Our debts keep going down and our assets keep going up...what more can a person ask for? I always felt like some of the things we did were not understood by our friends, but I feel good about the choices and sacrifices we've made along the way.
It's been a while since I posted on here but I just wanted to update and say that we have kept on keepin' on, and are doing ok. I'm thinking about updating the about me section to show what's going on now... I may do that here in a bit.
Well, my DH deployed to Iraq a fews ago. It's sad not having him here and I hate not being able to call him or see him. But I'm trying to be positive and view this time apart as a time where we can save money and one day better our lives because of it.
Being deployed he gets extra pay and we plan to save that, as well as some of his ordinary pay. I've moved across the country and am finishing my college degree, and also living w/ my folks for the time being, which is also good for saving money, but not good for my sanity.
Well, I plan to move out of my folks house soon and into a modest apartment close to the college I'm attending. Tuition is roughly $3,000 per semester, so that's a tough blow, but without rent it's working out okay for now. We've paid down our credit cards to $2,000. In the past few months it had risen to $7,000 due to tuition, books, moving expenses, etc. In the next month I should be able to pay the last card off and retire the credit cards for good which is exciting.
This might be a little controversial, but I've opened up a personal checking account in addition to the joint one we both have and am funneling money into the personal checking account from our joint one. You see, his pay is direct deposited into our joint account and without a lot of expenses and the extra pay we should be able to save a good amount. BUT, my fear was that once the money starts rolling into the joint account, I would feel richer and be compelled to spend more simply because there's more there. So I'm giving myself an allowance each month that goes directly to my account and have stopped using the joint account. This way when I look in my account and see that it's quite low I'll stop spending. My monthly allowance is $300...that will change when i move into an apartment but for now it covers my meager expenses. That's the plan for now. Does it make sense to anyone other than me? My DH understands but is still skeptical, though he trusts my judgement.
I just realized that I haven't posted on here in almost 2 months!
Well here's a quick update. I'm in school and doing pretty well so far which is exciting. I guess part of the reason that I haven't been keeping up w/ this blog is besides being so busy, I'm not saving any money.
So all I have to write about is how expensive college is...and no one want to hear that. So in a few months we should start saving again, but for now it's all going towards tuition, books, etc.
Our networth over the past year and a half has been steadily increasing. This will soon end as I go back to college and try to pay for that in installment payments instead of saving $1,000 a month for our future house. I still want to take out a student loan but haven't applied or had a chance to research it. School starts soon, and that first installment payment for tuition is coming up. It will be almost $2,000 due on August 20th...yikes! College truely is expensive.
I promised to post our networth on the 1st of every month, but this month has been pretty hectic and I've not been online lately. But here it is! I took everyone's advice to pay off the high interest cards before they got out of control, and next will be tackling the 0% interest card...afterall that 0% won't last forever!
19 months of saving money. House down payment here we come!
My DH will be deployed for 15 months and I have 2 years left to finish my degree. What to do? I guess go back to school anyways and finish as much as I can. Is it worth it to almost finish? Is it even worth it to finish at all, if we keep moving around (due to DH being in Army) will the degree really mean a higher paying job? Should I take out student loans or pay from savings (and future savings)?
Nope, not divorce...deployment. My DH is supposed to be deploying in a few months to some far off country and will be gone for 15 months. Tours of duty overseas used to be 12 months but they've recently been extended. Very upsetting!
I would be so lonely here, so I think I'm going to move back in with my folks and try to finish college. I'm ussually a glass-half-full kind of person, so finishing school would probably be the best thing to do while he's gone.
I still don't believe he's leaving though. It's funny, I say I'm an optimist and believe the glass to be half full, but really I'm an optimist because I refuse to believe that the glass even exists. *sigh*
Well, this is the end of my daily spending journal. I decided to put an end to it because, well, it was boring! I guess that's a good thing though.
We're still using cash only and being very frugal for the next couple of weeks. Overall, it's not too bad. The only time it's truely hard to be thrifty is when we're out with our friends who want to constantly shop and buy drinks from Starbucks.
Recently, I paid down one credit card that had a balance of $1,500. Next, I shall tackle my credit card with a $2,000 balance. Wish me luck!
I had a no spend day but my husband bough beer. I wasn't very happy about it...I hate beer and I kind of consider it a non-neccessity, but he bought some anyways...
$30 on gas
Hopefully that will last me a while!
No spend day!
I tried to break the cash-only plan again today! Funny how hard it is to change old ways... Well the reason was that I pulled into the gas station early in the morning, on empty, and the station wasn't open yet so i could only use a card.
I drove to the next station that was open, and paid cash!
$18 on gas
$2 on lunch at Jack-in-the-box
Well already I've broken the cash-only plan! Curse! I went to the groccery store today and was short $7 so had to swipe the debit card. Also my husband bought and ink cartrige since we were out.
$47 on grocceries
$18 on ink cartrige for printer
I'm adding a new category called Spendometer which will be a daily tracking of what I spend my cash on. I think it'll help keep me honest and also help show where our money goes now that we're on a cash-only plan.
$14 on gas
After talking over the finances w/ my husband, we have decided to go on a cash-only diet. That means all 3 of the credit cards have been kicked out of our wallets, and our debit card is taking a vactation in the back of the wallet. For now, cash is king.
It's a big change, but we need a big change in order to change the direction that we're going. Lately, we've been treading water w/ our credit card debt and even drifting further from shore. We've been making large payments, but still charging new purchases, so the bill has steadily risen. Now we've said "enough" and are going to pay the debts off, and stop relying on credit cards for instant gratification.
It's going to be rough for a while, but that's good...because we've never really had it rough before. Anytime we wanted something (within reason) we just used the credit cards. And even though we knew the right thing to do was to pay the bill in full each month, we kept saying someday. Well someday has finnaly come and we're going to make it happen!
I edited our net worth to put in the exact figures and that raised it a little. It's going to change dramaticaly tommorow or so when I pay a couple thousand dollars on our credit card bills, thanks to the advice of everyone on here!
Well my husband and I got in a little arguement about money today. Our credit card debt is at about $6000 (you don't want to ask...) and that drives him crazy since neither of us have ever had that much on credit cards before and it just seems to keep going higher.
I'm not as worried about it as him because we have money in the bank and our net worth is positive...around $18,000. I would rather have $12,000 saved for a down payment on a home w/ $6,000 in credit card debt, rather than only $6,000 saved for a home downpayment and no credit card debt. Does anyone agree w/ me on this?
Well after talking to several customer service reps they said that my apr rate would stay at the original rate, 7.99%. But to be honest I don't believe them. According to the letter they sent in the mail I could deny the charges but the account would be closed to new charges, and if new charges appeared those would be at 17.5%. Confusing, huh? So I didn't quite get it clarified whether the 7.99% was just until I charged something else, or what. So now I'm scared to use the card...which is probably good!!
Our credit credit debt has skyrocketed to $5,513.89... over $1,000 more than last month and more than we've ever had in credit card debt our whole short lives.
On a side note, we recieved a notice in the mail yesterday from our credit card company stating that our fabuously low apr of 7.99% would now be 17.5%...
Yikes! So I called and was told it was because they had checked my credit report and found that there were "too many accounts not being paid as agreed" I proceeded to tell the customer service rep that I have never made a late payment in my life and then immediatly wondered if there was some sort of fraud so got off the phone and checked.
My credit was great, same as ussual and my credit score "exellent"...then I got MAD. About a year ago I added my husband onto my card as a joint cardholder, his credit has been less than perfect in the past (2 cards that he missed 2 payments on approximatly 1 year ago) but I was assured when changing to the joint account that my apr wouldn't change based on adding him, and they said they would have to pull his credit report and check before they would add him. It's still not resolved, I need to call back later on when the office is open....grrrr
Arggghh... After paying down the credit cards by $500 this month, I proceeded to charge $700 on them. There were some unexpected expenses, some unexpected visits from inlaws, and some unexpected furniture purchases...all put on the plastic. While we do have an emergency cushion, none of these purchases really counted as emergencies...so we charged them? I really can't explain my logic behind this saving beyond our means, but just because you can't explain something, doesn't mean it's wrong. Take gravity for instance...
Well, this week shopzilla got a hold of me and I started shopping like crazy, which means our "budget" which doesn't really exist anyways, got blown to smithereens. You see, normally there is no budget, we just pay bills, got out to eat or to a movie once a week, and save the rest from automatic deduction from checking to savings.
But alas, in saving so much and being so frugal, the "budget" doen't allow any extra spending. So when i do need (lol yeah need) to shop, the checking account gets dangerously close to 0, and I have to transfer funds so that it doesn't become negative.
And the said part is that the shopping was soley for emtional reasons. My hubby was working late and I was bored and feeling sorry for myself. Ugh, a horrible reason to buy pants I still haven't worn.
My husband lost his debit/check card today and called me because he couldn't remember the name of our bank! I couldn't believe my ears when he asked if we bank at Bank of America! I said no, and told him the name of our bank...very odd since it was his bank account before we got married, not mine. I mean I know I'm in charge of the finances around here, but I didn't think my dear husband was that much in the dark! I'll just chalk it up to him being tired and under a lot stress lately, so he knew the answer and just temporarily forgot. Whew!
While reading Make Love, Not Debt, a his and hers blog about a couple and their money, and saw a comment that caught my eye...
"The nesting instinct will kill your finances... My advice is to stop collecting crap, and be content with what you have. Desire is the root of your problems, and desire leads to consumption, and consumption leads to being a wage slave for life..."
How true that is. Well I'm sure some folks have enough money to decorate their home and collect fine things but I think what the quote was trying to say was that those who don't have the means shouldn't go into debt or spend all their money on such things.
I sometimes wish our apartment were cuter. Maybe more colorful, with more artwork and furniture that matched. But most of the time I can walk into Macy's, drift aimlessly around and not buy anything. It helps that after our money is direct-deposited into savings we don't have alot left in the budget (i.e bank account) to shop. But a lot of it has to do with desire. I look around and don't see anything I want. And if I do, I simply carry it around long enough that it becomes a burden and I change my mind. But there are those rare cases that I see something, MUST have it, leave the store, obsese about it for days, then come back and buy it. Now that's when I know it's a good purchase!
Hey thanks YOUCANDOIT for the link to the Net Worth IQ website...
I don't count our cars or personal property in figuring our net worth...maybe i would if they were worth more. Anyways the only thing I don't like about the networth website is that they list "cash" as a column, and that's where I wound up putting what we have in our savings account since there was no column for "Savings account".
Our networth is currently $16,400. Not bad if I do say so myself. That's 16 months of hardcore savings!!
Oh I noticed on some other people's blogs that they periodically post their net worth and how they are doing compared to last month's net worth. I think that's awesome! So few people in the "real world" (the land outside of computers) will tell even their friends what their net worth is, and here on personal finance blogs folks offer up their progress and goals to anyone who wants to read! How cool is that?
Well, I think I shall make this a monthly column and update it on the 1st of each month. I wish I could be like some of the people on here (like Ima Saver who is my blogging idol!) and post daily, but I guess once every few days isn't too bad...
Well I've decided to open up a roth ira with the extra money we had in our checking account thanks to our tax refund. As tempting as it was to add to our savings account, it seemed like the roth would benefit us most over the long term. Thanks for all your input in my previous entry when I asked what you guys thought about opening the roth ira!
We opened the account with Vangaurd. I've heard good things about them, so we'll see.
For the past couple of months I've been thinking about opening up a Roth IRA. I'm trying to decide by April 15th because the tax laws say that you have until then to have your contributions count as last year's.
So we have $4,000 sitting in checking (in part due to Uncle Sam - thanks for the refund!) and don't know what to do. It's tempting just to put it into savings with the rest of the money we've saved, but I don't know if that's the wisest thing to do. Also we do have credit card debt in the same amount, interestingly enough, so maybe we should pay that off now. But because of the miracle of compund interest I am tempted to start the Roth IRA as soon as possible. What do you guys think?...
I thought this would be a good entry to further explain why and how we do what we do with our money. One of the main reasons that we are able to save so much (in relation to how little we make) is that we have no car loans. Granted, they may not be new or nice, but they are paid off and they get us from point A to point B...which is to say that they get the job done.
Another reason we are able to save 15% of our pre-tax income towards retirement and 25% of our after-tax income towards our dreams is that we are not big spenders. Saving money is a big priority for both my husband and I. The little things you buy can (and do) add up over time. So I'm not willing to sell my dreams for a lot of little things.
Hello everyone! I was surfing the web looking for blogs on how other military spouses and servicemembers save, and to be honest with you I couldn't find much in terms of PFB! I said to myself, "I want to read what other people are doing, but maybe other people would like to read what I'm doing as well."
So, we are currently saving 15% of our pre-tax income in the Thrift Savings Plan (the government's version of a 401k only no matching funds) and on top of that saving $1,000 a month for our dream of owning a home. We have about $10,000 saved thus far in that "home fund".
Now onto the bad...we have $4,000 in credit card debt. 3/4 of that is at 0% and the rest at 7.99%. Not horrible, but our logic might be a little odd in how we are going about all this. I'm not sure I understand why I do anything sometimes!