Total Money Makeover Update: May 2011 – Hitting a Milestone

Remember how I keep saying that we’re going to get back on the cash envelope system wagon? This month, I really meant to. But Dexter got called into work the morning I was going to go to the bank, so I didn’t have a car, and then a trip to the bank never happened. It was another one of those haphazard-spending-amazed-we-came-out-okay months. But this month, I’m going to make it happen. 

We bought a computer this month, which should contribute to my blogging more regularly. We have only had one easy-to-use computer for about a year, so now I can blog and Dexter can write his web novel* simultaneously. Although the new computer has brought about tremendous happiness and convenience, it definitely hurt to shell out that much money once I figured out what percent of our loans it would have paid off. I try not to think about it.

I am happy to report that we have finally reached our long-awaited milestone. This month, we paid off 0.82% of our loans, and we have 74.98% to go! I had to switch to two digits after the decimal otherwise my rounding would have pushed it up to 75%, and I really want to remind myself that we are under 75%!

I’m unsure of how to predict and plan our progress for the next few months. We need to refill the (new car) savings we used to buy our computer. We’d also like to buy a new bed frame and do a few projects around the house. Obviously, we’ll attempt to accomplish those things spending as little money as possible, but it will take at least a little cash. We’re at a point where we know it’s still going to take a few years to pay down our debt, so we have to decide whether we’re going to hold out on buying conveniences (like a bed sturdy enough to withstand our four-legged, 65-pound baby jumping on and off multiple times a day) until we’re debt free, or if we’re going to slow down our repayment a bit so we can enjoy them now.

The bed I really want...only $350.99 from overstock.com!

What would you do? Buy a bed and fix up the house or wait until 2014 and end up debt free a month or two earlier?

*Warning: The comic is rated PG for violence, but if you click away from Dexter’s web novel you’ll find web comics that are rated R for language, drug references, and zombie violence. I also rate Dexter’s novel A for awesome.

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10 thoughts on “Total Money Makeover Update: May 2011 – Hitting a Milestone

  1. I would totally buy the things you need now and enjoy them while you are paying down your debt. That doesnt mean go out to eat every night, but we all need a few pleasures in life. And if a new bed brings you pleasure and is something you need… then go for it!

  2. I think Dave Ramsey would say “beans and rice”, not a new bed. (Unless the real reason you need the new bed is for other activities other than to hold up under the dogs. Or is that just code for something else. Scandalous!!)

    • Oh my goodness. I knew somebody’s mind would go there! I think it’s funny that you think we should get a new bed for…you know, but not one for sound sleeping. I guess those priorities must not be too bad since they’ve gotten you through 27 years of marriage!

  3. I guess I would figure out how in interest you will be paying for that bed. I know that you will pay cash for it, but you won’t be using that money to pay down other debt. So are you buying a $350 bed but that $350 would save you how much in interest later on?

    My thought would be to hold as tight as you can until you are down to just mortage.

    That line item of becoming a mom before 30 will definitely but a huge halt to the saving and paying down debt. May as well do it now when it’s just the two of you.

  4. I don’t have any advice, but just wanted to say I know where you are coming from. Our huge student loan debt is going to take awhile to pay off. No “we paid of $80,000 in debt in 6 months!” stories for us. We just don’t have the ability to increase our income enough to get the snowball going since part-time 2nd jobs are totally impractical for us and we don’t own anything of any real value to sell. We’re snowflaking it instead I guess.
    So we have to sometimes decide whether we really need something or whether we should try to pay off debt. I will say we tend to push it as far as possible and only buy when we really really need it. For example, our dresser in our bedroom has one drawer with no handle (and can’t be replaced since they don’t make handles that size anymore) and one drawer that falls apart every so often. It would be super nice to have a new dresser, but we can get by with the old one, despite that it’s a pain sometimes. If it gets bad enough, it will be replaced, but probably won’t buy new and will spend as little as possible on the replacement.

    • “Snowflaking it” is my new favorite term. I think that’s what we’ve been doing the last few months, too.

  5. I think it’s important to have certain things now, rather than waiting {like, you know, a bed}. But, do you have to have that bed? And can you keep looking around. I don’t know if there are any in Iowa, but Garden Ridge actually sells beds and we found a king size frame for $150, that looked a lot like the one in your picture {only, in black}. So, just thinking, that it’s important to have a bed/frame that will hold up to your lifestyle {i.e. dogs} but just wonder if you could get a different one that you like for now.

  6. I think the picture of that bed made my meaning unclear. That’s the bed I WANT. I’m definitely not going to get it. If we decide to get a new bed, it’ll be thrifted or from Craigslist for under $100. But I get discouraged the months we have such low extra payments, so even $100 seems like a big deal.

  7. I’m a big fan of reward systems when paying off debt. That’s the whole purpose of the DR Debt Snowball. He is essentially saying that when you pay off a smaller debt completely, it’s exciting and motivates you to pay off more!
    I think adding in extra rewards makes it a lot more fun.
    SO. I would make a small goal of debt payment (like a dollar amount or getting to 70% in your case) and then reward myself with say, a new bed.
    Coincidentally, a new bed and mattress is going to be one of our rewards to ourselves when we’re done paying for Bryan’s school! : )

  8. Pingback: Total Money Makeover Update: July 2011 – Shaking Up My Easy Budgeting System « Mrs. Dexter

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