creating a debt free life

Posts tagged ‘cards’

The true key to getting debt free

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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.

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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.

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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 ,

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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

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Finances for life

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I have discovered that working on your finances and working to get rid of debt is the same as trying to diet to lose weight. There are no shortcuts and diets do not work.

The only way to lose weight is to figure out what works best for you long term. What changes you can make to your eating habits that you can sustain for life and  make a plan based on those changes that will help you not only lose weight but  maintain that weight loss for the rest of your life .  It is that simple. Make a plan, based on what is working to get you to your goal and then maintain that plan to keep you were you want to be. Small fun rewards should be factored in, a planned meal that is not in your plan, but really IS in your plan becausae you figure it in. That is how to lose weight, and keep it off .

The same is true with personal finance.We came in all excited last year. We were blessed with a wonderful couple to be our debt coaches. We applied to win a debt scholorship and were working hard to pay off debt. It was not sustainable. It was not sustainable because our heads were not completely in it right.  We thought we had our heads on straight, but we were still in that diet mentality. We had not gotten it , not really.

LIfe is up and down, and changes day to day . YOu have to have a plan that you can maintain and that you can adjust to help you through all of lifes quick turns.

We were living in a lovely house we had owned for ten years. Our daughter and her husband and kids had moved in with us from out of state where jobs were few and they needed to find a new life in an area where they could afford to live and find jobs. After three years they were ready to move out and on thier own.  Before they had moved in we had talked for years about moving up an hour away closer to my husbands work.  He has been at that job for ten years this month. We thought we would love him having a short drive and enjoy having more time together. So, we told the kids they could rent our house as long as they needed for our mortgage payment, as that was way cheaper than the rents in our town for a house that would work for them until they were ready to buy thier own house and at that point we would make our house a rental. That had been our plan since we bought it in  Feb of 2002 eventually buy another house and rent out that house, so everything was falling into place.

We loved the change and the excitement of moving for about three months. Then the holidays hit and we were an hour away from our kids and grandkids. We missed them and the holidays were not that fun being so far away. We k new we would not be staying up there but would be moving home. We just had to wait it out until our 14 month lease was up Aug 11 , 2013.

Early this  year we bought a nice used car , a  2011 Passet ,  because we only had one car and when that car died on a thursday, my husband had to rent a car to drive to work for the  weekend until it could be repaired so he did not lose an incredible weekend of overtime and his regular pay on Friday. We knew we had to get a second car and we bought that nice used VW Passet from a dealer. It was a dealer owned car, a loaner car that buyers used when thier new passet was in the shop for maint or repairs under warrenty.

here is the picture the dealer took for our personalized  calendar the day we bought our first Passet.  Yes, I said first.

picking up our car

Great car, wonderful price, we had just bought it when we got our debt program started and we had such regrets about that purchase and wondered what we had been thinking but what was done was done and we had to live with that decision, and then three weeks later, we were involved in a pile up on the high way. My husband missed hitting the pile up in front of us, but we lost our car anyway because of a car coming up behind us, swerved to miss us and his large enclosed trailer hit the back corner of our car and it was totaled. We were so excited when he was able to stop and then bam, what a shock !!!

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most of the car was pristine, just that back corner totaled it. We thought it would be okay, but on the road, we could not see the full damage.

When we went to see it at the repair place , we were devestated, we did not even recognize it as we walked up.

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We had not put a dime down and had not made a payment on this car and we still ended up with some money to put toward debt and that is what we did. We paid off a few grand in debt, we were thrilled. We did get another car, a trade in from the same dealer but it was a horrible car and we had to keep taking it in so after a month, still no payment, no  money down, we traded it in for the 2013 we are driving today.

Ironicly, we got the personalized calendar weeks after we lost the car !! I still have it but we never did use it, lol !!!

This all happened end of Jan through March. IT was a crazy four months. Who buys three differant Passets in four months ? We did.  But we ended up with a good car but like Dave Ramsey says, we paid a big stupid tax for it. We had to trade in the trade in and even thought it had only been a few weeks, we lost some money on it in the trade in. We did  get a great interest rate at 1.90 but we have a high balance for six years.  Not ideal for paying off debt and wealth building and if we could go back we would do the entire thing over. I console myself that the thousands we got from the accident more than covered  what we lost in the trade in. But it was still a dumb situation. We do love the car, and it looks very much like the one we lost, but has much better features because it was a new 2013  model. We plan to drive this car for at least 10 year and probably longer to be honest.

The car is a blessing now that we moved. David drives it to work and the savings in gas from not having to drive his 1998 GMC full size extended cab pickup to work pays for aabout  half the car payment so that is a good thing.  Not putting those kind of miles on an already old truck is good too. We hate using up our 100,000 mile warrenty in four or so  years instead of the seven allowed, but it saves us a ton on gas.

Fast forward to June and we knew we were going to be moving when our lease was up Aug 11. We also knew our house was not an option. Our son in laws parents had moved from out of state too and were staying with them until they got settled and ready to get out on thier own, a plan we knew about when we offered to rent the house to them  and partly why we wanted them to rent it. No landlord in our area would rent even a large house to five adults, two kids, two cats and three dogs. We , knowing what  incredibly clean and responsiblle people they  all are, had no qualms about   it, they will leave that house cleaner than they got it. But that option being off the table we could either rent in our town  and pay upwards of 1000 a month or purchase a second home, IF they would let us.

So, we decided to try and we were able to do it. So we ended up with a 750 payment instead of a 1000 rent. It might go up a bit once the tax people find out we paid more for it than the previous owner did, so that 750 will probably go up next year to 800 to 850 but still much less than rent would be.  We were able to buy another  inexpensive house, more of a starter than the one we already own. A bit smaller, although much bigger living areas that our other house which is wonderful , but  only one bath and three bedrooms in comprarison to the two baths and four bedrooms and two living areas we had in our other house. But it is ours, no landlord and the money goes toward our own home ownership and not  to another  person to pay off thier house. We had to save up 3,500 to pay off our old 401 k loan from five years ago, and get a new one for enough to put down 8 grand on the house , with closing costs, and pay for the basic  move. We had borrowed a grand of the money to pay off the loan so the first grand of the 401 k went back to  our daughter who loaned us the money. We closed on our house the start of Aug and moved in Aug 5, with a week to clear out the apartment we camped with basics as David took stuff home after work every day and then we moved on the 10th with a moving van.

We have been in the house two months and buying another older house has been expensive. We had to replace mini blinds, light fixtures and  put in some shelves and buy paint , it has been ongoing. No regrets as we just hated renting for that 14 months we moved away so we are so happy to be in our own house, but the maint., and repairs on two homes is a bit overwelming at times, but we are ever grateful we have both of the houses. We have a lot of updating to do as we can do it. There is a huge pantry closet that is set up to be made into a second bathroom with sewer already set up under it . We have to put in a slider door in the living room where a window is,  to get out into the backyard from the house as it is not practical going thorugh the garage to get to the back yard , so we basicly do not use the back yard. There is also no fence between our neighbor, the lady that sold us the house and her house, which was her moms house and why she sold us ours, to buy her moms. We need to put up a fence as her dog is in our yard and barks under our windows ,  and I am uneasy letting the grand kids out there with a dog, even a nice dog . for now we are going to put up a ranch type wire fencing and steel stake fence until we can justify spending what we need to on a six foot privacy. The door and second bathroom will have to wait, and with our son moving in this month, also planned, one bathroom will be a huge challenge for sure !!

Our debt payment, beyond minimum payments, went on the back burner and we actually added a lot of debt to our list, washer, dryer, fridge, microwave, all for no interest for 36 months, so at that is good. We started getting into some bad habits again, eating out way too much and not paying attention to our spending.  Unfortunately, our default setting. What we have always done. We pay our bills, that is never an issue, but we spend, not save or pay off debt when we are not paying attenion. We spend any extra.

It had to stop.

My husband was able to get a new credit card and we put almost  all our old debt on it , every single card but the Best Buys that the appliances are on and one large card I have that I also had put some debt on  at at a much lower interest rate . His new account is interest free for 18 months on those transfers, It has a lower interest rate than all the cards have even if we could not pay it off, but we have to get that paid in the 18 months.

We have a new plan. Take his bonus the start of the year and pay off our personal loan that we took out to help our son start school and helped with our move up to by work.  With the 260 per month  freed up, we will attack that 18 month debt to get it all done by the time the 18 months is over. Then we will attack the card I paid bills off with and  the Best Buy debt. If we stay with our plan, we should be debt free except for the car and houses by the end of  2015, probably  even sooner, but that is a good and achievable date to have it all paid off.

All our credit debt, the transferred, old debt on my card,  and current Best buy comes to 16,300. 00. This does not include the loan we will pay off next March, 2014 . It does not include the 401 k loan either. After paying off the loan which will be 2500 by the time he gets his bonus, it should be enough to  pay off another 1500 to 2000 if his bonus is what it usually is. Lets just  say 1300 for easy math,  which will take us to $15,000 left on our debt.  That is a great start and then we will have the 260 a month times  nine months in 2014 and 12 in 2015 which is 21 months and comes to 5460 to put toward that debt, and then that gives us a balance of aprox 9540.00  Another bonus in 2015 should erase at least  3000 and  most likely more, but I am being conservative here, and that leaves a balance of 6540 to pay off over the 21 months. That is only 311 a month total, including the minium paid on the interest free cards  so the more I bring to the table each month, the sooner those can be paid off.

Our emergency fund got hammered by several big car repairs, along with the move,  and so we are rebuilding it. I should have it back  up to 1500  this month due to some wonderful and unexpected overtime . I am going to do 2000 instead of 1000 because of the fact we do have two old homes and three cars, our son drives one of them until he can buy a car. That one , in fact, is the one that has cost us so much. It is an 89 and a good little truck , but a lot of maint type repairs hit us all at once. We still have a few small ones to do, but they will fit in our budget.I should be able to get that 2000 by the end of the year.  We are keeping the holidays really cheap, and plan to stick to that plan no matter what !!

So, I am optomistic that we can pay off all our c redit debt by the end of 2015 and my goal is to do it much sooner !! then we will hit that 401 k loan with the debt snowball, all the minimums from the paid off cards  and that 260 a month, plus the bonus, and then the car. I would love to pay off that car a year and a half early and that will be my goal as we get the other debt gone.

I am hoping to be able to bring in some income. I am working hard on my jewerly and eventually I want to get a job but right now it is just not going to happen.  But I am going to make sure every dollar I can make, and every dollar my husband can make goes to where it is supposed to go.

I made a promise to be transparent when we started this journey. I have not been here on the blog much and have not said much about our mistakes because I wanted to speak to Robin our coach first, I owed them the truth before I put it here. She was wonderfully supportive and I promised her we would make them proud .

We had messed up and fell into old bad habits.  Grocery shopping and not keeping on budget and eating out too much and picking up stuff for the house, needed stuff, but stuff we should have budgeted in over time.

Stupid , old habits.  Just like going off a diet, it causes shame and frustration with ourselves.

We are now actively working on both weight loss and the debt repayment and are excited about our future and what we can accomplish in the next few years. We have a lot of dreams and goals and before we can even start working on those, we have to get the debt taken care of.

But now we have a plan, one that is maintable, one that can take us to our goals. We had that before, but now our heads are on straight and we finally “get it  !! ”

So, I wanted to update and  tell what we have been doing and about our journey and our future goals.  I want to have a place to be accountable and to keep track of our progress . I wanted to be completely honest about our mistakes and now we plan to fix them.

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate whoever takes the time to read my blogs ,  and always love any advice or personal stores people would like to share here , so please comment if you want to share !! I would love to hear from you !!!

Stephie

love this old avon bottle I found at a friends yard sale

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One step back …

Since my last post we have moved into a home we purchased. For some reason this move h as been one of our hardest yet !! We had rented an apartment closer to work to see if we would like it, and we did not . Our home is being rented by our daughter and her family so we bought a second home.

We did a lot of the things you are not supposed to pull this off. Took out a 401 k loan, Suze Orman would skin us alive for that, but we only had 20 grand in the account and borrowing half allowed us to pay off the old loan and pay for the closing we had to pay and the five percent down on our 104 grand house. We had to pay to rent the truck and gas and all of that, and whew, it was a mess.

We had no washer and dryer, no fridge, so we got out our Best Buy cards and bought them with 36 months no interest.  We hope to get them gone in about 24. We just got a zero interest card for 18 months with a way lower interest rate after those 18 months if we do not manage to pay off the three  cards we plan to transfer , although we should have no problem doing so. We will divide the balance by 18 months and get it paid off.

So, we are backwards a bit, but still just as determined to pay off debt. Just a detour, or as I put as the title , a few steps back. In  March we will pay off our largest payment, his credit union loan with his bonus and that will free up almost 300 bucks a month  to pay down the new credit card and when that is paid off it will all go to the Best Buy account since that has the longest no interest amount and by March of 2015 whatever is left his bonus will take care of  and leave enough to tackle anything else we have not paid yet. The car is the last thing we will tackle, but once all the other debt is gone, we hope to take that six year loan and turn it into a four year loan, maybe even a bit less. I would love to make it three, but four is most probable at this point.

So, we took a few steps back, but we will get caught up very fast and get back on track. The whole point was the mortgage on this new house is only 750.00 a  month, to rent it would be  300 more a month. So, whatever it took us to pull this off, we are happy to own the house we live in, well, the bank owns it, but at least we are not renting !! We are paying much  less than rent would be, and very happy to be back in our home town and close to our family again !!

I will be posting on a more regular basis,  but I have been posting on my beading post a bit more regularly if you want to check it out. IT is not always beads, but usually is !!

Thanks for stopping by !!

Stephie

End of month one

I am so pleased with our first month of snowballing our debt. Even thought our official budget plan started last week, we were hitting the debt as hard as we could. I could not be much happier with our month one progress.

Two cards, and an old medical bill gone. We paid off a grand total of $1096 this month. I had filled out a survey for  Debt Movement and shortchanged our balance, so I was very happy to find where I had written the beginning balances down and it was much more than I thought we had  paid off.

Two bills I never have to pay again. The cards are gone, and when I paid off the second one yesterday, which will post today, they asked if my card was available and I said no. I just had to answer some security questions, lol !!

here are my cards in case you missed it,

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They are gone, cut up and I am working on something creative to do with all those little pieces !! The jewelry artist in me is going to come up with something fun !!

So, end of month one, I could not be happier to have such a great start, we are on our way.

We  have set some lofty goals for next month, but with money saved in the bank toward the largest bill for next month, the IRS, we just  might be able to pull it off. We recently finally, changed our deductions and should not have to pay the IRS anything other than payroll deductions ever again.

So, our  goals, with an almost 3 grand IRS are  $ 4773.35  I know that sounds like a very lofty goal, but we have money coming in from a car accident, ie, wage and medical bill reimbursement, and some debt being paid back by our kids, and most of the IRS is in savings, so I am shooting high and we will see how far we can get, but that is what I hope to pay off  next month, which would eliminate three more cards, an old electric bill and the IRS.

So, in a month I will let you know if we made it, but if we aim high, we have a better chance to hit and should do well regardless, but we are  sure going to work  hard to hit this goal !!

My husband and I are very excited and so ready to get this debt gone !! He is working hard to get all the overtime he can and I am working hard to fill my etsy store and make lots of sales . I believe I have a link to the side to at least my jewelry blog, if not my store, I have some  lovely wine charms and a mix of jewelry. Any money I earn, is going toward our debt snow ball. The jewelry blog has a link to my store. I hope you will check it out, I do custom work too, usually at no extra charge !!

I have to once again give our debt coaches Jeff and Robin Ehrlich over at Debt Squad huge thanks  for all thier support and knowledge. Having them work with us, has kept us accountable and helped us so much. I have thier  link on the side bar too, be sure and check out their website, they have so much amazing information there to help you get started and get your debt paid off !!

Well, off to work on some listings for Etsy, thanks for stopping by. I will be keeping this site updated and also work more this month on talking about how we are cutting our expenses and staying on track, I guess more of the process .

Thanks for stopping by !!

Stephie

A fresh new financial start

This is how my  husband David and I feel today. We are being given  a fresh new start !!  We had such a great conversations with our debt coaches . Jeff and Robin at Debt Free Squad, I hope everyone interested in getting debt free will check out thier site, so many awesome videos and information there, LInk is to the right of this post.

The hardest instruction to follow so far, was no debt talk Sunday. Sorry, Jeff and Robin, we tried so hard, but we broke that rule about ten times yesterday, we woudl catch ourselves and say, oh, we are not supposed to talk about debt today but then , we would do it  again !!

We are so excited and full of hope and energy to get started, it was hard to not talk about this new journey we are on !!

So, what we have done so far to help break up with debt is,

Start writing down every single penny we spend. , no excpetions except for our blow money, more about that in a minute.

CUT UP  CREDIT CARDS !!  We were told we could keep one, until our emergency fund is where it needs to be, but the rest, all c hopped up and I picutred them on one of my first posts here !!

No debt talk Sunday, okay, crashed and burned on this one, but we will get there !! I have a feeling if we have to be bad at one, this is the one to  mess up on !!

Read the first two chapters of Dave Ramseys, Total Money Makeover, I got my reading done, we had our grandkids over and David was only able to read chapter one but will do chapter two today.  We got these instrucions on Sat evening in full swing with the kids, but next two chapters will be read on time.

Watch our weekly videos for the 30 day challenge every monday, get to watch number two today, can’t wait, somethign new to learn I am sure !!

Down load the spread sheets and learn to use them, Robin has emailed me some hard copes, which I will print out and use today, David should be able to get the program pulled up we need to use them online in the next day or two and then we will transfer that info on the hard copies onto our pages on the computer.

Jeff and Robin explained that we have to tell every penny of our money were it is to be spent, no exceptions, groceries, savings for certain categories, vacations, car expenses, Christmas, not just the obvious bill and expenses !!  As they explained, these things do not sneak up on you, Christmas is Dec 25 every year, your cars registration is due, the same day every year, and so is your inspection, at the very least, the same month.  Vacations are rarely just taken on a whim, you plan ahead so you need to plan the money part too. If you do not have enough money saved, you simply do not take your vacation. They explain it as your vacation following you home, and that is never fun !!

So, we are going to be  allocating money into differant categories so we can save for vacations, doctor bills, car expenses, and eventually more for clothes and other things, Christmas and … wait for it..

groceries, entertaiment and what they call,  blow money.
yes, you can plan some entertainment into the budget When I questioned it, Jeff said, you have to, or you will spend it anyway. So  with thier help we decided on a very modest 100 a month for entertainment, 25 a week, but that is plenty. Enough to have a date night meal together once a week if we are really careful, or enough to go out to a few thrift stores or yard sales, one of  our favorate things to do, but now we have a limit. Once that money is gone,  We are done, no more spending. so, we need to think carefully before we spend it.

Blow money, a small amount, will get a bit more as time goes on, but for now, five bucks a week each. Not a lot. but it is money for a diet coke for me, or a cup of coffee for David or any little thing, no questions asked. My blow money is mine, Davids is Davids. The entertainment is both of ours, we have to decide that together, but my blow money is the money I have that I do not have to explain. We can save it up, and then have a bit more put away if we have something a bit more expensive we want to do, or we can blow it as we get it. Love that !!

I have to admit that David and I have never fought over money. Really never.  In 32 years, we have had a few arguements,of course,  but never over money.I cannot explain why, but we do not fight or argue often anyway, but if we ever argued about money, it had to have been rare, neither of us ever remember a money fight. I have been in charge of the money, Davids choice, he worked, I was home with the kids, I had the time to make out bills and all that, and so he gave it to me. A couple of times I tried to get him to do it, but it always came back to me. Neither of us were better at it than the other, I was a bit more dilligent, but I had more time. As dilligent as I am, we are still way in debt and for many years paid bills late and had poor credit scores. We often had more month than money and have lived check to check for pretty much our entire 31 year marriage.

I am not sure what really woke us up, but we did wake up. I think buying our new car and finding out the reason we did not get a interest rate of half what we dened up with, was because we have too much debt. Our credit score is good, but your debt to income is a huge part of your score, I believe it is 30 percent. So, you can see how, even a great score can be pulled down a lot by having a ton of debt.

It is a vicious cycle of debt and high interest rates and seeing the balances going up and up every year. It is ironic to us that the people who can least afford high interest are given high interest and those who  can afford it and have more income and less debt and need that loan the least, get low interest rates. It makes it seem impossible to get ahead , and it is, until you get a plan. The other ironic thing is, once we pay off our debt, our  interest rate will go way up, allowing us access to the lowest interest rates, but we will not be taking advantage of them for anything else but refinancing our car down and refinancing our house payment down. Once the car and house are paid off, and Oh yes, those are in our future plans, no paying off the house 26 and change years from now as the mortage says, no refi and pay off asap.  We want to live in a world where we are completely debt free !!

So, I do  know at times we were upset over our money, or lack of it, but we never told it where to go, never budgeted for future expenses and certainly never saved any money for emergencies, which is the next thing,

Start an emergency fund, get at least 1000 up to 2000 into asap. We will have the first thousand stashed in the bank this week.

Debt snowball. Once we get that emergency fund set up, then we take the first debt on our list. Robin and Jeff recommend smallest to largest and we agreed that made sense. . A lot of people recommend highest interest rate first, but I think paying off the smaller balances first is much more movtiating and helps free up money toward the next. So we will pay min payment only all all credit bills but the smallest, and then any extra money we have gets thrown at that bill until it is gone. Then that minimum payment plus any extra goes to the next on the list !! Very easy to understand and motivating !! Once we see that first one disapear, that will be so exciting !! I can imagine as they each are knocked off, it will be more and more exciting to progress down the line.

So, anyway, this is what we are working on this new , fresh week. We have a plan in place to attack the debt and I will keep track here and record as each debt bites the dust.

I probably missed something, but I will be writing a lot more on all of this as we go !!

Thanks for stopping by !!

 

Breaking up with debt !!

Welcome to my new blog site. I have been blogging on my beading blog for a while and I am having fun there and will still be blogging there and working on my jewelry but I am starting this blog because I want a place to come to document our journey to being debt free.  My husband and I have gotten to the point in our lives where we want to be free of debt. We are tired of being broke because we have too many bills. It is a stupid way to live and we need to address it while we still have time . We are tired of living check to check. It is a rotten way to live. We do not want that to be our future, we want it to be our past.

We are in our early fifties and  have less than  twenty years until my husband will retire from his job. He has said for years he probably will never retire completely. He will retire from this job, but he and I both want to start a business and find something to do together to make money and keep us busy after he retires. We have to make sure we are debt free to have a secure retirement .

So, we decided to break up with debt. We are cutting our relaxtionship with debt off. We have cut up our cards and are going to take every penny we can make and throw it at this debt until it is gone. We are choosing to live a debt free life.

Can we do this overnight. Nope. In fact we have new debt to deal with. We recently bought a car. We had one car and I want a job so we bought a car. Did we need to buy as expensive a car as we did, 19 grand, but we bought a safe, certified used car, a service car only owned by the dealer ship and we wanted a safe, reliable car. Our payment is pretty high and honestly that is what kicked us in our back sides and got us looking at our debt. We have more month than money and we cannot live like this anymore.

We are very intelligent people, so why do we make such dumb decisions with money ? I do not know the answer. We pay all our bills and have a good credit score, which would be great if we were debt free. It is eye opening to be told you could have had a 2.25 percent car loan if our debt was paid off, and instead we have 4.8.  Good news is, get the debt paid, we can still get that great rate, so that got us going.

We are pretty typical . Some credit cards, a car loan, a signiture loan, furniture loan. Our debt is beginning to grow and once we really sat and looked at it, we got a bit worried. We are okay right now, but on the edge, it would not take much to topple us off that edge. That is no way to live.

So, we were lucky and got debt coaches and they are going to help us. We cut up our credit cards

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into tiny little bitty pieces and put them in this wine glass. I will keep them on display so I know every minute what I am working for. I even added a green wine charm  I made and even drew a money sign on with a gold sharpie  to symbolize our money  !! We are going to go at this debt with everything in us !! It does not stand a chance !!

We are going to be writing down in a notebook every dime we spend. Every single penny !!  We started that two days ago and have two entries already. Gasaline and a few groceries. Wrote them down, wrote they were debit card purchases and put the reciepts in a manilla evelope tucked into that notebook.

Starting this week on pay day we will take out cash for groceries and any spending money. Gas money is moved to a checking account we  use just for gasaline so my husband knows how much gas money he has for the week. All recipts go into the envelope and any purchases made written down in that book.

We have a lot to still learn. We have to sit down and talk to our coaches and will see what they advise us on our debt and emergency savings  and then go from there. We are just starting and taking baby steps. But cutting up our cards, writing it all down, and using cash that is predetermined for the weeks expenses is a start.

I will write about what we learn and the progress we are making. I will also write a post about our debt and what we owe but not today, I just want to get things started and get this blog up and public.

I hope to find other people out there who are paying off thier debt and  learn everything I can.

To quote Dave Ramsey,  Broke is normal, be weird,

We look forward to being werid !!