Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Search for Financial Peace

Alma and I are on a quest to find Financial Peace. I've read Dave Ramsey's book, Total Money Makeover. I've joined us up at MyTotalMoneyMakeover.com. We made our first budget this weekend for the month of November. We are at Baby Step #1. We need to have a stash of $1000.

Here are my challenges. I want to go to school in the Spring. It seems I will have to put that off until Summer or later. I've been cutting monthly expenses, especially the automatic payments. Those, in conjunction with dining out and other impulse buys, break our budget every month. Of course, I always get the dirty look, "where did you spend our money?" I don't know, I just paid the bills and got gas.

Anyway, by eliminating these little auto payments, I am preventing some of the problems that result in bouncy checking. I should eliminate Paytrust too. I'll just have to be more careful not to lose bills. The extra checking account can go too. We are being nickel and dimed to debt.

One thing that we have done to help us "disappear" and work in our favor during tight budgets is using prepaid phones. Alma has a prepaid T-Mobile and I have a prepaid Virgin mobile. Our spending isn't any more than it was when we had regular post-paid accounts. What is best is that if we have tough times, we don't have to worry about making payments per our contracts. If we use less, we pay less. If we use more, we pay more. If we are broke, we don't use. Most prepaid services have a period of inactivity that they will allow if you run out of money on your account. Usually, it is 90 days.

I'm looking for more places to cut the budget.
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