So it's been almost a month. We installed Mint onto our phones and hooked it all up with our accounts. We began seeking some more personal help with budgeting, that dirty word.
We made appointments to chat with friends. (friends who had more money than us, or seem to be more financial well off than us) We asked them, what do you do and how can we get started.
Of course the information came fast and flooded our minds with too much information. So we started making appointments with those willing to help.
We just had our first appointment with friends who were 'expert's' with Mint. They were super helpful in tweaking our budgets and giving us tips on how to use Mint to our liking. They took a look at our receipts were were keeping and we noticed we didn't write on some of the receipts and we were not always sure what we bought from where. For instance something said Abby #52 on Mint, but we found no receipt. Another receipt said something about StoreCanoe for $7.41. Later we found out it was a coffee shop. So we found out it was very important to keep the receipts from new or obscure places. Also it is best to enter this information ASAP onto Mint and put it in the budget where it needs to go to track how much we have left. Bascially Mint just tracks where you spend your money. You get to put in your own budget amount like $50 coffee each month and then it's up to you to stay within that $50. If you need to go over, you must take money from another budget say "entertainment budget" and slide more money allowed to the coffee fund, taking money away from the entertainment fund. You must also keep your budget to zero. This was difficult to understand until someone showed us on Mint.
Now it's practice week. We left their house feeling better handle on things and we had a list of "to do's. Unfortunatley it's already day one and I didnt' do any of the to do's. Another good reason to set up a following check up date with each other or friends, so your honest about following through.
I hope by this week Sunday we will have done at least one thing on our to do list.
Here is a peek at our list this week:
1. Cancel our overdraft (it doesn't help our credit and we just keep dipping into it)
2. Apply and open a line of credit at at least 1 other bank than our own, get quotes from at least 4 banks. (pick the one with the lowest interested rate, such as 3-5% -try to get this at least 10,000)
Do not take any money from it.
We learned it's great to have a line of credit and not use ANY of it. (raises your credit rating)
3. Make an appointment with our bank and let them know we were approved at 3-5% with such n such bank and can they lower our interest rate or should we jump ship to this other bank? Since we have a line of credit but the interest rate is too high.
4. Make decisions based on what our bank tell us to do. If our bank lowers our rate - great, pay it off at our own bank, but keep the line of credit open at the other bank and DO NOT use it. Just there as a credit raising plan.
5. If our bank says no, go back to the other bank with the lower interest rate and use that line of credit to pay off ours at our bank. That way we are paying a lower interest rate loan off.
6. Of course keep using MINT and keep receipts that are obscure or have more than one kind of thing on it. For instance, Walmart may have homeschool stuff, gifts for bdays and groceries, you want to see how to split those up in Mint, so keep that receipt until your done with Minting it!
7. Pay off existing credit card and line of credit debt. Always pay off the smallest debt first, so you can feel the progress of it. So if your Sears account is only $500 and your credit card is $1000, pay Sears first. You will feel awesome, your debt is gone and you will be motivated and determined all the more.
8. Make a goal in MINT for paying off debt and link it to my hubbys phone and my own.
9. Look into how much my accounts are costing me and if other banks let you have more than one account free of charge or nearly free?
10. Keep breathing, listening to Pod Casts and reading books about money, no matter how BORING I find it. Keep it up. Soon it will be fun, once you see progress... I am told! haha