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    I am sure i dont want to hear the answer...

    Ok so This is my first post so bare with me here.. (Sorry its a bit long.)

    My DEBT:
    2500- RAINBOW VACUUM SYSTEM MONTHLY: 86.57
    14000- CAR MONTHLY:315.76
    160,000 MORTGAGE MONTHLY: 1084
    CC: 2388 (Paying this down as fast as we can.. always more than min.)

    Bills:
    phone: 90 Monthly
    insurance: 170 monthly
    water: 70 monthly
    netflix: 17 monthly
    gas and elec: 56 (give or take) monthly
    Tithe: 200 monthly
    water: 85 monthly
    food: about 250 monthly
    internet: 60 monthly
    equifax credit monitoring: 15 monthly
    Our vehicles we prolly use no more than 150 a month in gas

    my wife makes about 700 a month during the school year and unfortunatly wont work over the summer I make about 3600 a month.

    This budget is all made while she is not working but she starts back on the fourth and i am trying to figure how we should pay this all down and off the fastest.. I know that there is money left over and while making my budget i realized just how much we spend on fast food.. about 240 a month...(we have cut that out all together.) I was getting energy drinks 5 days a week at 40 bucks a month.( we cut that out)

    I know many people would not like this idea but ill present it..

    I will be getting a rather large income tax this year im sure atleast 5K. I had changed my allowences in a manner that i always get something back in order to force myself to save.. I will be changeing that.. I want to get all this paid off and have something in a savings account since i had to drain mine to help with a funeral recently.. All advice is appreciated.. I know im not the worse off out there.. but It needs a clean up. Sorry for the long post again..

    Thanks Bryan

    #2
    Welcome Bryan.

    Your numbers, if accurate, really don't look too bad. Your mortgage is about 26% of income. Your car is about 7.5%. Both of those numbers are reasonable. Your total debt payments are about 38% of income, a tad high (36% is the recommended cut off but you're not far off).

    By my calculation, you should have about $1,400 surplus each month. You haven't mentioned anything about savings however. Are you contributing to retirement plans? Do you have anything remaining in savings?

    My advice would be to replenish the emergency fund to at least $1,000 just to give yourself a little buffer for the unexpected. Then start attacking the debts. I'm guessing the credit card has the highest interest so pay that off first. You can get rid of that in 2-3 months (after establishing your EF of $1,000). Then pay off the vacuum.

    Is there some reason that you need credit monitoring? I realize it is only $15/month but what's the point? You're listed expenses are pretty reasonable otherwise. You could trim a few dollars here or there but I don't know that you need to. You've already cut out the fast food and energy drinks, both of which are costly habits and dangerous ones so good for you on that.

    The only other thing you need to do is work on retirement savings.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    Comment


      #3
      Ditto on the no need for credit monitoring - unless you actually have a need. Has your credit been stolen or has there been fraud?

      Why both the mail-in and download netflix? I have only the one, and frankly, there's more than enough for me (not that I can get the mail-in netflix over here).

      That's about $23/month, or $276 per year. That's just over 0.55% of your annual income.

      I agree that you should pay off the debt, then start your savings. I would include paying off the car debt, as well, before you start your savings. It is not smart to be paying more in interest than you can earn. If your employers have 401K matching, then consider investing whatever it takes to get the full match.

      Comment


        #4
        I'd like to add a couple questions:

        - How old are you?
        - What other assets do you have? DS asked about retirement savings, do you have any checking/bank savings accounts? CDs?
        - What made you decide to finally post and review your budget?

        Comment


          #5
          You've been offered terrific suggestions. I'd add 1st you need to get your wife on board and co-operating with a financial plan. You can easily set aside an EF by stopping impulse purchases, taking lunch from home [new version of take-out] limiting eating out to 'special occasion' and working together on a menu plan and grocery list. How many meals are you willing to make? Use grocery ads 'Loss leaders' and coupons. For a few months, you with the theme...'if it's not on the list, don't buy it.' You've all the ingredients for success.

          If you've not yet developed a retirement plan, it's important to do it now.

          Comment


            #6
            I am 26
            I have one car paid off (SUV used for traveling home to see family)
            I like the input from others so that is why i started posting.
            I am military and usually mess with my budget alot while underway or away from home. At this point we realize that we had been spending way toooo much on fast food thats where a large part of our money was going.
            I left off the best buy credit card but its 0% and only has like 140 left it will be paid off next month. At this point things are kind of held back waiting for the wife to go back to work because the 1400 surplus isnt there while she is at home The car bothers me because it is worth 3500 less than what i owe on it. I will be openly honest with you all in that the reason i started looking so closely this time is that i was wanting to buy a used $4k motorcycle with income tax but I realize the need for rebuilding the savings and investments as well. I also have 7% of my pay about 200 a month go to a TSP (retirment plan). I will be getting $2200 bonus next month which we intend to use part of to pay off debt and another part to pay for our trip home for christmas (first time home in 4 years with exception of a funeral) then expecting i think 5k ish for income tax maybe more not sure because we alway get back like 4 k or so .. but we just bought a house and im told that makes it go up..??)

            The reason for both netflix is because you cant get some online that we like.. its only a couple bucks.

            I hope that i answered everyones questions..
            does this give any more ides?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by cypher2301 View Post
              At this point things are kind of held back waiting for the wife to go back to work because the 1400 surplus isnt there while she is at home
              Well fortunately, school season is about to start back up. Has she considered tutoring? Summer school? If you guys need the extra cash flow, those could bump it up a little.

              The car bothers me because it is worth 3500 less than what i owe on it.
              With your renewed focus on your financial situation, I don't see that being the case for very long

              I will be openly honest with you all in that the reason i started looking so closely this time is that i was wanting to buy a used $4k motorcycle with income tax but I realize the need for rebuilding the savings and investments as well.
              I think we can get you to be financially in a position to buy a motorcycle. No problem. Is the motorcycle for fun? Or for a 2nd choice for transportation?

              Either way, I would have these things in order first:
              -Be free of any debt charging 7%+
              -Have 3-6 months living expenses saved up in checking/savings accounts as liquid EF money
              -Be putting away 12%+ for retirement (15-20% is ideal)
              -Be able to purchase your motorcycle with cash, without touching the EF money

              If those 4 things are in place, I see no reason why you couldn't get a motorcycle.

              I also have 7% of my pay about 200 a month go to a TSP (retirment plan).
              Quick questions about that:
              -Do they match you at all? If so, how much do they match?
              -How much have you been able to save up so far?
              -How is that money invested?

              Also related to that:
              -Does your wife's school district have a 403b option?
              -Have either of you started a Roth IRA?

              I will be getting $2200 bonus next month which we intend to use part of to pay off debt and another part to pay for our trip home for christmas (first time home in 4 years with exception of a funeral)
              I hope you enjoy the trip home. Sounds like a well deserved family meeting.

              then expecting i think 5k ish for income tax maybe more not sure because we alway get back like 4 k or so .. but we just bought a house and im told that makes it go up..??)
              Typically, yes buying a home makes your refund go up - the reason being is that mortgage interest is deductible. In many (but not all) cases, the amount of interest you pay will push you above the standard deduction, and allow you to itemize things. The more deductions you have, the less taxable income you have, meaning the less taxes you actually owe, meaning you'll typically get more back.

              How do you usually prepare your taxes? If this is your first year with a home, I'd prob rec that you use Turbo Tax online with the deduction maximizer. It will cover all the deduction categories to make sure you don't miss out on things that may not have mattered before, but may matter now that you can itemize (likely).

              The reason for both netflix is because you cant get some online that we like.. its only a couple bucks.
              The netflix amount doesn't bother me at all If you were barely hanging on each month, I'd cut it, but that's not the position you're in.

              Comment


                #8
                [QUOTE=cypher2301;333712]I am 26
                I have one car paid off (SUV used for traveling home to see family)
                [/quote/

                Originally posted by cypher2301 View Post
                to pay for our trip home for christmas (first time home in 4 years with exception of a funeral)
                These two statements seem to contradict each other.

                If you are really keeping the second car solely for the purpose of driving home once every 4 years, I suggest you sell it after Christmas. You will be out from under the expense of owning and maintaining the car, plus have a chunk of money to throw at your debt.

                Comment


                  #9
                  thanks everyone

                  My wife uses the second vehicle for work and its paid off.

                  The motorcycle would be used for to and from work for me as well as enjoyment rides.

                  My wife doesnt work "full time" if she did she would get paid over the summer. so she doesnt qualify for any of the extras. and she works in the kitchen so tutoring prolly not working.

                  Quote:
                  I also have 7% of my pay about 200 a month go to a TSP (retirment plan).

                  Quick questions about that:
                  -Do they match you at all? If so, how much do they match?
                  -How much have you been able to save up so far?
                  -How is that money invested?

                  The do not match it.
                  I have around 6k in there over the past 5 years. It is split up with 60% in a lifecycle 2040 fund, 20% G FUND, 10% I FUND, and 10% S FUND.

                  My wife usually does them with turbo tax or something online.. we were considering paying someone to do them this year in hopes of getting all out of it we can..

                  Comment


                    #10
                    First off, thank you for your service to our country!!!

                    Second how did they convince you to fork over for that stupid vacuum system? I assume it was an impulse purchase which you can't re-sell, but those things are way too expensive and not needed unless they have developed something truly fancy and someone in the family has allergies. I only bring this up as this vacuum is the type of purchase that people get pressured into making a buy decision by the salesman so you sign on the dotted line. Any purchase over $100 should be researched, and discussed between spouses, and alternatives looked at (If you just wanted a vacuum, they can be had for around $100, no need to spend so much). Then wait a week or two, do you still WANT it and can you afford it? Are you trying really, really hard to justify buying it and your NEED for it on your income? These are signals to look at with any big purchase including a motorcycle. Get into the habit of looking at big purchases this way and you will find that these things don't creep into your lives hogging your money.

                    By the way, if you are going back to duty and your wife was off and kids out of school, so what you went out a lot and ate a lot of fast food. If you are generally deployed away from home these are things you need to be doing to ground yourself when things get tough and the kids have a good summer to look back on. Yes, time to tighten the belts now, but think of this summer as a long extended vacation. Even if you aren't being deployed, having the chance to spend more time with the wife (without her being exhausted from work) and the kids is priceless considering with the military it is hard to know at times when you might get called for a tour of duty.

                    Thank you again!
                    Gailete
                    http://www.MoonwishesSewingandCrafts.com

                    Comment

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