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Archive for November, 2007

December goal set; 1st payment posted

November 28th, 2007 at 10:22 am

My December goal is same as the last two months, to pay off at least $2525 in principal by the end of the month.

To that end, I just checked another credit card and that payment posted. $58 in principal, so that's only $2467 left to go for December!

This is another new credit card bill, the card I used to pay for my England plane tickets. It has 0% APR until May 2008, so I'm going to pay the minimum on that one till I get closer to that deadline. Then I'm going to pay quickly before it builds much interest.

It has been painful to put these expenses on credit, even though I planned for this back in July when I first started this debt repayment regimen. I'm going to work very hard to make sure that this, and NT's education, are the only things in the future I don't buy with my own money (barring a new house when we eventually move).

November goal reached!

November 28th, 2007 at 10:09 am

Hooray! My early credit card payment posted: $23 to principal. So I paid off $2545, $20 over my goal, in November.

This was on a credit card that I used to reserve my England hotel rooms for our trip in May. It does not have a pretty interest rate, so I'm going to pay off the remaining balance on payday (Friday). This means I should absolutely slaughter my December goal! :-)

Another tiny payment

November 25th, 2007 at 11:31 am

Small payment posted to an NT credit card; $8 in principal.

$2522 down, only $3 to go! I've sent a credit card payment early so I'll be sure to make my monthly goal. Should hit later in the week.

Net worth update

November 19th, 2007 at 10:27 am

NT's pensions: 7,250 pounds ($14,500)
10,725 pounds ($21,450)
NT's 401(k): $175
AS's 403(b): $2,152
CJ's 401(k): $25,248
NT's flat: 130,000 pounds ($260,000)
CJ & AS's condo: $185,000
Total Assets: $508,525

Total Debt: $447,589

Current Estimated Net Worth: $60,936

10/16 estimate: $58,328
Change in net worth: +$2,608

Note: House value estimates are conservative, and retirement totals don't include amounts currently unvested.

Many payments to log; goal almost reached!

November 19th, 2007 at 10:14 am

OK, it's been awhile since I checked balances and some automatic and extra payments have posted:

NT CCs: $181, $7 and $272 of principal
CJ personal loan: $410 of principal
AS student loan: $51 of principal
And I've done the math 3 times and concluded I messed up last time: total debt is $8 lower than I thought.

So $929 more paid. For the November Ad Hoc goal, that's $2514 down, $11 to go!

Clearly I will have to pay extra on something and make the goal, since I'm so close. :-)

Some good money news, some bad

November 19th, 2007 at 09:14 am

It's been a yo-yo weekend of news for my family, financially.

First, we found out AS's wisdom teeth will only cost us $225. We had put aside $400 for that. So yay! Into the Xmas fund, which will hit its goal much sooner now.

Then, we found out we may owe 560 pounds to the British government for taxes. Ouch! That's like $1,200 at the current exchange rate. That will be due 1/31 if we can't find a way around it.

But the roller coaster climbed back upwards again when we found out NT got a Thanksgiving bonus (who ever heard of that??) of $1000.

So when all's said and done, we're down about $25 for the weekend. :-)

On the plus side, the two pay-ins are immediate, while the bill is two months away. Allows us to fulfill immediate needs and wants more easily, with more time to plan and save for the upcoming payment.

Good news on the money front

November 14th, 2007 at 08:47 am

Looks like we'll be able to hit all our money goals for Christmas, the CSA farm share, birthdays and England--NT just got news of a $5,000 raise, effective immediately!

This gives us just enough elbow room to make our financial goals for November and December, even assuming NT doesn't get an Xmas bonus. We're not counting on it; if that does come, we'll use part of it to add to all our winter wardrobes (we're all running a little low on clothes) and the other part will go toward birthdays and the trip to England.

Looking ahead, the raise, coupled with my adjustment of benefits starting Jan. 1, should make England and a new dishwasher attainable goals that don't interfere with my aggressive debt repayment plan.

Oh, it feels good when money falls into our laps! Especially now that we spend wisely and deliberately, because we know it won't be squandered away on nothing.

Update: So many things to save up for!

November 12th, 2007 at 10:39 am

Well, let's see how I've done since late October, when I posted this list of future expensive purchases:

1. Halloween party. Done! Party was a success, and once I got back my deposit for the keg, I was able to finish saving for:

2. CSA. I already had almost $450 in upcoming surplus, so the keg refund brought me to the $500 I need. Once I get paid Nov. 15, I'll send the check off, guaranteeing fresh local produce every week next year!

3. Xmas! At last count we only had $37 in the gift fund, when we would like $600. Well, we've started putting our exercise incentive money into an envelope as soon as we get it, and then transferring into the Christmas fund. Also, we're each getting a $25 gift credit cards for various reaons, so as we each receive ours, I put $20 that I would take out for spending money into the Xmas fund instead. Any extra money I get goes into this until it's fully funded. So far: $145 in the bank, $15 in the envelope and a $10 survey payment I'll add in today. $170!

4. Birthdays! Nothing saved in this yet, but I'll start on it as soon as Xmas is over

5. A new dishwasher! Well, I have $35 in the home improvement fund, but we may end up getting paint first and sprucing up the bedroom, so I may not have anything saved toward this. That's all right, the old one will do for a while longer.

6. England! I've booked everything, and as predicted, the airfare, hotel and rental car (plus insurance and gas) will just about wipe out the $5000 I'd planned to spend (with maybe $300 left for food and fun). I'd started a vacation fund for our next vacation, but it looks like we'll need it for England, so after Xmas and birthdays, this is my main priority. So far we have $75 in there. I don't have a set goal for how much to accumulate at this point, but I think we'll need at least $500 more to not be struggling to pay for all our meals; it's a 10-day trip, there are three of us, and the dollar is mighty weak against the pound these days!

Still a long way to go, but it's nice to see we've made progress on some of these goals.

UK mortgage payments hit

November 9th, 2007 at 09:04 pm

Paid off GBP77, or about $154, in principal.

$1585 down, $940 to go!

One card I paid extra on this month, I may not get balance confirmation till next month. I wonder if that's going to make me a little under goal? Ordinarily that would spur me to pay extra somewhere else somehow, but Xmas is coming like a freight train, so extra money has to get saved for that!

Oh well, if I show up as falling short, I'll know next month will be that much more impressive when the payment does hit.

Credit card payment

November 9th, 2007 at 02:47 pm

Paid $292 of principal on my credit card. So for my November goal, I've paid $1431 down, with $1094 to go.

Mortgage payment

November 3rd, 2007 at 09:59 am

Small payment toward my November goal: $287 of principal on my mortgage. That's $1139 down, $1386 to go.

NaNoWriMo, anyone?

November 1st, 2007 at 07:47 am

Is anyone else on the blog participating in National Novel Writing Month?

If you haven't heard of it, it's an online challenge to write a novel (at least 50,000 words) between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30. It doesn't have to be good or polished, and you don't have to be a creative writer to try. It's free to join, there's no prize save your own satisfaction, and there's no shame in not making it! I tried in '05 and got several thousand words written before losing steam. Then last year, I was going to do it but I had too many other obligations at the time to even get started.

This year I'm determined to give it a more serious go, like I did in '05, so I took the day off! Right now I'm still procrastinating while I try to think of a good enough idea to stay interested in all month.

If you're interested, you can check out the Web site: nanowrimo.org. It's a really cute organization.