I think one of the reasons DR has set the BEF so low

is that when folks are getting started, it’s a smaller number for them to wrap their brains around. I know when I went through FPU, the thought of arbitrarily setting aside $1000 was huge; at the very edges of what I thought was possible. It was a struggle to do so with the money I had available at the time. Later on as our understanding of the DR methods increased and matured, and our commitment to following those methods strengthened, then we had the tools to go make that amount bigger. It was, in every sense of the word, a set of baby steps. Had we been told up front that we’d need several thousand in savings for Murphy, and we had to have that step done before we could progress further, we would have stopped right there and written off the whole thing as “can’t be done.” So I think it’s deliberately small to start with. As folks come along in their “working the method”, they’ll figure out how big it really needs to be for their own circumstances, and act accordingly.

I guess

I didn’t realize that it had not been adjusted for inflation. I know it seemed small to me as well. I figure there is a formula to see what it would be when adjusted for inflation but I don’t know how to do that over the top of my head.

One of the things that I have never been comfortable with is how small baby step one is

One thousand dollars has not been adjusted for inflation at all since DR set up the program. In my area, that would have me on the street within a month if I lost my job. So, I’ve settled for the idea of having one month’s worth of back up funds. That would vary depending upon where you lived, but it seems more realistic in times when jobs are more easily lost.
Yes, I’d have more of my debt paid off it I put some of that money towards it, but my anxiety levels would be so high, it’s not worth it to me. I’d rather know that I could keep a roof over my family’s heads if something bad were to happen.

I am not one of the most experienced here, but this is my take

I would work on baby step 2 and 4 at the same time. Given that you don’t have a lot of years until retirement, I would not keep putting it off. But, you do not want to enter retirement with any debt. Aim to have the student loans paid off by then.
Another question, does the rental property pay for itself? Do you have equity in it? Would it make sense to sell it to pay off some other things or does it make better sense to hold onto it to help with income?
Can you increase your self-employment income in any way to help pay things off quicker?
As much as you’d like to help you kids with college, that cannot be your first priority at this point. It’s more important for you to enter retirement without debt and with something to live off of. I’d say that is even more important given how uncertain our economic times are.

Baby step help

Wondering if you can take a look and help me out. I’ve done Baby Steps out of order, for various reasons emphasis had to put on building up savings, etc.

Baby Step 1 – DONE

Baby Step 2 – paid off all credit card and auto loans. Still have
Student Loan #1 $18,787.24 @ 3.25% = $126.95/mo
Student Loan #2 $22,863.94 @ 3.25% = $151.63/mo
DH’s alimony = $816/mo until 9/1/18 – can’t really pay this off EARLY, so it will just be here until then from what I gather… unless we offer some kind of settlement, etc, at some point.

Baby Step 3 – DONE

Baby Step 4 – We are only contributing 5% of dh’s income to 401K because employer does full match on that. Nothing on my income from my PT job or my self-employment income. I am very worried because dh is 61 and time is not on our side.

Baby Step 5 – haven’t started, and I have six kids. Am hoping to be able to at least pay for their books.

Baby Step 6 – have main residence mortgage, rental property mortgage, and a huge no interest loan from dh’s former life… he had to “short sale” his house, but signed a 0% interest note on the remaining $65k balance (is now approx. $57k)

Baby Step 7 – I wish.

When I sit and look… it helps that the EF is done… but I still feel conflicted between BS2, BS4, and building up some sinking funds for auto replacement and household maintenance that need to be higher.

What would you do in my position?

I wouldn’t have the PATIENCE to care for

someone *else’s* kids, and I know this. And I still say that not everyone is cut out for self-employment. Some of us don’t seem to be any GOOD at it. I’ve failed several times at self-employment(photography, sales, MLM, computer repair/consulting, etc.). I’m thinking that maybe I should just resolve myself to ‘punching a clock’ for the rest of my life…

Yeah, the care.com job is/could be good

but sometimes the end result is not worth the hassle. My kid did the whole sign up, fingerprint, back check…got a few chances with people that couldn’t make up their minds right away–guess hoping she would get desperate and take a rate drop.

She has private nanny gigs now–friends of friends or parent of the preschool she works at. She also has a second job that the parents work around because they know who she is and what she provides. Let’s just say, she is in high demand.

Her younger sister does pet sitting/house sitting. Rover.com does list people in our area. She could charge 3x and still be under what they charge. Also the time spent with the animals is less than what she does. Darn, would love to hear what her Christmas bonus was for the cat she watched for 10 days this fall…heard it was a good one.

I have been concerned about the same issue

– potential employers checking credit and mistakenly assuming a person who has a low credit score is therefore a high risk, when it could be precisely the opposite. There really should be a distinction between a score that is low because the person is truly a poor financial manager (i.e., late pays, charge-offs, etc) vs a person whose score is low due to inactivity. Definitely a significant difference.