Tag Archives: dave ramsey

October by the Numbers

So… again, a slow month. Not very exciting numbers – however, I guess for perspective, any number above 0 is better than what could have been. We did have someone give us $10 extra dollars for running an errand for them- so there was extra income this month 🙂

We’ve collected a few more items to craigslist or put on ebay, so hopefully we’ll have some extra income from selling those items soon.

Also, for my office Halloween luncheon, my department went as the social network, with all of us being different social media sites. I was Blogger, as in blogspot, where I blogged from 2005 – 2009. I had a Blogger shirt, very orange elements in my clothing and my prop, which was my “Pennies for Debra” jar because my “blog theme” was finances. (Not completely pretend. Ha!) Having the jar meant explaining what “Pennies for Debra” is. Which resulted in some contributions. 😀 So thanks for those that gave once purposeless pennies a new lease on life.

Anyway, here are the numbers:

Extra income: $10

Extra Debt paid: $403

Total Debt paid in October: $649*

Since 1/1/2012 – Total Debt Paid off: $30,768*

*For the purpose of Baby step 2 we are not factoring in our home mortgage

Click here to learn more about the origins and purpose of “Pennies for Debra”

Or, for a listing of all “Pennies for Debra” posts, just go to www.penniesfordebra.com.

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September by the Numbers

Again – nothing to exciting to report (other than the fact that, yes, we did feel the DFW earthquake yesterday).  As I stated last month, fall work is starting to pick up again.  With work coming in, we were able to apply a little extra to the debt.

I’m still not sure if we will make our goal of paying off all the debt before the end of the year, but we are certainly getting close.

Here are the somewhat, non-exciting, numbers:

Extra income: none

Extra Debt paid: $905

Total Debt paid in September: $1,151*

Since 1/1/2012 – Total Debt Paid off: $30,119*

*For the purpose of Baby step 2 we are not factoring in our home mortgage

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August by the Numbers

This is going to be a pretty short post.  We’re doing well and thankfully, the fall work is starting to pick up again.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, our biggest contribution to debt this month was deciding to put what we’ve saved for car replacement toward the debt.  We figure my car will last a while longer and should it completely breakdown, that’s what our emergency fund is for.

We just went on a holiday road trip and while driving listened to a few more Financial Peace University Lessons, giving ourselves a jolt of encouragement.

Here are the numbers:

Extra income: none

Extra Debt paid: $1,919

Total Debt paid in August: $2,165*

Since 1/1/2012 – Total Debt Paid off: $28,968*

*For the purpose of Baby step 2 we are not factoring in our home mortgage

 

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June by the Numbers

This was an interesting (and slightly unexpected) month.

To start with, while the numbers at the end of this post might seem to show otherwise – we have definitely hit the slow portion of the year.  The very first few days of the month, my husband had a slew of freelance jobs pay – resulting in, for all intents and purposes, no outstanding invoices. Meaning – no checks waiting to come in until work picks back up, and more invoices go out. And even when more invoices start going out – it can be a couple of months on average for checks to start coming in.

It was also an odd month in that the way I get paid, is every two weeks.  This means two months out of the year, I get three paychecks in the calendar month. This happens to be one of those months.

To top off the “this is not a normal month” list, we’ve had family in town for a week and a half helping us with a remodel of the garage. Normally, a project of this magnitude would wait until someone is out of Baby Step 2. However, in this case, the HOA is painting all garages this summer and they were going to “just fix” any with rotten wood and charge us.  We thought it would be better to fix it ourselves so that it was done right, and done without having a huge gaping question mark to our home maintenance budget.

Fortunately, we were able to cash flow this project with the unexpected checks that came in at the beginning of the month.  We estimated  high on what the renovation budget would need to be – and ultimately, it didn’t directly affect our normal monthly budget, but it did take way from what we could have paid off.

And so, the numbers:

Extra income: none

Cash flowed to Garage Reno: $2,000

Extra Debt paid: $4,185

Total Debt paid in June: $4,431*

Since 1/1/2012 – Total Debt Paid off: $25,930*

One Major item to note – With this month’s extra debt paid – we are now over the 1/2 mark. Which is terrific since June is the 1/2 point in the year.  It’s so hopeful seeing focus and determination pay off. We might actually make our 2012 goal! We will have to wait and see how the next quarter goes – we’ll certainly get behind on the pace we need to finish – but there is always hope that the 4th quarter will be outstanding and catch us back up.

*For the purpose of Baby step 2 we are not factoring in our home mortgage

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May by the Numbers

This month was pretty spectacular.  We are so thankful that we got one more amazing month before the actual slowdown hits.

We had very little ‘extra’ income this month.  No Craigslist sales.

This month’s budgeting was a little tight as the way refueling fell in the calendar – we both needed gas for our vehicles on the 29th, pushing us over that line item.  We had out-of-town company for a handful of days – but were pretty pleased that we were able to save on the other weeks so as to eat out with our company and not go over on the food budget.  We were under by an entire $7. 🙂

As far as progress – like I mentioned, the slowdown hasn’t hit yet so when some large jobs finished up (having already prepared for the next few slow months) we were able to make the FIRST EVER above minimum on our last remaining Major Debt – my grad school student loan.

Without further ado – the numbers:

Extra income:

We won a $100 Amex gift card

Extra Debt paid: $3,794

Total Debt paid in May: $4,040*

Since 1/1/2012 – Total Debt Paid off: $21,499*

*For the purpose of Baby step 2 we are not factoring in our home mortgage

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Come on – you knew it would happen at some point…

Can I experiencing anything in life and not draw parallels from Lord of the Rings? Probably not.

I was thinking about going with a Mt. Rainier climbing expedition as my example, but before prattling on about different base-camps, distances, and such, I would have needed to do research.  For me – no additional research needed for LOTR.

So, lets face it, the first 4 months were phenomenal.  In January, we had some 2011 carryover money that produced momentum. February through April, we had extra funds come in from big jobs, we had off the charts Craigslist sales, and we scratched out what felt like a multitude of small little orcs that were nipping at our heals. After that we had a hefty HVAC that took longer than we expected, but still – somewhat manageable on momentum and hope alone.

NOW, we get to the difficult part.  Similar to Frodo and the Fellowship which soon became just Frodo and Sam – it was a difficult journey, but doable.  With friendship and supplies, energy and hope, they managed.  But at some point, they got through the walls of Mordor and stared out at the wasteland in front of them, and up at the looming Mt. Doom.

It’s at this point in the story that I feel we find ourselves.  We are staring out at the wasteland called “My Graduate School Loan.”  It’s the biggest amount we owe.  It has the highest interest rate.  When we pay – it feels like most money goes toward interest, and just a little leftover drivel hits the principle.

Added to this we are in May, 30 days from June. From past history, this is the ‘slow time of year’ for my husband.

What will be our lembus bread and memories of the taste of strawberries?  What will keep us going? Probably the Dave Ramsey Show, seeing the eventual tipping of the scales on principle to interest, as well as encouraging words from friends.

This little hobbit is ready to be off riding on the back of an Eagle, seeing Mt. Doom fade in the distance.  But that my friends is still months off.

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Paying Double

One of the fundamental parts of our Debt Free in 2012 goal is making and sticking to a firm budget.  As Dave Ramsey says “Spend every dollar on paper before the month begins.”

As we’ve been doing this for three months now, we found that we have more money that we realized.  Instead of a few dollars here, a few dollars there, slipping through the cracks, every dollar has an assignment.  Once the essentials are assigned, we have more than we would have first imagined to work with on everything else.

In some ways our budget drives me CRAZY!  Take this line item for example: Tax Preparation (not even the actual taxes, but fees for someone to help us prepare our taxes).  I HATE this one.  Why? Because every month, we set a side money for Tax Preparation 2013.  AND on top of that – we had to set aside a large, lump sum in March for Tax Preparation 2012.

GRRRRR! Feels like we are paying Double!  What do you mean we have to pay for something this year AND plan for next year!?!  What do you mean we can’t take that monthly amount for 2013 and put it toward something more fun (like movies!) or more ‘important’ like the Debt Snowball!?!

Well… that would be nice – (especially while we are full throttle debt paying machines, I’d love to put it toward debt!) – BUT next year. When March/April comes around. There will be no lump sum line item in the budget for 2013.  There will be a lump sum extraction from our savings – and direct payment toward Tax Preparation.  AND then, I’ll be a happy camper.

Which is just one small example of why planning now, working hard and paying off debt now, will pay off. 

I’m not even sure how to dream with what we can do with the former “Set aside from the March Income a Large Tax Prep fee” money that we will no longer need to set aside…. And if all goes well – we won’t need any dollar of that to put toward debt since by March of 2013, we’ll be debt free.

Hummm…. Imagine that.  Dreaming, Hoping, and Planning to make it happen.

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