Author Topic: baby steps  (Read 4804 times)

Verdo

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baby steps
« on: July 02, 2014, 03:56:33 PM »
Been lurking on the forums for a few months now and slowly have been doing things to cut down the debt and save here and there.

Paid off my car early this year which saved me the interest and payments of roughly 91 bucks a month. 

Built a new home August of 2012.  Electrician installed all incandescent light bulbs.  Last decided to swap them out for all LED.  Only have a few yet to change but those are the lights that are used rarely if ever.  Also purchased 4 of the Belkin Conserve smart strips for 2 TV setups, a projector/theater setup and also the home office.

School loan, decided to get aggressive on that.  Had about 12500 left on that and have paid off about 6k of it the last 2 months and plan to have it paid off in 2-3 more months.

Did some tweaking of the hot water heater settings, added an insulation blanket and plan to add a timer sometime this coming summer.  Also upped the temp to 80 during the day when I'm not home.

Since the home was built have paid down about 16k with extra principal payments. 180k left to go. Now pay extra 1250 on the mortgage every month and plan to add another 125 to that after the school loan is paid off.

Now just need to kick my addiction to the diet dew and cook more at home.  So far so good I think.

MrsPotts

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Re: baby steps
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2014, 05:51:37 PM »
Yay!   Great start.

Diet dew is the BOMB!!!!

Verdo

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Re: baby steps
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2014, 12:23:54 PM »
Just paid off the credit card.  Was around 1280.  Most was used to fund changing out all of the light bulbs in the house from incandescent to LED.  Also put the insulation blanket and smart power strips on there.  New goal is to never use it again!

Also kicked the dew to the curb, or at least not going to pay for it on my own dime(I still love pop).  Trying to drink a cup of coffee at work(free) for my caffeine and then water the rest of the day. 

Last night read through the manuals for my washer/dryer and water softener.  Made some big changes to the settings on the water softener which I had running once a day which was completely insane.  Also learned up on the eco options on both washer and dryer.  Going to see how much energy/water I can save every month now with all of the changes I have made.

Now on to the student loan debt which I hope to have tackled soon!

LibrarIan

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Re: baby steps
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2014, 01:34:37 PM »
Are you brave enough to break down your expenses and post them here? I love a good opportunity to tell people to stop spending money on things.

EarlyRetirementGuy

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Re: baby steps
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2014, 02:05:59 PM »
Electrician installed all incandescent light bulbs.  Last decided to swap them out for all LED.

I recently moved house and took the opportunity to switch to all LED bulbs. We moved from a tiny studio apartment to a 2-story house with power shower.. and STILL our electricity bill went down. Those LEDs saved us a load.

Verdo

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Re: baby steps
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2014, 02:14:18 PM »
Per Month

Mortgage $1350
Extra mortgage payment $1250

Student Loan $125 (Hoping to pay off in 1-2 months)

Home/Car Insurance $80 (getting quotes right now to see if I can lower it)

Gas(12mo avg) $66 (YouTube'd how to turn off the pilot on the fireplace, should save a decent amount)

Electricity(12mo avg) $131 (LED Light bulbs should put a dent, along with everything else I've done to bring it down.

Directv $125

Internet $65

Water(12mo avg) $70 (Made big changes to my water softener which should help lower it quite a bit, installed some low flow showerheads recently as well.)

Cell 0 Covered through work.

Lots of room for improvements which I hope to work on soon... I'm sure this can be torn to shreds, especially the tv/internet.

Verdo

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Re: baby steps
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2014, 02:20:46 PM »
Electrician installed all incandescent light bulbs.  Last decided to swap them out for all LED.

I recently moved house and took the opportunity to switch to all LED bulbs. We moved from a tiny studio apartment to a 2-story house with power shower.. and STILL our electricity bill went down. Those LEDs saved us a load.

I swapped out 102 light bulbs.  Curious to see my next electrical bill...

Verdo

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Re: baby steps
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2014, 02:24:04 PM »
Just got the gas bill for the last month. Down $17, was $38 and this month $21.

SDREMNGR

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Re: baby steps
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2014, 08:22:27 AM »
DirecTV and cable are favorite items of elimination.  I did it 6 years ago and never regretted it.  The extra time you find to do other things is amazing.  You find entertainment from interacting with other people, doing activities, etc.

Also Internet bill seems high.  I'm on the lowly $25 cable Internet plan and it works fine for streaming most of the time.

You are doing very well.  Keep it up.  After my wife and I started on this journey about 4 months ago, we magically found and saved an extra $40k or so and bought our 1st home together.  Amazing how much change is in the couch.

Dyk

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Re: baby steps
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2014, 09:25:57 AM »
dvirden:

Everyone has room to improve, MMM always comments how he does.  But first, let's take a minute and celebrate what you have done!

Very nice work!!!!!!  Car payment gone, student loan on the way out, extra on the principle, LED bulbs, Diet Dew gone (I am a former Diet Dew addict also, I have substituted ice tea, which I didn't realize was simply hot tea, but cold!)  Excellent!  You aren't just reading, you are living it!  Keep it up.

It also sounds like you have the mindset, which is the key, and you will find your own ways to keep cutting.  A couple thoughts:
- DirectTV gone, substitute with Netflix or similar for $10/month
- As mentioned, call cable to get lower rate.  We called and pay $40 instead of $60
- Dryer - hang clothes
- Water - lower flow aerators on faucets (not as easy to replace as the shower heads, but still worth it I think)
- I would start to really read up on the investing side (if you haven't already).  Think about the extra money you are putting against the house (depending on interest rate) vs. investing.  The math shows investing is better over a long term, but there is an 'emotional' factor of paying off all debts, and the surety that your return is guaranteed as your interest rate.  No 'right' answer.

Again, excellent work, not sure where you are age/retirement plan wise.  But you have a very solid foundation starting!

Verdo

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Re: baby steps
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2014, 08:04:29 AM »
Just got the bill for electricity.  Seems to have a put a decent size dent I the bill with all the changes that have been made.  This is both the lowest amount of energy used in a month and lowest cost I have had in the 2 years I've been in the house.  Still more things to look into but a I think a start.

So for comparison...


07/2014 557kWh $92.66 

06/2014 887kWh $119.77 

07/2013 1,085kWh $169.74 

viper155

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Re: baby steps
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2014, 05:27:13 PM »
I would stop paying extra to the mortgage until the loan is gone ten bomb away on the house payment

Verdo

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Re: baby steps
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2014, 09:07:40 PM »
I would stop paying extra to the mortgage until the loan is gone ten bomb away on the house payment

Going to do both. They way it is looking for cash flow over the next 4 months I can continue to pay extra on the mortgage, pay off the school loan and then add a bit to extra principle on the mortgage amount. At least that is the goal right now.