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125 Plan

Posted by brendygirl, 15 May 2008 · 299 views

coping
Celiacs qualify for the 125 plan at work where you pretax spending! I get to pretax the DIFFERENCE of cost in gluten free items and regular gluteny items of similar food types. I'm about to sign up for it. I have to get a letter from my doctor to qualify me. The woman also told me I have to get a copy of a price list from a grocery store to show comparable gluten versions of the stuff I buy. BOY does that sound FUN!! Well, at least I used the 125 plan a couple years ago for my few but expensive prescriptions- birth control and allergy and even eyeglasses. It worked out fine, so I'll be glad to do it again. A heavier purse makes me a happy lady!
I'm excited about the housing market in my area. I think I'll be ready to buy again soon. I'd like to do another 15 year loan, the price isn't much more per month and you save hundreds of thousands in interest! Making an extra payment on a 30 year isn't going to get your pockets fat. The car will be paid soon, which is cool, but suddenly $360 a month doesn't sound like much...and aside from repair fund and car insur.--the car will still need GA$!!
People ask me how I stay financially "fit" (especially when they see how much I travel or see my stuff):
I follow a lot of Suze Orman's principles. Living beneath my means and keeping the budget REALISTIC. How? Look back through your bank statements for a few months to make your categories. Don't forget to budget for car repairs, possible freak expenses like a traffic ticket, gifts, oil changes, license plate fees, annual fees, etc. Add it all into some category or another. Be aware of where every cent goes. Use your ATM card for as much as possible to keep track of where you spend what. If it was ATM cash you withdrew, then just put it under "spending money".
If you think you spend too much on some category, budget that much and THEN try to cut back. Don't budget the lower amount (the wishful amount) like people I know do...you'll land in trouble! Cushion the budget. I have always cushioned my gas budget and it's really helping now!
A woman at work said she spends $20 a week on gas, and I said really? and then she said, oh, I guess not. Yeah, it's $4 a gallon here, and she said she travels all over to go squaredancing, so it's been awhile since she drove on 5 gallons a week. She needs to look at her receipts and total it up!
Get rid of debt. Keep a sticky note somewhere visible with the amount you owe to each place to help you stay out of denial-- write the payoff dates on each and do a happy dance every time you make a payment! Use online debt payment calculators to maximize your payment and set a date to pay it off early! Find ways to put extra $ on there! Don't pay in too many taxes and end up with a big refund. Have less taken out of your check so you can take home more per month and tack it on your monthly payments. Don't use your charge card while you're trying to pay it off. Stop using it. You can't pay it off if you're still using it. If you have to order something online with the credit card, do it and then make a payment to the card from your bank for the same amount right away.
Put as many bills as possible on automatic withdrawal and put your paycheck in automatic deposit. When something gets paid off, put that cash toward another debt or save it.
Plus, when you want to buy something big (new flooring, furniture, car), save ahead for it. "Try on the payment." Don't buy it yet, but pretend you're paying the exact payment and put the $ into an account for a few months. If it's hard finding the money to make the payment- you can't afford it. And if making the payment is no sweat- great! Now you have a chunk saved, so just keep saving so you don't have to use credit! When I was married, I even had a "mom" fund because I wanted to stay home for a year if I had a child, and I knew that most people who go from 2 incomes to 1 rack up $25 k in debt after 2 years.

I save $ by drinking water from a filtered pitcher or making tea. I don't eat out for lunch or go to coffee shops. I get a $15 haircut 4 times a year. I work out to FitTV so no gym dues. I buy clothes at fancy stores off the sale rack that don't fit and then I have them altered for $4 or $8 to fit me perfectly. I try to stay away from stores and only go monthly when I need stuff. I have never bought anything from the vending machine at work for the 7 years I've been there. I have a $48 a month cell phone bill and never go over (didn't have one for years). I put less than 10,000 miles per year on my car. I have a side job that makes $5000 a year for travel and frivolous spending. I get rid of junk every season and deduct the value. I don't buy anything off the TV or any appliances. I don't own a bread machine, toaster, toaster oven, etc. I don't buy stuff to get a "free" gift or discount or other gimmick.
Sometimes I challenge myself to see how many days I can go without spending a penny. I've never bought a new car. I don't buy DVDs. I don't own an MP3 or iPod. I don't "collect" things. I don't get pressured into buying things. I tell pushy sales people, "I'm cheap" or "My husband would never let me buy that."
I don't make other people victims of my cheapness. I tip well, give great gifts, overpay my share on group meals, and give charitable donations. Money has karma
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