creating a debt free life

Archive for the ‘debt and living’ Category

The true key to getting debt free

DSCN1865

We have been working on getting debt free for a while now, and we are doing good, some steps forward and back, but now that our move is complete that should be done and it should be all forward now.

The importance of having that emergency fund has become very clear to us this past few weeks and we are going to make sure to get that in place again.  But sometimes an emergency fund does not help if you are not thinking.

The key I am going to get to starts with an experience we had this past weekend.

We were on our way to our grandaughters third birthday and were supposed to stop for ice. We wanted to wait until we were close to get it and found a store not far and on the way. My husband gets out of our truck to go buy the three bags of ice and does not even get around the front of our truck and comes back a bit panicked,  ” I forgot my wallet !!! “”

He had changed into new pants and forgot to put his wallet into his pocket. This is completely out of charactor for him.

I jump out to use my card , we get the ice, get to the counter and then I remember, oh crap, I lent my debit card to Cam  ( our collage age son, just moved home and tight the week he started a new job after the move which broke him. I gave him my card to put some gas in his car to start his job. He is delivering pizzas so would have cash each day after that one fill to take care of it.

I remembered then that when the new credit card came for the one I cut up, I put it in my wallet in case of emergency as we have no savings right now, and I got it out and paid for the ice and we went on our way. No problem I will pay it off when I pay the bills next week, it is only 8 bucks.

So, I get online today, and pull up my balance and I am shocked …. 68 bucks, ?   WHAT  ???

So, I start searching the site and then I find it, a 60 dollar fee to have the card. What in the heck was I thinking to pay that per year the last few years, I was not happy .

I called, canceled the card, paid the 8 bucks and the card is getting added to my wine glass.  Cut up smaller than this, but it is a start, but this time it is a truely dead card. No way to use it and no new card coming.

DSCN1861

So, pay attention, the cards are out for thier benefit, not ours. The banks make a great deal of money on us just on interest, and yet, they feel the need to add fees to that pile they already make.

DSCN1863

They could not do it if we did not agree to it and pay it.  I do not need that card, I do not want the debt and I will not pay it.

So, look at your accounts, even if you cut up your cards and make sure , I would have gotten a bill for 25 bucks if I had not made that purchase and went to the site to pay it.

No one cares about your money like you do ,

piles_of_money_200991

So, what is the key in my title you ask ?

The key to getting debt free is paying attention.  We need to pay attention to all the little things we do that add up. How many people have more than one card with a fee ? They could be paying hundreds a year. This sixty bucks was for a small 600 dollar credit card, that is insane. I consider myself an intelligent person but have not been acting very intelligently when it comes to money and credit.

So, my advice is to check out all your cards. Get rid of the ones with those fees even if you are not getting rid of all your cards. Shop for a better card to transfer any balances too and then cancel that card and be done with the fees.

There are many cards with no fees and in fact,  Capital One, the card I canceled has many cards without fees, so I could in theory find another Cap 1 card that does not have a fee and apply for that, but I want to be debt free and that is not an option for me.

So, just be smart with your money and pay attention. It is so easy to nickle and dime those fees and over time it really adds up to a lot. Although 60 bucks IS a lot.

Thanks for stopping by, I would love to hear your thoughts on credit card fees !!

Stephie

Advertisements

In the day to day of it all now

I am sorry I have not been posting much here. Not too much to report, just waiting for the insurance money from our accident to come in so we can pay some bills off.

We are in the day to day of the plan now. Not much exciting to report, just doing what we are supposed to be doing.

I have been working a lot on my jewelry and bloggin over at  www.stephiesbeadsandbaubles.com pretty often and working at filling my Etsy shop. That has been keeping me pretty busy.
I also have posted on my other blog www.timetobeme.wordpress.com , it is just what it says, my journey to find myself. I love to hear other people stories, so please drop by and leave me a comment if you like what you read, or even if you don’t !! . I need to spend more time on that one, but the jewelry fills up my days pretty good !!

So, I am keeping busy and doing what I am supposed to be doing. It is not very exciting, but it the goals  we have are exciting and that is all that matters !!

On a more financial note, I will be paying off a few things tomorrow, a very old electric bill and a recent large doctor bill, so that is very exciting !! Any extra overtime we get, or jewely money I make, paying down the debt !!

I will be sure to check in more often !!  Thanks for stopping by !!

Stephie

Budget every penny

This week, a bit late, we are doing our March budget with the Spend Every Penny  budget. With this way of budgeting you tell every single penny where it is going for the month, and when you are done adding up what you are spending on each item, and subtract it from your projected income,  zero should be left over.

We are getting a late start. We were warned it takes up to three months to get this down, but between our car accident, my husband being sick, dealing with the  paperwork for the accident, and having grand kids over pretty much three weekends in a row, we got side tracked big time.

Next week, our coach Robin, will have our weekly spread sheet done for the month. That will make next months projections fairly seamless as most of our bills stay about the same.

We will have in that budget, all bills, both the household type, rent, utilities and etc, and the credit bills, along with allotted food, gasaline, our personal blow money, our combined entertainment money, which is not a lot now, but wil get better over time. Paying off debt is the most important thing right now. Also,category savings,  some allotted for future vacations and medical bills. In time we will have more categories, but for now, we are starting with the basics.

I am excited to get moving and see what we can get paid off and our goal for every penny to be paid off but our house, is end of April 2014 but we will try hard to get it done sooner !!

After adding it all up with current  balances we have a total of $18,748.74 in debt, not including the house. The house is 100,896.83 which gives us a grand total of  $119,597.57. Of course we only plan to get the non mortgage debt paid off in 16 months, then we will start working on that mortgage. Once the debt is gone, we can really start doing some damage to that loan as well.

We are shooting high, but I think it is possible to do this. If we do not quite make it, we will be very close .

I will update each month on how much debt we have paid off for the month before, in other words, first week of April, I will post what we paid off in March and so on , with our new balance. These will be in the monthly update category.

So, we are pretty excited and look forward to breaking up with our  debt forever !! What a wonderful day it will be, the first day we wake up debt free !

Stuff happens, be prepared !!

I am so grateful we had just started our program to pay off debt when yesterday happened.  We had a day that you hope does not happen but you should prepare for, just in case.

A car accident.

It was raining and wet and we came around a corner and  my husband was faced with three  vehicle  and a trailer pile up, we both thought we would hit it, but he managed, against all odds to stop about five feet before the accident, we were so happy and then he looked in his side mirror, yelled a swear word, and bam, we were hit.

We were lucky. The full size picked up managed to change  lanes, but in changing lanes quicky, his trailer spun around and wacked the back driver side corner of the car, ripping the wheel off and breaking the axil. Other damage to the back happened as well.

IMG_6794

That is the rear wheel, it is bad. The rest of the car is completely unhurt as far as we could see. Not sure if any debris hurt it, but it seems fine. Side airbag came down and we sat in shock. I was terrified we would get hit again. I sat a bit frozen for a few minutes. David got out and checked and came b ack and told me it was pretty bad.

so, we were certainly not emotionally prepared, but with our 1000 savings in place, we could cover the expenses we incurred. Fifty bucks to the car rental, just a hold until we give it back, our insurance is paying for our rental car.

We did  get fast food after we got the rental car, we were a bit shell shocked and had to go shopping for food, and were not up to it so we got Mc Donalds and went home relax. We had to pay 80 for both of us , to the doctor for after hour appts, but that is much better than the 100 or more each we would have paid for the ER and we got excellent care from our own doctor office. That will be reimbursed almost imediately by our insurance and will be put right into our bank account by them as soon as we get the reciept in to them.

After the doctors we did go to the store and pick up some groceries to make dinner. It was not what we wanted to do, but we knew we had to. So, we did. We were so exhausted it took everything to cook after our day, but we were proud of ourselves for being responsible both with our money and health by eating a home made and healthy dinner.

Whatever happens with the car, we will take any extra money and use it to debt snowball our bills. If the car is totaled, we will not replace it at this time. We will take time to pay off debt and save up to get another car. If repaired, we will take any money recieved and pay it toward the debt snowball, after replacing any money from our emergency fund. I t hink we can actually cover it from our grocery and entertainment funds, we  might not even have to touch the emergency money.

So, even just starting out,  having that emergency money is crutial.  We should know by Monday the fate of our new car. We have not even paid the first payment yet. It is really crazy.

So, make sure before you start your debt repayment to have that emergency fund started. Knowing we had  money in the bank to deal with this situation made it so much less stressful. Words really cannot convey how much it helped our peace of mind.

By Monday we should know if we have our car or not. At that point we can settle the claim as we have no real medical to worry about. My hubby was on vacation and has taken one additional vacation day to recoup. We are still a bit sore , and then Saturday he can return to work. No lost wages, no medical treatment to seek, that helps a lot.

The accident was caused by a big rig stalling, so you just never know what life will throw a curve ball at you. Having that emergency fund there will give you peace of mind when something unexpected happens.

Also, check on your auto coverage. Make sure you have enough,  make sure you are not left high and dry. Get  uninuranced motorist. We have it, should not need it, the guy had a current insurance card, but you never know if they  missed a payment and you are stuck with the bills. Be responsible and protect yourself. You may need it that day and that is what insurance is for.

We are so grateful we are fine. I have sent many thanks to God for that. We walked away .

Many thanks to the firemen and police officers that took such great care of us all. They even took us to a gas station to meet our ride. Never rode in the back seat of a cop car before, very interesting and so uncomfortable. Glad I live a life where that is the only reason I will ever ride in a cop car !!

We were so grateful for the ride, it was cold and far from bathrooms, so it was wonderful and much safer for our daughter in law to pick us up there !!Thanks Melissa, we are so grateful for the ride to the car rental place. We appreciate it so much !!

So, we learned a lot, luckily in a good way as we were prepared. I cannot wait until we are debt f ree and we can build up that emergency fund even bigger !! Having money to help you face an emergency give you such peace of mind.

Thanks for reading !!

Stephie