"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Money and Necessities

>> Monday, June 09, 2008

Last week Doug & I began Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. I had already been following his Total Money Makeover books so I had figured out our net worth (not so good since our home has lost about $20k since we bought it two years ago) and had our debt snowball laid out.

On our way to Minnesota we worked on our first class assignment- our quickie budget. As we looked at how much we spend on "necessities" we began to see just how much of it might not be necessary and what we might cut out.

Like the DirecTV at $70 per month! Yikes! For the most part the TV is on the Disney Channel or Nick Jr. There are a few shows Doug & I enjoy but after an online search I found that most of them can be watched online after it aires on TV. So I called DirecTV to cancel. They don't make it easy...
"But what will you do without a TV?" I was asked.
"We don't watch much- only about 6 hours a month; we have lives."
"But what about your kids?"
"They are 3 and 1. They won't notice if they are watching a DVD or TV."
"But how will you keep up with what's going on locally?"
By this time Doug and I are both laughing as I had the phone on speaker, "The internet."
The poor lady had to give in and cancel our subscription. She tried though, even to the point of offering $10 off our bill each month for the next year. (So, if you want to save on your DirecTV tell them you're going to cancel.)

The next thing we did was pay off our Best Buy bill. Doug had to get a new laptop late last year and got an 18 month same as cash. I had it set up to pay off before the interest set in. But it was our smallest bill and we figured that, since we set back money for taxes, we would cut our quarterly payment back, pay off the Best Buy card and put a big lump into our HSA.

So that $60 payment has rolled into the payment on our washer and dryer- which will be paid off in September now, instead of December. Our snowball is rolling and boy, does it feel good! Because both of our vehicles will be paid off in less than 10 months we actually figured that we can be debt free (except for our house) by next June. That's huge (as is our debt right now- I'm ashamed to tell you what it is).

We're making a few cuts to our phone bills- we'll probably ditch the home phone (that we never use) and make some adjustments to our cell phone plan. And I'm trying to cut our grocery bill, too. I'm going to up us from one meatless meal per week to two. I already use all the coupons I can and shop from the sale circular. No stores in my area offer double coupons and the savings aren't so great that using 3 different stores for my shopping would make a difference (especially with gas being so expensive (and I use E85 which costs almost $1 less than regular unleaded).

I've got lots of "extra" stuff listed on Half.com (thanks to Green3) and I have a huge lot of girls summer clothes ready to go on eBay. And another garage sale is in the works for July (since my first one go rained on and had less than stellar turn out).

Our goal is to get all the debt paid off and take a nice vacation next fall (paid for with cash) to Ireland (of course). Of course we should use it for paying on something but after a year of living like no one else we're goinna take a vacation like no one else.


Anonymous 10:16 AM  

Good for you guys, Jody! We ditched our $40/month cable TV for the $9 variety 4 years ago. No looking back! We have only a handful of channels. Though I will admit it was fun to surf all those channels in our hotel last week... Our libraries have an awesome collection of DVDs & VHS, so that's how Kevin watches some of those cable shows - way after they're "in." But he doesn't care! Doesn't know anything different.

I'm with you on the meatless dishes, too. I'm doing more and more of that here. Beans are a great value! Protein + fiber + nutrition + affordable!

Tamara B 12:40 PM  

congrats my dear. its fun to see others get excited about the same things as us.

The Fritz Facts 10:11 PM  

It is a long road to be debt free, and takes some major dedication. Congrats!!

I watch most of my shows online at work...well I guess I more listen to them. I found out that cbs has some older shows, 90210, Melrose and some others. That made my day!

Heidi @ Trendy Dollar 12:10 AM  

That's awesome!

We still have our home phone just because of the kids. We want them to be able to call us without trouble, as well as sitters being able to call us without trouble.

After the week in FL, we'll need a big-time budget when we return to reality tomorrow night!

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