I figure we would have about 6-8 months in our house before they foreclose

That time will enable us to save money toward renovation costs. We have never rented before because there are no homes available in this area that are accessible in the way we need. Really we have looked and have worked with agencies to try to find a proper alternative to buying but they can’t find one either. We tried to rent before we bought this house because prices were high but none then either. I volunteer with the ARC (association for retarded citizens) and they routinely help with living issues so I know I / they are looking for help in all the right places.The only type of rentals are smaller condos / townhouses that only have two bedrooms. We have my mother living with us and with 4 children dh and I that is 7 people, to many for a 2 bedroom. We have to buy. If we buy a cheap house and don’t have a mortgage then we will be able to put all the mortgage money toward a 3 month emergency fund and then reinvest in our 401K, taking about 5 years to get back to the point we are at now. If we didn’t have to go bk then we would still be paying down the original debt we had and not able to contribute to the 401K for a couple of years anyway. My thought is in less than 5 years we will be back to near where we would have been anyway except we will be mortgage free as well.

I would say do NOT use your 401K to buy a house

If you do that, then you’re using up your retirement funds. THEN what? I’m sorry you used as much of the funds as you did, because 401K funds can’t be touched in BK.
Realistically, how long do you think you hve in your current house. Use every one of those days to try to find a rental house with accessibility. You might also try contacting local charities, since they may have a network in place to help. You can even contact your local news consumer reporters for help.

You didn’t sign your post, lol, so I don’t know your name, this is what came up

Anyway I can see you were really in debt and the BK was probably the way to go for you. Albert doesn’t say never do BK he says try other things first but sometimes, very rarely someone will have to BK to start over. You tried and you were in too deep. The important thing is to deal with it and move on and NOT get back into that situation again.
I don’t know the 401k thing. I think I heard someone say that you will lose a portion of what you have to fees or something, so make sure you have that figured it to your plan if it’s the case.
I know Albert says do not use your 401k for things but in your rather unique thing I can see how you are thinking. Buy the house, have no mortgage and get to the other things faster. And the need for the handicap house adds to the issue. I know in our part of VA there are very few places to rent, even apartments that are handicap ready. Most of the apartments are in those assisted care things for the elderly.
The idea with the steps in order is that you need the BEF to be a security net to catch those little bills that sneak up on you, then you have to get out of debt to have money, then more EF to be able to NOT get back into debt, then the stuff you will need later (retirement & kids college) and then the house. Its more behavior modification and learning but if you are not taking a major hit with the 401k to get the mortgage, it might be best for you. You are in reality moving your investment from 401k to real estate.

Albert doesn’t say *never* file bankruptcy –

he says never file it until you’ve exhausted all your other options and never file based on what *might* happen. But if they’re about to send the trucks to get your furniture, it may be time.

So sorry to hear about the medical stuff and hope everyone’s health is recovered.

Breaking out a 401k is always a *terrible* idea. Between taxes and penalties you’ll lose something like 40% of your money right off the top, PLUS you lose everything that’s accumulating towards retirement. And retirement may seem far away but you don’t want to be working as a Wal-mart greeter at 80, so you need that money to stay there.

You’re better off *not* putting away 15% towards retirement than you are taking money out and moving *backwards*.

Thank you …and nice to “meet” you

I have been lurking for a while now but figured I should go ahead and introduce myself. I am mom to 4 children, wife to a wonderful husband and a DR enthusiast. We live in Florida where we have 4 seasons, Hot, Hotter, Hotter than Heck and Hurricanes.

I take care of the tedious part of our finances in our house but DH is involved in decisions. We have been followers of DR for a while and we had completed step 1 ($1000 baby EF). We were working on our snowball and making good progress. We were able to pay off $17,000 of $28,000 before we ran into a couple of snags.

In the past year we have experienced a reduction in pay for the same 60 hours DH works every week and we had a major medical crisis that sent us over the edge. It put us into a hole so deep that there would never be a way out. Our bills totaled over $400,000. Add that amount to an already stretched budget and plenty of debt and you have a recipe for disaster.

We had no other choice but to file bankruptcy to survive. We are losing our house in this process as well. I know how Dave feels about BK but seriously there was no other way to deal with this. We tried, we tried REAL HARD. Even though none of this is pleasant I feel blessed. We will be fine.

Now I am starting to try to deal with the future and how we should best approach all things financial . Since we won’t have a house we were thinking of taking our remaining 401K money to buy a very very modest house. ( we used almost all of the 401k to pay bills until we realized we were not going to get anywhere) We won’t be able to get a mortgage anytime soon because of the BK and renting is very hard to do as we need a handicap accessible home.

We live in Florida and live in a house ( for a little while longer) that would have gone for about $475,000 at the height of things and now we want to spend about $40,000 for a house and about $10,000 for making it right for our needs. We are certainly changing our lifestyle so that we can live within our means. We need a place to live anyway and our 401k isn’t earning anything right now.

I know that Dave recommends paying off house as one of the last steps but we feel that we will be able to fund our 3-6 months of expenses, contribute 15% to retirement and save for kids college at a much faster pace without a mortgage.

Now I am curious to see what other DR followers think of buying a house with 401k money without working all of the steps in order. Is is a horrible idea ? Is there a better way to deal with things? Will there be some consequences that I am not thinking of right now? I want to hear your thoughts on this but please don’t slam our decision to file for bankruptcy. It was a very hard decision to make especially after trying so hard and making some really great progress toward paying off our debts prior to our medical crisis.

I totally agree

I am a licensed provider and I CANNOT IMAGINE doing non liecensed Baby sitting, one accident and you can lose EVERYTHING personally. I have a license and a daycare Rider to cover anything that happens including the liability ((even if not our fault)) if it happens at your home you would be personally responsible. You can however GO TO THEIR house without any of the license rules

As some that has done licensed day care for 21 years, I agree with

1) prices vary from place to place and even by what side of town you live on. Our town is about 50,000 people. My side of town, I’m getting about $125 a week. The other side of town is getting more like $135 or $140 a week. Ten miles outside of town, they are getting $175. The difference is there is a huge, college town about an hour from here (Ann Arbor, MI). The closer to Ann Arbor, the higher the cost of day care. Last I hear, providers in Ann Arbor were getting $250 a week.

2) Day care is not like it used to be. Liability, insurance, licensing, they are all important now. Especially if you are going to be driving the kids. Did you know that second most day care accidents happen in the car? The first is the swing set.

One more decison to think about. If there is no school, are you still going to watch the kids? Will you offer care for sick kids? That’s another place that there is a huge need for day care. Summer care?

Can we add in the licensing angle?

Even informal babysitting, I wouldn’t want to touch, in today’s society, without some professional training and certification. Things like CPR certification, food safety inspections, safety imspections etc. Keeping someone’s child can be great informally, but let something (and we all pray it doesn’t) happen on your watch and people get justifiably upset, so cover yourself before even taking on the chore professionally/semi-professionally.

The answer to that question has far too many variables to be answered online

However, the way to find the answer is easy, pick up the phone and call 2 or 3 day care centers and ask about rates. Then call a couple of inhome daycare providers and ask the same. Then you’ll have an idea of what people in your area are paying and that will help set your rates.

Another angle to try is to focus on childcare for before and after school. Esp. if you are willing to help with transportation to and from scouts and other clubs. there is a shortage of that type of childcare in my area. My friends who have had to find childcare for school aged kids during the school year are finding out they have to pay full childcare costs for just a couple of hours a day. The advantage is that you have your mornings free to do errands and housework plus if you are dealing with 5 to 10 year olds for just 2 to 4 hours, you can take as many kids are will comfortable fit into your car. Or if you are close enough, they can walk to your house.

Hi everyone, I’m Angela (in TN)

Married to hubby for 1 1/2 years. We have 6 kids between the two – ages, 7, 8, 11, 12, 16, and 19. The oldest three are mine (all boys). The youngest are his (2 boys & 1 girl). Only the 12yr and 16yr live with us year round. My hubby makes decent money. I’m a sahm mom for the most part. I work pt about 3-10 hours a week doing bookeeping work. We are almost debt free ($2000.00 more to go) except for the mortgage. We are thinking about selling our house and buying something less expensive.

My question is that I am thinking about doing babysitting in my home for a little extra money….no more that just two kids. However, I have no idea what people are charging these days. What is a reasonable price to charge?


Ever since I got on this “new” computer

I’ve been doing emails right and left and was wondering if no one loved me any more or what because there hadn’t been a single response to any of the posts I’ve done the last two weeks. Well duhhhh, I just discovered by accident my dh had set my default sending address as my friends and family email address not the one I use for groups. So everything has been bouncing. I’ll look through my sent file and see if there were any really important posts and resend them with the right email address tomorrow.

Not all online banking deposits work this way

(my small local bank made their own app but it doesn’t work), but with CapOne360, as long as you have a clear image of the front and the back, you’re good to go. Their website’s instructions say you can scan it or snap a picture with your phone.

I will tell you, though, it’s fairly picky about the quality of the images. I use my portable scanner and I always have to tweak the contrast and so on until CapOne finally accepts it. I did notice that one check I received had a security feature that made the image say “VOID VOID VOID” or something when I scanned it in black and white. I didn’t think I should try submitting that, but scanning it in color, the image looked like the check.

You do get immediate feedback if the image quality isn’t acceptable. I’ve had it tell me they can’t read the check or they can’t read the numbers at the bottom of it, and that comes back pretty much instantly.
One odd thing that they suggest is to put a heavy black dot in each of the four corners of the check. Evidently, this helps their recognition software lock in on it better but I’ve never tried it.

Once you get past that, it will tell you that you have successfully *submitted* the check for deposit, but NOT to void the check or destroy it until you get confirmation that the deposit was complete (this has usually happened within an hour for me). Once that happens, you’re all done with it. I’m still getting used to the idea that this check, that appears to be a perfectly good financial instrument, should now go into the shredder…

Do you have to have a phone that can take pictures to do a remote deposit?

I have thought of trying to do an online checking account to get ride of the requirements for our BOA checking in order to avoid a monthly fee, but I have an old fashion pay as you go phone. It does not have internet access. I have an old I pad 1 that does not take pictures. Could it be done by taking a picture and uploading the picture to the computer and sending it through the internet?

Capital one 360

I deposited 3 checks over a week ago into my capital one 360. All three of them are still on hold. It says max hold time is 5 days. Anybody else having a problem with this ? It is not a big deal I was putting them in my emergency fund. I am glad I didn’t need them right now.

I agree, and congrats!

However, I would caution that making financial plans with the hope and assumption that “nothing unexpected will happen”, is essentially a gold-plated invitation to Murphy that they WILL happen. Combine that with plans to start the sinking fund AFTER paying off debt, seems a recipe for setbacks that could be avoided.
I would encourage you to set up sinking funds now – ID places where you’ve had “gotcha’s” before, such as home appliance repair, car repair, medical expenses, etc, and start getting those sinking funds set up and funded. Then when the gotchas do occur, and we all know they will, it will merely be a moment of “oh, now is when I dip into that fund”, rather than “oh, heck, we were so close and now we won’t be able to put money towards the snowball.”
It might mean a slightly smaller snowball, and slightly later payoff dates. But after reading this list for two years, it’s infinitely more realistic. Or, you could set up the challenge for yourself that you’re going to preserve your awesome rate of snowball repayment, AND get those sinking funds set up, by earning more with your Ebay sales. Now that’s a goal worth some gazelle effort. Because by the time you get the snowball paid off, that Ebay income will still be clicking along and its momentum will continue even after the debts are gone. Woohoo!
I wish I could say I was speaking from a place of having all this stuff set up already, and feeling comfortable with that security blanket. Bummer, that’s not the case. We’re trying to get sinking funds set up here sooner than those Murphy moments arrive, and sometimes they drain dry our brand-spankin’ new sinking funds so that we have to start over.

Well, we paid off 4 thousand towards the snowball this summer and it feels great

The goal is to put another 5 thousand towards it before the end of the year. It’ll be tough but we are going to try. It depends upon having no unexpected expenses.

I have not yet started sinking funds for anything other than Christmas. I want to pay off the first card before we do so. After that 5 thousand, we’ll be there. Then, I’ve got to figure out what sinking funds we need.

Best of all, both kids are on board, but their motivation is that they want to go to Disney World and we have promised them that when the snowball for step 2 is at zero, we will save and go. Our lofty goal is for 2 to 3 years from now. So, when they used to ask for things at the store, when we say that we are saving money, they remind each other why. It’s a ton easier that way.

Also, I had asked about ebay and then never responded. I ended up deciding that i need to develop things more before I add a store. But, I have been taking advantage of the listing offers that they send about twice a month. I made 240 in August and my goal is 300 hundred for September, so and i decided to get one thousand loan at LendMe service.

Right now, I sell a combination of things that I get second hand for super low prices and things that I have in the house that we don’t need anymore. In the past, I would have given them away, but now I am using them to make extra money. So, my actual expenses are pretty low. I have a book that I keep track of the items, what (if anything) I paid for it, what it sells for, and what the costs around the sell are. I typically make between 5 and 20 dollars per item so I am pretty much selling small stuff. I have two kids that have outgrown so many clothes and shoes that are still in great shape and I have found some boutique brand clothing and shoes at thrift stores. I never pay more than 2 dollars for anything and I now have a bunch of stuff sitting downstairs that is ready to be put it. It’s just that it takes time to do it. And, it takes time to browse at thrift stores, but I have learned to watch for the sale days when they discount items even more than normal. But, I managed to put up 100 items during the last promotion and now things are really selling. I think that I’ll meet my goal this month.

We did just splurge on our yearly trip to a local amusement park, but I got discounted tickets and I used money from my sales to pay for it. So, in a sense, we saved for it ahead of time. It feels good to know that something is paid for ahead of time and will not add to debt.

Now, the trick is going to be to stay within our budget for Christmas. That will be the only way to meet our goal for the end of the year. Traditionally, Christmas time is a going into debt time so it is going to be hard.

We seem to be having duhhhh moments around here

First the thing with having the wrong default address for sending email. Then the fact we’ve been making do with one sweeper in a multi-level house for MONTHS which has meant a whole of carrying one up and down stairs and as a result far less than normal vacuuming being done.

Then a couple of weeks ago dh asked me what was wrong with the black vacuum in the garage. Black vacuum? What black vacuum? It was my grandmother’s, she died about 7 years or so ago and it has been down there ever since. A new belt ($1.50) and a new bag ($2.50) and I now have a new downstairs sweeper. Duhhhh!

Then there was the duck hunt I posted about a week or so ago. Did that post go through? I need to check. We spent all that time in the sun because I forgot to take water? Duhhhh!

Then there are the folks calling us to “borrow” money, I know that post didn’t go through, I saw it in the bounced folder. Basically it’s folks who have made fun of us for following the DR way of life, one has even so far as to call us stupid fools for doing it. Now they know how close we are to killing the credit cards and suddenly they need money from us. “A small loan, you know, just to get their cc bills down a bit so they can live easy again.” Only we know from experience that none of the folks wanting to “borrow” never pay back and will never consider doing a budget of their own until they hit rock bottom. So that is a huge DUHHHH! On their part, no money is going their way.

Dh even told the one that called us stupid fools “Well this stupid fool has been paying al his bills and is nearly debt free and until you get “stupid” too I can’t see my helping you.” He said that felt so good because the fellow’s remark has really irritated him for quite awhile.

We had another family member make a run at dmil’s emergency fund. Not quite as bad as THE sil, at least they were polite enough to call us and ask for some of “Mom’s money” to get them over the hump until their next check came in. When dh said sorry that their lack of planning was not an emergency on Mom’s part and that fund was strictly for dmil’s emergencies. The person said they’d call Mom. Dh told them to go ahead, she’d probably be glad to hear from them since they hadn’t called her in six years and oh btw if you find a phone number that works for her please let us know. Talk about a duhhhh person!

Can you tell I’m cranky? Broke a tooth and I am not amused. I have been blessed with good teeth all my life so this failure irritates me. The tooth doesn’t even hurt, just has sharp edges and makes me cranky.

On a brighter note. I sold one book on amazon, just one, but I sold it for $58.99!!! Shipped it today! I also find I MAY have a buyer for several of my historical re-enactment clothes and equipment that could net me a decent sale. No guarantees, but I’m working up individual prices and bulk purchase price for her. She says if the price is right she’ll take it all! Now finding the right price for both of us. Wish me luck.

Dh and ds have got to work a small amount of overtime, that adds to our snowball, they may even work more this week.

DS great Millie Moment was last Friday morning. The boss called him in and first of all complimented him on how pleased the customer that ds had been farmed out to had been with ds’ work. Pats on the back are always good.

Then the fellow asked him if he’d be willing to go do a 6-8 week walk-down once the weather cools off soon. He said yes.

Then the supervisor told him he had put in for another pay raise for ds and he knew it had been approved, but not for how much. Ds has to wait to next pay day to find out how much. Considering the guys both just got $1 an hour raises in May this was a total shock on ds. I guess the client must have been really pleased with his work!

Dh may have to go on that walk down with ds, we are hoping with dh’s new job title that won’t happen, but if so it should be interesting being home alone all week for that amount of time—they’d come home on weekends.
I’ve been cleaning like a champion, and seem to be making very little headway for the amount of time I am putting in, but when I finish each area it really shines!
I’ve also been working on Webfoot Tub a lot more and hope to get several new items up on the site soon.
Into our third month of pretty much living out of food storage. Ds did purchase 10# of ground beef about 3 weeks ago, but I still have most of it.

I thought I would give you a heads up

We have our emergency fund in a capitalone360 savings and our regular checking separate. When they were ING we had it set up so if I made an error and ever used overdraft it would automatically pull the money from savings. This was just a in case thing I don’t plan going into overdraft .It was to keep me from bouncing anything or getting fees. I am dyslexic and liked having the cushion. Capitalone 360 no longer doe this. So, if your account is set up like mine you might want to keep a few extra bucks in it. This morning paypal accidentally drafted ebay fees that wasn’t suppose to be drafted.I had the fees already in my paypal. It didn’t pull from savings. Capitalone 360 fixed it and paypal admited it was their fault. If it had been my fault I would have been charged fees even though I had plenty of money in the other account. 😉

This is where I’m struggling with the logic

– no head slaps, I really am trying to wrap my mind around this. I get it now – between you and Eldred, I’m getting it!

I make my payments online so not sure how that works with the envelopes. Haven’t reached that section in the book as yet. I’m still working on digesting the Snowball and the other baby steps.

You are explaining it fine – don’t forget I’m struggling to understand a different system. In South Africa its very different and I find myself defaulting back to that, even after being here for 12 years 🙂 No, I’m not going to give myself a head-slap, I need my cells functional for work at the moment LOL

Okay, 2nd jobs can be done from home

if you have a skill to use from home or a product people will come out and buy. But sometimes 2nd jobs are not from home. If you cant do a 2nd from home, why not a 2nd job in Tulsa since you are there already? If you work the 2nd job on the days you’re already there, no extra fuel to/from Tulsa.


What I was going to do was pay it down to zero by using the utility money, but I can see now that the logic is backwards, especially since I wouldn’t be starting with zero. Got it 🙂 I may be a little slow to grasp but I do eventually get it!

I think you still missed the idea

If you start with $0 on the credit card, spend $300 on it, and pay off when you get the bill, you don’t pay interest on that $300.* If you had $400 balance on the card, spend $300 on it, then pay $300 on the balance at the end of the month, you’ve paid extra interest on whatever the ‘average daily balance’ that the $300 works out to… Those people who pay off the card every month may not be paying interest, but there’s still too many disadvantages in my opinion.

*Some card do what they call ‘2-cycle billing’. Meaning they determine your average daily balance for TWO months instead of one.
So even though you paid off the card at the end of month 1, they still charge you a bit of interest mean your second month’s bill won’t be zero. It’s another one of the tricks that CC companies use to nickel and dime you to death.

I tell people this. The cc company’s SOLE purpose in life is to separate us from our hard-earned money. They’re VERY good at it, and have a big enough government lobby that they can get away with all SORTS of devious tricks. Run away, and never look back.

I can’t justify a 2nd job unless I can work from home

(which I’ve been looking at actually, trying to see if there is something legit I can do from home that will actually provide additional income) since it’s 15 miles to Okmulgee (one way) and I work in Tulsa full time which is a 100 mile round trip commute. So what I try to do is get my errands run on my way home so I don’t have to spend additional fuel.

What cheers me up is knowing that if I don’t change anything right now and keep paying what I have been paying all along, the first cc will be paid off by May 2014, the 2nd one by Sept 2014, the 3rd by Nov 2014 and then the CreditOne card in Dec 2014. The last two will be done by Nov 2015.

I am wondering if I shouldn’t be a little flexible on the 3rd one since it was closed quite a while ago so they can’t change my rate. I’m not familiar enough with this program to be sure if it makes any difference. If it’s not broke, no need to fix it, right?

Ok, you are still a wee bit confused

You would be paying interest because you are not at a zero balance with that card. Someone who is would not be, IF they paid it off within the confines of the contract agreement every month. One minute late and yes they would be paying interest. Every card has different rules, but most have a 10-20 day time span for you to pay off the card without getting extra interest added.
Anthea, you do NOT need that card, follow the plan and by this time next year you won’t believe you ever gave money away to credit card companies like you are right now.
Also, once you get going on a zero based budget and cash envelopes you won’t be having close calls with PSO any more.
Have you talked any to C about this? Maybe he can explain it better than I am.

Aha! Okay, that makes sense

(If I don’t ask the questions, I’ll never get the answers, right?) I’m slowly grasping this, just be patient with me 🙂

So do people who pay off the entire balance every month not realize that they are still paying interest?

I prefer the balanced budget since it doesn’t give me any nasty surprises in the summer. I tried the other way and it doesn’t work for me. Plus PSO tend to get irate at chopping and changing, especially since the last 2 years I’ve had a few close calls with disconnection that I really don’t want to revisit. I know it seems silly, but emotionally I need to feel secure that my utilities are not going to get turned off. I’d rather have a nice surprise and not have to pay the electric bill at all for one or two months at the end of the year and plow that into paying off something or putting it into savings and paying for kerosene.

I doubt Mr. Ballanger will do that – then again, he is 88 years old trundling over in his tractor and bringing me the bales when I need them (rain or shine) and placing them where I need them AND he’s storing them in one of his barns for me so I’m quite content to be paying $35 for a 1000lb bale. Another $205 to go and then I’m good until June/July.

No, you can’t do that

Remember AVERAGE DAILY BALANCE you add that $235 to your card for even one day and it jumps your average daily balance up not only by that but by the higher interest (that is also then compounded) so you will be paying a LOT more. Utilities don’t charge interest. Since you don’t use your furnace, why not get off the average monthly pay for at least the winter months? Unless your usage was much higher than your average pay all summer—which I doubt it was since the tv was no longer running all day (and other considerations). You might just find you have an excess on the electric bill. Even if you don’t your winter bills should be lower and you could use that savings to get rid of that greedy cheetah—or two.
You are NOT striving to pay that cc off every month you are striving toward NEVER having to use a cc again. I know it’s scary, but you will be so much better off without them. You can’t imagine the pride you will feel when it comes time for next year’s hay and you can say “if I pay you cash will you give me a discount” and they say “Yes” and you can do it without even batting an eye!
You cannot borrow your way out of debt. It just sinks you further to try to do that. Even those 0% offers can nuke you because of the “transaction fee.”

No more credit cards

Cut that puppy up. do not place the $235 on the credit card. You are done using credit cards. Do you hear me? Your goal is to payoff that $440.52 ASAP and never charge on it again. The only thing you should see on those cards is payments, payments, and more payments.

I agree on the hand rails

– got the wood to make it but don’t know how – one of the ex’s projects that he never got around to, ya know?
Oh – good point! I’ll pop some picks up and lets see, here’s a rundown of the current crew:
Old Man Quan – Belgian Tervuren, 62lbs of grumpiness – 9 years old and almost completely blind.
Ben-Ben – Belgian Tervuren – 65lbs and he’s about 26″ at the shoulder, currently stepping into Quan’s pawprints very competently.
Kiki – Belgian Tervuren – 55lbs – she’s Quan’s seeing-eye girl.
Gandalf – Ben & Kiki’s 12 week old son – still waiting for the right home to show up. In the meantime, he’s an excellent companion while I’m doing chores and following closely in his daddy’s pawprints with regard to his calm demeanor around the animals – temperament being the hardest thing to keep stable in Belgians as a herding breed.
Fleur – Ben & Kiki’s 12 week old daughter who is staying. She doesn’t rebound as quickly as I’d like so unless a really experienced home comes along, she’s a keeper.
Then there are the Icelandic crew who range between 18 – 35lbs.
Skundi – Icelandic Sheepdog – excellent herding dog and all around oozer onto laps
Shadow – Icelandic Sheepdog – chief instigator – but has heart and determination
Kweeba – Icelandic Sheepdog – excellent hog dog – gotta see to believe it
LooLoo – Icelandic Sheepdog – the Diva and alpha – she’s what I call the california girl since she hates to get her feet wet.
Libbye – Icelandic Sheepdog – Skundi and Kweeba’s daughter – hell on wheels, a tough little working dog with so much heart and focus, a real trooper.

But darling, you know that is a normal day for you LOL!

I was wondering during the whole tale where Quan was. Quan’s a sweetheart but Quan is the elder of the pack and… Uhh, you might want to give the folks here the size and number of your dogs.. Not all folks on this list know LGD stand for Large Guardian Dog(s). Stress the word LARGE! As in they come up past my waist! Anthea this list has a photos section and I think you should post photos of the pack and what they guard. They are a good loving lot, but even though they know me, NO WAY will I set foot inside her gate when she’s not there!

We can afford to take about $150 each month

from our cash flow by making some changes to our budget. Nothing we can do for long term but we can for about 5 months. Plus due to the cold weather here there’s been a high demand for propane so my hubby has worked about 50 hours the last two weeks. That means his last paycheck and the one next week have about 10 hours of OT on them. We are planning to use that money directly to pay the doctor. Hopefully we can pay him off in 4 months with the changes to our budget and the OT pay.

We don’t want to take the money out of our ER fund. We worry about “murphy” coming to visit. And we know that paying ourselves back is a hard task for us. Some people are tempted by credit cards or really good sales….we are tempted at not paying ourselves back. our weakness is “date day” which means lunch out. It’s easier for us to say no date day than to say we have the money in our budget but we have to pay our ER fund back instead. That is one thing we will cut out until we pay off the doctor. I know it sounds strange, but like I said we all have weaknesses and that is ours.

We have paid off two of the bills from my husband’s surgery

the only one we doctor to pay off. Of course the doctor is the one we owe the most amount of money too, about $700. We were able to pay the two off in full. They offered a pay in full discount and we took advantage of that. The doctor won’t do that and having paid the other two in full, we can’t afford to pay the doctor in full. They will take monthly payments and they are interest free.

So here’s my question. I am treating this like a debt to that takes us back to step two, right? It get confussing because we have a fully funded ER fund and were on step 4. So should we stop contribting to the Roth IRA and the 401K until this debt is paid off? The 401K through my husbands work is only 2% since his company doesn’t really match much at this time (we have it at 2% so if they start to match we are already active and can increase the amount) and we fund the Roth IRA at about 8%. We could also use of ER fund to pay it off, but I think my hubby and I agree that isn’t the way to go. We don’t feel comfortable using it when the doctors office will take payments and not charge us interest.

I wish DR’s envelopes were more durable

The ones I use most often like grocery and Wal-mart tend to get worn faster. I know it’s in DR’s financial interest to not make them from durable material like plastic because it keeps “us” going back for more when they wear out. Winking smile However, I would pay a little more for them if they lasted longer. I do like the outer part that the envelopes fit into. It is nice looking and most of them, if not all, are gender neutral.

Have you considered a plastic coupon holder?

Walmart carries some nice ones for about $5. They are expandable mini files type. I don’t use envelopes I have a small wallet with several pockets in it and I’ve labeled the pockets for the right “envelope” and then store the proper loyalty cards in that pocket of the wallet along with the cash. That way it’s all together in one spot.

Also when looking at office supply stores look at the Martha Stewart line of organizers, some of them are not girly and they are pretty sturdy.

Craft stores like Hobby Lobby carry “envelopes” of different materials as well.

We are paying well over $1100 for 3 people

dd has been on her own policy for about 20 years. When she was minor it was cheaper to get a kid’s policy for her. It was just like ours but it came out cheaper to insure her on her own than to add her to ours. If we had real, true affordable health insurance I am certain we would have our house paid off NOW (less than 2 years after buying) than in about 7 years. We are paying 50% extra on our house payment to get it paid off early. So between our house payment and the insurance you can see why do not have money to do a lot of extras.

So here is what may be a daft question – maybe not

I have balanced billing on my gas and electricity. The house electricity runs typically between $120 – $145 a month (depending what kind of summer we have and how early/late it arrives and how long, being that this is Oklahoma the ever-changing), and the barn/security lights run around $65. The gas bill typically is around $50 a month if I don’t use the heating during the winter (which I don’t typically since I use kerosene). So if I add those together, it’s about 235.00.
My CreditOne is currently at $440.52.
Can I, by using the cc in the interim to pay those bills (after placing that $235 on the CreditOne card) AND by making the regular min payment, knock the interest down at all? Or is my logic completely backwards here?

The only way you will save any money is to pay off the card entirely

If you add *anything* to the balance, even if you pay of that amount, you get charged interest on the total, higher amount. So you’re still going backwards. Don’t do it. Shoot it, chop it up, run it through a wood chipper – kill that cheetah!
How much do you have ‘extra’ per month to pay down debt? I ask because $440 seems like a small amount to pay. I had one card that wanted to charge me $800 per MONTH(which I couldn’t afford) in payments, so it’s all relative.
Can you have a garage sale or list stuff on Craigslist to pay it off or put a dent in the balance? I’m challenging you to come up with $100 this weekend from selling stuff or extra work to throw at this card… 🙂

And have you priced Advair without insurance?

It’s over $100 for a single inhaler. A bean counter/politician only sees that cost and says “hey” this other one is only $6, so they can take that instead and we’ll save $94.” What they don’t see is that $6 one is hard on the heart, teeth and throat and needs used every 2-6 hours depending on the season. Where as Advair is a once a day and far better all the way around healthwise for the patient.

As I mentioned, mine went up 40 percent

This is the first in a gradual 5 year increase that was negotiated by our union. I work for the 29th largest school district in the country. My insurance was already better than many so I cannot imagine that much needed changing. We already covered maternity and mental health. They increased the dependent age to 26 two years ago.

The changes also mean that my insurance company wants all meds filled through the mail because it is cheaper for them. It also means that they are cutting costs in other ways. I rake Advair for asthma and it will no longer be covered.

A good healthcare plan should not only be good for some people and that is what we are seeing.