Saturday, August 18, 2007

Making a Budget

I've also used some of this time off to start (again) watching our financial situation and correcting it. After looking around a bit I actually spent real, live money on the YNAB budget spreadsheet. I've started using it and it is eye-opening. I will be using it, initially, to track our spending. Les is with me on getting a handle on our money. The kids... not so much. I admit that we've spoiled them a bit. At one level, we don't have it too bad. We have our mortgage at a fixed 5.25%. We only have one credit card but we're carrying a balance and the interest rate is bad because I missed a payment. (I should call them and see if they'll reduce it.) We have a HELOC with a ton of debt from paying cash for our second car and bailing out the credit card twice.

In the last several months I've made it a habit to drop a chunk of money into the HELOC at every paycheck. I intend to continue doing that.

Now, I'm not accruing more debt on the credit card. Since it is from my bank I can just transfer money to it to pay off a debt just incurred. Monthly, I will be starting to pay down the balance. I may also ship it off to one of those new credit cards with 0% until October 2008. The trick with those is that they add 3% off the top and I don't know if that will be added into the balance transfer or whether it will sit there accruing interest until the 0% balance is paid off.

Hmmm... More research is in order.

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