Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Nitty Gritty (as of 9/11/07)

Our goal, as a family, is to live a simple, frugal, and eventually debt-free lifestyle.

I'll eventually get into what I think a simple, frugal lifestyle is, but the debt-free part is pretty self-explanatory. Here is where we stand right now:

Money owed to Shane's dad* - $600.00
VISA - $1,592
Loan on Van - $17,491
Mortgage - 96,011

Total Debt - $115,694

I suppose that isn't bad compared to some people's debt, but it's far from our goal. And what's worse, we have no savings and are going to have to struggle to come up with money for our personal property taxes on the house and vehicles in December. We have no other major credit cards, but we have a couple of fuel cards and a warehouse club credit card, all of which pay in full each month.

As far as assets go, we have one paid-off vehicle still worth about $11.000, and one very small IRA amounting to about $800. Shane also has pretty decent retirement and pension accounts through his job.

Our plan of attack isn't fully developed yet, but we know our first step is to get rid of the debt, using the "snowball" method often recommended by personal finance expert Dave Ramsey. Using this method, the debt to Shane's dad will be the first to go. We'll be paying half of it this weekend.

*Some of you know already that Shane was bitten by a dog earlier this year. Because of the nature of his work and the location of the bite, he missed nine days of work. His dad loaned us a bit of money to help us get through that time. Although we don't normally borrow money from friends or family, it was much needed and appreciated.


Bluepaintred said...

I clicked over to the site, but did not see any mention of the snowball method. admittedly I did not search long becuase I really need to get off the net and go get my boys from school.

What is the snow ball method? Will I learn what it is when i watch the videos you mentioned in a post after this one?

I wont be able to watch them until tonight, but I am very intrigued.

Also. I love this idea. We have debt too and would like to get rid of it. It's not a horrid amount, but with the mortgage (just over 90,000), the student loan (ACK! almsot 12,000) and the normal monthly bills (power, water phone etc.), it does get hard to save up for things like new furniture or a new(er) more reliable car!

Annie Jones said...

Bleu: (That's the Canadian spelling, right?) I've emailed you, but yes, the snowball method is explained in the video clips. It's a cumulative effect that helps pay off debts relatively quickly. I'm not sure if it's explained on Dave Ramsey's website, but it is in his book called Financial Peace.

Gay said...

Bravo! We geezers salute you. Please hop on over to Joel Maxwell's blog: he's from Springfield and is now in Afghanistan.

Joel was in hock for more than $500,000.00 and is amazingly and refreshingly open about his War On Debt. Go to www.joelmaxwell.com

Keep us posted on your progress. And good luck!

Annie Jones said...

Gay: I'll check out Joel's blog soon. It sounds like one I'll want to put on my blogroll when I start setting it up.