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Hi all! I'm Meghan (28) married to my hubby (29) for coming up on 10 years now. Our "one" derful son will be turning 9 in October and will be starting 3rd grade in a couple of weeks. We also have 3 dogs and 2 cats. And I'm the host on the Pets board here at JM.
Anyway, we are on a great path with our finances out of debt 100% (except for our house) and are HUGE supporters and believers in the Dave Ramsey plan.
So anyway I thought I'd pop over here and see if there's any advice I can give on what worked for us and if there's any extra tips I can pick up from others too. Hope to post with you guys soon!
I've been reading through your advice and you really know what you're talking about! I'm a bit obsessed with budgeting. We are working on getting all of our debt paid off. We are getting so close and it feels SOOOOO good! BTW - I LOVE Dave Ramsey too!
Well we've been doing this for a couple of years now. We not only have no credit card debt but we got rid of all of our credit cards closed every account, we paid off our cars and refuse to ever get another loan for anything (other than possibly a house) including cars ever again, we pay all of our bills (utilities at this point), have life insurance on both of us and our son, make our mortgage payment, put money into a college account for our son, money into savings, and money into a pet account (for animal medical expenses) monthly, and have our emergency fund and 6 month's worth of bills in cash in the bank. That doesn't happen by accident that's for sure LoL.
I advocate for no loans (other than a home loan) an no credit cards. Many find that crazy but it hasn't failed us yet.
Where you are is where we want to be soon. We honestly aren't too far off and we've paid so much off in the last few months. DH started making more money and we kept doing exactly what we were doing, if not even living a little tighter, in order to get it all paid off. Come next June we will have EVERYTHING paid off except for one car and our mortgage. We actually could do it sooner, but DH may be getting into a job that could be a bit risky and bring in less money at first so we want to be prepared with as much savings as possible so as to not get back into any debt at all. Right now we are also looking into refinancing our mortgage into a 15 year loan because the rates are so low.
I'd skip refinancing your house and just pay more on the principal. Thing is on refinancing it's never "free", there's always fees tacked on some how someway so you end up paying more. If you simply put yourself on a 15 year plan for your house (as long as you don't have pre payment penalties) you'll do better in the long run.
And that's GREAT about your success! It's absolutely wonderful to have that buffer so when something breaks you're not scrambling or worrying if you're going to fix the car or pay the electric bill. We had to do a 60,000 mile tune up on my car and do registration on it and everything total was around $1,200...not that I enjoy paying that LoL and we'll be spending the next couple of months building our fund back up but at least it was there. Then this past weekend our A/C compressor broke. Well we live in Southern Arizona it's 110-115 here right now A/C is not really a want but a need at this point and it was $1,600 to fix. Again I'm pissed about having to pay it but at least we don't have to worry about how we're going to eat or pay other bills we just have to tighten the purse strings a bit to replenish that account. It has made life SO much easier that's for sure! I admit though those credit card companies are terrible. Discover was the WORST. I was on the phone for 35 minutes trying to cancel that card and close the account LoL they just didn't want to give it up. They finally did but man they are ruthless!
The fees associated with refinancing are what we are most concerned about. We're just doing research right now to see what the options are.
I totally understand about the heat. We live in Vegas and it hit a high of 117 a few weeks ago. My dh came home one night while we were out of town and the ac didn't work. One good thing about renting is that he just made a call to our landlord. LOL. (We rent down here, but own our house where we moved from. It's being rented out right now - funny thing is, our tenants called a few days later to let us know that the ac was making a funny noise so then WE had to send a repair man. ) We get the benefits of renting and owning, but also the negatives about renting and owning.
Any expense that is unexpected can be so not fun, but having that cash in savings is SUCH a relief. That's where we are now, but we were on the other side at one time and it is miserable. Debt and financial woes put a strain on every part of life.