On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: February 2015 Check-in

@Elyse Yeah, that's the annual rate. If you put $500/month towards it, you'll end up paying ~$200 in interest over 8 months (http://www.thecalculatorsite.com/finance/calculators/credit-card-payment-calculators.php). If you did use your savings, you could then repay yourself that $500 each month and not have to pay interest, so I guess it would come down to how much you're willing to pay to keep your savings account intact and how likely you think you are to need that savings within the next 8 months. Even without using savings, $500 will make a sizable dent each month and it sounds like you've got a good plan for dealing with things. And hey, trip to Cancun!

Posted on March 5, 2015 at 6:40 pm 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: February 2015 Check-in

Savings Emergency fund – goal of $6300 December: $1400 January: $1500 February: $1600 $100/month for the foreseeable future. Normal Travel fund – goal of $infinity December: $0 January: $150 February: $300 $150/month is the goal, looking towards a trip to a family wedding in December, and longer term towards a cruise next year. Japan travel fund – goal of $8000 by September December: $500 January: $1200 February: $2600 $700/month in here, and making up the rest with bonus money and part of the extra paycheck that comes in May. I was able to add an extra $700 last month from a bonus check, and this month will see another extra $1000 from a bonus. (We really don't get that many bonuses, they just come all at once) Debt Student loans December: $18933 January: $17632 February: $17317 $350/month. The goal is to have them gone by the end of 2016, and with stock and stuff vesting this year, that looks possible! I'm getting a ~7500 bonus in March, which will get split a few ways - $1000 for the laptop that I just bought because my computer died, $1000 towards Japan, $??? towards taxes, because we did a lot of weird stock selling last year to buy our house and we're definitely going to owe money, and the rest towards student loans.

Posted on March 4, 2015 at 10:02 pm 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: January 2015 Check-in

Savings Emergency fund – goal of $6300 August: $967 September: $1100 December: $1400 January: $1500 $100/month for the foreseeable future. Normal Travel fund – goal of $infinity August: $743 September: $893 December: $0 January: $150 $150/month is the goal, looking towards a possible road trip to see family in the midwest this summer, and longer term towards a cruise next year. Japan travel fund – goal of $8000 by September December: $500 January: $1200 $700/month in here, and making up the rest with bonus money and part of the extra paycheck that comes in May. Soon - today? - I'll be adding another $1000 from a bonus check. Debt Student loans August: $19679 September: $19503 December: $18933 January: $17632 $350/month, and we just sent another $1000 towards it a few days ago. The goal is to have them gone by the end of 2016, and with stock and stuff vesting this year, that looks possible! Everything is pretty much on autopilot now, which is great but kind of boring. The big goals for the year are Japan and student loans, and a March bonus should help both of those out.

Posted on February 4, 2015 at 11:31 am 0

On One Is the Loneliest Number, So Find a Cell Phone Family Plan

My husband and I are both on Net10 prepay. It's $40/month per person, and it uses AT&T's system. We each get 2.5 gigs of data and unlimited everything else, which seems like plenty and we've never run out. The downside is that you have to bring your own phone, but we did the math and we broke even after 6 months (bought new but not the latest model from ebay). It's been 2 years now and we've saved ~$750 by not going with the $150 for both of us verizon plan that seemed pretty standard when we last looked.

Posted on January 22, 2015 at 1:31 pm 0

On Friday Estimate

@roboticllama Also, if you aren't checking the big budget thread for new comments - I'll repost here (it took a while to put together, I really want people to see it :P ) I put the first 49 responses together (I'll do the last 2 soon), separating the categories as best I could - you can find it all here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14FeoUJybZiyB7oascLcOpSUbjDlCcQAoHZLyjsnhnbs/edit?usp=sharing The main tab is locked from making changes, but the rest of it is open, so if there's some neat chart or something that you find, I'd love to see it there. A couple of interesting things that came just from inputting data: Everyone listed their rent/mortgage - average was $889 23 of the 49 respondents are paying off student loans - average was $383 9 billfolders listed pets as a category, spending an average of $73/month.

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 2:11 pm 1

On Open Thread: Share Your 2015 Budget

I put the first 49 responses together (I'll do the last 2 soon), separating the categories as best I could - you can find it all here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14FeoUJybZiyB7oascLcOpSUbjDlCcQAoHZLyjsnhnbs/edit?usp=sharing The main tab is locked from making changes, but the rest of it is open, so if there's some neat chart or something that you find, I'd love to see it there. A couple of interesting things that came just from inputting data: Everyone listed their rent/mortgage - average was $889 23 of the 49 respondents are paying off student loans - average was $383 9 billfolders listed pets as a category, spending an average of $73/month.

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 2:07 pm 0

On Friday Estimate

Well, I just talked to the mechanic who has my car, and it looks like my estimate for this weekend is about $700 on getting my car back to normal. It's not totally unexpected, but it will definitely encourage a low/no spend weekend in other areas. Next weekend, we might be getting a new hvac system, so this will seem like nothing! -.-

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 1:02 pm 0

On Open Thread: Share Your 2015 Budget

This is for two people. Our take-home is 6200/month, after 401k, stock purchasing, and health insurance. Fixed expenses: Mortgage $1100 Student Loans $350 Car $230 Property Tax $190 Phone $83 TV/Internet $85 Electric $80 (at least until our heater broke) Home insurance $72 Water $60 ($2250 total) Stuff that isn't as fixed: Food $575 (Groceries $225, Lunches $180, Eating out $170) Personal fun money $200 ($100 each) Gas $190 Dates $100 Dry cleaning $40 Pet food $50 Household shopping $70 ($1225 total) Savings/non-monthly stuff. This is mostly stuff we save for monthly, but might only spend sporadically throughout the year. Roth IRA $1000 Japan fund $700 Home improvement $500 (now mostly for a new furnace -.-) Misc. travel $150 Birthday/Christmas gifts $125 Emergency Fund $100 ($2575 total) Left over - $150 For stuff like car insurance/maintenance, normal medical stuff, normal vet visits, and wedding/baby gifts, we have an account which we fund with the "extra" paychecks when we get 3/month instead of the typical 2. This works out just about right, and it keeps me from having to worry about all of the relatively small things that come up. I track everything in Mint, which has worked really well for how I visualize and plan.

Posted on January 14, 2015 at 12:04 pm 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: December 2014 Check-in

Late to the party, but last night we figured out our budget for 2015, so now seems like a good time to get back to doing the check in. Savings Emergency fund – goal of $6300 August: $967 September: $1100 December: $1400 I was planning on doing more than 100/month in the new year, but we have a pretty good buffer in just our normal checking accounts, so this will be 100/month for the foreseeable future. Normal Travel fund – goal of $infinity August: $743 September: $893 December: $0 This is good! We used our travel money for a trip to New Orleans/Dallas, and now we're restocking it again. 150/month is the goal, looking towards a possible road trip to see family in the midwest this summer. Japan travel fund - goal of $8000 by September December: $500 Starting in January, we'll be putting $700/month in here, and making up the rest with bonus money and part of the extra paycheck that comes in May. Debt Student loans August: $19679 September: $19503 December: $18933 It didn't happen last year, but this year for sure we'll be putting a little more towards this each month. The goal is to have them gone by the end of 2016, and with stock and stuff vesting next year, that looks possible!

Posted on January 7, 2015 at 10:42 am 0

On Monday Check-in

@Stina We always get our Angel Tree tags right before Thanksgiving, and then spend Black Friday hunting down deals for them. If you can get the timing to work out right, it's a great way to get nice stuff without spending a ton.

Posted on December 8, 2014 at 4:25 pm 0