My name is Joan Powell and one of your current 100 students. For the last month, I have been busy reading! As of now, I have completed The Automatic Millionaire, Start Late Finish Rich, Smart Women Finish Rich and listened to the CD of the Smart Women Finish Rich seminar.
As a single mom with two kids and always on a tight budget, at first, when I thought about my latte factor I struggled to figure out what it could be. I don’t have fancy cable channels, or a bunch of phone features, and I don’t smoke or buy lottery tickets. However, I was surprised when I totaled up my checkbook for the last month and saw how much money I spend between take out food and going out to dinner. I pretty much lost my appetite! Then I looked a little deeper. I have three cats that I pay $590 per year in cat insurance. The cost of immunizations for the three furry guys is only $330. The extra things that come with the insurance are not worth it so I’m canceling, saving me $260 a year. Next, I have a little Ford Ranger that sits in the garage most of the time. I pay $40 per month insurance (why?). It’s now up for sale and I’m canceling the insurance. And one other biggie that gets me every time: My kids. They are always asking for five bucks here or ten bucks there. Over a months time I probably give out an average of $100. Well, I’ve put my foot down and told the kids we’re not buying anything for 15 months! They’re still getting used to the idea:)
So here’s my latte factor:
1. Take out: $195/mo = $2,340/year
2. Eating out: $80/mo = $960/year
3. Cat Insurance: $22/mo = $260/year
4. Truck Insurance: $40/mo = $480/year
5. Kid bucks: $100/mo = $1,200/year
Total yearly savings = $5,240, which is $437 per month !!!!!!
That extra $437 will go to paying down my one credit card I have left for $10,500 at 4.99%. This week I found a card for 0% for 15 months. I’ll take the $437 from my latte factor and add it to the $300 I already pay and will have the credit card paid off in 15 months.
My other accomplishments this week:
1. I have a couple of interested people looking to buy the truck for about $2,400 (which then goes to ING).
2. I just setup automatic transfers to my ING savings of $315 per month working towards a nest egg of $18,000 over the next few years.
3. I increased my 401K contributions to 8% from 5%, and will increase by 1% in Sept, Dec, Mar, June and then in Sept 2006 when the credit card is paid off, I’ll jump to 20%.
4. Converted my budget to a spending plan with paying myself at the top of the list!!!!!
Your books, and now your seminar really pushed me into hyper action and I’m feeling pretty darn certain that our future will be secure and I will never have to beg and borrow ever again. My 14 year old daughter has been playing with ING’s online calculator and she’s amazed with seeing the results of how saving just a little can give her a huge next egg by the time she’s 25. It’s pretty exciting to see her so excited! Thank you.