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Archive for July, 2007

Another small payment

July 24th, 2007 at 10:02 pm

Just realized I had enough money to cover another $200 payment that was scheduled for next month. So $400 paid, $1,254 to go for August!

I may not get very far in this challenge before I have to reformulate it--but if so, it will be reformulated to be even more aggressive about debt repayment, so that'll be a good thing! Meanwhile, until I find out what NT's exact salary will be, it's business as usual with the 1099 + 555 Plan.

Emergency & other funds: my thinking

July 24th, 2007 at 08:08 am

Well, I think maybe what I'll do, since someone mentioned starting a savings account for my emergency, entertainment and travel funds, is open a "goal savings account," which my bank offers. It's linked to my checking account, it's free as long as I make a $25 monthly automatic deposit, there's no minimum balance, and it even earns a teeny bit of interest. I'll keep my own records as to which parts of it are allocated to various funds.

This is, of course, assuming that NT gets offered enough money to meet some of my debt-repayment goals. Those come first, but I think it would help us control our spending if there were separate, finite funds for various things.

Our spending has been way controlled since I started budgeting us back in late March, but thinking long-term, if I'm going to keep my household on board, I have to be willing to spend a little on travel and entertainment! Don't want any mutinies down the road. :-)

NT's new job! + EFs and other funds

July 23rd, 2007 at 02:24 pm

Great news this morning: NT got confirmation that his current temp assignment is giving him a permanent job! He doesn't know the details of pay, but they know the minimum that he would take and have said it will be more than that for sure. He hasn't found out many other particulars either. One thing he stipulated is that he'd want a somewhat flexible schedule so he could go back to volunteering (tutoring disadvantaged youth), and they said that would be fine. He's going to continue temping as their receptionist until they get the new position all straightened out, so we know we'll have steady income from now on.

Now that I know we'll easily be able to stick with my accelerated payoff challenge, I'm thinking more about how some people on this site set money aside, and wanted to know how they do it. Those of you who build up funds for home improvement, travel, entertainment and emergencies, do you keep them as cash in envelopes, or separate offshoots of your checking accounts, or do you keep the money in your regular account but just pretend you can't use it?

I'm really hoping this job pays enough for my dream goal: paying for NT's school upfront. Well, by upfront I mean taking out student loans, but then paying off an equivalent extra amount on my consumer debt, so that we continue to pay down principal at the same rate and end up with less "bad" debt. Fingers crossed, though that's a bit more money than I expect him to be offered! :-)

CJ

First step in second month's challenge

July 22nd, 2007 at 04:55 pm

Well, the next month of my challenge doesn't technically start until July 26, but I realized I have enough money to make a small payment, so I put $200 toward principal debt. My line of credit debt is now less than $1,000!

So, $200 paid, $1,454 to go by Aug. 26.

In other good news: Our best friends' ceremony was this weekend. I had all sorts of chunks of money set aside for all our various obligations for it. Well, it looks like we got in at least $20 under budget, and that's after buying a few extra things. If the grooms remember to pay us back for those, we'll be more like $60 under budget!

Also, NT is almost certainly guaranteed a job at the place where he's temping. It should be quite a bit more money and a lot more fun for him. He's waiting to hear from another place as well, that has its own pluses. Either way, we should be a lot better off soon!

CJ

2nd goal for The 1099 + 555 Plan

July 17th, 2007 at 08:10 am

Debt starting 7/26:
Personal loan: 29,525
Reserve line: 1,101
Credit card: 18,197
Trip to England: 5,000
Mortgage: 183,996
Loan from Dad: 7,000
Student loan 1: 16,129
Student loan 2: 3,388
Student loan 3: 12,848
-------
7/26 total debt: $277,184

Goal for 8/26: $275,530

First month totals

July 17th, 2007 at 07:59 am

6/26 total debt: $278,917
Goal for 7/26: $277,263

Actual debt balance on 7/17: $277,184

Ahead of goal by $79!

First hurdle cleared!

July 17th, 2007 at 07:56 am

Yee haw! My final payment for the month came through; I was expecting $398 to go to principal but wasn't sure since this is my brand new loan. Instead, they whacked $475 off the principal balance! This means I met and exceeded my first month's goal for my 1099 + 555 Challenge! Let's hope it bodes well for the rest of the challenge as well.

Results for the first month coming as soon as I tally them...

Mean people suck

July 15th, 2007 at 12:51 am

I'm sorry; I try not to be controversial in places where it might be problematic.

But I just came back from a "bachelor party" for two male friends having a commitment ceremony next week. These are two friends who are moral, upright, religious and kind on all counts, and compeletely in love with one another (for the past 5 years). Yet family members who have supported them being together are having a problem with them having a commitment ceremony.

These familial haters keep bringing up the Bible or God, thinking the two lines of the Bible condeming homosexuality are somehow more powerful than the dozens of lines condemning shellfish and poly-cotton blends. I just don't get it.

I get having an opinion of something; I happen to think that eating, killing or using for entertainment an animal is just as wrong as eating, killing, or using for entertainment a human. But I realize I may not have all the answers where that is concerned, so I still love people who do such things to animals.

Basically, unless you kill or harm a human being deliberately, I will at least respect your basic nature. I can't believe these friends have to face so much petty judgment from these family members, who have taken a huge step interpreting God's will (where they've freely assumed other parts of the Bible are just dated per the era they were written in). I can't believe they'd take such a risk with the love of their sons/brothers.

Their loss, though. I will love these men their whole lives, feeling fortunate that I met them and know them.

Sorry again, but I just had to vent. This is so wrong.

CJ

Small payment to principal

July 11th, 2007 at 08:51 am

Today a student loan payment showed up (I paid it over a week ago, but I don't count anything till I see it registered in the online balance), so $50 toward my goal. $1093 paid, $561 to go!

I have a loan payment going out Monday that I estimate will pay $398 toward interest, which would leave only $163. Well, I have enough money in the bank to do that and still cover expenses till NT's payday on Friday, so I went ahead and made an extra payment of $165 to my reserve-line debt. $1258 down, $396 to go. Now I know I'll hit my goal when my loan payment clears next week. Hooray!

Monthly Budget

July 9th, 2007 at 03:32 pm

I just retotaled my monthly budget because one of my regular payments went down. (I'll still pay extra on it; that's how it got lowered. But I do like to see my base budget.)

It hit a nice round number (with the help of rounding up every bill amount, of course): $4300. There are three adults in my household. $1040 is for groceries and other household expenses, $1892 for mortgage and association dues (including all utilities and cable TV), $141 goes to phone and internet for all three of us, and the rest ($1227) goes to debt (credit card, personal loan and student loans).

I know I could cut down a few other things, but if I just get rid of my straight-up debt, just think! $1227 a month left over to save, pay down my mortgage, up my 401(k), etc. That gives me even more impetus to push ahead, even if it takes years.

CJ

Tiny bit more toward The Plan

July 9th, 2007 at 03:12 pm

Made my regular payment to my reserve line today, plus a little bit extra, so that's $55 more toward principal.

My goal is to pay $1654 by 7/26, so that puts me at $611 left to pay, $1043 paid already. I have 2 more regular debt-bills this month, which should pay $398 and $51 in principal, leaving just $162 to reach my goal. Well, I was trying to save up $200 for an extra payment to my reserve line (small, high-interest debt driving me crazy), but even if I just put together $170 I should be in the black (goalwise). That's encouraging, since this is my first concrete goal and I really want to make it to show I can! :-)

CJ

Another step toward my goal

July 8th, 2007 at 07:27 am

My regular credit card payment hit: $306 toward principal.

$988 paid to principal so far this month, $666 to go by 7/26! Woo hoo, I'm past the halfway point!

Small extra payment for The Plan

July 6th, 2007 at 03:26 pm

Paid an extra $200 toward debt today; $682 paid to principal so far this month, $972 to go by 7/26!

Money, what else?

July 6th, 2007 at 02:41 pm

Well, I was looking at my budget projection for the next month and a half, and I had about a $480 surplus. Now, that accounts for some fun stuff that's planned, such as tickets to a music show, anniversary celebration, niece visit and friends' wedding expenses, but it doesn't count at all for spending money. Sometimes my little household goes around with little or no spending money, and we all know credit cards are only for budgeted items and emergencies, so we just don't often make impulse purchases. But it's nice to be able to do that, so I thought, I'll withdraw half that surplus and distribute it equally, $80 for each of us, and just tell the others it has to last them a couple weeks, but who knows? If there are no unexpected expenses, they might get some more.

Then AS called and said she'd had to go to the eye doctor, dentist and pharmacy today. I went back in and voila, $200 more gone to medical expenses! LOL, glad I didn't take out the full surplus or anything! I talked to AS, and she has some more expenses coming up, but we'll be able to plan for them. Plus, she'll be able to cover some of this eventually with flex spending.

Soo, I decided to still distribute the money I took out of the bank, but to let AS & NT know to hang onto some of it--don't know when we'll have some more spending money.

All in all, the budget is tight, but balanced. And I can always put some of my own share of the spending money back in if I need to; but I've got other places I can cut back if needed. Here it is, spending money already withdrawn (and much abridged):
Balance 7/5: $448.92

Bills & Expenses 7/1-7/15: $481.84

$32.92 SHORT

Income 7/15-7/31: 3271.21
Bills & Expenses 7/15-7/31: $2754.67

$483.62 LEFT OVER

Paychecks & Income 8/1-8/15: $2405.32
Bills & Expenses 8/1-8/15: $2839

$49.94 LEFT OVER

Not too shabby, and this plans for some extra pay-ins to principal debt!

Slight progress on 1099 + 555

July 2nd, 2007 at 09:34 am

Well, I haven't made too much progress in my 1099 + 555 Plan, but a little. Most of my bills are coming soon, so I'll see the needle move more then.

On Friday I paid $200 to my smallest, highest-interest debt, the line of credit on my checking account. Not a scheduled payment, just extra to principal. And today my regular mortgage payment hit, so $282 to principal.

$482 down, $1172 to go by July 26!

CJ