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stanolshefski said:   5/8/2013 - Having trouble finding cheaper wireless that is on par with AT&T, still checking.
You don't need iPhones!


I just switched to Airvoice which is prepaid on ATTs network. Works great and saving like 65 month over ATT.

Edit: With 2 iPhones.

OP I'll add the chorus that your electric bill seems high. It would be useful to know what your KWH rate is and/or how many KWH you use per month. I live in the far south of what I'd consider the mid-Atlantic region and my house is 3200 square feet give or take and my electric bills run from $100-200 per month (it is actually higher in winter from heat pumps than summer from AC). That is high but my house is almost all electric, cooking, heat pump upstairs, heat pump downstairs with natural gas backup below 40 degrees, electric dryer and electric hot water (though I upgraded to heat pump hot water heater). Also wife and I both work full time from home so house is always kept comfortable, we both are running dual monitors, work laptops and lights in our offices while we work. So we are pretty heavy users in my opinion though I have also done a lot of efficiency improvements too. Unless your electric rates are a lot higher than 10-11 cents per KWH on average you are using more electricity than you probably should and can find savings pretty easily.

marukang said:   your expense exceeds your balance account. why don't you cut down some iterms that are not much necessary. If I were you, I will be mad of bills
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So you joined today to spam us eh?

I would expect the electricity bill to be lower since kids are at school and adults are working during daytime. Electricity bill should not be $200/month for 1100/sqft house.

Zombie said:   I would expect the electricity bill to be lower since kids are at school and adults are working during daytime. Electricity bill should not be $200/month for 1100/sqft house.

OP said him and his wife have opposite hours. Seems like at least one person is home at all times (relatively speaking).

Great job making progress and making updates. Quoting you below:
--== UPDATES BELOW ==--

5/8/2013 - Cut Netflix OFF. Saving $7.99/mo.- try hulu(not hulu +) has a lot of stuff also if you are an Amazon prime meber lots of free streaming there
5/8/2013 - Reduced DirecTV to basic package, $64.99/mo. - progress but still needs to go
5/8/2013 - Activated Her 401k. Contributing 6%, Co matching 3%.- Excellent!!!

5/8/2013 - Having trouble finding cheaper wireless that is on par with AT&T, still checking.

--== SHORT TERM FINANCE UPDATE ==--

17 - 30 May
My Pay: 1600
Her Pay: 1700 (Anticipated, she's worked a lot of OT)
Mortgage 755
Electric 240
Grocery 300- make it 200! a few weeks of pasta and home cooking is the way to start this off
Fuel 120
Tires for Vehicle & Alignment 350- do you need this this month? Try Sams club I know mine are much cheaper that way
Part for Moto (Previous Commitment to Seller) 60
Family Trip 2-Day (Previously booked Hotel, non-refundable) 300
Nephews Birthday 50- make it $30 seriously you can buy a great gift for $30 and you do not have the extra money
Brothers Birthday 150- make it $30 see above
Amount remaining after bills: 875 now 1115 Pay off tax bill and pay off credit card

31 - 13 June
My Pay: 1600
Her Pay: 1700 (Anticipated, she's signed up for a lot of OT)
Heat Pump: 2800 (Installed)You should not be getting this at all yet. Pay off irs and credit card first then save and buy this. You do not need AC yet bonus lower electric bill.
Groceries 200 (Usually we would spend 100 more, will try to go lite for this two week period)
Fuel 120
Amount remaining after bills: 180 pay hospital

14 - 27 June
My Pay: 1600
Her Pay: 1300 (Anticipated, with usual 15 hour OT)
1st Mortgage 755
2nd Mortgage 135
Cellular 177
Electric 200 go through house and figure out where using all electric. Try insulating or sealing a tube of caulk can save a lot of money by sealing leaks. What vampire electric stuff do you have? Unplug what is not in use regularly
Insurance 75
Internet 70
Renew Drivers License 60
Grocery 300 make 200
Fuel 120 make 100 try and drive less if just going for run run to track combine errands pick kids up on foot ect
Amount remaining after bills: 1028 pay hospital will only have 292 left at the end of this payment so can pay off first week in july

for wireless, look over in hot deals. StraightTalk (from WalMart) uses the ATT network, is listed over there. There are a few other wireless plans mentioned over there too that would be $$ savers.

Check this thread on canceling your AT&T without an ETF due to a new fee.

OP, it's been said before numerous times, but you need to figure out where your money is going. I find it a little sad that you say things like, "The money left over from the May 17 pay period will need to help us float all the way to June 14 pay period. So, we will see how frugal we can be and hopefully come out with some left over." You have no idea where your money is going, and you just go with the flow. You actually remind me a little bit of my mom who feels that she deserves to buy all sorts of things because she works hard for that money. All the more reason to make sure that money works hard for you.

You have all these grand plans for the future, but it has to be said that things don't just happen because you wish them. It takes hard work and sacrifices to accomplish them. I'm not even close to being a Dave Ramsey fan, but this is a quote I like: "live like no one else so that you can live like no one else." You seem like someone who would benefit from some of Dave Ramsey's advice. Just make sure you stop short of indoctrination.

People here can give you all the advice in the world on how to cut your bills and spend less, but you have to change your way of thinking first. You need to realize that there are tradeoffs, and today's indulgence comes at the expense of tomorrow's financial independence.

whereimightbe said:   larrymoencurly said:   And please explain driving 4 miles round-trip to run track.
Running / walking, just something we do to get out of the house and be active some days. We do this around our neighborhood a lot also but some days we go to the park.
No, why do you drive instead of walk to the running track?

larrymoencurly said:   whereimightbe said:   larrymoencurly said:   And please explain driving 4 miles round-trip to run track.
Running / walking, just something we do to get out of the house and be active some days. We do this around our neighborhood a lot also but some days we go to the park.
No, why do you drive instead of walk to the running track?

Well running to the running track would make the most sense to me.

Why don't you keep Netflix and cut TV altogether?

bigdinkel said:   You can buy episodes of Game of Thrones online for $3 an episode. 4 episodes is $12 and shouldn't be $225 a month.
This isn't really true. You can't buy current season episodes, just the ones that have already been released on Blu/DVD. That's why GoT is pretty much the most pirated show of all time - there's no option to watch the current season without having cable or someone kind enough to share their HBOGo password with you.

But regardless, OP should just read the far superior books.

Krazen1211 said:   Why don't you keep Netflix and cut TV altogether?

Seriously. Cut Direct TV all together. Go with only Netflix/Amazon Prime/Antenna programming for a savings of about $700/year.

Don't forget about that IRS problem you created, OP.

Thanks for the comments on the IRS situation. We did not file our taxes yet, so we don't actually owe anything. We just anticipate owing from playing around with tax sheets on the Internet. So instead of filing and paying we filed an extension. I don't think this could cause us a penalty... but, I'm not sure at all.

I did read all the GoT books so far, I even traveled to Indy to get my last book signed.

Thanks Satchelsofgold for that link! Will use.

Thanks for the alternative ideas about Cell!! Checking them out!

My electric bill is high because my heat pump is a JUNKER! No heat, only Aux Heat works... our heating bill for winter was about 400 a month!! A/C will work but only if we get it filled with Freon like every 2 weeks... that costs a bundle. It has a lot of coolant leaks. I have two children, I consider replacing this in 3 weeks a priority. It can get hot in this house and I'm not trying to give my kids strokes. LOL. I know, I know, I grew up without A/C (lived up North) but this is really something we need. It's one thing to say go without A/C, it's another to live with 90 degree temps day and night and try to sleep in your own sweat. Plus, if I'm going to make these changes... it will be next to impossible with a house full of grouchy children and spouse. And will probably just drive up my expenses in other areas since they will be wanting to escape the house all the time. In theory this should lower my bill well below $200. We don't use electricity like crazy... it's simply the heat pump itself causing the high electric bill.

And in the mail today... I received a notice from our home insurance company that it will be cancelled for non-payment on May 24! Life just gets better.

Apparently my wife switched insurance companies to help save us money. Our mortgage company was supposed to pay the premium to our insurance company I guess. But it never happened, and now I have to cough up $850 for it. We are trying to get more information tomorrow on what is actually going on. If I have to pay this by the 24th its going to really throw a kink in the works. /sigh

whereimightbe said:   Thanks for the comments on the IRS situation. We did not file our taxes yet, so we don't actually owe anything. We just anticipate owing from playing around with tax sheets on the Internet. So instead of filing and paying we filed an extension. I don't think this could cause us a penalty... but, I'm not sure at all.

Simple Google search would show you will have to pay interest and penalties if you owe, despite filing an extension. http://www.cnbc.com/id/100641906

Ignorance is not Bliss, this lackadaisical approach and not addressing issues head on is a primary reason your financial picture is so bleak.

What other posters have said (and it's correct), if you owe the IRS, it's due in April regardless of filing extensions.

If you owe, you'll owe whatever you owe plus penalties and interest, even if you file an extension.

So basically it should be a priority to get your taxes completed.

whereimightbe said:   Thanks for the comments on the IRS situation. We did not file our taxes yet, so we don't actually owe anything. We just anticipate owing from playing around with tax sheets on the Internet. So instead of filing and paying we filed an extension. I don't think this could cause us a penalty... but, I'm not sure at all.

If the mortgage company was supposed to pay the bill then the funds should be available in an escrow account.

If you pay the bill yourself, you should be able to get reimbursed from the escrow account. Assuming your escrow account is all good. Granted, you'd probably have to jump through some hoops since that's a non-standard way of doing things (you pay the bill personally and being reimbursed).

whereimightbe said:   And in the mail today... I received a notice from our home insurance company that it will be cancelled for non-payment on May 24! Life just gets better.

Apparently my wife switched insurance companies to help save us money. Our mortgage company was supposed to pay the premium to our insurance company I guess. But it never happened, and now I have to cough up $850 for it. We are trying to get more information tomorrow on what is actually going on. If I have to pay this by the 24th its going to really throw a kink in the works. /sigh

Wow. Eye opener. I will pay them ASAP.

Just want to re-iterate the below two posts. I think all the concern over cutting TV/internet/phone bills is mostly misplaced. OP can afford to have a decent TV/phone/internet plans given that income and basic budget. The real problem is the $3250 he doesn't track.

Separate direct deposits could help. Not using credit cards could help, or if you do, set them up with Mint.com, so you know exactly what you spend on.

depalma13 said:   Since you two have a major spending problem, you guys need to stop getting access to your cash. The easiest way to do it is to have your wife max out her 401K. Turn it on and forget it. When the easy money is not so easily available, you will be ready to make the serious changes to your lifestyle that you need to make.

Every debt you have except for her student loan can be paid off with the missing $3250. That means with one month of not wasting $3250, your bills will be paid. It's not magic. Taking advice about cutting TV and changing phone plans is not going to help you. It is just going to give you access to more cash that you will blow. Instead of $3250, it will be $3700 a month that you are blowing.


stanolshefski said:   Ask HR for both your employers if you can do direct deposits to more than one account. Open up an account at Ally (or another online bank), and send some of your paycheck there.

I'd also advise consider start using only cash to pay for things -- no CCs or debit cards. It might help curb your spending.

Or the wife didn't tell the mortgage lender and the lender sent it to the old insurance company who similarly hadn't been informed about the cancellation and used the funds to renew. So, if that's the case, send a copy of the new policy to the old insurance company and they'll send a prorated check from the date the new policy went into effect.

vegas4x4 said:   If the mortgage company was supposed to pay the bill then the funds should be available in an escrow account.

If you pay the bill yourself, you should be able to get reimbursed from the escrow account. Assuming your escrow account is all good. Granted, you'd probably have to jump through some hoops since that's a non-standard way of doing things (you pay the bill personally and being reimbursed).

whereimightbe said:   And in the mail today... I received a notice from our home insurance company that it will be cancelled for non-payment on May 24! Life just gets better.

Apparently my wife switched insurance companies to help save us money. Our mortgage company was supposed to pay the premium to our insurance company I guess. But it never happened, and now I have to cough up $850 for it. We are trying to get more information tomorrow on what is actually going on. If I have to pay this by the 24th its going to really throw a kink in the works. /sigh

whereimightbe said:   Wow. Eye opener. I will pay them ASAP.

OP I guess it is a good thing you are here.

The last thing Id do though is pay them out of my pocket. Do you know who is responsible for making that payment? Do you know who has your insurance payment money? Did it occur to you that the payment is not past due and therefore the mortgage company may have not yet sent out payment? Do you know how to use that IPhone of yours?

Wow is right. I'm not sure I can read anymore of this thread.

JaxFL said:   whereimightbe said:   Wow. Eye opener. I will pay them ASAP.

OP I guess it is a good thing you are here.

The last thing Id do though is pay them out of my pocket. Do you know who is responsible for making that payment? Do you know who has your insurance payment money? Did it occur to you that the payment is not past due and therefore the mortgage company may have not yet sent out payment? Do you know how to use that IPhone of yours?

Wow is right. I'm not sure I can read anymore of this thread.


Sorry... I was talking about the IRS Bill.

Will not pay the House Insurance till we know what is going on.

Thanks!

Cancelled the 2 day family trip, was able to get our money back for hotel!! Yay for Hotel Insurance.

What's the interest rate on your wife's student loan?

whereimightbe said:   JaxFL said:   whereimightbe said:   Wow. Eye opener. I will pay them ASAP.

OP I guess it is a good thing you are here.

The last thing Id do though is pay them out of my pocket. Do you know who is responsible for making that payment? Do you know who has your insurance payment money? Did it occur to you that the payment is not past due and therefore the mortgage company may have not yet sent out payment? Do you know how to use that IPhone of yours?

Wow is right. I'm not sure I can read anymore of this thread.


Sorry... I was talking about the IRS Bill.

Will not pay the House Insurance till we know what is going on.

Thanks!


If you reduce your taxable income by contributing max (or close to it) to 401k then next year you should not owe any money to IRS. IRS will most likely have a refund for you.

whereimightbe said:   Cancelled the 2 day family trip, was able to get our money back for hotel!! Yay for Hotel Insurance.

while it worked out this time. Hotel/travel insurance is typically not a good use of money.

whereimightbe said:   Cancelled the 2 day family trip, was able to get our money back for hotel!! Yay for Hotel Insurance.
I wouldn't assume that you were able to cancel because of the hotel insurance. Most hotels have pretty reasonable cancellation policies, and some of them let you cancel up until 6 pm on your check-in day. My point is basically what imbatman already said--travel insurance is usually not a great deal. Still, don't make assumptions (you seem to do that often). Some hotels in popular locations (think Turks and Caicos) require you to cancel 2+ weeks in advance.

Didn't see this anywhere, but I would definitely sign up for Mint.com to figure out where your money is going. It also shows your net worth so you can see some of your improvements paying off from your net worth growing. I also think Credit Karma is offering free credit monitoring currently.



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