I’ve been out of pocket for a few days

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.

Idea

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.

You get a tax deduction for contributing to a Traditional IRA and you are taxed when the money comes out

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.

For some of us (ME!) it is a LONG LONG road!

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. 🙂

You realize that you are actually CASH FLOWING those emergencies :) ?

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.

They do not have a canteen or anything like that

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.

How do we do it? One day at a time

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!!!!!!!!

Been there done that got the tshirt!

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!

We’ve all been where you are

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.

How do you do it!

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.
Frustrated Calligrapher!

P.S. Thanks for listening to my rant.