Trying to grow a mustache

I am an obsessive new fan of the mustache.  I read blogs every day, just a few to limit my computer time to 1 hour per day.  I just found and I love it so far.   We are trying to spend less and pay down our debt and we’re doing a pretty good job.

We own a 1997 Toyota Camry and a 2007 Toyota Sienna outright, both gifts from our parents.  I inherited $13000 in stocks? bonds?  from my grandfather this past May. I get a statement every few weeks from a brokerage firm but I know nothing about it.

My husband has a retirement account at his old job he has yet to roll over.  He worked there 8 years.  His new job he also has a retirement account but he has no idea what is in it, but he maxes it out. He’s been there 10 months so it’s still a small amount.

I went through our bank statement and tracked our spending last month as:

Groceries $996.45

Gas $613.79

Out to eat $209.42 (including paying $100 to  school lunches account at $2.35 per meal per child)

Entertainment $214.90 (Netflix, HuluPlus, WOW accounts, a book subscription, no cable)

Utilities $464.30

Mortgage $1700

Insurance was due $450.00

Medical $1185.12

Clothes $466.55 (winter coats for kids)

Pet food $60

Car Maintenance $35.51

Home repairs $65.92

Misc $494.94 (target trips,, school pictures)

Total: $6956.89   HOLY WHOA!!!!


Travis take home:  $4900 per month ($66500 per year)

Me: varies due to my work being a tip job but approximately $1400 per month for 2 5 hour shifts per week

This month we cleaned out a saving account we had at a previous employer and put that in checking:  $1650. Otherwise we would have been upside down.  Obviously that can’t happen every month and we have to make some serious changes if we want to be debt free and comfortably retired in 15 years.

We have a cushion in savings of $1500 in an ING savings account for emergencies

Our debt is as follows:

Furniture loan, interest free $3400

Student loan 3.2% interest rate:  $24000

Mortgage: 4% interest rate $266000 remaining

I hope to have this all paid off in under 10 years.  We do have 4 children and a large 3096 square foot home.  We live on 20 acres 23 miles from town.  There is no option of moving closer to town as we live in the Western North Dakota oil boom where a 1 bedroom apartment rents for $3000 a month if you can even find one.  We may sell some land to pay off the student loan but that wouldn’t be for another year.  I know our big house is an expense but it’s worth it to me.  That’s what we all need to find out for ourselves.  What expenses are worth it and what can we trim?  We lived in a 1500 square foot 3 bedroom 1 bathroom house for 8 years and I know I don’t want to go back.  I love our house.  I love finding ways to save money and pay down our debt.


About coffeebythewindow

Mamato4~wifeto1~coffeedrinker~airsmeller~ citywalker~minimalist~gardener~laundryfolder~ fall-lover~librarydweller~bookreader~blog-lover~
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