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Archive for August, 2007

Paid off $147 (I think)

August 24th, 2007 at 02:58 am

Still getting the hang of tracking the balances of all of NT's UK credit cards and mortgages. One of them, I'd written down an old balance and it was actually more. But, a couple others have gone down, to the tune of about 73 pounds and some change, or about US$147. I think. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Soooo, $592 down, $1593 to go for September. I know it looks like I'm way ahead, but it's still doubtful that I'll make my September goal. I'll keep trying, though!

Exchange rate overestimated

August 17th, 2007 at 03:21 pm

Darn, I had thought they took my wire transfer fee out of my transfer amount, but they actually charged it separately. That means, looking at the exchange rate, it's more what I feared it was. I thought I saw a stronger exchange rate listed on the news last night, but maybe it didn't come in time to affect my transfer, or maybe the banks use a different one.

The good news is, my debt calculations were right. The downside is I have to deal with an extra $50 out of my own checking account.

Oh well, onward and upward. :-)

Payment to principal; nice exchange rate

August 17th, 2007 at 02:49 pm

I finally figured out how to make wire transfers into NT's UK checking account, so now I can not only throw money in there to cover his regular bills, I can work on paying down his overdraft balance (now that mine is paid off). So yesterday I wired enough money to cover his August and September bills, plus a some extra to whittle down his overdraft debt. Thanks to a surge in the US dollar against the British pound, it ended up being more pounds than I'd hoped for! According to my calculations, I estimate I paid down about US$445 worth of his overdraft, so that's what I'm counting toward my September challenge.

I'll have to pay extra on one of my other bills in order to make the challenge, but luckily I have a month and a half to figure that out. I'm just happy I was able to pay some extra, and that the exchange rate worked in my favor!

So, $445 down, $1740 to go on my September goal.

August goal reached!

August 16th, 2007 at 01:58 pm

My personal loan hit; $404 went to principal. Not as much as I thought, since my first payment last month paid off $475, but it's still a pretty good chunk.

On the upside, I've now reached and surpassed my August goal of paying off at least $2185 in principal. I paid a total of $2581! Overshot by $396.

I'm not sure if I'll see any more debt pay-down this month, so I'm going to go ahead and post my results on my sidebar. If I manage any more, I'll put it toward my September goal.

Two payments to principal

August 15th, 2007 at 04:14 pm

A student loan payment and a credit card payment both hit today: $48 went toward principal on the student loan and $307 of principal on the credit card, for a total of $355 today.

Soo, $2177 down, $8 to go on my August goal. I have a payment on my personal loan going out today, so I should reach my goal in a day or two.

Because I paid so aggressively this month, I may have trouble hitting my September goal, but I'm working on conserving money in other areas so I don't fall short!

Paid off first debt!!!

August 8th, 2007 at 11:51 pm

Well, for the first time since I got serious, anyway. :-)

I'm having trouble figuring out how to transfer money to pay down NT's overdraft debt in the UK (plus put in the extra money he needs to make his automatic payments), but it'll be OK for about another month. I'll have to figure out my drop-dead deadline for getting some money over there, but meantime, I've got this money sitting here and it's driving me nuts not putting it toward something.

So I used most of what I currently have to pay off my own reserve line balance! This will eliminate future monthly payments and interest accrual, and the worst consequence will be that I overshoot my August goal and fall short on September's, but it will even out to the same amount in the challenge, so that doesn't bother me.

So...$672 toward principal bringing me to $1822 down, $363 to go for August. I'll easily surpass that just with my remaining minimum payments this month.

This is nice. I needed a little boost!

Small payment to principal

August 7th, 2007 at 02:25 pm

Made a small payment to my reserve line today; $29 went toward principal debt. So for the August challenge, I've paid $1150 so far, with $1035 to go.

I'll probably see what I can shuffle around to pay off some of NT's overdraft balance, but it'll be an international wire transfer to his UK checking account, so a little complicated. I signed up for Western Union and MoneyGram, but it looks like MoneyGram is the cheaper option for now--$25 to transfer $800. I'm hoping I can work something out with PayPal accounts where maybe we could get charged even less, but I'm not sure that's going to happen.

The Ad Hoc Plan: the beginning

August 2nd, 2007 at 10:16 pm

OK, I've updated my info with scary, scary new numbers, and made a new payment plan that incorporates the minimum principal we all typically pay in a month, plus $555 to pay down principal in the proposed amount of our spring '08 England trip (figured into our debt as $5,000 estimated future debt).

I'm calling it The Ad Hoc Plan, because hopefully I'll be able to switch to a more aggressive plan once I find out what NT's going to bring home once he finishes the temp-to-perm transition (which feels like it's taking forever!)

The new goal is to pay off $2,185 of principal per month through March 2008. We've paid $1121 so far in August, so we have $1062 to go by 8/31/07.

Small payment to the Plan

August 2nd, 2007 at 04:23 pm

Well, I'm still getting my new total debt (with NT's now included) figured out, and waiting to hear what NT's salary will be so I can work out a payment schedule. Meanwhile, I'm going to keep to my 1099 + 555 Plan like nothing happened, because it will help me stay sane to have something to keep track of.

My mortgage payment came through and $283 went toward principal. So $683 down and $971 to go for the period of 7/26 to 8/26.

I'm going to update my sidebar without NT's debt for the time being. When I do update it with all I know, I'm going to keep that first successful goal for 7/26 at the top, just to remind myself that I didn't fail, just had to shift my priorities.

Debt Free by 33

August 1st, 2007 at 05:55 pm

That was my mantra in my late 20s, when for a period of time I was diligently chipping away at mine and AS's $50K or so of debt (much of it student loan, some credit card). Well, I turned 33 this year, and when I totaled my debt in March, it had more than quintupled! Granted most was mortgage debt, but a good deal still student loan and much more credit card than before.

Another adult entered my household this year as well, with his own adult-sized debt. I just "took on" (psychologically) NT's debt as well last night, and that adds another $141K to my $277K, bringing me (psychologically) to $418K in debt. Whoa, close to half a million. That's nutty. At this point, you can't even freak out because there's no human reaction befitting that. And that's not counting the 4 years of college he hopes to get, I imagine to the tune of not much less than $40K total. And. And. And...

On the upside, whereas mine & AS's assets are only about $180K worth of home (that's an estimate; we bought it for $207K but I know home sales have been sluggish in my building) and $26K of retirement funds (probably less from the recent crash, but soon to build to that again), NT gives me (psychologically) with his debt a home worth $260K and a retirement fund of unknown value. That gives the three of us assets worth $466K not counting NT's retirement.

Coming to a net worth of $48,000 between us. (If you don't count the upcoming college costs, which could very well take us down to net worth of $8K.)

As a pick-me-up it ain't much, but I'll take it. Now to roll up my sleeves (or should I say shine my shoes?), because I have some fancy financial footwork ahead of me.

NT's rental income isn't quite covering his mortgage and credit card payments, so I have to come up with an extra $400 per month. He also has a new job which we should (hopefully) find out the compensation details of soon, but unfortunately I was already eyeing that extra income and thinking about where I could put it, so it's a bit of a downer that I have to spread it a little more thinly than I thought.

First step today: move back a credit card payment that I usually pay early, and use that money to do an emergency transfer into his checking account to cover some bills hitting tomorrow. Hoping everything happens in the right order; if not we'll have some overdraft fees to contend with.

Sigh. The funny thing is, I knew some reckoning was coming for at least a couple months, ever since NT told me he hadn't checked his accounts for awhile and wasn't sure the payments were being covered. I think the reason this all seems overwhelming is a tiny straw: AS charged $13 for drinks last night on our check card, and NT bought a messenger bag on one of his credit cards for $70. Now, neither of them rebels very often, and I've been reining them in pretty strictly since March, so these aren't huge deals in the grand scheme of things. But finding out about them at the same time that I'm trying to deal with all this just makes my stomach feel hollow.

Ah well. no one I've encountered on this site is in anywhere near this kind of debt, but at least I know you guys will be thinking of me (hopefully sympathetically) and pulling for me. It makes me feel less isolated.

Thanks for listening!
CJ