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Nov. 5th, 2008 @ 12:10 am Yes or No?
Current Location: home
Current Mood: curiouscurious

We are expecting to be able to pay off a Thrift Savings Plan loan with our Tax return. After 60 days we can take up to half of what is in there out as another loan for approximately 5% interest. We are thinking of doing this for 2 reasons.
1. To pay off my DH's motorcycle which is at 18% interest
2. We don't even see the money as it comes out of my DH's check before we even see it.

If we end up taking out more than we need for the bike we will apply it to our credit card debt and get that paid down. We are in a credit solutions program. It was that or not eat, so yeah.

We will be using the rest of the tax return money to finish up our baby emergency fund and pay off our lowest debt, which is my mom and step-father (although it wasn't really a loan, we feel we should pay them back for a plane ticket they bought me this summer to visit them and say goodbye to my grandfather-which I missed doing by 24 hours;().

Anyways...enough rambling. Should we take out the money to pay off the bike and pay it back at a MUCH lower interest rate or not?



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Nov. 3rd, 2008 @ 02:17 pm The sign of finding a good man.
I've been listening to Dave's show for about 5 years now, and it's helped me in infinite ways that I won't even go into right now. Anyway, I live in Southern Louisiana, and I think only one station carries his show, and it's not the full show, nor is is broadcast during the live airing (I think it's played on the weekends). I listen online while I'm at work.

Last night while I was at my bf's house I was flipping channels and caught Dave's TV show on the Fox Business Network. I'd never seen it before (bf has better cable package than me) so we watched it. My bf had never watched the show before, nor heard the radio show.

About 30 minutes in after several snickers, laughs, and agreements, my guy looks at me and says, "I like this guy!"

We've been together for about a year...I'd say this pretty much clinches that my bf's a winner! :D
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Oct. 23rd, 2008 @ 01:27 pm Dave Ramsey Envelope System - Follow up Post
Hey--A couple weeks ago I posted that I was ordering the Deluxe Envelope System from Dave's website, and there were a couple requests for pics once I got it. You can see the outside of it at his site:

But people were wondering about the guts? So here ya go:

pics and story back here...Collapse )
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Oct. 15th, 2008 @ 12:26 pm Dave Ramsey Envelope System
Earlier today, I did a Budget Calculator on the Providian.com website... and I have about $600/month that I'm not totally sure where it's going (it used to be less, but I recently acquired two new roomies, and sharing bills has freed up about $300/month...and paying off my credit cards earlier this year accounts for the other $300, since it USED to go to that)...which means I'm being lazy about my cash budget and keeping track of spending (aka, too much swiping). SOOOOOOooooo...in an effort to be organized and get BACK on my cash budgie, I ordered the handy-dandy-fancy-schmancy Dave Ramsey Designer Envelope System:

Hopefully this $20 investment can help find my missing $600/month. Because $600*12=$7200/year, which NEEDS to be going towards paying off my car (credit cards were paid off earlier this year) or going into savings ASAP. I've done his envelope system before, with my own envelopes, and the system WORKS--but my envelopes get all torn up and lost in my wallet. Need something a little sturdier.

Has anyone here purchased the Envelope System? Comments? Love it, hate it, etc?
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Oct. 3rd, 2008 @ 11:16 am Heath Ins.

I dont know how to find Dave Ramsey to listen to him on the radio. But other experts Ive been seeing on the news keep pressing health care. If you dont have heath insurance you need to get it RIGHT NOW. The number one cause of financial crisis is having a medical emergency. etc.

I currently dont have health coverage and would like to get some. It will cost me about $200 per month. Im self employed so Im on my own for that.  At what point in the debt reduction is it recomended you take away from the snowball to pay for things like health coverage? Should I keep taking my chances a while longer so I can reduce my debt? Honestly $200/month will really take away from what I can pay.

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Oct. 3rd, 2008 @ 10:49 am Modified plan

Im committed to reducing my debt with the Dave Ramsey snowball method. However my situation is a little different and I would like to hear some opinions.
I dont owe much debt compared to some. But I need to get it paid off. My car will be paid off in a year or so. Im a renter, so no mortgage. I have about $5,000 in credit card debt.
My situation is different in that my job will be ending in a years time. Im already looking for a new job and ideally will find something before this job ends. 11 months is a decent amount of time to be able to find a job, so Im hopeful there. However I also feel I need to save up some money incase there is a gap in employment. So therefor, I dont feel I can 100% follow the Ramsey plan of snowballing my debt before I save up at least some living expenses.
Im thinking of modifying the plan in this way. Figure out how much I should have on hand incase there is a gap in employment and divide that by the months I have left of guaranteed work. Put that money into savings every month to build an unemployment fund. Anything over that amount I can put towards my smallest credit card.
Does anyone more experienced than myself have any better ideas? Im open to suggestion :)
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Oct. 2nd, 2008 @ 09:19 pm New Here
So I am looking into starting Dave Ramsey's Total Debt Challange. Long story short I am a SAHM of 3 ages 5 and under,  with no craftiness to earn extra money. My DH works 6 days a week just to allow us to pay our bills. This year we have had a lot of unexpected medical bills that have eaten all our savings and then some (we didn't have much to start).  I homeschool, and with the cost of daycare there is no way I can go work full time. I am going to start looking for a PT evening/weekend job, but I need something that is not seasonal.

Anyways, we are starting to set $50 a pay period into a special hard to get to, but not impossible to get to savings acct for our $1000 emergancy fund. We are well over 300K in debt including the house. How  long do you think it will take to get it down to 100K, which is just the house basically? Ballpark ideas are fine, I know everyone's time is different.



Step One: $1,000.00 to start Emergency Fund

  • We are starting this with $50/paycheck with our next pay period in an account seperate from our supr easy to transfer from savings that also gets $50/pay period.

Step Two: Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball (Except the house)

  • 13,900 in Credit Card Debit
  • 6,000.00 401K Loan (This is taking payments directly out of my husbands paycheck and will be paid off in 1 year with out us doing anything extra. We don't mind putting it after our car in the snowball since we don't even notice the payments.)
  • 10,000.00 Motorcycle loan
  • 38,000.00 Car Loan
  • 55,000.00 HELOC
  • 65,000.00 Student Loans (in deferment, and will most likely defer for 2 more years to get the rest of the debt gone, or mostly gone)

Step Three: 3-6 months expenses in savings

  • $9,000 to $18,000.

Step Four: Invest 15% of household income in Roth IRA's and pre-tax retirement

  • We currently put 6% in automatically, the company matches. As soon as we are debt free (except the house) we will go up to 15%

Step Five: College Funding

  • We have 3 kids. The oldest is 5. We need to get started on saving soon, but I don’t want to pay for all of my children’s education. They have to learn how to budget and plan themselves. I don’t think student loans are evil, the outcome is often well worth the debt.

Step Six: Pay off home early

  • We plan on doing this.

Step Seven: Build Wealth & Give (Mutual Funds / Real Estate / Charity)

Looking forward to it! Hoping to be there within 10 years.
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Oct. 2nd, 2008 @ 03:18 pm New member
I'm a recently divorced (no alimony or financial settlement though - wanted to do things fast and friendly) librarian living in Troy, NY.

Financial strong points:
* teeny tiny apartment costs only $425 a month
* 37 mpg on my '02 Civic
* uninterested in a lot of things that end up being expensive (eg fashion, electronics)
* Was making 40k a year. COLA and equity raises this summer - now $50k a year (wow does that help!) Good benefits.

Financial weak points
* have to commute 30 miles to work each way (any closer to Saratoga Springs is WAY too expensive to live)
* two cats with health "special needs." (Together they've cost about $6000 in emergency medical bills in the past 7 years, and they eat expensive prescription food. But I committed to caring for them, so as long as I eat, they eat. Besides, I love 'em.)
* LOVE to eat out.
* I let a credit card spending problem slowly creep up on me while I was married and only this past summer built up enough of a cash reserve to stop using credit cards even in a minor crisis.
* ENORMOUS student debt ($75k)
* Probably won't be getting any more substantial raises for a LONG time, and the job market is not good.

Step Zero: Make sure all debts are current.
Well, that's one thing I'm proud of. I've never paid a bill late. Well, except:
Once when the auto-deduct on my student loan stopped working (peeved me because I lost the "incentive" gift for 10 years of never paying late.)
Once when the credit card changed banks and I threw away the statement, thinking that it was another credit card offer.
LabCorp THINKS that I'm a deadbeat because my doctor's office is a bunch of yutzes who can't figure out how to bill my insurance properly. Every few months I'm back on the phone with LabCorp, United Health Care, Blue Cross, and my Union rep, trying to sort it out. :p Need to check my credit report again to make sure that none of this is getting on there.
I think I owe some fines at a public library for the time that a friend accidentally took my library books with her when she moved off my sofa. I am a bad librarian!

Step One: $1,000.00 to start Emergency Fund
I've got $300 so far. I had all $1000 but I used it to cover something that wasn't QUITE an emergency... still, I didn't use credit cards. And this is a 3 paycheck month, so I will have that rebuilt by October 29.

Step Two: Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
I consolidated my 3 credit cards onto one that has 0% APR for 15 months and no balance transfer fee. I plan to have them and my car (total debt of about $9000) paid off by December 2009.

Step Three: 3-6 months expenses in savings
Not there yet. Will amount to about $12k. That will take me about 1.5 to 2 years unless I get a substantial raise.

Step Four: Invest 15% of household income in Roth IRA's and pre-tax retirement
I've got a TIAA-CREF and my employer matches what I put in, which is currently at 3%. Will max that out as soon as I finish the debt snowball.

Step Five: College Funding
I don't plan to have children.

Step Six: Pay off home early
I am hoping to save up $20-30k for a down payment by 2014. (Housing around here is pretty cheap, so that's a decent down payment.)

Step Seven: Build Wealth & Give (Mutual Funds / Real Estate / Charity)
Well, I inherited $30k of Mutual Funds from my great gramma, but I'm still waiting to hear back from the guy who manages them since the exciting times we've been having these past few weeks. (And his slowness to respond has me thinking I'll be firing him and getting somebody else.) The idea of owning and renting out a brownstone 3 family has its appeal. My landlord does pretty well for himself doing exactly that!
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o rly
Sep. 22nd, 2008 @ 02:40 pm (no subject)
I don't feel like having this in two places. Here is a link to what I think about the $700 billion bailout plan.

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Sep. 20th, 2008 @ 08:52 am Investing w/o freaking out.
So, as I'm sure we're all aware, Wall Street is doing pretty poorly these days, only fueling the "recession" panic sweeping the nation today. As Dave listeners I guess we all know better? But, not matter how much we DON'T freak out, if you have investments, you're surely seeing the effects.

(And I thought about taking this convo to an Investing community, but those people are far too advanced from me, and I saw a lot of opposition in those communities to the "buy & hold" philosophies that Dave teaches, so I'd rather just come here and see how the other Gazelles are doing.)

My company switched from MetLife to Fidelity for managing our 401k's in January. I can't say I "actively" managed my MetLife account, but I did check in on it from time to time, and I think over the course of 2 years, due to some funds merging (and not liking the new funds I was involuntarily shuffled into), I changed my investments all of once or twice. I averaged about a 7-8% annual return, which wasn't too shabby in my eyes.

However, now that we've switched to Fidelity, they have their "Freedom Fund" series, where you just pick what year you expect to retire, and they base the investments in that fund on that. I'm in the Freedom 2045 Fund. Now, I'm sure enough to realize that all investments probably aren't looking too slick right now, but I just got my quarterly summary in the mail, and OUCH. Apparently it's a bad year to decide you want to retire in 2045, because my APY for the quarter is -12% and for the year is -7%. I'm wondering--can I still rearrange/change funds in the Freedom Funds? Another part of me wonders how much of this poor APY is the state of the market, and how much is poor management???

I also have a TD Ameritrade Money Market Account (signed up a year ago through a Suze Orman promotion)...when I signed up their MMAs were averaging ~5% APY--definitely better than a savings account. Currently though, it's down to about 2%. But at least it's making money, right?

Then I checked my regular savings account, and that is getting a shocking 0.25% interest. OW! I put about $200/month into that account...I've earned about $1.75 interest this year.

So I did a little bit of rearranging and will now be sending half of the money that WAS going into savings into the MMA...because even though the APY isn't "great", it's still WAY better. And I know that once the market turns around, the MMA will start performing better a lot faster than the traditional savings account.

How about you?
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