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Home > Reached November debt goal + beaucoup de planning

Reached November debt goal + beaucoup de planning

November 22nd, 2009 at 04:56 pm

I did send off a $20 payment to my personal loan, just to make sure I'd hit my goal. $14 went to principal, so I hit the $2200 November goal and surpassed it by $4. LOL. There's also a chance a student loan will hit on the 30th, but now I don't have to worry.

I've spent all weekend, except for a nice Friday out, planning and planning and planning our near future. We have so many money-affecting balls in the air right now that I just had to get as much figured out as possible. So here's a rundown:

1. AS GOT HER JOB! She found out a few days ago. Couple of changes: It pays less than we thought ($25K instead of $30K), but rather than starting part-time in January, it starts Dec. 1 at full time. And there's a promise of a raise in July. So we're very happy, and my chances of paying my dad off by my due date are now extremely good. It does mean we won't be able to keep the baby out of daycare as long as we'd hoped, but otherwise great news.

2. Sat down with my healthcare plan (and NT's from last year, since he doesn't have his yet) and did some calculations. Turns out it looks like kind of a wash as to whether mine or NT's would be a better family plan, but it does seem to be better to have a family plan versus individuals with one of us taking on the baby, because the family deductible is triple whether there are two family members or three. So I signed NT up for my plan; we can drop it during his open enrollment if his is better.

I just second-guessed myself as I was writing this. NT generally does not need much health care, so I'm wondering if it really serves to pay a high monthly premium to have him on my plan. I might have to do the calculations again. Hmm. Maybe tomorrow; I don't know if I have the stamina tonight!

3. Based on the above knowledge about AS's job and health insurance, I tried to extrapolate out a budget basically for the next year, to get a sense of how healthcare, daycare and unpaid leave are going to affect us. There are still a lot of variables, but I think I got a rough, conservative estimate of each month's numbers, and it looks like the only tight month would be June-July, when NT and I will be taking turns staying home without pay.

4. If that's how our parental leave goes. I've gotten the OK from my boss to arrange my leave however I want, but we still need the thumbs-up from NT's job, and his position is much more intense than mine. So we're going to present two options to them: one where NT takes off two days per week for 15 weeks, and another where he takes all six weeks of his leave at one go. We also have preferences for which two days he'd have off based on his class schedule for next semester, but if they don't like those he can take other days off, but he may have to leave early some days and work later on others to make up for it. There are some days he may be watching the baby and need to get to class pretty early, so AS and I will then need to take off early some days, but our jobs are a lot more flexible, so we're not too worried about that.

5. We have some smaller events coming up in the next few weeks: Thanksgiving, our anniversary and a holiday party we're throwing. Thanksgiving travel will be paid by my dad, but we need to figure out money for eating during the drives to and from Ohio, if we don't want Taco Bell 3 times a day. We also want to eat out for our anniversary, which is Dec. 2, so I'm trying to find discretionary funds in the budget for that. And for our party, we'll need to replenish our liquor cabinet, because we barely have anything in the house right now. We have some discretionary spending in December and January that we could skip and redirect those funds to the above three events if needed; I just need to figure out how much we'll need for each.

6. AS and NT are both incredibly busy, with schoolwork, freelance work and preparing for the new job, so I've been handling much of the online Xmas shopping for us. I've been carefully bargain-shopping so I make sure we can get as much bang for our buck as possible (when you have a fixed amount it makes you think that way), but it's been time-consuming and kind of mentally exhausting. I'm making good progress, though.

7. On beyond the holidays, new job and parental leave, we have to keep in mind that we've promised our families that we'll bring the baby to see them next year. My and AS's parents live in Virginia and NT's in England, so two different trips. We not only have to make sure we save enough paid time off from being eaten up by parental leave, we need to have a plan for how to pay for the two trips. I still have a ways to go on figuring out the money aspect, but we did pick out some dates we'd like to go, and I figured out how much PTO we need to save up for those two trips.

I think that's all I worked on this weekend. We did end up buying an oven on the Sears card, so we need to come up with $800 within 12 months, but I'm not at all worried about that. AS made a list of contact info for the daycare centers within convenient bus or walking distance, so I'm going to start calling on Monday. We still need to figure out what we're getting our parents for Xmas, and hopefully get a holiday photo taken that we can turn into a card for our families, but those things can wait (though not too long) until after Thanksgiving.

Phew! It's no wonder that my NaNoWriMo novel has suffered this week, but all of the above planning is much more important than the NaNoWriMo goal, which is fun but essentially useless.

5 Responses to “Reached November debt goal + beaucoup de planning”

  1. Waterfall Says:

    Tres bon.

  2. merch Says:

    It's amazing that you started with over $70k in cedit card and loan debt, and now you are below $19k. You and your family are doing a grat job especially with all the changes going on in your life.

    Good luck and keep the focus.

  3. momcents Says:

    Lots to think about with the addition of those dependents! I truly admire you for doing it without a car. I am so suburban, it almost seems impossible to me that you can have a baby and not a car. I would suggest investing in a good stroller that collapses and a comfortable baby sling! And nothing too feminine if NT will be wearing the baby.

  4. frugaltexan Says:

    Yay! Congrats on AS getting the job!

  5. ceejay74 Says:

    Merci, everyone! Smile Merch, determined to keep the accelerated debt repay going through all the financial craziness that's ahead. We'll see how well I pull that off...

    momcents, who knows? I may crumble and get a car after all once I find out how hard it is. But I need to at least try it this way, because there are so many other things I'd rather use our money for. AS is working on baby slings for a friend, so if those turn out well, she'll make one for us too (that way, we can choose a non-girly fabric!). I'm definitely thinking about a small, collapsible stroller for the bus, train, cabs, etc.--we've already got a nice sturdy one for walking-only trips but it will be a tad cumbersome for the bus, I think.

    frugalt, thanks! She went almost a year without a steady job, so this is going to wonders for her self-esteem. She was not cut out for the work-from-home self-employed life, that's for sure.

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