Author Topic: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)  (Read 18834 times)

Mickijune

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Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« on: October 17, 2012, 02:50:31 PM »
Hello there! Excited to be here....I have been reading MMM's blog for about two weeks and I'm ready to start making (more) changes to get this show on the road! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, for sure!

I’m looking for some direction on how to get FI asap. My husband and I read Dave Ramsey’s book (which we rented from the library, yay!) and that got us moving in the right direction. We definitely have a good amount of play money if need be, but we are still WAY in debt. By play money, I mean money that we put extra towards credit card debt at the moment. And I think getting rid of all this debt will take about 5 years given current status quo, not including tax refunds, any child support I get (if any), anything we can manage to sell/save in the future.

In reading the MMM blog, I noticed that a lot of the scenarios have to do with high income people/couples. We really aren’t at that point yet. I guess I can lay it all out below and let it all speak for itself, eh?

Income:
Me:           $30600 per year take home (work 7 miles from how, 40 minutes total commute)
Husband:  $32400 per year take home (works approx. 1 mile from home, 5 minute commute-but 
                 works 5pm to 1am)
Total:     $63000 per year take home, roughly

Assets: 401K about $8000 total for me. I have no idea how much my husband has in his.
Two cars, 2003 Malibu and 2004 Intrepid, both paid for.

Family size is three: Myself (28), Husband (32) and my 6 year old Daughter. We are a blended family so we combined an enormous amount of debt-and love! My husband and I married in February 2012 (JOP wedding, nothing fancy). Bought a house in March 2012.

Monthly Expenses: 
Mortgage (including taxes and such): $1398.11
Electric $75 every two months
Water: $100 every two months
Cell phones: $160
Internet (no cable): $52
Car Insurance: $150
Dog health insurance: $22.85
Dog food/allergry test fund: $150
Gaming (husband): $16.41
Car: $250
Bed: $70
Student loans: $430
Credit card #1: $40 (minimum payment)
Credit card #2: $135 (9.8%-minimum payment)
Credit card #3: $94  (0% until 3/2014)
Groceries: $300
Gas: $240
Gift fund: $100
Car repair fund: $400 (will get the Malibu fixed mid-November and this will go away)
Misc stuff: like Dr bills, school events, etc that are not a set amount: $100-$300

Debt:
Mortgage: about $226k (just bought!)
Student loans:  #1 $47k @ 9% (private loan)
            #2 $36k @ 6.8% (federal)
            #3 $14k @ 6.8% (federal)
            #4 $1850 @ 6.0% (federal)
Credit cards:     #1 under $1000  (we are dumping all extra income into this one, will be   
                          paid off mid-November)
                          #2 $5000 or so, paying minimum to pay off other CCs
                         #3 $6200 just transferred from a high 10.99% card to get 0% until 3/2014
Car: Not sure how much is left, maybe $8000. Long story short: Husband was married
        before, they bought a brand new Prius, they divorced and he is stuck with half the     
        monthly payments. This was just refinanced to a lower rate 6 months ago.
Bed:  $1700 this is really a Mor credit card, with 0% until 2017. Paying minimum to
        allocate debt to more necessary debt payments. Husband bought this before we
         met.

I think that covers it. Some explanations:

Cell phones: I got a “fancy” phone at my husband’s insisting because he likes to be on his all the time. I find it unnecessary, so I’ll be downgrading once the contract is up. Unfortunately, that won’t be until Feb. 2014 (two year contract).

Pet Insurance is necessary because we have a pure bred German Shepherd with skin allergies. Because of this she eats special food. We are currently saving up to get an allergy test for her instead of taking her to the Vet all the time and they can’t give us answers. It has gotten us several hundred dollars back this year alone! My husband rescued her (Daisy) before we met-blended family!

Right now our goal is pay off these in order (basically snowball) by early August 2013:
Credit card #1
Student Loan #2
Bed
Credit card #2
Credit card #3
Past that…it’s up in the air.

Keep in mind that we just caught the fever to get rid of all our debt in August 2012 and since then have paid off 5 small credit cards worth close to $4000 so far! I think that’s pretty good, but we have a long ways to go…go easy on a baby ‘stache! And thank you in advance! I know there is a lot going on here. I tried to make it as basic as possible.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 02:54:12 PM by Mickijune »

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2012, 03:03:02 PM »
I think it looks like a good plan.

I don't want to come off as insensitive, but I can't believe you were able to get a mortgage!

Good luck with it all :)

AJ

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2012, 03:17:29 PM »
Hello and welcome :)

Here's where I would start:
  • Cell phones. Take a look at how much you will have to pay to get out of your contract. It is almost certainly less than you will spend to keep the overpriced plan for the next 16 months. Check out everything I.P. Daley has written on cell phones. It is freakin' incredible, and you should be able to *demolish* that expense without giving up any luxury.
  • Gas - You are 7 miles from work and your hubby is only 1...that's awesome! Are you biking for your commute yet? I can think of very few legitimate excuses reasons not to be. Working nights isn't one of them...
  • Cars - do you need two? That cuts out a lot of expense right there (insurance, maintenance, depreciation)
  • Gifts - I would consider your debt-to-income ratio to be cause for emergency measures. If my math is right you have more than $120k of debt not including the mortgage. Ouch! I would be cutting out all niceties until that is down to a more manageable level...and that includes gifts. Gaming should probably go as well.

I totally understand marrying into debt...it sucks. But Dave Ramsey is a great place for you two to start.

gdborton

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2012, 03:30:35 PM »
Quote
Gaming should probably go as well.

I'm guessing this is a subscription?  In my experience this means spending time on a game that you might otherwise use spending on a different activity.


You should definitely be prepared to sell one of your cars... MMM is all about biking when possible, and living a mile away from work leaves little excuse not to do it.  Also your car insurance seems a bit high... mine is $60 a month with some upcoming discounts and I'm a 23 y/o male.

TomTX

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2012, 03:50:05 PM »
I recently canceled my gaming subscription. :D

1 mile is definitely in the bike (or walk!) to work distance.

Another Reader

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2012, 04:02:48 PM »
You probably already know Dave Ramsey would have told you that you could not afford the house.  There's probably no reasonable way to sell it and recover your investment at this point, so that's water under the bridge.

I'm not letting my husband bike home at 1 AM.  He's driving or I am picking him up.  Safety is a huge issue there.  Is there any way to cut down to one car, or do your working hours conflict?  Your cars are older, have you looked at what coverage you have to see if the cost can be reduced?

You did not say what kind of work you and your husband do.  Is there any way for one or both of you to pick up overtime or do side jobs?  Increasing your income would be the best way to speed up the debt pay-off.  There are some small things you can do to cut expenses as others have mentioned, but another $1,000 a month in net income would go a long way in getting this mess cleaned up.

« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 05:34:53 PM by Another Reader »

happy

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2012, 04:18:27 PM »
Firstly well done for facing up to and accounting for all this debt!  Its quite some list and estimate you have a debt of around 350k including mortgage. Around 125k of consumer debt without the mortgage. I feel quite anxious just reading it all!

First step read ( and re-read if needed) http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/18/news-flash-your-debt-is-an-emergency/ and note that "The correct response to this sort of debt is, “AAAAAUUUUUUGGGHHHH!!!! THERE IS A CLOUD OF KILLER BEES COVERING EVERY SQUARE INCH OF MY BODY AND STINGING ME CONSTANTLY!!!! I NEED TO STOP IT BEFORE I AM KILLED!!!”

AJ  and GDB have given you a great list with some gentle face taps. You need to examine every expense, everything you spend and try to omit it or at least shave something off.  You need to at least live off only 1 salary and put the other to debt but if possible go further. And do NOT rescue any more stray animals!

I agree, question gaming, cell phone contract, sell a car, try reducing insurance, reducing utilities and so on. Figure out if you can sell some stuff.

Secondly try to figure out how you could increase your incomes: either  within your current jobs and /or by getting a second job or side source of income. Need not be forever but you need to do something drastic about those killer bees. The more drastically you can make changes to your lifestyle the sooner all that stinging will stop. You can't even think about "getting to FI faster" until you can get rid of that debt, and learn how to live on less in the future.

Thirdly whilst  you guys are in a serious situation, try to make a game  (or a competition) out of seeing how little you can spend.  And celebrate each little victory eg when you get out of that cell phone contract run around the house  giggling or going  "woot! woot!" or whatever.  Instead of feeling miserable and deprived because you can't do something because you have no money ask" is there are way we could get the same effect or amount of happiness, that is much cheaper?" eg get stuff on freecycle etc.  And when you do, celebrate it like a little victory... you just beat the system ,instead of the system owning you.

We'd love to get updates and cheer you on... you could start a journal if you want.








Mickijune

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2012, 04:22:08 PM »
Thank you for the ideas and thoughts!

We will have to look at how much we are paying for the car insurance this weekend and possibly up the deductibles, reduce coverage!

I work in the aerospace industry and my husband works security. I work 7am to 3:30pm and he works 5pm to 1am. The only problem with having one car is that my daughter has to get to school and back every day. She goes to a school that is about 4 miles from home and the bus does not service this area. We kept her in that school when moving to the new house because of the possibility of my husband's hours changing. If that happens, we would have to put my daughter back in daycare and that daycare will take her to school and back to daycare every day. So, the way we see it (right now), it's $100 in gas or $520 in daycare. Right now our schedules are just right to keep her out of daycare.

I hate feeling like I'm making excuses. I live in WA state, so biking 7 miles to and from work would be hard with all that rain and the few times it snows here. But, there might be a possibility that I can buy from my parents a scooter they have been keeping around for years and haven't ever used it. We'll see. Have to talk to the husband this weekend about it. As far as me biking, biking to work at 5:30am in the pitch black dark kind of scares me. It would probably take me 45 minutes going the route I normally drive (45-50mph road), over an hour going the bike trail and back roads. In the summer I can do that for sure.

I like the idea of getting another job. I'm looking for a new one closer to home and my husband is looking for a weekend only job, which seem hard to come by.

We also set up a budget when we read Ramsey's book (this was several months AFTER we bought the house and realized, holy crap! we have a lot of debt). We can probably cut down the pizza, since we still get some once or twice a month :( I'm trying to be a better home cooker! Even looking into getting a bread machine and have been more creative in trying to use what we have before we go buy more food.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

happy- I have read the post you mention and that is one reason why I am posting on this forum. The good news is my daughter is going along with the "can't spend money on extra stuff" routine. She is wearing last year's Halloween costume this year because "we can't spend money!!" :)  Just yesterday, I made her turn off the computer and said, "No electronics" and she played with the dog for a good hour or so. Then read! No mare stray animals for us!
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 04:26:00 PM by Mickijune »

desrever

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2012, 05:06:54 PM »
You can't afford the dog. Give it away.

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2012, 05:15:19 PM »
You can't afford the dog. Give it away.

Are you a pet owner? Some people consider pets as a part of the family, you don't just give away your family.

happy

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2012, 05:19:38 PM »
Yeah, I love that post about the killer bees....

Regarding the "excusitis"... I suffer from this too. I bought a house that is too big pre MMM and its stopping me from being FI. I've extensively researched various possibilities but selling right now is not a good decision for us. But I now know I will downsize at a particular point in the future and knowing this has stopped me making a few more financial blunders. Sometimes I berate myself for "excusitis", ie maybe I should just sell the damn thing and be done with it.

The thing about Moustachianism is to  get us to challenge all our assumptions about what we "have" to or "should" do.  It might be really unsafe to bike at 1am in your area...but is it?, or do we just assume it is? If it is unsafe, don't do it!  The childcare situation is tricky... but already I see the challenging has got you thinking..what about a  second- hand scooter...not as cheap as a bike, but cheaper than a car. http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/08/19/guest-posting-get-rich-with-scooters/  So its not excusitis if you are keeping an open mind, looking at the reality and making a logical decision.

On the other hand, PIZZA!! " Once or twice a month" ...you can't excuse your way out of this, it has to go. If you love pizza  and will die without it, get a second hand bread machine for $10 ( or free on freecycle) and make your own http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/09/08/my-750-bread-making-machine-2/

Sounds like you're getting the hang of it already...no point having the dog if you don't play with it LOL! PS In one sense you can't afford the dog.. but if you love the dog  and its part of your family, it will bring you joy and yeah, you don't give away family.

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2012, 05:31:17 PM »
Is there anyway for your husband not pay the prius payment? I'm assuming he could work something out with his ex, if she wants to keep the car, then she should pay off the loan, otherwise they could sell the car and split the difference.

Your gas bill is also high for the amount of commute you have. If you are driving a lot on the weekends, maybe you should consider trading the one or both cars for something more reliable and better mileage at the same cost.

If I were you, I'd get rid of cell phone, gaming and gift expenses. I think MMM's income was nearly twice higher than yours when he was working but he didn't have these expenses.

KulshanGirl

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2012, 05:42:16 PM »
One thing I see is that between the two of you, your daily commute is 16 miles total per day.  Mine is 12 miles per day total commute, and my monthly gas budget is less than half of yours.  And I don't drive a very gas efficient car at all.  Wherever else you're driving around to to need $240 per month for gas, you might look at that and stop THAT driving if you can't bike to work.

As for the one mile commute, why not have him walk the mile each way?  That's a 20 minute walk.  It might not sound safe at 1AM, but it probably is just fine.  Even better, it sounds lovely and quiet.  Some people walk almost that far to their parking garage at work in the city.  :) 

I'm in the "you can't afford the dog" camp.  I love pets, but when you think of what $172.85 per month could mean to your family over ten years, you ought to let it enter your mind.  Gaming, gifts, and pizza gots ta go though. 

I'm in Wasihngton too.  Hi!  :) 

ErinG

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2012, 05:42:30 PM »
Hi Mickijune! You're not alone. We have a similar income, mortgage, and family size. I'm stuck in my house for now. I bought in 2004 for 200K and it just appraised for 110K and 85K (two separate appraisals) It's a duplex though, so we have rental income to help with the payment. I know you just got the house, but I'm really struggling with how you can make that payment.
I suggest you look into selling, it may end up not being a good option - but at least explore the idea before writing it off due to feelings or assumptions. (Although your distances to work are nice!)

If I got your schedules correct, your husband can take your daughter to school. He only has a mile to work. SO - you have a 2nd car to get your child back and forth 4 miles. It's time to be sweet and charming and make a good buddy of another parent or neighbor! You can pay them for gas to drive your daughter.

Would it be possible for your husband to offer his ex-wife a lump sum for his half of the car debt and in return be released by her (in writing) from the obligation? She might jump at the chance. If the loan is in her name only, he doesn't have to worry about what she does with the money. If the debt is in a joint loan, she should be able to reduce the balance by whatever lump sum he gives her and then refi into just her name and have lower monthly payments. The lump sum could possible come from the sale of one of your other cars.

Call your local humane society and ask them if they have an associated vet or if they know of a discount vet. My vet costs are low because this is available in my area.

Good luck!

Mickijune

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2012, 05:50:16 PM »
Sorry, Daisy is part of the family. Unless I knew who we were giving her to and that they would take REALLY good care of her and we could see her often, there is no way she is going anywhere. She had a rough start at life, being rescued as a stray, skin and bones. She is happy here and we are happy with her here :)

Pizza is gone. For a very LONG time.

Oddly enough, I read the post about the breadmaker today! It sounds like a plan, I looked on craigslist but there are none locally, would have to drive 20+ minutes to get a $20 one. Maybe I'll get one as a gift for my birthday or Christmas (not from my little family though). If we want pizza, we usually buy a bag of english muffins, some pizza sauce and toppings and make them at home :)  Homemade pizza crust sounds so good!

So, checklist for this weekend:
Car Insurance:  raise deductibles, reduce coverage, try to find other discounts. We tried getting quotes from other companies, but because my husband was in an accident earlier this year, our current company gave us a "freebie" supposedly. Rates would be outrageous to switch to a new company with that on our recent record.
Phones: research options...cancel vs. keep     We thought we would save money by getting a family plan. I don't feel too bad though, my parent's are paying over $200 a month for their first every "smart phones" and they can't even use them!

There will be more nights in playing Fruit Ninja and board games. No more pizza-we don't love it that much!

I'm going to print out this quote and post it around the house:

"Celebrate it like a little victory... you just beat the system ,instead of the system owning you."  Is that ok with you, happy?

Also, for the gas, that usually includes at least one trip up to my parent's house, which is 60 miles round trip, per month.  $240 is what we budget, we are always under, sometimes just barely. And then there is the 8 miles a day that my husband drives to drop our daughter off at school and pick her up, which happens to not coincide with our work schedules unfortunately.

For the car, we are going to pay off the credit cards and the small student loan before we look at that. We are thinking about offering her half the payment in a lump sum, but they she would be responsible for the entire payment each month (nobody would go for that). Next option would be to refinance half in my husband's name and half in her name to separate the debt. It's written in the divorce decree, so he can't get out of it. I think it's a joke, him paying that much for a car he can't even use...but that's how the legal system works.

Mickijune

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2012, 06:11:16 PM »
Also, ErinG, there are no other kids around us that go to my daughter's school. She is only going to that school (outside of our elementary school boundry right now) because she went there last year for kindergarten because we lived within that school's boundries and because there are no daycares in our area that will drive her to school and back to daycare, since neither of our work schedules fit into her work schedule. We are looking into testing her into a school right down the street for 2013-2014 school year, then she can take the bus...but that's a long ways away!

Masha

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2012, 06:42:31 PM »
There's no need to buy a bread machine for pizza dough.  It takes maybe 20 minutes to stir it up in a bowl and knead by hand. I mix up 2-3 recipes at a time and put the extras in the freezer.  It can thaw overnight or during the day in the fridge, so you're not making it totally from scratch everytime you want pizza.

Jana

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2012, 07:21:16 PM »

happy

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2012, 07:23:19 PM »

I'm going to print out this quote and post it around the house:

"Celebrate it like a little victory... you just beat the system ,instead of the system owning you."  Is that ok with you, happy?


Haha!, I'm honoured!... whatever works for you so that you don't feel deprived and miserable.

Mickijune

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2012, 08:40:54 PM »
Masha- do you have a recipe that we can use, please :)

Jana-I looked for the book at my local library, all are checked out! Will have to place a hold. Thank you! We eat a lot of sandwiches in my house!

desrever

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2012, 09:08:54 PM »
On the 401ks: You should double check your spouse's plan and make sure you're maxing out the employer match (if any) in both your plans. If there is a significant match (50% or more of your contribution), it's free money which you should be grabbing. Also, do the math on a 401k loan (borrowing from yourself) to pay off your highest interest rate debt. A risk to such a loan is the need for immediate repayment payment if you were to lose your job. But if you can come up with a plan in such a situation, I think it's a great option for you.

Agree with others that there's something askew with the gas budget you listed. There's either some extra driving you didn't list, or else you're getting much worse MPG than your cars ought to. I recommend starting to track your actual fuel consumption for both your cars.

Is public transit (maybe including park-and-ride) an option for your commute? You said you live in WA -- if you're in the greater Seattle area the bus transit options here can be a pretty great way to get around.

Scooter or bicycle sounds like a great option for your husband. 1 mile is really about an ideal distance for a bicycle ride. The roads are almost desolate after 1am (obviously you'd need lights, and your happiness would depend on how well lit the streets are in your area); I'd say 5:30pm is actually the more dangerous time to be biking, what with distracted drivers and the low contrast at that time of day during the winter. It may really depend on the route.

ashem

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2012, 07:33:27 AM »
Here's my favorite pizza dough recipe. NO breadmaker required.

http://recipes.robbiehaf.com/T/272.htm


galaxie

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2012, 02:10:51 PM »
I think you can sell one of the cars, and apply the money you make on it to those credit cards.  Bam!  More breathing room to pay off your debts, less money spent on gas and maintenance.

It's actually really nice to bike a mile to get home at 1am.  I do it frequently (on weekend nights, in a city neighborhood - my ride to work is 10 miles but it's in the daytime).  The streets at night are pretty empty so I'm not worried about traffic.  I have bike lights and a lot of white/neon yellow outerwear, and my neighborhood has street lights. 

Rain isn't an issue if you have a rain jacket & rain pants.  I feel ok telling you that because I live in Boston.  There's a whole thread going on right now about what to wear when bike-commuting in the winter -- we also have a lot of Chicago winter bikers on the forum.  You'll do great!  Also, it feels really good to beat the weather and bike anyway when other people are cowering indoors.

Who usually takes your daughter to school and back?  I'm not sure how your schedule goes, but I bet the two of you can get down to one car.  Maybe your husband can pick her up in a bike trailer in the afternoon.

jpo

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2012, 03:04:08 PM »
Masha- do you have a recipe that we can use, please :)
We also make pizza by hand with fresh grated mozzarella, it is 1000x better than any pizza eaten out (except maybe a Chicago deep dish, om nom nom). I use this recipe, which you can also watch online: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/pizza-pizzas-recipe4/index.html

Mickijune

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2012, 10:09:11 PM »
Hi galaxie, thanks for the response! We were talking this weekend about selling one of the cars...the nicer one would make more sense since it's, well, nicer, and will probably sell for more. We were researching electric scooters, but they seem pretty expensive and the battery range/mph are LOW (25 miles per charge at 25-30mph or thereabouts). My husband would be more than happy to ride a scooter to work, and I would also. The only problem is getting the child to/from school. Here is our schedule right now:

I leave for work (8.4 miles, 25 min). car 1
Husband takes daughter to school (3 miles, 10 min). car 2
Drives home (3 miles, 10 min). car 2
Husband picks up daughter from school (3 miles, 10 min). car 2
Drives home (3 miles, 10 min). car 2
I drive home (8.4 miles, 25-30 min depending on traffic) car 1
Husband goes to work an hour later (2.2 miles, 10 min) car 1
Husband gets home (2.2 miles, 10 min) car 1

I suppose I guessed on the actual mileage in the original post. Above mileage is based on google maps, so again, may vary a tiny bit. All in all, we drive 33.2 miles per day, not including weekends. This is good information to know! Some things that may change in the future:
Daughter goes to the local school and can take the bus to/from school. ~ Would save 12 miles per day. No additional cost.
Husband switches shifts to daytime, daughter stays at current school outside local boundries. ~ Would have to put daughter in daycare before/after school ~ reduce commute by 6 miles per day but cost $520/mo
Ideally we would have daughter go to local school, but would still need daycare if husband switches shifts, and that's if we can find one that transports!
The horrible gas mileage is I'm sure attributed to the fact that most of this driving is done at 30mph or lower for car 2. The fastest I go on my commute is 50mph for maybe half the commute. Both with lots of stop lights...

We will continue to scooter talk this weekend I'm sure, as we look for more stuff to sell. I'll have to show this to husband, I had no idea we drove this much, and he probably doesn't either!


Masha

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2012, 06:51:33 AM »
Sure, here's what we use. I've never tried any of the no-knead recipes, but they sound pretty awesome too.
2 t. yeast
1 C. warm water
2 T. sugar
3.5-4 C. flour(all-purpose)
1 T. salt(I usually use a little less...)
1/4 C. (scant) olive oil

Corn meal for dusting

Preheat oven to 400f.

The water should feel very warm, but not hot to the touch. Combine Water, yeast and sugar in large bowl. Let stand about 3 minutes, until foam appears. Slowly mix in flour, salt dissolved in 2T. water, and olive oil. If you have a mixer, let it knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or about the same by hand. If you do it by hand, just make sure you have enough extra flour on the counter and your hands to prevent sticking. If you want to, you can let the dough rise in a lightly oiled bowl for about 45 minutes after kneading, but we usually toss/ stretch it out immediately after kneading with no problems.

Top with whatever you want. For extra goodness, you can brush some olive oil around the crust edge and sprinkle with fresh/dried herbs, fresh ground salt and pepper.

Sprinkling plain cornmeal on the pizza pan pan/stone/cookie sheet does a great job preventing sticking, and I think it makes it taste more like "real" carryout pizza. Bake for 15-20 minutes in preheated oven. Let it rest out of the oven for a few minutes before cutting.

As I wrote this, I realized its a bit like the peanut butter sandwich exercise in leadership workships. If you've never baked bread before, there might be some info missing, but I think this is it. A youtube video or seeing a friend knead will clarify technique better than anything I can describe, but I'm happy to answer any questions too. Good luck with it and have fun! Once you get the hang of it, you can have a pizza in the oven in 20 minutes.

thurston howell iv

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2012, 07:14:43 AM »
Looks like everyone covered all the stuff I was gonna say... LOL

Maybe there is something I can suggest- for the dog that is...

I once had my Rottweiler collapse in our hallway from a seizure. I called the vet and they were useless... Said maybe an allergy. I found a book on organic food for dogs-- yes I lived in SoCal so I wasn't surprised.  Anyway, I was surprised to learn that the BARF (Bone And Raw Food) diet was encouraged. So, I went to the store and found packages of chicken hearts and livers and misc. scrap meats super cheap. I did a few rounds of all raw meat and bone only. Then gradually mixed in dry dog food of the better (not the bestest) variety (my guys like Rachael Ray Nutrish) and we have not had any issues at all. Since the all meat can get pricey we add it now and again along with some eggs and the dogs love it!  Might be worth a shot... Don't know of any dog allergic to meat.

galaxie

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2012, 08:01:45 AM »

I leave for work (8.4 miles, 25 min). car 1
Husband takes daughter to school (3 miles, 10 min). car 2
Drives home (3 miles, 10 min). car 2
Husband picks up daughter from school (3 miles, 10 min). car 2
Drives home (3 miles, 10 min). car 2
I drive home (8.4 miles, 25-30 min depending on traffic) car 1
Husband goes to work an hour later (2.2 miles, 10 min) car 1
Husband gets home (2.2 miles, 10 min) car 1


If it were me, I'd do one of these two things in order to sell a car.

Option 1: You start biking to work, husband gets to keep car all day to drive daughter to school.  He can choose whether to bike or drive to work in the evening.
Option 2: You drive to work, husband bikes with your daughter (on her own bike or this kind of trailer) to school, and again he can decide whether to bike or drive in the evening.

Option 1 is easier on your husband and keeps the midday trips short, but you would probably take a few weeks to get used to a 40-45 minute bike ride twice daily.  Option 2 has only short bike rides (3 miles is about 15 minutes, maybe less if there are no stop lights), but you would need the trailer.  Craigslist?

AmbystomaOpacum

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2012, 10:10:49 AM »
The math says there's another $1000/month not accounted for in that list of expenses. Where is it going?

Jack

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2012, 12:12:38 PM »
If it were me, I'd do one of these two things in order to sell a car.

Option 1: You start biking to work, husband gets to keep car all day to drive daughter to school.  He can choose whether to bike or drive to work in the evening.
Option 2: You drive to work, husband bikes with your daughter (on her own bike or this kind of trailer) to school, and again he can decide whether to bike or drive in the evening.

Option 1 is easier on your husband and keeps the midday trips short, but you would probably take a few weeks to get used to a 40-45 minute bike ride twice daily.  Option 2 has only short bike rides (3 miles is about 15 minutes, maybe less if there are no stop lights), but you would need the trailer.  Craigslist?

Option 3 (the badass option): Do both and sell both cars.

There, now don't options 1 and 2 seem much more reasonable in comparison? IMO, failing to adopt one of them deserves a face punch.

By the way, if your husband works security and you're worried about his safety walking home at 1 AM (you didn't say so, but others did -- this is directed more at them), then that also deserves a face punch.

Mickijune

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2012, 12:54:19 PM »
The math says there's another $1000/month not accounted for in that list of expenses. Where is it going?

That extra money that isn't accounted for in our list of expenses is going straight towards debt! This month we have paid $1435 towards two difference credit cards, paying on off and leaving $242 on the second one to be paid off next month. Yippee!!! Super exciting! Also still trying to sell some stuff on craigslist...no bites yet. Did sell two textbooks online for about $60, waiting for the payments to clear now!

By the way, if your husband works security and you're worried about his safety walking home at 1 AM (you didn't say so, but others did -- this is directed more at them), then that also deserves a face punch.

My husband does work security and walks roughly 10+ miles per day. There are some pretty shady spots along the route home that we drive and he has seen some pretty horrific crashes at the main intersection in the middle of the night. Not cool in my opinion. But there are sidewalks the whole way.  Then again, if he took the gun back and forth with him I wouldn't worry so much. (Before anyone goes off on that, my husband is former military and we are both very responsible gun owners!)

AmbystomaOpacum

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #31 on: October 23, 2012, 01:58:52 PM »
That extra money that isn't accounted for in our list of expenses is going straight towards debt! This month we have paid $1435 towards two difference credit cards, paying on off and leaving $242 on the second one to be paid off next month. Yippee!!! Super exciting! Also still trying to sell some stuff on craigslist...no bites yet. Did sell two textbooks online for about $60, waiting for the payments to clear now!
In that case, things look pretty good. Getting rid of a car would obviously be great, as others have mentioned. Other that, not much to add.

Mactrader

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2012, 02:32:42 PM »
This will probably shirk the conventional wisdom, but I would suggest stopping the 401k contribution and knock out several of the smaller debts. Once you free up a little more cash flow, then turn it back on. It is free money, but you're drowning in debt, some with high interest. Free up the flow, then tackle it from there. I did that this past year and after being check-to-check or dipping into savings each month I'm not in a place where I have 6% going into 401k and saving $1200/mo.

Mickijune

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2012, 03:11:47 PM »
Not too unconventional Mactrader. Right now I only contribute $20 per paycheck to my 401K. Husband contributes the minimum to keep contributing each paycheck (still about $156/mo.) but his employer pays a lot towards his retirement each month ($252/mo if I remember right).  I'll have to ask him about it and see what he says. Thanks for the input! We plan on being out of credit card debt next August...so it's not too many months to skips the deduction.

galaxie

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #34 on: October 24, 2012, 07:39:47 AM »
If it were me, I'd do one of these two things in order to sell a car.

Option 1: You start biking to work, husband gets to keep car all day to drive daughter to school.  He can choose whether to bike or drive to work in the evening.
Option 2: You drive to work, husband bikes with your daughter (on her own bike or this kind of trailer) to school, and again he can decide whether to bike or drive in the evening.

Option 1 is easier on your husband and keeps the midday trips short, but you would probably take a few weeks to get used to a 40-45 minute bike ride twice daily.  Option 2 has only short bike rides (3 miles is about 15 minutes, maybe less if there are no stop lights), but you would need the trailer.  Craigslist?

Option 3 (the badass option): Do both and sell both cars.

There, now don't options 1 and 2 seem much more reasonable in comparison? IMO, failing to adopt one of them deserves a face punch.

By the way, if your husband works security and you're worried about his safety walking home at 1 AM (you didn't say so, but others did -- this is directed more at them), then that also deserves a face punch.

You know what else you could do?  Alternate Options 1 and 2 until you figure out which one works better for your schedules and fitness levels.

Mickijune

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2013, 08:37:40 AM »
Best news ever!!! 

We are officially out of credit card debt!!!!! (Except the one active credit card we use for all non-bank account required expenses)

Here is our original list and the debts that have been paid off are crossed out!! However, added one debt, new car which we plan on keeping forever then passing on to the child in 10 years when she can drive! I'm trying to get a job at my husband's job so we can carpool and drop down to one car. There's no way he will go without a car.

Debt:
Mortgage: about $226k (just bought!)
Student loans:  #1 $47k @ 9% (private loan)
            #2 $36k @ 6.8% (federal)
            #3 $14k @ 6.8% (federal)
            #4 $1850 @ 6.0% (federal)
Credit cards:     #1 under $1000  (we are dumping all extra income into this one, will be   
                          paid off mid-November)
                          #2 $5000 or so, paying minimum to pay off other CCs
                         #3 $6200 just transferred from a high 10.99% card to get 0% until 3/2014

Car: Not sure how much is left, maybe $8000. **Down to $6000 maybe?**
        Long story short: Husband was married before, they bought a brand new Prius, they divorced
        and he is stuck with half the monthly payments. This was just refinanced to a lower rate 6 months ago.
Bed:  $1700 this is really a Mor credit card, with 0% until 2017. Paying minimum to
        allocate debt to more necessary debt payments. Husband bought this before we
         met.

MissStache

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2013, 09:23:34 AM »
Wahoo!  That is awesome!  You've made awesome progress.

One thing that bothers me is about the Prius loan- why don't you know how much is left?  Doesn't he get to see the loan statements? 

Mickijune

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2013, 08:27:37 AM »
MissStache-he can log in online and check out the balance. I just don't know his log in information off the top of my head. It's written down somewhere!

MissStache

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #38 on: November 27, 2013, 08:42:06 AM »
Oh ok!  That makes me feel much better.  I was thinking his ex wouldn't tell him how much, which was making me nervous!

sunshine

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2013, 10:44:26 AM »
Best news ever!!! 

We are officially out of credit card debt!!!!! (Except the one active credit card we use for all non-bank account required expenses)

Here is our original list and the debts that have been paid off are crossed out!! However, added one debt, new car which we plan on keeping forever then passing on to the child in 10 years when she can drive! I'm trying to get a job at my husband's job so we can carpool and drop down to one car. There's no way he will go without a car.

Debt:
Mortgage: about $226k (just bought!)
Student loans:  #1 $47k @ 9% (private loan)
            #2 $36k @ 6.8% (federal)
            #3 $14k @ 6.8% (federal)
            #4 $1850 @ 6.0% (federal)
Credit cards:     #1 under $1000  (we are dumping all extra income into this one, will be   
                          paid off mid-November)
                          #2 $5000 or so, paying minimum to pay off other CCs
                         #3 $6200 just transferred from a high 10.99% card to get 0% until 3/2014

Car: Not sure how much is left, maybe $8000. **Down to $6000 maybe?**
        Long story short: Husband was married before, they bought a brand new Prius, they divorced
        and he is stuck with half the monthly payments. This was just refinanced to a lower rate 6 months ago.
Bed:  $1700 this is really a Mor credit card, with 0% until 2017. Paying minimum to
        allocate debt to more necessary debt payments. Husband bought this before we
         met.


Way to go !!!!!

Mickijune

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #40 on: November 27, 2013, 02:13:34 PM »
MissStache, I know what you mean! We want to split off the loan but that would depend on the bank if they will do it (and if the ex can get approved for her half also). I know we have excellent credit and can pay it off in a few months but from what I have heard, the ex is horrible with money.

Thanks Sunshine!

melalvai

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #41 on: November 27, 2013, 02:48:13 PM »
In reading the MMM blog, I noticed that a lot of the scenarios have to do with high income people/couples. We really aren’t at that point yet.
I noticed that too. With a combined income of $63K & a kid, it's not quite so easy, is it?

However, I'm a little concerned that you say you caught the fire to get out of debt over a year ago, and have paid off $4000 in 14 months.

I hope that most of your effort has gone toward not accruing more debt, and that your debt repayment is going to speed up. Because at $4000/yr, that's gonna be a long haul. I think you can do better, even with a moderate income?

On your cell phone that you don't want, do the math. It might save you money to pay the penalty to get out of the contract. You might be able to recoup some of that by selling your phone, too.

Mickijune

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #42 on: November 27, 2013, 02:58:42 PM »
melalvai-We have paid off almost $20k in ~15 months.

I guess I didn't update about the cell phones. We ended up canceling the contract with Sprint earlier in the year...maybe February? and had hubby's sister sell the phones back to Sprint and got some money back. We are currently using Virgin Mobile prepaid $45/mo plan. At the end of this month right before the auto payment, I'll be changing both down to the $35/mo plan because we just don't use 1200 minutes on each phone!

happy

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #43 on: November 27, 2013, 03:06:56 PM »
Congratulations...I just added it up and got $19450 too.

One minor issue I had with your plan is the 47k student loan at 9%. Now that you are getting good at paying off debt, could you try going for the highest interest loan first?  Thats the most advantageous from a mathematical point of view.  Paying off the small but lower interest ones gives you a psychological boost but in terms of saving money, its better to go for the loan with the higher interest.

Mickijune

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #44 on: November 27, 2013, 03:21:44 PM »
I agree happy! Now that the credit card debt is gone, we are going to have to review our debts again...probably this weekend. I don't want to go a month without know what's going where just because we are feeling accomplished! We have a long way to go!

Using a debt reduction spreadsheet here is a list of the remaining debt (minus house) in the order I would like to pay them off. If we can't pay off the car loan first, we will go with the biggest student loan. It is only about $100 different in total interest paid and all could be paid off by Feb. 2020 if we stay on schedule, all factors remaining the same. They won't of course, and we are planning a once-in-a-lifetime (before another kid) trip to Spain to visit family in August 2014. I twill set us back but it's worth it to us. Figures below are a few month old so the balances are slightly lower.
                 
My SL 1                           46,489.93   8.25%    310.29
My SL 2 Sub                    16,776.28    6.25%    200.00
My SL 3 UnSub                  19,821.54    6.25%   213.1
Hubs 1 Sub                     5,628.60    5.35%    63.46
Hubs 2 Unsub                     7,920.21   6.55%    92.95
Ex's car                            5,230.00    5.46%    275.00
Our new car                   19,653.30    3.75%    321.29


Peony

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #45 on: November 27, 2013, 03:27:20 PM »
Any chance you have a friend, friend of a friend, or family member who would like to rent out a room in your home temporarily?

Peony

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #46 on: November 27, 2013, 03:29:10 PM »
Cross-posted; I meant as a roommate, not while you go to Spain.

kamikazejello

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #47 on: November 27, 2013, 09:30:11 PM »
I may have missed where you mentioned it, but I see in your update that you now have added $20k in debt in the form of a car payment. What are the details on that?

HowMuchCanAKoalaBear

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #48 on: November 28, 2013, 03:45:24 AM »
Ermm is it just me or did you pay off $19450 in debt in 15 months and then bought a new car and added $19653 debt back on?

 Its like reading all the diet books, getting a gym membership, hiring a personal trainer and a nutritionist, buying fitness weekly magazine, talking with all your friends about plans to lose weight all the time and then  15 months later you still weigh the same. Actually you weigh more now because you probably swallowed some of those killer bees  that are still buzzing around you.

Face punch right there :)
« Last Edit: November 28, 2013, 03:55:15 AM by HowMuchCanAKoalaBear »

mm1970

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Re: Help a baby 'stache! Please :)
« Reply #49 on: November 28, 2013, 12:19:07 PM »
nevermind, this was covered!
« Last Edit: November 28, 2013, 12:24:38 PM by mm1970 »