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 Post subject: Re: Make an actual budget, Catch up on bills and Pay off CC debt
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:37 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 90
I wanted to post a quick update.

My wife has been going to about 3 doctor visits a week since she got out of the hospital (with three different specialists) and they have decided that a surgery will be the way to go to correct her medical issue, so we are scheduling the surgery for sometime in the next two months (Also some extra info, its a pretty non-invasive surgery, so hopefully we won't have to worry about things going bad in surgery).

Anyways, from the financial front we have been holding on, here is a quick synopsis of where we are:

* Just under 2k in credit card debt
* Have 1 side project completed and billed out for $2400 (this is earmarked to pay off rest of credit card debt with the remainder going into emergency fund)
* Just got two new easy side projects that will come out to $750, both from clients that pay immediately on completion of the projects. (this is also heading into the emergency fund as well).
* Have $700 in an emergency fund, and I am adding to this almost every paycheck.
* So far we have been paying the small medical bills as they come in, we have also been paying around $100/week in copays for the doctor visits and the various meds they have my wife on.

I do not know what the totals will be for when my wife was in the hospital, I haven't gotten the bills yet for that, but I intend to try and setup a payment plan with them rather than deplete the savings we now have.

Also I am planning on opening a Roth IRA as soon as I have funded my minimum emergency fund ($1000) and paid off the credit cards. I am looking to open it up at Vanguard so I will need to save up $1000 to open that with.

I am a bit frustrated having all these medical things draining us when we are finally getting ahead, but we are at worst maintaining where we were before this started and at best still coming ahead. If you read some of the past on this thread I have mentioned that we have gotten out of credit card debt twice already in our marriage, and both times within a month or so of paying off the last card we got hit with something like this. I feel like this time it is hitting us, and we are not giving up the ground we have won, period.


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 Post subject: Re: Make an actual budget, Catch up on bills and Pay off CC debt
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
I'm glad your wife is on the mend. That has to be a bit of relief for both of you.

Also, this time the "problems" hit you before you were out of debt, so you're able to continue making headway on your bills, and planning for the future at the same time.
Great job!


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 Post subject: Re: Make an actual budget, Catch up on bills and Pay off CC debt
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:21 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 90
So I got a surprise when I got home last night. Sitting in the mail was a check for $2400 for the one side project I billed out a bit ago. This is from a client that I expect to take 6 months to pay, and I didn't do any prompting or anything and had it in about a month and a half.

Deposited the check last night, I am hoping it is totally cleared by Monday, then, time to call and pay off the last of our credit card debt!

I spent the evening walking around with a dumb look on my face. I know I have been working night and day trying to get this debt paid off, but now that I know it will be, I am having a hard time imagining not paying tons of money each month to these companies.

I can't wait to start socking the extra money into savings and working night and day not to pay off past mistakes, but to actually be improving my future.

(Sidenote, I am only going to need about $1900 to pay off the cards, the rest is going into savings and we will for the first time in our marriage be out of credit card debt and have over $1,000 in our savings account!)


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 Post subject: Re: Make an actual budget, Catch up on bills and Pay off CC debt
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:57 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:57 am
Posts: 379
Woohooo! Good for you! Can't wait to watch your savings balance rise -- that's almost as satisfying as watching the cc debt disappear.

Next time you are tempted to buy something, remember how good you feel right now -- not in hock to any credit cards.

Hope you wife is doing OK?


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 Post subject: Re: Make an actual budget, Catch up on bills and Pay off CC debt
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:53 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:22 pm
Posts: 548
Location: Northern CA
Yay! Yay! Yay!

You did it!

Great job - you were so skeptical in the beginning, and your results happened anyway!

Hope your wife is feeling chipper soon...

Sandi


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 Post subject: Re: Make an actual budget, Catch up on bills and Pay off CC debt
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:41 am 

Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 10:01 am
Posts: 16
Man that is amazing!

Congrats to you are your wife!

Keep up the good work and stay focused! It can be tempting to spend that extra money... we are working on digging out now! So remember how great this feels now and then again when you feel the urge to spurge!

I would do something reasonably nice with your wife though! A decent date night to celebrate your success. You deserve to celebrate!


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 Post subject: Re: Make an actual budget, Catch up on bills and Pay off CC debt
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:36 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 90
We are intending to celebrate, we are planning on going to our local farmers market and pickup something fun to make for over the 4th, we usually have a small get together with our friends then go downtown to see the fireworks.

So in other news, I setup my ING savings to automatically pull $250 every other week out of my checking. I am excited and nervous about it, I have never been able to do automated savings and have it work before. I think in the next couple months I will probably be saving around $700/month. ($500 into my ING account and $200 into the Roth IRA I want to setup).

I wanted to get the automatic savings setup as soon as I could. Now that my credit cards are paid off, I don't want to see that extra money in my savings account where I can $10 and $20 it away. Originally I was going to just manually transfer whatever was left over each paycheck to ING, but after thinking about it, I think I would end up spending more of the money than I will if I just make it automatic. You see I can learn :) I just am a slow learner with a dense head sometimes!


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 Post subject: Re: Make an actual budget, Catch up on bills and Pay off CC debt
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:17 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
Don't forget that you can also have your employer send the money to ING or to your Roth. Talk to your HR person about adding an account. I've found that it takes too long for the ING money to get from my checking to their account, but when I do it through my work paycheck the money is there on Friday when I get paid. Same with my Roth.

Automatic deductions are the way to go especially if you don't want to "see" the money.

I'm so happy for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Make an actual budget, Catch up on bills and Pay off CC debt
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:18 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 90
Some updates:

1) Bills are coming in from when my wife was in the hospital, its looking like the stay cost about $1,000. I have the money to cover it, but it would wipe out my current emergency fund, I am going to call today and setup a payment plan with them, I intend to pay it back quickly, but I don't want to have to wipe out my emergency fund if I don't have to.
2) Along with the hospital stay, my wife has been going to 3 separate specialists almost every week, so we are paying $60-$100/week in co-pays, however we have been able to come up with the cash to pay these thus far.
3) I am finally switching banks, been planning to forever, just got hit with another round of overdrafts that were the banks fault (spent over an hour on the phone with them, they were including pre-auths in their daily calculations, something weird going on there, they agreed and credited the fees back to me). Going over my lunch break today or in the morning tomorrow to sign up at a local credit union many of my coworkers use.
4) Still trying to save $500/month to my ING account, had to dip into my emergency fund a couple times in the last month or so for some of the medical bills, but I have it back up to $1000.

Overall, I would say its positive, we are paying a lot of medical bills out of pocket, and we are still staying ahead of our bills and continuing to save on our emergency fund. My wife will be having a surgery in the next 1-2 months to correct the issue that she ended up in the hospital for, once the surgery is completed she should be pretty much done with the massive appointments she has been going to.

Also if I can just give a general medical rant here, doctors are either so greedy or so inefficient it kills us, my wife is seeing 3 specialists, but they keep sending her to different places for tests, each new place she has to take a test they force her to go in for a general appointment in which she walks in waits for an hour and then the doc comes in and tells her he can't do anything right then and they need to schedule a time for the test. Each doctor refuses to just run a test without seeing her first, but they don't do anything when she gets there, she is being referred by another specialist to them for the sole reason that she needs a specific test. Why do they do that? Of course that means they get to bill our insurance twice and we get to pay 2 different co-pays rather than just running the test and just paying the one co-pay.

I bet we have spend at least a couple hundred dollars on visits to the doctor where all they did was setup another appointment, very frustrating.


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 Post subject: Re: Make an actual budget, Catch up on bills and Pay off CC debt
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 90
Very long time with no update. Been a very frustrating time.

Remember how I said every time I pay off my credit cards, something comes up to put us back in debt? Well that same thing is coming back in a big way right now, I am fighting for all I am worth and just not seeing an end:

1) My wife has been having to go to 3 separate specialists on an almost weekly basis for the last several months, we have been racking up $400-$600/month between the co-pays and the meds they have had her on.
2) My wife also was hospitalized several months ago (as I talked about on here) and then she just had surgery a few weeks ago, between the two trips to the hospital its about $2500
3) My car needed some repairs to be re-registered, I am up to about $700 I have had to put in it the last 2 months.
4) Had to get our puppy spayed, because of another issue they had to do it a non-standard way, cost us $400
5) Finally, our furnace broke down this fall, had the repair guy out twice and they have decided it needs a new control board, easy enough, they said it would be about $400. However I just got a call from them saying they checked with all 10 of their suppliers and nobody has ever heard of the namebrand of the furnace I have. I did some research and they are out of business and nobody took over making replacement parts for them, I will probably have to replace the furnace this week to the tune of $2000-$3000 dollars.

It seems like we are barely keeping our heads above water at this point. I am now about a month behind on bills again, and we have creditors calling again. I can get back ahead if I could just catch a break for a couple months, I am bringing home at least $500 more a month than what I need normally because we paid off the credit cards, but we are getting hit with way more than that in unexpected costs.

Right now I have $1000 in an emergency fund, I have spent and refurnished that probably 3 times in the last few months, but I think I will have to drain it all to replace the furnace this week.

Sorry for being so down, I just needed to vent somewhere. I will make it back on top again, but its so frustrating because this happens every single time I get everything paid off.


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 Post subject: Re: Make an actual budget, Catch up on bills and Pay off CC debt
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:42 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 453
Location: USA
I haven't posted I believe on this thread, but you and your wife have done an amazing job in buckling down, not putting any more on credit cards, and you working extra jobs to eliminate your debt. And you did it, and you should congratulate yourself. Think about how much worse things would be if you didn't get your financial house in order when this happened? And though it probably feels like you are running in place frantically with no progress, you are doing it: still healthy, you are paying the medical bills, paying the regular bills, a plan for unexpected, that's what the money is for.

My husband and I have had many ups and downs. In 2008-2009 in particular my youngest was having repeated ear infections and not sleeping at night, we were both worn out, tired and fighting a lot. And then we found out we were both anemic (my husband seriously so - yes the whole emergency room transfusions bit). In 2009 we both ended up having surgeries or procedures done, but only of course after multiple tests and visits and invasive procedures to rule out other things. It was frustrating and it seemed like it would never be over. Anyways though it doesn't seem like it, you will get through it, and just try to reduce your stress and keep healthy while you are going through it. I hope your wife will continue to improve.


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 Post subject: Re: Make an actual budget, Catch up on bills and Pay off CC debt
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:56 pm 

Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 90
Well I am feeling a bit better today. Finding out the furnace was broken and that I would probably have to replace it was the straw that broke my back.

However when I got home last night, I decided I was going to figure something out, figured since the furnace was probably done with anyways, I tore into it (I don't know squat about furnaces) and found the part they said was bad and that they couldn't find.

Long story short, after getting the part out and doing a ton of cross referencing and such I found another furnace manufacture (that is still in business) that used that same part and I can buy it through them. I found a used (but tested) part on ebay last night for $35 and it is something I can replace on my own.

Saying the furnace repair guy was right and this is the problem I should have the furnace back up and running in a few days.

So I am happy about that, I am still behind on bills and such, but I can deal with that, I just couldn't deal with another 2k-3k in a new furnace.


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 Post subject: Re: Make an actual budget, Catch up on bills and Pay off CC debt
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:15 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 90
So the part for my furnace came in last night, just finished installing it this morning, and as soon as I threw the power back on to the furnace it roared back into service!

I am very excited, ended up spending $89 for a repair guy to come out twice and tell me what the actual problem was and then I spent $35 for the part and replaced it myself, I am happy with those results.

On the bills front, I got paid yesterday and went through and paid up everything I could, as it stands right now I am paid up on all utilities, phone bills, etc. I am currently 1 month behind on my mortgage, and I have about $1500 in medical bills to pay.

I can catch up on my mortgage in a maximum of 2 months, but I am hoping to be able to do it sooner (barring any more catastrophes). The hospital will let me make payments to them so I am paying them $100/month right now, but once I am caught up and have my emergency fund back up (currently have $700, want at least $1000) I will just pay off the remainder of the medical bills.

Lots of work, but maybe I can bring in the new year by being current on everything again, which considering what all happened this year would be a feat.


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