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Hello! This is my first time visiting this board and I love it! I would like to have someone work on my budget if possible. My info is included in this post and everything is figured mnthly:
Your income: $2752
Dh/SO's income: $1504
Other income: $568
Debts-Please list minimum payment, amt you usually pay, balance, interest rate. If you are past due or have special financing (0% interest), please indicate that as well.
~Car payment #1: $400, $400, $23,276, 3.99%
~Car payment #2: $300, $300...no info with me
~Student loan: $200, $200, $21,010, can't find interest rate
~Student loan: $64...no info with me
~Credit card #1: Visa: $60, $200, $2015, 11.5%
~Credit card #2: Discover 1: $100. $100, $4,576, 11.5%
~Credit card #3: Discover 2: $100, $100, $5,316, 18.99%
~Credit card #4:
~Credit card #5:
~Credit card #6:
~Other debt #1 Beneficial: no minimum until 2010 but we pay $50/month...no other info with me
~Other debt #2 Medical bills: I owe $550 and I pay what I can per month...usually $50
~Other debt #3 ____________:
Goals: (examples: new car, baby, to be a SAHM, vacation, retirement, etc)
I want to save for:
1. Kids college
3. Vacation (I can dream!)
If you make up a budget in Excel you can do this yourself really easy. I made up my own spreadsheet in Excel and then input the numbers and it calculates it for me.
If you want to do it yourself let me know and I'll e-mail you my spreadsheet and you can input the numbers yourself, it's not difficult, but a bit time consuming with everything you have, but once you do it once you will have it for future months so it shouldn't take you too long past the first time.
I will say I'd recommend you lower your car payments or see if you can get rid of them all together by paying more to pay them off or getting rid of them and getting into a cheaper vehicle for awhile, but $700 a month on vehicles is pretty high IMO. I'd highly recommend getting rid of at least one if not both of the car payments and also putting extra towards paying off your credit cards...especially the 18.99% that's gonna eat you alive with that high of a balance on it or see about transfering that to a lower or zero interest credit card.
Last edited by SpazTaz; October 7th, 2010 at 05:10 PM.
Thanks for the advice. My DH is going to call our bank to see about combining those two Discover cards into one with the bank since they have a lower APR. The Discover cards had 0% APR when we started but that was just a few month thing. Right now my DH is laid off and supposed to be called back by the first of they year so we are trying to make it on my salary and his unemployment. I am impressed that I have been able to pinch pennies enough that I have not had to touch our savings with him being unemployed! Anyway, I appreciate any help and yes I would like to see that Excel thing.
My recommendations would be to axe the current cell phone bill as soon as you can. You can get a prepaid plan with unlimited talking and texting for $90/month for 2 phones from a company like Straight Talk, which works off of Verizon towers, so anywhere there is Verizon coverage, there's ST coverage. They have unlimited mobile web, but it is awful, but you have to decide if that's worth $50/month to you when you're trying to meet your financial goals. There are many prepaid companies, I just mentioned one of the more popular ones. I think Walmart may have just came out with their own prepaid phone plans for a little cheaper.
I typically advocate for paying off your highest interest rate CC first, but if you combine your Discover cards like you're planning to, I would really encourage you to try to get your Visa card paid off as quickly as possible. By my calculations, you have about $600 not accounted for to spend extra on your bills. If you feel your savings is adequately funded, I would put as much of that $600 as you can into your Visa card. Try to cut back your food budget by $25/week, which will add up to $100/month. So take the $600 leftover, the $100 saved from groceries and then the $200 you normally pay and there is $900/month and that bill will be gone in 3 months. On the third month, you'll owe roughly $300, so pay that and then pay off your medical bill, which should be reduced to about $450 by then.
Then I would snowball that $950 along with the $200 you currently pay into the Discover card bill until it's gone. This should take about 9 months. So if you can stick with this budget, within 1 year, your credit cards will be gone.
I would then roll that $1150 into your car payments. Do the highest interest rate first, then the lowest. Then move on to your student loans, doing the same thing - higher interest rate is paid first. The only real reason I recommend paying the cars off before the student loans is because your car is depreciating in value so much every day that if you ever come into a situation where you need to sell it or trade it in, you want to be as far from upside down on the balances as possible.
This debt reduction plan will take a few years, but it's definitely doable and especially if your DH finds a job that pays well, you can get it knocked out even faster.
The best place I found to do a budget is called Free Personal Finance Software, Budget Software, Online Money Management and Budget Planner | Mint.com its free and safe and helps me a ton! you put your bank account info in and it looks through it and compiles a budget for you based on your spending habits. YOu will have to adjust certain things though because sometimes it might not recognize that type of shopping it was like grocery/pharmacy. But its 100% safe you cant transfer money/depsoit/withdrawal money from the site. But I love it.