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What a wake-up call...

April 18th, 2013 at 03:46 pm

We spend up to $700 per month on booze and eating out. HOLY SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM! How did I not realize this??

So, significant other and I enjoy (and apparently we REALLY enjoy...) drinking and eating out. I really thought we were doing well on cutting this back over the last year or so. I don't even want to know what we WERE spending, holy moley!

We recently opened new bank accounts and got reward credit cards, on which we've been putting all gas, groceries, eating out, etc. to pay off every month. This is part of our plan to control our spending and "really see" what we spend money on, and how much.

Anyway, he was talking to his coworkers about whatever, and budgeting came up. This made him start calculating in his head...and he came up with about $700 per month. I said, NO WAY! Then I looked at our first credit card statements, and in a month, we're not quite at $700, but we are pretty darn close. And it's been a "slow month" for us. I am ashamed to admit that I really had no idea it was that much!

Mind you, this is BOOZE and EATING OUT ONLY! Stops at the liquor store, happy hours, lunch and/or dinner on the weekends, going out for breakfast.

Well, gee. Maybe that's why I can't manage to put more money in savings, or pay down the other credit accounts faster, or why everything is an emergency when there's an emergency. Geez.

Well, welcome to reality! I am so mad at us! We had a good long discussion last night though. This is going to stop.

Man o' Man I'm trying!

March 8th, 2013 at 10:49 am

I'm telling you, this is tough. I'm so frustrated.

Due to car problems, my emergency savings is gone and I had to use the dang credit cards. And the cars still have problems.

I had been expecting a stock bonus this month, and I got it, except it's about 50% less than I thought (dang taxes), and our stock price of course tanked (dang Murphy's Law) so I'm hesitant to sell at the moment.

All the bills are being paid on time, still paying above minimum payments on debt, slowly socking money back into the EF, we're not paycheck to paycheck, both of us are still working, and all of that is good.

But geez. I feel like as soon as I get a handle on something, it goes to crap.

It's about this time I usually say SCREW IT and go shopping. But I am holding back. YAY ME! Frown It sure would make me feel better though.

{{pause}} {{breathe}}

Maybe I just needed to vent. I feel a little better already...except...

I'm really getting worried about retirement though. I know it's several years off, but I am clearly not saving enough. I believe the usual plan is to pay off debt then aggressively save/invest, but I fear that is many years off and I won't have enough time. Sucks that I waited this long to think about it.

**EDIT** I do contribute to a 401(k) and there is a match. I only have about $57K in there though. I recently heard that by my age (39) I should have something like 2x my yearly salary?? That's when I started to worry about it more. **END EDIT**

But the last thing I need is to get depressed about it. I need to suck it up and forge ahead.

OK, rant over.

Debt I didn't think about...

December 12th, 2012 at 08:24 am

So...a thread I responded to yesterday/the other day reminded me that there is debt I don't regularly pay on and that I don't really think about. And a statement came in the mail yesterday that reminded me of another one...

UGH!

My son has the opportunity to take a trip to Italy and Spain next June. It's been planned for a year and a half now (2 years before departure). I've paid about a third of it, and minimum $1600 is due in February (remaining balance is $2220). I can't really say I had forgotten about the February payment, but I hadn't been thinking about it either. He cannot opt out at this point without a huge penalty. SO...I have to shift focus to pay off that trip without using credit! I can do it, but it sucks I didn't plan better.

Another debt I don't think about: vet bill. We are fortunate in that our friend is a vet, but we do still cover costs associated and don't want to take advantage of our friend. We usually make a large payment 2-3 times per year.

And...money owed to parents. Mine and his. Or, not sure it's owed exactly, but our parents have helped us (separately) over the years, pretty significantly in a couple of cases at least on my side, and we really should give back at some point.

Just more things I need think about, and plan for.

Two more down! Now I need a plan...

December 10th, 2012 at 10:14 am

I paid off two more credit cards today, and moved $1000 into a savings account for emergencies.

Now these (total of four) credit card payoffs and emergency fund occurred because I got some unexpected money and sold my stock from employee purchase. I'm not expecting any more "unexpected money" or stock until March or April. So now I need a plan to continue the momentum.

I'm shopping for cheaper auto insurance right now, and waiting for my cell phone contracts to expire. Going back and forth on the DirecTV...we live outside of town and an antenna didn't work for us, and I think we'd have to get a new TV for netflix to work. I don't watch much TV, but the significant other enjoys watching UFC...every night Smile

Debt:
Credit Cards:
1: $ 639 / 18.4%
2. $2681 / 22.98%
3. $7026 / 19.24%

401(k) loan #1: $2400 / 4.24%
401(k) loan #2: $10,500 / 4.24%

Auto loan #1: $2700 / 6.5%
Auto loan #2: $18,000 / 4.1%

Student Loan: $51,000 / 4.625%
Parent Loan: $14,372 / 7.65%

Mortgage: $69,314 / 4.25%

Household Income:
About $2600 biweekly, take home, no overtime
(Health insurance, 401(k) contributions and loan payments already out of that.)
I can usually work 8-10 hours of overtime per week without question.
My significant other is not working overtime right now, but is expected to start ~60/hour weeks in February.

Bills (monthly unless otherwise specified):
Mortgage: $296 biweekly
Car Pmt 1: $264
Car Pmt 2: $407
Auto Insurance: $450
Credit Cards (min): ~$350
Phone: $45
Cell Phones/internet: $320
DirecTV: $82
Propane: $90
Electricity: $100
Student Loan: $336
Parent Loan: $186
Gas (Auto): $400 estimated
Groceries: $400 estimated

Savings (not much):
$1000 "emergency fund" in a separate savings account
I still plan to carry ~$1000 between three checking accounts.

401(k): 50,843.72
Contributing 5%

And, we begin

December 5th, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I've realized a while ago now that I'm not in a good place financially, even though I have a stable career and make good money. There is too much debt, and almost no savings at all. I'm not getting any younger (as a matter of fact, today is my 39th birthday).

I've come to terms with the situation and am intent on fixing it.

I have a significant other who has no desire to or expertise in managing money. We both brought debt to the relationship. I have primary control over the finances. He is aware of the financial situation and trusts me to make the right decisions.

I've recently (JUST THIS WEEK!) paid off two of the highest interest credit cards! It felt so good! I've also just sold some stock and will pay off 2 more high interest cards within the next week. This is my debt picture, as of today:

Credit Cards:
1: $ 639 / 18.4%
2. $ 665 / 21.5%
3. $1012 / 22.9%
4. $2681 / 22.98%
5. $7026 / 19.24%

401(k) loan #1: $2400 / 4.24%
401(k) loan #2: $10,500 / 4.24%

Auto loan #1: $2700 / 6.5%
Auto loan #2: $18,000 / 4.1%

Student Loan: $51,000 / 4.625%
Parent Loan: $14,372 / 7.65%

Mortgage: $69,314 / 4.25%