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Archive for October, 2009

Rolling along

October 20th, 2009 at 04:30 am

Well, things are just kind of rolling along. For some reason, I have a big break in bills from the 14th through the 24th, and starting in November my one bill paying bank is going to charge $8 a month for balances under $2000, so I needed to change all my direct deposits to a different bank. I got through most of that last night. What a pain! Three I needed to contact someone other than doing it online. One was DH's disability insurance, and they are sending me a form to do that. One was our telephone/cable/internet company, and I downloaded a form for that, and now need to send it, and on is DH's life insurance company. Um, I haven't yet figured out what I need to do there, but need to get on it pretty quick. I have two more accounts that I log into to pay, and so I'll change those when I do that.

I figured out that right now, I need $1000 a paycheck for all household bills. That is water, electricity, credit cards, insurance for my pickup, insurance for DH (above), natural gas, vet, ambulance bill, phone, cell phone, farm electric, student loan, and taxable investment account. That leaves $600 a paycheck for pickup payment, gas, food, and misc. Another $250 is going to go to the farm account. I budget for the most I have ever paid for these bills, so, for instance, the gas bill in the summer is like $25, but in the winter about $200. I budget $200 so I'm never short in this account. The other $125 can be used elsewhere.

ahem...
One more payment and it's mine, part 1:
One more pickup payment of ~$160. Usually $181.76, bi-weekly, but this Thursday, the pickup is paid off. Yippee! Wow, when I think back to everything I've gone through since I bought that pickup 6 years and 166,750 miles ago. Got dumped, probably went through depression, but never checked it out, became a team lead at work, met DH, changed jobs, sold house, moved, bought house, got married, sold house, moved, got laid off, moved, got pregnant, miscarried, found another job. And every two weeks, $181.76 came out of my account. I will never, never, never buy a new pickup again, and I will never, never, never get a loan for a vehicle for 6 years!

Need to determine if I am going to drop the coverage to just liability. Right now I'm paying ~$68 a month for insurance from Geico. The pickup is still worth $7665 according to kbb.com in "good" condition, but there is some hail damage, so even at "fair" condition it is still worth $6840. If I wrecked it, we would probably replace it with a $2500 vehicle, at most. I'll probably keep it as is, for sure for the winter, because of deer and ice. But after that, I don't know. I probably will call Geico to see if they will drop the coverage again, and use the bluff of "I'm thinking about dropping it to liability only" and see what that gets me.

ahem...
One more payment and it's mine, part 2:
Will make the final payment for Bandit's surgery this month. When we set this up with the vet, they said they would charge us $1000, and we could pay over time. I was sending in $100 a month. Interest charges would accrue, but I was supposed to call the vet's wife at the end and she would take the interest charges off. So, called today, and she took $36.23 off, leaving $89.00. I'll pay that on Friday, and then Bandit is ours again Smile I usually pay on the 1st of the month, just to make it easy, but she said if I pay before the end of the month, no more interest would be accrued.

The $100 (vet) was coming out of bill account and the $181.76 was coming out of the gas/food/misc account. As soon as the pickup is paid off, I am going to find another account in a bank up here (the old one is in Texas) so DH and I can both pull money out of it, and close that one. DH has been using money out of the bill account for his misc, and I want to get away from that. So, in another few days I'll have to change my direct deposit again and rethink where the money is going to go.

$418 every two weeks has been a little tight for gas/food/misc, but really, I don't know where it all goes. It just seems to fly out of my hands. Of course, I'm driving 2 hours a day, so a lot of it goes to gas, but other than that, food and beer, probably. Now, adding DH on to that account, I'll probably leave it at $600, but shave the bill account down to just adequately covering the bills and free up some money there. Yep, just checked, gas, food and beer. Not much misc spending, and I paid the chiropractor bill off in the past few weeks from it too.

Now would be a perfect time to start a snowball, huh? I keep thinking that, but then I keep thinking I need to save some of the money for the farm, just in case. Farm bills due by the end of the month:
Co-op #1: $1263.00
Co-op #2: $4985.18
Co-op #3: $ 340.51
Crop Insurance: $2271.00
Pasture Rent: $750
Total: $9610.69

We got paid for our CRP last week, so that was $3326, and we just filled our soybean contract today, so 1000 bushels at $9.08. That will cover the above bills. We have more beans and milo to cut and deliver, too. But, we have farm insurance payment in November ($2200?), land payment ($9900) Dec 1, and planter loan ($2500) Jan 15. We are getting ready to wean calves, and will sell them in January, so the other bills after January will be covered.

You know what, though? Cash flow bites us in the ass. We have our big payments set up to be after we sell something, for instance, sell calves and pay cattle loan and line of credit, sell wheat and pay land payment, etc. If cash flow is giving us trouble, then we need to decrease our monthly nut. At least that is the advice I give others, so I should take it myself.

Ala Dave Ramsey, the lowest 6 accounts are as follows:
1) Citi Financial: $73 total, $27 / month (0% interest)
2) Vet: $89 total, usually $100 / month (0% interest)
3) Pickup: $160 total, usually $363 / month (3.85%)
4) Ambulance: $390.50, usually $36 / month (0% interest)
5) House: $1300, private loan we pay when we have some extra money. Let's get this paid off! (5% interest)
6) Student loan: $2590.86 (3.13%)

ahem...
One more payment and it's mine, part 3:
Just decided, let's pay the Citi Financial one off. It is 0% interest until 2010, I would pay it off in a few months anyway, let's just get rid of it! This is for a table and chairs that I never should have bought, but at least now it is paid for.

Ok, sorry for the disjointed post here, but I think I'll do this for the 1st November paycheck:
- $550 to food/gas/bills, for DH and I. I'll have a buffer in there just to see how it goes at first. Maybe will need to up it, but let's try that.
- $350 to farm account. Farm should pay for itself, eventually. But this may help smooth out some of the bumps.
- $1000 to bills. As I said above, $1000 will cover bills NOW, so as I knock some of these small accounts out, I can snowball.

Here is my next couple month plan for the snowball:
Pickup loan, 10/22, $160 - done
Russell Vet, 10/26, $89.00 - done
Citi Financial, 11/1, $73.00 - done
Gilpin Ambulance, 11/1, $36.00
Student loan, 11/14, $50
Capital One, 11/14, $50
Gilpin Ambulance, 12/1, $200
Student loan, 12/14, $50
Capital One, 12/14, $50
Gilpin Ambulance, 1/1, $134.50 - done
House payment, 1/1, $300
Student loan, 1/14, $50
Capital One, 1/14, $50

I'm driving myself crazy. I think this will work. But hey, I'm sure I'll tweak it a dozen more times by 1/14/10, anyway. Heck, in this post, I tweaked it 3 times!