Not really

We already have a rule about keeping lights off. If anyone leaves a light in their room I take the bulbs out for a week. We had already switched to flourecent several months ago. With it being so warm out and with the a/c off I don’t use the oven much because it heats up the house. But I use the crockpot ALWAYS! It’s like my oven but much more efficient. I also keep the computer off. Expecially the monitor. We do not have a flat screen and you won’t believe the heat the older monitors can give off. We did use the a/c some while hubby was home on weekends. He’s use to his nice cool a/c in his truck.


when I had put up last month that my electric bill was $222.00. We cut back with absolutly no dryer. Everything was outside or hanging up in the house.. and no a/c unless it got over 85 in the house or just too humid to deal with. Well the verdict is in. The bill for this month was only 146.00!!! I think we did pretty good as a family in cutting down that bill. Now we’ll try a little harder

Right now we are paying $5 a month to

our credit cards, medical bills, etc… that’s all we had once I was throwing everything else at getting our 2006 Personal Property Tax paid (2006 PPT). Once that is paid, then we can finally pay my sales tax on my car and get it licensed and legal. (once we save that up). The idea was that at $5 a month, no one is happy and all are wanting more. I can’t give them more at this point and so that is why pay them off one at a time. But, like I said, the Dell and Cap One wouldn’t pay off untl Feb ’09. I re-ran my Snowball with paying about $50 to each of these and then subtracted that amount from the “extra” we are throwing at it. Basically the same amount is going towards it, but spread out a little more. Somehow that actually pushed our Debt Free date to Sept 2008. Somehow that doesn’t seem right… gonna have to refigure…

Dawn, this is just my personal opinion

but I don’t agree with not paying your other bills if you are able to. IF you have paid the main ones like, food, house payment, car, lights, gas, etc… and have enough to pay the minimum payments on the other bills, what is the reason for not paying the other creditors? IF you were short on money then that would make sense, in taking care of the 4 walls first. Or is it once you get caught up to start paying the other creditors?
What is a 2006 PPH?
By the way, I commend you for going out and getting a job at Red Lobster to pay off some debt. You are definitely on the right track, keep up the good work!!
I’ll be routing you on!!

I would suggest

that you work to get your bills current and then just pay the minimums. I can’t imagine they’re won’t be consequences if you don’t pay them anything for the next 18 months. Maybe you can talk with them and ask if they can lower your minimum payments.

Bad news

Bad news: When you don’t deposit your cash tips from serving, they disappear into thin air.
Good news: I now have my own stock of bank envelopes in the car so I can just put it in on the way home from work.

Bad news: Disappearing tips = nothing paid off yet
Good news: 2006 PPT will be paid in full at the end of the month.

Looked into refinancing our house even though we’re a year out and would have prepayment penalties. Talked with Churchill Mortgage. Figured that’s our best bet. VERY helpful. Even though at this point we can’t do anything. He really helped me get perspective again and gave us a game plan on what to do to get to the point that we CAN refi next year.

But, question…. basically, he reitterated the 4 walls and then EVERYTHING else goes to pay off the debts. What about the places we have payment arrangements in place with? He basically said that by only paying little bits to each creditor, no one was happy and reporting on our credit reports anyway. So stop paying all but what we can pay in full and we’ll quickly get those paid off and have that many fewer people reporting us. So back to that question… how do I tell Dell who we agreed to pay $60 a month or Capital One that we won’t be paying them anything for the next 18 months, but then we’ll pay them off in full? That doesn’t make sense to me. Don’t I need to pay them SOMETHING? Or just work to get them current and just pay minimums?

Red Lobster is going pretty good really. I’m back to enjoying it again. Went through about 3 weeks of panic attacks on the days I had to work. Once I was there I was fine, but the whole day prior to going in I was a mess. I’m really getting the hang of it though and bringing in about $55-$60 a night x 3-4 nights a week = at min $165 more a week = $660 a month. 4 nights a week = $880 a month. They rotate me at 3 nights one week and 4 nights the next. ALL of that is going straight to savings now and thrown a the snowball.

Just thought I’d update you on our situation

The loan with the credit union did not go through. Too poor credit history as well as the loan being too high of a debt to income ratio. I offered to lower the amount we requested, but they said no, it was really the credit scores. Despite the fact that I asked numberous times to ignore those and look at us.

Called Capital One on the car loan. They are no help either. Not willing to take a short sale and work out payments on the deficit. Won’t release the title until it is paid in full. Won’t refinance their own loans.

We’ve spent months trying to get this figured out. Brick wall after brick wall. So here’s where we are going. May not be the ideal path, but it’s what we have to do.

Going to let the car loan go into default. Hurts to do it, but we have to get rid of it. That frees up $500 a month that we can add to the $50 a month we are paying towards our back tax issues. We’ll be a car down and have to work out payments in the end anyway (I hate that. Especially since we’re willing to do it now. Loan company’s not ready until they repo it and add all their other charges… grrr.) But, we’ll get our 2006 PPT paid by August. Get Adrian’s car legal by September. Get my repo’ed car legal (who knows I may still have it then) by October (not sure how that will all work out time line wise.) Then save for a beater, catch up the cc’s (I’m just going to send $5 to each in the meantime), and get the BEF funded. Then we’ll be ready to snowball FINALLY. As we stand now (without extra income) we’ll be able to start our snowball in Sept 2008, Debt Free Dec 2010. BUT, we are getting 2nd jobs, Adrian is doing lots of handyman work around the neighborhood. And God bless him, I think he’s FINALLY getting it!! Keeps asking, “What’s Dave say about….” Oh and side story… we were leaving Aldi Sunday and he leans over and gives me a kiss and says, “I think it’s a really good idea that you’re taking out cash for groceries.” He’s a little slow on the get up, but I think he’ll catch up quick.

Hoping that next June/July when we need to refi that ARM we’ll be able to. Our current lender said they look at if we’re current over a 12 month period over what our credit otherwise has done. Hope that’s true. Or may try Churchill Mort. We’ll see when we get there. The worst that could happen is that we have to sell the house and go back to renting. Which, in the end, it’s just a house. Our family is our home no matter where we live. And if we do that, we’ll be debt free sooner. Not that that’s the way I want to get debt free. I love my house and planned to stay there forever, but maybe that’s not what our journey is set for.

Oh, and the washing machine… it was the door switch. We fidgeted with it and Jimmied it to work for now. We’ll get it fixed for good once we can swing a little cash. Oh AND, our tree in the backyard split on Saturday and landed on the house!!! Luckily it only pulled the gutter down. We’re just going to replace it out of pocket (empty pockets at that – could be a while) instead of paying our ins deductible. My MIL said it best, “If you guys didn’t have bad luck you wouldn’t have any luck at all.” So true.

As hard of a process as this was/is I’m relieved that we finally can get a plan in place and get all this taken care of. I’m sure there will be more hiccups along the way, but we’re in this together as husb/wife and as a family and we’ll get there.

I guess I haven’t posted on here in a while..

although I’ve been faithfully reading all the messages. My husband and I have just RE-started the Dave Ramsey plan over the last week or so. By Friday of this week, we will have the $1000 EF in place, and if we follow our budget, we are on schedule to pay off 3 credit cards and 4 other debts totalling about $5,000… (using a combination of our tax refund and living very meagerly for the next few weeks).

We are now GAZELLE INTENSE and plan on being DEBT-FREE except the house by the end of 2006!!! I CAN HARDLY WAIT !

We are in Houston as well

It might not help by spring, but start composting. My wife grows cucumbers, squash, peppers, sweet potatoes. We have raised beds. Seeds aren’t that expensive. next time you by a cucumber, save the seeds. By a squash, save the seeds. If you don’t have bees, you might have a hard time doing fruit. Veggies are pretty easy. Anything that grows in the ground .

Not off plan

Sigh. yeah, you’re likely right. It’s just hard for me to go directly to the bank and bypass “go and spend”. The only way it seems like I can control that is to rigidly stick to a literal plan: Friday- pay X creditor, Saturday, pay Y creditor. I don’t know why, but when that plan goes awry, it really throws me for a loop.

It’s better now that I figured out how to do electronic deposits through my phone and have regular amount(s) from child care coming in on a weekly basis….but now that I’m making fast progress, i just want to pay it off NNNNOOOOWWWW !!!

ARGH !! It’s SO HARD to give creditors money !!!

Seriously, you would think it would not be this hard!! TMobile was so nice a few months back to break up my son’s phone bill into monthly payments. So I called them 2 days ago to find out the remaining balance since I knew I had money coming in from payday loans online service $270 they told me, including the $90 I hadn’t yet paid for this month (I paid the regular bill but not the installment.) Hm. $270 seemed low, but ok :) But it happened to be the same amount as I owed on two credit cards (total). So I debated for a day about which ones I should pay off, and decided to go with TMobile. Yeah, just called. They’re like, don’t know who you talked to, but it’s $270 PLUS the $90. Sigh. I just deposited the babysitting check (350) so I only had 200 of it active. Could I have paid off the whole thing? Yes, I could have. But the vote was barely in tmobiles’ favor, so I ended up just giving them the 90 and paying off the two credit cards. So the good news is 2 CC’s gone. I’m grateful, but the nerd in me is flipping a gasket because we went OFF PLAN !!!

Happens to be that

we just had two neighbors trees removed and have giant stumps in the yard! I will call the tree removal crew tomorrow because I think they’re coming back anyway… maybe they’ll bring some of the wood chips (or leave us some from their next project).

I don’t know how much space you have

but if you start NOW, you can turn cruddy worthless soil into wonderful soil by getting real wood chips from trees and just piling it about 4-6 inches deep on the ground and leaving it there through the winter. I’m talking REAL wood chips, like when the tree services come and chip/shred it up.

If you call around, most places are willing to drop it off in your driveway if you will take a full truckload (some will do less.) If you BAG those wood chips in brown plastic 30 gallon trash bags and leave them tied up in a heap on the side of your yard, they will decompose and turn to WONDERFUL compost/dirt in about 3 months.
You need a lot more wood chips than you think you will, even if you are bagging it to turn into compost, so if you’ve got the driveway room for them to dump it, don’t be afraid to take on a whole truckload. There are always tons of people on freecycle who will come take bags of it off your hands too.

I have a 4 foot square planter which is 9 inches high made from free-cycled bricks. Right now it has 16 sweet potato plants growing in it (ah, the blessings of living in southern California) which cost me .75cents or so for the original sweet potato. I grew slips from it, and hopefully in a few more weeks, I’ll be harvesting sweet potatoes 😉

Gardening on a budget question?

Dh and Db built me a raised garden box from scrap wood (I have been asking for one)! We put it in the corner of our yard, where it will receive the most of the Eastern sunrise (and be most out of the way).

Its a modest-sized planter approx 2.5 feet wide and maybe 8-9 feet long. It stands about 2.5 feet tall.

I am trying to work out two things right now: Inexpensive ways to make cheap dirt into gardening soil by spring, and which veggies or fruits to plant which will give me the most bang for my buck.

I want to plant items that will be an inexpensive start, but yield us a fair amount of produce next year. Its a hobby garden or sure, but I don’t want it to cost more to grow our own veggies than buy them from the store.

What tips do you all have? Has anyone tried to start their gardens from seed, which I gather is the least expensive start?

I am in Houston, I guess we are zone 9-ish.

Texas didn’t used to allow HELOCs

now they do, but you can only borrow I think 50% of your equity. On one hand, it helped Texas survive the foreclosures, on the other hand, it is my money tied up in an asset that could have large equity. I think as long as the percentage of how much you can take out leaves some equity, a responsible person should be able to use the money for home improvements or medical bills, but not to buy a car or vacation or some other use that has no value.