Yes sort of

We get paid every other Friday and the second Friday payday is always what I call a shortfall payday. Technically we are VERY short to cover our budgeted expenses on that payday each month. So I keep the equivalent to that much money in my bef at all times just in case we don’t cover the shortfall by rolling “excess” money from the proceeding payday to cover. I’ve only had to hit it twice this year, but there is a definite feeling of security knowing it is there.

We kind of do this

Our monthly bills come out of my husband’s paycheck, every 2 weeks. I average the utilities. Let’s say electricity: it’s about $1200/year, so I divided that by 26 (paychecks per year), which is about $46/paycheck. I put $60 into it’s own little savings account in Cap1-360, so it covers those big summer (A/C) bills and the big winter (electric heat) bills and plenty of wiggle room. The smaller bills, like Netflix, I don’t really save ahead on it. On my water bill, I just auto-send them $60/month and they apply extra to the next month, and I have at least a month credit there. Including our sinking funds and our $1k emergency fund, we have anywhere between $3k-4k in savings. It makes it VERY simple!! It took a while to set it all up, but it’s been worth it

We’ve been working so hard on getting our finances back on track:

first with my own debts, right after FPU, and then with the revelation this summer that DH had some spending issues of his own. It just seemed …….. a step in the wrong direction. Yet it would definitely be equipment that we’ll end up buying anyway, at some point. And a sale is a sale is a sale. I’ve been going back and forth today a lot. Didn’t help that I talked to Dad about it (Dad being a big fan of old iron and old farms and a rare cheerleader for me when I’m down), and his pronouncement was “geez, honey, you’re not talking about that much money you know. I blow that much taking your mother to Vegas. And you’d get a working tractor out of it.” Gosh, Dad, that’s……, not helpful. We won’t be discussing it tonight, so I’ll just let it lie another day or two and see if anything changes on this, either in terms of my own thoughts or DH’s preferences. Y’all will of course be the first ones to know how it all shakes out. Gotta love Monday morning homework reports.

Sometimes you do have to spend money to make money

If you can move money around and see where spending money on this auction can help bring you money in the future, then you should go forward, especially if you think you’ll be paying pennies on the dollar. THAT BEING SAID, I’m more like you, Kathryn, and would just stay home, but knowing my husband, he would want to go, and as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes you do have to spend money as uncomfortable as it is….This has been a particularly touchy subject in our household recently so I do understand where both of you are coming from.

I vote for putting your money into your bowling expenses

This is where the winnings came from, and quite frankly, this gives you a tremendous amount of pleasure and you’re not going to stop playing. Why not just think of it as a lovely gift that’s been offered to you to offset future expenses? This way you can allocate your normal paycheck towards your every day bills and sinking funds, and still work on replenishing your BEF. You still have to have a life, Eldred! Consider it to be a wonderful present…

Just some suggestions!

When my kids were little, we let them know that Santa’s stuff isn’t free. If your parents have jobs, then Santa expects them to pay; it helps Santa have some things to give the kids whose parents don’t have jobs. And we had a limit per child of what we could give Santa.
It helped hem get the concept. I remember explaining to my eldest–with the ADHD–that if he got everything on his list, the other 2 wouldn’t get anything, so how fair was that? He figured it out, and pared down the list. he was 7.

As for allowance, we tried a dollar a week for each year of age, when we could afford it, but it really didn’t work; I’m sure we didn’t do something right!

Birthday and Christmas money was easy: they had savings accounts at the credit union. Half of any gift money went into savings, and the rest was theirs. the idea was that when they were 16, they would have a good start for buying their first car. It was a worthy goal, and one that they could see as a good thing in the future. we did allow them to take money out for spending money the year we went to Disney World, and we matched that amount. And one of my sons wanted a drum kit, which we let him buy with his car money; later he didn’t have enough money for the car he wanted, and had to buy something that cost a little less. Certain items, we paid half and they paid half.

I absolutely love it

We will be contributing some, but we have not worked out all of the details yet. And, we have not yet established an allowance for the kids. We are working on figuring out the best way to do that so that we can establish financial responsibility with them.

What we have done is give him some spending money for a field trip at daycare and he gets to choose whether to spend it or save it. So, he has birthday money and he has a few dollars here and there from choosing to save. Of course, now that summer is over, so are the field trips.

Right now, his concept of money is quite immature. He has a bunch of coins and he thought that he’d have enough to buy a whole new video game. When we counted it, it was less than 2 dollars, but he still didn’t understand that it wasn’t enough. His birthday money was 20 dollars from the grandparents and he has about 6 dollars from the tooth fairy. Add that to a few dollars here and there and he does have some money. I just feel bad about asking him to pay for the whole thing.

So, I think that this idea might help him get the concept of what things actually cost. He does understand that we are trying to save money, but that’s about it.

The next obstacle is that he still believes in Santa. When we say that we are saving money so something is too expensive for Christmas, his solution is that he’ll ask Santa to get it for him.

Why not make a goal thermometer, such as the one attached, to chart his progress?

Matter of fact, I would find a picture of a DS and make my own chart out of the DS image with tick marks to denote his progress toward saving for a repair.

Is he to save up/cut out items for the entire amount? Or will there be some parental contribution of money versus in-kind contributions such as the money you didn’t spend on snacks at the grocery store? I ask because I would use different colors to denote where the money comes from. Red might be his birthday money contribution, Green might be a certain percentage of his allowance (I forget the word Dave Ramsey uses), Purple might be the money he saved by not buying snacks and blue might be the money mom and dad contributed because you want to see him progress toward his goals. He can tell by the percentage of color, where his money is coming from.

If he’s not paying for his snacks now, he won’t get the full concept of you not paying for the snacks unless you put the money in his hand so he can save it for the repair. I would probably take him to the grocery store, have cash on hand and when he doesn’t get an item he usually gets, put the cash for that item in his hand right in the grocery store. Then he can count up that money when he gets home, and color in his chart for that much money saved.

So, my son’s DS broke

We originally purchased it used on Ebay for Christmas last year. The parts got wet. He had it in a bag for a field trip for daycare and the water bottle leaked. So, it is not like he was irresponsible, but it is broken. We have attempted a few thngs ourselves, but nothing has worked so we contacted the company. We can get it fixed for 85 dollars.

We’d like to use this as a teaching lesson for my son. He is 7. We want to show him the process of saving up for the repair. We’ll talk to him about cutting out some things like sweats etc. from the grocery bill and have him pitch in 20 dollars of his birthday money. But, I’d really like him to understand the process and the importance of not paying for something unless you cut out costs elsewhere.

Anyone have any child friendly ideas for getting this across. My son does have ADHD and so his understand of some common sense things (like time) is behind a typical child. So, maybe think of a 5 year old.

I’m thinking of a chart and maybe an envelope and having him count and chart it, but I can’t quite visualize the best kind of chart to use.

Good catch!

Yes, Hal is saying the right stuff. I hope you didn’t sign up for membership, but if you did call the main company, not just your upline and cancel it. If you get any products in the mail, call for an RMA return number immediately and return them asap. If you get any biz aids that maybe charged for, return it to the main company not your upline. If it’s just a catalog or spam stuff throw them in the trash. These guys are sneaky at best. Don’t give them too many reasons why you quit. They will try to get you back and are so brain washed they think what they do is nothing wrong. They can’t handle to much information. Be short and sweet and to the point.

Good luck and thanks for your military support! I married into an army family so I know what it can be like.

I was almost recruited by an ACN rep too

I think ACN is among the most likely to catch people, because as you say, it does seem legit. Indeed, their service IS legit – reselling telecommunications. Then you find out the whole thing is one big MLM. Their legality has been (unsuccessfully) challenged by the Australian and Canadian governments. They slip through because they claim that the product is the focus, and the residuals are the main source of income, when in fact the major money is made (by very few) by relentless recruiting.

Be careful

Make sure you didn’t sign up for autoship – you need to cancel that seperately. I have known some situations(gym memberships) where cancelling the credit card is not sufficient. They can still ding your credit if the payment does not go through. Make sure your membership with ACN is cancelled.

almost got me!!

i am a san diego resident currently serving in the u.s. navy. i signed up for the acn mlm. i thought this was my big break because i have seen alot of marketing scemes throughout my days but this one seemed legit. i signed for the enrollment fee of 499. and when i got home i decided to do research because it was kinda odd that they wanted my cr3dit card numbers and the numbers on the back of my credit card!! no one ever asked for the number on the back unless i were purchasing something online. so when i did my research i found that acn isnt all that its cracked up to be. so i immediately canceled my credit card!!
thanks google!! lol

My standard policy is that you can use my work as long as

1) I’m given due credit, including contact info (I prefer hal@…), 2) that what I write, or part of what I write, is not taken out of context, and 3) That it is in NO WAY used to support an MLM.

So if I read you correctly, that you are using it as an anti-MLM post/blog, that’s fine with me. I’m just greedy enough to want credit for it.

I have a lot of other posts where I’ve taken apart or commented on various things in MLM and you’re welcome to use them if you feel like dredging through the archives.

After thinking about it, I realize I also forgot the context. If they’re trying to put on a good show and have worn shoes or signs of wear on their suit or good clothes, then yes, that’s a sure give-away.
I’m so rarely in such situations (and like to avoid them) that I tend to forget about such settings. Heck, I don’t think I even wore a tie to my Father’s funeral. (He knew how much I hated them!)

If you’re savy with that?

It was primarily to talk about my thoughts on Amway, but lately, I’ve focussed my critical eye on TEAM.

I wouldn’t want to do it without your permission though.

I agree that someone’s shoes are NOT a good benchmark as to someone’s level of success. I know some folk who don’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of wearing designer custom shoes.

I also know one millionaire in particular who wears consistently what some would refer to as $hit kickers.

My first goal is to get this karate school going

we finally have the keys. We need to get it cleaned up, painted and everything we have been collecting will go there and get out of my house and storage—DH has taken over the house and I can’t find anything or do any productive cleaning.

then, I want to do a good declutter of what is left in the house and clean. That will improve everyone’s health and decrease the stress levels.

Question of the day

What change can you make right now that will improve your life next week? Next month? Next year?

Actually had to mull this one over a bit. Don’t laugh, but I think it would be get the office and basement completely cleaned and organized. If those two were done I could pretty well go about my day to day activities unhindered by having to stop and look for stuff and be far more creative for our business.

On the subject of change

A very wise man told me when I started using the internet all those years ago to NEVER forget that there is a real live human being on the other end and to be sure I didn’t say or do anything that I wouldn’t do if I were face to face with them.

I’ve tried, not always succeeded since emails lose context – however, I’ve tried – and never put anything in writing that you don’t want to come right back at you!

I need to figure out how to pay for a car

I have five kids, and one is graduating high school this year, and another a year later. One have two vehicles, one is a mini-van that has 215,000 miles on it, the other is a full size van that has 86,000 miles on it. Both are paid for. But the mini-van is showing its age.While I can handle doing maintenance, the costs are soon going to outweigh the benefits of keeping it, and I need to replace it, or at least get another on hand for when it gives out.

We try to put all the miles on the mini van, and save the full size van for family outings and vacations to keep the miles low on it, and reduce out fuel bill a bit. So my daughter uses the mini-van for school and work, and since I work third shift I use it for work as well since it is opposite hours.

She is working to save up for a car, and we are not sure what strategy we want to use to purchase one. I am counseling her that a loan can cost more money than it is worth. So I am thinking that she can save up and pay cash for a cheap car, then save up to pay cash for a nicer car later on. The challenge for her will be college costs. We are working on financing strategies for college from scholarship awards, to less expensive colleges, or even going to school on line.

But the challenge is going to be for me to get a car to replace the mini-van. I don’t have the cash saved up to pay cash for one, and I really don’t want to stop, or reduce my snowball to get a car. I am wondering what some others have done to pay for a more reliable, less mileage car for everyday use. We don’t want luxury, but we don’t want a piece of crap that needs a lot of maintenance and is worn out either. I was thinking about maybe a higher mileage (but under 150,000 miles) Honda accord or Civic. I think the target price is in the $5,000-$10,000 range. So I am open to suggestions on how to do this. Maybe I will have to take a set back on my debt paydown?

I will tell you what we have done

We did a 30 fixed when we moved to our town about 14 years ago but ALWAYS paid extra, about 10% of the whole payment (principle, interest, escrow) got added every month. We treated that increased amount as our house payment. We refi-ed a couple of years in because interest rates had dropped so much and got a 15 year fixed for about the same amount as the original 30 year fixed. We continued paying extra, same format, as before.

When we bought our current home in Sept. of 2011 we went with a 15 year fixed. We pay extra on this in the same manner.

All this paying extra was already in place long before we started DR. We are in a different place than you. Find out what is available. Check rates other places. When we bought in ‘11 our “home” bank where we had had a mortgage for 11 years could not TOUCH what we got at another bank where we have part of our FFEF. It pays to check around.

I used TaxAct online last year and I’m going with it again this year

It’s as good as TurboTax and the basic version is free (this includes the ability to file electronically). The premium version is $13. I paid for it this year because it will pull last year’s data into this year’s filing. I don’t know anything about filing state income taxes because we don’t have that in Texas.

Last year I used the two side-by-side and they came up with the same answers, but I found TaxAct to be slightly less tedious to use.
TurboTax online is free, but to file electronically with it costs money, so once I was convinced that TaxAct had done its job, I used it to do the filing and kissed TurboTax goodbye.

My one complaint is that it will import electronic W2’s from just one source, and that’s not what our employers use. So I had to type it all in (it’s not that much typing but I like to eliminate human error where I can).