

Here are some bullet point updates on the good side of things:
-My Credit score is now cleaned, things that have been their for years like defaulted student loans finally are completely removed.
-After a getrichslowly post on the merits of reward points for travel and the fact that I have a lot of travel planned I did decide to pick up a credit card. So far everything is fine. 0 interest paid and a lot of money moved through the card. It is looking like a wedding we are going to in Vegas this fall might cost us $0 in housing and airfare.
-Completely caught up after some major car repairs, holidays etc etc.

Downsides:
-Perhaps because we focused to much on getting 4 months we've put off some big ticket items in our house that we really need to tackle: New Bed is the biggest one.
-We are unable to refinance our condo because over 17% of the people in our association haven't paid their dues. This sucks because I'm approved for a 3% mortgage but I just can't do it.
-Also shitty is that due to declining values the "20%" equity in the house is at $96,000. Considering I bought our place for $194,000 and its appraising for $120,000 it is very disheartening. Since I'm stuck with the mortgage, really thinking about kicking up the prepayment even more.

Goals:
-+1 EM fund month. (+3,500)
-+ New Bed
-+ Fully saved for three trips we are taking. (One Arizona (Already paid,)(One Con Trip: $1,700 needed)(One Vegas Wedding $??)

Bolt Crank
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Re: Cranky's attempt at a budget/introduction

Postby Bolt Crank » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:28 am

Okay, so, it's been since Feb since I've posted. As usual, life happens. That being said, here is my yearly update:

Mortgage: $91,500 @3.25%: A $7,900 drop since last Feb.
Car: $9,000 @0%: Still not prepaying this debt down. Just monthly payments.
Emergency Fund: $10,500: 3 months. Okay so we lost a month in our EM fund.

On our yearly goals, we only achieved one of them. Three vacations were all paid for and the rewards card has been working great for us and saved us money on airfare already. The new bed and the emergency fund increase were obviously not done. The EM fund actually went down because my wife went back to work and she decided to go into business for herself and we took out some money to cover her start up costs.

The reason we didn't save up any money for another month was because we refinanced our mortgage from 5.25% to 3.25% and we paid most of that money upfront.

I will say it's hard to stay on top of savings with a kid and no raises when everything seems to rise in price around you and medical insurance covers less and less. Ultimately I don't see any light at the end until things like a mortgage are completely paid off or we just simply have less bills. We aren't going into debt by any measure but the rate of savings is mind numbingly slow.


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