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Archive for January, 2010

Snowball Order to take advantage of new CC laws

January 29th, 2010 at 08:52 am

Our DEBT SNOWBALL order is...

Debt Balance APR%
[ ]Chase #1 62 19.24%
[ ]CitiCard 165 19.99%
[ ]BofA #1 238 19.24%
[ ]Chase #2 466 19.24%
[ ]Target 622 25.99%
[ ]Chase #1 945 16.24%
[ ]BofA #2 1,203 19.99%
[ ]Target 1,765 22.99%
[ ]Chase #2 1,876 12.24%
[ ]Chase #1 1,915 3.99%
[ ]Chase #2 2,002 4.99%
[ ]CitiCard 2,172 13.99%
[ ]Overdraft 2,929 18%
[ ]BofA #1 4,642 16.24%
[ ]BofA #2 6,707 7.24%
[ ]BofA #3 7,876 9.90%
[ ]Car Payment 11,883 9.90%
[ ]Student Loan #1 701 2.57%
[ ]Student Loan #2 1,317 1.23%

Ok, I know it's a little different than what's "recommended", but that's because I wanted to see progress right away and it takes advantage of the new credit card laws taking effect Feb. 22nd. Since anything above and beyond our minimum payment must go to the balance with the highest APR, I have broken our various credit card balances by APR since several cards have 2 or 3 APRs attached to the balances. This way we will see debts being paid off quickly, it will lower the minimum balance on each card as we do (free up more money to contribute to the snowball) and it just makes sense to me. I think we need the emotional high of seeing a debt paid off.

The only other thing I did different was put my student loans at the end. Since they are on a payment plan and are not revolving debt, the interest is so low, etc. I just could not see paying those off when I have so many other revolving debts at much higher interest rates to pay. Also, these student loans (and the car) will all be paid off before June 2013 (our estimated pay off date) just on the regular payment plan, so even if we can't put extra to them, they'll be gone.

Our goal is to have our $1,000 starter emergency fund in place by March 15th so we can start paying these down. I will try and post our new budget soon.

New payperiod, new plan

January 29th, 2010 at 08:31 am

I am feeling more optimistic today. My husband and I sat down to do the budget together for this payperiod and I recently read Total Money Makeover and shared some things with him. I didn't read much new for me, but I'm hoping it'll speak to my husband more. We have set the $1000 starter EF fund goal and I KNOW that will help me. I have also listed out our debt in the order we will pay them off (I'll share that later). This payperiod has the set back of having to pay for another speeding ticket (I won't dwell on that, or I'll get frustrated again.) Smile I think I am finally ready to just cut up all the credit cards, but I want my husband to be with me when I do it. I think it would be good to do it together.

I did a very rough estimate for paying everything off and if we can stick to our guns and get things done, we should have all of our credit card/overdraft debts, student loan, 401k loan and car payments paid off by June 2013. We would continue to tithe 10% during that time. After that, I'd expect to have our full 6 month emergency fund in place by March 2014 and we can then start saving for a down payment on a house. My husband has promised that we will stay in an apartment (as long as it's cheaper than buying, which I expect it to be) until we are out of debt. He's also ok with only keeping one car for this time until we can pay for another in cash.

Fingers crossed! I will update my sidebar with all this info sometime soon.

I have a problem with this... (vent)

January 25th, 2010 at 01:06 pm

Here are our debt totals from July 2008, when I started the blog...

Credit cards: $27,583
Student Loans: $4,190
401K Loans: $5,348
Car Loan: $15,944

TOTAL DEBT: $53,065

Here are our debt totals from December 2009...

Credit cards & Overdraft: $35,635
Student Loans: $2,572
401K Loans: $2,363
Car Loan: $11,883

TOTAL DEBT: $52,453

See our credit card totals? Yeah, I have a BIG problem with that. I swear the little $20 here, $40 personal debt payments there have really added up and I am really getting tired of it. I just want to scream when I see that we are over $8k MORE in debt to credit cards/overdraft than we were when I started this blog! I am just so sick of living paycheck to paycheck, on the edge of financial disaster. Disclaimer: I know my husband is sick of all of it too and the stress of the situation (and his guilt) is making him physically sick, so it's hard for me to vent out loud.

Ok, I am going to calm down and try to see the "bright" side. I have started to make a very rough estimate of how much we have paid in his personal debts and we have paid at least $22,685 since May 2008. I guess, no, I KNOW that that's an accomplishment. If we can give the same gusto to our credit card debt, it could be gone in 2 1/2 years. Maybe I'll put our personal debt paid off in the sidebar, so I can see that we have paid off personal debt, even if it is at a disadvantage to our credit card balances. I cannot wait for the day that we see all the monthly balances going down. I really cannot wait. Sorry for the rant and negativity.

Separate Accounts Starting 1/15

January 9th, 2010 at 10:21 am

Well, we have decided to start using separate checking accounts starting with the January 15th paycheck. I think/HOPE this will give me the consistency I need. I will transfer half of the paycheck into my husband's account each payday and we are each responsible for separate bills. I cover the credit cards in my name and he does the same. We have tried to fairly equally split the rest, but I have a little more leeway since I have more debt in my name. He hopes to have leftover to give me sometimes since he knows where most of "my" (our) debt came from, but I'll be happy with just knowing my budget is working. We'll each equally contribute to the Freedom Account. I really really hope this will work out well. I'll keep you updated. My husband's debts have been slowing down a bit and he hasn't had a panic attack in two days!! That's awesome! I hope that keeps up too!

Oh, also, I have dropped my gym membership entirely as we got a Wii with the Wii Fit Plus for Christmas and I will use that to work out.

I am feeling confident with the new year. It's a fresh start and I hope it will stay that way. I need to redo my 2010 goals as well as debt totals, but that will probably be for another day since I hear my baby waking up from her nap.

Thanks, as always, for the continued encouragement to do better! Happy 2010!