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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.

4 Responses to “It starts tomorrow”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Not adding to debt is probably the most important thing at this point. Is the bike something you could sell? It might be better to get back on your feet financially and buy a bike with cash once you have debt paid off.

  2. Wino Says:

    I tend to sympathize with CCF's comment, but since you've just started your budget and you feel your income will be covering the expenses, I think you should record what is happening and see where it leads.

    I wholeheartedly agree with the point that you cannot afford any more debt until you clean up some of your current loans. The bike repairs and anything that is not safety, health, or absolutely necessary spending should be cut back. Housing (that includes utilities), food, and medical should be your priorities. Good luck! Just remember to ask yourself, "Do I really need this?" before you buy anything.

  3. snafu Says:

    I hope everyone in your home and those you have responsibility for understand the circumstances and are on-board with helping to meet your list of financial obligations. I suggest you run your free credit score to help everyone fully understand that you are in deep trouble.

    The next few months will be tough on everyone until rent, utilities, mortgage & IRS are caught up. Every dollar will need to work hard and justify spending. Everyone in the house needs to pitch in cutting expenses and earning income at whatever jobs they can find baby sitting, slinging burgers, cleaning offices on contract, washing dishes etc. Nothing is too menial for the short term.

    You need to adjust your thinking, understand and accept the fact that Thanksgiving and Christmas will be limited to free, no spend, no cost, simple pleasures. Perhaps you could all go help prepare and serve dinner to those even less fortunate than yourselves who have little hope of getting past their current circumstance. It will make you all feel grateful for what you do have and memories of past pleasures.

    Do your best to keep to basics. Plan all driving to limit costs as much as possible. Check on-line to learn how to do your own oil changes and monitor tire pressure to get the best possible mileage from 2 vehicles. All meals need to be prepared at home forgoing as much convenience foods as possible since they offer so much sodium, fat and unpronounceable chemicals. Create a meal plan of what everyone will eat and stick to it. Restaurant/take-out/fast food costs too much. This is a good time to quit smoking since it's too expensive, so unhealthy and sets such a bad example for your children.

    Start organizing & planning how to solve the problems with the Atlanta house whose occupants rent is not covering the mortgage and costs. Can you change your cell plan to prepaid? Cancel cable, it's an unaffordable luxury at present.

    You're a smart guy with lots going for you once you get past this bad patch. I know you can put on your 'big boy' pants and diligently work through each of these situations.

  4. bikerjohn Says:

    I hear ya. some of your suggestions I have already started doing. About 6 weeks ago, I started using an electronic cigarette. My smoking budget is less than half of what it was. I also talked to my mortgage company today, we are going over a few options to get me straighted out there. As far as the vehichle stuff. I gotta do the 2 tires soon or else it will be a safety issue. I did switch out cars with my wife. She drive the Hynduai now as it gets about 30pmg. I ride the Harely to to work unless it is forcast to rain. I can put off the service on the bike for a bit but it is overdue. As far as the kids go, I am ready to kick both of them in the ass but the job situation for unskilled kids / young adults is tight. I will research options to cable as I know alot of TV can be watched for free. I did not get the NFL package this year so that is a few hundred saved. I am not planning on spending much if anything on the holidays, my complaint on that was lost work days.

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