Month: October 2016

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After a couple of months, you can begin to see a trend with a program like MS Money. I prefer Quicken but MS Money syncs’ to my handheld computer easier so I’ve been learning that.

We have also been successful on the program where you pay off a credit card and then close it. We have eliminated two cards so far, and are well on our way on the other ones. It does work much better than making the minimuns everywhere and making payments on each. Find some extra money and get one paid off. Then when it’s gone, you take the minimum that you were paying on that one and apply it to another one. Pretty soon they will disappear and make sure you close them. That is the key.

Buh bye Brick card, and buh bye Leons. Thank you for playing Teppermans.

We each have one credit card with fairly low interest rates that we use sparingly.

It might help to eliminate some bills if you can as well.

I remember when I was a teenager and our household bills were telephone, oil (we used wood for a wood furnace, but oil as backup), mortgage, insurance, and a car payment.

Nowadays we have cell phone, home phone, wife’s cell phone, gas, water heater, internet access, mortgage, insurance, car payment, two or 3 or 10 credit cards, kids. The world sure is changing fast, and I’m only 34. The key is to cut back where possible.

If you own your home, it’s FAR cheaper to buy the water heater than it is to rent it. Find out if you can buy it out. The money you save on rent easily covers replacing it in 10 years.

Oh, and if your kids aren’t too small, turn the thermastat back two degrees, and wear a long sleeved shirt in the winter. You will cut your gas bill by 1/3.

Track all your spending to see where it goes.

My wife and I are in a similar situation. And I will be the first to admit that I don’t save as well as her. I purchase things that I want / need as well, and I do purchase things that I need for my computer consulting business. But that said, I do make good money but I’ve found out that our living expenses are fairly high.

After we got married I bought her a 2 year old Ford Explorer. The payments would be $380 a month. Didn’t seem like a big deal. She would have a safe vehicle to drive in the winter (We live in Canada where there is 500 feet of snow Eh!) and we would have a nice vehicle to drive on trips. I have a full size pickup and I don’t drive anything where my ass drags on the road.

The $380 I was okay with. The problem arose when I went to get insurance on it. My insurance jumped from $80 per month for her Cavalier and my F150 to $390 a month for my F150 and the Explorer. This was because of 1 at fault accident and 2 speeding tickets over 5 years.

It is costing me more to drive the Explorer than it is to buy it. I’m very aggravated about this, as the whole insurance business (in Canada anyways) is a complete farce.

Anyhoo, my suggestions are to use a debit card to buy everything. I get out $20 at the beginning of the week for coffee’s all week, and I pay debit for everything else. Lunch, movie rentals, all that crap.

I recommend sitting down every month and doing a written budget TOGETHER. decide Together where every dime is going before you spend it. Any extra MUST go to paying off debt.This is also a good time to stop using credit cards.Try it for 3 months and you will be amazed at how much less you spend.Tracking with Quicken is also a good idea. If you do this TOGETHER, he will never have to worry about where the money went. He will already know and also see that you have more than before.
STICK TO THE WRITTEN BUDGET.

My advice: purchase Quicken or MS Money (I only know about Quicken) and set up your accounts so you can track you spending by Categories. Then you can see exactly where your money is going, esp in the “Dining Out” and “Entertainment” categories. Do it for 3-6 months, you’ll be surprised how much money goes for non-essentials. And don’t forget to track cash ATM withdrawals! Good luck, you will find a lot of good advice at this group.

Other software is discussed in this video: