You have to take in consideration where they are calling from

My dd lives in CA and makes over double what dh makes, and can barely pay her mortgage because of the high cost of living. We too are WELL below the $100K per year mark, but we have a lot more than a lot of folks—and the debt to prove it (although we’ve killed over half of it so far and it’s now going down FAST).
Something I also note when listening to VV is a lot of them have a lot less debt than we started out with—long story let’s just say that all things (including the two mortgages it was over $310,000 when we started in 2009) and it is taking them as long or longer than us to kill it with their higher salaries and we had 18 months of unemployment! So don’t let the podcasts get to you. Just listen to the debt free screams and KNOW that it will be you some day. Have any doubts, just ask Keisha, who will be screaming on the radio for us come May (although she is already debt free INCLUDING her house—YEAH Keisha!).

I’ve been listening to the free podcast since May

One of the things that really surprises me is how much money his callers make. I don’t think I’ve heard anybody on there who makes less than I do! Granted, I know I’m not rolling in the dough… I started looking at other jobs and with my experience and training, I’m not going to go anywhere making more than I am now, either. It’s frustrating to hear him say things like, “You can barely eat on that salary”, and they are making more than I can dream of making!

And I wonder, am I totally BONKERS that I don’t care that I don’t make $100k per year? We have pretty stress-free jobs that we don’t mind going to at all.

Legacy drawer ?

My husband and I were discussing our financial goals for this year and along with getting baby step 5 finished, we want to get our legacy drawer in place. Does anyone have any experience with US Legal Forms? Have you gotten Cote’s package and does it include everything you need? $30 seems like a really good deal.

So a few months ago

I was watching ChefBrad on BYUtv (might be elsewhere, but that happens to be where I watch it.) He had this recipe called Ranch Style Beans which used pinto beans and cracked wheat.

hey, I thought, I have that stuff in my dehydrated ReadyReserve stacks, and I need to be using that stuff starting this year. So I tried it.

It’s pretty good, particularly since i can use my pressure cooker so it doesn’t take forever.

HOWEVER. Now I have a #10 can opened of cracked wheat and also pinto beans.

Any TNT recipes out there so I’m not making the same recipe constantly? It’s good, but seriously, one batch lasts us DAYS.

I’m glad the idea works for you too, Christine

I hate taking money from the emergency account, especially for something like an overjealous stock up trip at Sam’s Club or buying a bunch of winter clothing for next year at a wonderful close out yet not having the money in the weekly budget for those expenses. It seems like every 2.5 months or so, we go to Sam’s and stock up on office supplies and things like batteries and a bunch of frozen food items, and it isn’t as if you can walk out of the place with less than a $200 bill. Two years ago, we walked into a Toys R Us towards the end of July and they had the best deals on toys. If I recall, wonderful toys were somewhere between 75% – 90% off. This were unadvertised, clearance items we assumed they were trying to move to make room for the new items for the upcoming Chrismas push. We bought hundreds of dollars worth of toys for Toys for Tots and we were thrilled with our purchases. We transferred money from the oopsie account to cover this large purchase, and this allowed us to then transfer the money from our ING savings account that we keep just for this occasion. The three day transfer lag wasn’t a big deal because we were just putting that ING money back into the oopsie account. It really is a nice thing to have some extra immediate funds on the side to take advantage of some unexpected, nonemergencey expenses.

I have an Oopsie Account, too

We use a credit union, and I am able to transfer money on line or by phone, 24/7. It has been a real blessing. Some months we do spend a little more, for whatever reason. I could budget moe for checking and less for savings, incuding the oopise, but when it’s in checking, it gets spent. Better to have it in the Oopsie Account for when it is truly needed.

I actually call it my JIC account–Just in Case. When I see the checking account is low, and pay day is not tomorrw, I transfer money and call it JIC. Most of the time, I put it right back after the pay check goes in.

We only get paid 2x a month, the 15th and the 30th

I have certain bills/savings(which the savings I need to quit spending it so unwisely) automatically paid when we get paid on the 15th. I like that idea of an oopsie account. I might have to look into the ING/Capital One a little more. I have considered it, but now I’m wondering since my bank was not supported by MINT if it would be supported by INT/Capital One. Thanks for the input, it is very helpful.

Maybe you need to break your budget down week by week

I do both our home and our business budget each Friday for the following week. I will (God willing) have carryovers in each account from week to week. When I have a large excessive amount, I throw that into whatever ING/Capital One account I feel I want to at the time. I have a lot of our funds autodrafted weekly out of our checking account to fund a variety of ING/Capital One subsavings accounts we have. Out of sight, out of mind is a good thing for us, and that’s why these autodrafts work so well for my husband and me. I also keep an oopsie account that’s linked to our checking account. If I have a miscalculation one week, I can always transfer money over from the oopsie account. I don’t think I would think about potential raises, either. If you do get one, use that money to first fund your oopsie account to a comfortable level (for me, it’s $500). This account is separate from my Step 1 emergency account. This is to cover something like a bigger shopping trip than normal because of some super low sale prices on food or clothing or a bigger utility bill than normal or a lot of extra driving one week and gas prices are a lot higher than usual. You know what I mean…Nothing that’s an emergency, but I do need money to cover these things. I would then use that raise money to throw at the Baby Steps. I wouldn’t plan on using it to live on, since you’re already accustomed to not having it.

I agree

For us it was a long road, 5 1/2 years to pay off all the debt. I made smaller goals along the way. Talked to this group when things were good and when things were bad. There was always someone with a kind word or a kick in the butt.

That is great news

I just started the budget….again. I like the way it looks on paper, it will work. Its when I get the pay checks that it all seems to fall apart for me/us. I just sat down this morning and tweeked it, and I just now thought of the kids monthly food bill that I left off. I know I have to tweek it once in a while and then again most generally every year when school starts around the second month bc that is when we know how much of a raise we get and exactly how much our pay checks are going to be. I need to stay focused through out too…just not sure exactly how to do it. Any advice would be helpful. I’m going to try my best, my hardest to stick to the budget this time. I/We have to…we don’t have any choice. Besides I don’t want to be working when I’m 75 years old. I want to enjoy my retirement 🙂

I was signing up with Mint, but it came up and told me that my bank (a credit union) is not supported through Mint. I need to ask my bank about it. Not sure what to do. I think I would like it from what I see and from the advice that I’m getting from this blog.

Being on this list, talking to other folks on the BB path

coming up with fun little contests that challenge our ability to improve on what we’re doing, focusing on a goal that I really Really REALLY want, and commiserating here when I feel temptation’s pull, hopefully before I get pulled too far. This sense of community (and benevolent peer pressure) has kept me on the straight and narrow for the last 18 months.

One of the fun, but unexpected things which has come up in the last few months or so, is that the word “when” is creeping into our vocabulary. Such as “when we are finally out of debt, we’ll be able to go do such-and-such”. And “when we finally pay off the house, we’ll be in a good position to go this-n-that”. It’s like our subconscious selves are finally on board with what our conscious minds are trying to accomplish. Just the other day I was cleaning house (a rarity for us) and it was a moment when I was done with one room and moving to the next. I looked up and “saw” the house – the whole of it, the structure of it, the soundness of it (she ain’t pretty, but she’s solid), and I thought “in less than five years, we’ll own this place outright. Wow.” I just stood there a moment, soaking in that idea. Then I got back to my vacuuming. That’s what keeps my gazelle going.

Like most new adventures

my recent path of following the Markuz plan started with a bang and a lot of enthusiasm. January and February were low-expense months which made sticking to the budget fairly easy and fun. With a end of year bonus from work, tax returns, etc. I was able to make a lot of traction towards Baby Step 2 which was exciting.
March is starting out as the true test to what life on the BB plan will really look like. New clothes and shoes for the growing 10-year old, medical bills (smallish but unpredictable), car maintenance expenses, summer camp registration expenses for summer childcare, all of these expenses are coming in at the same time. I’ve been setting aside money each month for these things but was expecting some of it to come later in the year giving me time to save up a bit more. The budget is still good, but saying “no” has started to become a bit repetative. Last time I did the BB plan I got through Step 2 and then lost steam, over time I fell off track and ended up going back to my old ways. I’m selling my ‘fun’ summer car soon which will wipe out my debt snowball completely.
Once I get to Baby Step 3 I’m thinking of asking my employer if they would be able to do a payroll deduction and deposit money into a Money Market Account so that it’s not even in my working budget each month.
How do you all stay focused over the long haul especially getting through Step 3?

So you may remember my fiasco with the van from last week

My comment was about the importance of an emergency fund. Well the van got fixed….free fix even. So here is part 2.
Last night my son and his friends were playing tag in the back yard…in the DARK! My hubby was out there with them. There’s a knock at the back door and my oldest tells me that my youngest is bleeding. Long story short, he collided with another kid and blood was gushing out his nose. No lacerations thankfully. When the bleeding stops I see clear fluid coming out. Call the advice nurse (really for just do’s and don’ts) and she has he needs to be seen. Clear fluid coming out can be a bad sign. So it was off to ER we went (it was 9:20pm). Thankfully he is fine, no reason for alarm. MD just thinks the impact was so hard that it made his nose run. But she said it was a good thing to bring him in and get his looked at.
We have pretty good health insurance (thank God) but the emergency fund will come in handy to pay the co-insurance. We have to pay 10% of the visit. I don’t think we even have a ER copay. Guess we will find out.

Ashley you are not alone

I often wonder is William himself could come to my house and live on my budget and STILL give the same advice as he does. I like William and his principals, but I wonder how they can really apply to me. I don’t have some huge snowball debt that when I’ve paid it all off, have all this leftover money to stick into 401K’s and college funds. I am with you. Every time I’ve listened his callers make at least $15,000 more a year than my husband does. And those callers who make that much more than him, are single or married with NO kids.
It’s easy for me to get discouraged when I listen to his shows, but I remember my goals and plug away at them day by day!

Yes, this is an excellent recommendation …

a 12 step program for each of you. As Sharon said, even if he doesn’t go, YOU need it for support. There is a wonderful 12 step program called Celebrate Recovery. Here is their website and you can find out if there are any meetings in your area …. There is even a movie coming out next month that features CR. It is a cool deal.

About bank accounts. My sil (dh’s sister) had a bank account she let her dh have access to. After cleaned her out for a night of drinking, she went to the bank. They said she could either close that account or they could put a flag on that account stating the she was the only one who could get money out of it. That is what she did so she wouldn’t have to start over with a new account. This is something to keep in mind. You could have it so that your dh could deposit money but not get any out, if you decided to let him have some kind of access.

Classic gambling addict

While I agree with marriage counseling, I recommend a 12 step program on addiction more. If you can’t encourage him to go, you go to learn how best to operate with a person in his condition.

Me too!

Also, be very careful about combining accounts if he is up to no good. I added my ex-husband to my accounts back in my younger (stupid) days and he cleaned them out and most of it was put there before I was even with him! Once his name is on it he can walk into the bank and help himself and there is nothing you can do about it!

Your so right Deborah

the temper tantrum and acting like a baby is the hardest part of this. He’s a 48 year old big baby. His computer died over the weekend and he wanted to borrow mine, I let him sign in one time..after that I changed the password. He wanted to check his powerball numbers yesterday and I wouldn’t let him on. He had to wait until he read it in the newspaper. As long as I give into this attitude the longer it will go on. He would never go along with me handling all the money in the house. I opened up a savings account for our youngest son in our sons name and mine. He asked him how much money he had in it, he said “I don’t know ask mom.. he told him “you let your mother have too much control over your money”… ah… he’s 8!!!! So it is very frustrating!!!

Which is another reason

I recommend combining funds even though she might have a really big, growing tantrum baby on her hands when she revokes his debit card, and relegates him to a weekly or monthly cash blow fund. She will at least know the bills are paid, food for the family, gas for automobiles etc is being covered. Gambling and their associated debts will have to be paid out of his blow money. You don’t have to say a word to dissuade his habits, especially a gambling one, it is a very cash conscious enterprise where debt is strongly discouraged.

Again, the hardest part will be the the temper tantrum and ill spirit he will display in an effort to wear you down, shake you down, extort more money… You have to be able to stand firm in this.