Archive for the ‘debt’ Category

Sasha and our cat Joel

Since I’ve already received some odd looks over my choice to spend almost $4,000 to fix my dog Kane, I figured I would pose a related question.  This question came to mind as my wife reminded me that our cat Joel is almost 14 years old.  The question is simple:

Assuming you owned both a dog and cat, hypothetically of course, and both needed expensive medical treatment to prolong their lives, where would you draw the line?  Can you define an objective amount, say $10,000, for each?  If not, would you be more likely to spend more on keeping your dog alive than your cat?  If so, why?

When answering the above questions please, if you feel comfortable, also state whether you own a dog, cat, or other pet. (more…)

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Although most of the big ticket items of the adoption process are being paid for by L.F.S. and grants from the state, we are still facing a significant amount of costs for various and sundry things ranging from a fire inspection to medical exams. After you read through this list, I ask that you please add the prayer requests (listed at the conclusion of this post) to your prayers for the next several days. (more…)

For your enjoyment and benefit, the following is a brief reference guide to help you learn the importance of avoiding debt, how to save (regardless of your income), and and how to save painlessly (and for the masochists- painfully).  (more…)

We have been fighting an uphill battle against credit card debt since we first got married almost four years ago.  Facing over $16,000 in credit card debt (costing us over $500/month) we took a big step last July and cut our credit cards into tiny little pieces.  So how are we doing now thus far?

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Well, what are my blogging plans for the next month or so (at least the highlights)…

First, I will be writing three posts for StraighttotheBar.com.  [Click on the link now and see a video a guy bending a wrench].  Most likely the posts will be entitled:

“Eliminating the Lug Nuts: How to Find a Good Trainer.”

“The Power of the Negative.”

“Visualization: No Longer just for New Age Hippies.”

Much to my wife’s chagrin over at Musings, Rants, and Monologues I will be posting on my recent quest to build the perfect minority.  Trust me, it will be both offensive, sophomoric, and politically incorrect to the 1,000 degree.

And right here on this, my main blog, I will be posting on my recent struggles with food, our upcoming travels, getting a handle on credit card debt (our experience), and the kind of things you do to start a mental transformation that can keep pace with your physical transformation.  See you later!

Well I wanted to post on money saving investments today, and all I could come up with was one idea.  So I will share my one idea and in return I hope you guys share some ideas on investments that will save money in the long term.

Buy a Freezer:  Who hasn’t been frustrated by the inability of their freezer to adequately contain the fruits of a trip to the grocery store?  And when meat goes on sale, a rare occurrence, it is a great idea to scoop up as much as possible (and reasonable).    For example, our local grocery store occasionally puts 3 lb bags of chicken breast on sale for $3.50 each.  The usual price is 7.99-8.99 per bag.

Now, if you owned an individual freezer unit you would have somewhere to put that discount meat- not to mention pastries, frozen veggies, and frozen fruits.

How much can you save with this idea?  Well let’s just take the chicken example.   My family goes through three bags a month (sometimes four).  At $8.50 per bag the cost over the year is $306, while the the cost at $3.50 per bag is less than $130 per year.  A savings of  $176 dollars over the year.  And that is JUST the chicken.

Now I know there are some costs associated with this.  For example electricity to run the unit.   But, to the best of my knowledge, once the unit is full it is relatively inexpensive to run- as the frozen goods in a packed refrigerator allow the unit to use less electricity than an empty freezer.

So what are your ideas?

As we near out first pay check in over two months (times have been tough but God provided) we are set to implement some money saving procedures and a much improved budget.   What have we done?  Well I will share with you three tips today to shrink your expenses and saved lots of money

First, perhaps the biggest change for us, we are limiting our grocery/all things Wal-Mart budget (excluding dog food) to $250 per month.  We are going to enforce this budget limit by taking out $250 cash at the beginning of the month and placing said cash in an envelope to be used each time we shop.  When the money runs out, no more groceries.  As an incentive to save more, 50% of the money left over at the end of the month can be used for ANYTHING we want.

Estimated Savings: $200-400/month

Second, we are going automatic.  We are signing up as many bills as possible for automatic bill pay.  We have been paying anywhere from $5 to $25 dollars in late fees each month.  The main offender is our water bill.  It is the only bill that comes without a return envelope and is therefore easy to forget about.  To make matters worse the local water department are known in our house as the water Nazi’s- if you are two weeks late with your bill they shut off the water and charge $20 bucks (plus late fee) to reconnect.  As if they weren’t selling the most abundant resource that only cost about $30 a month, and we were somehow going to run off without paying that hefty $35 dollar water bill….geesh.

Estimated Savings: $5-$25 dollars

Third, we will be paying down our lowest balance credit card in a month or two and using that card for gasoline- NOTHING else!  Well okay, emergencies, but only real emergencies.  The card will be paid off before the end of each month.  It will help us budget our gas money and allow for quick and easy gas purchases.  Tried buying gas without a credit card lately?  It isn’t fun.

Estimated Savings$10-$25/month on interest

OVERALL estimated servings:  $215-$450 dollars