As you have discovered

There are different ways to pay your mortgage. If you pay every month, you make twelve full payments in a year. If your mortgage payment is $1,000 a month, for example, your will pay $12,000 a year.

If you pay half of your monthly payment every two weeks, you end up making 26 payments in a year, or $13,000 ($500 X 26). The effect of this is that you make one extra principal payment a year, which reduces a 30 year mortgage down to around 23 years.

I have been reading old posts and found some info very helpful

Let me tell you my story.

I am married with 2 kids. My hubby and I own our own home, have 3 vehicles (one is an old beater truck that my husband’s dad gave to us). Oh.. I forgot.. we also have abou $60,000 in credit card debt, and $27,000 in student loans. Not a pretty situation. I am making the minimums, but have to use the cards to live off for groceries. We had $3500 left on our SUV. I recently paid $600 on that and transfered the rest to a 0% card until Sept 05. That not only stopped the interest on our truck, but our payment went from $320 to $40/mo. Now I can take the extra $$ and put it towards the higher interest cards. I am already making plans for our Income Tax Return that is coming up. I am putting $200 in each of our childrens savings accounts, $500 in ours, and the rest will go to pay off debt.

I figure if I put $2000/year extra on our debt, in 5 years that is $10,000 less that I have to pay. I think this is a start of a good plan. As our credit card payments go down, this will free up extra $$ for groceries and necessary living expenses. At one time I had $0 credit card debt. Before I moved out of my parents house I had paid everything off. Then I moved into my own apartment and needed furniture, a new computer, clothes, etc.. Then my I met my husband and we moved in together. He had bad credit with a lot of old stuff hanging around, so we took out a cash advance (at a rate of 9.9% until balance is paid in full) and paid off his bad checks, credit cards, school loans, etc. Then we got married. My parents don’t have any money so my husband and I had to pay for everything. A wedding for 200 guests doesn’t come cheap. Then we bought our house. We were planning on a job that my husband had applied for. That old saying about don’t count your chickens before they hatch… well.. we counted and they didn’t hatch. So we had a mortgage now with all utilities and taxes and insurance. Then the roof on the garage needed new shingles.

Well.. you can about imagine how we paid for that. No excuses. We were stupid and now we are paying for it. Every time my husband asks me what I want for my birthday or for Christmas, I always say I want our bills paid. That is my dream. To live debt free (except for our house of course). We have made huges mistakes, and there are days that I stress extremely over it. But stressing isn’t going to make anything better. I am reading a couple of books. One of them gave me the idea about transfering balances to a lower rate card. Make sense. We were paying 7.9% on our SUV payment. Now I have 0% and a lower payment.

I will post any ideas that I may get from the book. I would post the titles, but the books are at home right now. I look forward to learning from everyone as well as helping out. We all have to remember our situations are only temporary. This wont last forever (although it may seem like it).

I have used both

I have used both Managing your Money and Microsoft Money, and I didn’t like either one of them. I guess I am old fashioned. LOL.

I find the best way (for me) is to use pencil and paper so I can easily find any discreteness… as that is all I knew for many years having to have taken Business Math in High School as a required course. LOL. When I had a Commodore Vic 20, I had a budget program that I loved.

It used bar/graph charts to show where the money was spent. FOOD was always my largest expense. I like the bar graphs too. Well, I have the Microsoft one now, so I can see if it will help at all…looks time consuming though so I don’t know

LOL, my mortgage comes in first, followed by groceries and necessities next! Hopefully one day I can pay this mortgage off before the expected time.. what a relief that would be!

I used to use Quicken, then switched to MS Money when I got a free copy with my Dell computer. MS Money is about as intuitive as a pitbull, and I’m a network administrator, and have no problems figuring programs out. Quicken is WAY more user friendly, and I find it shows me the info I want easier.

Although I’m developing an excel sheet for my personal stuff. The Quicken is just nice because you can download your bank transactions and import them and get a clear picture quite quickly where your money goes.

Money Programs

Hi,

In anyone’s opinion here, what’s the best software for budgeting, for example, Quicken, Microsoft Money, (or whatever else is out there, etc.)or do you find these aren’t very effective at all? I guess I’m looking for something that’s not extremely time consuming also.

Thanks,
Jim

I’m no pro, I need help too

Although (and this might be something you already know..not sure..) I have a lot of medical bills too and none of them except one, which is a dental bill, charges me monthly interest or a finance charge. Try calling each of them to set up the smallest monthly payment they ll accept, but don’t say exactly that to them or they might make it higher to start with. Just say I can pay ‘X’ amount by the ‘x’ of each month.. would that be ok? Usually they take it.

I’ve found that if you pay them every month like that – even if it’s over a few years, you don’t have a problem, but once you let it go about 2 months, then they threaten you with collection agencies, and after the 3rd month, you can almost be assured they ll send it there. I try to make my bills like this the lowest priority so I can focus on the ones that charge me the highest interest and finance charges – with the exception of my mortgage – I feel if I can get the other ones out of the way, eventually I can focus on paying extra on my home mortgage. But this is just my opinion. I would like to hear others’ as well. That’s all I can do at the moment, and I hope this helps someone even a little.

I’m still struggling with sticking to my plan though. I guess that’s the hardest part for me really. I’ve read that your credit card bills shouldn’t have a balance higher than 30% of your limit…well, I know mine is maxed out, lol! I’m still working on this…don’t give up yet! 🙂

I am Back

I have been away for a while. Going through life’s ups and downs. More downs than ups. Thinking about running! The BS with my soon to be ex is getting kinda deep. I have now lost two of my children to her.

She provides no kind of discipline, son is allowed to do almost anything he wants to. No wonder he wants to live with her. lost my youngest daughter to her grandmother, for almost the same reasons. Why after 8 years of being a single parent are they intruding now? I do expect to win the FATHER OF THE YEAR AWARD but i feel i did the best i could. Although i do run a tight ship.

But i want better for my children. They will try to do some of the things i did when i was a youngster.

I know all the tricks of the trade. Now it is me and my oldest son. He is a fighter, his last comment to me about this cituation was ” don’t worry about me daddy, I am not giveng up on our family. It brought tears to my eyes then and it is now. gotta go

it’s a shame and it sucks

But really, even though you can do a little something here and here in court to make it a little more comfortable for you, it’s just hell from hereon-out! I know what you mean about material items. My son (step) begged his mom for latest skateboard a few years ago which cost around $100 to a really good one. He said that’s all he wanted for Christmas.

But she went and took him to Walmart where they proceeded to buy a cheap $12 skateboard that cracked in half a few weeks later. Meanwhile, her husband has a standing order for lazer movies and cds for his hi-fi 51″ t.v. and stereo system.

Anything he wanted for that system – they got for it. But they could only spend $12 on his christmas gift? Give me a break. (of course I got him the expensive skateboard, as well as OTHER gifts, but boy they sure know how to suck the life out of somebody, don’t they?)

Income Protection

I pay a very hight CS which leave me little money for any extra’s in life. I have been thinking about doing some freelance work on the side to make a little extra, but I would like to prevent this from getting factored into my CS.

I been looking for a way to protect this income and would like any ideas. I’ve read a little about Nevada Corp. and have even thought about putting the business it into my girlfriends name. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Walmart has them really cheap

I bought some packages of generic containers at the grocery store in Boise, Idaho for $2.99. I think there were 4 in a pack. The same package at Walmart (only difference was the color of the lid) was only 88 cents! I bought several, and I have a ton of containers in my freezer.

I hate regular peas, but I love the split pea soup. I’ve always been kind strange about stuff like that.

You can use regular shampoo for the dogs. And a really cheap and easy flea solution is to sprinkle borax into any rugs. The borax is non-toxic, but it is highly absorbant. So, small bugs like fleas get dried out and die. We do the floors 2-3 times a year, and we never have fleas anymore. I only have to wash the dog when she gets dirty, and the cats haven’t needed baths in years. One box of borax does our house for about 2 years.