I start this blog post with the letter "B" word: Budgeting. B and I are making 2013 the year we become debt free. The two things we have been paying off these past couple years has been student loans and his truck payment. We hoPe to accomplish our goal by March of this year!!
We have been following Dave Ramsey's, Financial Peace University. Below are the baby steps he suggests, broken into very small steps. It has really helped us to see the big picture.
Expanded Baby Steps:
0.1 Commit to NEVER borrow $$$ EVER for ANYTHING other than possibly a house
0.2 Talk with spouse and get him/her on the same page as you concerning finances
0.3 Do a written budget
0.4 Temporarily stop all retirement contributions
0.5 Get current on the basics (You MUST have Food, Utilities, Shelter, Basic Transportation)
0.6 Amputate "toys" (bikes, boats, ATV's etc) if they will keep you from completing the snowball within 12 months
0.7 Cut lifestyle (Cut CATV, Cellphone, Regular phone "extras", Internet, Eating out, etc) and/or take a second job if $1000 EF will take more than 30-90 days. (depending on income)
0.8 Get current on ALL bills.
1.0 Save $1000 in Baby Emergency Fund (EF)
1.1 Chop up CC's. (You have an EF now, no NEED to keep those CC's!!!)
1.2 Get Health Insurance NOW (chances of getting sick w/major medical bills are larger than that of death), especially if you have children.
1.3 Get Life Insurance NOW if you have debt/your family couldn't make it financially if you died. Especially important if you have children! Social Insecurity only provides a small amount of coverage if you have dependents.
1.4 Amputate cars that you can't pay off within 24 months (you have an EF to fix "bondo buggy" if something should happen)
1.5 Consider raising insurance deductables to $500 or $1000 and dropping full coverage on paid for "bondo buggy" (you have an EF ya know)
1.6 Draw up a will.
1.7 Get Long-Term Disability Insurance.
2.0 Do debt snowball, paying all your debts from lowest BALANCE to highest.
2.1 You can take your first vacation since finding Dave if you can pay cash for it. (no using the EF!!!)
3.0 Save 3-6 months EXPENSES in EF (FFEF)
3.1 Start replacement car fund.
3.2 Save up 20% for home purchase OR pay down existing mortgage to the point you can drop PMI.
3.3 Start furniture or other non-essential stuff replacement fund.
3.4 Move up in car if you still feel the need to (must pay cash for it!, you can only buy NEW if you have a net worth over a million dollars)
4.0 Start contributing 15% of your paycheck to retirement.
5.0 Save for kids college fund.
6.0 Pay off the house early.
7.0 Live like no one else since you have lived like no one else! Give, Build Wealth and Have Fun!
Let me know your thoughts. How do you kep yourself/ family in budget?
Thanks for reading,
TODAY'S INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE:
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see".(Hebrews 11:1 NIV)