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THANKS for the Comments

December 2nd, 2007 at 06:54 pm

Update: HEL proceeds were paid to BofA card balance from previous month - $4,300. 0% interest card was balance transfers from BofA high balance was about $7,100. Balance is now $4,000 and was paid off with insurance proceeds and HEL loan. Also paid off OT protection and Linens and Things balance with HEL. We were lucky to be able to transfer credit card balances to 0% card but it's only delaying the inevitable. The HEL is going to be used to pay off the 0% interest rate card before the real interest rate kicks in, which is around May. We must stop our discretionary spending or else our debt will get out of control.

I had a talk with DH today about controlling our expenses. We know all the tricks of the trade, our problem is implementing it.

We bought a fundraiser discount card good until 6/08 that has a lot of BOGO free offers for a lot of fast food restaurants that we go to. Card can be used daily. We usually buy the Entertainment book in January when it's half off.

I use coupons when grocery shopping and do my shopping either at Walmart or at King Soopers (which has double coupons). I also buy coupons at www.thecouponclippers.com. I make a weekly meal plan and make a list before shopping but we usually end of eating out instead. I also stock up in items when on sale and with double coupons.

Clothes were extremely high this month. I needed a new winter coat and shoes (have to wear custom arch supports so had to buy shoes that are deep enough), dh needed new work shoes and clothes (works outside in wintry conditions). Clothing is usually pretty minimal - usually only buy clothes on sale or clearance at Kohl's or Macy's both using %off coupons.

Older ds had a nervous breakdown and cut himself last month. I ended up spoiling him to lift up his spirits. He knows that I won't do that again, or else this may become a pattern. We talked about the episodes with this therapist. I also had to buy a winter coat for ds. Kids'costs also include martial arts classes, instrument rental, school lunches, etc.

Medical bills ran high this month. Ds' new antipsychotic meds ran $140 for a 1 month supply. Plus speech therapy bills for younger ds, dr visit bills, meds, etc.

Utilities were high since it was one of those months were bills were due at the beginning of the month and at the end of the month, so basically paid two months of utilities.

Our savings accounts earns 4.75% at the credit union through my dh's work.

I hope I got everyone's concerns. I know that last month was really bad. I'm going to keep a tight rein everything. DH likes to pay with cc for everything since we earn frequent flyer miles. I need to convince him that we need to pay for everything with cash or debit card. If there's no money in the bank, we don't buy anything.

I know that we can get control of our expenses if we really want to do it. We need to make specific goals and track towards them. I have a monthly budget set-up but again, it kind of goes to the way side each month. We need to learn self-discipline.


4 Responses to “THANKS for the Comments”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Wow! $782 for utitlities. Even if that is 2 months worth , that still sounds high. Do you have an uninsulated house? Maybe you live where the weather is extreme, or water is very expensive. It is hard for me to be objective about utilities, because my situation is atypical and I'm just not familiar with other home's expenses. Maybe you had some quarterly bills included in November. Anyway, this might be something to look at and possibly put on the chopping block.

    Good luck in getting the whole family motivated. I hope you'll have some less expensive months coming up.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    Don't despair, you can get your spending under control: Once I resolved to never again put anything on credit, it took a month or two for my budget and my family to get on board with my way of thinking. :-) Once we could cover bills without going under each month, I started allotting cash spending money to my family members to get them off credit cards. Sometimes it was $20 apiece for two weeks, which was rough; we basically couldn't even have a beer with friends or eat out even at fast-food places. But they were good and didn't use their credit cards, even if it meant no fun and looking "broke" in front of others. Gradually the budget started evening out, and now we're allotted $60 apiece per week, which is much more manageable. Also, if we know something like one of our birthdays is coming up, we start setting money aside for that.

    About the frequent-flyer miles: My debit card attached to my checking account earns miles. I'd look into that; it might win your husband over. :-)

    Good luck and welcome!

  3. KellyB Says:

    The best thing I did to cut spending was actually to cut down my "fixed" bills. I looked at everything - electric, phones, cable, car insurance, etc. Cut out what I knew we didn't need, and called the companies on the others to see if I could get better deals, from them or from competitors. Look at EVERY category and try to cut down. I was able to cut about $500 a month, a huge savings. Once I got those in line, it freed up money for other categories we needed. The other big help was to actually figure out when all the bills were due, and change some due dates to coincide with our cash flow a little easier (moved everything but mortgage to after the 15th). Use a spreadsheet and put in each paycheck, and then what will be paid with it. Really opened my eyes, and helped the monthly cash flow tremendously. Good luck!

  4. Merch Says:

    I have been using mvelopes for about a week and so far it has really helped me. Between by wife and me, we use 3 different banks, have 6 credit cards, have 2 car loans, and a mortgage. I had a hard time keeping track of where all the money was going (ATM, CC, Checks). This system uses the old envelope system but hooks into all of my financial companies.

    The envelope system is when you put cash into various envelopes and that is what you spend. So, you sepend about 250 a week eating out. You would put 250 a week into the eating out envelope. Once the envelope was empting, no more eating out. mvelopes is just an electronic version.

    Another thing I like is the communication between me and my wife has approved about finances. It's no longer what di dyou spend today and why are you spending or you forgot to tell be what you spent. It's all their ... total transperancy .. no hiding or vagueness. Instead feedback on what you budgeted and where it went wrong so you can readjust. Also, the application is like an objecitve 3rd party ... it's not your system or his system but a third party system and that's the way it is (lol).

    I am pretty new to all the budgeting stuff, but this seems to be working for me.

    They have a 30 day trial. You might want to check out the demo. It is expense (10-13 a month).

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