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Good news in the mail and REAP benefits

March 1st, 2009 at 06:08 pm

I just received my car title in the mail... Very exciting for meSmile. We paid the car off about 1.5 years early and while I will probably never buy a new car again, it was a fun once in a lifetime treat.

Does anyone have any experience with receiving benefits from the GI Bill? We got a lump sum in January for about 2 yrs of backpayment and a letter saying we where eligible for some every month until my husband was done with school, but we haven't received anything for the month of February. I don't know if we will recieve some every month on a set day or what will happen... He qualifies under the Reserve Education Access plan if that makes any difference.

My husband and I are still gainfully employed and thankful for that. We have put off the boat for awhile longer or until all the other debt (car and credit card) is paid off. I don't see the economic situation improving much for another year or two and by that point boats might be incredibly cheap, so we might get an incredible deal.

Good luck to everyone.

Big milestones

February 18th, 2009 at 12:37 am

The tax man paid me back the interest free loan I gave it last year- enough to make a big dent in my debt.
Car #1 is fully paid off (one less 450 a month payment)
Car 2 is down to 5 figures (9823 left at 4%)
CC is now at 5800...
All of which means I have an extra 450 a month to pay down my other car.
At this rate, just paying the 800 will mean the car is done in one year and the cc will be done in 14 mths.

In other exciting news, the GI Bill issue was solved and my husband is now receiving the GI Bill benefits... Along with 2 years of back pay. I don't know what caused the sudden change in status (he was eligible all along), I just checked my bank account one day and the VA had deposited 10k in back payments. Our EF is now funded for four months, which was pretty cool (and painless). Normally, I would rush to pay off something with this money but I am leaving it alone because of the economy. I have a pretty secure job, but I like the way having savings in the bank makes me feel. We are also saving 350 a month on top of that to get to an eventual goal of 1 yr expenses.
I am also pretty happy with the way our debt payoff is going. (Down is always better than up!)
Good luck to everybody. There is some depressing economic news right now.

23881.48

January 13th, 2009 at 11:10 pm

23881.48
That's the total I owe to various institutions now. Broken down:
Car 1: 6,722.94 (~4%) (450)
Car 2: 11,045.76 (~4.5%) (350)
Credit card: 6112.78 (~4%) (300)
I currently pay 1100 a mth in a normal month and 1500 in a good month to these debts which is well above the required amount because I want to pay them off. So, if I use basic math 23880/1100 that gives me about 22 months to pay everything off without accounting for interest.
I am just going to start blogging again to remind me of where I am. I don't have any magical formula for paying things off quicker, although I want to. This is just the start of me "paying attention" to my finances again.
Any extra money I have is currently going towards school and school books, so I am happy to be doing what I can.
Thats all my rantings for the daySmile

happy turkey day everyone

November 28th, 2008 at 01:59 am

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. My husband is working tonight so I spent a quiet night with my daughter. We ate dinner as a family together last saturday, and I just froze some of the leftover turkey today for later.

Things I am thankful for:
1)One more week of school and then I get a month off (much needed).
2) I am in the middle of a five day weekend.
3) My DH is no longer in the armed forces, 5 years ago at this time he came home to me. Stop losses suck is all I will say.
4) My immediate family is healthy.
5) My DH and I are still gainfully employed and able to pay our bills.
6) Tomorrow marks my first week with 20/20 vision thanks to the miracle of lasik surgery.

There are many others, but I need to finish my term paper before saturday.

2009 goals:-)

November 20th, 2008 at 12:32 am

My 2009 goals are simple. I'm trying to follow the KISS method:-).
1) Get B.S. Degree in June 09'.
2) Not add on to existing debt, continue to pay same amount to reduce it
3) Apply any windfall amount to paying off car loan (7200 balance) including tax return and overtime money. After that, its the other car loan then CC.
That's my financial goals for 09 in a nutshell. The degree part is included because I *should* get a raise if all works out after I get it... I am not counting on it, but it would be nice.
Personal goals
1) Repeat of 1 above
2) Stay happily married
3) Continue raising daughter :-)
4) Look at master's programs for entrance in 2010

No more glasses soon!

November 18th, 2008 at 12:02 am

So, I am getting lasik surgery on friday; two months earlier than planned. I guess the economy is hurting the place because they said they would give me a twenty percent discount for getting it done this month. Since 20% is a better saving then I get using the FSA, I'll take it!
I have been planning (and saving) for 3 years for this, so I'm pretty pysched.

I can't even get mad!

November 17th, 2008 at 11:59 pm

This is an example of how poor customer service can ruin a store reputations, but good service helps it out...
I bought something from Victoria's Secret a month and a half ago, it's 45 bucks but the stuff is usually really good quality. Well, not this time. I wore it once and washed it and it broke. Since I live 45 minutes away, I didn't get back to the store to return it yesterday. There, the manager tells me she can't help me and I should be aware of the return policy (and some other attitude that drove me nuts)... Apparently, because I didn't handwash it, it is not returnable. Oh well.
I called to talk to customer service because I was pretty frustrated by the attitude of the manager, and the poor quality of the manager. When I told the CSR said she would send a gift certificate out for the amount of the purchase and to have a nice day. No arguing or anything. Gotta love it when customer service is better at the 800 number, I just hate that I had to go to the trouble of calling.

The Elusive Boat

November 9th, 2008 at 05:12 pm

Does anyone else have any "planned" purchases that get pushed off because something else keeps coming up? Well, we do. We have been planning to buy one for four years, but it has been put off by buying a house, cars and just general life expenses. It looked like we where going to get a large lump sun (8k or so) pretty soon, so we where going to buy a boat with that. However, that lump sum now looks like it will happen sometimes in the next year..
In the meantime, my husband is calling me a debt nazi; I can think of worse things to be. I don't mind buying a boat with an unexpected lump sum of money, but I don't want to do one with payments.. All of our extra money right now goes to my schooling and bills so while we *could* afford the boat, it would be affording it on payments and I just don't want to do that. Good thing my husband is patient... He is the one that really wants the boat, but is willing to not push it when we have other debt...

life is good

September 24th, 2008 at 08:44 pm

Back in May I had these debts...
Car 1: 9200 @6% interest
Car 2: 13700@6.22%
Credit card 1: 1400 @ 0% till 5/2010
Credit card 2: 2400@ 3.99
Credit card 3: 7920 @ 3.99
furniture: 600 @ 0 %

As of now here are the updates:
Car 1: 8430 @ 4.25 interest
Car 2: 12290@4.25%
Credit card 1: 700 @ 0% till 5/2010
Credit card 2:0
Credit card 3: 6800 @ 3.99
furniture: 0
So I am down about 5600 dollars.I re-financed the car loans to a lower rate, and shortened the terms on one from a 5 to a 4 year. I also got rid of 3 payments a month, which makes it a lot easier for me to manage. October is a 3 paycheck month so I am hoping to get credit card #1 done.
We recently found out my husband is entitled to a large amount of backpay from his work (about 10k). Everyone in the company in this area will be receiving a settlement for anytime worked during the last two years. The last two years part is very exciting for me, as I worked there for 6 mths of that time span. Hopefully, I will be eligible for about 2k worth of back pay. After taxes are taken out, it looks like it will be about 7k, which is going to buy a boat. Maybe not the most prudent move, but one I am happy with.
In other news, I am listing items that have been sitting around my house for years on ebay. My saddle should bring in about 350 bucks, a bunch of crystal and glassware looks like it will bring in a couple hundred dollars more. All of this is going to pay for school expenses so I am pretty happy with the income.
Speaking of school.. I took 19 credits over the summer, and ended up with a 3.7 gpa. Not bad for a full-time working mom.
School starts again on monday, so I am enjoying my last school free weekend with my family.

2009 goals- challenge answered:-)

July 28th, 2008 at 11:11 pm

In response to a blog post, I am posting my goals for 2009, both financially and personally.
1) Obtain my bachelors- currently on track for graduation in May of 09!
2) Continue to add 10 percent to 401k
3) Pay off my car (currently owe about 7k)
4) Pay off two small credit cards (1500 worth) by early 09'
5) Reduce 7k credit card to around 3k by the end of the year
6) Reduce husbands car loan to less than 5k (currently ~12k) by end of 09
So about 20k by end of 2009, about 17 months away= ~1175 a month.
That is totally doable, I think.
Now for the keep on doing goals: Stay happily married,continue to raise my wonderful 5 yr old, continually evaluate house and where it fits in our life goals...

School is expensive...

June 26th, 2008 at 11:19 pm

So, just when I think I have all this extra money to pay bills, I don't. My school upped its tuition, and I have to pay for it. Oh, and I have to take a class at a more expensive university because they no longer offer it at mine.
I tell ya, if it's not one thing, its another with this degree. I am doing online courses, so it makes it even harder to find a school with the degree program I need.
Oh well, I'll be done in six months, with little to no student loans. The ones I might have are subsidized, so I guess it really isn't that bad. It just seems like it. The bright news is that this should qualify me for a promotion making 10-20k more a year, so the payback for all my out of pocket money will be 1-2 years. Not a bad deal at all, when I consider it that way...
Needless to say, my brilliant ideas to pay off 3 bills didn't happen. I did pay one off completely (2400ish), and reduced the 600 dollar one to 200, so I got somewhere. But, I did pay off 2200 dollars for last term, and have 2600 out of 3900 for this term in the bank. (Like I said, it's expensive).
Good news: my husband got an unexpected 3% raise, which all went into his 401K. He'll still get a 6% raise in October. He is also up for a promotion then which could be 5-6 dollars more an hour:-). We have also cut back on gas by carpooling (me), and have spent less eating out lately. (3-400 dollars savings this month.) The lawnmower broke the other day, and it was only 40 bucks to fix it.
Overtime at work is over, and life as I know it will return to normal... Which explains why I am much cheerier in this post.
Next week, when I am in the middle of 19 school credits, I may be feeling quite differently!

Is it worth it?

May 14th, 2008 at 07:49 pm

In about 2 weeks from now, my niece will be having a birthday of sorts. I say, "of sorts" because she was born early, lived for a 30 minutes and died. I never even got to hold her warm body. She was the first kid of any of my brothers and sisters, and was much anticipated.
I spoil my husband's nieces and nephews, and love spending time with them. I love buying them things, and having fun with them. I never got to do that for my niece. I got rid of the clothes I had her bought her because they made me cry everytime I saw them.
I had all these plans and they all ended up not happening. The only thing I do every year is to buy a big thing of flowers and take them up there on the day before. That way, my sister sees them and knows someone else was thinking of her. However, I had a coworker question why I would spend that much on a babe that wasn't mine, and it made me wonder if I should. Is there somethings where it doesn't matter even if someone else thinks it a stupid expense? I don't know. I guess after 6 years it shouldn't but it still does.

Introduction..

May 9th, 2008 at 11:28 pm

So, I thought I would post some introduction information....
Lets see, I am a 25 year old woman. I've been happily married for 5 and a half years. We have a five year old daughter who starts kindergarden in the fall.
My husband and I both work full time, and go to school part time. He's working on getting an electronics degree; I'm finishing a bachelors degree. To say we are busy is an understatement.
We both make good money. We also spend a lot of money. We currently are paying off 2 cars, some school debt, and landscaping debt, as well as a house.
One of the biggest speedbumps in our race to pay off debts has been school. I recently went from a job that payed 100% of my tuition to one that pays 2k a year. I also switched to a different school, one that is twice as expensive. We are working on the new expense, but the debt from this may just be a necessary evil.
I have a great, close family and a wonderful husband. It's only this pesky debt that gets in the way!

The ebb and tide of debt payment

May 6th, 2008 at 07:31 pm

Right now, I'm in a funk. I have a nasty cold, it's midterms, I'm working 60 hrs a week, and my house is trashed. I barely care about paying bills let alone saving money. So, I thought I would write a list to try to inspire me to get rid off it.
1) Current debt load is way too much. The minimum payments are only a couple of hundreds dollar less than my mortgage payments. Freeing up that much money would mean fully funded roth-iras for my husband and I.
2) I need my job and income level to survive. Getting rid of this would let me go part time without any stress.
3) What I owe is over a years net pay for me. Yup, I'll have worked over 2080 hrs to pay for my stuff.
On the plus side, my debt hasn't all been bad, nor the getting it.
1) A large part of it is to get my mommy dream car... V6, brand new picked out by me, sunroof, oh yeah.
2) A lot of it was to put in a yard and fence our acreage. Which is seriously improving my enjoyment of my house and property. My husband and I just don't have the time to do everything ourselves. The money I spent on that stuff has saved many fights and given us free time together.
3) 2k of it came from suddenly having to take a trip for a grandparents funeral. It was a convenience to just put it on a credit card, but somethings are worth more than money.
4)It's all at low interest rates, and nothing is unmanageable with our pay.

Well, only 5 hrs left before I go home. Lunch is over!

Drumroll please....

May 3rd, 2008 at 10:51 pm

So, with my first real post I thought I would post my total debts:

Car 1: 9200 @6% interest
Car 2: 13700@6.22%
Credit card 1: 1400 @ 0% till 5/2010
Credit card 2: 2400@ 3.99
Credit card 3: 7920 @ 3.99
furniture: 600 @ 0 %

Plan to pay them off, who knows... Just kidding. The stimulus will pay off cc#1, and part of the furniture. Will snowball furniture next month and a half. Way too much overtime this month will demolish number 2... After that, its slow and steady wins the race. I have a goal to be debt free in 24 mths (plus or minus one month)... We are on schedule to do that with the regular payments we make plus about 100 extra each month.
My husband doesn't necessarily care about being debt free, its a massive goal for me. We'll see who wins... Since I pay the bills, I'm betting I'll be on the winning side!

10 Things I Wish I had known before I was a parent

May 3rd, 2008 at 08:16 pm

1) It doesn't matter how hard you try, someone is always going to criticize your parenting.

2) Some parents like to offer advice without knowing the full situations.

3) Even though you try to control everything that happens to your child, they can't.

4) That even when they are five, your child can still suprise you with their inherent sweetness.

5) That simple things matter more to young kids than fancy toys.

6) Having a stable homelife is one of the best things you can do for your children.

7) Divorce is sometimes the best option. (ETA: I'm happily married to a wonderful man. It's my parents who I wished had divorced much earlier).

8) It doesn't matter whether she was planned or not, I love my daughter more than I ever though possible.

9) Working full time does not make me a worse parent than being a stay at home mom.

10) Three best words to hear at the end of a long work week: Let's snuggle, mommy.