Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Friday, December 5, 2008

FPU = complete! (mostly)

We made it through our was very good & informative. We missed the last 2 classes due to various illnesses. Thats okay.

During those 13 weeks we incurred NO NEW DEBT and paid down our debt over $4000. Our starting balance was almost $54K, so we are officially at $49,800. It is good.

Also during this time, my income from the daycare decreased about 1/3 (not good), our house payment went up 1/3, and an unexpected medical expense. We haven't had to hit the emergency fund, and so far have had at least some money to snowball every month. And in case you think we might have a big "shovel"...NOPE! Our take home pay for the month is only around 4000-4400/mo. Average.

What this means is that we were able to reduce our living expenses enough (1/3, so we are living on 67% of our take home pay), to be able to pay off debt equaling a month's worth of pay. Amazing.

To be honest, we are not funding some of our envelopes right now (clothing, classes for the kids, curriculum, housing wants). We have enough of those things for the better part year or even two years. So when we are done with the debt payoff, there are still items to be replaced/fixed/etc, that we are totally putting off for now. Still, those items will only add a couple hundred, at most, to the overall budget.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

We start FPU on Monday!

PFU = Financial Peace University.  "Dave" sanctioned and everything.  It is a 13 week class on Monday nights.  Totally takes balls to commit to something that long.  Well, Jason is on-board and enthusiastic, so who knows what the future may bring.  

So far our budgeting is going well.  We need to increase the fuel expense and medical....amazing how that money keeps going out.  Except for the house should be able to be debt free in 2-3 years (seems like forever!). We will get there!  Yes we will!  What a journey, though...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Plan your work, then work the plan!

Okay....we are officially back into the game! We've got our budget created - and balanced! - and pending spouse's approval. For me, this is really the hardest step is laying out the budget. Following it should be okay as long as we don't get a "Murphy" visit. The Murphy of the famed Murphy's Law: "If anything can go wrong, it will".

We still have our Beginning Emergency Fund of $1000 in savings. We have sinking funds for various longer term items (twice yearly insurance, house repairs/upkeep, christmas fund) in an Orange account from ING Direct.

The kids have been commission style for a while---I have not paying much in allowances lately. Savings for me, disappointed they don't do their extra chores beyond the bare minimum. Humph.

We are planning on reading the Financial Peace or Total Money Makeover again, just to get motivated.  We are setting our long-term goals and try to fit all this into it.  

We are brainstorming ways to reduce expenses.  We had cut down expenses a long time ago and kept many frugal habits, but there is some fluff in the budget we could axe.  Next year, I can do a bit bigger garden. This is more for health than budget, but it works in both ways.  Double benefit!

Also brainstorming ways to increase income.  I think I am going to try to add a child to the daycare. I will be at capacity again.  I haven't filled the spot because I wanted some special times with my long-term kids before adding a new one to the mix. I actually like the chaos of a full house.   I may also make some things out of extra stuff around the house -- like scrap pages, activity quilts, jewelry, bookmarks.  We have the supplies just hanging around in our art cabinet.  Maybe income online: chacha guide,doing online surveys, associate content writing. I may do retail over the holidays as a short term gig.  Spouse is going to work OT as much as they let him.

So far so good...planning almost done.

Next step: implementation.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Over a year since I looked at my blog. I am a horrible blogger, I know. I am this way IRL, email, letters, calls back....

well, after a year 'off-plan', we are going to attempt the whole debt-elimination plan. Okay....we are going to succeed at getting out of under our debt-load.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Not selling the house, or much of anything

Not gonna happen in this market. Sure, we could price it 'right' & end up still needing to bring 5-7K in to the closing table. It isn't much of a 'savings' by moving closer to J's work.
*Moving would be a $2K expense (deposits for utilities, apartment, etc)
*church is still out here (so at least once a week 150 miles).
*all of the kids doctors - so once a month another 150 miles(more if having issues), and quarterly another 100 miles. Plus no income from daycare. I am so not doing daycare in a rental.
* MOST of all *I* don't want to move to the area where J works. We would have to give up our foster care license, & daycare license since it would be in a different state
*Also, we would have to take the kids off state health ins & pay for them on Js insurance (much more expensive).
*staying in state & just closer---living expenses don't decrease *enough* to warrant the expense of a move.

Well, things are looking up on the house front.
J is able to refi the house in his name only, through a FNMA program for buyers with under 50K income. The back end ratio can be up to 60%. A conventional loan, yeah!

J's job hunt is not going well. *I* think it is mostly due to him being at his current job for a bit over 6mo. He is just starting to get a call back here & there. His resume is awesome, and we have had it work previously (obviously). The only change really is that last job only being 6mo. It should work itself out sooner or later. For now, we are thankful he has a job. After watching Pursuit of Happyness yesterday, we are totally thankful of that job.

Dh was considering getting a PT gig at a local gas station. A few evening hours here & there. He is still considering it.

I am going to start watching a new baby in a couple of weeks (too cute!). She will be my only one over the summer (besides my kids). I also have a new family starting in the fall, and in the winter my long term daycare boy (3.5yo) is getting a baby sibling that I will get in Jan. Exciting! Plus it will be fun to have a house full again. The routine goes smoother for me with more kids. Go figure?!

My summer job (scoring standardized tests), ended up not panning out due to the schedule - I do evenings & they had no evening contracts. And day contracts isn't worth the gas & babysitter expense. So that is why I signed up the baby during summertime. I hope it works out. If not, we can squeeze by until fall when school starts up & my daycare kids come back (parents are teachers).

Ended up being a similar situation to the house. Even though we bought it used, it still depreciated enough that we can't come up with the difference(4K). We wouldn't need the second vehicle, but it is a security thing since dh works soooo far away & can't dink around with car issues. And with daycare kids I can't either, until he gets home (which is when the kids leave anyway).

Eating out:
Not much anymore. J gets blow money from his grandmother every once in a while, and that is J's treat to us. :)

Overall, we are doing okay. Slowly (very slowly) reducing debt.

Friday, May 18, 2007

May update

Current debt totals, after MAY payments:

Credit card:$0
Rae's Sallie Mae:$7710
Kia Sedona:$13662
Jason's Sallie Mae:$31,942

Total non-house debt: $53,314