21 October 2012

Money Matters


Before I became a SAHM I was a working mom for 7 1/2 years and had been working since I was 15. I knew how to handle the bills, put food on the table, and spend on things that were what I wanted (not what I/we needed). Perfect example, my old 1967 Chevelle. Talk about an impulse buy. Then I just HAD to have a truck to tow it to the car shows I intended to take it to. Turns out the engine needed a few more repairs than I had anticipated and the shop I took it to in Jacksonville, NC ended up ripping me off beyond what I ever thought possible. Fortunately they are under investigation now and are in the process of being Blacklisted by the Marine Corps as a whole because they have done what they did to me and worse to others, including military personnel. I truly hope they rot in hell.

Okay sorry, rant over. Anyway, that car had been my dream car since I was little, I had the opportunity to buy it, so I did. When I found out we were expecting last year, I had to take a long hard look at our finances. Bills, bills, bills.... Can't escape a majority of them right away, utilities, mortgage and vehicles. But the credit cards, day care, student loans and my hobby car needed to be reevaluated. A larger savings needed to come into play as well. All within that 9 month time span.

The hubby's credit score needed to be fixed, fast. He had a terrible run in with a debt consolidation company in college who screwed him over and took all his money without paying off his debt. His score was pathetic to say the least. After having him use a couple cards, pay them monthly, plus his vehicle payment, we quickly got it back up into the 700's in under 6 months. Mine had already been there for awhile.

I sat down with my friend at work, who is also the Financial Adviser on the base, and ran our numbers on every little thing. Obtained our credit report from all 3 bureaus (which you can do every 4 months for FREE) and worked the numbers out for me continuing to work AND me becoming a SAHM. Day care alone was going to be over $1,000 a month for both children because we were at the very top of the scale, we were bringing home over $100,000 a year with the both of us working. But $12,000+ a year for me not to be able to see our baby grow, to miss every milestone, to miss out on MORE school activities of our oldest, to eventually have to take more time off from work because of illnesses from either child.... I wanted to have our finances in order completely in case I did choose to stay home.

I started using Powerpay.org to track our bills with interest rates. I love it because it shows how much over time you are ACTUALLY paying if you do not pay things off quickly. And of course once you pay one item off, you use those funds to help pay the next item off faster. It has this displayed throughout it's payment calendar. I have it set up, as of right now, where we will have our house and two vehicles paid off in 5 years. This includes putting a good chunk of change into savings monthly too! Unlike before where I was so worried about our savings, I got our savings up to a point where I feel comfortable now, and the majority of it now goes toward paying off the two vehicles and the house. 

After months of debating with myself (my husband left it up to me), I did finally sell my dream car.... 2 years and a few days after I had first got her. I've given up my every other week of pedicures and solar nails, my clothing spending is next to none now (unless there is a really cute item on sale), I have opened up the windows or shut them to keep the house cool or warm, lights are rarely on during the day as the light comes in from the doors and windows, laundry and dishes are only done on FULL loads (unless the hubby's workout clothes reek to the high heavens and can't wait), gas tank is only filled once a week or every other week, groceries bills are less with couponing.

I have cut our monthly bills from $5,800-$6,500 a month to $3,100 a month of vehicles, utilities, cell phones, 1 credit card to use and pay off each month and mortgage. All while still putting more toward the cars and house, setting aside fun money. putting some into savings and keeping a minimum amount in the checking account each month!!!!!

Even without being employed, Bills, Savings, and the Checking Account alone could easily be a full time job for our house..... Now my next mission is to learn more about Investing.... Or maybe I'll just bury money throughout the backyard instead....

Are there things or reasons you save for? How do you cut back on your monthly expenses? 

15 comments:

  1. Food is a big outlay for us - 3 hungry kids! Ive learnt to make meals that will do two days and any leftover veg always makes soup! I get a lot of great clothes second hand for almost nothing too - worth the time looking! Sounds like you are doing a great job . Every tiny bit you save adds up to a bigger amount!! X

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    1. I am all about 2nd hand clothes for me and the kids... Unfortunately the hubby has an expensive taste for clothing, luckily he only shops for clothes once a year or every other year!

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  2. You've done a great job so far!! Retirement is the big thing we save for. Never too early to start thinking about it! We have a pretty good and structured budget, but food is the one that gets us. My husband and I are total foodies. So, trying to eat gourmet on a budget can be difficult.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Retirement is a must! Plus College for two kids (maybe more)! I know how it goes with spending money on food, tends to be $200-$300 every two weeks here!!! OY!

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  3. Wow. You're doing great. I ma a good saver. I have to take the money away before my husband sees it though or its gone. :)

    PS- did you know you're a no-reply commenter? Just wanted to be sure you knew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks hun! No-reply commenter? DID NOT know that! How do I fix that???

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  4. I have never heard of power pay! I think I might have to check it out!

    I'm your newest follower from the GFC blog hop
    followme@ ww.studentswife.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. We just did the same thing earlier this year when I decided to stay at home. Our bills are still higher than yours, but we cut a lot of money out!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've never heard of it, I will check it out. Thanks for the info!! I'm a new follower from GFC Collective :)

    -Mariely
    marielvp.blogspot.com

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  7. I am a couponer!! Thats how I save $$! :) I found your blog through Monday Mingle! I am a new follower, I hope you will follow me back!
    Thanks,
    Jenn
    couponcalimom.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. We use coupons to save money on things such as body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, etc..
    I am stopping by from the blog hop. I'm a new follower. would love for you to come visit my blog! ;)

    www.thislifesbeautifulmoments.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Cutting out my pampering hair appts.(neck rub, hot tea served) was the toughest- it was like the only thing that was all about me. Then I realized it wasn't all about me. I'll have to check out the PowerPay site- thanks!

    Stopping by from Monday Mingle!

    http://lunchingmomma.com

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    Replies
    1. Following back hun! I hate not being able to spruce myself as much anymore... But it sure does save!

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  10. I loved reading this ... read every word! Great tips; and the best part is you've got your priorities in order! Don't blink or you will miss your little darlings grow up, right? Thank you hubby for his service to our country, please! And great job standing behind your man, so thank you too!!! New follower... xoxo jules

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