I think it's important to brainstorm and then finalize goals for after our bankruptcy discharge and for the future. This small series will be devoted to outlining some of the ones I've been thinking about.
Goals for Savings
As a review we'll have about $8500 (we hope) in savings by June 2011. This money is to serve as our emergency fund. We know we're going to have to replace our water heater within the next few years and our A/C within the next five, probably sooner. We'll also need to replace my car (13 years old currently, with almost 200,000 miles on it) sometime soon and likely have some repairs to keep it running as long as possible. We hope all of that will be covered and we can pay cash as much as possible.
Goals for Mom
I would like to be in a position where if mom decides to move out or something happens to her we'll be able to pay all our bills and still save some money. Right now she gifts us $500/month. If she changed her mind or needed her money for something else, we'd be screwed. Completely and totally. So being financially secure without her gift is a big goal.
Goals for Rebuilding Credit
- Start repaying my student loans in October 2010. I've never been late on a payment, and I'm going to be even more vigilant in the future.
- Get a secured credit card that reports to the credit agencies without labeling it as "secured". Use it to pay for gas only and pay it off monthly. Convert this to an unsecured card as soon as I can.
- I have several cards that have no balance on them. Assuming they don't cancel my account I intend to use them as mentioned above and pay them off each month.
Since I will not be purchasing a house (hubby already did that) or financing a new car (we intend to get a reliable older car and pay cash for it) I think that will be my plan for the next 24 months.
Hubby agreed that if we get divorced before I rebuild my credit that he will help me out as much as possible. We don't plan on ever separating, but we usually discuss "worst case" scenarios with big decisions and make fair and logical choices before the situation has a change to come up. Deciding it then would be too emotional.
If he should, God forbid, die in the next few years, I would be able to collect his life insurance and would have time to reestablish credit.
Based on those things I think a less stressed approach will work over the next 2 years and then we'll see where we're at.