The Plan: Step 1

Yesterday and today I spent about ten hours figuring out our finances. I use Quicken and hadn’t entered data since mid-September. I input data from every receipt I could find and using online access, downloaded statements and reconciled all our accounts.

We recently purchased six months worth of automobile insurance and also six months worth of hay for our dairy goats. To make sure we don’t just spend that money each month, I’ve set up recurring transfers on my online checking account to savings for the monthly amounts we would have spent.

I also reworked our budget and with the price of gas having gone up, food going up, dh’s medical insurance having gone up since he is now covering our sons (about $170 less per month on his plan than through my employer) and other expenses that I apparently forgot to budget somehow, we don’t have $1000 left over each month like I previously thought. It is actually only $400. Still, $400/month toward eliminating debt is better than nothing.

Wipe our Debt
Wipe our Debt (Photo credit: Images_of_Money)

I felt a sense of pain and agony over seeing it is actually only $400 per month to apply toward the credit card debt. I had to work hard to keep myself from becoming depressed. There is actually an excess of money in the checking account right now, and we are owed money by three people – just about $1000.

I hope next week to be able to figure out what is really excess and pay more toward the credit card debt.

Also, I am toying with the thought of moving the credit card debt to a new card with less or maybe even 0% interest. I need to research this idea.

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3 thoughts on “The Plan: Step 1

  1. $400/mo may sound bad, but you can still make forward progress doing that. I can totally relate to the situation. Originally doing my last refinance (into a crummy 2nd-hand mortgage, btw) all the numbers seemed to add up just right to where I’d stop going in the hole $500 each month, and then have a couple hundred extra each month to pay debt.

    Turns out I’m barely breaking even each month now. I’m hoping the next round of tax return/bonus/payraise really helps us jumpstart our progress come this spring, because as it stands now we’re going just about nowhere.

    Also, I’ve got like 6 credit card accounts open right now. I’ve been thinking about closing a few of them out and going for a nice 0% one somewhere too. I think I’ll just try to get through the holidays first. All the family visiting makes it really hard to get online a few minutes let alone sit down and spread out all our finances on a table.

    Nice to see you getting current! 😀 I’m trying to do that right now before the next wave of relatives show up. 😉

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  2. Thanks for sharing, Mr. DB. I was just telling Mr. A last night instead of fretting that it’s *only* $400 extra, we should be grateful we have the extra money in the first place.

    You have a very positive attitude about your situation and I’m sure that will go a long way in helping you to succeed!

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