As I recall, weren’t you having a hard time getting your partner to get onboard with the whole Dave Ramsey thing? I may be incorrect, but I’d thought she wasn’t as interested in getting debts paid down and then off. It sounds as if you’ve turned her around if you’ve convinced her to pay off that car loan. Congratulations if indeed I have my facts straight here!

Yes, you should go back to baby step 2 to get the van paid off

However, i don’t think you should use $500 of the $1500 you have to pay off the van. I think Stilwell is off when he says to have only have a $1000 ER fund. Where I live, $1000 doesn’t go far in emergencies. Most auto repairs and other things like that end up costing a lot. Then add sales tax to it, and the fund is wiped out. Personally, we have $1500 for our ER fund.
In his book, he does say that when you get to step 3 he says whether you have 3 months savings or 6 months (or somewhere in between) should depend on your lifestyle and comfort level (paraphrasing here). So following that advice we pad our ER fund.
So, even though it doesn’t follow what Stilwell says, I would keep the $1500 in the ER fund and then go back to step 2 till the van is paid off.

I promised I would be more active on here..

this is NOT DR related but hey, its all I got for now! Once in awhile we get hit with what we call the plagues of Egypt. By this we mean that we are hit with multiple difficulties at one time. My husband flew to L.A. for business for 3 days and my children from hard places were terrified he would not come back, that he would die, etc. Plus my youngest girls birthday is tomorrow and that makes a nasty brew for these kiddos….they act out like crazy because of their fear levels. Add in me still going through this blasted miscarriage (can we say frustrating…its been 4+ weeks), the two littlest have croup and my eye is hurting like its either a sty or a pink eye, hubster now has really bad jet lag, etc…see what I mean? Lots on our plate that all falls at once. But these are passing and fleeting and we’re so glad that the plagues do eventually abate.

I am pretty excited!

I know the Dave plan works. It still seems insane when you actually see it trickle down to your kids. When my son was in Jr high he was the only kid in his class who knew what a IRA was. They told him to make a fake budget with a credit card and a car payment. He refused. That’s my boy. I am soooo glad I found this wp forum. 🙂

There’s the portion of the software that shows your bank transactions

and those are going to be exactly what the bank sends to Quicken. So if the bank has a single savings account with a lump sum in it, that’s exactly what it’s going to send to Quicken and that’s what you’ll see in the register. Having said that, there are other sections of Quicken which allow you to set up spending budgets, spending histories, and set/track goals. Given what you’ve said, I think exploring those other sections would be worthwhile. In previous editions of Quicken the budgeting section allowed you to do most of what you’re talking about, but in Quicken 2013 some of those options changed. I don’t know if Quicken 2014 restored those options, changed them again, or kept everything the same. But try to think of Quicken as serving two different purposes – a ledger to record what actually happened, and a planning tool to figure out what to do in the future. Those two sections don’t always talk to each other but you can usually figure out how to accomplish your goals in either one or the other.

Like most of the nation this last few weeks

we have been having extreme cold weather and what is considered a lot of snow for ne OK. I have spent the time working hard in the office and other hot spots of the house trying to reduce our clutter even more than we already have. Made great headway because who wants to go outside when it is bitter cold.

However, by the time dh took vacation time Thursday and Friday to use it before he loses it the weather in typical Oklahoma fashion started to turn. I believe it hit 70 yesterday. Cabin fever set in quickly on us. The sun was shining, the air was warm, although the wind made it too risky to burn trash or brush. So we had us a grand 4 day weekend.

Thursday dh and I were “lazy” around the house, doing research, opening the curtains to let the sunshine in, minor household tidy up and a little firewood cutting.

Friday was Valentine’s Day and we celebrated by taking Jellybean back to the vet to get his stitches out. He was one happy kitty to get those gone and get back home to his breakfast. Once we dropped him off back at the house we went out and spent money from best online payday GSHloans in true DR fashion. Meaning getting what we needed/wanted for as little as possible.

Our family back-up drive that we store EVERYTHING on got fried during the winter storms and dh wanted to get everything backed up again on a new drive before we had a major computer malfunction or something. So being the tightwads we are we grabbed up our cash back certificates from recycling ink cartridges, a $10 off coupon we had from Staples and with sale ad brought up on our phone when to Staples. We originally thought about getting a 1 terrabyte, but we couldn’t use the $10 off coupon on it, where if we went with the 2 terrabyte we would have twice the storage capacity—and yes we do store that much stuff around here—for $14 more and use the $10 coupon. So we opted for the 2 terrabyte. We were glad we did because guess what, they were out of it. But the store manager offered us a much higher valued (both in price and by dh’s preferences) 2 terrabyte with a 1 year longer warranty than the one we were looking at for the same price as the cheaper on sale one. So we came home with a better piece of equipment with twice the storage at far less than the original on sale price of the one we went after. I told dh Happy Valentine’s Day.

Then he said, “I know of a sale you don’t.” and took me to Michael’s where the cartridges I use for my cricut machine were on ½ price. He handed me cash and said “ Happy Valentine’s Day pick out what you want.” He had been saving blow money to do just such a surprise. I got 4 cartridges and am tickled silly.

Ds met us for a coupon using lunch, then we did grocery shopping (read on sale and with coupons) and headed home. Once home it was still daylight and warm, so we worked outside just a wee bit to do some minor firewood pick-up.

Saturday I spent pretty much inside out of the wind—I hate wind–and finished off one large storage bin of paperwork, culling enough paperwork out of it that what remained fits easily in 2 gallon Ziplocs while it waits to be scanned and stored. The guys cut and stacked firewood.

During rest breaks we did list making for the trips we are hoping to take this year. Yes I said trips, as in more than one.

Sunday we couldn’t take it any more and started working on the camper to prep it for the first trip in it sometime next month to do a combo celebration trip. The combo is demise of so many bills last year, unfortunately not all of them yet, our 41st wedding anniversary—since we didn’t get to do anything deeply special for our 40th, and getting our first ss checks. The trip will basically cost us just the fuel and maybe a couple of night’s camping fees and we all know I camp on the super cheap. Season passes for Silver Dollar City were part of our Christmas gifts to each other. They of course were purchased in the pre-season discount period and as senior passes so we got them near ½ price before it was all said and done. We also got several free passes due to our pre-season purchase to share with ds so he can go with us if he wants, or we may take dbil and his wife again. We’ve not done anything with them in a while. If her health will allow.

One small Murphy problem that I am fixing today did happen recently and we only discovered it yesterday. Ds pays the feed bill every other time since half of the animals are his. When he bought feed earlier this month he mentioned it was higher than it had been all winter. I thought he meant it had gone up slightly, a very common occurrence this time of year where critter feed is concerned, especially with the weather we’ve been having.

So when we had our monthly budget meeting yesterday I asked him how much the feed went up. DOUBLED!!! What? He said the feed bill had almost doubled for the same amount and brand of feed. I asked if he was certain. So I called the store to see what the current price was because I needed to make some huge decisions budget wise if that was going to be the normal price. Yes, I did call on Sunday. The family that runs the feed store are Seventh Day Adventists and are closed on Saturday, but are open on Sunday’s. I love them being open on Sunday’s it works so much better with our schedule then having to rush around on Saturday’s to get feed. Plus they have a much better quality feed for general $2-$5 per bag cheaper than the other local feed stores.

Jennifer told me their price was still the same price. So I asked ds to get the receipt and let’s see why it was doubled. Ummm, someone can’t do math. The receipt read “300 # @ $21 per 100# bal due $123.” By the time he found the receipt they were closed. I’ll be calling them again in a few minutes to give them the receipt number so they can see the error for themselves. This is a very nice honest family and the way we figure it ds has $60 coming back. The Millie Moment, aka: miracle, is ds had the receipt!

Dh went back to work today—drats, I sure wish he was already retired, and immediately put in for vacation time for that trip. In the meantime I will be spending much of today outside in 70+ temps prepping the camper some more.

What I do is keep track of what I spend in every month

Last year was my first year in doing so….

Then, this year—I budget the amount I spent in the month last year….and then I try to beat it.

For example—last January was my high amount at $665…. This year in January–I spent $563..

February last year –I spent $458

Right now, I sit at $257 for the month so far…and am doing pretty well this month–so should beat last year’s February.

Money saving ideas:

1. have a food challenge month—where you only buy the items you absolutely need to supplement what you already have.

2. focus on the sale items each time you go shopping….if really low on something–try to buy extras to tide you to the next sale.

3. make budget meals–meals that are low cost, yet filling.

4. prepare foods yourself–buying processed foods cost more

5. make snack foods for the kids…. at this growing stage…if they wait until meals to eat—they will pack in the food….some ideas: banana bread, homemade pizza pockets, popcorn (can bag in sandwich bags for grab and snack convenience)

Food is tough!

I’m with Eldred , almost. I would say start with $750, or maybe $725, and then try to beat it.

Also if you haven’t already I would separate groceries from takeout and restaurants. It’s easier for me to see what the tradeoffs are if I keep those separate.

I have a teenager too and even though she’s a small girl, she can really eat!

It helps me a bit to understand why the big bills are big. Am I stocking up on staples because of a big sale or have I gone overboard with junk food and prepared food? I also bought some food specifically for our teen guests to keep in the basement – large bulk boxes of soda cans and the large size of ice cream (my daughter and I are happy eating single-serve ice creams but a gang of teenagers will plow right through those!)