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The $200 Grocery Challenge! August 11, 2009

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It’s amazing how much we spend on our food budget alone in just one month. We spend an average of $73 on going to the grocery store each week, but we also spend money on going out to eat.That adds up quick in the budget.

This month my wife has sent out a challenge for us. We are going to eat for less than $200 this month. When you break that down, that is only $2.15 a meal for 3 people. Luckily, our son goes to daycare and his lunch will not be included in our equation and we don’t always eat breakfast. Even with that, it still doesn’t leave much room. We are getting organized and planning our meals out ahead of time and sticking with basic meals rather than making something fancy. It may also not be the healthiest foods. We found many of the foods that are less expensive are also less healthy. Our goal is to take the extra money we save and put it on debt. The sooner we are out of debt the better.

To eat cheap try some of these meals.

Look for items you can put together for less than $3 a meal.

• Fish Sticks and Mac & Cheese $1.75 – $2.50

• Spaghetti Sauce and Pasta (No Meat) $1.50 – $2

• Baked Chicken & Frozen Vegetables $2.50 – $3

• Hot Dogs & Tatertots $1.75 – $2.50

• Salad and chopped ham $1.50 – $2

• Chicken & rice $2 – $3

• Even Cheap Frozen Pizza $2.50 – $3

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Getting the New iPhone 3Gs vs. Getting Out of Debt June 12, 2009

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Sometimes we have to make hard choices when trying to get out of debt. I don’t just want an iPhone. I really, really want it. Unfortunately, it costs an extra $30 bucks a month for 2 years. Now, they have lowered the price of the old 3G iPhone to just $99, but when you add on the data plan that iphone now costs $819 over 2 years plus your regular cell plan. Which means it will run us $3,460 for us to have a cell phone plan for 2 years. versus $2,640 without the iPhone. Look for ways to substitute down. They now have tons of touchscreen and smartphones that don’t require a data plan. If you work on a computer at the office and have a computer at home, do you really need another way to connect to the internet?

If you really have to have the iPhone make sure to add the data charge to your budget. If possible, take a couple of months and save up for the phone so that you don’t go over your budget for the month.

Good Luck and Get Out of Debt.

The Ikea showdown…Them vs. the Budget. May 24, 2009

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I know it’s hard to stay on budget, especially in the summer. There is so much to do…and places to go…and things to buy. Last weekend it was a trip to Ikea… now it could have been a disaster…had we not had a plan. My wife worked it out and planned so that she knew how much she was planning to spend and then put a little extra in for those impulse buys. I on the other hand had no plans. I’m a free spirit when it comes to spending and that can be bad. I go to the store for a few things and come back an hour later with a $100 bucks worth of stuff. That does not help with getting out of debt. I have to thank my wife, she’s just wonderful, for all she has to put up with while we get out of debt.

Plan budget for any major  trips so that you know what it’s going to cost and how much you need to save. We got some great deals and stayed within our budget. If you ever go to Ikea check out their “as is section” before you leave. We got a TV stand already together for half the price. Wow, what a deal!

Watch Out for Potholes in your road to Debt Freedom! May 5, 2009

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My wife and I encountered a pothole in our road to being debt free last week. Some how our city did not bill us for our property taxes on our vehicles last year and we obviously didn’t pay it. When we went to obtain new stickers for our license plates we were told that we needed to pay this. This why having an emergency fund is so important!

We paid the taxes and then had our inspection done on our car. The car didn’t pass inspection and we had to pay for 2 new tires. Overall, we paid around $460.00 for something we budgeted around $60.

Make sure you have at least a $500 in your emergency fund and then add $50 a month until you have $1,000 in your emergency fund. By doing this it will get you started on paying off debt faster.

BlogCatalog April 15, 2009

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Personal Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Join Today! Debt Freedom Class Social Network April 8, 2009

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Today we launched the Debt Freedom Class Social Network. Join today at http://debtfreedomclass.ning.com/

Work together to learn to organize your bills, cut spending and eliminate your debt. Tell your friends and family now is the time to become debt free.

How much debt can you pay off in 3 months? April 6, 2009

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I hope everyone is keeping track of how much debt they have paid off so far this year. This is the best way to motivate a family to keep up the hard work and get your debt paid off as fast as you can. Drum roll please….From Jan. 1st, 2009 – March 31st 2009 we have paid off $4,650.84 of debt. That is an average of $51.67/a day that we have paid off. Now, that is not typical in any way. We have a had some really good things happen to us and we follow our plan to pay off debt. If you have a plan it can make a huge difference. Here are some of the good things that have happened so far this year…

We got a decent Tax refund that went straight to debt.

We received a refund on our escrow account because we changed home insurance.

I have another part-time job for the first 6 months of the year.

We stopped putting money away for retirement until we have paid off everything but the house debt.

If we can do it, so can you. Start paying off your debt now.

Baby Bill Blues…Don’t Cry for Us. April 4, 2009

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In 2008, my wife and I decided that we needed to get on a budget. It wasn’t easy and we worked on it, month after month. At the beginning of the year, I took a second job and worked from home for 6 months to make some extra cash to pay for the baby delivery. We started to make progress in January, but in February everything was put on hold because I fell and broke my hand on some ice. This set us back around $2,500 and we then owed even more than what we did at the beginning of the year. But we worked hard, and paid our debts down and paid $11,700 in really 10 months. Did I forget to mention that we also had a baby in June! By the time the baby came we had already paid down our debt that we didn’t even include our debt from the baby delivery. We had all of our Baby Bills paid within 2 months because we had saved and planned for him to come.

PAID OFF OVER $11,700 of DEBT: Extra Money was the key! March 12, 2009

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The Key To Success!

The Key To Success!

Last year when everyone started to worry about the economy, my wife and I were highly focused on our budget and paying off debt. We did NOT to do a consolidation loan because it hurts your ability to see how bad your debt really is. It does not truely provide any debt relief. Last year we paid off over $11,700 of debt. That is almost $1,000/mo. of debt paid off. Now just so you know, we don’t make that much over what our bills cost. So how did we pay that much on debt… It was not just one or two things, but several things combined that made it possible.

We started making some extra money with several strategies. First, we picked through our house and found many, many things that we did use. We put those things in a couple of garage sales over the year. That made a little extra money. We also took some of those items and put them on http://www.Ebay.com. Old dolls, old video games, movies, toys, etc… I also, took a part-time job for six months. That extra money adds up.

It was very difficult, the first few months because it’s slow going paying off debt. Don’t be discuraged! The speed of paying off bills increases as you make more and more changes. The best change you can make and make right now is to stop spending. This is not what the government wants to hear or any of our business that we shop at but the only way you can get out off debt is to live on less than you make.

Start with your monthly bills…What bills are for items that you don’t need? It’s not that you don’t want this or that, but what items can you save some money on.

Join In: The Debt Freedom Class March 3, 2009

Posted by 2bdebtfree in Financial Debt Budget.
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Let’s join together and become debt free. We’ve started this blog to help others like us get out of debt. We ‘ll be talking about ways to get organized, cut spending and creating a budget. We want your comments and suggestions to help others around the world become debt free. If you would, email us questions that you have and we will try to answer them the best way we can. With everyone forecasting doom and gloom for the economy, now, is the time to start preparing for your financial freedom.

Please email questions to: patrick@debtfreedomclass.com.