No. of Recommendations: 6
Yes, kids are 6 and after many NICU surgeries back then, they are miraculously in perfect health now.

I also had my twins prematurely, so I know how that goes. It is good that they seem to be past the hard part now and are in school.

My wife is back working as a teacher again.

Is it possible for you to live on just your pay? I am thinking you could then put the bulk of your wife's pay towards the debt, and once that is paid off, that can go into retirement and college savings.

I have tiny Sharebuilder accounts for the girls, and they know they have Disney stock :) I also started 501 college funds, but have no $$ to put in so it seems pointless.

I wouldn't be putting much in the accounts for the girls at this point. Do you look at this as money to teach them to about investments, or do you look at this as college funds? I would opt for the former for several reasons. First, that money belongs to them, and they can use it for whatever they want once they turn 18, and that may or may not be spent on college. Second, their assets are counted more towards financial aid, so that can have an impact. Third, you lose flexibility in how you spend that money, and you may find that you want to spend different amounts on each of them. You may also find, for instance, that you need that money to be spent on something else (i.e. you get laid off, and it looks a lot more like mortgage money than college money).

I also don't care for 529 plans, especially for twins. I see from your profile that you actually live pretty close to me, and I can tell you that there are no tax advantages in MA for saving in 529 plans. Remember, they have other options for paying for college including things like borrowing or working a few years before going or looking at ROTC etc. You, on the other hand, cannot borrow for your retirement, so you want to ensure that you fund your retirement first, and then their college funds. I also don't like 529s for twins because you will be spending that money on them at the same time, so you can't pay for the first one, and then change the beneficiary to the 2nd one because you will run out of time.

I did do 529s for my twins because I wanted to feel like I was using all the tools available, but I put very little money into them for the reasons above. I also wasn't sure that DS was capable of college giving his learning disability, and so I did not want to lock up a lot of money. And I used all of the 529 money for each child in their first year of college.

and we have a 10 year old car with high mileage which will need to be replaced soon.

I'd keep maintaining that 10-year-old car as long as you can so that you do not need to replace it soon. You say it has high mileage, but I don't know how much that is. I do tend to keep my own cars for 8-10 years, and drive them for at least 200k miles, but I could probably go longer. That is something you want to consider doing. I would also recommend that when you do replace it, you try to buy a good used car and pay cash, or take out a minimal loan.

And when you finish paying off that $11k car loan, I would recommend that you continue to put that "car payment" aside every month. You can use it to beef up your efund, or preferably to be funds to replace the car which has the loan on it now.

Dependent care MAX for after school care to cut taxes

If your wife is a teacher, do you really need after school care for the girls? Is there a way that they can just go home with your wife, and then you could eliminate this expense and put that towards the debt? If not, then remember that this will end in another couple of years, and that money can then be reallocated to their college savings since it is already in your budget. I did that with daycare (my kids were in full time daycare) and then after school care, and that worked very well because it was money I was already spending, and so I just spent it another way. Remembering this might also help you see some light at the end of the tunnel.

You list all of your debts, but I would also recommend that you take a hard look at all your expenses as well to see what you can cut out or cut down so that you have more money to put towards the debt and then to savings for retirement, college, car replacement etc. Talk to your wife about your priorities and where you would like your money to go, and then eliminate those expenses that are not on your priority list. You can post your budget here if you want more input and feel comfortable doing that as folks will review and make some suggestions, although it can be tough love, so be prepared for that.
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