Our Debt, Our Budget

There is a great post on Serving Joyfully called “Our Frugal Budget“.In it, Crystal outlines her family’s budget and plan to get out of debt. And they did!

These are our debts:

Bank Loan $4,428.65
Credit Card $10,423.21
Student Loans $2,279.54
Mortgage $289,380.03
Car Loan $15,517.49

That’s a total of $322,028.90. Very debt. Much ouch.

Expenses:

CABLE INTERNET $70
CAR INSURANCE $270
LIFE INSURANCE $15
ELECTRIC/GAS $150
NETFLIX $12
CELL PHONES $100
CHARITABLE $50
WATER/SEWER $100
TRASH/RECYCLE $50
GROCERIES $500
HOUSEHOLD $200
CAT MONEY $400
GAS MONEY/CAR FUND $400
ENTERTAINMENT SUBSCRIPTION $40
DEBT: STUDENT LOAN $250
DEBT: CREDIT CARD $475
DEBT: MORTGAGE, etc. $2,200
DEBT: BANK LOAN $125
DEBT: CAR LOAN $400
TOTAL LIVING EXPENSES: $5,807

Okay. That’s about $300 total LESS than we bring home in a month. And we’re grateful to have vision, medical, dental, and a retirement plan–okay, okay, 401Ks. But still.

By using $200 from that remainder, we can literally have everything paid off (except the house) in two years or less. While we could try to cut more, it wouldn’t do much to decrease our debt load. I did the numbers one day and decided no, we really do need hot water and refrigeration and a cable modem. We could try to get additional jobs, but I’m salaried and technically always on call; the Atheist is on call one week per month, and his health isn’t supportive of him working more than full time. We aren’t willing to nuke our standard of living so much in order to pay a teensy bit more to debts.

Yes, I know that makes us one of those “high income” families with debt. But let me tell you something…Seattle metro area = super expensive. Our income combined is like $58,000 in St. Louis, MO. We do have circumstances keeping us in the area and in our house, so we can’t follow the advice of others to “just move to a cheaper area and get a different high paying job”. And as for selling our stuff? Yeah…not much here most folks would be interested in buying…we certainly didn’t get into debt by buying high end toys we can sell on Craigslist.