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Way over budget on a vacation and waiting to hear on a job

June 26th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

I just went on a nice vacation where we spent enough money to be able to pay off one of my student loans. I am really upset about it but what can I do now.

I had never really traveled with my husband like this before but now I know a reasonable budget that I can follow for our next one.

I'm so down that I haven't been able to focus on work and just stressed. This isn't how vacation was suppose to feel.

I'm trying to pick up the pieces so I can settle the debt right away and move on. I still have a few months expenses, my part-time job and side projects I can start working on.

I think I need to redefine my goals again I accomplished a lot of them and now I need to prioritize what should be saved for first. I am doing pretty well on sending all snowflakes to student loans. I have reduced the balance on one by $200 since the beginning of June.

The future looks bright despite the huge hiccup in the road. I am just going to try to keep giving it my best and cross my fingers. I have been doing so well so far that I must be doing something right!

Good news!

June 16th, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Looks like I might get picked up for other temp work at my job. This is amazing.

I just spent a lot of money though on this trip so my next check will have to resolve that. I just thought to myself how cuckoo to know I'll have money for a bit longer.

I tried to figure it out and I think what I'll do is:

Save money for the next car insurance lump sum.
Pay off my Old Medical Bill and raise money for Dental work.
Pay off the Hotel Stay.
Set myself up with payments for next year's once a year bills (car registration etc.)

Still do my 26 week challenge, still send an extra 20 each week to my lowest student loan. And pay myself car payments.

It feels sort of impossible but I do my best. I'm trying to get out from a pile of debt soon and buying all that stuff didn't help. I'm sure after this vacation though and the relaxation and enjoying the things I spent my money on I will get right back on track. It feels like I am not getting ahead but I'm a lot better off than I was with careful planning I should be right where I want to be in no time.

I also need to stop being so hard on myself! I have done a lot with a little.

Pretty Close to that 6 month goal and various other updates

June 13th, 2014 at 01:46 am

Things are going well except for my urge to splurge on coffee out on a regular basis. Guessing its part of stressing out from not knowing what's going to happen with the project and whether I'll be picked up for another.

I'm just a hair shy of hitting my 6 month of expenses goal because I was able to save up enough money to pre-pay car insurance. This is great because it means I can live off the crappy pay from my part-time job if I absolutely had to.

Been getting alot of snowflakes in which I've been putting toward paying off my student loans. I have also been using smarterbucks to see if that helps. So far it hasn't so much but every little bit helps. I'm just not sure how long it would take to get to the $10.00 cash out amount.

My EF is almost at 4K which is amazing considering I had to pull from it twice in the past 12 months for emergencies.

It appears that I finally have a positive net worth which is nutty to me but also awesome. I'm going to do everything in my power to keep it in the positive.

I got my registration and called in they stated I could leave the title situation the way it is or pay about 10 bucks to convert it to the state I am in now. I think I might convert it just so that all the paperwork matches up.

It's nice to see things getting taken care of before the potential loss of my assignment. I had never dreamed of getting all the things done that I have in the past year.

I know that if I work hard I can get the rest of my goals accomplished too. Just have to keep working hard and trying!!

Nelnet is confusing and other issues

May 29th, 2014 at 09:37 am

There have been so many expenses in the last few days that for the first time in a while I don't know what is going to happen to this paycheck. And I'm crossing my fingers that it will even show up because there was a holiday in there so I hope that doesn't affect processing.

I've been off my game with lunches and coffees and my full time work is about to involve a commute again with my part-time work also causing issues.

I feel alone with not much help. We are going on a vacation soon so that should be nice. I'm feeling a little trapped I suppose. I am working on getting new projects have a few recruiters in the mix and what not.

Lastly though there is Nelnet who is so so confusing. I made an extra payment on my loan which pushed out my due date, which in turn affected my KwikPay, which I then spent time speaking to a chat rep who said I could have this adjusted correctly the request was put through. Then I called this morning when I realized it was way out of the time frame in which the request should have been completed and that rep told me something different from the last rep. Then I decided to go online again to have another chat and this rep finally told me that unless you make a double payment on the individual loan it will not give you the option to avoid having the date pushed out online.

She stated that since I have all these requests in putting in a double payment might undo the requests but they could fix it again if that happened. They also said if the date is not pushed out then KwikPay should go through as it normally does.

That info is not explicitly anywhere on the website nor does it warn you that if the date is pushed out on one of your loans the KwikPay will be affected. I'm glad I'm so vigilant on this and didn't give up. Well see. I double payment is $10 more than I was planning to send in but it won't kill me to do so. I hope it does work out fine but we will see.

It seems like a lot of effort when all I want to do is pay ahead on my loan. It seems its pretty straight forward when you miss a payment but when you want to get ahead it comes with a whole lot of stipulations and no guidance...

What would you do?

May 23rd, 2014 at 01:09 pm

So I'm sitting here contemplating my last 3 paychecks and this time they look like they will be my last until my next job or contract comes up.

I'm think this is what I'm going to do but I'm open to suggestions from here (aside from the obvious find a job suggestion I'm already working on that.)

Here's the situation:

I have 3 paychecks left at approx. $1500 each after taxes each give or take a few hundred dollars.

I am married, and he works full time. I have a part time essentially minimum job that will cover my basic expenses plus about $20 if I increase my hours which is very possible to do, so bills would be covered after the contract job goes away and if I pay off my car insurance in full for the 6 months.

I do have an emergency fund that can cover four months of expenses if I do not pay off the car insurance and 6 months of expenses if I do pay off the car insurance in full.

So from the three checks I need to take out bills and car insurance.

That about $820 for bills, $880 for car insurance pre-pay and $300 total from the checks to cover spending expenses so $2000 gone leaving $2500.

Usually I put a whole bunch of this money to retirement and other goals but since these are the last 3 checks it might be best to stretch this cash to make not having gainful employment a little easier.

I could save another 6 months of car insurance pre-pay money from here so that I know I would be good for a year on car insurance and then save the rest to do the dental work I need done. So that would be -$1100** leaving $1400 for dental work (and we have dental insurance.)

I also have some things like car registration etc coming up that I need to pay but I have saved up funds for them.

If you were in this situation what would you do?

(** Car insurance is very expensive here and we've shopped around everywhere else its double the amount. We have low deductibles because its easier to pay out a bit extra each month to insurance than to come up with $1000 since my job situation is what it is.)

Net worth reflection

May 20th, 2014 at 05:58 pm

I am about $400 away from hitting my 6 month goal for funds and about $300 from having a positive net worth. Having a positive net worth will not last long unless I can keep gainful employment but I will happy just to see the number. When I started tracking my finances in 2011 my net worth was -25K, and last year at this time it was -16K.

Things are looking up!

Sent in my final car payment!

May 16th, 2014 at 12:13 pm

I spent about 2 hours yesterday figuring out the whole title thing. It's all going to work out as far as me receiving the title then I'll worry about changing insurance the registration etc once the title shows up. I'm not sure what the process is for that but I'll find out soon enough. One step at a time!

My refund from the medical bill still hasn't come in yet so I'm just going to apply that money toward my goal of saving up enough money to pay off the car insurance in full.

I took a few bucks and make a small payment toward our upcoming hotel stay and I was able to make a $20 extra payment toward my student loans which feels pretty gosh darn awesome.

As of Monday my car loan is paid off about a year and a half ahead of schedule and 6 months before even I intended to make it happen.

I should be getting 2 more if not 3 more checks out of this job and then there's the possibility of being picked up for a new project. Either way I just put myself in a fantastic position to be able to make it by longer on my part-time position if it comes to that.

I was also able to set aside of few bucks for myself which is nice. I'm going to plan to do that for the next paycheck as well.

It almost doesn't feel like its anything because I scrapped by and obsessed a little too much about getting to the finish line but I'm sure once the title comes in and I'm changing things to reflect that the vehicle is mine outright it will be a little more real.

If I get picked up for another project soon that would really help me keep up this progress. Either way I am happy to have reached one of my 2014 goals! Hope everyone else is having a lovely Friday.

I was bored today and it was glorious

May 10th, 2014 at 07:26 pm

I took the day for myself. Watched some movies, bought a bit of food, took my dogs out for some fun it was great. I did a bit of brainstorming while my dogs roamed.

I might be down to one job again and that hasn't been the case for a while. I had been busy but things are beginning to ease up. And as I get older I realize I need a more stable daily routine.

Right now all my time is mine. But if we have kids later on it won't be that way. I want to figure out what is important to me and what I should be spending my time on aside from financial literary materials and money tracking.

I came up with a list which was good. I spent the rest of the day though lounging. I am too exhausted to do any of the things on my list and most other days I work my butt off at one or the other of my jobs or just keeping the house tidy. Last week I got the one weekend day to myself as well which was amazing.

Having that time to myself was great but it made me realize that I don't even know what to do with free time anymore.

This week was good work wise as well so I should have more than enough money out of this check to finally pay off my car. Something I've been dreaming about for a while.

Now things seem like they are calmer again and things are going to be alright. Like I'm free to focus more on another goal like becoming fit again.

There's not much I can do about my job situation than I am already doing. I need to have something that I feel I have some control over to feel grounded. And working on becoming fit is one of those things. And the thing about that is that is something that is never just okay.

It always requires maintenance and thought. Finances do too but they are already ingrained habits for me. Now I need to build better health habits namely develop the habit of exercise since I already eat rather well.

So here is to another successful financial week, and branching out to other goals to maintain and conquer.

Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel

May 2nd, 2014 at 03:58 pm

Today was an interesting day. I reworked my financial plan so that I'd be able to make a large payment on my car loan. I made sure I paid myself first and had the minimum I need for spending money too.

It is like stepping into the world of the unknown. The real actual end time of the project is fast approaching. However, I have been living like a pauper since February when I decided to aggressively pay off my car loan. I felt sad and deprived at first for cutting out the last of the indulgences I had allowed myself. A cookie here, a coffee there, a little meal out.

But now its become a habit. I make my own iced drinks unless I've earned a free one through rewards programs. I pay cash for all expenses so they don't loom on my credit card. This will serve me well when the assignment ends because not much will change as far as expenses go.

I started saving small amounts for the things I want and I should be able to do so even with the part-time job only.

In a weird way I feel somewhat free. It is crazy to think I just made another payment on my car that is more than my rent payment. But then it also feels liberating to know that if all goes well by the end of May, I will no longer have a car payment.

Even a year ago this wouldn't have been possible. I am worried of course as that is my nature but also excited. I have savings and a plan.

If everything works out that will be great. If not there are very few payments left on my car and I'll dip into my savings to make it work if I have to.

It's comforting to hold on to the thought that everything might be okay after all.

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

April 30th, 2014 at 03:31 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 23rd, 2014 at 08:45 pm

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 02:49 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 01:31 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 10th, 2014 at 10:32 pm

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 2nd, 2014 at 06:34 pm

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.


Keep on keeping on.

March 26th, 2014 at 07:53 pm

We are here at the last phase of the assignment. It's looking like 3-4 more paychecks. Awesome for me as I finally got a handle on expenses. Now its just bills and saving money. It's still super tempting to pay off the remainder of the car balance.

It is more than likely doable and would be a great relief so I'll just see what happens.

But with the other assignment ending soon and the status on unemployment or another assignment still in the air I have to be strong. I am not quitting the part time job. They were reasonable with me about the surgery. I am bummed that a manager that was really flexible with me is leaving and another who is not flexible at all might be promoted. This could spell trouble and a ton of headaches for me.

I have done a lot of great things with this money every step has made it that much easier for me to be able to sleep at night. I'm sure that no matter what happens things will work out.

Starting to dream about quitting my part time job

March 23rd, 2014 at 10:50 pm

My part time job is starting to get in the way of my assignment in a big way. And now I may have to take some time off to help my husband after his surgery. I'm at the point now where if they try to be inflexible about this I will just go ahead and quit. I am sure not going to tell my husband that I have to go tend to my part time job and he is just going have to be on his own.

My assignment has noted that they would like to pick me up for future assignments and there are already some plans in the works. Which is promising although I have been told that before.

On the one hand it seems silly to quit after putting up with it for so long and beside that it would be nice to have some income other than savings when my assignment does end (assuming I do not have unemployment.) But after working two jobs for more than a year now its really starting to take a toll on my well-being.

I feel like I am at the half way point though. Almost done with the car payments. Starting to finally save toward fun goals etc and losing the part time job would mean I'd have to take money much more money out of my regular check to fund my emergency fund which would live little breathing room to save for all those other things that I just started saving for. It would be tight unless I had overtime in each check. So now its a matter of living even more frugally than I already am or continuing to give up all my time to have that little bit of extra money.

I will stick with it if they agree to keep my hours low, and give me the time off to care for my husband. But if they don't it may be time to part ways with them. I do have other companies that I can do work for doing small temp jobs. And I may be able to make it by on unemployment.

Either way I think I'm going to set a tentative end date of this December. If everything goes well and I'm still working two jobs after this conversation with them than I will keep working with them squirreling away enough money to hit the 12 months worth of expenses mark which I could save up by then if I did it aggressively I'm already a quarter of the way there if I don't count my emergency fund. If I hit my mark in December I will quit my part time job and regain my sanity.

Pondering my savings

March 20th, 2014 at 10:52 am

I have massed a total of $7774 between an account I consider my emergency fund and an account I consider a fund to cover expenses in between assignments.

I am working hard toward making sure I have at least 6 months and working my way to up 12 months worth of cash for cover expenses. Right now between the two accounts I have 5 months (6 months if I deferred my student loans) worth of expenses.

The longest I have gone with out gainful employment was 9 months as last time I ran out of unemployment and had to get a part-time job to cover any portion of my expenses possible.

I am thinking of paying off my car loan in the next month. If I do this I will be effectively making sure that I have enough money in the emergency fund to cover 6 months of expenses (8 months if I defer student loans.)

I also need to save something for dentist work that is probably overdue and very necessary.

I guess we'll just have to see how much is in the checks and decide. As of right now today's check is to pay off medical debt, and the next is to pay the monthly bills. The next may will go to savings and after that I may just knock another grand off the car loan.

It's nice to be in a place like this. I've read over and over that if you pay yourself first it will really pay off but its nice to finally see the fruits of that labor and realize by cutting unnecessary expenses I have build myself some solid financial ground to stand on. It's the first sigh of relief I've felt in quite some time.

Also I was wrong in the last post I am on track for the paying off the car this year -$130 or so. I forgot to calculate in this months automatic payment.

Slight miscalculation and more medical bills

March 11th, 2014 at 10:34 am

Well I had a medical mishap so that went on my credit card as did my earlier purchases. It feels like "the curse" of 3K as that is when my last mishap happened that wiped out my emer fund. Even though I probably only have one check left I'm going to pay it out of the next one and leave the 3K in there. Maybe I can break the curse.

Also I was about $400 off in my calculation to pay off the car this year so I'll have to remedy that as well. Let's see if I can eek out two more paychecks. If not I have two months worth of bill money in there so the cushion will hold. But bills come so what can you do. I don't need to pay interest on my medical expenses especially if I have enough in there already to pay the bills. I certainly couldn't pay off that excess while underemployed without dipping into the emer fund.

I still think I did the right thing by expediting the car payment. The car is at the end of its life mileage and warranty wise it easier to take a 2K hit to build equity in it now than to have to come up with 2K to remedy a car disaster while underemployed. But more so it would be easier to just not have to deal with those payments if for some reason my underemployment lasts through this year into the next. And that way I can hold out hope to still pay down the student loan as well.

Things are very much so up in the air but at least I build a solid foundation to stand on. I am so happy I had to fortitude to stick to a plan. I don't even want to imagine what would have happened if I had not taken it upon myself to do this. And I still have a nice camera to show for it to. A hobby to fill up my time in between job searching.

Goals accomplished and on track

March 7th, 2014 at 12:44 am

As of tonight I have 3K in my emer fund plus, 4 months of expenses and I will be able to pay off my car by the end of this year even with the income from my part time job.

Even though my temp gig is ending soon I am so happy that I stuck it out and have made what I thought was the impossible possible.

I also hit 2K in my retirement account which feels really nice. I also need to find something else in invest in there. All in all I am pretty happy right now. It wasn't easy to get to this point so now I guess the challenge/focus is to keep the income coming into so that I can pay bills and keep saving while underemployed.

Also got rid of some old stuff for cash which was nice.

Financial Reality Check

March 4th, 2014 at 11:18 am

I have racked up a few hundred dollars again on the credit card.

I figured out a while back that if I do not give myself enough spending money for a long time this tends to happen.

I need to figure out a way to make it by on less spending money as I will be underemployed soon. I slipped up in the last two weeks with so many hours of work I got tired and lazy and just paid for things I shouldn't have made room for with the credit card.

I've been looking into how to make it by when I'm back on minimum wage and what I am planning on doing looks fine. I'm going to seek out higher earning contract work, and try doing side jobs. Now I'm just having to get in that mindset. I think if I go back to to only the one part-time job I may have to literally freeze the cards as I just don't see myself having the self-control to not use them.

I hope I can change my mindset between here and there.

Friday look back

February 28th, 2014 at 12:57 pm

As my assignment is winding down and my car loan shrinks to a more manageable size. I sit here trying to come up with ways to take on the next hurdle.

Being able to continue paying those dreaded student loans while underemployed!

My next check will have overtime so I am happy for that. I can reach the goal of making another large car payment put away my usual percentages for retirement etc. And pay off the small amounts I've charged to the credit card including an appraisal for my jewelry and putting away the money so that they can be insured both for this and next year.

In crunching some numbers I've reduced my debt by 13K since I started actively tracking it in 2011. Also 5K of that debt was eliminated in the past 6 months. That makes me feel pretty amazing since I know that at least another 1K is coming off the car loan before this assignment ends. In celebration of this discovery I will be treating myself to the free coffee I earned by consuming way too much of it outside the home this week.

I'm sad I racked up another 100 in expenses this week but I will be making more of than that in OT. Plus some things have to be returned as they just didn't work out. Just have to pay the bill and plan more carefully next time. I'm also still down 2 pounds since being more mindful of what I consume. All in all I'd say that if I manage to stick to the path I've been on I will achieve success in more ways than one.

The bank screwed up my extra payment

February 25th, 2014 at 09:17 am

I'm pretty irritated at the moment. I went ahead and sent in that giant payment to my car loan and they processed it all messed up. They did it as a regular payment and added a late fee even though if it were actually a regular payment it would be processed early and I had not paid late on my last payment as it is an auto payment that processed already.

Has anything this crazy happened to any of you? Guess this is just a good sign that I am right to pay off this loan and be done with this bank. Back in December of last year I when I knew I couldn't do the payment on time I asked them to postpone the auto payment a week. They told me no problem not an issue. I logged in a month later and thinking everything had gone fine and not only had they not processed it but they slapped me with a late fee. I called to tell them the last rep said it was fine and they told me that person was mistaken and to just send in the payment by mail. They didn't apologize or anything.

Now this big payment is in and its over a year after the botched payment with the late fee, they said they are processing that late fee now because I had sent into extra money. I told the woman on the phone first of all that shouldn't have happened as I had received misinformation and secondly if that were true wouldn't you have processed it out of my first principal only payment that I almost made almost a year ago? The woman said everything should be fixed in 24 hours. I will wait 48 and call again if its still all messed up.

What craziness!

Making strides toward the 2014 goal

February 21st, 2014 at 12:57 am

So I still think about the jewelry in the previous post, like daily. But no matter.

I have on my couch beside me a giant payment that is going to keep me on track toward paying off my car this year rather than a giant payment that is filling the gap in savings I would have caused by buying that jewelry.

It is really a big moment for me. In this paycheck I didn't have to pay any bills. It all went to my savings goals and spending money plus this payment.

Sending in this payment means that for the first time ever I will actually a bit of equity in my car. And it also means that I have not racked up credit card debt since paying it all of in November which is just fantastic.

As beautiful as the jewelry was I am just so happy right now. I was strong and stuck to the plan. I am on track to my goal and just took another step in the right direction. By the time the next paycheck rolls around I'll have a good idea of where I stand in my job.

I plan on making one more big payment and once that is done I will be able to pay off my car by the end of the year with regular payments and some small extras. I just feel light years ahead of where I was that first day at my first temp job out of college.

It certainly hasn't been an easy road for me but I wouldn't have it any other way. Everything that I did between here and there was only helped me become who I am now. And I really like where I am now. Smile

Everything happens for a reason

February 14th, 2014 at 11:53 am

Well I am hell bent on my car goal. But I went a little cuckoo for a while and tried to convince myself I should have/deserve an item that would have cost thousands.

Then I sat down and crunched the numbers. I would have had to wipe out one of my savings accounts and half of another to get a discount on the item or put it on a credit card and take on several hundred dollars of interest.

After the truth hitting me and realizing that I only realistically have another month or so of gainful employment if I am lucky I realized that I don't "deserve" anything. I choose what I want and I have worked so hard to get this this point financially. Why blow it all on a purchase that I cant comfortably afford.

I realized its a self-sabotage thing I do every time I am close to the end of an assignment. I do something that I shouldn't do financially and pay for it dearly while I am unemployed. Of course in the past few years its been not that bad in the last assignment I paid off a high interest credit card and then bought myself an item worth several hundred dollars when I could have had a wee bit more in savings.

This time I almost wiped out half my savings to get a item negating months of success saving and completely eliminating credit card debt.

I also thought to myself why on earth am I willing to wipe out my savings for this item and "make it up" in the last two checks, but unwilling to make large payments on my car/into savings and keep what I already have saved as well.

I crunched some numbers and I can affordably make two large payments out of my next two checks so that I am on track for paying off my car by the end of the year as per my goal and promise I made to myself at the beginning of the year. And I can do this just on the part time job income if I get no unemployment.

I was elated. If I had not gone crazy and tried to buy something I could not afford I would have probably never figured that I can reach my goal and keep my promise to myself.

This is not the first time this happened. At my last assignment I was about to start investing for equipment for a new hobby when I realized that for the money I was willing to sacrifice and spend on it I could actually pay off my high interest credit card.

I think that move now almost two years ago pushed me in the direction that I am in now. Every success comes with that one first step forward.

Rather than condemn and chastise myself for wanting that item I am just going to shelve the idea and stay on track. Who knows maybe in a year I can afford it? Or maybe I'll just forget about it which is fine with me too.

Either way 2014 just got a whole lot brighter for the path eliminating debt and continuing to strive for financial independence.

Challenge completed

February 6th, 2014 at 02:00 pm

This week was great. Not only did I eat healthy but I also lost a pound. And have plenty of grocery money left over in my wallet.

I think I will just keep this up. I'm going to take it one week at a time though. One night the husband ordered in so I don't count that. That salad I made a week ago is almost gone now. Feels great not to have wasted that. And the veggies will be mostly going into one dish tonight. It feels quite great to be doing something good for myself and financially saving me a bundle of cash.

A week controlling what I can by eating in with healthy substitutions

January 29th, 2014 at 11:17 am

There is nothing more that I can do about my job situation other than what I am already doing. It will end when it ends. Instead of obsessing and hoping that there will be more money all I can do is work with the money I know I have.

I finally just decided to allocate my remaining paychecks on:

1) Building a Dental Fund, I will have insurance soon but dental insurance is iffy and I have a lot of repairs. I'm thinking 800-1000 would be a good start.

and

2) If there's something left over, I'd like to pay off enough on the car (~$900) so that there wouldn't be negative equity should it require a repair that is not covered by my warranty and so costly that I'd just need to trade it in for a new one.

Now that that is settled in my mind I have realized that I have to take steps toward my next goal which is being more healthy in general. Since I've been somewhat successful at money and often tell myself that I can't afford food that I want to cook, I am going to call my own bluff.

For the next week beginning today I am going to eat in. If I conceive of something I'd like to eat out I will just make the at home equivalent instead ensuring that it has nutrients and protein. This is great financially because in most cases it will be about half the cost.

At the end of the week I should I have proved to myself that I can eat healthy for what I can afford comfortably for groceries.

Today I have already talked myself out of eating a croissant or cookie from a coffee shop by subbing it with a PB & J Sandwich. And I will be making a cheese pasta dish at home with a side of beans instead of ordering a little bowl of mac and cheese from Panera.

With this switch I have saved myself from spending about seven dollars and insured that I am not a hungry raving mad lunatic. I think this change might get addictive...Smile

Yey for payday and good habits

January 24th, 2014 at 12:03 am

With no more balances on the credit cards I've quite enjoyed paying in cash and sticking to a budget. Something I never thought I would say!

Just got paid and despite choosing to save over making as big of an extra car payment I feel great. My EF is finally at 2K again and my savings account is getting ever closer to that 4 months worth of expenses goal. Things are progressing toward ending in my project but the likelihood of being called back for another seems good. Whether that happens soon I don't know.

My resume is out there and I'll network but now that my financial habits seem to be well established I think its finally time to start to focus more seriously on health goals. I've used what I've learned to sticking to financial habits to set some doable and easy to keep up fitness goals.

I'm thinking they will serve me well if I stick to it.

It's funny to think how far I've come in a year. I went from not having any savings and no job to a part-time job to this wonderful project that I took on which has allowed me to pay off my credit card balances, create an EF, increase retirement contributions and develop a budget that even allows me to save toward goals like paying off my car loan early.

This whole experience has just been fantastic and I know that no matter what happens I will stick to the plan. So refreshing to be here. The first step is always hard but to be here after a year feels fantastic. Thank goodness I took the initiative to make it all happen.

One last dilemma I have though is that if I have a month left I know I can use the next paycheck toward debt. And the last one toward bills.

My goal is to pay off the car but the student loans are not really shrinking. I might have 700 extra to put toward a debt in the next check (after taking out money for retirement, goals, etc.)

So knowing the situation would you:

A - Put the money toward paying the car currently at 5305 with 10% interest

B - Put it toward the smallest of the student loans (1K) with 6.55% interest

*All my student loans are federal loans

Hickups in the plan

January 21st, 2014 at 10:26 am

Well our project has gone over budget so I might be out of this job quicker than planned.

The good news is that I have saved enough to have my bills paid til March after I get this weeks paycheck plus a 3 month buffer beyond that should unemployment not be an option.

My husband also started a new job with more pay and has been steadily paying off his highest interest debts. So he can now help carry me should unemployment not be an option.

And I still have my part-time job to bring in some money to try to live off my own savings for a while. And of course my shiny new toy is now completely paid off. I will need some new accessories but those are easy enough to come across frugally.

I'm hoping that even if it takes a while to get a new job I can somehow still reach my goal of paying off the car this year but well see how it goes. Nothing is set in stone and I've made some fantastic financial decisions and finally been able to conquer my credit card debt and get my expenses down to a more than reasonable level.

I'm am so happy I have not only stuck to the plan but been able to achieve goals I've longed to reach for years including getting a fancy new camera! Smile

Learning how to play with my new toy

January 14th, 2014 at 08:30 pm

I went to my last class and it was so helpful now I am super happy that I made the investment into this kind of camera.

I can just think of all the pictures I can take all the memories I could capture. I can't get accessories yet but as soon as my next check comes in I can buy things for it again Smile Anyone else enjoying their Christmas toys?


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