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Bought a House & Halfway to Credit Card Debt Free!

September 14th, 2012 at 11:08 am

It's been almost four months since I last wrote and it's been a busy, crazy time. We bought a house since we are staying here long term and to rent an apartment or townhouse would have cost us MORE per month than buying. Rent would have been $300-500 more than our mortgage & escrow combined! We were blessed to find a single family with three bedrooms and a yard (we were in a 2 bedroom condo with three kids). It is older and we have had to see the potential, but it's wonderful and I feel very blessed.

We had to take a little of our retirment for the down payment, but we plan on this being our forever house and will have it paid off right at retirement (if we don't put any extra towards it), so that helps me feel better about it. We could not have afforded to rent a three bedroom so it just made financial sense since we really needed three bedrooms.

Anyway, perhaps even better was getting our credit counseling statement in the mail today. We started in June 2010, just as my husband was laid off, with $34,643 in debts. Ugh. August 2012 statement shows we have paid $18,098 and have an estimated balance of $19,112.90! We are about halfway there! I have had to readjust our balances once a year since we pay it down faster than their estimations, so I expect that we will pay our last payment around Sept/Oct 2014, a full year early. It just makes me happy; I cannot wait to have that money back in our budget each month to bolster our retirement savings and just to have wiggle room.

Debts Paid Off & A Working Budget

August 16th, 2011 at 03:34 pm

Since last writing my husband's new job continues to go well. We are finally on his new insurance - good bye COBRA! And we know what his real take home will be now that we have benefits coming out. We made the controversial decision to withdraw my husband's 401k from his previous employer and pay off our car loan. It was a hard decision, but we feel good about it. We are sticking to just one car which lowered our car insurance by $30/month and saves on gas. My last student loan payment will be made in September which is $70/month. With all these changes, we estimate having an extra $175/month after expenses (and after contributing to my husband's new 401k) starting in October. This is so exciting, especially since I am no longer babysitting which brought in $800/month.

Our emergency fund is down to about $420 due to my son's surgery and preparing for baby (Baby #3 was due on the 14th, so he should come any day now) among other surprises. We expect the EF to be back to just under $1000 by the beginning of September though if I have calculated correctly and do not have any major surprises.

I am just so happy that my husband and I are now focused on the same goals and truly working towards them together. It feels so good to be united, even if we still have some differences of opinion when it comes to finances!

I will try to post more accurate numbers soon as well as the budget.

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.

Husband Off Account

August 1st, 2009 at 04:48 pm

Well, it's been a little while (again). Things are still going along here. We are still paying off old debts and trying not to accrue new ones as we muddle through. It is still a very tough time, but I am happy to report one positive. We removed my husband's name from our checking account this morning. It was his idea as one way to try and give me a little more security. I hope it helps (and I can stick to my guns if more debts are remembered). I hope this is the turning point we need.

(If you don't know what I'm talking about when I say "old debts remembered" just look at my last post or two and it's all explained.)

Sept. Financial Overview - Another Goal Achieved!

September 20th, 2008 at 03:36 pm

I can't believe it, but it looks like I have hit another goal that I set in August. I had hoped to get the credit card debt to under $26k and after looking at this month's numbers, that goal has been achieved! I usually use the current month's statements (before any payments) for the monthly overview, but decided to factor in last week's extra payments this time. (I was too excited to see how that $1,000 payment would affect things!) Anyway, I was very pleased to see that goal achieved.

I don't have my most recent car loan info in front of me and my student loan #2 info is "temporarily unavailable" online, so I just kept the balances from last month. What does this mean? It means my total debt is, in actuality, even less that what appears below. Oh how nice that is!

Current Debt: September 2008

Student loan #1: $2,372

Student loan #2: $1,575

Bank of America #1: $10,281 (Paid $1,000 towards it last week!)

Bank of America #2: $10,084

0% Bank of America #3: $4,579

Chase #1: $269 (Paid off last week!)

Chase #2: $11 (Paid off this month!)

0% Citi: $2,020

Target: $445 (Paid off last week!)

Overdraft: $2,509 (Paid off last week!)

401K Loan 1: $862 (Pay off 07/31/2009)
401K Loan 2: $4,128 (Pay off 07/16/2011)

Car loan: $15,944


DEBT TOTALS

Credit cards & Overdraft: $25,964 after last week's payments!
Student Loans: $3,947
401K Loans: $4,990
Car Loan: $15,944

THE BIG DEBT TOTAL: $50,828

CC Payments - Yeah! & Goals Update

September 17th, 2008 at 06:54 am

Well, this is how we've used our bonus so far...

1. Paid off our overdraft - $2500 (we can now check off that goal!)
2. Paid off Chase - $269
3. Paid off Target - $242
4. Extra payment to Bank of America 1 - $1000
5. Charitable contribution

Out of our paycheck we made the following payments...

1. Citicard - $40 (minimum + $10)
2. Bank of America #3 - $65 (0%, minimum + $20)

I still have a cushion in the budget of about $500 which I'll put towards credit cards and savings if it's still available at the end of the pay period. We have a few car issues to find out about before I use it for debt payments, I really don't want to overdraft again.

Today is a happy day! Smile

A Little Disappointed & Money to CCs

August 29th, 2008 at 07:05 am

Well, my husband's paycheck was direct deposited into our bank account today and it didn't contain his new raise. I'm disappointed; we thought it would start this pay period, but I guess we'll have to wait two more weeks. It would have been nice to have it start today since my mom is coming to visit tomorrow and I'm having baby #2 next week. Actually, perhaps those things will help us save a little bit of money since we won't be going out too much once the baby comes. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

I know I can't really complain, a raise is a raise and I'm grateful. I'm just excited to send more money to pay down our debt. As it is the following is set to go out on the 2nd of Sept.:

Bank of America: $200 (min. $184)
Bank of America: $200 (min. $183, this will get it below $10k balance!)
Chase: $12 (this will pay it off)
Car Payment: $334 (min. only)

August 2008 Financial Overview

August 19th, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Here's our current status for August; not the best. We had a few unexpected expenses that threw off our budget and left us with about $1500 more debt. Luckily yesterday we got our homeowner's insurance refund check in the mail and I have sent a third payment to Target this month ($165) and an extra $100 payment to overdraft.

I'm also bummed to see that my husband's 401k lost approximately $257 this month. I know this is one area that I need to learn more about; I sure don't like to see it going down!

Current Debt: August 2008

Student Loan #1
% V, Outstanding: $2,435

Student Loan #2
4.3% V, Outstanding: $1,575

Bank of America
10.24% V, Outstanding: $10,390

Bank of America
9.90% V, Outstanding: $10,211

Bank of America
0% to 03/2009, Outstanding: $4,635

Chase
15.43% V, Outstanding: $261

Chase
10.99%, Outstanding: $10

Citi
0% to 07/2009, Outstanding: $2,060

Target
22%, Outstanding: $445

Overdraft
18.00% V, Outstanding: $1,365

401K
Loan 1, Outstanding: $937 (Pay off 07/31/2009)
Loan 2, Outstanding: $4,233 (Pay off 07/16/2011)

Car Loan
9.90%, Outstanding: $15,944



DEBT TOTALS
Credit cards & Overdraft: $29,377
Student Loans: $4,010
401K Loans: $5,170
Car Loan: $15,944


THE BIG DEBT TOTAL: $54,501

Total Savings: $0
Total Retirement: $46,750

Debt Payments

August 16th, 2008 at 11:39 am

Yesterday I paid the following:

Bank of America: $210 (min. $190)
Chase: $65 (min. $42)
Chase: $60 (min. $41)
0% Bank of America: $56 (min. $46)
0% Citi: $40 (min $30)

We got a credit from Verizon and changed our car insurance coverage so we were under budget for both of these expenses. I'm putting the difference towards a second Target card payment on Monday.

Target: $189 (second payment this month)

I've heard that paying an extra $10-20 above the minimum can make a big difference in paying off credit cards so this is the strategy I'm taking. I'm focusing on the highest interest to pay off first, but everything else will get an additional $10-20 as well.

Happy Weekend Everyone!