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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone. I'm getting ready to start the DR plan but I'm not really sure where to begin. I was hoping if I put all my info. up that someone will tell me where I should start. Were expecting a $5000 tax refund (once the Govt. accepts itemized claims) so Id like to be read to start when we get it. If it's budgeted before we get it, we won't blow it. We are running close to 25 days behind on everything and pay it right before it goes to the 30 day late mark. We still maintain good credit and Id like to keep it that way but it's getting scary. About us - My husbands job is seasonal and his paycheck varies every week. It's construction and he's been at the same job for 24 years. He makes great money in the summer, unemployment for a few months over the winter. My job is a straight 40 hrs. paid bi-weekly with approx. 5 hrs. overtime almost every paycheck but the amount & guarantee of ot is not ever a sure thing although I get every OT hr. in I can. Ok. Here it goes. We grossed about $95000.00 this year but I think I should be safe and budget for a straight guaranteed 40 hrs. a week for both of us we have $5600 per month take home (at 40 hrs. each). I have 6% (Company matched) coming out for my 401k my husband has 11% and his company just stopped contributing their company match so I think he should stop his deduction since there is no match.
Mortgage (inc. taxes, Ins.) $1124.00
Electric/Gas - $225 Month
Cell Phones (for 4 of us) $225.00 We have no house phone
Internet - $50
Trash - $25
Direct Tv - Basic Pkg - $75
Groceries - Between $430 - $865 Month (includes all cleaners/toiletries, ect.)
Car pymt 1 - 08 Hundai - 30,000 full warranty left on it and $2000 upside down on loan - VERY STUPID purchase - $437 Month - Would LOVE to figure out how to get rid of this
Car pymt 2 - 04 F350 - Owe maybe $7000 on it worth $12000 - $355 pymt.
Gas & Oil - $80 Month
Car ins. - $120
Flex Spending - (I was diagnosed with breast cancer this year)
$108
Medical Bills - $I send what I can in every month
Health Ins. $301
RX's - Approx. $100
Life Ins. Through Work - $26
Husbands Lunches - $150
My Lunches $80
Horse Feed - $130
Kids School Lunches (2 Kids) - $130
School Supplies - $16
Child Support - $685
Gifts (Christmas/Bdays) $139
Credit Card 1 - $100 / $1960 Bal.
Credit Card 2 - $90 / $2496 Bal.
Credit Card 3 - $40 / $1664 Bal.
Credit Card 4 - $145 / $3960 Bal.
 

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First question - have you read The Total Money Makeover?
 
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Yes for sure go to your library and see if they have it.

First of all stop spending that alone is amazing how much less you owe.

Next you need to get a little emergency fund together $1000.
Next you are supposed to cut up and close the credit cards, I was too scared to do that and kept one with the credit union put put it in the safe.

Next the thing that you can do right away is stop buying lunches for everybody, that is $360 a month right there, take that and throw all of it at CC#3 in just 4.6 months that will be paid off and you move to the next.

Yes I would stop hubbys deductions for now and also throw that at CC #3 so it will be done even faster.

Read the book and keep going from there. Pay cash for everything. On the first of the month I get like $1010.00 and that is food, doc, etc.

Still pay for gas with the Debit Card.

You can do it you have a nice income.
 
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Mortgage (inc. taxes, Ins.) $1124.00
Electric/Gas - $225 Month
Cell Phones (for 4 of us) $225.00 We have no house phone-

You need to cut these down, get the Walmart unlimted text and minutes 45.00 a month think there might be a family discount offered now, or go to Boost 45.00 a month after 6 months 40.00 a month and after 18 months 35.00 a month, there are no other plans out there with unlimited minutes and text you can save 45.00 to begin with then a potential of 85.00 after 18 months seems like not too much but in on yrs time 85.00 will be 1, 025 to use towards snowballing etc Now with that said not fancy phones but at this point you need to get out of debt not fancy gagets

Internet - $50

See if you can renegotiate to around 35.00 a month possible savings 15.00 once again not much but in one yr 150.00

Trash - $25

Direct Tv - Basic Pkg - $75

Ditch it and save 75.00 a month towards emergency and snowballing, savings 750.00 a yr.


Groceries - Between $430 - $865 Month (includes all cleaners/toiletries, ect.)

You need to cut this to an even figure, bulk shop, OAMC, coupons, bulk cooking on weekends utilized the crockpot and in this amount needs to be for all of you to take lunches from home. Go to get bulk things for lunch and just do it, the kids can help pack no matter how old. I have lived in california, the Northeast , and Midwest my budget is for 4-6 , and is only 500.00 per month and we eat lots of fresh fruits, veggies, organic and grassfed. Potential savings 660 a month when you include lunch money. This would be a 8,700 savings per yr. : Yikes:


Car pymt 1 - 08 Hundai - 30,000 full warranty left on it and $2000 upside down on loan - VERY STUPID purchase - $437 Month - Would LOVE to figure out how to get rid of this
Car pymt 2 - 04 F350 - Owe maybe $7000 on it worth $12000 - $355 pymt.
Gas & Oil - $80 Month
Car ins. - $120
Flex Spending - (I was diagnosed with breast cancer this year)
$108
Medical Bills - $I send what I can in every month
Health Ins. $301
RX's - Approx. $100
Life Ins. Through Work - $26

Husbands Lunches - $150- see above ( this is gone )


My Lunches $80 ( this is gone see above )

Horse Feed - $130

Kids School Lunches (2 Kids) - $130 ( this is gone see above )

School Supplies - $16

Child Support - $685

Gifts (Christmas/Bdays) $139

Credit Card 1 - $100 / $1960 Bal.
Credit Card 2 - $90 / $2496 Bal.
Credit Card 3 - $40 / $1664 Bal.
Credit Card 4 - $145 / $3960 Bal.
You need to start a baby emergency fund right away

Cut up the cards

Cut the food budget , buy in bulk, coupons, bulk cook, OAMC or weekend cooking, utilize the crockpot make big pots of soup, chili stews, breads and take leftovers or buy bulk things for lunch. It can be done on my food budget my husband commuted for many yrs with hot gourmet or wonderful lunches , there was times he had to take a cooler with a weeks meals at a time to stay in work pd apartments for work . my kids all had gourmet lunches even wrapped in sub paper to make them happy :) it can be done where there is a will there is a way.

Cut the TV

Cut the cell phone bills

See if there is a way to sell the car etc without making the debt worse and buy a used car.

Potential savings : Phone at 45.00 savings one yr 540.00
TV 750.00 a yr.

Grocery budget @ 500.00 ( potential savings of 365.00 general grocery 360 lunches 8,700 a yr.)

Grand total with out any debts gone and the car still 9,990.00 a year.

If you are serious about getting out of debt, then no excuses, gazelle intensity and your savings can be 9,990 to snowball etc.

Good luck to you. I am not asking you to do anything I don't or haven't done by the way.

Blessings and hugs to you.

Hope this isn't too much of a shocker. I wish you the best.

Go to the library and get Daves books, google there are free Dave forums out there as well. I am a member of one.
 
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Ummm... I'm probably gonna get flamed for this but a HORSE? $130 / month? How old are the kids? Can they get jobs to contribute to keeping a pet that does not guard anything and produces nothing?
Alternatively - can you ride the horse to work?? :)
 
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Mortgage (inc. taxes, Ins.) $1124.00
Electric/Gas - $225 Month
Cell Phones (for 4 of us) $225.00 We have no house phone
Internet - $50
Trash - $25
Direct Tv - Basic Pkg - $75
Groceries - Between $430 - $865 Month (includes all cleaners/toiletries, ect.)
Car pymt 1 - 08 Hundai - 30,000 full warranty left on it and $2000 upside down on loan - VERY STUPID purchase - $437 Month - Would LOVE to figure out how to get rid of this
Car pymt 2 - 04 F350 - Owe maybe $7000 on it worth $12000 - $355 pymt.
Gas & Oil - $80 Month
Car ins. - $120
Flex Spending - (I was diagnosed with breast cancer this year)
$108
Medical Bills - $I send what I can in every month
Health Ins. $301
RX's - Approx. $100
Life Ins. Through Work - $26
Husbands Lunches - $150
My Lunches $80
Horse Feed - $130
Kids School Lunches (2 Kids) - $130
School Supplies - $16
Child Support - $685
Gifts (Christmas/Bdays) $139
Credit Card 1 - $100 / $1960 Bal.
Credit Card 2 - $90 / $2496 Bal.
Credit Card 3 - $40 / $1664 Bal.
Credit Card 4 - $145 / $3960 Bal.
How much/often do you have the kids? I'm noticing Child Support, plus cell phones for the kids? Plus school supplies, plus lunches? Plus health insurance?

When I take your Gifts amount, times 12 months, divided by 4 people, it comes up to $417 per person. Um, start there for cutting back.

I don't know how drastic you want to fix things, nor how dedicated everyone else is about it, but I haven't missed television since I gave it up. We use the internet and cell phones, though, I'm not willing to give those up yet.

I don't see a clothing budget, but I'd also like to suggest shopping at thrift stores, cash only.

I'm sorry to hear about the cancer, take care of yourself first and foremost. Even if that means keeping your higher food bill.
 
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Yes, please take care of yourself. I do have to note that due to my health that is why my food bill is only 500.00 a month. When I was sick, I had to give up all preservatives, and go to just healthy, homemade food. We do eat tons of fresh and organic as much as possible , especially in the summer. We do garden, cook from scratch, bake from scratch, bulk buy, make homemade broths, soups etc. We eat organic and grassfed when we can. On that amount though we don't eat take out, processed, bakery fast foods or junk food. So this would actually be healthy for you. It will take time to cook and shop this way but can be trimmed down with plans. I started to feel better , my energy surged and I could run marathons again once we cut those things out. In cutting them out of the food budget you cut out the fluff and can only use basic ingredients. Use the weekends, nights, the kids and when your husband is off or his slow times to stock the freezer with meals and do easy crockpot meals during the week. Hope this helps.

Good luck to you, and take care of yourself. Blessings.

ETA: Disclaimer: This is only given as advice of what worked for me, consult your Dr or nutritionist , as your medical care provider can best assist. Sorry should put this because of field I am in. This is not being given nor should be taken as medical , or nutritional advice just friend to friend....sigh....
 

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You have a lot of non-necessities that could be reduced which have already been mentioned. I would NOT have your dh quit contributing to his retirement. When that time comes you'll be very glad you contributed all you could.

Have you figured out that you and your dh together are spending over $2300 a year on lunches? That amount alone would go a long way towards not being upside down on your car loan.

I firmly believe the first step in planning a budget is to track spending for a couple of months and I mean every penny spent. The cup of coffee, bottle of soda or water a couple of times a day is huge when multiplied over a year. Little thing do count up fast.

Once you know where your money is going you and your dh should sit down and decide what can be reduced and what can be eliminated. Ideally you should be living on one income and saving the other or a large percentage of the other. Using that approach you could live on one and use the other to pay down debt.

And remember the first thing to do when you find yourself in a hole is STOP DIGGING.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No, I wouldn't have asked if I didn't want to hear the reality. It's for 2 horses and I am thinking that I'll sell them - put it towards my snowball and save on the grain. I love horses but realistically I hate going out to feed in the winter and I only ride maybe once a week. My girlfriend has horses I can ride any time for free so although I hate giving up my pets I want to do the best thing for my family & future. It just stinks this has to be hard. Hoping it gets easier with time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have not read any of Daves books yet. I have just been struggling over the slower winter months making ends meet and when I sat down to do our taxes this past week I thought, my gosh, we make pretty decent money, why are we still living paycheck to paycheck. There was no good answer. My 14 year old is already thinking he's going to go buy a new $50,000 car when he turns 18 and I want to be a better example to them. I am going to involve the entire family in our budget and post it on the fridge so they can see it and start putting them in charge of some things like school lunch allowances or school supplies/clothes. Start them on their own envelope system. I also would love for us to eat healthier. When I try to go cheap I tend to end up with cheap & fattening. Eating healthy seems expensive and from reading here Im learning it doesnt have to be. I have a ton to learn. Does that count as a good reason to keep the internet?:smball:
I am going to take $1000.00 of our tax refund to start the emergency fund. The rest I will use to catch up to on time payments then pay off the first credit card I think.
 

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Mortgage (inc. taxes, Ins.) $1124.00
Electric/Gas - $225 Month Try to figure out how to cut these bills using tips in Frugal Village utilities forum.
Cell Phones (for 4 of us) $225.00 We have no house phone It's good that you don't have a land line but you can cut this bill by cutting out internet packages for your phones, etc, if you have them. If these are for teens' phones, they need to try to get jobs to pay for their phone bills.
Internet - $50
Trash - $25
Direct Tv - Basic Pkg - $75
Groceries - Between $430 - $865 Month (includes all cleaners/toiletries, ect.) That is high. How many people are you feeding? If your adult children are living at home, they should contribute to food. You can do a Google search and get lots of tips on reducing your food/household/toiletries bill; or search different forums here.
Car pymt 1 - 08 Hundai - 30,000 full warranty left on it and $2000 upside down on loan - VERY STUPID purchase - $437 Month - Would LOVE to figure out how to get rid of thisn (Dave Ramsey would say to sell this car and get a beater);
Car pymt 2 - 04 F350 - Owe maybe $7000 on it worth $12000 - $355 pymt.
Gas & Oil - $80 Month
Car ins. - $120
Flex Spending - (I was diagnosed with breast cancer this year)
$108
Medical Bills - $I send what I can in every month
Health Ins. $301
RX's - Approx. $100
Life Ins. Through Work - $26
Husbands Lunches - $150
My Lunches $80 (Figure out a strategy that works for you and pack both your and your husband's lunches from home. Also, your children can take lunches from home. Stockpile using sales and coupons; shop around for the best deals on your favorite treats. Make large meals such as soup, lasagne, chili on the weekend and package for lunch, or take canned or boxed lunches or even sandwiches and canned soup with crudites, nuts, yogurt, string cheese, etc).
Horse Feed - $130
Kids School Lunches (2 Kids) - $130
School Supplies - $16
Child Support - $685
Gifts (Christmas/Bdays) $139 (Is it really $140 a month? Tell your family members that they will have to expect less lavish gifts from you right now while you are trying to get out of debt. Try giving homemade gifts. This should be more like $30 a month).
Credit Card 1 - $100 / $1960 Bal.
Credit Card 2 - $90 / $2496 Bal.
Credit Card 3 - $40 / $1664 Bal.
Credit Card 4 - $145 / $3960 Bal
 

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First, I am so sorry that you have cancer, and urge you to take care of yourself. Others are depending on you!

Next, you have a wonderful income! It's almost twice what Hubby and I made together during our working days. But I know that how far it stretches depends on where you live.

Now, down to the nitty gritty: You have some lavish spending that has to go. I can tell you how I would slash the budget if it was me in charge, but you will have to determine how much you are willing to do, and what your real priorities are.

Keep the contributions going to the retirement accounts. There are tax advantages to this, and believe me (I'm retired and I know from first hand experience), you will thank yourself in the future.

Go bare bones. This means no horse, no TV, and no lunches eaten out. Everyone brown bags it, and the food comes out of your grocery budget. Why do you feel the need for such a huge gift budget? If people truly love you, they will understand that you cannot afford this, and will be delighted with a $5 gift..... or less. Find alternatives, such as gifts of service, and not gifts of stuff. You know, we lived without cell phones for generations, and I daresay, we can do it again. I suggest cutting the kids phones, or asking them to get jobs and pay for this themselves. Slash that food budget! And remember it has to include lunch.

Now you have to decide what to do. How loud will your family scream? What are your goals and what are you willing to do to meet those goals?
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have 2 kids that live at home full time, 12 & 14. I also have a 14 year old step son that comes over every other weekend and monday nights. I do not provide a cell phone or clothing budget for him due the the amount we have to pay for child support. My 14 year old would LOVE to get a job but we live in a small rural town and havent been able to find anything that he can do at 14 yet. My gift budget includes gifts for inlaws ($25 each) for Birthdays & Christmas and the biggest part is Christmas for kids. I know I have to cut that down. We live in an affluent little town and its hard when they see so many of their friends with all the latest and greatest things I've fallen into the "Have to try to keep up with the Jonses" problem. We talked about cutting down anyway because no matter how much you buy them it's never enough and they although they like gifts they dont really appreciate them. I'm trying to start thinking differently because when we all hit retirement I will be able to retire debt free while the Jonses have to continue to work to pay off the newer cars and bigger houses.
 

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Did not know kids' ages. Sorry if some of my advice was off target. The cell phone bill just seems really high. I understand that you are probably under contract with your cell phone company, but if some of the charge is for data packages, you should drop that for right now and just go with basic service.

As far as jobs for younger teens, when I was that age I babysat, did yard work, pet sitting, etc.
 

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When I was a kid we lived ina smalltown and I babysat A LOT. I also cooked meals for an elderly woman who had MS while her husband was at work. I also picked strawberries. Hard, miserable work for three or four weeks in the summer and then it was done. I thought it was a good job for a kid who may or may not have the gumption to do 20 hours a week while in school.
I know that my mom has developed a part-time side business helping those who are older than she is. She can still drive takes people on errands. For a while she had one client who she helped with housekeeping and putting his socks on. He could do everything else he had to do but those dratted socks and his arthritis were not friends.
Pet care might be something they could do. Can they advertise their exp. with horses and maybe someone within biking distance would love to have them feed and ride their horses.
 

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Since you haven't read TMMO, I would encourage you to do that first and foremost.

Looking at your overall post - having an irregular income means that one of the first things you need is to set up a hill and valley account so that on the surplus months (hills) you can set aside extra money to cover your expenses when the sparse months (valleys) come.

Secondly - since you have cancer - you are facing a crisis situation. What you need is a warchest - which means that your first priority is not to reduce your debt (though reducing your expenses is highly recommended) but being ready for what may come with your treatments. For reducing expenses you will get tons of excellent advice here. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
((Sigh)) First Few Moves

Going to the library to get the TMMO Book tomorrow, have my girlfriend bringing me the FPU materials & disk tomorrow and sold a dirtbike (for less than it would have been worth in the summer) to make sure my mortgage payment did not fall 30 days late. I did apply for financial assistance at my hospital and just received a letter stating that they are giving me a 70% discount on my bills after insurance pays their part. I feel like there is some hope. I'm sooo bumbed about the bike. I wish I could have waited till spring when prices went up but I felt making the mortgage payment on time was the better decision.
 

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Going to the library to get the TMMO Book tomorrow, have my girlfriend bringing me the FPU materials & disk tomorrow and sold a dirtbike (for less than it would have been worth in the summer) to make sure my mortgage payment did not fall 30 days late. I did apply for financial assistance at my hospital and just received a letter stating that they are giving me a 70% discount on my bills after insurance pays their part. I feel like there is some hope. I'm sooo bumbed about the bike. I wish I could have waited till spring when prices went up but I felt making the mortgage payment on time was the better decision.
I am so glad you are getting the book and materials. Good job at being proactive with the hospital bills. I am so glad they are working with you. Keep your chin up.
 

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All I can suggest is helping with your grocery budget
Here's a good link, 31 Days to a Better Budget (Series) :: Money Saving Mom®
Also her blog is pretty good
Don't do too much at once and you need to focus on getting better your taking the right steps, but if you get overwhelmed you could end up falling a few steps behind. I send you good vibes.
 

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Concentrate FIRST on what will make the biggest immediate impact- and from what I'm seeing it's FOOD. Concentrate on cooking from scratch, teaching the kids to cook, and packing lunches.
 
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