Monday, June 6, 2011

Toxic Debt

I'm having a really hard time paying down debt.  Whether it be good things (my best friend's wedding) or bad things (mold in our walls), things seem to crop up and get in the way.  Last New Year's, the only debt we had was my car, our school loans, and *B*'s small credit card.  Now, we've added my card, our joint card, and a mortgage.  It's really getting out of hand.

I've heard a lot about Dave Ramsey lately.  In his plan, you snowball the amounts you can pay off by getting rid of the smallest amount of debt first, then putting that payment toward the next smallest amount.  Conventional wisdom (and mathematical sense) tells us that we should pay largest interest rate to smallest.  I think that we're going to go half way between the two - if the amounts are within a few hundred dollars, the higher interest rate goes first.

I'm doing my best to find ways to be frugal and put away money.  We have a bad habit of going out for food when neither of us feel like cooking.  My job this summer will be to cook every day and use the food we do have to the best of our ability.  That means no produce going to waste and always finishing off the leftovers.

Any other tips for frugality, savings, and debt repayment are more than welcome.


  1. We've never had a debt problem; just our mortgage. But we read Dave Ramsey's book last year and boy was it awesome! It is so motivational, it's definitely worth a read.

    Cooking is a hard one. I started scheduling myself cooking breaks a few years ago (frozen pizza every Saturday) and that helped us go out a lot less often. We also have spaghetti every Sunday—cheap, easy, and predictable. Have you thought about freezer cooking? Also I've found that if I plan very complicated menus I'm less likely to actually cook. Making our simple favorites usually works better, with a few "fun" meals thrown in for variety.

    Kudos to you for cooking when you work. If I worked, I think I would have a hard time mustering up the strength every evening for cooking and housework.

  2. I picked up that book on your recommendation and loved it! I usually try to go at the debt issue by myself, but I took Ramsey's advice and talked to *B* about it. We've now got a plan of attack and I'm very optimistic.

    When I'm off, I tend to food saver a bunch of marinated meat packs (chicken teriyaki, barbeque chicken, etc). Strangely enough, we don't think to eat them when we're in a rush! I'm definitely using my time this summer to try to plan better meals and figure out if I can set up a system that can carry over to the school year.