creating a debt free life

Posts tagged ‘debt coach’

Happy new year and thoughts on this new year

Happy New year dear readers !! I cannot quite believe the year is ending and a new  one is about to begin !!

IMG_1171

This is a set of wine charms I just made and  had to share on this blog, so perfect !!!

I am alone in the house today with my thoughts and wanted to kind of do an informal review of the past year. How did we do with our finanical goals, well, ehh.

We started out the year with our wonderful coaches and they helped us a lot, thanks to you Jeff and Robin !! We paid off a lot of debt with money from a car accident and were on our way to debt free and then decided to move back to our home town and buy a second house as our daughter and family were renting our home and due to the amount of pets and people they would not have been able to rent elsewhere.

We had to buy applicances for the house, light fixtures and some other things, and we ended up with some debt again. Most of it interest free for two to three years, but still debt. We kind of fell off the debt free wagon in some ways.

We still paid off a lot of stuff but end of the year when overtime went away and things were really tight before we could get our savings back up to a grand we ended up using one credit card again

We are not proud of this, but we are not letting it get us down.

We are starting this new year with renewed excitement about getting debt free and we still plan to make our coaches and ourselves proud !! Losing the overtime when he was injured at work, showed us the worst case we had worried about for yearsand it was not as bad as it could have been. Now he is released by the doctor and back to his regular work and overtime . We will get our savings up to a full months living expenses and then knock out debt this year. Usually only a grand is suggested, but we want a full month of living expenses plus a few hundred , for peace of mind. My mother in law lives in another state and if she were to have issues and David needed to go back there for a few weeks to a month, I want to know he could. FMLA would allow him to go, but money , or lack of, could be the reason he could not go. The additional amount needed to be a grand over living expenses  eventually will get put in there once we knock out a bill or two to make sure we have travel expenises if we had to leave. We have a lot of debt left to pay off and I will post on that another time. I do not have everything in front of me but in Jan I will sit down and figure out the debt owed and debt plan.

Despite some set backs last year, we are excited to move forward into the next year. After a long discussion with our daughter and son in law, it turns out the new house is much better for them now that our son in laws family has decided to move out, and back to where they had moved from so we are doing the work needed to get this house ready for them and in a few months we plan to switch houses and they will buy this one from us in a few years when they are ready !! They love this house we just bought  as much as we love the one they are in, so we are both very excited to make the switch !! We will gain more house and rooms, but they gain a set up more suitable to them and an attached  one car garage we  used for storage but as it has heat and air in it, they will use it as part of the house. The previous owner was about to expand into the garage and had a vent put in and working when he died and his widow we bought from was never able to do the expansion.

It will be an interesting few months, a lot of work, we have to put a six foot fence around this house, with kids and a huge dog that can jump a short fence, that is mandatory to them moving in here.Also since the owner we bought from owns the house next door, it was her moms and she sold us this one to buy that one from the estate,  so since 1964 when both were built there has never been a fence between the houses and she has a dog too, so fence is mandatory !! Our son in law will be helping with the fence and we are all very motivated.

A busy year, lot of wonderful goals and plans and I will be writing more about it all as the year goes on.

I hope everyone has a wonderful year in 2014 !!!

Thanks for stopping by !! here is the home we are moving back into !!! Our beloved 90 year old cottage !! That  picket is our first and biggest project when we move home, it is a mess !!!

IMG_8882MA29551897-0001

IMG_8883MA29551897-0002

here is the home we are in now, but selling to the kids !!the yard art and flags are the sellers, she took them next door !!!

our new house 1

Advertisements

Living stress free with an emergency fund account !!

We are in awe of how far we have come. Never in our married lives have we had an emergency account to cover a, well, emergency. We lived check to check and ever had a dime between pay days. It did not seem to matter how much income came in, it was spent.

Well, we had to get our emergency account in place before we started to pay off debt, and what a blessing that has been.

Yesterday my husband was late coming home, he had to stop by the auto parts store to get coolant as it was all gone in his truck. We have a brand new radiatoar, thanks to our brand new emergency account a few weeks ago,  and now here  we are with another issue. He called around and found out it is possibly a head gasket but the truck cannot be driven and we cannnot get it into the shop until Monday, an already scheduled vacation day and so he had to call Hertz to pick him up for a rental car as he has some overtime coming up this weekend, plus work today , so he had to have a car.

So, after he  had made arrangements with our mechanic for Monday , and we made arrangements with our daughter to borrow her husbands truck for the week when he is down there to drop off the truck with the tow truck , as our son in law is in Kuwaitt right now, so we only need the the rental for the weekend, and got home with the rental , my husband looked at me and said. Wow. This has been amazing. When have we ever had such a huge emergency, 114 for rental, possible 850 for car repair could be less if it is not the head gasket , although it probably is,  and not had to use a credit card or panic trying to come up with the money to get it fixed. We have the money in the account , so no stress. It is amazing !! We actually had a few hundred extra we had  not anything with yet, so it will helpe us a lot so we do not have to take our entire emergency account.

We are so happy with this journey we are on. We are slowly getting the debt paid off, and for the first time in years, paid the IRS off on the 15th, $2900 bucks instead of paying it off over the next year with high interest and penalty fees each month, and have managed to take our deductions down enough so we will not owe next year and may even get a bit back. We have a set budget and though we have been paying all our bills every month for the last ten years,  and have good credit because of it, we seem to have more money every month because we are not spending every penny left over like we used to. With our balances being paid off, our credit score is going up every month ,  as our large balances were keeping our debt high so that third of of credit score was low because our debt to income ratio was bad. Now, four cards gone, an old utility bill  paid,  old and new medical bills paid and some balances lower on the other cards and more cards will be knocked out each month until they are all gone. We are shooting for the end of the year being debt free !!

I am so grateful to our wonderful debt coaches, Jeff and Robin and to  Jeff Rose from the Debt Movement who set us up with them , as we are so motivated by all the help  and advice we have gotten from thier experience.

This is a great journey to be on. I strongly urge anyone reading this, who is in debt, start now.  The benefits are great. The feeling of being in charge, instead of the bills being in charge, is amazing !! We have so much hope for the future now and feel that we can accomplish so much !!

Emergencies have no power over you when you are prepared. Of course in time we need a bigger emergency account. 1200 is a good start, but  if a roof needs to be replaced, if you h ave a  AC or heater go out, 1200 will not cover it. But once we are debt free, first thing is geting it up to a six month emergency fund.   It is a great start !!

Anway, wanted to share how great an emergency fun makes you feel.  It did what it was supposed to do, covered an emergency and kept us stress free. It is a wonderful feeling !!

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 !

Just a quick post

This is just a quick post to update and then Monday I will write a lot more.

We were able to talk to our wonderful debt coaches Jeff and Robin  at Debt Free  Squad , please check out their site,  the link is to the right of this page, you will be so glad you did !! We got the budget hammered out and given our instructions for the week.

It was interesting to look at at a budget in a new way. Figuring in just a bit of money to blow and some entertainment money built in , that is something I would never have done on my own and it would have caused us to crash and burn !! I will explain that more on Monday, it is very exciting !!

I have to read the first two chapters of Total  Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and my husband has to as well, tonight !! I already read it while he decorated sugar cookies with our grandkids and now it is his turn. Sundays are a  no money talk day and that is great by me, we all need a day off and then Monday I will jump in and really get going. I will post what we are doing in more depth and tell you how our budget is looking.

We discussed the debt snowball and what we are to work on first in paying down the debt.

So, until Monday, that is a quick update but Monday I will give you more info and  tell you more of what they taught us tonight. It was a very enlightening conversation and we are really excited to get started this week !!

So, everyone enjoy your Sunday and I will be back Monday to talk about what we are going to be doing, how we are attacking our debt and what steps we will be taking .

Thanks for stopping by !!

Stephie