I do my taxes at the last possible minute!

I hate writing a check, so I do that only when forced, April 15th! I do have most of the items together, but my appointment with my CPA is on April Fools day this year – how appropriate.In regards to the questions asked below… there are so many people that have a real issue with actually opening bills, I actually understand this especially when it comes to things related to taxes.

I know I routinely ignore the once a month posts

which are auto sent to our group, and if you are like me, you do the same. However, I did stop and pause at this one and thought these questions are indeed relevant to our recent budgeting discussion so I thought I would start a separate thread surrounding them. Are you doing any of this? Routinely?
Is your checkbook balanced?
Are your bills all opened?
Have you composed your budget?
When is your next anticipated payday?
How much money do you expect?
Where do you PLAN to put that money?
You aren’t still hanging on to a credit card as a security blanket ARE YOU?!?!
-If you ARE holding on to a credit card, and you can call in to Dave’s show, call in on a Friday, and kill the card on the air, and get cool perks!
Are you ready to fund your envelopes?
Look over your spending from the previous pay period. Does anything need to be adjusted?Write out the checks for your bills, or set up the E-payments.Do you have an emergency fund?

My phone

My ancient flip phone does the same thing often-taking the battery out and back in DOES make it work again somehow..and I have never lost contacts, etc in my phone….
It DOES reset it so it will turn on…..but does NOT take it back to factory settings. My tech savy college kids told me about it one day—when I thought I had lost if for good.

Oh, it’s not actually as hopeless as I made it sound.

Both trucks will eventually be fixed, my back and neck stiffness is par for the course and those aches will work themselves out, and we do have other tea and bread in the house. Just not THAT tea and bread.
One of the really comical parts of all this, is that DH recently discovered a Stash tea sale at one of the regional stores. So he totally blew the grocery budget that week because “that price was just too good to leave alone”. But they didn’t have any Super Irish Breakfast, so he brought home a different flavor that I don’t drink very often. After all, a sale is a sale. So now our tea cabinet is chock full of Orange Spice and woefully empty of Super Irish Breakfast. At least I had some Moroccan Mint which sufficed for the morning. But I’m about to brew a rather stiff cuppa of chai, which will get the caffeine into my system. And he dug out some cinnamon raisin bagels from the pantry for me just in case the bread is inedible.
So I won’t starve and I won’t go without caffeine, and we’ll have wheels again this afternoon. It just cracked me up when all these little things went wrong, simultaneously. I’ll figure out the phone and I’ll call the bread machines today and have them send me a new paddle. That bread machine is less than a year old (maybe less than 6 months) so that paddle should still be under warranty. Or someone there is going to get an earful from me about it. And I have a streaming audio radio station out of Dublin that I’m listening to at the moment, so I’m probably still Irish.The most bizarre thought so far this morning? When all this stuff started going wrong, I flashed back to DR saying in class that as soon as we get a good budget put together, Murphy shows up. So as I looked at the empty tea box and the ruined bread and the goat running around and the dead cellphone and the two barely running trucks in the drive, I thought “wow, I guess we did a good job on the budget this month.”

I ran out of Super Irish Breakfast tea yesterday

which is my turbo-charged tea that I start my day with. Didn’t discover that we were out until this morning. Not sure I’m Irish this morning without my tea. Maybe the cellphone drank the last of it last night while I wasn’t looking. But now I’m down two of my normal breakfast items.One of the goats was out before I even discovered I was out of my preferred startup tea. Maybe she was on her way to the grocery store to get more, so that DH’s truck wouldn’t have to make the trip and we wouldn’t need to go in the U-haul van.
After a day of mucking out the goat barn yesterday, I didn’t sleep well last night thanks to some bones and/or muscles in my back which aren’t playing nice. As I laid there this morning wishing my arm didn’t burn and my neck didn’t have a crick in it, I thought to myself “oh well, my first cup of Super Irish Breakfast will make everything better.” But that’s OK. Chasing around the loose goat will loosen everything up in my back too. Or maybe I’ll just hike down the hill to the grocery store, and hike back up the hill with tea and bread. That’ll work the kinks out of my system.
So now I’m debating the meaning of life without tea, without bread, without a single functional vehicle between the two of us, without a cellphone, with a goat on the loose and a back that hurts. That’s my day so far. But at least we have a zero-based budget for February. So far.

Can I complain for a moment this morning????

So far in the last 12 hours…….

1) my cellphone summarily died. I have an unresponsive startup screen. Most of the recommendations that I’ve been reading online, say to pull the battery which triggers a factory-fresh reset. Which means I’ll lose all the info I’ve put on it. Looking for other options.

2) our bread machine paddle broke apart, during an overnight bake cycle, so I have bits of broken paddle in our only-partially-kneaded-and-risen loaf of bread, which I usually have for breakfast (the bread, not the paddle). That wonderful fresh loaf might have to go in the trash if I get into it and find lots of little bits of sharp shattered paddle.

3) DH’s truck was only able to limp home last night, with barely enough power to get up our big hill. We’re hoping he makes it to to the repair shop this morning without a tow. It was already scheduled to go in for servicing today, so at least its appearance won’t be a surprise. But my truck is still down (the carb wasn’t the problem and we’re still tracing out what IS the problem). So between the two of us, we have zero functional vehicles this morning. The repair shop does offer loaner cars, which is good since our one rental car agency in town won’t rent to folks who don’t have credit cards. I guess we could rent a van from the very nice U-haul folks who DO rent to folks who don’t have credit cards. I think those U-haul folks will get a lot of business from us. But have you ever gone to the grocery store in a U-haul van?

Actually if the dollar is devalued

the price of gold goes up, we have sold a bit of silver and we received 2% below the current market value .. if the stored don’t have what we need I hope we have had the forethought to plan for that. Our family actually lived off grid for 9 months, so no electricity would not be a problem. We have well water and both n electric and hand pump, we live on an old farm stead and maintain the old outhouse for summer bbqs etc… so that would not be a problem.
We have a large garden and chickens we did have goats but choose not to right now.I can dehydrate and can foods and we also have an outdoor oven that we are tweaking. The dollar originally was only printed with the gold to back it up, that has since gone haywire with lots of dollars being printed… and not the gold to back it up… something has to give at some point, just like it did in Germany…. it just makes us comfortable to have a bit of something that can not diminish if something should happen… this does not mean we do not have other types of savings

Gold was $300 an ounce

for about 10 years in the late 80’a and 90’s. Were you buying it then? If you have a gold coin and the world is going to heck, do you think you can bring that gold coin to a grocery store and they will take it? Gold has risks holding it. It can be stolen, you can die and your heir don’t know you have it. It has a small place, but I won’t ever hold any physical gold. If I ever do, it will be a Gold ETF.

Last night, we went to see Living a Legacy

I didn’t know what to expect, so now that it’s over, I can tell you I was disappointed.We did leave at intermission, and I noticed a LOT of other people leaving then too.I really wouldn’t recommend any of us go to it. I would recommend it to someone who isn’t really familiar with his program. I would have liked it better than FPU if I hadn’t already gone thru FPU. It was like FPU condensed. What bothered me so much is that it was the same old jokes and the same old sayings that he’s used for 20 years. I was hoping this was going to be a fresh lecture.What I really hated about it is that it was sponsored by Church Hill Mortgage, Gold Stash, and Perk Street and that he kept dropping their names a lot. There were, of course, tables set up for them as well, and a couple of screens on the stage that cycled thru their logos. That’s ok. I’m not 100% convinced that Perk Street is in line with his teachings. It seems hypocritical for him to tote a debit card that pays you “perks” then joke that he’s met a lot of millionaires and none of them got rich from “credit card points”. And Gold Stash?! GOLD STASH??!Not dissing Dave. I still admire the man and think he is fantastic at what he does. I just wish I’d known what the show was about before we spent $70 on tickets and parking ($70 that could have gone into our snowball)

I’m back and sorry about that

I was feeling a tad jumped on. Probably me over-reacting rather than anything anyone said. We’ve had a very high octane week here, and I’m running a tad low on energy (and probably patience and humor).
One thing – I did check and folks can buy and sell gold bullion privately without going through the US govt to do so. Bullion can also be “traded” for similar value in gold coin. The companies that do so may not be very noticeable, but they’re out there. One of the companies that does so here regionally is called the NW Territorial Mint (bullion.nwtmint.com). I’m sure just about every major metro area has a few businesses like this.
What usually happens is that such companies will allow you to buy, sell or exchange various forms of precious metals, and they’re the “handler”, and they stay in business via transaction fees. So with the aforementioned exchange between gold bullion and gold coin, they’d calculate the exchange rate per daily published rate tables (rather like the exchange rates between various forms of currency), then either charge a per ounce fee or a flat fee, to make the exchange. I would encourage folks who are interested in such things to check out several businesses, and steer clear of “mail in your gold and get cash” type arrangements. Plenty of fly-by-night companies in this particular arena, but there are plenty of reputable businesses too, who are there to provide long term, competent services.
I have to admit, I’m not in the least pleased about how the federal government has been handling our ongoing economic crisis, and I too have wondered where our dollar is headed over the last few years. Even before DR, I could see a certain amount of “we’re not heading in good directions” in terms of national economic policy. So the topic of working in a currency that is rather independent of the dollar has some appeal. I do hope that what I’ve provided today has at least given folks some good solid info to work with, as they mull whether to get into gold/silver. I’ll go find my happy place and see if I can lighten up a little. National economic policy gets me grouchy pretty fast.

Our big concern is the devaluing of the dollar..

since the government seems to be cranking it out it seems like the only solid money is silver or gold.. We have a few thousand in silver which is in pre 1964 quarters. 3 states have already made it fce value currency, one of which is 12 miles from us… so for us… for every 5 qurters at todays price we would get 31.00. If there is a collapse, then we can use it as currency… if not and we get in a major bind, we sell it at smelt prices…Maybe the basis of why buy silver and gold lies in how we view the government and its future…

I’ve noticed that trend lately as well

people calling in with combined incomes over $100K (pretty big shovel). Not so relatable to my current situation as a single mom with no support from son’s father. Dave seems to be a bit more commercialized than when I was listening awhile ago as well. But the message is still true and what I need to learn to live by.

Feel the same way

have less than half what many are complaining about and live in expensive California but actually doing pretty well. Handling what you have wisely makes a major difference and not having a materialistic attitude prevents a lot of heartache.

I am quite confident, that if it ever got out that

I was dancing on tables to pay the bills, my mom would drop all her “I can’t afford to fly out there” pretense, and magically appear on my doorstep, then proceed to break every bone in my body. Probably while telling me that this is exactly why she sent me to school, so that I’d never have to resort to such things. And she’d probably tack on there that it hurt her more to inflict the punishment than for me to take it. Yea, whatever. I guess all those lectures as I was growing up, sank in at some point. So, suffice to say, it’ll be a long, LONG while before I go that route. I think I’d start growing dope first. At least that’s legal in this state.

Good morning all

I’m a longtime reader/never poster, but I couldn’t pass this opportunity up. The Wall Street Journal had an article yesterday about online assistants and featured a company called Zirtual.

The part that caught my eye, other than the temptation to farm out all the wife/mom tasks that I loathe, is that the company is hiring. It sounds like it can be done from home anywhere in the country. While the income might not replace a full-time job, it might be a good bridge to make it to the next job.

Take a look!


Have a great debt-free, or working on being debt-free, day!

I hear you, I was there at one time

I looked at our budget after putting the money into the 401K and wondered where the money for the rest of it was going to come from. It’s one thing to set a snowball and have some money left over. It’s another to have that amount and then some automatically taken from your paycheck. It took us about a year to adjust to the smaller income and did mean me getting part time work to help our son out with college. It’s all good. My son is in his sophomore year. We agreed to give him 1/3 of his tuition each year and I have his junior year and nearly half of his senior year saved up. My goal is to have this saved by the end of the year so that in January we can start on Baby step 6. You can get there. Just take it one baby step at a time.

First come first serve on the beds

we can/have housed 30 at a time and that was just the house and the fifth wheel. We didn’t use the sunroom or basement then so… I’ve got tents for others, but past about 50 or so you better bring your own housing because I take car keys during parties. LOL! Sarah you bring the toilet paper PLEASE!!!!

I like to think of our little place as a diversified small family farm

Betcha y’all never knew how diversified we really were! And they say Catholics don’t know how to have fun. But hey, we do what we can, right? Now if I could just get this insurance thing settled and our logging permit approved, we’d be in great shape. And to all those hypothetical new folks, welcome! We’re generally a fairly civilized bunch. Just got a little wild and crazy there for a moment. But it’s all in the name of finding ways to stay on the VVB path.

OK, that’s spooky

We’re on top of a ridge too and my fencelines are never straight because I hit boulders and bedrock all the time. And I agree on the barbed wire – nasty stuff. I’ve gotten hung up in it more times than I care to remember. We don’t have any here and we never will. But yea, fencebuilding is one of those ongoing tasks. I’m working the budget this month to make room for the fence and fenceposts we need within the next few weeks. That’s always a cost I wish I could avoid. Alas, maybe I should go into tomato ranching. Tomatoes may not behave but they don’t tend to wander so far from home.

Listing so many amenities

you might find me pulling into your driveway with a whole lot of livestock behind me. Right now, that sounds marvelous compared to our cold, wet, muddy 20 acres and decrepit 97 year old 1000sqft house up here. But the sun just came out so perhaps the day isn’t a total loss.

I know it is outrageous

There are less expensive cities surrounding us, but since we choose to live here, we have to suck it up and make it work. Since my VV and I are a partnership, I’m not moving to a cheaper place unless he agrees. I like living here, don’t get me wrong. But it is expensive.

I try to be frugal in other areas where I have control like groceries.

I had no idea it was that bad.

Our whole farm is half that cost per month. If we had to pay $3000/month for rent, well, I’d be dancing on tables at night to make up the difference. It wouldn’t be pretty, so I’d have to dance a lot. I think I’ll stay here, particularly since I hate being out late at night.

Our income is good, but we don’t spend money like water

I’m very careful, cook at home, don’t take vacations, shop sales, etc. Believe me, our income situation would look a lot different if our rent wasn’t almost $3,000! We have to make more money just to look even on all the other categories. Also our health care costs are high almost $1,000 a month.
My utilities, car payment, car ins, gas, and food costs are about the same as others, but my rent is the kicker. Another reason why owning my own house looks so good. At least if I owned a house, I’d be reducing a debt rather than just spinning my wheels.
I am thankful, though that we have a roof over our heads. It’s a nice 4 bedroom 2 1/2 bath house, but in So CA certainly not as nice as that rent amount would get you in a different part of the country.

What about how much debt they have they are trying to get out from under?

What about the number of people in their household who have to be supported on that income? Child support, elder care
What about the cost of living in the area’s they are in? Auto gas, insurance rates vary widely, grocery prices, etc
How are the decisions of their past affecting their standard of living today?
I guess I never looked at the salaries people reported as frustrating to me, I liked to hear the solutions he gives, and I would really like to hear the followups on some of the calls to see if they actually followed through with the advice.