Kim Needs Accountability Thread!
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  1. #1

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    Default Kim Needs Accountability Thread!

    Here I go-

    I am usually a lurker and occasionally post. We are not in a major financial crisis or disaster, but I am tired of seeing our money going down the drain for stupid stuff. We want to be able to take vacations and not have to use a credit card. We want to be able to save money for a new vehicle at some point. I want to be able to have meals made up, so we are not eating out all the time. I want eating out to be a luxury and something we appreciate.

    Here is where I need accountability. I don't do a good job with keeping a budget (bad, I know!). We eat out WAY too much. I am ashamed to admit how much. We waste money on groceries and things go to waste because of our eating out habit. We spend way too much on entertainment and "fun stuff." We have the money for this kind of thing, but spending it on those things makes me feel wasteful. I cringe looking at the bank account and seeing all the "stuff" we spend money on that we don't really need to.

    Here is kind of a rundown of our budget.

    $746- Husband's Take Home Pay - Every 2 weeks
    $678- My Take Home Pay- Every 2 weeks

    Total = 2848 (Take Home Pay)

    Expenses:

    Rent- $565
    Electric- $85
    Car Payment - $171 (We owe less than $4500 now)
    Car Insurance- $480 (Every 6 months)
    Cellphones- $90
    Internet- $29.96
    Tithe- $250
    Wal-Mart CC- $30 ($181.00 left to pay)
    Capital One CC- $30 ($280.00 left to pay)
    Groceries - $200
    Gas- $150
    Eating Out/Misc - $150
    Health/Beauty Items - $50
    Payment to SIL for furniture - $250 (one time thing- did not include this in the expense total)
    Total Expenses: $1990.96

    So that means we should have about $850 left over after all the bills are paid. I am estimating high on most of our expenses as well except the things that I know don't change month to month. We try to keep at least $1000 in the bank account. Some months are better than others.

    We are wanting to pay off the Wal-Mart CC, Capital One CC by the end of December. Then, we are wanting to double our car payment to get it paid off quicker hopefully by Summer 2009. We will be going on vacation in December, but we are paying cash for everything. Then I will need $300 in March for a rental car. Other than that, we do not have huge expenses or credit card debt. I feel like we should take this opportunity to get ahead and use our money wisely instead of waiting until its too late.

    So here is a list of things that I want to accomplish by the end of the year.

    1. Open a savings account (Put a percentage of my paycheck into savings every pay period)

    2. Start putting $300 into savings every month - This is money we won't touch unless we need it

    3. Start 401-K at work when eligible

    4. Have a set amount for eating out budget and stick to it

    5. Prepare meals for breakfast and lunch to curb eating out

    6. Pay off car ASAP and use the extra money to start saving for another vehicle

    That is pretty much my plan. Hubby is on board, but if I am not prepared by having groceries in the house and meals planned out- we are much more likely to eat out. Due to me having some health issues, he has to help a lot more and this makes it difficult when we both are tired after work. But- if I plan ahead we should be able to do this. I will keep this thread updated with our progress.

    Feel free to give me any suggestions or ideas!
    Last edited by KandD2007; 11-26-2008 at 02:51 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Just wanting to wish you good luck!
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    Registered User G'MaDebbie's Avatar
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    Kim,

    I just had to do this EXACT same thing. Although I started my post out with decluttering and organzing my home, my budget is the next thing to work on. I have decided that I am finishing up my home this weekend and will start my budget on December 1..which is going to stink due to X-mas...but I have to start somewhere......GOOD LUCK TO YOU, you can do this!!!
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    do you have a crockpot? it will help the "i'm starving and it's 6 o clock syndrome".

    make enough dinner to have lunch for both of you for next day. pack it up in tupperware when you clean up dinner.

    plan meals. for example, today i am eating turkey leftovers. ( i had thanksgiving early) plannng meals will stop the eating out, because your mind will work like this: today is tossed salad day with bacon and blue cheese crumbles. if i go out to eat the lettuce will rot...

    have you budgeted enough for gasoline?

    you haven't budgeted any pocket money.

    edited to add: dave ramsey would recommend paying off all debt and then building a 6 month emergency fund before starting the retirement account.
    Last edited by ladykemma2; 11-26-2008 at 05:03 PM.
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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    We will do an emergency fund before retirement, but I will sign up for the 401-K when they offer it. If you miss the deadline to sign up at my job then you can't sign up again until the next year. But, I might wait- depending on if we have enough in our emergency fund.

    The pocket money is the misc/eating out. I have considered raising this to give us 50 a piece each month for whatever we want.

    I pretty much have the gas covered. Our jobs are not far from home. We go to the "city" about once a week which is only about 20 minutes away.

    I love my crockpot- just need to use it more. It will definitely cure the there is nothing fixed and its 6 PM..

    Tonight we are having Braum's only because my parents are over and paying for it. Otherwise we would be having sandwiches and soup.
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    Registered User mrsmac62's Avatar
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    Looks like you have a good plan! When you realize where all the money goes it can be a shock, but you've got a workable approach. Hope it all goes well
    My health is variable too- from time to time I get organized and cook for the freezer, but often just cook a recipe for 4 .(I live by myself) & divide that up for the freezer. Then I have variety to choose from & something to pull out for my bad days. Do you have a family member who could help you do bulk cooking? My dd's & I get together from time to time to do just that, we can also swap meals, again for a bit of variety.
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    Registered User phoeny_moonstar's Avatar
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    Looks like you are on the right track! Just stick to the list that you've already made and I think you'll make a lot of progress!
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    Quote Originally Posted by KandD2007 View Post
    The pocket money is the misc/eating out. I have considered raising this to give us 50 a piece each month for whatever we want.
    i would bump that to 50 biweekly for each of you.
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    Registered User Sassyclass's Avatar
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    Good luck. You have done just what I was telling fiance we are going to sit down and do after Christmas. I'm tired of not having money in the bank. We want to buy land and build a house and at the rate we are going it's not going to happen before I'm 80 years old! I don't see cable/ satellite so I assume you don't have it.? As far as the pocket money goes that is a tough one. We do $100 every 2 weeks. This goes for lottery, magazines, eating out etc. for the both of us. I think once you start eating at home more you will have the extra mad money for the 2 of you. I wouldn't up that just yet until you see how things go. Your goal is to pay things off and upping your "allowance" IMO is taking away from that. Now I must go and live what I preach.

    Cat
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    Registered User itsahumanzoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KandD2007 View Post
    We will do an emergency fund before retirement, but I will sign up for the 401-K when they offer it. If you miss the deadline to sign up at my job then you can't sign up again until the next year. But, I might wait- depending on if we have enough in our emergency fund.
    I don't know how old you are, but my husband stopped contributing to his 401K recently so we could use the money towards debt. So it might be worth it for you to wait until next year and throw everything you can at your debt. You could potentially have your car paid off in only a few months if you work at it.
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    I wish you luck! Your goals seems very doable!!
    I really need to get into the habit of preparing breakfasts and lunches, too!
    Last edited by Funny Honey; 11-27-2008 at 08:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladykemma2 View Post
    i would bump that to 50 biweekly for each of you.
    Good idea. I will go ahead and do that.

    I am also bumping the grocery budget to $300 a month.


    We do not have cable and probably won't for a long time. Too busy to watch TV much anyways.
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsahumanzoo View Post
    I don't know how old you are, but my husband stopped contributing to his 401K recently so we could use the money towards debt. So it might be worth it for you to wait until next year and throw everything you can at your debt. You could potentially have your car paid off in only a few months if you work at it.
    I won't be eligible to even get my 401-K until August. We should have the car paid off by then if we start throwing extra money at it.
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    Yesterday was a frugal day for us. We did spend some money at Wal-Mart for media storage cases. We are going through our DVD collection and selling the ones we do not want. We brought home leftovers for dinner tonight and hopefully the husband doesn't eat them all before dinner. We have to run to the city later today to check on some cats for our friends. I am not sure if I will go with him. Today we are just hanging out at home and organizing our DVDs and cleaning up the apartment.

    Monday, we are planning to open a savings account and rent will be due. I have school, so I will need to pack a lunch and some snacks. I will leave something for husband to have for lunch also. I will also need to have easy breakfasts for Monday and Tuesday.

    We are going to pay off the Wal-Mart card in the middle of December. Then the Capital One card will be paid off at the end of December. We will start throwing double car payments at the car loan in January.

    We are making progress. It will be slow for awhile, but atleast this thread will keep me accountable.

    Thanks for all of the suggestions!
    Last edited by KandD2007; 11-28-2008 at 04:10 PM.
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    Oooh. We do that quite often. Although, I admist, we haven't bought a DVD in forevr. But every once in a while Mr. Funny will go through them all, make copies and then sell the originals. A nice bit of change! =)
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