Friday, May 3, 2013

Few words from one of the daughters.

  Hello All:

  I have never blogged before nor have I wrote so candidly on a public forum (not even FB) I am going to give it a try.  So, my mother has taken most of the time to contribute to this blog and speak about her financial journey and I figured it was about time one of her daughters, whom also are on a financial journey in 2013, spoke since that is the whole point we started this blog.

  I can't say that 2013 has been easy thus far and we are nearly to the half way point of it all.  My sister and I both attended Dave Ramsey's FPU at a local church in February and April, completing the classes.  I can honestly say that the steps are easy if you follow them, but like Dave says "emergencies happen" things come up that you can't control.  I have struggled and made ends meet all while paying down a great deal of debt.  I am still contributing to a 401k plan through my employer and paying my bills and mortgage on time.  Having a child in a single parent household is a beating on your finances. I haven't accomplished any of Dave's Baby Steps, yet.....well I did have Step 1 done then life happened, my daughters father went from paying full child support to paying less then a third of it and that takes a toll when you're the one paying for child care, clothes, food, well everything on your own.  I have been living on a budget since completing FPU and it helps to keep everything in line.  But I do struggle, I make things work out, I pay my bills on time, all while putting what little bit left in a college fund, retirement fund and savings.  I tithe at church even though its not nearly what I would like it to be.  I don't have cable TV or Internet at my child has never had either while living with me....and yes your children can survive without either and a little bit of fresh air. I know that sounds old fashioned, but I like my life like that. I have an HD antenna for my TV and that gives us all the local channels, we have a DVD player so when its in the budget and we want to watch something we don't own already....RED BOX is our route.  There are a lot of ways to make it without the luxuries we all have become so dependent on.

 I am going to be 30 in a year and I want to be debt free by that time. or at least have just a car and house to pay off.  8000 dollars in credit cards and lines of credit for me are just consuming too much of my money when it can be used elsewhere.  I have rambled on long enough, but I just wanted to put some things out there, for the single parents in cyberspace

Remember its OK to tell your kids "NO", you may be teaching them a bigger lesson about life then you may ever realize!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Week 1 of FPU Savings

This class discussed the necessity of savings. The first step in Financial Freedom is to plan for the unexpected by saving $1,000 in an emergency fund. You should do this as quickly as possible, even if that means selling unused items to achieve this goal. My son and I had a garage sell in September, so I already have this step completed. I have this in a high yield account at Barclay's Bank. It was the best interest rate I could find at 0.99%, they advertise 1% interest, but when I got my statement it showed 0.99%! Good Luck all with getting your Baby Emergency Fund completed quickly.

Just for today do not debt!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Found Money

This month so far I have "found" $85 by making two phone calls. I was able to lower our cell phone bill by $20 a month and our cable/internet bill by $65 a month!
We decide to disconnect the home phone, paying over $30 a month for a phone we really don't use was just too much. We kept it this last year just for the fax machine!! I think I can fax a lot of pages at Kinko's for $30 a month!! We decreased our cable to "Digital Economy" for a total saving of $65 off last months cable bill.
Our total savings of $85 a month will add up to over $1,000 a year.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Will Dave Ramsey's Plan Really Work?

I learned something new today. My husband will never do Dave Ramsey, don't get me wrong he does agree with some of Dave's philosophies, but he will never be gazelle intense.  He (DH) told me this morning that he is not going to live a "spartan" life to save a million dollars, then die or have a stroke the day he retires!! Maybe if we had tried to start this plan when we first met in my late 30's and his early 40's I might have been able to change his mind. Today while we are fast approaching my 50th and his 56th birthdays I have to let him be. You see his father suffered a stroke while he was (I believe) in his 50's. It makes sense to me now, even though I foresee a spartan retirement and can't convince my husband of that fact. We also have four different accounts, his, mine, joint and then one for our rentals! Yes it is a lot to keep track of all of them, but he won't have it any other way. We do agree on a joint spending plan each month, but are free to spend our discretionary income how ever we see fit. Other Guru's agree with this arrangement.
Well gotta run for now, Just for today... incur no new debt!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Happy New Year!

Where do we begin? I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year. I have decided to start by posting my New Year Resolutions.

2013 New Year Resolutions:
1.      Track spending for a month.
2.      Create a realistic spending plan each month.
3.      Save $10 a day to pay down car loan.
4.      Buy Starbucks only while on per diem.
5.      Borrow books from library.
6.      Veto new subscription for the year.
7.      Just for today do not debt!

I will post my spending that I am tracking on a weekly basis. I can tell you so far I need to add “Buy Jamba Juice only while on per diem” to the list above. I will be starting a 5 day cleanse on the 7th, so I have found myself taking advantage of Jamba Juice's $2 deal, but I am buying a $3 original size and not the $2 sixteen! This cleanse is costing me $99, so I am putting that under my grocery category! We also spent $200 at the grocery store today. Eating healthy does not seem to be saving us money. To prepare for the cleanse I am suppose to cut out caffeine and alcohol, drink more water and eat more vegetables before I start the cleanse on Monday. Wish me luck!

I was able to update our spending plan for the month of January. Not sure how successful I will be this month saving the $10 a day to pay down my car note. We are already paying $183.82 extra and will have the car paid for by August 2014. Maybe if I can at the least save $4 a day then that will be an additional $120, which will be a total of $300 above the scheduled payment.

I also bought the book Quitter from Dave Ramsey. That set me back $14.95 with shipping, but I was able to download the mp3 file for free. So am I getting two books for that $14.95? I did search the library first before I bought it. That is my weakness, plus I like listening to books while I am working.

I have been successful with resolution number 6 and 7. No new or renewed subscriptions to magazines and no new debt. I thought I might debt on the First of all days, I forgot my jacket when we went skiing so I had to buy a new jacket. Thought I used my only visa card, but when the "charge" went through, I had used my debit card!! Some what of a shock, but I am happy it turned out that way. I did not debt and had some money in savings to pay for it.

I keep my "baby" emergency fund in a separate savings account online with Barclay's Bank earning 1.0% interest!! I know that is not a lot, but it is more than the 0.0463% I am earning on my credit union savings account or 0.11% from Chase. I am earning 1.0% on our 24 month CD, but that money is not liquid! 

Hope everyone had a great new year and is on their way to a debt free year! Just for new debt!