Saturday, April 28, 2018

Working Our Way Back From a Financial Blip


DH and I technically have debt from the no interest car loan, but have the money set aside to pay it off from the years we continued to make a payment to ourselves after an old car was paid off. We do not have any other consumer debt. We have regular bills, property tax and home owners insurance but no mortgage. This post probably will not resonate for those of you working hard to get out of debt. However, we have financial set backs and  expense fiasco's like any family. While we are not having to pull out the credit cards or take out a loan, dipping into savings that were intended elsewhere for unplanned expenses can feel raw as well.

Besides our annual spending plan which included an intentional reach into savings of $13,000, this week we identifed an estimated $3,600 more in expenses for the year to plan for. Ouch. While this new $3,600 isn't added debt, I want to try and tackle it as if it is. Those of you winning that war against consumer debt will be my inspiration. To accomplish this beyond our original savings goals will be tough, but I need to treat it as a debt. Technically it is a debt against our own savings account. 

My challenges to myself will need to be more than a game if I don't want to dip into savings or cut more home improvment plans. Gifts need to be considered thoughtfully, not just slap dashed on the run. Thrifting the few summer items we need will be a must, even if it takes a bit more time to see what might come in. We need to look at entertainment that supports paying down  debt like taking advantage of happy hours, or just long walks along the river, which we love to do anyway. I need to learn from others how to bring in extra cash. Yard sales? Facebook resell sites? You tell me. What are your most lucrative, yet time worthy, schemes for bringing in a bit more cash? 

Things are on the upswing. I found  11 cents on a walk with DD2 and pup. $3,599.89 to go!

14 comments:

  1. This is a smart way to look at it. And just think if you walk the pup 30 or so more thousand times, well, it's possible.

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    1. And, a great weight loss plan to boot!

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  2. I track all "unplanned" funds, and treat them separately. So, that's things I make via side hustle, a refund check from insurance, a lower than planned bill, etc. I sweep all leftovers each month into the unplanned fund, & use it for our unfunded savings goals. I also track it. If I don't, the money tends to evaporate. I like the motivation of seeing how much un planned money we have, and where it's gone.

    For the sidehustle, I tend to sell things on my local FB site, Craigslist, or eBay, depending on what I have.

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    1. I like th eidea of using resources I already have to get some funds back, but then stop short of actually doing the effort it takes. I like your motivation strategy.

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  3. I think we are all going to have blips throughout life and I think the way you are choosing to handle it is perfect - attack it like a nasty debt and get rid of it as quickly as possible. While I am a TAD jealous you are basically debt free, I am in AWE that you were able to do it, and it really does help me focus and know that it CAN be done!!!

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    1. It can be done-read Meg B's comment below, but it is a concrete choice on where to put money. I know we could be financially farther if we cut back to a bare bones lifetyle but I don't see the point of saving everything for some day and not living now. I like a balanced approach.

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    2. I wouldn't say I am bare bones. Sending a kid to camp is NOT bare bones. Music lessons, dance classes, shooting and the like are not bare bones. My kids not having to worry about college tuition is NOT bare bones. You ARE right, though, in that it is a concrete choice about where to put money and time. As a result of that deliberation, we are anything BUT a bare bones lifestyle. We have a very rich, comfortable, and stable lifestyle. Small savings add up. If you, say, have cable, and go to a less expensive package, put that difference in savings. Didn't go out for drinks with the girls as planned? Put it in savings. Cancelled the magazine subscription? Put that in savings. Made a pizza at home instead of ordering it out? The difference goes to savings. I kid my husband that we could probably finance a trip to Europe, if we wanted to go back, on the money we DON'T spend on school lunches.

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    3. I meant she could learn from another person that has no debt. Sorry, if not clear as the bare bones was a self directed comment, that if I would have had a more bare bones approach we could have saved more.

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    4. Of course. Once I re-read it after I commented, I realized that.

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  4. I guess I go about it differently than you. We didn't boost our savings by side hustles, but by lowering spending. Yes, when we worked, we treated our savings like a bill--that money was untouchable until we bought our first house. Once in, never out. That mindset led us to two homes, and several other properties, free and clear. I think it is much easier to curb spending than side hustle, though I did have a side gig teaching dance at the tune of about $200/month for many years. To save money, I don't have to do anything more than stay at home and NOT SPEND. It sounds miserly, but my kids will tell you they have all of what they need, and most of what they want. They are on board, because I insist on it. For instance, we just paid for DD to spend a week at camp this summer, and that comes out of our monthly spending $ draw. So, she knew, without having to ask, that we weren't going to hand her cash to go to the movies and have pizza with her friends last night. She was welcome, however, to have the friends come over here, watch t.v., and raid the pantry.
    If I were you, every time I thought about hitting a happy hour, I would make a similar thing in my own kitchen, calculate the difference, and put that in savings. And, to this end, we have no trouble with telling my kids to "scram" when DH and I are enjoying cocktail hour and a nosh and want some privacy. We don't sit in their rooms when they have friends over, so they can stay out of our living room.

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    1. We all go about things like spending and saving, and socializing, and rasing kids differently, and I love that we can learn ideas from each other apply, and decide what works. I love working outside the home, my job gives me a lot of staisfaction and I am good at it. That's not to say that someone that lives differently isn't making equal or greater contributions, jsut different. But for me, since I earn a decent wage, I want to treat us to these things on a semiregular basis now, not just put money aside for some day. I understand I still can't have it all. I totally agree savings needs to come first which is why both DH and I max our 401 K, fund the max on the Roth, and I have a matching pension I need to put in, altogehter these are nealry 40% of our income. I love happy hour at home, but there is a different vibe when being out and about-might not be everyones thing, but I want my girl time every so often, and we like our social time with other couples without feeling like i need to host. We are about 70% insular, but I like the 30% that we are social extroverts. I don't think you sound miserly, if you have the quality of life you most enjoy. Why would you spend money doing things that don't add value? In that respect,I think we go about things the same. Money and time priorites are often connected-putting them both only to what is of value.

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  5. I am not sure how to advise you. You work full time and that is enough. You have a daughter ready to leave soon for college and that last year is important. I think if I were you I would take the money from savings and put it back later when the kids are gone. Believe me when all the kids are gone you will have more money. How much more time do you want to devote to work?

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    1. Lord knows I do not want another job. I'm looking for those little side gems some readers work and what makes most sense. I like the Craig's list and local FB resell ideas. I have some items that might net some dollars. I'm contmeplated perhaps having a garage/yard sale in July if I have a couple others interested in bring stuff as well to make it worthwhile.Points about just finding alterntives to money spending and tucking away the difference are winning ideas as well. I know the next 16 months will be gone faster than I can blink.

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  6. perhaps the 11 cents portends good fortune; let us hope so.

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