Goals derailment, what if

Even though I set money goals earlier this week, if I wasn’t to meet them I wouldn’t get to upset. I even expect a few to not be achieved this year. All it would mean is to try harder. Case in point, on debt I have been trying to not use my credit card, well I used it today at Subway.

The point of goals isn’t to set in stone events that must happen. Rather it is what I would like to happen. One goal I made was to have $20,000 in gross income from my business and after doing my quarterly Sales Tax return I can say I’m on progress. I was at the $4,500 mark which isn’t half bad in my opinion. It means I must try to beat that the next three quarters, but more on that later on in April.

Some goals I set for myself as a person I end up rolling over into a new year. Take the goal  of loosing weight, which is also related to spending less on junk food. I have had this goal on my plate for a few years now. Yet I will stick to the goal for a few days then I go talk myself out of it. I will say I don’t have the time and/or energy to and will slowly stop.

This is one area I need to change. I should start to care about my goals and not push them off. I need to hold myself more accountable and reward myself for meeting goals. The Subway today was a reward for progress toward the weight loss goal. I went on several small walks, ate fewer snacks, and drank less Mountain Dew. This is a personal weakness, I used to carry cash and would spend it all on Mountain Dew, leading me to stop using cash. As part of starting Staying out of Debt I will start using cash again, slowly.

Time will only tell if changing how I view goals will help. I am only a human with weakness, but if I am successful I will come out stronger and less in debt. I would like to hear from you what you do to stay on track. Just leave a comment below.

2012 Money Goals

With the first quarter of 2012 coming to a close, I will be sharing with you my financial progress report. But first, I should explain what my goals are. Listed below are my simple goals for 2012 organized by category.


  • Have two months living expenses in a savings account. I.e. an Emergency Fund. For me this would be about $1000. In the past I’ve had a much smaller E. Fund, but my income was to low one month and I have yet to build it back up.
  • Make sure I am setting back money for Taxes, I am learning this the hard way on my 2011 Taxes. My goal on this for 2012 is to owe less then $100.
  • Have a slush fund of sorts – I have a few expenses I always forget to plan for (Oil changes, web hosting, etc) My goal for 2012 is to get the big offenders out of a slush fund.
  • Finally, I want to have money saved up for a place to live. From my last post you can tell I would much rather start small and pay for the house outright. But at the moment it looks like I may have to rent until I get enough saved.


  • The only debt I have currently is a student loan. I hope to have at least $750 of the principal paid off by the end of 2012. I really wish it would be paid off by December, so I may throw some extra money into it.
  • I do have a credit card, but it’s a secured credit card with a $200 limit. It gets paid off every month if I use it and in 2012 I hope to use this card less. When I first got the card I placed $120 on it and since the start of 2012 it hasn’t been over $60.


  • I own a business and I really hope to have it take off this year. In 2012 my business grossed about 10k or 11k. Almost half of that is from subcontracted services. In 2012 I want to see my business pass the $20,000 in gross sales mark.
  • I also want to diversify my income and for 2012 I want to start having passive income. I am not sure what I’ll do yet, but I would like to set a goal of having $250/mo by the end of 2012.


  • I plan to sit down at the end of this quarter and examine all the money that I paid out and find ways to reduce it and to make a budget. I used to follow a budget but then I got a car and it just went out the window.
  • This is in relation to savings also. But the money I don’t spend on an Item I want to start saving away. I used to buy snacks and pop often and I would like to add to my savings every time I get the temptation, instead of buying.

Well that’s my 2012 Money Goals as of right now. Make sure you check back in Mid April for my first quarter financial report to see how much or little progress I have made.


The one debt most people incur – Mortgage

By the title of this blog many would get the impression that I don’t support mortgages. I do understand that they may be necessary. I have two different view points on this topics

View 1 – Take a Mortgage

This is the more traditional option. You generally pay a down payment of 20% and the rest is paid over 30 years. The only issue with this option is the amount of interest paid.

A $100,000 with a down payment of $20,000 would leave an $80,000 loan. At a 5% rate the amount of interest paid over the life of the loan would be around $74,600 according to mortgage-x.com. So now the house has costed around $174,600, in addition to the fees and charges of getting a loan.

View 2 – Save and pay cash starting small

To really stay out of debt you should start small. Where I live there are some fixer-uppers that are $20,000. Instead of having a down payment you own the house. During this time the payments you would have paid (about $400) could be put in savings. After five years you would have $24,000 in savings. If your house didn’t loose much value you could now upgrade to a $40,000 house, assuming you wanted to. Another five years and the same story, now we are up to over a $65,000 house. You can see where I’m going. About seventeen years after buying the fixer-upper you can now have the $100,000 house without a loan.

Positives and Negatives of each

View 1


  • Start out in house you want
  • Take interest deduction on taxes


  • Pay out almost as much in interest as the loan amount
  • Paying bank for 30 years
  • Could become upside down on mortgage

View 2


  • You own house outright
  • No interest paid, you get interest from the saving account


  • You don’t start in your dream house
  • The value of the “step houses” could tank

This is over simplified but the big issue with View 1 is the interest paid and the big issue with View 2 is the value of the houses you buy in between the two could tank. One Potential solution is to stay in the starter home, so there isn’t to much to loose.

While other people may chose renting, it is a personal choice. While I cannot blame someone for picking View 1, I am going to try View 2. I would like to know your personal opinion. Which view would you prefer, or would you rent?

Ideas for Staying out of Debt 3 – Don’t use credit

In Ideas for Staying out of Debt I plan to cover my ideas/plans on how to stay out of debt.

First off, let me say that I am not talking about the people who are able to pay off credit cards in full. I am talking about such topics as car loans and store credit aka Buy Here, Pay Here.

Buy Here Pay Here

Example of Store credit, with Photo by Hugo90

When most people think about debt they associate it with numerous items, Credit Cards included along with various loans like car loans and student loans. I would like to believe in the idea that besides a house one can live life without debt. Yet the only way to have no debt is to never use credit and/or keep a balance. For many people I can understand this being hard. I myself simply didn’t have the cash when it came time to buy books, so I took out a loan, wishing now I never did.

What would it mean to not use credit? For me it would have been to not accept the loan. While to others it could mean delaying the purchase of a car. Yet to others it can mean even more things. But not using credit has an almost negative view in society. It is almost expected of you to go into debt at some point in your life. Yet who benefits from this? Almost any company offering loans/credits generate income from providing this service. Take most loans, your charged interest on the amount you pay, which is extra income to the business.

Had you used the advice in the previous post about savings you could have waited a few months and paid with money you had. Which while in savings it could have made you a little bit of interest, which to be fair is less then 1% for most banks at the moment. I’ve read numerous posts on other personal finance sites about this topic and if possible I say save up and pay with the money you have. if you follow the classic saying of not buying what you can’t afford, then you can’t get into debt.

On a side note, what do you the reader think this site should discuss. Also I hope to get a logo up by the end of the month and we’re on Facebook now.

Ideas for Staying out of Debt 2 – Make sure to save

In Ideas for Staying out of Debt I plan to cover my ideas/plans on how to stay out of debt.

This is one issue i cannot stress how important it is. If you do not have money saved back at all ether as a buffer or as a separate account and disaster hits, how will you pay for it? But anyone who has read any other finance site should know this. Yet how many of us do this? I myself have been very bad at doing this, and the results are never good. But when money is in my account it is good. Take something recent that happened, my windows got broken. There was a bad storm and my back windshield and two side windows both were broken. At the time I had money to cover it and I could just write a check and pay for it. But had I not had any money in my account, it’s likely I’d still be driving around with broken windows.

So how should you save? This is really an opinion question. What works for one may not work for someone else. I’ve read about automating your savings and I even tried it, but for me being self-employed one month on the scheduled date there wasn’t enough and I haven’t used it since. But for someone on a regular job this would be an excellent way to start saving. You would start with say $5 or $10 a week and just slowly increase it till your at your comfort spot for where you want your savings to be. (Topic for another day)

Another way of savings which is what I do for taxes is every single time you get paid, save a percentage of that pay before you have a chance to spend it. Which for me has worked out great, come quarterly estimated tax payment times I’ll have no issue sending it in. But I only did this after realizing my flaws with not moving the money out. I would believe my business was doing good and blow it on stuff I didn’t need. Then when it came tax time (about now) I would freak out and be angry at myself for not putting the savings in a savings account.

While for some people, they may not need a savings account. I personally know people who will keep a buffer of a few thousands and this works out great for them. Just try out different approaches till you find the one that works. I know before automated savings were popular some would make their own “payment slips” which would be a deposit slip with the amount already written and would mail it to their bank like it was a bill. Which I tried that method and it worked out good for a targeted savings goal. Once you find what works for you, just stick with it, do not one month forget about it and say oh, I can make it up. If anyone is like me, they never will make it up.

Ideas for Staying out of Debt 1 – Don’t buy unneeded items & services

In Ideas for Staying out of Debt I plan to cover my ideas/plans on how to stay out of debt.

As the title states, do not buy items and services you don’t need. I myself have an issue with this as a consumer. It’s just so easy to spend money on items you think you will use/need. Take electronics for example, I’ve spent countless dollars on items and after a few weeks, I no longer use it. I’m sure you the reader knows of a few items you’ve over spent on. And I myself find it way to tempting to spurge on new(er) items. Electronics are a big one for me as I do Computer Repair and will go overboard.

Same for services also, although you can expand this more by getting your money’s worth. The classic example is insurance, but this topic has been discussed to death in many other blogs. Instead focus on other aspects such as how can I reduce the cost of needed repairs which The Simple Dollar did a post on this recently. I have to agree on trying to reduce the cost myself. Just recently the back lights on my Ford Explorer went out and while several people in my family would just go to a shop , I just went to Advaced Auto and paid $4 for the bulbs. After about three tries I got the bulb replaced.

In the end what it comes down to is are you getting your money’s worth and time’s worth. I used to play the GameCube when I was younger and I got my money’s worth for less then a fraction of a penny per hour for all the hours I would play, along with only getting games at the $20 or less mark. While for services I have no issue paying for an oil change as I know nothing about how and I can walk to work so I’m out no time.

feel free to drop a comment on what you have gotten your money’s worth out of or what tasks you would pay others for.

What is Staying out of Debt?

First thing first, I need to lay down the purpose of this site. This site is mainly for informative purposes. All information given on this site is at your own risk, every situation is  different.

What this site is:

  • A blog for my financial failures/successes
  • A resource for financial tip
  • And a place to post random information I may find

What this site is not:

  • A political blog (Ok, some politics just in relation to finance, but nothing else)
  • Financial Advisers  (I’m not a professional, my specialty is computers and business

I also plan to use this site to track my financial progress. I plan on posting at least three times a week for the first two months and see how I go from there. If it takes off I will post more, if not then I will close this site down in a year. I enjoy the readers questions from The Simple Dollar and I also enjoy how JD Roth from Get Rich Slowly would post about his personal finance and his debts and if I’m correct he even posted records showing his debts.

Welcome to Staying out of Debt. I hope you enjoy it here in the coming months. Just post a comment and tell me what you would like to read here. I plan on posting my idea for getting out of debt in the coming weeks.

A Bit of Background

I was born into a family that did farming, for most of my childhood I wore hand-me-downs and simple clothes. I cannot begin to even count the number of sweatpants I had growing up. I started to develop a niche for computers around the fifth grade and by the time I was in the ninth grade, I was starting to generate income from my computer knowledge.

I grew up in a small Western Kentucky town and have lived at the same address for my whole life. I attended public school before I graduated from High School. The big fail I think of public education is lack of financial education. More emphasis is placed on knowing Algebra then learning about balancing a check book or the bad side of debt.

On the academic side I enrolled in dual credit classes in High School and I’m currently a student in college. This leads me to where I am now. My tuition for Fall/Spring semester is paid by two scholarships that is based upon good grades/ACT score. Books, etc. on the other hand are not covered, so being the unknowing student I took out Student Loans, to the full amount of $5,500. What happened to this after the books? Not even I’m sure. I would pay my bills just fine and as soon as I deposit the check it’s like my income goes down, by the time I move it out the account a large chunk was gone.

I started to notice how when I would pay a little here or there just how much was interest.  One payment I made went all toward the interest and I still owed more interest. If it’s like this for student loans, I would hate to see what other people pay on upside down mortgages.