since the actual finances board is pretty slow.... and this board isnt all that hoppin eitherbut it think more of us remember to check this board.... i was thinking we could start a finances thread- inspired by our couponing and budgeting conversation that we started in another thread.
since several of us seem to have a common interest and some of us are seasoned shoppers and more of use are just starting out with the couponing etc.... it could be a place to support and encourage eatch other, share deals that we might not notice alone, and find ways to keep our sanity and budgets!
what do you think?
And to get this started- i just want to share a DH story today. my mom was reading the Dave Ramsey (dave says) article out of our local free weekend papers to me- it was a question from a guy who said that they had their first emergency fund saved and paid off most their debt but didnt have the second emergency fund or any savings and his wife was getting really insane about buying a house NOW. Dave replied that it was a stupid decision (he said it nicely) because they didnt have the downpayment or any living expenses if something went wrong and buying doesnt save any money in the long run unless you are prepared for emergencies.
i read it to my DH who is really annoying me about buying a certain house NOW (we don't have an emergency fund, we have 3 maxed out credit cards and NO savings, we are depending on my sister to give us the downpayment, and we could only do that with a FHA that only had 3.5% down etc) and he got PISSED. like i was taking his candy away.
and now i realize that he's not thinking this through, and at this point unless he gets his head on straight, i need to refuse to go through with this with him. not like i'm worried really, because he doesnt know what to do and keeps asking me, so he couldnt manage to put an offer in on his own or anything, but the point is, he's just house hungry and ready to make us broke over this BECAUSE this house has a pile of junk which has a bed that will fit his truck int he back yard. he wants the truck parts and is willing to buy the house to get there. idiot. i love him, but seriously, testosterone is worse than crack.
Why doesn't he just offer to buy the truck bed? Silly boys.
I am pretty big into couponing (as evidenced by my blog). I actually interviewed Mr Coupon from We Use Coupons on my blog today (he was on TLC's Extreme Couponing last week).
While I have no ambition to be an extreme couponer, the amount of product that they donate is so admirable. One day I do want to be able to donate huge amounts like that.
We donate now, but it's on a much smaller scale.
My frugal living blog: Family Friendly Frugality
I think this is a GREAT idea. I need to save now more than ever. I just opened up a bill from the GI that I went to in August... They are threatening collections. I'm having DH call tomorrow to arrange payments and whatnot. He asked back in November and they said that the account wasn't delinquent enough for them to offer us any discounts. I hope it's delinquent enough now! Anyway, it's $1,022.19 and that's after we paid some!
On top of it, we are gonna have other medical bills racking up soon. I'm pregnant and hoping for a midwife, but it's all depending on the money.
On top of it, I'm calling the naturopath tomorrow to ask to have Daniel evaluated for autism.. he's showing more and more autism signs lately, and I'm hoping it's just the terrible twos, but just in case, it would be good to catch it early if it is autism.
I'm feeling kind of discouraged with the whole coupon thing cause we have been trying to cut out all processed foods and there really aren't any coupons out there for whole/organic foods, so I'm not saving much for my efforts.
Janelle and Brad 8-25-01
I think that this thread is AWESOME!!! I've been VERY into our expenses since the last few months I've gotten us on a serious budget.
Question for you - Seems that coupons work the best at sale time, HOWEVER. Since this budget, there is a 2-4 day time that I shop, and NOT AFTER (otherwise I dont have the money for it). Most of the time, it doesn't coincide with the great deals. I'm excited for the time where I can go at anytime of the month, and pick up those things that aren't on my necessity list but are such a great deal, and I'd like to have. Please tell me how I'm going wrong, and what I can do to fix it.
AFM: I just finish up with our end of the month snowball recount and......
We have paid off our 1st item in our snowball (the Line Of Credit)!!!
We have $400 in our emergency fund!!!
Our current total payoff since begining our budget and "gazelle intensity snowball plan" is a wopping $4500!!!!
September of last year, we had to BEG a friend for $21 because we didn't have the money anywhere to cover it. And now we're out of our LOC, and got a good start on our Efund!
We spent too much money on Christmas, but my grandpa was told what we were doing and how much we paid off, that he sent us a HUGE check and made us promise to spend it on Christmas for the girls. We spent most of it, but that's what got us out of our LOC. So we definitely had help last month. This month, we are back onto the strict budget, and I'm a bit nervouse that we might wonder, but I've got MANY reminders and figures up all over the house, so when we think we might go have lunch or something, it reminds me what we are working for.
I love a great deal as much as the next guy, but don't have the patience or time for couponing. I watched the Extreme Couponing show the other day on TLC and decided that those people really have a sickness to go that far. Ultimately, by having that much stuff, that they can't eat before expiration, is a waste. And to take over an entire room? Or to have 100 toothbrushes? Weird! I'm all for stocking up, but 40 jars of spaghetti sauce? 125 boxes of pasta? CRAZY!!!!
That said, I do get excited when I get a good deal. Today I used a Groupon worth $20 (soap.com) and (purchased for 10), 22.17 in cashback credit from diapers.com to get laundry soap, dishwasher soap, batteries, clorox wipes, and rinse aid. Cost me 3.63 in the end. I love $5 shoes from famous footwear, but also have caviar tastes for other things, such as purses.
My mom has always used coupons. Always. I remember going down the cereal aisle and wanting captain crunch and her telling me no because she didn't have a coupon. She used to file them in a shoebox. I think she has a wallet thing now. Maybe if I had one of those....Does Louis Vuitton or Coach make one? But seriously, where can you get one? Office Depot?
Ok, since i started this, i feel the need to unload/come clean.........
i mentioned our maxed out credit cards in my post about DH being house hungry. He has a card witha limit of 7000 almost maxed out, and it was paid off last march. i have a 1000 limit card maxed out, mostly car parts, x-mas, gas and emergency groceries, and i only activated it in November, and then we transferred 2000 off DH's card this summer onto one of mine witha 4700 limit because it had a balance transfer offer- yes, he has racked up his card since then, but i never activated that card, just used the account for the transfer.
last year we got 8000 back in taxes, we're hoping for the same, but DH doestn realize thatd 1. i wont cover just the credit card debt, 2. i'll be off work on maternity leave and i'm probably going to have to pay rent at least one month with it, and 3. there won't be much of anything left to buy him a new truck so he can park this one and work on it. Plus, i remember when he BOUGHT this truck, he was having a quarter life crisis IMO, had to have it, maybe he was truck hungry, and we ended up buying it with a cash advance off a credit card and the only way I saved our a$$es from going down the drain was to transfer it onto my credit card where it didnt show as a cash advance and then pay off his completely. oh, and 4. i usually stock up on toiletries for the year when we get our tax refund (bulk shampoo for me, styling products, 4 packs of body wash for him, shaving cream, the expensive venus razor refills i like and the mach 3 ones he likes) and we won't have those at ALL this YEAR if we don't get our ducks in a row. Plus, i like to get my bras for the year through VS's sale, and i pick up clearnace stuff to tuck away for DD's wardrobe next year (which worked well, the snowsuit i spent $10 last year, is perfect this year! i saved a bunch!) and on top of all that, we'll need a bunch of new baby stuff, especially if this is a boy!
AND he still thinks we should go vist his grand ma 4 hrs away for easter, which is what broke our budget and started the credit card racking up last year. so i guess if we can work the trip in with CASH ONLY, then maybe it can happen. or maybe one grandma can pack her @$$ up and come see us 4 people who have LIVES and can't just take off work for a week and drive down to see her! (sorry for the vent there, seriously, we've gone to see her 5 times in the past 3 years and she hasnt been to this part of the state in 15 years. not my problem lady!)
and to top that all off- we applied for food stamps in november and got them, so we are broke in every way. And DH buys 12 packs of mtn dew with the food card. i better hide that thing better.
he seriously has no understanding of money, finances, or budgeting, despite my attempts to teach him. maybe we should go over it again so he'll understand where the money went/goes.
(i do want to say we dont' have any outstanding medical bills, but no insurance, the kids will have stat insurance and i do while pregnant, but all medical stuff is out of pocket otherwise. we are up to date with all our payments and utility bills, and we havent borrowed money from anyone, its just the credit cards right now, but they are BIG compared to our income)
This thread is a great idea! I would love to find ways to get our finances on the right track. We both have good, full time jobs and I often get depressed over our financial situation, because I don't understand why it is not positive!!! My issue with couponing is that I do not have the time to do it. I do clip coupons for items I regularly use, however I can't be obsessive about it, or go to various stores for the 'best' deal. Heck, some weeks I'm lucky if I even have time to stop and get a gallon of milk.
I was thinking of getting Dave Ramsey's book and seeing how that would work for me. What are your thoughts on him? Are his ideas sensible and logical?
Shannon - I'm following Dave Ramsey's book!! One exception. I don't believe you need to put you and your family into proverty in order to get out of debt. See my previous post to see how AWESOME we are doing!! And, Yes, I give me and my DH and allowance, and we both have ONE luxury item. Mine is the internet and WOW. His is the cable. It's all budgeted in. (BTW, we both kept our bikes!!)
Jenni - You and your husband have a problem. I'm sorry, I don't mean to be harsh. But you can't afford food and you are thinking about buying a truck so another can be worked on!!! Can you hold off for two or three years? If you get serious about budgeting for that long, you may find yourselves in a debt free situation. Our closest family lives 500 miles away. We went to visit about 2-3 times a year and the cost was at least $300 (if someone helped with gas). We haven't been up to MT this entier year. Our usual Thanksgiving trip was spent here at home! It's ok if you can't make the trip to see his grandma this year.
Sticking to a strict budget is really the key!!! We started with EXACTLY $38,095.73 worth of credit card and usecured loans. We read and started our Total Money Make Over in October, and we currently have $33,573.67 worth of debt. This is not made up. We gave up ALL our vehicles (except the bikes, we couldn't do that), bought a little "rat" car as I call it, but it works for us. We are selling those things that we don't need. DH sold his HUGE stainless steel 5 burner grill, and bought a small propane grill that would work perfect. We made about $500 in the trade.
DH makes an over average US household income on his own. But I still could not make it through the month with enough milk for the girls. Our situation was (and still is) disgusting. But I feel great that we have the solution and are working on it.
Jenni - I will pass on my book of The Total Money Make Over to you if you promise to pass it on to someone else in the board who is interrested if you like. PM me.
Jenni might not always budget money exactly where its supposed to go, and while i can't say i'd be completely without debt on my own, i'm going to blame it mostly on DH. its all his fault. and the part that sucks is that i guess mentally i keep thinking he must have an idea of how much money he spends etc in his head, but he really seriously has no clue whatsoever where the money goes or how much of it is gone. its been that way for years, but nothing i've done has gotten him involved or interested or understanding our finances, and i have yet to buckle down and start one more fight over money and indulgences when sometimes i just get really sick of fighting with him over everything else... like the house chores.
not only have i read, but i own "your money or your life" and a couple of Suze Orman's books. i understand how to control MY spending but i dont understand how to control HIS spending and make it feel worth it to start the fight.
And as for DH's truck- it does need work, but i think he can stick it out and deal because HE's the one that picked out the POS and had to have it so bad, he can deal with it if it doesnt run nice. i just wanted to illustrate how rich his fantasy life is.....
but its time to deal with the raving and just let it go.
like i said he got PISSED when i read that Dave Ramsey article to him, like, if he could have left the room he would have.... but that would have meant the bedroom or bathroom because thats all the rooms we have... and he wanted to watch TV i guess.
i'm also considering finding a financial counselor or taking a class offered by a local organization, but the problem is, i'm totally into this, and he has no interest at all. i'm afraid if he goes and sleeps through the class it wont help anyway.
It makes me sad that when i was pregnant with Ellie i still managed to pay off several credit cards, and i felt so good about it (closed those accounts BTW, done and over with!) but since then its just been downhill... and so has the economy so its not just me, but i feel like i should have learned more from it.
what does make me feel good? that some chunky soup, usually $2.05 a can, i got on sale for $1 each (10 for 10!) and then the 11th item was free so i really got them for like $.91, plus i had a buy 2 get a $1 off coupon, so for a total of $.82 i got 2 cans of soup, and one was my lunch today for $.42 i had lunch. yay!