Sunday, March 18, 2007

Changes for April Budget

My wife and I have been talking about April a bit and the months following that regarding our goals with the budget. We were originally planning on doing something of a snowball method, where we pay a small amount on each loan and then all the extra money that we had for the month would go towards our smallest bill. The problem that we have with this is the common method for this is that you pay the minimum balance, which due to us not being able to pay the minimum for several months, is much larger than we can pay. The creditors have finally slowed down on calling, realizing that they aren't having an effect on us to pay quicker. This we fear would get them pressing us again for more than $10/month that we would be sending them.

Here's what we're thinking about doing to get ourselves out of debt:
  • April, May and June we will save $1K/month for our emergency fund. Since we have no credit available to us at this time, we need to have enough to purchase a replacement vehicle as well as for any other emergency that may come up.
  • July we make a settlement to our smallest credit card (balance is currently $1545, but about 400 of that is fees we have received).
  • August, September & October we save up to make a settlement on our next smallest credit card ($3629).
  • Next 18 months after that repeat the same pattern. Afterwards settle small 0% medical bills outstanding.
Overall time for our credit card and medical debts we are looking at 3 years to pay it off.

Having some inspiration today, I realized that before we got married, I had my future wife file for bankruptcy in order for us to "start fresh" but that if we had kept her bills and learned the lessons 3 years ago that we're learning now, we'd be in a much better place financially than we are now. As I told her though today, we can have no regrets and can only change our actions in the future.

Today's lesson: Don't file bankruptcy, God can use your debts to help you grow into a wise person. If you do file, you might just be in the same situation a few years down the line.

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