I made excel file with my financial info and placed it in Google docs, so I have online access from any comp and my iphone. Last year don`t use credit cards, but carry and payng off balance mostly transferred from father's high APR cards. Start selling company (that I employed) products on ebay. Basicly I make money for company to pay me salary and extra for me. Here my excel file maybe it will be helpful.
1- Fiancee and I moved back in with my parents, eliminating rent (saving roughly $800 monthly). Saving up to buy a house and start a family. Wish us luck!
2- Car accident (unfortunately) eliminated the car payment ($400 monthly). Only problem is that I injured my back and was let go from my contract position, which is where our savings was coming from.
3- Fiancee works at local theater, so we watch movies for free.
4- Coupon-clipping is helping in a major way.
5- Moving back in with parents has also eliminated the following:
6- Because I don't work right now, we've shaved half off of our gasoline bill. Having an hour commute one-way means major savings.
7- We have something called a 'Credit Plan' where we have mapped out how we are going to both accelerate our payments on our current credit cards as well as save up money for the down payment on a house. We've paid down roughly $10k in CC debt as well as saved up almost $2500 for the down payment.
To shore up my working situation during my recovery, I've begun studying to take the Actuary Exam P in May, hoping to secure a position with a local insurance company. I received my Bachelor's in Math about 5 years ago, and this seems to be a great career path.
On the other hand, due to my accident (and LACK of health insurance, in an attempt to save), we are incurring $15k - $20k in medical bills. My task for today is to make contact and talk about payment plans as well as possible financial aid. Again, wish me luck!
Sorry if I got off of topic. Just wanted to share my story and what we are doing in these tough times (that just got tougher on us). Thanks.
We switched from seperate auto insurance plans that were ridiculously high to a joint plan through Progressive. Thinking about lowing our coverage to reduce the rate even more since I've done some more research and think we're grossly over covered (crosses fingers she doesn't crash into a Bentley antime soon).
Considering switching to a family plan w/T-Mobile, possibly to also share with sister-in-law who lives with us.
Eat out very infrequently, and tend to go to cheap Mexican places when we do. Also started packing lunches for my partner, saving a ton there. He loves chocolate chip cookies, so I bought a bucket of dough and bake him a couple cookies each night for his lunch so that we don't all go through a box of cookies in a few days when they're just sitting there tempting us. Also discovered Trader Joes bananas for 12 cents each! Other than that, mostly using up leftovers that were being made and going to waste anyway.
Buying out lease on my Lexus to reduce monthly payment by almost $300. I'll continue to pay what I was paying since I'm comfortable with it, but if our income decreases I can then pay less.
Also, reduced the size of our garbage can. We only needed put it out every two weeks as it was, and Waste Management increased the price of the 64 gallon this year, but DECREASED the price of the 32 gallon. It sure pays not to be wasteful!
I have a good job right now with pretty good job security. We want to take advantage of the real estate market while we still can (seen homes go from 600k to 200k and condos go from 300k to 150k) and am trying to save like crazy for a down payment, closing costs, etc. and get an FHA loan.
- I cancelled my BIL's Club Penguin account (he was barely using it), put my Netflix on pause, cancelled my XM Radio service (they took away all my stations anyway and plus my radio antenna broke!)
- I switched from AT&T Prepaid to Virgin Mobile prepaid. I now pay only $10 a month for my phone (primarily use it for the unlimited text messaging) and about $35 a month for my husband's since he uses it more. Before we were topping up $15 at a time and spending maybe $60 in a month but hardly being able to use it.
- I downgraded my phone to basic (took off the caller ID) and my internet speed from the fastest to the slowest. I honestly don't miss it that much and I use the internet ALOT even working from home. It does not seem too much slower. My husband uses it for gaming and notices some slight speed problems but nothing major. Our bill went from $75 a month to just $30 a month for both internet and home phone!
- We used to use the A/C nonstop and not care about the bill. Now we are being more conservative with it and leaving the balcony door open instead. Our bills would usually come to $250 for 2 months for a 600 square foot apartment. Haven't gotten the latest bill yet but we are hoping to bring it down to $150 for 2 months.
- I bring leftovers home from work (we get catered lunches and there are often leftovers) and do the rest of my shopping at Costco or very limited items from Vons. For my husband and I about the only groceries we buy in a month are: 2 packs of Costco Ham, Bread, Peanut Butter, Huge pack of Costco Cheese, Huge pack of Costco Chicken, Tortillas, 2 packs of Costco Bacon, Costco Liquid Eggs, Store Brand Cereal, 2 packs of Costco Milk, Juice, $1 Celeste Frozen Pizza, and snack bars. My husband is also on a diet plan so he has cereal for breakfast, snack bar, ham sandwich for lunch, snack bar, and something I bring from work for dinner. We spend on groceries $100 max in one month. Before we used to buy alot of extra stuff that would sit around in our cabinets. Now I am trying to finish all of that before I buy any more groceries for myself. I'm surprised how much food I have even though my "favorites" may be gone! I'll eat twice at work and then eat something when I get home.
- Costco is great for the aforementioned groceries, as well as toilet paper. Huge 36 packs for about $16.00 that last us around 2 months. They have great prices on chicken, ham, bacon, milk, cheese, etc. Their prices are good for everything else but those are the "staples" that we get there. If you aren't careful you can walk out spending way too much because everything is in bulk and the price adds up quickly. So have a plan and know how much you want to spend.
- There are many coupon websites like www.couponmom.com and others that teach you about doubling/tripling coupons combining them with sales and combining them with store + manufacturer coupons to get things dirt cheap, free, or even sometimes with the store owing YOU money. I don't have kids or alot of toiletry needs but I have done it once or twice and stocked up on essentials. I got huge Garnier shampoos for $2 each and 2 bottles lasted me 6 months. I got the gel deodorants (more expensive kind) for around $1. But I am a rook - there are many people who walk out with 10 toothpastes, 10 laundry detergents, 10 shampoos. etc. etc. for only $15 and they stock it up and never run out.
- My husband and I took a part-time inventory counter job (like RGIS but a smaller start-up company here in SoCal called Albany Inventory). They have work a few times a month and you pick when you want to go. Our company pays us for travel time as well as gas mileage (since we count as carpooling). Last month we worked a double shift from 5am - 4am the next day. About 24 hours on the clock ! The paychecks from there bring in an extra $300-600 a month depending on how often we go.
- I'm looking for a THIRD job something more steady such as 5pm-11pm every night at Wal-Mart, Target, etc.
- The only thing I'm still trying to figure out is gas! I work 20 miles away and it seems like we are getting gas every 4 or 5 days even though we have a very efficient car (Toyota Corolla 2003). I am a member of MyPoints which takes a while but I've gotten $75 in gift cards and the latest one I redeemed for a gas card. It can take awhile to accumulate points, but if you are a frequent online shopper or don't mind signing up for free trials and offers you will accumulate them VERY fast. It takes me several months but because I only do the 5 point emails where you can just click on them and "read" them and you get points. And the surveys that come occasionally to my e-mail.
- AMAZON TURK www.mturk.com This website is amazing. It is by no means a job or a second job, but if you are at home watching TV or lounging around, it is a great way to make some money while killing time. I do it a 5-10 hours a week and my husband does it maybe 2-3 hours a week and I've made around $90 and he has around $50 now. Check it out and you will see what I mean. Some "hits" are a complete waste of time but every so often you get great ones that take a few seconds and you can earn $10 in an hour while sitting around your house watching a movie.
Oh I forgot one!
Don't be afraid of the dollar store!
Good things to get there:
Sponges & similar cleaning supplies - air fresheners, cleaning rags, etc.
Body Wash (same ingrediants as the fancy kind!)
Pads & Liners
Kitchen Utensils & Household Gadgets
Some random things we've found at the dollar store
Xbox 360 covers orginally worth $20
CD wallets for the car ($10-20 everywhere else!)
Oh and you have to "splurge" or "treat" yourself every once in a while. My husband and I have class on Monday nights that is really long and tedious. Conincidentally that is also the night our favorite show (24!) is on and also Two & A Half Men. Conincidentally it is the one night that our local Dominos has their DELICIOUS cheesy bread on sale from $5.00 to $1.99 and it is unlimited. We'll get 3 boxes for about $6.50 with tax and have a guilt-free treat night.
Cutting my own lawn. Last year it cost me $35. each time the kid mowed. (roughly 18 times through the season) I had a mower in rough shape in the garage when I bought the place & I'm getting that cleaned up & running.
I'm taking my lunch in to work every day (except payday friday!) about$8.00 each day
I quit smoking, so that's good for me and my wallet! 1 carton every week (cartons are $50.00!!)
So...saying for April through August
That's certainly going to help!! (put it on my high util card!)
I have for the las 20 years cut my own hair, did my own lawn, conserved electric, and clipped coupons. I drive a good used car that is paid for, and since it is a civic, my fuel and maintainence are very low. I always have fixed everything myself that I could on the house, and shop at discount stores for food and clothing.
What I am doing is contributing MORE to 401, because now is the time to buy. I am also investing MORE in my business (not on credit) to boost profits. In other words, instead of taking this lying down, I am fighting hard to make it work for me and not against me. Take the bull by the horns, so to speak.
Yesterday I found out that the deductibles and rates of my insurance (which I get from work) are skyrocketing, and there is a new rule: all 'maintenance drugs' must be purchased via Anthem's mail-order company or they pay nothing.
So I am making the choice as many Americans do these days to stop taking the pills and going to the doctor. My high blood pressure and diabetes is borderline, and my doses are low. To compensate I plan to exercise more (which will be easier without the meds) and control my diet.
Ironically, there was a message on my machine today that my local Curves is closing.
minor note to previous poster.... do som "google-homework" before your doctor visit to readup on gliseamic(sp) index go read the book at the library or in B&N for free. The stuff on diabetic issues is very common sensical.
nuff said? as for exercise. LOW IMPACT is safest and easiest to maintian yr round. sides that the endorphines kick in - you start to feel better...you may have an interest in eating one meal a week RAW and eventually finding ways of removing HFCS entirely from your diet.
now what have I done in this economy? not enough in my book but, according to the tone of voice of my better-half, too much for her(for now). Said I'm too able to adjust to this stuff - too frugal too. (rolls eyes)
I'm by far no Ed B. Jr. but, I'm doing what I can in what spare time I currently have. Which by my standards isn't enough by a long shot!
She has admitted to cutting down on eating out. HAving a son who's alergic to all things gluten has helped alot.
Seeing how I don't like watching food die in the fridge on on the counter top in the kitchen - all because she doesn't know what she wants to eat over the next few nights. I'm more then ready to go back to a 2 wk meal calander.
With our new freezer (energystar) coming on sunday; Along with new FL washer(also energystar), and dishwasher) (she had to have that dang heat element in the bottom so its not energy star) ....
electricity waste in this house (two nearly teen boys as well) and two brand new foster babies.... one needs alot of night lights left on - can't wait for that issue to get worked thru in the coming months. in the winter now that last summer we got a green heatpump 16seer(IIRC) multispeed fansetup too.... my beef? 73 degrees was as coold as she'd let it get....here in the DFW metro area.... I grew up in Michigan where 68 during the day and maybe 64 at night if it was a sealed house. every nowand then I try to drop it down to 72 or even leave it off over night and we'll wake up to a 65 or 68.....(sigh)
fuel economy the Jetta is a TDI unfortuneately she always seems to idel it too often and too long; the A/C is "always on." and now we need a minivan, she's wanting to get a 05 -08 model and I'm thinking NOPE - I don't want to go that high...letsget a 4-8K cost mini and drive it for up to 18 or so months then get a newer model when the economy is safer AND my debt is LOWER.
time to finish these projects:
condensator kits for the truck and her jetta
install Alt. fuel kits in truck and Jetta
finish updating kitchen /patio incloser(DIY style)/ finish deck from last year too(DIY style too)
get house tent-tested and sealed for airflow /thermal efficiency
H2O solar heater setup
solar panels and battery farm
no longer need storage unit that I'm throwing $130 at each month.
buy a bigger home for us all
zero my college debt/CC debt is now negligable(sp) in all fairness
Fix her credit history(finally)
all in all I just need to have ALOT more patience as she works through those issues of her's as *she does painfully know they exist* and it doesn't help if I verbalise them it only makes her feel worse. So I'm between a rock and a vise.... so folks don't try spinning the vises' clamp down any for me okay? I can do that too well all by myself, okay?
thanks in advance.