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daturasgarden
02-19-2009, 06:03 PM
I'm looking for ways to lower our monthly expenditures. One issue I'm at a loss with right now is my car. I want to sell my car and buy a cheaper vehicle that also seats more. The problem is I owe more on the car than I could get for it...according to blue book value.
What are my options? Any?
What other quick debt reduction ideas do you have?

Michael Walsh
02-19-2009, 06:08 PM
I'm no accountant. But I suggest including the cost of future interest payments in your calculations.

It could be that selling your car at a below Blue Book price could result in a quicker sale and save you the cost of all the future interest on the loan.

bikeguy
02-19-2009, 06:24 PM
To work on debt reduction start with your smallest debt first and get that knocked out while making minimum payments of the rest of your debts. Once you get the first little debt solved start on the next one and work your way to the top until you're debt free.

All of our cars are paid for, but I sure would like a newer model. That's not in the cards - keeping what we have fixed is a lot less expensive than buying a new or nearly new vehicle.

daturasgarden
02-19-2009, 06:25 PM
ID...I never thought of it that way. I'll have to think on that.

So, next plunge. We've decided to get rid of our cell phones...eek! I know there was a life before cell phones, but it's been awhile!
Anyone else pulling the plug?

mtnviewsteve
02-19-2009, 06:37 PM
:cool:
~We switched to Tracfone and only turn it on for emergencies, don't even know the cell #. Maletha takes it with her if she's going somewhere and I do the same. Enables us to "call home" if we need to.~
:cool:

Aux Arc
02-19-2009, 06:55 PM
Definitely Tracfone. Had one for years.

grundune
02-19-2009, 07:02 PM
I did the same as Bikeguy said with the difference that when you get a debt paid, you use that money you used for the small debt to pay the next one instead of using it for something else .When I got to my mortgage, I found an amortization table and paid extra every month to knock the principle down using all the money I had paid on the other debts . It is amazing how little it takes to knock years off a loan. It took 12 years to get rid of it. I then used all the money I had paid on debts, saved it, and now if I need something, I've got the cash to get it and don't have to pay interest. I live on about the same I earned 15 years ago. About half my check goes into automatic savings so I don't ever see it. All raises (if any) go into savings. Amortization tables also work on car loans, depending on what kind of loan you have. Whether it is prepayable.

I also got a Trac phone. Got rid of my land line. Don't miss telemarketers at all. Buy yearly minutes when they are doing specials and get lots of minutes for free. Usually around holidays.

bikeguy
02-19-2009, 07:04 PM
Can you receive text messages/ voice mail on the prepaid phones?

I don't guess anyone does pagers anymore.

grundune
02-19-2009, 08:23 PM
I get voice mail on my Tracphone. I get inbox messages from the company but I don't know if that is the same as text.

JET
02-19-2009, 08:49 PM
Almost two years I moved into a large 5th wheel trailer. Not my choice but just for a short time. Gawd, I"m glad i'm here. I paid cash for it. King size bed. Nice shower. Washer and Dryer. Dishwasher and yes I built a small deck for my hot tub. After living in a 5000 ft house for several years, this was a shock. Living alone in around 320 sq feet if not bad. When I build? It will be a very small home.

Michael Walsh
02-19-2009, 09:48 PM
I'm with you, Jet. My cabin is slightly less than 500 square feet. But every square inch is designed to cater to my needs. I've been a small-home advocate for a long, long time. Buying this place was an experiment in putting my money where my mouth was. My micro-home is physically accommodating and comfortable with full-size appliances, furniture and, in the bath, a 4-foot shower and stacked washer/dryer.

I also have a Murphy bed. So, my nighttime bedroom serves as a dining room and office during the day.

With big windows, a wrap around deck and views of the lake, woods and mountains, I can honestly say I have never felt cramped nor claustrophobic here. In fact, I now know I could, if it comes to it, live happily in a travel trailer in the right setting.

Relatively speaking, my utility bills are low and I'm working to lower them even more. For example, I've learned this winter that I can turn off the furnace and the gas fireplace (my main heat source) at night. The inside temperature drops about 10 degrees--from 68 to 58. That means I'm not using any heating energy for one-third of the day, which also means I've trimmed my heating costs by 33 percent.

Granted, it makes for chilly mornings. But it only takes about 20 minutes for the gas forced-air furnace to warm the house up again. Then I turn it off and use the gas fireplace for the rest of the day (which means I'm not using any electricity for the furnace blower for 23 out of 24 hours).

andrews
02-19-2009, 10:00 PM
I like my cell phone a lot. It would be one of the last things to go. Cell phone and internet are great modern techs. Vehicles and small engine tools (chainsaw, chipper, lawnmower, etc) are my fav industrial techs. Maybe a tractor. And plastic. I like the older techs too - metal...glass..

Eureka Animal Precinct
02-20-2009, 09:27 AM
I remember when I drew the plans for my cabin about 8 years ago. My mother kept after me saying, "It will not be big enough!" It is about 880 sq. ft or so. It is plenty big enough! In fact, I wish I would have built it smaller. 600 sq. ft. would be plenty. Of course, I still need a fairly sizable out buidling for my tools and stuff.

We Americans, for the most part, have cluttered our lives with "stuff". It took me a while to get that figured out, but now I'm on a roll!

I love being home by myself to (as my daughter calls it) "putter around the house". I can spend an entire day fixing this, raking that, pulling weeds here and there...you know, putter! I am happy to go to bed early, get up early and stay away from people. Ah HA!!! This is a problem. As much as I like my aloneness, people are meant to be social, at least on some level. I put a big porch on the front of my cabin. There is a place for my Bubby dog to lay and a couple of rocking chairs. Once in a while, I go out to sit and pick on my guitar, or just read. I need to do more. If your out my way, stop by. Ice tea and lemonade are served in quart ball jars....

Aux Arc
02-20-2009, 10:35 AM
...I also got a Trac phone. Got rid of my land line...The best current deal on a tracfone is the reconditioned motorola W370 phone (http://www.tracfone-orders.com/bpdirect/tracfone/PhoneDetails.do;jsessionid=cotCPBYY7jk6kKJDu_?acti on=view&productVariantExtensionId=3402056) with a year's service, for $99 at the Tracfone web site. They are double minute phones, meaning any future minutes you buy are doubled on the phone when you add them. The phone always displays on the screen how many minutes you have and when your service ends. If you buy more minutes, the minutes & service time rollover and are added to your existing minutes/service.

You can transfer your existing telephone number to a tracfone at the tracfone web site. Once it's transferred, your old landline or cellphone will be disconnected.


Can you receive text messages/ voice mail on the prepaid phones?

I don't guess anyone does pagers anymore.Tracfones include text messaging and voice mail, if you want it. Reading a txt msg deducts 0.3 minute from your prepaid minutes. Voicemail playback deducts 0.5 minute if you listen to it from the tracfone. Playback of voicemail at 479 981-MAIL is free from any landline phone.

Tracfones are not for yakkers (aka "phone hay-uds"). But they are an inexpensive alternative to a cell phone contract or using pay phones (which are impossible to find now).

markd4life
02-20-2009, 04:00 PM
First I would detail my monthly expenditures. Highlight the ones you can have an impact on...like car payments, cable bills, credit card payments...eliminate those you don't NEED, control those you do...basically get a grip on your monthly 'overhead'. If you are 'upside down' on your car loan, time will not 'right' it....it may be time to take your loss. I used Tracphone, but found Net10 to be better, cheaper, and more reliable...I was surprised to see so many people like Tracphone, when I used it I didn't like it...perhaps they have gotten better...good luck...

celeste
02-20-2009, 04:20 PM
I listed my bills & started on what I could see as extraneous expenses. I pay bills online to save the stamps, checks, gas & time. I got Consumer Cellular phone - no contract - with plans starting at $10 per month for 100 minutes. It cut my ATT bill by more than half. I bought a cappuccino coffee combo maker & make two decaf cups of double latte in the morning rather than brewing a pot of coffee & drinking too much (iced coffee, yum) or tossing the rest. It saved on buying expensive designer coffee out anywhere now that I prefer my own homemade.

I cook ahead & freeze extra meals for myself which saves on eating out. I buy from most items used from Thrift Shops like GSHS, craigslist, Geekfest, eBay, Half.com, etc. I get used books & magazines from the library and rent movies, books, etc. My mad money is for stuff like a trip to see my family, membership in local charitable organizations, a dinner out, a massage or a gift for myself or a friend.

I based my budget upon 30% house payment, 6 months reserve bill money for illness or emergency and a plan for retirement. Eureka is what I now consider retirement. I try hard to live withing my means, pay cash for a car, not charge things unless I can pay it off when the bill comes. I have had ups and downs while I was here. The last few years Eureka's toruism was down for those of us who are the Moms (no Pops) businesses, rather than the franchise or majors in town. I am having to rethink my plan to stay here & it looks as though selling my house is the next necessary step. I am committed to living here and that's my ultimate goal -- spending as little as possible so I can stay.

Aux Arc
02-21-2009, 09:46 AM
... I used Tracphone, but found Net10 to be better, cheaper, and more reliable...I was surprised to see so many people like Tracphone, when I used it I didn't like it...perhaps they have gotten better...Net10 is owned by Tracfone. They also use the same carriers (at&t in this area - verizon, etc. in others). If your Net10 phone is/was more reliable than Tracfone, it's probably a difference in the phones you used for each service.

I don't use my Tracfone much at all. But comparing the rates to keep the service active, Tracfone is cheaper for me than the other prepay services. YMMV.

micki
02-28-2009, 08:22 PM
have any of you ever used one of those debt consolidation companies that claim they can lower your interests and maybe even eleminate them? I would love to get all my ducks in a row before I lose my mind.

celeste
02-28-2009, 08:57 PM
Debt consolidation companies require that you sign a contract pledging not to declare bankruptcy. Think long & hard before you sign such a letter of intent. If you have over $25,000 as a single or $45,000 as a couple indebtedness, bankruptcy is likely a viable option.

tizzy
02-28-2009, 09:13 PM
Where can you live in a travel trailer in or near ES at a very reasonable price?
(where can you park one)

bborum
02-28-2009, 09:27 PM
Most of the RV parks are closed for the season. Beaver RV Park is looking for an onsite manager with their own travel trailer. It is seasonal April through Oct.

Aux Arc
03-03-2009, 05:59 PM
Where can you live in a travel trailer in or near ES at a very reasonable price?
(where can you park one)Kettle campground on 62E.
253-9100

daturasgarden
03-04-2009, 09:23 AM
Wanderlust and the Kettle campgrounds are around $390/month.

ESweekender
03-04-2009, 09:54 AM
Micki-debt consolodation also has a negative impact on your credit, believe it or not.

We just sold one of our vehicles to get rid of a payment - having had equity in it, we were able to sell it for enough to pay cash for another- if hubby ever finds a deal he is happy with. Thankfully we work together and are able to go with one vehicle for now. Funny how we thought we needed that really nice truck a year ago. Those payments are for the birds.

A lot of people I know are looking hard at their cable/phone/cell phone packages right now and making sure they are getting the best deal.
I assumed I had the best cell package available for the cost - wrong! i called last week and changed my package. Got MORE minutes and it is costing less per month. Apparently, Alltel does not feel it necessary to point out when you are paying too much, lol. Go figure.
Another thing a lot of folks are doing is shopping around for insurance. We do this every 6 months to make sure we are getting the best deal.

woodbutcher
03-06-2009, 09:45 AM
We decided to do the same...downsize our expenditures. We moved here like most do...giving up our fat paychecks and trading them for a relaxing limited-stress life. We drug all of our toys up here and soon realized the paychecks we were getting here weren't covering our bills. Both my wife and I had been in the habit of getting new vehicles every couple of years so both of us had large car loans. We were having to pull money out of savings every month just to make our bills and nothing more...no fun stuff...no nothing. We were fortunate enough to have a few things we could unload to eliminate our debt. I sold my 1929 Model A ford to pay off some credit card debt and my wife's truck. I never even drove the Model A. I think I drove it a total of 8 times the whole time I owned it...so that one was easy. We dug through our 2 storage units and sold a lot of our unused, unwanted stuff on ebay. We used that money to pay off debt. Our mortgage is less than half of what it was in Texas and we live right on the lake. I have my own shop finally. We really got lucky finding the house we found. The house is a bit smaller than our old house but we do just fine. We did exactly what you guys are talking about. We paid off the small ones first and put that money on the bigger ones. It also helps you to see that you're making progress. If you pay on the larger ones you never seem to get anywhere. We still take odd jobs to pay off the last remainder of our debt. My wife does bookkeeping work on the side and I make log bed frames. We only have one vehicle loan but it's going to be paid off this year unless some unforeseeable event happens. We have both decided that if we want to buy something we save the money and buy it instead of buying it on credit and giving our hard earned money to the banks.

We dont do it yet but expect to be paying more on the mortgage as we have a bit more breathing room on the monthly expenditures. My realtor in TX told me to go online and print out an amortization schedule for my loan and pay the principle for the next month on your current month. She said then cross off the INTEREST for the next month because you never have to pay that as long as you paid the principle. It helps to see how much you save that way. For example, my loan was $550/mo in TX. I was paying about $75.00 in principle and the rest was going in the bank's pocket. By paying the next month's principle of $75.00 making my payment for that month $625 I could eliminate $475 in interest. It really helped me to realize how much I was saving. We' should be doing that on our current loan soon.

The other thing we do is heat with wood exclusively. We have a fireplace insert that warms our entire home the whole winter. I also heat my shop with a potbelly stove. A/C is another story...we purchased a 16 SEER high-efficiency HVAC unit for the home as the other one had died a slow miserable death last summer. That's one of our credit card debts we're currently tackling.

Our entertainment is limited to playing with the toys we already have and not investing in new ones. We'll keep this regiment up for the foreseeable future. I used to buy tons of crap...yea...crap on ebay. I was really bad about buying stuff on there and just throwing it in the garage or sitting it on a shelf. Most of that stuff has been resold on ebay for a small profit...and sometimes a loss..but who cares...it was just gathering dust and cluttering the house. We STILL have a big storage unit we have to go through. That may be a fall project this year. I also have 2 jetskis we're going to sell this spring to assist in paying down the new air conditioner.

Keep plugging away at knocking off that debt...before you know it you'll be in a lot better position. Being able to live within your means is a beautiful thing. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline to get to it though. Good luck!!!

Aux Arc
03-06-2009, 11:13 AM
...I used to buy tons of crap...yea...crap on ebay. I was really bad about buying stuff on there and just throwing it in the garage or sitting it on a shelf. Most of that stuff has been resold on ebay for a small profit...and sometimes a loss..but who cares...it was just gathering dust and cluttering the house. We STILL have a big storage unit we have to go through....Yep, it's just crap. Been there but never again. If you are having to pay a monthly bill store crap, you still have way too much crap. :)

My motto, unless something has sentimental value, if it hasn't been used in a year, sell or donate it to someone who may get some use out of it.

woodbutcher
03-06-2009, 11:22 AM
Yep, it's just crap. Been there but never again. If you are having to pay a monthly bill store crap, you still have way too much crap. :)

My motto, unless something has sentimental value, if it hasn't been used in a year, sell or donate it to someone who may get some use out of it.

I couldn't agree more. On a side note I just called to close the account of 2 of our PAID OFF credit cards. Have you tried to do that lately? It's like sitting in on a time-share pitch. They wont let you get away with just closing the account. I told them we won the lottery and don't need their card any more. That still wasn't good enough.

woodbutcher
03-06-2009, 11:32 AM
Most of the RV parks are closed for the season. Beaver RV Park is looking for an onsite manager with their own travel trailer. It is seasonal April through Oct.

Still looking for someone at the park in Beaver. Im sure an arrangement could be made for the off season for someone to stay there kinda like security or something. Not sure though.