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Viewing the 'Goals' Category

Set up an appointment with a mortgage counselor from a local bank

September 5th, 2008 at 09:16 am

Have to say, I was more than a little surprised by the not so subtle desperation in her voice. I know the industry is in bad shape but I didn't expect a bank based mortgage counselor to sound so desperate. After all, local banks tend to be stricter about qualifying for mortgages so they shouldn't be as bad as the mortgage brokers.

I was more than a little surprised when she offered to come to our home if we wanted rather than having to come to her office (we told her the office was fine). We did claim evening was best for contacting though so she is probably the one who works nights and weekends alot.

I figure meeting with the mortgage counselor is my last minute sanity check before starting this whole process. That and I know this bank does renovation loans which may be a nice way to go depending on what we get.

We meet on Monday(our day off) so will let you know how it goes!

End of August Update

September 2nd, 2008 at 08:35 am

August was an extra paycheck month for my DH so our savings got an extra boost. I was about $200 overbudget for this month but despite that, we are $400 ahead of our savings budget. Between overtime and having a skimpy base budget, we had room for the overrun.

I am still trying to figure out how much to set aside for travelling and festivals. I know that $25 per month is definitely not enough so once we settle into a home I may have to take a look back through the year and attempt to figure out what I need. I suspect it will be trial and error for awhile. Currently I only separate out a little bit and then take the rest from the monthly free money.

Since I only use a credit card that I pay in full each month, when we start travelling again I will need to do a better job of saving out that money. Currently, the small trips have worked pretty well in the monthly budget so I just need to really save out for the big items (plane tickets, reservations, etc).

Newest Plan - You probably won't like it.

June 3rd, 2008 at 03:45 pm

Here is the background info. I have two remaining credit card debts, one at 0% apr, and one at 1.87% apr as of this month. They will remain that way til Feb 2009. My lease on my current place is up in February. I guarantee our rent will go up, if we rent for less than a year, it will go up by at least $300 per month (don't ask about month to month, the fee alone is 400 plus an increase in the rental rate itself and we will not sign a lease for one more year.)We want to buy something small and equivalent to our current rent or not much higher.

With the market changing dramatically, we will be in a better position if we have the ability to put 20% down and have closing costs covered. Our current plan of pay everything off then saving the money will make things tight and most likely won't allow 20% down. If instead we just pay the min payments on the last two cards, we will definitely have the cash on hand we need.

By keeping the debt we are keeping our options open. The increased debt will not affect our ratios because we want far less than they would willingly loan us.

So we are going to save like mad and start househunting in the fall. If we do go with a loan product that doesn't require all our cash or we get some assistance from the seller, we will use the remaining cash to pay on the credit cards. If not, we can pay the remaining debt with 3 months of our closing.

What you can't see from my ticker since I joined here after I paid the first part off is that we have actually paid off over 32,000 in debt over the past 2 years.

As much as I want the debt gone, I want a home far more, especially at those interest rates. There is only one other way of doing this that might be more financially reasonable and that is signing another year long lease (at a different place) and that is just not something we are willing to do.

That said, the plan could always change again as circumstances change but unless I am missing something, this is the best plan in the long run.

Okay, so lay into me. What do you think is wrong with my current plan and why? I am at least willing to listen.

On Track Update

April 1st, 2008 at 08:18 am

Another $1000 payment has been made and I have a $1700 one scheduled two weeks from now. This will leave only $500 on this particular card so it will be paid off in the beginning of May.

We have decided to up our out to eat budget to $200 from $100. While the $100 let us get caught up last year, its no longer necessary and we really enjoy eating a variety of food (we tend to do vietnamese cuisine at the moment, something I definitely do not know how to cook at home). We also have room in our budget to do it without reducing anything else thanks to bonuses.

Oh and the highlight of this month is I will cross the 10k threshold.

Once I am finished with the debt, I think I will switch to doing the net worth thing. I will be in the negative for a little bit but as of this February it will be positive (and then it will go negative again because we will have bought a house, lol). It should be an interesting year with househunting and so on.

Ticker Update Time

February 29th, 2008 at 10:49 am

Hurray, time to start the pay off again. I am starting with $406 which isn't a lot but my big payoffs come at the end of the month.

Me, impatient, never!

Change of Plan

January 14th, 2008 at 08:40 am

So as some of you may have guessed, I change my mind alot. Big Grin

My dh and I decided we are going to pay off the credit cards before buying a house. We hate to gamble on renewing our rental contract and it probably won't save us money in the long run if the rental company jacks up the price like we suspect they will BUT, we will both be happier to have the debt gone.

This means the last credit card will be gone in October if not sooner. The only reason we are doing it this way is because my dh got a promotion which gives us the ability to consider this option. It came with a big pay increase and the ability to accumulate bonuses as well.

Depending on how things go, there is still the potential of getting into a house before our current lease expires, we just won't count on that.

New Goal and New Strategy

November 1st, 2007 at 01:55 pm

In a little over a year, my credit card debt will drop to $3k. Yes, you heard me right I am going to pay off over $14k in the next year (which sadly is what we paid off in cc debt last year and no we didn't accumulate any new on his side of the equation or mine. We really did start out with that much debt.)

Originally the plan was to pay off only 2 cards, pay min. payments on the last 2 and save the remaining amount of money for a downpayment. However, with more money coming in, we can now afford to have me focus on aggressively paying off my remaining credit cards and leave my dh to save the down payment.

Definitely feeling better about our progress.

$20 Limit for Christmas

October 31st, 2007 at 11:23 am

So my dh has agreed that we will use my bonus, whatever it is, for Christmas. We are also going to limit the price tag on gifts in our house to $20 so we can have multiple things under the tree. I expect that dh will fudge a little but at least this way I know he won't buy me a $200 item.

Personally I think I have gotten enough toys lately that I should not be allowed to get Christmas gifts but then my dh wouldn't have any fun (or even listen to limits because he would just go spend what he wanted on me).

I actually think the $20 limit will be fun because we will have to figure out ways of getting lots of stuff for each other without spending lots of money on each item.

Whoops, so much for that goal...

October 18th, 2007 at 01:25 pm

Well, just grabbed breakfast and lunch from downstairs. *Sigh* I now need to do 13 more days without eating out but I only made it through 5 this time...

Its a good thing I always have reserve money for when (not if) I blow through my out to eat lunch budget.

As a result of my willpower (or lack thereof), I am going to add a couple of things to my grocery shopping list come November in an attempt to cut out the constant out to eat lunch issue. Its definitely certain items that I am getting from downstairs and I am sure I can make them cheaper and/or buy them cheaper at the grocery store.

Entertainment Book update

October 18th, 2007 at 07:02 am

So I just got my entertainment book. It has $20 worth of coupons for the store I shop at so I will be able to use those and some of the restaurants we go to as well. My dh was really impressed on how useful it will be.

In the first two weeks of next month, we will probably have $30 of savings right off the bat so I am feeling pretty good about the purchase.

In other news, my dh will be getting about 12 hours of overtime this weekend which should pay for boarding our puppy at the vets for our Thanksgiving trip and pay for his kennel cough vaccine (which you have to get every 6 months, yeck).

Oh, and I am on day 5 of 18 with no out to eat. Course the weekends are my greatest threat but so far so good.

Grocery and Lunch Update

October 15th, 2007 at 03:38 pm

Currently for this month I am at $180 for groceries and paper products and at $90 for out to eat lunches. The goal is $200 for groceries and $100 for out to eat lunches.

As you can see, I need to be very very good for the next two and a half weeks.

The good news is that the groceries are pretty good. The reason its so high so fast is I did some stocking up using sales.

The bad news is $10 for lunches means only 1 more meal and that is going to be an extreme test of my will power.

So new goal, no eating out for 2 1/2 weeks. We don't need to spend dh's money either so if I can do this, we will be set for the month.

Its sad that I think of this as a major test of my willpower. Most people go this long all the time...

Entertainment Book

October 5th, 2007 at 09:02 am

So recently I decided that I am all about experimenting to see if there are additional ways to save money. I had been looking at the Entertainment Book for Denver but decided to wait until I was offered a better deal.

Well, my inbox account offered $8 to sign up for one and Entertainment Book offered a $25 restaurant.com certificate. The book with shipping is $31. I figured if there is any time to try it, now is the time.

I was a little worried the restaurant certificate wouldn't be for a decent restaurant but I did get it for one that my dh and I had been planning to try, The Fresh Fish Company.

Now I get to wait and see if the coupons are as good as they promised. So I figure that once I can actually redeem things, I will track that while subtracting any money that I have to spend to use the coupon beyond what we would have spent.

Grocery Goal

September 30th, 2007 at 07:45 am

Okay, so what am I currently doing to keep myself from spending too much? I have little goals that I am pursuing.

Goal 1: Get my groceries under $200 per month.

This was easy when our out to eat budget was ridiculous, a little bit harder now that we limit the out to eat to a couple of times per month. Despite my being lazy, I and my dh have been learning to cook from scratch. And I mean, totally from scratch.

Sadly, this is so easy now that its kind of sad that we thought it would take too much time. Currently my dh is finding a bread recipe that we like so we can stop buying bread. We work together to make sure there are leftovers and recipes waiting for us when we get home because coming up with the idea while starving is usually what results in me saying let's eat out.

Step 2 was really comparing prices. I thought I had been doing this before, but making the conscious effort to try to only buy really good deals (on sale or bulk) and really examining what a good deal is what got me from $400 a month to $250 along with the cooking from scratch.

Good example, we occasionally like snacks so I decided to get pudding cups. Normally I would grab a pack of 4 at the 10 for $10 sale and think I was getting a deal. So wrong. I went looking for the bulk 24 pack, it was $5.77. So it still beat out the sales price and in my house, we will eventually go through the 24 pack. You do this with 10 items everytime you go and pretty soon the costs drop.

Step 3 of this goal is developing a price book. For the longest time I had this running in my head and thought that was enough. It isn't. I am still working on this one but look forward to when I have it up and working.

The really big thing about this goal, is not that it saves me a tremendous amount of money but that it keeps me from spending money on other things by keeping me entertained.

Every month I get to start over on this goal, whether or not I did good the month before so I never get disheartened. For me, that is huge because we have some pretty big debt goals and they take a long time.

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