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Archive for April, 2014

Car issues, keeping up with frugality and reflection on total debt

April 30th, 2014 at 10:31 pm

I got in a minor car accident this weekend. My car wouldn't stop in the parking lot for some reason so it hit another car. Such a bummer. Went in the store and found the person then exchanged info. I'll pay the deductible on the car insurance to keep my car checked out.

Right after that I called the dealership about getting my car fixed up for the recall and the parts are not in yet thats a bigger bummer.

Been feeling really down lately so work has been slow going. Started doing that thing where I internet browse items I cannot afford.

This time was a little different though. I realized because I have paid off as much as I have I am that much closer to actually affording those things if I wanted. That was kind of nice.

My grocery budget is busted so we are shopping out of the pantry until midnight tomorrow when I get paid. I have made a solid commitment to not touch the credit cards and have stuck to it. It is not fun but it is nice to know I don't owe anything to any body right now aside from my established loans and the bills. All extra money is going to the hotel stay for our trip and saving some spending money for the trip as well.

I wanted to pay the car insurance bill in full again but I'm not sure I can do it. I will need some help or have to take money out of the savings to close the gap. I think I might just do that it will be easier to cover things if I don't have the bill hanging over my head. The first priority is the car though. The car payment is much more a month to month than the insurance and if I'm not mistaken owning the car should even lower the insurance a bit.

It of course once again depends on the job situation. I am trying to commit to fitness as well so I have something else to focus on other than stress and it might mean I'll look good on the trip too.

I realized not that long ago when stressing out about debt that I have not only done a great deal in eliminating debt in the past year but have actually basically halved my debt since I got out of school and started working.

When I got out of school I had 7K worth of credit card debt, 21K worth of student loans and I got my car which was another 14K for a grand total of: 42K.

Now it is actually a little over 20K with no credit card debt (save for 400 on a 0% interest card that is being paid off each check), under 18K worth of student loans and a little over 2K on the car.

That made me feel really good. Not bad for a permanent temp!

Student loan interest and the job goes on

April 24th, 2014 at 03:45 am

So my balance is finally below 18K. But I found out that I have about 3 dollars of interest daily. So that's 90 dollars a month. That's kinda nutty.

I can't wait to be able to put money toward them. And now that I know my job is going on for a bit I might be able to put money toward them.

Well see how it all works out in the next few weeks. I picked up some side gigs that are super temporary but add some extra income for funds. Hoping to make some more money off these gigs.

Interesting article on financial goals

April 21st, 2014 at 09:49 pm

Recently when figuring out which stock I should invest in next in my IRA I stumbled across this article: http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/04/17/goals.aspx

I'm glad it did because it made me feel better and calm down a bit.

In the past few weeks I've gone $931 in the negative. But its not a biggie. Both were interest free, one on a 0% credit card and the other out of savings. I am now only $799 in that hole as of the last paycheck. While it was a bummer it was a wake up call as well.

I'd be so headstrong and exclusively focused on my goal of paying off my car that I forgot that life is still going to happen in the meantime.

My husband and I will want to go out for a dinner at some point or a vacation. There will be a birthday for someone whom I usually buy a gift. And then every once in a while we will want to go out and have fun.

I had neglected that part of my budget heavily as the time neared for my assignment to be over. I just wanted to throw every last time toward car repayment so I can have it paid off ASAP.

Well I have done a fantastic job at that for sure and if I could somehow manage some full paychecks and I can put another chunk of money toward that. But I still have to make up more of this 799 dollar deficit. I still need to budget for future things I know are going to happen so they don't end up on a credit card racking up interest or taking away from being able to pay off my loans.

And beside all that my original goal was to make sure I'd be able to pay off the car by the end of 2014 which was achieved. Then I got all ambitious, and it went from that to trying to make sure the car was paid off before December so it wouldn't take away from Christmas (which I am already saving for.) Then it turned into maybe I can pay off the car in time for me to pay for the registration, which morphed into I have to pay off the car before my assignment ends. Which ultimately lead to me being stressed out beyond belief for about the last month and a half.

I read the article realized how overzealous I had become and took a step back making payment plans and goals realizing that while they would be more difficult to reach while underemployed it wouldn't be impossible.

I also started researching ways to get some more side income to insure I can stay on track. All in all I have learned to just sit back and stick to the established plan. While its fine to reevaluate or pay some extra. It is not an all consuming omnipresent thing anymore.

The car will be paid off before the end of 2014. Anything extra is a bonus. Christmas will happen, we will be able to take our trip. Everything will be okay. I just need to stick to the plan and everything will be fine! Smile

Payday

April 18th, 2014 at 08:31 am

Well not an exciting paycheck for sure.

I charged up a stay for our upcoming trip on the 0% card so I made my first payment to that.

I had a deficit in my bill account because I forgot I needed an extra month cushion, I used most of my check eliminate that deficit.

I have another deficit in a monthly expenses savings account which I was only able to contribute a dollar toward in this check but its still better than nothing. Next check I should be able to put more.

I was able to keep all my savings including retirement savings goals which was nice.

I was able to set aside a little money for our anniversary, plus some money for a b-day gift I will be sending out shortly.

I did not have enough to pay a lot extra on the car but I could make it an "even" amount.

Next check's goal is to make sure I am able to cover the bills and fill that other deficit.

This check and the next are going to be short checks due to the lack of hours as of late but no worries. I may have been hit by a truck load of bills all at once but I have a plan for making sure they get paid off even if I am just merely underemployed.

What a Difference a Year Made

April 11th, 2014 at 05:32 am

Every now and then I am bummed I can't make super high payments to debt. I have become obsessed with paying off my car. And seriously considering what I can do for a side hustle that will ensure I bring in at least $1000 every month. If I could make that happen I could ensure that I am able to pay my bills without depleting my monthly bill fund while underemployed.

I decided that I should look back and see where I was before I buried my self in my debt sorrows.

At this point last year I had:

Income
1 contract job slated to end soon and a part-time position that paid nearly minimum wage

Revolving Credit Card Debt
476 10.24%
1470 19.8%

Car Loan
7779 10%

Student Loans
19513

Emer Fund
413

Monthly Goals Fund
Half a month worth

Retirement
614


Now:
Income
Same

Revolving Credit Card Debt
None

Car Loan
2,400 10%

Student Loans
18147

Emer Fund
3036

Montly Goals Fund
4 months worth

Retirement
2483


Debt

A year ago: 29238

Now: 20547

Difference: -8691

I have come a long way since last year. I need to be proud. I need to remind myself that I am doing all that I can. And seeking additional income is a fine way to make sure that I am still able to do so. Since I still have my part time job closing that gap is all the less difficult. I am both frightened and excited for the future. It is so full of possibility and opportunities abound. If I am even half as successful at adding extra income as I have been at eliminated debt in the past year it would be a blessing.

Nothing about this has been easy but if it were everyone would be doing it right? Wink

Cobalt woes

April 3rd, 2014 at 01:34 am

So today I got word that Cobalts are now on the no sell list as far as dealerships go. It's obvious as to why but it puts a whole monkey wrench in my plan to use the equity in it to help defray the cost of a new one when the time comes.

I have an 08 so it is not one from the original batch but it is still covered in that it cannot be sold at this time and so that greatly reduces its value. I am upset about the monetary value loss and my husband is seriously concerned about the safety of the vehicle. I had just read that GM will be allowing people to have loaners until the parts came in but that article was from the first batch of recalls.

I also read there is a class action lawsuit that has to do with the issues which I am upset about. I'm also curious to know if this will affect my insurance premium. Or to see if GM will be doing anything for people who are wanting to unload the car as they now see it has a safety hazard as well as potentially deadly.

With my assignment unexpectedly coming to a stand still I am not in a position to take on a new car with a new payment. I was taking measures to be able to get a car with a small loan or no loan at all that was based on the trade in value of this vehicle. Now I'm taking the back way into my second job just in case my car fails so I don't end up in a four way intersection at the bottom of a hill. This very intersection took 2 lives last year and has caused many other major and minor accidents.

Tomorrow I will call the dealership and see what can be done until they can do whatever repair it is they deem necessary. A few days ago I found a letter about a recall which I had held on to but forgot about. It highlighted a similar issue but told me not to bring in the car unless I had had issues. I hadn't had those sort of issues so I must have forgot about it and filed it away. I will discuss this with them too as my steering column has already been replaced but is pretty tight now a days.

I don't know what to feel. All I can say is I am happy that I am safe and that I took the initiative to pay off as much from the car as I could so that I would not be even more upside down than I probably am now.

I feel for everyone who was seriously injured or killed and I really hope that GM does something for these people even if nothing can really fix the damage that has already been done.