Lazy Man and I disagree on the whole debt idea. This surprises me, since as I have eliminated all but one debt (and that last one will go away very soon) I have discovered that debt elimination is the ultimate in lazy financial management.
When I started with the Dave Ramsey debt elimination plan back in January of 2007, we had two vehicle notes (payments for non-Southerners), one credit union loan, and three credit cards. Nothing unmanageable, right? Especially since we got onto a real working budget in January.
The first to die was the car note as I made a double payment to pay it off completely in January. The next dominoes to fall were the credit union loan and the Chase MasterCard in February. It was a bit more work to stomp out the American Express in June thanks to their annoying “double cycle billing” practice. Then I looked up in July and noticed I could pay off the Star Card (a military credit card for the AAFES PX/BX) with one killer payment.
It actually wasn’t until August that I began to realize just how much easier it was to make the monthly budget and pay the bills when there were FIVE less bills to pay! Fewer payments to schedule. Fewer due dates to bother with. Fewer lines on the budget board (yes I use the high-tech dry erase board to do my budget LOL). Fewer things to subtract from the income side of the equation. I’ve become a very lazy budgeteer!
Of course my goal is to become the MOST lazy budgeteer by only having utilities and insurance and investments in my monthly budget someday soon…once the truck is sold and the mortgage is paid off I will be there, at which point making up the budget should take all of five minutes each month. That will leave me more time to do fun stuff … like actually learning more Spanish than just the Mexican cuss words I picked up when I worked in the factory.
[Editor’s note: You’d have a hard time being a lazier budgeteer than me. I have no budget at all. I just ask myself if I need to buy the new crap, and most of the time the answer is no. The other key is that I had a great income in the past. On a different note, it would seem to me that with online banking the number of bills largely becomes irrelevant.]