January 30, 2010
Now that we are serious about knocking out the Credit Card debt (all $11,216 of it) we are faced with a really tight budget. I’m hoping it doesn’t come down to rationing toilet paper. It makes me sick to look at the interest we pay monthly on the credit cards, knowing that all those stupid purchases (and bad planning) over the years are why we are in this position now.
Saving extra money to throw at the credit card debt is good but is a slow slog and (in keeping with reason we are in this mess, the “I want it now!” mentality) ” I want this debt GONE NOW!”
I’m willing to do what it takes to get out of debt. But I don’t want to make stupid mistakes or miss smart opportunities. This got me thinking where is there “extra” money we can throw at this debt? The 401k contributions?
Is it good idea to stop contributing to the 401k and use that money to pay off the debt faster?
This exact question was posed over at the Frugal Dad site. The consensus seemed to be: If it will take more than 18-24 months to pay off your debt you should contribute up until the employee match of your 401k. Frugal Dad himself said, that is was a personal decision…
I already had lowered the contribution down to the company match last month to cover the Health Insurance Premium increase. I worry about retirement because as a SAHM I’m contributing nothing (monetarily). No 401k, no Social Security, no pension – my husbands retirement contributions will have to cover two people. *sigh*
I’ve decided to leave it as is for now, everyone is allocated 5 squares a day…
January 22, 2010
When I go grocery shopping at the Supermarket in the next town over* I’ve noticed four distinct types of shoppers. I never really noticed the differences before a couple years ago because I was a “GROCERY TYPE #1″ and these shoppers usually don’t notice the other types…
GROCERY TYPE #1
These guys go in there picking whatever they want off the shelves, for them grocery shopping is like the old game-show “Supermarket Sweep.” Sales, food goes on sale? Name brand everything. They probably don’t even know they make store brand Cheerios – store brand anything for that matter. They only look at the shelves at eye-level, never knowing of the food world existing on the depths of the bottom shelf. If it is sale, bonus, if it’s not they’re buying it anyway. Think coupons are for weirdos.
GROCERY TYPE #2
Grab the circular on the way into the store and give it quick glance. They have a general idea of what they need and what they want to spend. May use a coupon or two but are not too concerned if don’t. They have a nagging feeling they are spending a lot more than they have to. They look at people with an armful of coupons and think, “Is this what it’s coming to? Am I going to turn into one of THOSE?”
GROCERY TYPE #3
Go in with a fixed budget. A list. A plan. Have studied the circular and know what is a good deal and what is fluff. Try generic brand stuff. Cut coupons regularly. Have a nerdy “coupon wallet”. Only use coupons when it is actually a deal to use a coupon. Know the way upper shelves and way lower shelf often have better values than what’s at eye-level. Compare not only prices but price per lbs, price per volume…They are on to that scam….
GROCERY TYPE #4
Pre-kid era I was such a type #1. I’d roll my eyes at coupon people when they were in front of me in line. Now, I think I’m a Type #2 trying to transition to Type #3.
What type are you?
*I waste time and gas driving to a supermarket 10 minutes from my house when there is a perfectly good one 3 minutes away. I do this because I go food shopping without the kids – this is my “big night out”. I really relish that 20 minutes in the car by myself.
January 21, 2010
Hey MSN.com -
I just read, Working wives can mean happy husbands.
I am not defending any position here (sahm vs wahm vs sahd vs both working – I could care less…) except to say that the title is CRAP.
January 19, 2010
I don’t know how Work at Home parents do it. I’ve been on the computer a lot today, fooling around with this blog. In turn, the kids went without pants for most of the day, lunch consisted of cheese sticks and Mandarin orange cups, and the vanilla yogurt bowls from this morning sat in the sink all day and turned into sour cream. Any dreams of working from home for some extra income with a 1-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old have quickly been dashed!
Still, I paid enough attention to the kids today for no one to have suffered irrevocable harm…
Oh! And I’m going VIRAL baby! LOL! My fellow blogger at Stewart’s Homesteading Blog, provided my first blog hit ever. Thanks Cris!