Anyone's Financial Situation IMPROVED?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by DanaHesson, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. DanaHesson

    DanaHesson DIS Veteran

    Oct 17, 2004
    I saw the post about financial troubles. Well, my husband and I are in BETTER shape now financially than we have ever been. I am making less (by choice) but he is making more. Yes, we have a lot of debt, but we are making well over the minimum payments on everything, and are in great shape to get things paid off. The gas prices have been a nusiance, but luckily we both chose jobs with short commutes, and we don't feel the need to "Keep up with the Joneses", so I drive a 96 model car with 220k miles on it, and my husbands car is a 97. We have made a few changes, such as cooking at home more and eating out less, and we did cut our cable package down a bit, but other than that, we own everything and do pretty much everything we want. We are however a DINK family, but with God's blessing that will change later this year.....

    I hope there are lots of others like us out there that are not having to struggle too much. I know that everyones situation is different, but we all like to hear about the GOOD as well as the bad!
  2. 3tiggerstoo

    3tiggerstoo Mouseketeer

    Aug 8, 2005
    Great positive post! We are also doing very well.:thumbsup2 We have no debt except mortgage, are saving to pay cash for our next vehicle, and we decreased our mortgage debt by $10000 last year. In addition, this year we are saving even more for our 3 kids' college funds, are increasing the amount we're saving for retirement, and plan on paying down at least another $10000 on our mortgage. All this while I stay at home with our youngest child. And I know there are plenty more people out there just like us, Dana! I think the media just enjoys focusing on all the negatives. You rarely hear about the people who are doing okay - that doesn't sell.

    Thanks for the uplifting topic!
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  4. heartsy77

    heartsy77 Our 11th trip is almost here!

    Dec 7, 2004
    Great idea! We are Ok and I think that something to be proud of now days! We only have one car payment, no cc debt, and are living well. We sink a ton in 401k, and are saving automatically every week to pay off our WDW trip for DEC; instead of just throwing on a cc! My goal this year is to start a college fund for the kids, and create a emergency fund, ( I always figured oh well we had cc in case of emergency but I guess we need cash set aside).
  5. Mickey'sfriend

    Mickey'sfriend DIS Veteran

    Mar 29, 2006
    We, too, are in better financial shape than we have been at other times in our lives. We are making better choices, saving $, and, well, making better choices!:goodvibes
  6. HeyIt'sMe

    HeyIt'sMe Nothin' to see here folks

    Oct 18, 2006
    We are doing great too. Both DH & I are doing well in our jobs and are very happy with our salaries. I just got a 7% merit increase and got my annual bonus check last week (15% of my salary). I am really grateful for that bonus because I know alot of companies didn't give out bonuses (or raises) this year.

    We continue to contribute to our 401(k), DD's college savings, general savings, and vacation savings (WDW here we come!).

    Also, in the last 6 months we changed the way we spend. We don't eat out as much as we used to and DH & I (and DD) get an allowance each paycheck that we can use for whatever we want. This really helps with budgeting. And it's fun to see how much cash you can carryover to the next payday.

    We made a promise to ourselves to not use CCs anymore. We have one last CC to be paid off and then no more debt (besides the mortgage and car payment).

  7. dvcgirl

    dvcgirl DIS Veteran

    Nov 1, 2002
    Yes, we continue to improve our financial situation, but I just wanted to say that I don't think the people in that other thread are "downers"...or "negative". Sometimes one job loss, or a cut-back in hours, or an illness...and well, many of us "over here" in this thread would be "over there". Times are tough right now, and about to get tougher I think.

    We have no debt at all, and haven't for some time. We live by The Budget, which we just designed for 2008. We always "pay ourselves first" and so all retirement accounts are fully funded, the HSA is funded and then we put a fair amount into our taxable accounts as well. Beyond that we budget for "bills"...utilities, insurance, pets, groceries. Whatever is left is "discretionary spending", which is divided by 12 for our monthly amount.

    This year we started off with a "No Buy January" (inspired by folks here!) and are really amazed at how many things you can find to do without spending money. We're so inspired that we're going to cut back our discretionary spending in half for the next two months and see how that feels. We love a challenge :). The extra money will pad the emergency fund (not a bad idea in this economic environment folks!). I think we're finding that even on a budget we're doing some "mindless" spending....just sort of buying stuff because we can afford it. I just hate that feeling of being wasteful.

    We're always looking for ways to improve our situation though and so this year we're thinking about transportation. Our 11 year old SUV still runs like a top, as does the 5 year old one. We are kicking around the idea of actually going down to one selling the newer SUV (highlander). DH works from home and we just never use it. It gets 18mpg in town and 20 or so highway. With energy prices heading nowhere but up in the long run and because we keep cars forever, we feel like it may be easier to sell now than a few years down the line. We could get about 16K for it. We already have our "next car fund" funded, so we'd just throw that into that pot. We'll run the old SUV into the ground and then our next car purchase will be a hybrid...probably a prius. I'd love it if we could keep one car....that alone would save us about $1,200 a year between maintenance and insurance.

    Here's hoping that everyone can improve their financial situation in 2008!
  8. bdcp

    bdcp DIS Veteran

    Nov 13, 2004
    Yes we are. We have a bit of debt, but do make well over the minimum payments on everything (only 1 cc which we run up at CHristmas and pay off within 3-4 months every year). We have 3 car loans (2 new ones this year after 9 and 10 year old cars were sold) and an equity loan we used to pay for kids college. The college thing is what cost us the most. They didnt' have the plans 20+ years ago that they have now, so we had to pay as we went for our boys. Since I chose to stay home with them for 14 years we were also unable to save enough (some, but not a lot). But as for the this year, things are looking great. Paying extra on everything except our first mortgage. I'm a very optimistic person. I work 32 hours/week and without a college degree I make almost $30/hr. My DH has a degree and makes over 6 figures. We live in a high income area by choice and have jobs that pay more because of security clearances and technical knowledge. For the poster who said they paid off 10K of their mortgage this year, we do that every year just by making the regular payments. That tells you how high our mortgage payments are lol.

    We both also put a lot into our 401K's and are pretty set for retirement already. DH is 50 and I'm 47 so we still have a few years to go.

    My issue with that other thread is that they don't want to hear that a lot of people aren't in financial trouble. They really want to think everyone is in the same boat. Some of it is illness, but a lot of their situations are choices - where they live, education, poor financial decisions, etc.
  9. ceecee

    ceecee DIS Veteran

    Apr 6, 2001
    We are also very blessed to have no debt. We set an impossible savings goal for last year (I thought) and we made it! It's a great feeling. DH's salary increased significantly which really helps and we still watch our money. We both have older cars but as long as they keep going....they still look good on the outside!
  10. kellyg403

    kellyg403 <font color=green>She changes friends like she cha

    Aug 20, 2005
    Yes, I think we are financially in a better position in the start of 2008 than we ever have been. Funny thing is, we have had two major things happen to us in 2007 that we thought would bury us, but turned out to be godsends. It forced us at the end of 2007 to button down the hatches and make budgeting a reality because we HAD to. Now, we are using the same budget lessons and I think we will see an even better 2009. The best thing that ever happened to me was leaving my job and turning over the finances to dh. He is the master in these things and I gotta say INCREDIBLE:worship: with a budget. I am more easily swayed with the kids, even the grown ones get to me when they just need something that really is a want!!

    Yes, I would say our financial picture is brighter than ever this year.

  11. nowellsl

    nowellsl <font color=purple>my car finds out everytime I ha

    Dec 18, 2002
    I've never gotten that impression, maybe I'm reading different threads?! I do think it helps to know others are in the same boat, but when I was getting out of debt I got a lot of encouragement from others who had done it and it helped.

    I am better off now than I ever have been financially - it's all because of being debt free! What gets me is now that I finally have a good amount in savings they keep lowering the interest rates:confused:
  12. mrsklamc

    mrsklamc <font color=blue>I apologize in advance, but what

    Oct 29, 2006
    We're doing better than before too! I admit to being a bit concerned about the future of the economy, but I can't change anything by worrying!
  13. Disneyoverload42

    Disneyoverload42 Mouseketeer

    Jan 2, 2008
    Ours has steadily improved - through hard work and divine intervention ;)
    10 years ago, I was a single mom making WAY below the poverty level, no government assistance and no child support. DH was a single dad working a minimum wage retail job. Then we became the brady bunch :laughing: We made a lot of mistakes with credit and overborrowed, but we have moved up and up and we make 6 figures now.

    After years of digging ourself into debt, we have recently (the last few years) been digging ourselves out of debt which is MUCH more painful. But it is rewarding. We see other people doing what we did and we just shudder to think we did the same things and are paying for it still. Now if we can lose that $1500 a month daycare bill we'd be really kicking it!

    WETWHISTLE Mouseketeer

    Feb 6, 2007
    We are doing way better than ever before, as well. I switched jobs in April 07, and while my schedule has been VERY tough, we are in a much better place. At the end of the year I got a 19% raise, and my bonus was like 70% of my income, so we have a great amount saved up for a down payment on a house. No car payments, no debt. Right now we only have one car, but we have money saved up for a down payment on a car, and my tax return is going towards the car down payment as well.

    We are going to Disney in less than a month and that trip is totally paid for. We have our spending money and everything all saved. It's such a great feeling.

    Good luck to everyone in 08!
  15. momto2girls

    momto2girls DIS Veteran

    Jan 21, 2004
    We are definitely doing better than we ever have before! I feel totally blessed, but I know that we've worked really hard for what we have.

    We have no credit card debt (haven't had any for over 10 years), our retirement funds are well-funded and our little girls' college funds are set. :) We're now looking into setting up more investments outside of these areas. We did buy a new car in November '07 and are making payments on it, but we're going to pay it off once we've paid our taxes (we just want to make sure that there are no surprises ;)). Other than that, we have our mortgage, but having a mortgage does not bother me.
  16. goodeats

    goodeats DIS Veteran

    Aug 6, 2005
    Yes ours have. We impound our taxes/insurance (because our mortgage forces us to) and just got a $2,000 refund! Our mortgage payment is going down by $100 a month too. That's pretty nice. We're going to be saving this increase in cash flow.

    We're saving quite a bit for future baby (hopefully spring '09) and paying down a car loan.
  17. natenapril

    natenapril DIS Veteran

    May 28, 2006

    I agree. I have read that thread and I did not see any one being negative like pp claimed.
  18. MoniqueU

    MoniqueU <font color=peach>Anything with Malibu in it is gr

    Aug 12, 2005
    Well our situation hasn't totally improved but my husband who was laid off in Oct did find a job and started in January. He is not on salary so we have yet to see if the money is the same as his last job.
  19. GrannyEv

    GrannyEv <font color=deeppink>Happiness is watching your gr

    Apr 24, 2004
    I was laid off the end of May and it sure opened my eyes as to what I could do with out. It's now a "do I want it" or "do I need it" questions before I buy anything. I have do alot of decluttering and find I can live quite comfortably with alot less. I have luckily found a job since. A little bit of debt incurred when I was laid off but am almost paid off and can still manage a trip to Disney in the fall with my daughter and two grandkids.
    Circumstances change and you never know when things like that will happen.

  20. Kay1

    Kay1 <font color=red>Check out Ricki's hidden Mickey!<b

    Aug 30, 1999
    My husband got a big promotion that came with a raise, but we're only doing a little better because inflation is eating up much of extra money.
  21. JonS99

    JonS99 DIS Veteran

    Jul 18, 2007
    We are doing better, still have a LOT of credit card debt (about $18K) but are paying it down by about $1000 a month and I have landed a contract to mow a city park this summer on the weekends that should get us debt free by September or October.. On top of that, our upcoming WDW trip is already paid for in cash...

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