Budget Blown

Hubby just called from “The Man Store” (aka. Home Depot)

I had budgeted $50 for home repairs and $100 for furniture replacement for the month – the deck sealer we need costs $152. I don’t know the total of this trip yet, but I’m guessing we are blowing the budget today.


not-so-happy Holidays?

Last night Hubby says to me that he needs my permission to buy two things.

1. an anniversary gift for me that he has already selected
2. an item I have already forgotten what it was

now, the fundamental issue is that my brain has already shut off the lower priced item, which I believe we actually did need or could justify, because it is hung up on the larger amount which he is intending to spend.

I put $400 in the budget for this month for gifts. We need to start buying for Christmas so I didn’t want a windfall of money leaving our account in December. We agreed to spend $100 per person for each parent and sibling (that’s $700), then probably $100 on each of us and baby boy. $1000 Christmas and we haven’t bought food, given to charity, or bought for grandparents. Yikes!

The other thing that gets us is that we have Brother’s birthday, Brother-in-Laws Birthday, and Dad’s birthday all in November. We have Father-in-law’s and Mom’s birthday in December, and Mother-in-laws and my own birthday in January. If we continue this spending pattern it is no wonder each February we discover that we have spent another $2000 on credit cards.

Now we need to have a serious talk – figure out where we can skimp, and probably be honest with family that we are trying to get out of debt and would appreciate if we cut back our spending over the holidays significantly. That talk has to start between Hubby and I but I’m getting anxious just thinking about it.

… for the record I was planning to spend $41 on his anniversary gift

Friday Check-in

It’s the end of week one. This “budget” stuff is HARD!

This week we spent:
$25 to the college fund
$30 to the water bill
$7.30 at Popeyes (Lunch with co-workers)
$425 to the car payment
$27.40 in gas for my car
$97.80 to the LAST medical bill for baby
$75 to the Capital One CC
$50 to the Best Buy CC

total spent in 3 days – $737.50!

Breakdown of spending month to date:



Family Financial Goals

A Goal should be SMART:


Here are our Family Financial Goals – I have printed this out and posted it on the refrigerator:



Baby Steps

I have taken this truncated version of the baby steps from the Diaperswappers forum:

Pre-Step 1: Get current on your debts and do a budget
Before you begin the
baby steps, you must be current on your bills and, if you aren’t doing one
already, begin doing a monthly budget.

Baby Step 1: Save $1000 cash in
the bank
Start your emergency fund. If your income is less than $20,000, make
that $500.

Baby Step 2: Get out of debt
With Gazelle intensity and
using the debt snowball, pay off all your debts.

Baby Step 3: Finish the
emergency fund
With the money you were paying towards debt, now with no debts, you can save 3-6 months of expenses into a fully funded emergency fund.

Baby Step 4: Save for retirement
Saving 15% of your income
didn’t seem possible before, but with no payments, you’ll be ready for
retirement and not have to take a job as a Wal-Mart greeter.

Baby Step 5:
Save for College
Instead of taking out student loans, your kids will be
eternally grateful you thought ahead and had a plan for their higher

Baby Step 6: Pay off the house

Baby Step 7: Build
Wealth and Give It

Expanded Baby
0.1 Commit to NEVER borrow $$$ EVER for ANYTHING other than possibly a
0.2 Talk with spouse and get him/her on the same page as you concerning
0.3 Do a written budget
0.4 Temporarily stop all retirement
0.5 Get current on the basics (You MUST have Food, Utilities,
Shelter, Basic Transportation)
0.6 Amputate “toys” (bikes, boats, ATV’s etc)
if they will keep you from completing the snowball within 12 months
0.7 Cut
lifestyle (Cut CATV, Cellphone, Regular phone “extras”, Internet, Eating out,
etc) and/or take a second job if $1000 EF will take more than 30-90 days.
(depending on income)
0.8 Get current on ALL bills.
1.0 Save $1000 in Baby
Emergency Fund (EF)
1.1 Chop up CC’s. (You have an EF now, no NEED to keep
those CC’s!!!)
1.2 Get Health Insurance NOW (chances of getting sick w/major
medical bills are larger than that of death), especially if you have
1.3 Get Life Insurance NOW if you have debt/your family couldn’t
make it financially if you died. Especially important if you have children!
Social Insecurity only provides a small amount of coverage if you have
1.4 Amputate cars that you can’t pay off within 24 months (you
have an EF to fix “bondo buggy” if something should happen)
1.5 Consider
raising insurance deductibles to $500 or $1000 and dropping full coverage on
paid for “bondo buggy” (you have an EF ya know)
1.6 Draw up a will.
Get Long-Term Disability Insurance.
2.0 Do debt snowball, paying all your
debts from lowest BALANCE to highest.
2.1 You can take your first vacation
since finding Dave if you can pay cash for it. (no using the EF!!!)
3.0 Save
3-6 months EXPENSES in EF (FFEF)
3.1 Start replacement car fund.
3.2 Save
up 20% for home purchase OR pay down existing mortgage to the point that you can
drop PMI.
3.3 Start furniture or other non-essential stuff replacement
3.4 Move up in car if you still feel the need to (must pay cash for
it!, you can only buy NEW if you have a net worth over a million dollars)
Start contributing 15% of your paycheck to retirement.
5.0 Save for kids
college fund.
6.0 Pay off the house early.
7.0 Live like no one else since
you have lived like no one else! Give, Build Wealth and Have Fun!


Tagged ,

Support & Recommendations

I have found support in the following places (and hopefully will figure out how to tag or save this post at the top!)




Recommended Blogs

Mr. Money Moustache

Not so Surprise funds

Finally received checks from my FSA account to repay medical bills. Nearly $1100.


Now I have to decide. Use this money for Christmas, our two trips this month, and pocket the rest OR pretend I never got it and sink it in debt.


Thinking I should divide it up, but I’m not sure how yet. Stay tuned for my surplus status.



While it seems things have grown out of control we are attempting to make changes before it all comes crashing down on us. I can only speak for my upbringing but financial prowess was not something I was exposed to. Extravagant Christmases and repossessed cars – yes, that was my life. I never remember needing anything, I sure wanted “stuff” but my basic needs were always met. I will not however blame my current situation on my parents. I did this. I spent this money (or my husband did – I can [and do, sometimes] blame him).

Another one of the tools Dave Ramsey talks about is the concept of the Debt Snowball. I have to do something before the avalanche of debt buries us alive. So, taking those numbers we put together earlier I found a debt snowball calculator and plugged them in. If we accrue no new debt and we put no additional money towards payments we will be debt free by… December 2022.

Shit. 9 years. Nine years! Wow. Seems like a LONG time… except for the fact that our mortgage company plans on keeping us as customers for another 25 years.


So, this is where the nerd in me starts playing with numbers.

What if I take $1000 of savings this month and plop it in as a one-time payment? Hmmmph. Still 9 years.

What if I do $1000 a month for the next 3 months? Shaves 2 months off, October 2022.

What about $5000 over the next 5 months? Just one more month gone.

Maybe I should overlook the mortgage and look at my next “least” important debt which is my student loan.

Nothing extra: October 2016

$1000 extra: September 2016

$1000 x 3 extra: July 2016

$1000 x 5 extra: May 2016

New goal. Everything (except the mortgage) by May 2016!

Tagged , ,

The “B” Word

I have been reading Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. While we don’t plan to follow to the “T” we are starting our Baby Steps with a budget. Here is the budget for this month:


The concept is every dollar has a plan so no dollars are wasted. We are also implementing a sell it and spend it plan. If we sell items locally on craigslist, to consignment stores, or on eBay we are allowed to spend that money as we wish. If we have no money – we spend no money.

Being that this is the first month I have been generous in some people’s eyes in certain categories – groceries, eating out, gifts. At this time we have cut nothing out of our budget like cable or other “wants” as I want to see how this works out. Everything I have read says it takes 3 months to get this plan down. Month one and I’m comfortable with us needing to adjust later.

Tagged , ,

The numbers

*If you are just starting out, starting over, or thinking of starting to get out of debt I recommend listing out all of your debts – it is scary and daunting and discouraging but you cannot change your situation unless you know your situation*

 Here it is. A breakdown of our debt.

Citibank CC                                        $272.00                      12.75%                       $50.00

Capital One CC                                  $3,247.00                  12.29%                       $75.00

Navy Federal CC                               $2,406.00                  11.9%                         $100.00

Best Buy CC                                       $194.00                      19.99%                       $25.00

La-Z-Boy CC                                       $1,600.00                  0%*                             $75.00

Lending Club                                      $4,696.00                  7.99%                         $261.00

Car Loan                                             $16,150.00                3.99%                         $425.00

Baby Loan**                                     $15,325.00                3.99%                         $365.00

Student Loan                                     $5,860.00                  2.35%                         $101.00

Mortgage                                           $179,000.00              5%                               $1,055.00

*0% promotional interest rate for 24 months – ends 9/30/2015

**HELOC taken out by the in-laws to help us fund IVF


The good numbers include:

Savings Acct 1                                   $13,000

Savings Acct 2                                  $1000

CD’s                                                    $500

Lending Club Notes                         $500

529                                                     $50

401k                                                   $41,000*

*I currently have 5% of each paycheck put into my 401k account because my employer matches 50% of the first 5%

We also have some additional funds across a couple other savings and checking accounts and a few years ago I bought some savings bonds but lost my login to TreasuryDirect so I have “forgotten” about them.