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Living Like No One Else is a safe place to get help with your personal finance like budgets, savings, retirement, college planning, paying off your home early. Not getting help with the nuts and bolts but encouragement, help understanding what "gazelle intensity" is al about and how it helps you get out of debt even faster.
All our members at some point have read Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover*, been through or lead Financial Peace University* (FPU), been to Live Events etc. All our members are here to help you with motivation, keep you on track or just listen. It's a safe place for you. And your welcome! Come join us!
*LivingLikeNoOneElse.com is in no way officially affiliated with Ramsey Solutions. And Financial Peace University, Total Money Makeover, Ramsey Solutions are service/trademarks of Lampo Licensing, LLC.
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I did it! Just transferred the money and I now officially have 3 months expenses in my emergency account. I chose 3 months because that’s the waiting period for LTD if I became unable to work. I have very stable employment (federal government employee in Canada) so its extremely unlikely that I would lose my job without a ton of notice, and I would have priority in hiring for other federal jobs in that case. I have healthcare, and I don’t have a house, car or kids, so that eliminates a lot of possibly pricey emergencies.
That said the overachiever in me wants 6 months just to check the personal finance advice box, so I have a plan in place to build it up to 6 months by the end of 2021.
My retirement is already well planned for - I have a defined benefit pension plan through my work that is mandatory so I am already paying about 12% of my income to. I suppose I could start putting another 3% into a private account, but I think I will prioritize buying a home first. I have about $32k saved for a down payment, but real estate is crazy where I live. Prices are dropping a bit but it’s still $500k plus for anything even close to liveable. So that is my next focus.
I'm working on the budget for next month and things are going to be tight but doable. I may have a yard sale at the beginning of the month. I need to do a big decluttering to see what we actually have, but I think I have enough stuff to put together a small one.
I got the first bill from my ER visit before I had to see the breast health doctors and made payment arrangements with them. $765! Then the other day I got the bill for the doctors, all the tests, etc. etc and it was over $1,000! I need to call and talk to them to see if we can work out something. If nothing else, I can't let those get behind because I may need them again.
Food stamp and Medicaid applications were sent off today so I'm praying hard for those. It's really helped that the schools are giving out lunches 3 days a week and once a week the local church gives out a 20 pound box of fruits and veggies.
Not much of an update, but I figured I'd post one anyway.
I don't know about you, but I'm getting corona-weary. I never thought I'd experience something like this in my lifetime. Previous generations had wars and unrest and uncertainty. I know 9/11 changed so much about how we lived our lives, but this coronavirus feels like it is changing our society on a more personal level. I don't know how long it will be before it peaks in our country, but I do know that how people communicate and interact with each other, for business, leisure, well-being is changing. In a way it feels like we're beginning to look up from our phones and other devices to see each other, and at a time when having the technology and communication network those same phones and devices represent provides a safe way to do so.
DSHome's work is having him work from home a couple of days a week to reduce the number of people in the office at the same time. My office is allowing flexible hours between 6A and 7P plus half-day over the weekend. I don't have work-technology to allow me to work from the house at this point, but they may be working something out to get the right equipment to allow VPN. If that happens, I'll likely do a combo of working from home, working in the office, and taking some annual leave.
Nothing is changing for DSAway as his classes were already online, and he wasn't planning to attend the graduation ceremonies, so if they are cancelled (as they probably will be), he'll not be disappointed or missing out on something he wanted to do.
DH's biggest inconvenience was the closing of the public library. He had a book on hold that he was going to get last Saturday but they sent out the closing notice on Friday after they were already closed. But believe me, he will not run out of things to read based on the stack of books he's been meaning to get to at home.
Because we buy loss-leaders and stock up routinely, we were not part of the "woe is me, I can't find toilet paper" crowd. We had purchased our three-month supply a few weeks ago. We did lay in some extra groceries so we don't have to go into the store / mingle with other people. Restaurants are still open in our area and we agreed to help support them as we can through take-out service a little more than usual. (It's nice to be in BS7 where we can do that.)
What's been interesting to me is how much people are sharing with how to make the most of closed schools through instructional classes, information, etc. Virtual tours, exposure to art and opera and painting and all sorts of things. Businesses stepping in to help sustain their communities even when its costing them what little margin they may have. Big businesses expanding their community outreach.
Anyway, I hope our LLNOE friends stay well and weather this storm successfully. Be safe. Be well.
Hello friends, inspirations and financial confidants,
I was working through a pile of collections statements and plugging numbers into the Debt Snowball Spreadsheet when I decided to stop by LLNOE and see what was going on as of late. It's really incredible, I began this journey in 2011 and so much "life" has happened, ups and downs, stupid and wise decisions, career momentum - everything! And it is so funny, as I technically sit here in BS2 again, it does not upset me because I've been through this before and know it can be done again! I feel pretty elated about our future together so whatever dirty work needs to be done now, is totally worth it.
So last time I left you off, I shared that I'd sold my house, reconnected with a fellow and we were renovating an RV. I was getting my schooling finished, paring down possessions and was looking at beefing up my IRA.
Fast-forward about 8 months to today: that fellow asked me to marry him,
wehis mom and sister planned an elaborate backyard ceremony and we are happily newlywed as of June. We have an insane amount of plans/dreams/goals to keep us occupied and are eager to get cracking. I finally got my associate's degree in hand/on a piece of paper/ready to frame on the wall like I wanted. I had applied for a different position within my company around the time of my last blog post - I got the job and started in late February. I love my new team, new boss and the line of work I've gotten into, and was offered a substantial pay raise with the inclusion of a monthly commission that I was not previously eligible for. So, really - all great things! Our RV renovations are complete "enough" - the bathroom is still an untouched time capsule of 1987, but everywhere else is complete barring some minor cosmetic finishes. RV Living is certainly interesting, but honestly, it's eye opening how little we really need to lead perfectly healthy and normal lives.
We purchased 2.5 raw acres locally in March using proceeds from my home's sale to help with down payment and begin our Construction Fund. We're slowly but surely taking the steps to make it build-ready. Logging, well drilling and electric hookups (must cashflow these) are all are items needing completion before we can even think about turning to a lender for a home construction loan. On the other hand, DH is toying with the idea to try cashflowing/DIY'ing a build (he works for a home builder and is pretty experienced) and keep living in the RV during the process, but I am not quite there yet mentally
We have a decent amount of debt to drill through to bring us, as a married couple, back to solid footing. DH had a lot of medical and court-related debts in collections for years so now's better than ever to clean that up. Back story on the court stuff: When he and I dated 10 years ago, we had a great time and fell hard for each other. We dated almost 4 years during the ages of 21-25 years old so pretty young. But he liked to drink a lot. It got him into a couple of fights/incidents and even a couple DUI's. Both our moms and I intervened but he didn't want to accept that he had a problem. Things looked bleak so I ended the relationship. During this time I'd also found Dave Ramsey and was trying to take responsibility for my adult life. In fact, I probably ranted about him on this very blog in my early DR days, haha! DH is now 5+ years sober and he's the wonderful man I knew before alcohol was involved. He's totally willing to work the DR plan and I've got a LOT of experience with that!
So it is our intent to really knock this out of the park and carry on. Can't go back and change mistakes now, but we can be responsible and own up to them and get them squared away. I tallied up all of our shared debts, including my credit union VISA which is clearly out of control since I set it up as my overdraft protection.... yeah, my car loan, and his collections debts from varying debtors. It's nearly $50,000. Yes, I do feel a little queasy typing that up and sharing with all of you. From experience, though, I know that's a very necessary but painful step in the right direction.
On the bright side: I'm attempting to settle the collections accounts for the original amounts owed rather than all the interest. Several of the accounts are currently sitting at 2x the original amount just from 12% interest fees and length of time debt has been sitting. It's fair to offer a payoff of the original balance to a collection agency, right, since they got the debts for far less? I used a low snowball estimate in the Debt snowball sheet, and the prediction was an August 2020 payoff. Well, I want to be paid off in, like, January 2019, so we've clearly got some work ahead of us!
Attaching a photo of our RV, taken from me standing in the kitchen
It is good to be here and read up on how everyone has been. Thanks for the support and inspiration, as always!