Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Looking Ahead to 2009

There is an article on Verizon's website that nicely summarizes what I've been writing on this blog over the past few months. It talks about being frugal in 2009 as well as other ideas for saving money. If you get a moment, read what it has to say.

3 comments:

Smalltown RN said...

I am in the worst financial state than I was when My children were young. 4 years ago I got divorced...of course divorce is expensive....I make a good income...last year I made $75K....but i have nothing to show for it....yes I own a house...or should I say the bank does. I use to have RRSP's until I met my new husband and cashed in all my savings to help out his buisness....his buisness has floundered...that is a whole different story....I have had medical issues...which although I have had insurance to cover it has left me behind the 8 ball....I am currently putting out far more than I am taking in....I did not use credit for Christmas it was a very skimpy Christmas....I hardly ever eat out....I pay all the house bills plus the food, pluse my share of the mortgage,I have a car payment,and family maintenance....I need to save for the future...I just don't know how....my husband hates to plan...or budget....I have suggested on many occassions about sitting down doing a budget, looking at our out put and income...he doesn't want to have anything to do with it....from his business he has creditors after him...and family maintenance....my fanancial future sucks....it's hard to see the light....how can I plan for the future when I still paying for past mistakes ....saving....good luck...help me get through today!

Mich said...

Smalltown RN, I am sorry to hear about your financial situation. You can start today to make up for past mistakes. It may take a few years. But you can start. Even if your husband won't do a budget with you, you can do one by yourself. It is a very eye-opening experience and will give you a clear idea of where your expenses are going. My first suggestion is to try to cut back on your expenses. It sounds like you already are. But perhaps go even more radical - cut out cable tv, buy generic groceries, cut out your cell phones. No weekend trips or vacations. Tell yourself it's temporary until you get back on your feet. With this housing market, moving into a less expensive house may not be feasible, but that is a radical option as well. You can never save money if your expenses are more than your income.

If your expenses are still higher than your income even with all of your cutting back, then you can try a part-time job. If you are a nurse, then I assume you may be able to pick up extra hours or do something on the side. Again, this would be temporary until you are back on your feet.

Again, in order to save money for the future, your expenses need to be less than your income so unless you always want to have an extra job, cutting your expenses is best.

You don't mention debt, but if debt is your problem, then I suggest your read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. I just recently read it because I've heard so much about him. I got the book from the library. He has a plan for getting out of debt. Many people swear by him. His plan is very simple. I will very vaguely summarize the first few steps here. 1. Scrounge up $1000 and put it into an emergency fund so you will have money if things come up. 2. List your debts in order of smallest amount to largest amount. Pay off your smallest amount debt first while paying minimum on the other debts. This step may take a couple of years. When you are out of debt, then you can build up 3-6 months savings for life's emergencies. After that then you can begin saving for retirement.

I have never been in debt so I can vouch for his system, but many people love him. I hope this helps a little bit. Just caution, I am not a financial advisor, but these are just some ideas that might help you. Good luck.

Mich

Smalltown RN said...

Thank you Mich for your comments....

In a nutshell here is want I have done....

I do shop for no name products...or where ever I can get the best deal....

I do pick up extra shifts at work...but when I already work 5 in a row it can be exhausting...and well that can lead to other things...but I am not opposed to picking up extra shifts...I work a lot of overtime as it is the nature of my job..its not uncommon for me to work 2 or more 16 hours shifts out of my 5 shifts.

I have already suggested to my husband about downsizing our residence...but it is a bit more complicated than that...you see it is his parents and I on the mortgage...but what we have decided is that his parents live in a house to large for them that has a suite(almost complete suite)which we will finish they will move into the suite and we will rent the upstairs which will help substantially towards the mortgage...it's getting my hubby and father inlaw motivated to get it finished...that's another story...

I don't take trips...or rarely....but I do live on an Island which necessitates a ferry ride..which costs over $150 round trip...my daughters live on the mainland so that is where the money goes to see them or to bring them over....

I hardly ever buy clothes for myself and if I do they are on sale...I like second hand stores and consignment stores....

We have basic cable for our computers that's it....I cut back on my cable over a year ago..got satellite and I have saved hundred's of $'s that way.

Cell phone....I got rid of mine...but we need one for my husbands business and and extra phone for me for emergency purposes only...you see we live out in the boonies...if I get stuck on the highway late at night coming home from work...I need some form of communication....

I recognize my expenses need to be less than my income....and it started out that way....problem was hubby needed money for his business so we increased the mortage....things didn't turn out the way we had hoped and hence haven't been able to pay it down like we had anticipated....I recognize that has to change...it's getting my husband to see that....

I will look into reading Dave Ramsey's book....on a positive note...after reading your post the other day...I made a list...wrote down my income....and output...it wasn't pretty....I talked to my husband about sitting down and looking at a financial plan...goals...I used the approach of him not having a pension and that we needed to look at his future....it seemed to work....I set a date for next week for us to do this plan....he was in an agreement....I cross my fingers he will still be in the same mind set....

Up unitl I got divorced I wasn't ever in debt...my ex and I owned our home...things were good...to bad the marriage wasn't....

This is all so new and frightening to me....I hate debt...I have paid off my credit cards twice...but because of our circumstances they are right back up there..and that scares me....I have always had an excellent credit rating and I want to keep it that way....I try to get my husband to understand this....

Mich again thanks for your comments and suggestions....I'll keep you posted and i will be checking in on your latests posts....

Happy New Years to you and your family!