Monday, February 8, 2016

My Dave Ramsey Story/ A YouTube Collab

One of the YouTube Vloggers , Jennifer at Path To Debt Freedom who I watch regularly started a collab video on YouTube about other vologgers Dave Ramsey Story.  I don't vlog  but obviously I do have this here ole blog so I thought I would play along that way :)  If you all haven't seen Jennifer's channel you should go check her out.  She shares her families journey to get out of debt, does grocery hauls and menu plans and Dollar Tree hauls also.

Anyway here are the questions she asks:

1. How long have you been doing the Dave Ramsey plan? Well my first post on this blog was March 2011.  At that time we just had a car loan left. We paid that off in September 2012 but in January 2013 my husband got a new position within his company and started driving 3 hours a day.  At that time gas was high and it was costing us a small fortune.  We purchased a new to us car in April 2013 and paid it off in December 2014. Anyway I would say we have been doing the Dave Ramsey plan off and on since 2010 but really got focused in 2013.

2. What Baby Step are you currently working on? (If the Baby Step you are currently working on is 2, please continue with question #3, if not please skip to question #7)
 We are currently on Baby Step 3.

3. What was your total debt when you started Baby Step 2?
In 2013 we had $16,000 in car loan debt

4. What is your total debt now?

5. What estimated date do you expect your Baby Step 2 to be complete, and your debt (excluding your mortgage) to be paid-off?

6. Do you plan on doing a debt-free scream with Dave Ramsey, either on the phone or in person?

7. Did you take a Financial Peace University class either in person or at home, or did you read the Total Money Makeover book, or did you learn about Dave Ramsey online?
 I first learned of Dave Ramsey online reading other peoples blogs.  I have also read The Total Money Makeover twice. When my husband was driving 3 hours a day for work he would listen to him on the radio.

8. Did you do budget prior to learning about Dave Ramsey (whether zero-based, or not)?
 Sort of.  I always have wrote down our bills and had a general idea of what we could spend and have always been thrifty.

9. Have you tried Dave Ramsey’s new free Every Dollar Budgeting website? If yes, what are your thoughts?
 No I have not. I like pencil and a spiral notebook :)

10. Do you consider yourself the free-spirit or nerd of your relationship?
 I am a little of both.  While I do our budgeting and run the day to day aspects of our house I do like to spend money on my kids and household projects.  My husband does all of the long term planning such as for retirement.

11. Are you a hardcore Dave Ramsey follower? Or, have you tweaked/changed some things about the plan? If you have tweaked/changed some things about the plan, please share what and why.
We are not hardcore followers.  For one we did not stop our retirement in order to get out of debt.  We also still took a small trip for my BFF's wedding. 

12. Have you tried any of Dave Ramsey’s Endorsed Local Providers or other products/services he recommends? If yes, please give your feedback.
We interviewed two endorsed realtor's when we were getting ready to sell our house last year. While both of them seemed very nice. One only wanted to list our house for what we ended up getting for it when it sold. So if we would have went with her we would have made a whole lot less on our house.  The other was very nice but just didn't click with us.  We ended up going with a realtor who was not endorsed and we sold our house in 9 days :) 

13. From your experience, do you think this plan works? 
Yes I very much  think this plan can work for anyone at any income level if you follow the plan.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

January Recap / Where oh where did the money go??

Really though January was not to bad of a month as far as being able to pay cash for things.  We spent a lot of money but it was all paid for in cash.  We cash flowed Dr bills and some car repairs.  We also ate out a lot and bought to many clothes that probably weren't actually needed.

What we didn't do was add anything to our Baby Step 3 progress.  February we must be better about this!!  We did find out we will be getting about a $4,000 refund on our taxes.  Thank you relocation benefits from my husbands company :) That will help a whole lot in making progress on our 2016 goals .

I did manage to cut our grocery budget for January by $119.29.  This savings went to finishing up funding our Valentines envelope and my car registration envelope.  I will write a post soon on how I am doing some envelopes differently this year.  So far it is working out great! I am hoping to continue on with this cheap grocery budget but we will see.  I often have high hopes for cutting the budget and then I get lazy and don't plan well.  We will see if I can keep up with it.

So as of right now our emergency fund sits at roughly $5,500 ( we had more in this fund but due to some unforeseen expenses this is where it sits now)  The first pay day for February is Thursday so I am hoping to be able to add $500 to that balance. 

How was everyone else's January?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. I bought a few groceries for the first time since 12/30. I spent $47.99. I am hoping this will last us the rest of the month. We will see :) 

2. We have been using the library a ton lately. I request dvd's of Mike & Molly and we have been making our way through the seasons. I have also been reading a lot. My current read: 

3. We have been eating a lot from our pantry.

4. I made a batch of granola to eat for breakfast. 

5. I had 5 stay at home days this week. It has been cold and this seems like a lot but it helps to not spend money :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Planning For The Year...

It has really become apparent to me that we have not planned well at all for medical and dental bills.  In years past we have all been pretty healthy and these bills have been at a minimum.

Right before the end of 2015 my husband hurt his back and started going to the chiropractor. While most of the costs are covered by our health insurance, the co-pays for two, three and four times weekly visits are not.  Today he also had a dental cleaning and was told he needs to have a crown.  While again most of the cost of that is covered through our dental insurance thankfully, about $350 is not.

We also have a $155 office visit for Kid # 5 from December who ended up sick for a few days and had to make a trip to the Dr.  We haven't found a Dr yet in our new area so we just went to the closest prompt care.  Turns out our insurance does not cover quick strep tests. Ugh!

 I am not prepared for these large bills at all.  So I will be sitting down and reworking the budget to accommodate them. I know we can easily make this work but it may prolong how fast we get out of Baby Step 3.  I was really hoping to be done by June :(

Friday, January 8, 2016

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. I have had 4 "no spend" days this week

2. I have not done any grocery shopping. We have a ton of food leftover from all our holiday celebrations. We are eating it up! 

3. The only spending that I did do was for $10. Not to shabby I don't think :)

4. I ran out of my regular face lotion and instead of buying new I am using up some I already had but am just not overly fond of.

5. Kid # 5 took her lunch to school 2 days this week which saved me $5 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2016 Goals

I really only have one major goal this year.

Complete our fully funded emergency fund and stay out of debt.

Ok I guess that is 2 goals.  Seems like those would be easy huh? 

Lets hope so.

 My plan is to write here more and document my frugal living more often here also.

It seems that a lot of my favorite blogs stop writing once they get out of debt. But I think it is equally as hard to save money and stay out of debt. So I hope to continue to document my journey through this process.

Here's to completing our goals in 2016

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

One Year Of Being Debt Free

December 31,2015 was our 1 year anniversary of completing Dave Ramsey's Baby Step 2.

 It really has been an awesome year.

It is amazing when you own no one but your mortgage how freeing it is when a unplanned expense or life event happens and you don't have to worry about how to pay for it.

 We relocated to a different city and manage to not rack up anymore debt.  We bought a few new pieces of furniture and did some things to our new house, all funded with cash. 

We also had over $2000 in car repairs for my car which were totally unplanned but also paid for in cash.

We have even managed to save 3 months living expenses for Baby Step 3.  We are planning to do at least 6 months.

Even though we have paid off our consumer debt I do not see our lifestyle changing ever.  I love being frugal and it is a challenge to me to save money.

I tell my husband all the time his job is to make the money and mine is to save the money :)

Lets hope 2016 is as nice to us as the last year has been!