Question of the Month
Question 1: Keeping pace with the financial goals is becoming tougher with each passing day. How do you two (you & your partner) plan together to meet your financial ends?
Cost of living is rising at a rapid speed with each passing day. So, it's becoming tougher for each of us to meet our financial goals. Share with us the planning that you and your partners do together to meet your financial aims.
Winner PostAnswer 1:I and my wife started planning our financial goals right from the day we rented a house together long before marriage. Our friends call us "Budgeting Geeks" which we take as compliments. So, right from the onset of current financial crisis we sat together and made a list of two categories: -
1) Most essential things we cant live without like utility bills and other basic requirements like gas bills, etc.
2) Non essential things which can be left out from consumption like night outs, eating out at restaurants, and many more.
We planned to make spending only for the first category and leave out the second completely. After this we started the main and toughest job of executing the planning. For the first few months, it was really difficult for us to maintain the planning but everything was put in place after some permutation and combinations. In fact, we have started to save a large chunk of our income as retirement plan and children plan (as we plan to have our first baby in 2010). But dont think that we are living like zombies and dont go out. We really do but thats too according to our planning. We have also made a separate account for entertainment purpose where we keep money all through the month to spend it accordingly in the next month.
In fact, when we started our planning our finance was in a mess and started to accumulate debt. But look at us now. We have started to save for old age as well as keep money for entertainment purpose once in a month. Were now a very happy couple with no debts at all and enjoying our life to the fullest.
Answer Posted by | enlightened
The other answers worth mentioning are:
Answer 2:My husband and I have struggled for quite sometime, well since we were married we married young and it will be 13 years this november.
We have learned alot along the way. My husband has been at his job for 14 years and the first 8.5 years were part time working a second to third job, but he has been fulltime for the past 5 years. We are still getting our finances in order. I am currently working part time since our youngest of 4 children is going to be in school this year so we will be saving on daycare expenses. On the days we do need daycare our oldest son is 12 and he is our babysitter, so that saves us money.
We have made arrangements with our electric and gas bills to that we are making small monthly payments so when the larger bills hit this winter, we will still be paying the same amount.
We are making arrangements with our credit card companies to get them taken care of and also improve our credit scores along the way.
We have limited our eating out from 3-5times a wk to once every couple of weeks, this has saved us alot of money!! We have been eating in a lot more, it has been rough with all of the school activities, but it is working well. When we go to their games we eat before the games and bring lunch when we have 2 games it saves alot of gas when we dont make the trip home inbetween the games. We also carpool with other parents, i take their children one day to practice the next they take mine, this saves alot.
We have been buying our clothes and our childrens clothes from yard sales and goodwills. I found 3 brand new pair of shoes(still had the tags) from the goodwill we went to just before school and they were only $1.99/each ~ we all know thats a savings there!!
My husband and I have also refinanced our auto loan which was only $390 now its $333/month, hey thats almost $60/month savings that helps us now!!
My husband also had his deductions from his payroll check changed from being 1 to a 4 which we get the money now, instead of the government holding on to it(even though the lump some is nice at the beginning of the year) we can use it now!! Every little bit we save has helped. We have had a rough time, still are, we got some payday loans online and found out through this site they are illegal. I thank everyone here for making me aware of this. We are still paying on these and trying to get out of this hole. Saving here and there is helping and we have paid off a couple of these so we are on our way.
Answer Posted by | wendylynn93
Answer 3:I have no actual partners. I gather opinions from my sons and a daughter, who have their own lives and problems. I live with my daughter, her husband and their sons. I think they are ready for me to move. I receive $475 in SSA benefits, thats all.
We live 2 miles from the nearest bus stop in the Atlanta Metro area. I see jobs which I can do, but no one is available to take me anywhere. Like the dog with the ears hanging out of the window, I leave the house when invited.
My first goal is to find a job to increase my income. I applied for disability over 3 years ago and was turned down repeatedly. I suffered and recovered from vocal cord polyps which stopped my work in telecommunications. I have since reapplied to work at home for two well known companies,and am waiting for a reply. I also found, after plowing through come-ons on craigslist.com, a good resource, a company which has sent me great job opportunities. I have sent out 4 appplications this last week.
My second goal is to fix my teeth. I applied for a paraprofessional job at a middle school near my house. The lady was glancing at me, and I realize she was trying to get a good look at my teeth which are worn down as a result of a TMJ disorder. I had a lovely, dress for success outfit on, understated and expensive-looking (I bought it at Ross), but I believe my teeth cost me the position. My solution, I talked today to a receptionist at a dental office at Georgia Tech who has informed me about the new dental clinic which opens soon. It will charge according to income. Maybe by the time it opens, Ill have a good job with benefits.
My third goal is to get a car. My "kids" dont want the clunker I might bid online at Georgia Surplus Auctons website to be in their driveway and I live in a rather exclusive neighborhood. If I win with my bid of $275, Ill have to bargain with someone nearby to let me park it nearby. Perhaps the handsome man next door will let me "lease" his garage in exchange for hot rolls? Cookies, maybe??
My fourth goal is to find affordable housing nearby. I have applied for affordable housing near my mothers home in VA, and no. I cant live with her. I will look up affordable housing for seniors in this area today. I dont mind being in that position: alone with strangers in a new area, as long as the bus stop is in walking distance. My son in law and daughter havent made "time to move " signs, but I feel I should plan ahead.
I plan ahead for plane trips, at least 21 days ahead and go where I want to go. I also am a member of airline customer clubs, and travel groups, so I get email offers everyday of specials. Its easy just to delete what I dont want every day when I check my mail.
My last goal is to visit my son who went straight from Iraq to Fort Lewis in Washington. So, Im looking for my cheap plane package offer to Seattle. I dont spend over $275 of my check in any month for anything.
This month, my pressing need is transportation. Do I buy the clunker which might need work? My only information about the car that I have is that the car is drivable. Do I locate taxicab companies to get an idea of monthly expenses to get where I want to go and tie in my trips with the familys weekend sight-seeing trips to the mall?
Thats my work for the day, phone calls and and making a web search for housing and call my sons for their ideas on my buying the old car. The bidding ends this evening. I have to make a plan. $475 is a small pie, and you cant cut the pie too many times without it turning into pudding!!
Answer Posted by | risingvalley
Answer 4:As of lately, I have learned that less is truly more. I have recently been posting and selling items that are of little or no use to my family and I on craigslist. Doing this has come in very handy since the beginning of the school year. School clothes, shoes, supplies and the cost of extra curricular activities is draining on the wallet to say the least. I had to rent a violin for my son to play in the school orchestra and my daughter needed cleats and shin guards for soccer, so I went through the closets and the basement and found things to sell to offset the costs. Definitely made for less coming out of my paycheck so that my check could focus on the bills to be paid.
Also, I have made a very detailed budget to follow being that my financial circumstances are going to change in the next 2 weeks. I have 3 columns: my bi weekly net, monthly net and my yearly net. My essential bills are first: housing, utilities, insurance, child care, groceries and fuel. Next I have designated specific amounts to be saved for the following purposes: clothing, extra curricular activities, entertainment, general savings, allowances, auto, college funds and travel. My goal is to set this money aside so that I wont be caught in a bind financially if my car breaks down or I have to make a spontaneous trip to visit my family. I am honestly shocked that I can save money and still have money left over, if I follow this budget and do not deviate from it.
Saving for my childrens education is extremely important to me. I want to be able to give them something to help them get started. After the first of the year I will be enrolling in the 401k plan at my company, (if the market improves after this past week) but I still want to have my own savings stashed away for both rainy days as well as my retirement.
Answer Posted by | polly
Answer 5:We have worked out a plan. We have planned to buy our own home after 5 years. Instead of applying for a mortgage loan, we are saving money into an account for five years. We will apply for mortgage loan only after saving a significant amount. I have planned to buy a good car within 2 years for which we are saving too. We don't overextend our spending and avoid credit, of any type, by all means.
Me and my wife have adopted certain new means for saving more money.
1.We don't expend beyond our limits. 2.We only spend according to our weekly planning. We allocate money for spending on a weekly basis and even if we want to buy anything above the limit then also we can't as it is 3.We have also made a separate fund for entertainment purposes, utilized once a month so that our lives don't become monotonous. 4.We maintain a piggy bank where we keep the change at the end of the day. 5.My wife always maintains a separate fund for emergencies. This is how we work together to reach our financial goal.
Answer Posted by | phoenix
Answer 6:We are considering selling one car as we have one paid for, and payments on the other. We will then purchase a used motorcycle. Ins. will be cheaper. Only run the A/C during the day an we have installed Ceiling Fans in all Bedrooms and the living Room. Cut power costs by getting rid of the security light and turning everything off except the Frig and Hotwater Heater when not at home except if we are going to be gone for a period of time and you have Electric hotwater by turning the breaker off the hotwater heater wont heat or use electricity at all. if you have gas, turn the gas valve going to the hotwater off. Install 40 Watt light bulbs or less in all lights as the higher the wattage the more power they use and less heat is produced with lower wattage bulbs. You can install the new expensive flouresent bulbs but my personal opion is to not use them for outside lighting as they take a while to warm up and put out there max lite.
Answer Posted by | jmshinkley
Answer 7:Mutual understanding is the buzz word for a relationship to flourish financially and achieve their aims. I and my wife have agreed to achieve our financial aims. First, we have jotted down our mutual financial aims and then prioritized them according to their importance. Then we have made three categories, i) biweekly income, ii) biweekly expenditure and iii) biweekly savings. We have squeezed our expenditure to the minimum and stopped our night outs. Entertainment costs are also pushed to their minimum.
Answer Posted by | kmc
Answer 8:The way we are going to keep up is to keep vigilant about our spending and finances. When I go to the store, I buy the bigger packages of meat so I can make two or three meals out of it for later,use coupons, sales, etc. I limit my trips and try to get everything done in one swoop.
We have made a budget and stick to it, allowing ourselves to go out and eat, movies, something , once a month-after the bills are paid, if there is extra.
My husband does have an IRA at his work, and we do not touch it, in case something major comes up. That is one trick to saving and planning, dont touch you savings or what you have. Try to get by and keep that for real emergencies.
The bigget way we can continue to be caught up is, to pay off our bills. This frees up some money each month that can be put in savings, pay extra on insurance, etc.
Staying on top of your expenses can help you see where the money is going and what can be pared down.
Answer Posted by | Bossy4455
Answer 9:With the economy now shifting like sand and the uncertainty of ever increasing prices, its time to bite the bullet for real. No more impulse buying...only get what you really NEED to live. And first and foremost we will put money away for US first!! No one cares about your future except you..thats just a fact!!
Answer Posted by | Shazzers
Answer 10:The best way to manage your finance is to have good book keeping. Do you own financial statements every month. And actively monitor where your money is going. Cut out unnecessary spendings and use that money to pay down debt and put towards investments.
Actively seek out and learn about investments that would add to your immediate income. My strategy is buying sustainable income producing assets and holding them for long term, those are stocks with a relatively predictable earnings and good dividend yields.
Seek out professional financial advisors that is already doing well them self to help you.
Once that amount piles up begin to put toward income producing real estates. Manage your portfolio well and your financial life will be much more happier.
Answer Posted by | Patrick Leung
Answer 11:We are really thankful to Debt Consolidation Care community which helped us all the way towards a [url=http://www.debtconsolidationcare.com/debt-free.html]debt free[/url] life. DebtCC taught us how to keep interest rates on bills to its minimum and [url=http://www.debtconsolidationcare.com/getoutofdebt.html]get out of debt[/url] as soon as possible. From this community, we have learned that financial goals cannot be reached without proper understanding between the couple. Every decision should be taken mutually otherwise, money can't be properly utilized. Current economic climb-down has forced us to place importance on savings for future well-being.
Answer Posted by | debtfreebirddie
Answer 12:Our current financial situations have many draws, more than planned with our son starting college at 16. So since then, I automatically throw out any sale papers that come to the house, except for the grocery stores we shop. Deciding on meals depends on what's on sale that week. Most classes Ive attended in the past recommend we go to all cash. My husband's parents did well for a long time this way. Unfortunately recently my oldest sons friend walked out with his, my sons couple of hundred he had saved, located in his top drawer. Yes, too trusting. Also this young man with a defect in morals, also walked out with my youngest sons lock box with almost 800 in it. So going cash is out of the question for us. But I know we have just rearranged our phone situation, cable plan and other areas. Now we are trying to secure some scholarships, and get the oldest one paying for his own college. Other than that the extras are gone for now. But I have become an expert in almost zero cost fun. Its not forever.
Answer Posted by | berks4
Answer 13:My husband and are currently in $200,000 worth of student loan debt, we have a $159,000 mortgage, we owe 4 credit card companies a total of $10,000 and have tons of collection debt. And we have a combined monthly income of $4000. Obviously we are in over our heads!
One night we sat down and had a long discussion. We came up with a list of priorities. Mortgage, groceries and utilities first. Then student loans, and then with whatever we have left we attack the credit card and collection debt. Starting with the smallest debt and paying it off. Working from there. As of Thursday I will have my first paid in full!
With gas prices, food prices, electric prices,etc. rising we are finding it hard to stick to our goals. But we make sacrifices.
I would love to go see dinner and have an expensive night out, or buy a frivolous pair of expensive shoes. Id like to have a new wardrobe and a new car. But instead of buying these things, we are saving every sent we can and throwing it at our debt.
We have no children yet, but when we do, we do NOT want to be in over our head in debt, and worried about getting sued all time.
My husband has a job. I lost mine but I am currently looking for a new one. Our house is cluttered with "stuff" left over from my crazy spending days. Ive had a few big yard sales, and ANYTHING made at them goes directly towards debt.
Its a struggle, and its hard, and it sucks, and it certainly takes a lot of discipline. But in the long run, when we can retire, or pay for our kids to go to college. We will be much much better off!
Answer Posted by | anc526
Answer 14:As a single mother, I feel that it is my responsibility to teach my son now how to handle finances. I dont have a partner in the aspect of someone bringing in another income, but my son is involved in all the financial planning and decision making.
I let him help me with the balancing of the check book. He sees when and how much we bring in, and where it goes as far as necessary bills, and how much is left. Keeping him informed keeps down the requests for un-necessary items. Since he understands how the money comes in, how it goes out. He knows what is left over and what it can be used for. Im teaching him responsible financing, spending meaningful time with him, and helping him build his math skills in the process. (Doing my bills with him setting beside me cuts the stress too!)
This part of my answer wont quite fit the question as for what we are doing now to make financial ends meet, but I can speak from past experience as to what I would have done differently if I could go back and do it again.
First of all, keep no secrets! Handling the finances is tough enough without the added stress of keeping the truth from your partner. Yes, he may be mad because you over spent at the store, or because the furnace ran for a month while the den window was wide open, but honesty is the best policy. Communication is the key to any relationship. If I had it to do over again, we would have sat down together, planned a budget and stuck with it, discussed anything that came up, and shared the responsibillity. The key words in this question are "plan together".
Answer Posted by | jennifer_bailey75
Answer 15:I am a single mother, so I have sat with my children and we have reached a family budget together. Things that we can each comfortably give up to pull together as a family.They have given up new gameboy games and buying school lunches. I have started packing my lunch and not getting my nails done. We know that after we weather this storm together we will be stronger as a family.
Answer Posted by | Robyn McCusker
Answer 16:We plan our financial goals in accordance with our payday which comes every two weeks. The first thing we make sure is 10% forced savings out of our total income. Let me tell you that I work two jobs and my wife is also employed. We have gone through a really bad financial situation some time back where we were in a payday loan mess and have recovered only this year. So, we dont forget to keep 5% of our earning as emergency funds and another 5% as retirement savings. Now-a-days, we only spend on our necessities and dont eat out at all. In case of celebration my wife (who is a very good cook) does all the cooking and I help her in the kitchen and spend most of our leisure time together. The only debt we have with us is a mortgage loan and havent been late in its payment.
Answer Posted by | ben2
Answer 17:My hubby and I are in debt and struggling to make ends meet. for the past ten years I have been the one responsible for our budget. this has been stressfull and it really hasnt worked. we have decided to work together to to do the budget and checkbook. every day after dinner we sit down and go over our checkbook and make sure everything is logged. monthly we go over our budget tomake sure we willl stay on track. we have decided to get temporary part time jobs to pay down our debt and build an emergency fund. it is such a relief to not have to be the sole person working on the bills. I look forward to getting out of debt as a partnership!
Answer Posted by | jnmteal4
Answer 18:I live with my girlfriend in a rented house in CA and dont do long term planning. We do a weekly expenditure plan and try to stick to it. The first thing we place at our must-spend list is the grocery bill. First we make a list of the grocery bill on a weekly basis and spend according to it. We have stopped dinning out every week but do go for a perfect date night once in a month to keep the flare alive. In addition to this, we try to spend time together as much as possible and regularly go out together and have ice-cream together and avoid expensive night outs. In this troubled time of financial stringency the secret of our happiness lies in our mutual sharing of financial burden with each other and taking financial decisions together.
Answer Posted by | Cancun
Answer 19:We have come up with some innovative monetary restrictions to manage our debt. We have decided not to use any credit card whatever be the reason. Payday loans are a strict NO. We kept only one CC with us so that it comes handy during extreme emergencies. In addition to it, we have kept our respective Debit cards in our home so that we cant use it for purchasing anything out of planning. Instead we have allotted weekly allowances which we allot on a bi-weekly basis. If in a week I overspend then I have to tighten my expenditure in the next week. We are following this schedule for the last 6 months and it has paid off well. This is the way in which I and my hubby have been managing our finances and are doing quite well.
Answer Posted by | angelinahill4u
Answer 20:Only after were in a debt mess, that we realized that we spend so much of our hard earned money into things that we dont want. Thus, I and my husband have taken resolution to simplify our lives and eliminate our non-necessities. When we sat down to figure out expenditures, we are shocked to see that how much of our income goes behind unnecessary items. So, we have listed those unwanted expenditures and cut it off our lives. Amazingly, our present income seems quite enough for a much better living. Were now cursing us for not exploring this fact before we got into debt trouble.
Answer Posted by | crumblingunderdebt
Answer 21:Let me tell you that both I and my husband were shopping freak and weve spent so much of our money in gadgets and not so important articles. But now we have matured a lot with time and have become more responsible. Eg. My man shelved the idea of buying a new car and resorted to repairing of our existing one. It is difficult to abandon our past habit of shopping but were growing up. Before buying an article we always ask ourselves, "Do we need it? If not, then Leave it".
Answer Posted by | martha1222255310
Answer 22:We keep a note of each dime we spend. Along with it we both maintain separate chart on a daily basis of our expenditures and compete with each other on the extent of saving on a weekly basis. And the loser has to give a treat to the winner at the end of the month. In fact it has two pronged effect, on one hand our life becomes interesting and on the other this habit helps us to save more.
Answer Posted by | Kuznetsova
Answer 23:With the onset of the current financial crisis, is only a matter of time to resolve, I lost my job and my wife had to bear most of its burnt. She looked after us for five months until I got a respectful job. But this period has pushed us to a cc debt of $20,000. Right now were into a [url=http://www.debtconsolidationcare.com/debt-settlement.html]debt settlement[/url] program and are trying to payoff the debts. According to the company it will take another 1 year to get rid off it. Right now Im working two jobs and my wife is doing hers. We are now concentrating only to the necessities and nothing beyond that.
Answer Posted by | novice
Answer 24:1. No extra expenses. 2. Pay what has to be paid food, cars, home, etc. 3. Credit cards will get the money when I have it..
Answer Posted by | clarissachambers
Answer 25:My husband and I have decided to change our work schedule so that we can give maximum time to our young children. This helped us financially as we don't have to shell out money for daycare. We used this saved money towards paying our bills.
Answer Posted by | kristina1222344416
Answer 26:Overtime payments go to the savings account. At the time of every pay-period, whatever money is left unspent in both of our accounts is again converted into savings. At the beginning of our new payday, it starts from zero as if we're starting afresh with no carry forward from the previous payday. This extra money that we save helps us to payoff our .
Answer Posted by | karera