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Valued Member
Idiotsavant
Posts: 128
Registered: ‎03-14-2012
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

Awe thanks for the support IOBA!  It looks like you are doing pretty well yourself and you have a kid to think about, which does make it harder.  Actually, after I typed my last post, I calculated what I was earning from my 403b and it's not enough to justify having a personal loan for $1200 at 9% interest.  Since I automatically pay 120 a month, I'm going to take some of that money and divert it into this and pay it down first, while simultaneously paying down the balances on my student loans that are lowering my FICO scores.  The $300 a month will be a big help to paying the totals down and I'll be able to put even more into retirement later.  My work doesn't match contributions, so I'm going to focus on a ROTH IRA first since it allows me to withdraw my contributions tax-free when I retire or if there is a need, I can pull from that before the age of 59.  

 

I think you are going to come out of this just fine and it's so great that you are putting money away for your son's college.  If my family had the ability to do that when I was going to school, I might not have had so much trouble with money and debt post-graduation.  I really hope your settlement comes soon so that will give you some piece of mind *fingers crossed*.  And your idea of taking a zaro percent interest rate, no fee loan might be a good idea.  My work is going to bi-weekly pay status and they are offering up to $1000 in loans for people who need it, but they'll tax us on it because it will be paid through a pay check.  The upshot is that it is interest free, and there are no fees associated with this loan.  It might knock out a bit more of my debt.  


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Goal Score: 800


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FrugalRican
Posts: 2,876
Registered: ‎02-02-2012
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...


daisydvm wrote:

You guys crack me up. Crockpot to a hotel...awesome :smileyhappy:



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EQ FICO (01/16/2012): 656 - EQ FICO (02/16/2012): 743 - EQ (02/24/2012): 760 - EX (04/28/2012): 739 - GOAL 2013: 800+

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JenniferinFL
Posts: 408
Registered: ‎03-16-2012
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

My husband and I had a household income of $18,000 for a family of three..

 

It all comes down to budget. Something we only learned later. Back in 2005, we had a household income of $58,000, no kids, and felt we were broke. We are actually reasonably comfortable on current income, but, obviously can't afford for anything major to go wrong. We clothing shop at thrift stores or clearance sales, use a lot of coupons, eat a lot of rice, shop the farmers market and buy damaged produce. We don't have cell phones. We don't have satellite or cable tv. We do have internet because I need access to internet for school as most of my instructors require online submission of my lab reports and so on. Usually I sell a couple of items on Ebay each month of offset the cost of internet. We buy ten year old cars and drive them till they're ready to be junked out.

We bought a zoo pass, and every weekend that's what we do as a family. For $70 a year, we have something to do every weekend. We went out to eat last month, but, otherwise it's been two years since we went out to eat. The closest we go to eating out is buying a two $1 fry's at the Mcdonalds drive thru and sharing them on our drive to the zoo on the weekend.

 

There's no reason to compare to anyone else. I've thought my friends were doing a lot better than us, but, in reality they're just running up credit cards to the hilt. They make more than us, but, they're not very good at economizing.

 

I just wish I would have learned these lessons earlier, life would have been a lot more pleasant.

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Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,697
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

JenniferinFL - exactly.  :smileyhappy:

 

We don't care how others view us, for the most part.  We do have a hard time with people thinking we are wealthy and thefore should do this... or can give them xx...or pay/treat for that...  uh, no.

 

We literally live paycheck to paycheck and have a tiny bit going into savings (direct deposit).  We were hit with some horrendous medical bills last year/this year that has wiped out our savings, but ya know, we are back on track.  Just keep going forward.   Had to dip into my son's college fund to get us through this hump, but that is ok.  Redid the budget and moving forward.

 

Will redo the budget in a few months again.  Always tweaking it as things happen.

 

For the most part, we can live on a small amount of money.  I'd like to see us live on less...maybe that can be the goal for the summer.

 

Just keep going.   Live by example.

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casmith1980
Posts: 638
Registered: ‎03-20-2010
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

I could definitely use some lesons from you IOBA :smileywink:  especially when it comes to what I spend each month on food alone.

 

fast food has become a staple because of the convenience....yes, there are days that I am TOO tired to cook...with work, school, family, etc, the last thing I want to do is stand in front of the stove. 

 

Ugh...maybe I'll do my grocery list tonight for the week and actually PLAN meals.  I think what might help is cooking them all on the weekend and then just popping them in the microwave during the week :smileyhappy:

 

I am disgusted with the amount of money that is spent on FOOD in my house :smileyfrustrated:

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FrugalRican
Posts: 2,876
Registered: ‎02-02-2012
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

Fast food is way too convinient but also terrible for you, specially if not consumed in moderation.

 

I secure a small block of my time on Sundays and cook my lunches and some of my dinners for the week.

It also helps to have things that prepare quickly.

 

Pasta + Chicken = Max 15 minutes. Very little preparation, not that much hassle.

And once you get into the groove of doing it and see the savings from it, you won't want to stop.

I actually ate McDonalds last week to take advantage of an AMEX promotion, and I just would never actually pay for a MickeyD's meal, ever.

Follow my financial journey: http://www.frugalrican.com


EQ FICO (01/16/2012): 656 - EQ FICO (02/16/2012): 743 - EQ (02/24/2012): 760 - EX (04/28/2012): 739 - GOAL 2013: 800+

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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

+1

I'm completely pooped when I get home at night, too.

I cook up a storm on one day on the weekend and save it all.

On Sunday night, I make a humongous salad (3 heads of romaine and keep going; put in Tupperware afterwards.)

Between the two, weekday lunches and most dinners are covered.
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Valued Contributor
Repo-ed
Posts: 2,960
Registered: ‎02-09-2012
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

I prep my meals for the week on Sunday evenings as well.

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Valued Contributor
IOBA
Posts: 2,697
Registered: ‎08-13-2009
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...

casmith1980 - CROCK POT.    I make chili and soups and roasts in the crock pot.  Freeze for the week.   When everyone was around, I would make pork and beans and tell the family, if you want to take some to school/work tomorrow for lunch, you need to put it in a tupperware container right now.   (Everyone would do this.)    Then everyone ate what was left.

 

For some of the meals, I would take half out immediately and set it aside to freeze for later in the week.  The family was like, "wha.."   

 

Another thing I use to do was fix something and immediately put it into single size containers.  This didn't go over to well with the family either, but it was VERY effective.

I explained that I wanted to know how much one pot of chil really was.  (Sixteen servings.)   If the food item was super popular, then I would tell the family members they were limited to two servings at dinner, but the veggies were unlimited.  :smileywink:

 

Now that the family size (living at home) is reduced, I often pre-make prep stuffs.  For example, lassagna.  Yummy!   I will make two batches of the cheese and the spices, mix all the stuff up, and freeze one batch.   Then when I go to make lasagna next time, I put out the cheese mix, defrost, same with the homemade tomato sauce, defrost, and just put the stuff together.   If you have the freezer room, then assemble two lasagna's, bake them both, put foil over one and freeze it.

 

Lol - I got very good at this mass food prep.  I still cook and freeze.

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haulingthescoreup
Posts: 28,098
Registered: ‎04-01-2007
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Re: Feel Like We are Barely Getting by...


IOBA wrote:

casmith1980 - CROCK POT.    I make chili and soups and roasts in the crock pot.  Freeze for the week.   When everyone was around, I would make pork and beans and tell the family, if you want to take some to school/work tomorrow for lunch, you need to put it in a tupperware container right now.   (Everyone would do this.)    Then everyone ate what was left.

 

For some of the meals, I would take half out immediately and set it aside to freeze for later in the week.  The family was like, "wha.."   

 

Another thing I use to do was fix something and immediately put it into single size containers.  This didn't go over to well with the family either, but it was VERY effective. I explained that I wanted to know how much one pot of chil really was.  (Sixteen servings.)   If the food item was super popular, then I would tell the family members they were limited to two servings at dinner, but the veggies were unlimited.  :smileywink:

 

Now that the family size (living at home) is reduced, I often pre-make prep stuffs.  For example, lassagna.  Yummy!   I will make two batches of the cheese and the spices, mix all the stuff up, and freeze one batch.   Then when I go to make lasagna next time, I put out the cheese mix, defrost, same with the homemade tomato sauce, defrost, and just put the stuff together.   If you have the freezer room, then assemble two lasagna's, bake them both, put foil over one and freeze it.

 

Lol - I got very good at this mass food prep.  I still cook and freeze.


That's the secret, right there. Cook double batches of everything, and set half aside in containers, already dished out and ready to go.

 

I just eyed four Rubbermaid 5.2 cup plastic food savers with red lids for $3.89. I already have four minus one. The one cracked at the bottom, but it took a whole year for it to do so. I held off buying more for now, despite my urge to have back-ups for my back-ups. :smileyvery-happy: But these things are great. They hold a ton of salad, or pasta, or jambalaya, or anything else, and they're microwavable.

 

That's the name of the game --make sure that whatever you buy can be nuked (microwaved), and also is OK for the dishwasher if that's your druthers.

* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007

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