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Trying Not to Be Frustrated with the World

February 1st, 2019 at 06:11 pm

Despite the fact that it has been since July, it still feels strange to not get paid weekly. I mean, we budget for two weeks and it isn't like anything needs to be done during that time period after the bills are paid, but maybe that is the problem. I am so used to being hands-on on a weekly basis and now it is like it is set for cruise control and I'm there, but there is nothing for me to do unless I see an accident coming up ahead.

DH and I have started watching the Financial Peace University videos. We had started a while back and then life got busy. We decided to restart from the beginning and I am glad we did, because they have completely revamped the presentation. And what's really neat is that DH knows one of the guys in the video doing the testimonials. He worked with him up in Alaska.

We took a big step and cut up all but one credit card. DH is cancelling them, too, but the idea of cutting them up just seems so huge and something we have really both been resisting. We are keeping the one for auto pays, as I've had them double charge too often. Yes, they fix it in a couple of days, but if you double charge on a debit card and there isn't enough money to cover that, you get fees and it is such a mess to sort out even when it isn't your error. I feel more secure having the auto pays on a credit card for that reason.

Now you could say that we could just keep extra in the checking account, but we run a zero based budget, so that makes it difficult, as we don't keep a huge cushion in there. I know we can do it, but I'm just not sure we are 100% there yet. There is also the fact that with the debit card they can put a hold on your account. A hold on a credit card with a huge limit is not that big a deal, but a hold on money in your checking account is.

I know that I am justifying. I just think that when we only use it for travelling and auto pays and it is paid in fully each month, and we are as disciplined as we are, we can handle it. One day when we have enough money to have a large cushion again, we can go fully to debit, but that will not be until after the loan is paid off and we've saved at least 3 months of expenses. We will get there, but we are not there yet.

Personally, I want to do the part where you stop all retirement contributions until you are out of debt, because I think we'd be out of debt by the end of the year that way, but DH is against it. He's the one who wanted to do Dave Ramsey in the first place, but he doesn't actually want to "do" Dave Ramsey. Just the parts he agrees with. I get all his arguments, I agree they make sense logically, but I just want to be out of debt.

I don't mind doing retirement while saving up the full EF, but I want to be done with this debt. It frustrates me, because I feel like if you are only doing things halfway, it'll take twice as long, if not three times as long. I am so tempted to call Dave's show and ask him what to do about this. Of course he'll tell me to get rid of that last card, but he'll also tell DH to knuckle under to the plan. I think maybe some straight-talking from the man himself is in order. Or maybe I'll just email him.

We have been debt snowballing for as long as I've been blogging here. Not on the Dave Ramsey plan, just debt snowballing. And having a small EF. And it worked, but I don't think it worked as well as it could have if we'd been all in and had refused to take on any more debt (like the car purchases we made along the way). And we still aren't all in. We're 3/4 of the way in. Well, I'm 3/4 of the way in. DH is 1/2 of the way in. And while he is more of the free-spirit than I am financially, he still qualified as a nerd on the financial nerd vs. free spirit test. One more point and he'd have been a free spirit, though. I only had one free spirit point and seven nerd points.

In other news, I signed up for my Enbrel co-pay card. It should be here in a couple of days and then I can call the mail-order pharmacy and get the shots shipped to me. I am really hoping this will help me function better on a day to day basis. I'm not thrilled with the side effects of the drug, but the side effects of RA are at this point making it worth taking the risk to see if it helps. It may not even help.

In other, other news, the Girl Scouts are out with their super aggressive cookie sales and behaving as badly as ever at a store near you. I will be so glad when cookie season is over. Meanwhile, I will shop in the mornings instead of the afternoons, and see about making a small contribution to Campfire USA. I've never had a kid from there block the doors, grab my cart, and shout that I had to buy their cookies because they were almost at their goal. No, entitled munchkin, I do not.

I got the shower and tub cleaned today. I still need to do the sliding doors and the little shelves, though, but I will do those when I shower. It's easier. I used Barkeeper's Friend. It is amazing. We are keeping up with the kitchen so far and not letting it devolve into chaos again. Tomorrow's goal is to clean off the top of the bathroom vanity, clean the bathroom sink, and sweep the bathroom floor. Well, that's my goal.

DH's goal is to get the little section between the fridge and the cabinets cleaned out and to clean behind the fridge. And then if either one of us still has energy to take care of the armchair that has turned into a catch-all. We will get organized this year if it kills us.

29 Responses to “Trying Not to Be Frustrated with the World”

  1. My English Castle Says:

    Good luck, Robin. I think the Ramsey plan is a very solid one.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    I just smile and say no thank you when someone wants me to buy something on the street, like the Girl Scouts. Although I do like Girl Scout cookies. Too bad there is a segment of our population that thinks they are entitled to other people's money and have to bully them to get it.

    I don't think we ever stopped retirement to pay off debt. If we did it was a for a very short time, less than a year. But I do understand the reason for this particularly if going all in to pay off within a year. There are lots of people who have documented their Dave Ramsey journey on YouTube. It is interesting to see who follows to the T, and who makes adjustments.

    Have you run the numbers? How many months to pay off with and without stopping retirement? I'd be curious to know the difference in order to make my decision.

  3. Lucky Robin Says:

    It would take 13 months to pay it off if we stopped retirement, threw our tax return at it, and did nothing else. So not quite the end of the year, but very close. Sooner if MIL gives us more cash gifts, which it sounds like she plans on doing, but not adding that in since it is not a done deal. If we don't stop retirement it will take 38 months, so a difference of 25 months or 2 years 1 month.

    Overtime seems unlikely for the foreseeable future, as does a raise, so I don't think there is a way to generate more income to make it faster.

    That's all assuming things go well with DD and we don't end up with new massive medical debt to worry about.

  4. mumof2 Says:

    I use the barefoot investor book and readjust to fit in with us but do the main principles that he uses....he has a new one out that is about teaching kids about money at a young age so they can learn better money skills...but he is focused on australians.

    Maybe you can show him on paper the difference and show him that in the long run you will be better off...do you have to pay interest each month? if so add that in over the month and show him the difference...sometimes that helps...good luck it can be hard when your not on the same page...when I started being a "cheapskate" to pay off our debt my hubby wasn't into it...but he soon saw the difference and now I think he is a bigger cheapskate than me LOL

  5. DW Says:

    I understand your credit card logic. I would keep the card for the auto pays, but I would definitely restricts it use for budgeted purchases only. As for the 401k, will DH agree to only contributing an amount that the company matches?

  6. creditcardfree Says:

    That is a significantly different timeline without retirement. This is why DR does propose to stop it, because it can make a significant difference. Not investing for 13 seems reasonable to me. I personally wouldn't want to stop for a much longer period of time. If you are saving pretax, any change to lower retirement changes the taxes, so it's best to be prepared for that. Another option would be to find a middle ground, lowering retirement until the numbers work to pay it off in 19 months, which allows you to still continue to save something, but gets you to the goal in half the time.

    Do you have any idea when you might get some money from MIL? I guess your plan, as you said, should not rely on that money. But the best way to look at it is that it will have the power to speed up the payoff timeline whenever it is received.

    I'll be honest, and this is just my opinion, I really want to see you pay this off fast, not only to get it off your backs, but to see you move forward with your emergency fund and potentially a home of your own. Keep talking to your husband and watching DR, he may change his mind!

  7. rob62521 Says:

    I totally get your credit card logic. We have two cards. One solely in my name so I keep my credit rating and then one in both our names. We have auto pays on both of them because one place wouldn't take my Discover. We pay off the cards each month and we will not use a debit card because we have had too many people have things charged to their debit cards as in a scam. We still have a checking account so I guess it could still happen.

    I know 13 months doesn't seem like a lot as far as retirement savings, but every little bit helps when you get that interest added on.

  8. Lucky Robin Says:

    DW--DH is only contributing up to the company match of 5%. I had to talk him down to that from the 7% he was wanting to contribute.

  9. Lucky Robin Says:

    CCF--Yes, it is a very different timeline. His concern is that he's 49, I'll be 49 in a few more days, and we have very little in retirement. I am concerned about that as well, so I'm not fighting it as hard as I should, because part of me thinks his point is just as valid as mine. We are very far behind on retirement. We are very behind on our whole lives, really, because of that year with the ten months of unemployment wiping us out.

  10. Lucky Robin Says:

    Rob--It is a hard decision. I just feel like we are trading future security for current security if we continue to contribute. But I am still torn, because I want my future security to be good, too.

  11. Creditcardfree Says:

    Yes, if you feel significantly behind, I do understand the retirement concerns. The one good factor of being near 50 is that you would qualify for catch up contributions in the year you each turn 50.

  12. Lucky Robin Says:

    CCF--DH will turn 50 in August, but even so, we can't afford to catch up. If we start saving for a house anything extra would go to that. I'm starting to think we'll never be homeowners again, to be honest.

  13. creditcardfree Says:

    LR, I understand. I'm just cheering for you! We never know what our future holds. I'm praying for you.

  14. DW Says:

    Thanks for explaining, it is a tough choice. I totally understand Dave’s logic, but I have never been a one-size fits all. I’m leaning towards keeping the 401k with the match because of DH’s age. I would set my end date for 36 months ( I know you stated 38 months above). I say this because that time will go quickly. The blog by ScottishGirl (Trying to save) can attest to that. If DH gets a bonus or you receive money from MIL, or tax returns, I would throw it at the debt. Throw groceries savings at it. Focus on throwing what you can at the debt and not the payoff months.

  15. rob62521 Says:

    It sounds like a tough decision. Hope you can find a solution that works for you.

  16. MonkeyMama Says:

    I completely agree with your husband re: retirement.

    As to the debit cards, I don't think it's justifying. I don't find debit cards to be practical in the slightest. On principal, I would love to cut up all our credit cards and not support the credit card companies. But, practically, we will always have credit cards probably. Too convenient and practical compared to any other alternative.

  17. livingalmostlarge Says:

    I believe Dave Ramsey says no more than 12 months. Even then he says if it going to take longer you need to get more income because you can't live with a $1000 EF for longer without a murphy visit. I know it's super hard to get more income and many followers adapt that part of it because if it took years to get into debt, it can take equally as long to get out.

    So you usually compromise and build a 3 month EF and continue to save for retirement to the match, then debt laser focus.

    So I think he said 12 months max without a EF larger than $1000 and stopping retirement.

    Can you go gazelle intense after the surgery? At that time cut the retirement? Make sure no new debt accrues? If so then go back to retirement.

  18. Lucky Robin Says:

    LAL--I've got a $3000 EF. And I have never heard Dave say that or remember reading anything like that. Do you know where he said it and can you point me to it?

  19. livingalmostlarge Says:

    I found 18-24 months. I swear it used to be 12 months. But I also think it depends and he changes his answer because he says it shoudn't take 12 month to get a Fully Funded EF. But if it takes 2 years to pay off debt and FEFF, that is 24 months and to suspend retirement don't do it. He also said do not stop if there is a match with the first post i think because it takes awhile. But if it's one year he said to give up the match.

    https://www.daveramsey.com/askdave/investing/dave-gets-a-lump-in-his-throat

    http://www.frugaldad.com/should-i-stop-401k-contributions-to-pay-off-debt/

    https://www.daveramsey.com/askdave/saving/an-emergency-fund-shouldnt-take-a-year

    Personally if you give up the match you're nuts. That's free money. Even 5%. You have to work how much harder to make 5%? That's a bonus/raise.

    I would not. But at the same time I'd be looking for a second job for him, you, DS. Or go austere. Nothing purchased not even clothes for 12 months. Bare minimum before I give up the 5%. 5% of $100k is $5k. If it's less than that (i don't pay enough attention what you make), there has to be some way to it up. Because if it's $5k and the match is $5k then you are passing up $10k. How will you make up $10k? You'll have passed up free money.

    Sell anything. Don't buy anything. Get any sort of job. Can you sew?

    And I apologize for those poorly behaved girl scouts. I have sold many booth sales now and never have I seen that. But then my kiddos are young and more shy than anything.

  20. Lucky Robin Says:

    LAL--Thanks. That makes me feel a lot better. As for the Girl Scouts, I reckon they have moms similar to the one you kicked out of your troop, where the level of attention just isn't there. The moms were on their tablet and phone respectively. I know they aren't all bad apples, but this has been a repeating pattern at that particular store for the past three or four years. I don't know if they are the same ones each year, but probably. They also probably have an in with an employee of the store, which is why complaints are never taken seriously.

  21. Lucky Robin Says:

    MonkeyMama--Yeah, I feel the same way about having at least one credit card.

  22. Concrete Says:

    Thanks for the article i really enjoyed some of the points u elaborated!

  23. livingalmostlarge Says:

    I haven't kicked anyone out of my troop. I just now require some moms to be there 100% of the time. And turns out the kids behave better!

  24. livingalmostlarge Says:

    What are you going to do? Stop retirement?

  25. Lucky Robin Says:

    LAL--No, we're not. We are going to continue. We had made this decision before the new job came up (see most recent post), but we will start as soon as we can at the new job to put into retirement, too. We'll raise it 7%, though, since the match is lower, but we want the same amount of money to go in as with the current job. 7% should make our taxes a wash, too.

  26. PatientSaver Says:

    I can understand how you feel about wanting to be done with the debt. I didn't read all the comments, but I would be tempted to do as you've suggested: just throw everything moving forward toward the debt. (I'm not sure what the interest rate is on the debt you're talking about, but the higher the rate, the more likely I'd be to do that.)

  27. LuckyRobin Says:

    PS--There is no interest on the loan. But it is owed to my mother and she likes to hold it over us.

  28. adamsnow147 Says:

    I just think that when we only use it for travelling and auto pays and it is paid in fully each month

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