What to do with surplus?

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      Jamieson,

      I think for me I have always hada large distaste for any kind of debt!We are normally content with not buying alot of stuff and mostly doing inexpensive things with the family and like shopping at goodwill and handdown lots of clothes, etc. For example we use the library alot. I am in IT and work as a Systems Analyst and the only income in our family. My wife homeschools our 3 kids (4, 5, and 7).

      Never had credit card bills thatI didn’t pay off each month (except when we first got married at 21and we got ourselves out of that quickly).

      I think what happened was in 2006 we bought a nice vehicle and that was the biggest debt I have ever seen for a vehicle. I didn’t think about it much when I bought it.After a few payments, we decided to truly get serious about never get into car debt again. There are times my wife wishes we weren’t so strict with the budget because she sometimes has a hard time with the price of things going up all around her alot so we adjust it alot, but that has truly paid off in only one year of being extremely frugal. That was somethings she talked about today, so many times we adjust it based on thecost of groceries going up.

      2006 we were pretty frugal, but 2007 and this year we have been very frugal and careful.

      We had never been big spenders before but we got really frugal in the last year and paid off tons of the car debt and built the emergency savings quickly.

      Here’s some of the thingswe did primarily
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      1) Got rid of the credit cards. I never had credit card debt, but I had a Discover card I would use to pay for alot of things each month. Ifigure I spent about 15%-30% more when I used credit cards and I could never seem to make progress before on the other debts and regular savings because of the credit card bill being so high each month (even though we paid it off each money it was a ball and chain to us!!!!).

      2) Started a budget and followed it very carefully. Cut most expensive entertainment and extra spending and out to eat costs. We had alot we could find to cut because we wrote down everything and evaluated what we did the previous months and where we could cut. We got SELF-CONTROL.

      3) Stopped extra payments on the house

      4) Adjusted my Federal Tax Withholding temporarily so I would get less back in tax refund and more back throughout the year.

      5) Adjusted my 401K temporarily to 2% while getting out of the car debt.

      6) Sold a few things.

      Quote:
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      Original Message
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      From: Dan & Jamieson Fredrick
      To: Budget101_@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 7:11 PM
      Subject: Re: Budget101.com : What to do with surplus?

      WOW, Shawn — can I be like you?!?!? PLEASE!!!
      it seems that we’re lucky enough to have enough ‘surplus’ to go see family and friends (3 hours away) for a weekend or even stock up on necessities like paper towels, toilet paper, tylenol, pantry foods, etc…
      please feel free to share any tips — and email me offline if you prefer!!!
      and, just my 2 cents – if I were as smart as you, and had the option — I’d pay off the house, then go to the ROTH IRA after that was paid off…
      Good luck and God Bless…
      -Jamieson

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