I Need Frugal Advice...
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  1. #1
    QM
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    Default I Need Frugal Advice...

    As you can tell, my Line of Credit is $20,137.75. Sad to say, it's going to have to go up again! Every 9 months or so, we order 1/2 a cow from a local farmer. He gives us a really good price...because we know him and he's family. We're not certain what he's going to charge us (probably around $2.29/lb), but we get every cut of meat--from T-bone to ground beef. (That's just a side story to the main story.)

    Because I haven't started a budget (I started one a couple months ago, but found it too time consuming) we don't have the money saved for the meat. There is absolutely no way DH will not buy the meat, so let's not go there. Also, please don't say to go vegetarian because it's not going to happen. DH is a big meat eater/lover.

    My question is...the meat is going to cost anywhere from $600 to $800 (depending on the weight of the cow). Should I use the money from my emergency fund to pay off part of the cow and the balance put on my Line of Credit or should I not touch my emergency fund and put the entire cost of the meat on Line of Credit? I know that had we had a budget this wouldn't be a problem because we'd already have the money saved up, but we don't.

    Any advice, comments and suggestions would be appreciated. BTW, thank you in advance for your help.

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    Registered User Momto2Boyz's Avatar
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    I guess, if you are going to buy the cow, no matter what, I would leave the EF fund and put it on the credit. However, personally, I would forgo it, and purchase it later when I had the cash, if that were an option...but that is just what I would do!

    It is actually a really good price for a side of beef, so you'll be saving money in the long run, if you were to be buying the same cuts of meat anyway at the supermarket.

    My real advice to you, is to not wait another day to get your budget started. It is the best tool you have! I sit down in December each year and set my entire budget for the year. I do add things as I need too, but for the most part, it takes me a few hours...then it is out of the way for the year. Then each Friday morning when DH gets paid, I sit down at the computer, write out my bills and plug my numbers into my budget and it takes all of 10 minutes a week!

    Don't wait...start your budget today!

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    QM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momto2Boyz View Post
    ...However, personally, I would forgo it, and purchase it later when I had the cash, if that were an option...but that is just what I would do!...
    Personally, that is what I would do too. I would cut back on meat (healthier probably in the long run) and wait until I had the cash. Unfortunately, that isn't an option. I know that DH would like at me like I had two heads if I suggested it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Momto2Boyz View Post
    ...It is actually a really good price for a side of beef, so you'll be saving money in the long run, if you were to be buying the same cuts of meat anyway at the supermarket...
    We know that it's a good price and that we're saving money in the long run if we were to buy the meat anyway at the grocery store. That's another reason DH likes buying from him. Since the meat is from a local farmer, it tastes 10 times better too.

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    Registered User Sassyclass's Avatar
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    Me personally, I would use the emergency fund first. The less you put on credit the better. Then if an emergency did happen I would use what was left on my cc. I wouldn't want to pay the intrest on the card.

    Cat

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    We buy a side of beef every year also. It is a great money saver, and I like knowing where my food comes from. What we do is use some of our tax refund to pay for it. Would that be an option for you? Maybe your farmer friend could hold off until you get your refund? (That, of course, is asuming you have a refund coming.) Just a thought.

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    QM
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisabeans View Post
    ...What we do is use some of our tax refund to pay for it. Would that be an option for you? Maybe your farmer friend could hold off until you get your refund? (That, of course, is assuming you have a refund coming.) Just a thought.
    We're going to use our tax refund (which we should have) towards our Line of Credit. Maybe it's me, but I don't think it fair that we buy meat then delay payment. We have Line of Credit. Is it fair to our farmer friend for us to buy the meat, take it and start eating it then withhold payment until it better suits our needs? Since we have Line of Credit, we'll use it. My questions were more directed as to whether we should use our EF or not, etc.

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    I say emergency fund because putting it on credit, unless you can pay off right a way is going to make that $2.29 a lb go up and up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rainbowgc View Post
    I say emergency fund because putting it on credit, unless you can pay off right a way is going to make that $2.29 a lb go up and up!
    Good point!

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    I would use the EF. As stated by another poster, by the time you pay the interest, your bargain won't be much of a bargain. I would also start a cow fund for next year. Put aside $15 a week and your cow will be paid for next year

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    I would use the EF fund too. And then today, NO LATER work on a budget. You said you found it too time consuming. Yes, they might be, however if you had one, you probably wouldn't be asking us this question. Budgets are important and are there only to help us with our finances.

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    Registered User fuzzybunny's Avatar
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    This last fall a friend of mine told me her family had an extra quarter of a cow. Every year her dad raises several for the family and then they pay a local butcher to do the slaughtering. (It's easier since the grandkids generally name the cows) All I would have to pay was the processing costs... it wound up being about $1.65 a pound.

    I had no qualms about pulling this money from my emergency fund.
    My reasoning was that not all emergencies are necessarily negative. One of the points of being frugal is so that you can take advantage of these sorts of situations. When I compared the cost of organic beef to the per pound cost of the family cow the savings was so large there was almost no way I could not buy it but at the same time I was commited to no incurring anymore debt, so emergency fund it had to be.

    In the end it didn't take me long to replace the money I had spent, since I was no longer buy expensive beef at the store.

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    Registered User Michelle's Avatar
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    I'd use the EF too vs. putting it on the CC. And then I'd save like crazy to build back the EF.

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    What's the interest rate on your LoC? Is the $300 in your EF the only money you have access to? If the rate is good and there is no other money, my personal choice would be to put it on the credit line. I'd rather pay the dollar or two in interest than have no access to cash.

    Then make a budget and file your taxes the second you have all your receipts.

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    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
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    Either way, it won't make that much difference.

    If you take it from the LOC, then look at your grocery budget, what do you usually pay a month for meat? Put that right on the LOC. If you take it from the EF, then put it on the EF.

    Your EF is just starting, so you still need to take it from somewhere, or did I misread.

    Anyway, now you know you need to put money aside for irregular expenses. 800/12 should be tucked away monthly in a separate account for this time next year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeywrangler71 View Post
    What's the interest rate on your LoC?...
    My interest rate is 4.25%. It's been going down; I think it's because of the recession...I'm not sure!

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeywrangler71 View Post
    ...Is the $300 in your EF the only money you have access to?...
    No, I always have access to money thanks to my Line of Credit. All I'd have to do is write myself a cheque and put it in my bank account and voila!!!

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