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Archive for September, 2012

It starts tomorrow

September 30th, 2012 at 06:28 pm

Well, tomorrow is the 1st which means I can start tracking / recording actual spending. When I made my budget, I of course had to do alot of estimating. My budget though is really a cash flow spreadsheet and it only shows my monthly spending. My 2nd spread sheet shows debts and upcoming expenses that aren't part of my day to day expenses. As I start this, I see a few positives and a few negatives. The positives are that some of my larger debts will be paid off within a year. For example, the IRS will be paid off in March and the bike only has 11 payments left. That will be alot of extra money. In addition, some of the reasons I got behind were due to lack of steady work by me, no work or part time work by my wife, high cost of living in the DC area and the move down south. Now that my wife is starting to work full time and my contract seems steady and the COL is alot cheaper in Fla, I expect to be able to knock some of this other debt off.

The downside is that it will be about a month before my wife gets her first check, and some of these expenses have to be taken care of now. I will be able to meet my current day to day living expenses this month with just my checks but I won't be able to get caught up on anything ( well mabye a few smaller things) until next month. The other negative is the upcoming holidays, as a contractor, I do not get any paid time off so for me thanksgiving, christmas etc mean forced days off.

I think things will be alot better next year but I also hope I can at the very least tread water till after the holidays.

Current debt

September 29th, 2012 at 04:19 pm

That attached spreadsheet shows my current debt as well as other things which I need to take care but haven't yet. I did not put my mortgage or my car paymewnt on here as they are both longer term debts which I am not focusing on at the moment.

starting numbers

September 29th, 2012 at 03:58 pm

I am posting a budget for my monthly expenses, this will be refined as I start tracking my actuals. I am assuming that the income stays the same and hoping that there are not any emergencies.

How I got here

September 29th, 2012 at 03:42 pm

this is my initial post so I may as well start by showing my current situation. I am currently working a contact IT job in Tampa. I make $65 an hour but I do not get any PT0. I do get half assed health insurance that I am paying about $600 a month for (family coverage but limited benefits). I own a house in Atlanta that I owe $106k on, Per Zillow.com, it's worth about 50k now. My stepson and his friends currently rent it. Yes they trashed it,meaning it needs a few thousand in repairs before it would be rentable again. Hopefully they will stay a few more years. They pay $650 a month rent, I pay $800 mortgage. I am thinking of letting it go but I haven't made that decision yet. Maybe I can explore it in a different post.
As stated in my intro, I was doing ok until the recession. I was laid off in the end of 08 from a decent job. Luckily I had a bunch in a 401k so I was able to survive until I picked up my next contract which took me 4 months to find. That one lasted 5. I found a job near DC 2 months later but I had to wait until I could get a security clearance which took 3 months. I also had to move myself to Va and of course rent a Townhouse while my family was still in Atlanta waiting for my step daughter to graduate HS. After she graduated she and my wife joined me in Va. Right after we got to DC, she had to have knee surgury so she couldn't work for a while. I worked as a Gov't contractor for 9 months then was laid off. It only took me about 6 weeks to find another Gov't contract but it only lasted 3 months. When that contract was over, I was unemployed for about 3 months until I got my next contract. During this time, I killed the rest of my 401k and most of my wife's. The contract I took paid well ($70) on 1099 (which means no taxes are pulled (which didn't work out well for me!!!)I stayed there for about 6 months and then decided to to move south again. I found (I thought) a contract in Jax so I put in my notice at my current contract and made plans to move to Jax. Well that company cancelled the contract 3 days before it was supposed to start. I had already turned in my vacate notice on my townhouse, rented an Apt in Fla and had the movers scheduled. So, with that falling through, it was time to job hunt in DC again. I ended up finding a consulting company to partner with and was able to stay in my townhouse (alghouth they raised the rent $200 month). The guy at the consulting company told me that had enough work lined up to keep me busy for a while. Well after 3 months I was billing 5-10hrs a week. A head hunter in Tampa called me for a (hopefully) long term gig in Tampa. I took the gig and we moved down here. The moving company ripped me off but that is another story. So far, things are going good in Tampa but the job market is kinda harsh. My wife starts working Monday and my son (who moved in with us) and my step daughter can't find jobs (although they are lazy and sleep til noon every day). So we have been living off of just my income for the past few years and I am support 4 people in my house as well as paying %540 a month child support for my 16yr old. That in a nutshell is how I got to where we are today. I will post my starting numbers in my next post.

Ok,I need to disclose a bit more to keep it honest. When things were going well, we went to the caribean every year. Since 2008 we have been 3x. Also, we spent $500-$800 a month in casinos the past 2yrs. I also eat lunch out everyday which adds up. I am aware that I am not a victum of circumstance.