Friday, February 06, 2009

Financial Goals for 2009

A little background:

We are on a journey to pay off as much of Dave’s medical school loans as we can while he’s still a resident. In all likelihood, we’ll probably end up paying the interest and preventing it from getting added to the balance, and I suppose I’ll be satisfied if we can manage that (probably a good $40,000 from the 4 years of medical school plus 5 years of residency. And I thought the original balance was bad enough!!) Our plan was always to pay of all of his loans in 3 years once he had a real job, since we didn’t think we could pay much while he was a resident making not much money. But when we got a statement saying that his loans had accumulated $15,000 worth of interest just in the time he was in medical school (and I wanted to vomit, literally, when I saw that), we realized that we’d better get a move on it and that every dollar we could squeeze out now would benefit us so much in the long run! Besides, I’ve heard tons of people’s debt free calls to Dave Ramsey who have paid off $10,000 or more a year making the same amount of money we are. Last year, we paid about $6,000 to finish off my student loans, replenished our emergency fund after some unexpected car repairs (after we’d used all our car repair savings for other car repairs - the joy of driving old cars!), and paid about $1400 on Dave’s loans. Now that we know a baby is coming, we’re following Dave Ramsey’s advice to set aside all the money we’d be putting to loan repayment into our emergency fund, just in case we need it. Once the baby comes, and everything is fine, we’ll send that money straight to the loans.

The goals:

1) Save $750 per month in the temporary emergency/loan repayment fund, which totals $5250 by August.

2) Cash flow any baby related expenses (childbirth classes, doula if we go that route, items we need to purchase, etc.) so that we’re not tempted to use the emergency money instead of sending it to the loan.

3) I’m joining the debt busters group at Thrifty Florida Mama’s blog. There’s a monthly check-in with other people working hard to pay off debt.

4) Sell 5 items per month on eBay and/or Craig’s List. We have a lot of things in the basement that we’ve been meaning to get rid of, but I was waiting until I was done with school to tackle that. Well, I’m done with school now and it’s time for that stuff to go! I’ve been selling books online and swapping quite a few books at (awesome resource, by the way), but it’s time to get going on the rest.

5) We’re joining a Financial Peace University (FPU) class that a local church is offering. I’ve thought of going to FPU for quite a while, but I listened to all the tapes (yes, tapes) from the class my parents went to back in the day, I listen to Dave Ramsey all the time, and I felt that the benefit of going to the class was probably not worth the cost. Well, the church is offering the materials at their cost and they’re doing it in a small group format. So this is the cheapest we’re ever going to be able to do FPU, plus we’ll get some much needed community and fellowship time with other young married couples. We’re hoping that FPU will keep us fired up and help us think of more ways to find extra money in our budget.


Julie said...

I think all of our Lansing Christian churches are doing Dave beginning this month. Jamie's been a big fan of his and so he's heading it up at our church. How was that church able to purchase the kits cheaper?

Sarah Halter said...

I don't think they purchased them any cheaper (although it is a VERY large church, so it's possible they got a volume discount). It's just that they're selling them at their cost - therefore cheaper than buying it through the website or for what other churches/classes are selling it for. So that means that I'm not likely to get it for any cheaper anywhere else.

I've been interested for a while in Dave Ramsey's training course for financial counseling, but they want you to have taken FPU before you do it. That's another reason that I want to go ahead and do the full class.

Jungle Mom said...

Sarah, Very worthy goals! I am indeed, another year older.
I have tried to send you email but it does not seem to go through from Paraguay for some reason.
I wanted to communicate this to you privately but am unable. Feel free to delete this if you wish after reading.
I just wanted to warn you about my post for tomorrow. I remember that when I was expecting I was very sensitive to images and I will be posting a graphic photo in regards to abortion. I would hate for the image to disturb you and wanted to warn you.

Christine said...

Wonderful goals, Sarah! I think I will have to join in at Thrifty Florida Mama's website. I would love to take one of Dave's classes. We do follow his basic plans, but I think the camaraderie of the people taking the class must be so inspiring! I cannot wait until we pay off our debts, as quickly as possible. Craigslist and Ebay are excellent ways of earning some extra money for expenses, fun, or paying off debts. Blessings!

megs92 said...

What kind of residency is Dave doing? Wow, that $15,000 about made me want to be sick too. Joshua's getting ready to apply for med schools and what a scary thought - that much interest accumulating while he's still studying? We're hoping I'll have a job that we can live off and fund our IRAs with while he's in residency so that his "salary" can go toward his loans. Of course, that's providing he gets in...

Good luck with your financial goals - I know you can do it!