but having worked in loan servicing where my job was basically handling the escrow on mortgages, I just wanted to throw in my two cents. I would very carefully read over that escrow statement. If anything doesn’t make sense call the mortgage company and ask them to explain it. That is a really large overage (anything over $500 was questioned in my job) and has to have a pretty significant change in something. If you have any feeling that something isn’t right question it now. I have seen too many mortgage payments become almost unaffordable due to escrow issues.
They have possibly just completed an audit at the mortgage company or something like that. Personally, I would hold it in case homeowners ins. goes up in the next year. I almost never goes down or remains the same for us. Or …. you could throw it at the current debt you’re paying on. Or, thirdly, use it to boost your baby emergency fund.
We got a surprise in the mail yesterday, a happy one. We got two letters from our mortgage company; one was a letter telling us that we’d been overcharged for our escrow, and would be receiving a refund under separate cover. The second letter was the refund itself, for over $1200. WOW! I could enjoy getting more checks like that! But it doesn’t seem like “real” money. I know how escrow works, that you pay over and above the P&I each month and that overage is held for other items like insurance and taxes. But in almost 20 years of being a mortgage holder, I’ve never received a refund like this. Was this just a screw-up at the mortgage company and they’re fixing it? Or should we set this aside in the possibility that the refund itself is a screw-up? While I can sure think of nice ways to spend an unexpected $1200, I don’t want to spend it if we’re just going to have to give it back soon. Thanks all……….
By gosh I’ve had an accounting degree longer than she’s been alive! It is her math that has shorted pay checks and caused problems in all OUR budgets—HER math, not ours. If she’d do HER job the way she was hired to do instead of insisting that everyone else change their budgets to save her one minute of work there wouldn’t be a problem.
Dh says the only reason he hasn’t torn her a new one is because he’s a gentleman, but he says that every time she pulls out a charge card to pay for her lunch he wants to say “If you would budget properly you wouldn’t NEED to use a charge card to eat.”
Anyway, she’s having to put all her little schemes back to the original system and she is, from the company grapevine, on probation for the next 6 months to a year. So I guess her Karma will take care of it.
that sounds like a heckuva cold, and a heckuva mess at your DH’s employment! Glad the comptroller is being reined in. Sounds like she was really a tad too full of herself, particularly when her wonderful new program wasn’t working for anyone else. And the mistakes? That’s ridiculous. It’s one thing to shove through a new program that no one likes. It’s entirely another to consistently mess up everyone’s paycheck, repeatedly. Here’s hoping that your DH’s employer can get things back on track quickly, and that whoever steps into that open position is more competent, and more of a team player, than the previous person.
I’ve been down with the crud for about 8 days now, ds has had it a day longer than me, but is finally back to work. Me I’m conscious, that’s an improvement. But that isn’t why I decided to check emails today (over 1,000 to view, maybe later. Cough, cough.
I fired up the computer to actually read the email dh had told me he forwarded home, so I could see it for myself.
As all of you know back at the first of the year they changed our paydays with no warning from every other Friday to the 7th and 22nd. It caused all sorts of financial problems for all the hourly employees and the comptroller dug in her heels saying we’d all be better off and we were being “childish” yes she actually called the employees childish for being upset about having to come up with three mortgage payments out of one paycheck…don’t get me started.
She insisted everyone’s paychecks would be “bigger.” Never mind it was because there would be more hours on the paychecks. Fast forward through the months. EVERY, yes EVERY, single paycheck dh and ds received from that from paycheck up until the one received 3/22 was WRONG!!! Not just a $1 or two wrong, but sometimes hundreds wrong. Overtime was floated as much as five weeks, two different paychecks dh got shorted four hours each time period of straight time, on those same paychecks ds would get his full straight time, but his overtime wouldn’t show up. Every payday the line would form at the HR office looking for corrections to the screwed up checks. The correction of course wouldn’t show up until the next payday, and of course then there was another error.
It got so the HR person would leave early on paydays and take a vacation day or have another reason to be out of the office for a few days after payday. It’s been EXTREMELY frustrating. The whole time the comptroller has been rude and saying everyone was over reacting that if people would just “budget their money properly” there wouldn’t be a problem.
It got to the point I was ready to go to the office and call a meeting myself. To tell me I don’t know how to do a proper budget was not only insulting, but down right fighting words.
Dh had been on a committee that met with the owner last month and they explained to the owner all the problems that were happening, and how some of us work on the DR plan (which the owner is very familiar with) and how having a paycheck show up $360 short messed that budget up royally (yep, that was dh it caused us to have to pull money out of bef for the third time in a row). The owner said he’d check into it.
The 22nd’s check was 4 straight hours short AGAIN. Plus 5 hours missing overtime, ds was short 3 hours overtime, and they worked the exact same hours! The HR person has been out of the office until today.
Last Thursday they held an employee appreciation lunch, the comptroller was noticeably missing. The subject of the payroll screw-ups came up at the meeting again. The owner said to hang in there, he is dealing with it.
No, the comptroller wasn’t fired, but she was demoted, and we are as of this Friday, back to every other Friday payday’s!!!!!! Supposedly all the missing “shortages” will be on everyone’s checks this Friday!!! YES!!!!
The email he forwarded me was a simple statement the problem had been fixed and we were now back on every other Friday paydays, starting with this Friday’s check. YES!!! Cough, cough, shouldn’t have screetched.
I have finally paid off ‘the small’ student loan (just about $20K). It’s bittersweet, just waiting for the payment to post, so that I can do my ‘small’ yelp. Time to get focus again, the ‘big one’ is gonna take everything in me. I have a goal to have them both paid off before 10 years.
Although, I don’t post often, your support and encouragement has been PRICELESS!!!!!!
Well, it is official! I’ve paid off our first personal credit card today!!!!!!!!! $1,419.47!!!
We started out on 8/1/06 with 21 different debts and today 6/5/07 we have only 8 debts left and two of those (2006 taxes) are new! I am so excited! Granted those are our biggest debts, but boy what a good feeling!
I know how you feel….I applied for the teacher forgiveness loan in December 2015 and on January 18,2016 I received word that they had forgiven $17,500.00 of my student loans. I still have right around $3500 to pay…but it’s a big relief. I was thinking about getting my masters but now with that lifted off of my shoulders I don’t want to get back into debt for that amount again.
Good job. Keep up the hard work….the light will only brighter as you get closer to your goal.
We’ve paid off a few small ones but nothing that big; that must feel so wonderful! I’m sure you’ll knock down your next debt too. It’ll take longer than we want (they always do) but wow it’ll feel great when you get there. Here’s looking forward to seeing your email that you killed that one as well! Another tombstone in the Debt Graveyard!
fter 3 1/2 years, I have finally paid off ‘the small’ student loan (just about$20K). It’s bittersweet, just waiting for the payment to post, so that I can do my ‘small’ yelp. Time to get focus again, the ‘big one’ is gonna take everything in me. I have a goal to have them both paid off before 10 years.
Although, I don’t post often, your support and encouragement has been PRICELESS!!!!!!
A loud THANK YOU from Tiffani in MD.
which is too late to pay on the IRS bill, but it will do great things for the bef when it hits. Ds offered to pay our IRS bill for us, but you know what DR says about borrowing from friends and family. So we’ve worked hard and I think we have it all covered. It’s amazing how things keep working out that way. Thank you Lord.
Out in the garden area the grapes are starting to bud out, so our next big project is to get the birds moved out of the garden before they hurt the spring growth. Plus of course it will do me no good to plant anything while they are in there. So maybe this week we’ll get the necessary pen repairs done and my feathered darlings moved. They’ve done a tremendous job on weeding and fertilizing the garden all winter, so now it’s time to move them out.
Today and tomorrow are suppose to be “fraidy hole” days around here So I’m keeping a close eye on the skies. The wind is already really whipping around. I am most thankful I have a basement here in tornado alley.
For those of you who don’t know I’m an old hand at tornadoes having actually be in seven (which is seven too many), but I’ve learned things along the way in life, especially where they are concerned and have abuilt in radar for them. I get the shakes about an hour before they start talking about them on the television. So we know when to hit the fraidy hole.
I just posted on my blog this morning a story about one of my tornado adventures. It happened years ago, and now it’s a fun story to tell, about being at a historical re-enactment when one hit.
that we were back to a good paycheck cycle I spent the better part of two days doing the budget for an every two week pay cycle from now until the end of January 2014. By then our income should change dramatically because that is the first month we will both start receiving our social security checks and feeding the gazelle to make it sleek and fast. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to that!
Goodness it is so much easier to do the budget when you KNOW your base pay and exactly when the paycheck will arrive. It was a fun project for a math nerd, such as myself, to do when she is needing to sit still for long periods of time.
Of course it will be tweaked on a regular basis when we sell something or otherwise earn a bit of extra income, but those tweaks should all be good ones. I tried to be very thorough on getting all the planned on expenses recorded, including building the bef back up—It’s currently very low due to all the paycheck drama and this week’s IRS check going out.
I also had a thought on a new way to possibly create more income, but that is still in the planning stages so I won’t bore you with the details at this point.
I took advantage of needing to “rest” a lot to work some on my blog. I’ve started a new series on Mind Your Pennies on the basics of gardening. I’ve challenged myself to make this the year we go to year round gardening and in order to do so made a public declaration of it on my blog. I’m also inviting others to join me in the journey. I’m including details on how to do it every step of the way. I’m hoping it will encourage others to cut their grocery costs for healthier eating by gardening even if it’s just a single herb or tomato plant in a flower pot.
but meats and dairy need to be kept around 40 degrees. Remember our ancestors didn’t have refrigeration and depended on spring houses, root cellars and in some parts of the country ice houses.
We did our weekly budget and paid all the bills for the month in advance. We have spent the last week getting a lot of stuff done on the house. Most of it came in way under budget. The lord has really blessed us lately! We were able to give money to our son’s school and St Jude’s this week too. Before we were barely able to tithe. We also were able to pay $800 for a old debt my ex owed my grandma. Even though it wasn’t my debt we felt we should. It has been a good week. I am glad we found Total money Makeover! Everyday I wake up feeling those years weren’t that long after all and TOTALLY worth it. I am so glad we stuck it out. Thank you all for keeping me going day after day.
But I do have experience with teens and Visa Buxx specifically and I wanted to chime in on your question. Visa Buxx worked wonderfully for my two oldest children when they travelled to Whistler to attend Camp of Champions as well as when they each travelled twice with Student Ambassadors to Europe as well as Australia and New Zealand. There was never a hitch in any of these countries nor with any vendors when they used their Visa Buxx cards. I loved it because I could load the cards anytime I wanted and I could monitor their purchases online as well. It definitely offered me peace of mind with them having these cards in their possessions each time they travelled away from me when they were younger. Hth.
When I was mystery shopping nearly all our local banks had a parent/student checking account that was totally electronic. No checks, strictly debit card (if payday loans online) with a pin, you put in how much per week you felt safe about there at home and they could use it where ever they were. I’d check my local banks for such a card, then you can just make tiny deposits for so much a whack and since they are pin based it helps cut down the theft.
The ones I audited also had an automatic over ride on them that kept them from getting overdrawn.
Send a check register with her and then it will be a learning experience for her. Mark, who is trying to remember where the south west campus of OSU is in OK—dh went to OSU ds/ OU—battle time around here. LOL.
A Roth IRA is not tax deductible and the money grows tax free. A Traditional IRA has a Required Minimum Distribution (about 3%) after you turn 70 1/2. the Roth has no RMD. The basic math is that both will provide the same amount of money. The Roth has the advantage of no RMD. If the market happens to be down, you don’t have to take out any money. You can google IRA and learn more.
My husband and I took the FPU classes in 2011. FIVE YEARS ago, and we are *STILL* trying to get debt free. He had a disc replacement, a crap job that he couldn’t leave due to needing the medical insurance for the TEN surgeries he has had in the past 2.5 years, and mucho unpaid time off for all of this. No insurance for some, no vacation and no disability for all, and child support the entire time. We have blown through our Baby Step #1 so many times I have lost count. MANY times I wanted to give up, but I strive for the day that I can holler out that we are debt free. We were kind of close until he had the multiple surgeries. We had to pay our deductible *and* co-insurance before the insurance company would start giving any benefits, so for 3 years, we had to come up with (and are STILL paying off) $5,000 per year. Its hard to come up with $15,000 when you are off work because of the surgeries. So, finally my husband got a new job and for the lousy 60 days we had no insurance (probation period) he ended up having to go to the ER *twice in one week* for kidney stones. The $8,000 bill for the ER and the $440.00 bill to read a CT scan just arrived last week, so we must add that to the pile. Normally, that would have thrown me to the edge of the cliff, but I have changed my attitude because one day I *will* be debt free. I also understand your tax issues. I live in Illinois and my husband works in Missouri. It *used* to be, if you worked in MO and lived in IL, you got a tax break in IL for the money you paid to MO and you “broke even” for IL. Last year, IL dropped that break so we are now paying income tax in MO and IL. What does this mean? It means we owed IL $600 last year and $757 this year. We do not get federal refunds, so yeah. We *are* planning to move to MO, but selling a home in the most broke and crooked state in the Nation is not easy. I’m hoping we can make a small profit to put a down payment on our new place, but we aren’t far enough along to see what our place is worth. Moving to MO will help us with the tax break and will put us closer to his job, which is now an hour and a half drive, one way.
So, how do I do it? Well, once in a blue moon, I vent to this list. I cry. I stress. I worry. I get angry and I fight. My husband and I are by no means “gazelle intense” so that keeps us back a little bit, but he watched his mom and dad say “one day we will go here” or “one day we will have this”, then his mom got Leukemia and died very young. So someday never came, and he doesn’t want to live for someday and watch today fade away. Its all in how you see it and how fast you want to be debt free.
Our big issue will be with retirement. I didn’t work most of my life, so I have no Social Security to use, and it will be hard to live on his alone. Right now we have *zero* retirement. Yep, no 401(k), no savings, nothing. I’m hoping to be debt free by August of this year and then we will start on BS#3. It has been a long, hard, tough road, but if it is really what you want, you somehow find the will to keep going.
Hang in there and continue on. I remember posting about how I can’t get past BS#1 many times, and now, I’m so close to starting BS#3 I can actually see it!! 🙂
Use this list. It is a sanity saver. 🙂
Yes, it is incredibly frustrating not to be “getting ahead” (i.e., having the $1k in the bank, plus more for debt snowball).
But then you realize that you’re not $1k more in debt for emergency 1, or another $1k more from emergency 2.
Sometimes it just takes patience. You chip away at it (maybe making a $40 payment instead of a $20 payment) and one day it’s down low enough (like $100 or $200) that you can just take a big breath and pay it all off at once.
Hang in there! I am beyond grateful that we chipped away at it to the point where outside of our car, our debt “minimum payments” are in the $120 a month range. Would I prefer to be debt free since we’re now unemployed? Sure, but that’s not the hand I was dealt, and it’s easier to earn $120 a month than $1000.
One is on the SWOSU campus in OK, one is at the UT texas in Austin, and the other I don’t know yet. (Cheer camp) It is the little things like they go out for FroYo after classes, or get a Starbucks in the morning. Last year she needed a part that broke on her flute. Last year I sent her with cash and 30.00 was stolen. We only budget 30.00 a week so that was alot of the money.
Bank of America does not have the Buzz card anymore 🙁 but I want one that she can check the balance on her phone so that she can keep track, though she is decent at a check register.
We have some real ups and downs here, both in terms of how we’re doing at any given time financially, and how we’re doing at any given time in terms of stress levels, feeling like progress is being made, etc. A month ago I was really super jazzed for the start of April because we were going to have a big hog sale which would bring in almost $5000 worth of sales. That money would then be used to pay for farm bills, feed, fencing, etc. But we didn’t have sufficient sales, and due to state law we have to have the animal sold before it goes to slaughter, so I still have four pigs out there, still eating every day, because they didn’t get sold ahead of time. That cuts my earnings from that big sale, in half. In my pre-DR life, where I would have previously just bought all the same stuff and slapped the difference onto a credit card. During our first year post-DR, I was still tempted to do that but didn’t. Now that we’re 1+ years into DR, it turns my stomach to think that I used to do that. We will put off some purchases, reduce others, work harder to make more sales in other categories, etc etc. In other words, scrounge. Not what I wanted to be doing at 47 years of age, but it’s better than the alternative.
As for taxes, oh, yes, I so totally feel your pain. Not sure if you recall, or perhaps you weren’t on the list then, but about half a year ago I finally bit the bullet and came “out of the ‘I-didn’t-pay-taxes’ closet. I called my accountant, said “ok, here’s the deal”, we did two years’ worth of taxes, and turned them in then waited for the inevitable letters from the IRS about the late penalties. I was having some medical issues during the first year we went late, so we applied for a waiver for those penalties and got some of them waived. But my total bill still came in over $8000. OUCH!!!!!!! I have started paying on that, via a payment plan I proactively proposed to the IRS, and we got our 2012 taxes done early, with a refund expected. We’ll never see it – it’ll go straight towards the amount owed for 2010/2011. That was painful on so many levels, but it had to be done, we did it, we just bit the bullet and went for it. My wallet cries at night now but I sleep better.
You will have setbacks. Guaranteed. You will have moments (or whole freakin’ weeks) of “ok, this has really gotten old, I don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere so why should I even bother?” Or, you’ll have the privilege (!) of going to visit friends and/or family who don’t agree with what you’re doing, don’t see the value in it, don’t see the down-the-road rewards, and will flaunt (with as much enthusiasm as they can muster) how they are living so much better, and you’d silly to not join in the fun. That used to really upset me; sometimes it still does. Folks on the list will recall that I’ve occasionally vented to the group about some friends of ours who are living the high life? The husband of that couple just PAID MONEY to drive around a racetrack for an hour in a Lamborghini. I didn’t want to ask how much he paid for that experience. He’s happy with that “investment” and hey, whatever, it’s his money. But we’ll spend ours differently. If that means we drive a 30 year old truck (which is FINALLY running again), then so be it. If that means I have holes in all my socks, so be it. That %^&$% credit card which just about killed me, is steadily going down. My accountant bill for all that tax work, is steadily going down. My feed bill was paid in full at the end of last year; now I can joke with the feed store folks again about how much I owed, and how long it took to pay off, but I can finally look the owner of the store in the eye without feeling ashamed. That’s worth something.
I agree with the others – go do something nice for yourself today. I choose a slightly different article of clothing when I need to remind myself that I’m a grownup with grown-up responsibilities – I call it “putting on the big girl boots”. Saddle up, lock and load, do whatever it takes to knuckle down and keep trudging along the DR path. Acknowledge the setbacks for what they are: a complete and total pain in the tuckus. But that’s life. Go over/around/under/through it. To quote a recent country song, “if you find yourself going through hell, keep on going!” With the notion that someday you’ll emerge on the other side. And then we’ll get to hear you yell that you’re D-E-B-T–F-R-E-E!!!!!!!!
Some days I just barely make it. Other days I see progress. My advice is to find something lovely about today. A roof over your head, food in the frig, a kid or spouse you love. The money issues will look different each day. Right now you need to just focus on some good about today and let tomorrow worry about itself.
I needed this myself today!
Frustration is a normal stumbling rock on the path to financial freedom. You didn’t get in debt overnight and you won’t get out overnight, but you ARE getting out of it.
I personally have had many BOULDERS along our path, and we are still 18-24 months away from total financial freedom, but I can actually SEE that end by looking back at where we were in January 2012. It’s been a long slow path for us, we’ve suffered so many setbacks it sucks, but each and every time I’ve looked at where we started and can see where we ARE making progress. When we started our debt was HUGE we had 8 charge cards all maxed (one at $42,000), medical and hospital bills, student loan debt and two count them two mortgages. The only thing we didn’t have was a vehicle payment, we had quite literally just paid that off.
Now four years later, which included 18 months of unemployment, when things get tough (kind of like right now) I look at the totals and SEE progress. The medical and hospital bills are gone, Sallie Mae is no longer in our spare room, We are down to owing on five charge cards and the total of that five is less than the one was to begin with. Our over $300,000 worth of mortgages is down to UNDER $100,000. Seeing that is what keeps me going. I can SEE it’s worth it.
Then after I look at those numbers and I feel slightly better I put on my big girl panties, sit down with the budget, see what else I can possibly tweak, look around for something else to sell, work on ideas to bring in extra income. Oh and I take a HUGE dose of Pollyanna pills. What once looked like a forever and ever amen of living in debt is now down to 18-24 months and THAT keeps me going.
I sit in the background and I read your stories and celebrate with you with all the small victories in chipping away at debt and living within your means. But how do you do it!!! Every time I think we are making strides we get hit with some “emergency”. I just want to scream right now. Just want to throw up my hands and say forget it. Take it all I don’t care!
In the past month, I have gone through my emergency fund and then some just trying to keep up while still sticking to the budget!
Now its Uncle Sam, we owe him. HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN! I spoke and check and double checked and still OWE. Sometimes it just isn’t worth me working. I know I should stop and mediate and I will be guided on my path but today I just don’t have it in me. Just don’t.
Tell me how you guys do this without losing your mind. I’m doing the program to the best I can. We got rid of the second car, we live on bare minimum to save enough to start paying off debt and the minute I feel we are on our way. Bang here comes another wave to knock us over.
Somebody tell me what I’m doing wrong! Or what am I missing.
P.S. Thanks for listening to my rant.