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Sorry I've been gone so long

February 16th, 2008 at 03:27 am

It looks like my last post was in the beginning of January. I've finally worked out a good school schedule and am now starting to work ahead. Of course, I only have 10 more weeks to go this term and then I'll have to start it all over again.

I guess a lot has happened financially since the last time I wrote. My net worth has increased by about $2000, my debts have decreased by $235 and some change, my $20 challenge has increased by $253.93, and I've increased my emergency fund savings.

But the real changes are going to start happening by the end of the month. We are getting $3242 in a tax refund (that was too much so we changed our withholding AGAIN as soon as I did our taxes. the 2006 refund was over $3900 withholding 4, 2007 was $3242 withholding 6, so now we are at the maximum allowed for us withholding 9). So that tax refund is being used to put an additional $1000 into our emergency fund account and $2242 towards paying down our credit card.

In addition to that (though I'm not really counting on it because DH has only been there since August...just hoping), DH may or may not receive a raise and bonus starting Feb. 29th (we'll know the day before). That will also be used to pay down the credit card, if we get anything. Otherwise, I'll just be making my normal $200 payment next month (regular payment + extra). Once the credit card is paid off, then I'm going to find an additional $33 and make two payments each month to the truck loan instead of one (the $200 payments from the credit card + $33 to make up the payment amount of $232.76 + $0.24 for transfered round up funds).

Also, in April our mortgage payment goes down due to a decrease in our escrow payments. So that total goes from $920.01 to $885.21 per month. I'm not sure how or when our payment will change again with the new property tax change here in Florida. It raises the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $50,000. It is supposed to go back to January 1, 2008, but the mortgage company only re-assesses the escrow account once a year so I'm sure I won't see another decrease until April 2009 because of it.

Let's see what else? I'm buying new tires for my car in cash tomorrow! Yay!

So I think all in all that's it for now. I'm sorry that I haven't been around much lately, but I have to take care of family and school first before I can go on too many other websites. Oh and so far I have all A's in my three classes. We'll see where I end up in 10 weeks. In 3 weeks I'll be able to see what classes will be available for the summer and fall terms and 3 weeks from there I can register for them. I'll be taking 2 classes over the summer and 4 during the fall term.

OK...I'm going to go take a look at what others have been writing lately. I've missed so much and it might be a while before I can get back again. Take care everyone!

Andrea

I'm So Behind!

January 13th, 2008 at 05:08 am

I haven't been keeping up with my blog here since school started on Monday. I am so behind. I've updated my totals a bit on the side.

My $20 challenge increased this week by $9.37. It's not much, but every little bit helps.

I've used our credit card a little bit. The ink cartridge in our printer ran out and I had to get a new one. But because of the extra paycheck at the end of the month I'm paying extra on it so when I use the credit card, I add the amount to the extra I'm paying on the 31st.

I'm thinking I may have an issue with financial aid for school because they haven't posted my transcripts yet (well one they should have and the other they'll have in a few days). If they don't post them before the 18th, then my financial aid will be on hold and I'll have to pay my tuition until they refund it to me. Thankfully it is only for this term since it's the first at this school, but still it is such a pain to have to deal with. I'm glad I have my HELOC as a buffer to pay for it even if it's only until they post the transcripts, then I pay it directly back. I'd hate to lose my classes.

As for school, the boys are doing good. DS2 was always doing good. DS1 was having some problems adjusting to more work than the previous year, but he seems to be doing better now. It won't help with his grades this report card, but will set him straight for the next two. Sometimes the teachers and I remind ourselves that he is younger than his other classmates.

I've ended up adding another certificate. I know I must be a glutton for punishment! But really it's no big deal because I was already taking the courses for my major. It's like a freebie! So now I'm a Criminal Justice major, Psychology minor, certificate in Behavioral Forensics, and the newly added certificate in Victim Advocacy. Plus I realized that I added an extra class to my course plans by accident. I already had a required course for the first certificate planned out and didn't realize it also applied to my minor, where I picked a totally different course to satisfy that area. So one less class is good though it doesn't mean I get to graduate earlier. I still won't graduate until after the Fall term 2010. It just means that one term I only have to take three classes instead of four.

So that is what is going on. I may only be able to update here weekly now that school has started again. I'm off to read the posts I've missed.

Added more to challenge

January 7th, 2008 at 05:03 am

I was able to add $2.36 more to my $20 Challenge.

Spending Day

January 7th, 2008 at 05:00 am

Today was a bit of a spending day. Frown

First we went miniature golfing. I don't allow birthday parties until they turn 8 or so and my youngest just turned 6 a few days ago. Before birthday parties we usually do fun stuff as a family and DS2 chose miniature golfing. So there went $38.13, but at least it was for a family thing.

Then we actually did pretty good. We went to Olive Garden. You're probably thinking we spent a whole lot, but really we only spent $13.28 with tip. We used two $25 gift cards we got for Christmas so our bill totaled only $5.28, then we added the tip based on the whole bill of $55.28. Plus because I filled up on the salad, breadsticks, and appetizer, I have lunch for tomorrow!

We stopped by Lowe's to look for a couple of needed items and only found two for a total of $7.43. So not finding everything we needed we drove across the street to Home Depot and got the last item (a new garbage can...ours has holes in the bottom of it and the handle broke off) for $27.80.

We spent a lot, but we had fun, got things we needed, and had a nice meal on the cheap thanks to gift cards. All in all not a bad day. Now we are ready to go back to school tomorrow!

Just got my diploma!

January 6th, 2008 at 12:27 am

I just received my Associate of Arts degree in the mail today! I graduated with honors, too! It's nice to get now because I start my new classes/school for my BS on Monday.

Daily Spending and Saving--01/05/08

January 6th, 2008 at 12:24 am

Spent:

Groceries (includes household items like dishwasher detergent, etc. and is for at least two weeks): $225.13 worth of groceries for $193.67.

I also came in under my $200 budget so I've added the difference to my $20 challenge.

CVS (DH's medication refill): $5.74

Saved/$20 Challenge: $6.59

New $20 Challenge Total: $33.09

Found more $20 Challenge money!

January 5th, 2008 at 03:37 am

I went collecting around the house and came up with another $2.44!

New $20 Challenge Total: $26.76

Daily Spending and Saving--01/03-04/08

January 5th, 2008 at 03:29 am

OK...two days worth here!

01/03/08
Spent:
DH's breakfast: $1.71
DH's lunch: $5.13
Truck loan: $232.76
My endo doctor (remaining bill after insurance): $92.88

Added to $20 Challenge: $1.52
$20 Challenge Total: $21.52

01/04/08
Lunch for me and the boys: $12.50
Target (needed supplies for college/household and DS2's birthday present): $56.78
DH's lunch: $5.92
DH's gas: $56.00
DBCC (official transcript order): $2.00

Added to $20 Challenge: $2.80
$20 Challenge Total: $24.32

In addition to this I deposited the refund check previously mentioned in amount of $22.34. I also took care of some financial tasks for my sons. Deposited checks for both of them and opened a new 60-month CD for DS2. They now both have two of them.

Daily Spending and Saving--01/02/08

January 3rd, 2008 at 04:36 pm

I forgot to do my spending/saving thing.

1/1/08--No spend day

1/2/08--DH spent--$65.49 ($55.01 of it was for gas)


School is about to start!

January 2nd, 2008 at 02:31 am

Firstly, I cannot wait to send my boys back to school! They are driving me crazy!

My school starts the same day they go back (January 7th). I'm finally at UCF! I'm lucky enough to have my classes online. Two of them (both the same teacher) are already showing up and it seems I'll be doing a lot of reading in them!

In the Crime in America class the whole reading and exam schedule is available:

*Read chapters 1-3; first exam is on January 30th
*Read chapters 4-9; second exam is on February 25th
*Read chapters 10-13; third exam is on March 26th
*Read chapters 14-17; fourth exam is on April 22nd

It doesn't seem like much, but I've heard his tests (for both classes) are very detailed so I'll have to read very carefully.

The Criminal Justice System class has only mentioned the first reading assignments and the whole exam schedule:

*First exam is on February 6th covering from book #1 chapters 1-5 and Appendix A and from book #2 chapters 1, 15, 17, 19, 31, 33 (yeah he really started the ball rolling in this class!)
*Second exam is on March 6th
*Third exam is on April 22nd

I'm glad he didn't tell us what chapters were on those other two exams yet. I don't think I want to know!

The other class I am taking is Research Methods in Criminal Justice. I've heard some things about the teacher not being very clear in his directions and some grading discrepancies because of it, but I'm going to reserve judgement until after I start the class.

My 2008 $20 Challenge

January 1st, 2008 at 08:29 pm

OK, I've been convinced to do this, too! Yay! So this is what I've decided will go into my $20 challenge:

1. Any money I round up from my checking account purchases.

2. Refunds received from any source.

3. Rebates.

4. Any Half.com or eBay sales.

5. Money earned from surveys (not including gift cards received in lieu of cash).

6. Extra from end of pay period (would be amount saved over budgeted amount, which means I found a way to save money from either bills, errands, or other expenses).

I'm not going to include my VA benefit because that is a normal amount I receive every month. I already have it directly transferred into my new online emergency fund savings account each month.

I will also not include any money this year that I received last year, but did not cash until this year. For instance I received a refund check from State Farm, which I mentioned in a previous post. If I had been doing the $20 challenge last year, then it would have been added to that.

So how does that sound? Any other ideas I haven't thought about?

To begin my challenge:

$20 Challenge as of January 1, 2008: $20.00

$20 Challenge Questions

January 1st, 2008 at 05:03 pm

So I am inspired by the amounts of money people have been able to save by being creative, but I don't think I can participate in the $20 challenge. The reason? All my extra money I have designated to go towards paying down extra debt. However, I really like the idea of adding up the extra you make.

So my question is what do you do with your challenge money when you've collected it? Do you put it in a savings account? Do you use it to pay down debt? Or do you do something else with it?

I would like to participate, but I'll never be really accumulating anything. I'll be immediately paying something down with any extra money.

I guess in a way it really doesn't matter because the extra decrease in my debt will show that I've collected extra money along the way, but I'm still curious as to what you do with the challenge money.

Anyone else have these questions when he/she first started? Thanks in advance for all your help!

Daily Spending and Saving--12/31/07

January 1st, 2008 at 12:10 am

Spending: $35.26 (DH's work lunch and splurge on evening pizza)
Saving: $1.74


The Millionaire Next Door

December 31st, 2007 at 03:30 pm

I've been re-reading this book to refresh my memory and give myself a little encouragement and push. I have Millionaire Women Next Door, too, and I'll be starting on that next.

So the formula to see if you are a PAW (prodigious accumulator of wealth), AAW (average accumulator of wealth), or UAW (under accumulator of wealth) is this:

Multiply your age times your realized pretax annual household income from all sources except inheritances. Divide by 10. This, less any inherited wealth is what your net worth should be.

They also say that you are a PAW if your net worth is twice the amount of wealth expected. And you are a UAW if your net worth is half or less than the amount of wealth expected.

I used DH's age since he is the one bringing in the money and older by 9 years. Our net worth should be $226,600. Half of that is $113,300 so according to the book we are not quite UAWs, but pretty close. Yet I know we can do better.

I figured that if we paid off everything except for the mortgage we still wouldn't be there, but we would be a lot closer at about a net worth of over $195,000 or so. But it is still very eye-opening and I can see us doing very well in the next 5 years if we keep our debt low and continue living below our means.

Daily Spending and Saving--12/30/07

December 30th, 2007 at 06:55 pm

I went to the grocery store to pick up some things we were short on. We were really short on a lot of things!

Spent: $50.12

Saved (round up fund): $0.88

Daily Spending and Saving--12/29/07

December 30th, 2007 at 04:37 am

Today was a no spend day. So nothing spent or saved.

I did find out that the customary $2 increase in my VA benefits have gone through. So I made the correction to my automatic transfer into the online savings account (#2).

Surprise Gift Cards!

December 29th, 2007 at 05:27 am

I was organizing all the sites I go through for surveys and paid e-mails; switching my e-mail address, updating profiles, bookmarking the sites to my main computer, et cetera.

As I was doing this I found $21.00 earned on Testspin and 12,600 points on Epoll!

Testspin only gives out Amazon.com gift certificates for now (they are working on paypal and checks) so I ordered two $10 gift certificates.

Epoll only gives gift certificates, but you have more choices. Since I just got the other gift certificates I opted for a $20 Amazon.com gift certificate.

I noticed I am getting close on a couple of other sites to get some sort of payout, too. Any cash I get will go towards my debt. Any with gift cards only I'll use to either offset expenses (like gas or fast food for DH) or as a treat for the family.

Daily Spending and Saving--12/28/07

December 28th, 2007 at 10:31 pm

DH only spent money on lunch today.

Spending: $5.13

Savings (round up): $0.87


Creative Bill Paying

December 28th, 2007 at 04:22 pm

I feel really good when I've successfully figured out some creative way to pay the bills in a tight situation without missing any payment dates or foregoing extra payments.

January is a big payment and paycheck month for us. It is one of two months during the year where DH gets paid three times. It is also the month our auto insurance is due.

The problem is that the bills are not coinciding with the three paychecks so that this month really doesn't help until the last day of January when he gets the third paycheck. By then all the bills have already become due.

So my plan is:

1) skip the 1st transfer of $460 that gets put into savings #1 for mortgage. (the payment for January is already there and this is for February's payment)

2) add 1st transfer of $460 to last $460 transfer so total transferred is $920 (1/31/2008).

3) only pay minimum of $96 on credit card at due date (1/7/08).

4) pay $737.30 (6 months--2 vehicles) auto insurance with Heloc funds at due date (1-19-07).

5) pay $125.59 additional funds to credit card on last payday of month (1/31/08).

6) pay additional $737.30 for total of $1037.30 on Heloc at February due date (2/15/08).

In between all this is also the truck loan, cell phones, medical bill, and Heloc payment due from the first paycheck; satellite, electric, internet/phone, water/sewer/garbage due from the second paycheck. The last paycheck will cover #2 and #5 from above plus truck loan, cc payment, cell phones from February. The last check also leaves us a surplus, which starts us out snowballing what's available for the rest of the year. I've done some figuring and it's rather nice. Smile


Daily Spending and Saving--12/27/07

December 27th, 2007 at 11:00 pm

Today was a kind of high spending day.

DH spending:
breakfast and lunch: $7.74
gasoline: $55.00
cigarettes: $3.70 (I am so trying to get him to quit, but it is hard for him)

DH saving: $1.56

my spending:
Will forms (state specific) for me and DH w/living will: $35.00

my saving: $1.00

Total spending today: $101.44
Total saving (round up fund): $2.56

My non-resolution year

December 27th, 2007 at 05:23 pm

I really dislike New Year's Resolutions. The goals are always too broad and mostly unattainable. They make you feel like you have to do it or else. And they sound too concrete and unchangeable.

Goals should be more specific. They should be broken up into little parts to make them attainable. They should be reviewed and tweaked throughout the year based on those "little things" that pop up in your life and totally ruin or improve your progress.

So I'm not working on my resolutions. Instead I'm taking the opportunity to work on improving and updating my on-going goals for a better life.

Do I want to be debt free? Of course I do! But I'm not going to do it this year. I'm also not going to fully fund my emergency fund. I don't want to make my goals too tough that I just give up, but I also don't want to make them too easy either. I want them to be reasonable.

So my on-going goal updates for 2008 are (and will be changed as needed to be able to meet and hopefully sometimes exceed my goals):

1) I would like to reduce my credit card balance at least in half. Last year I would have said I'd pay it all off, but I knew we were getting a large tax refund and DH was getting a pretty good bonus. For 2007 we tried to reduce how much was taken out of DH's checks so we are expecting a much lower refund (hopefully not much at all if we calculated right, but DH did change jobs and that may have messed it up a bit). Also we are not sure how much DH will get for a bonus this February since he just started in August. If the tax refund and DH's bonus are higher than I expect then I'll adjust the goal accordingly.

2) I would like to increase our online EF (savings #2) by another $1620. Again I hope for more and it probably will be with interest added in, but all I need is one emergency and that goal would be shot! I will adjust through the year if I see we can do more.

3) My last goal is also part of my 2008 Financial To-Do's list in my sidebar. I want to work on a menu plan and grocery list, which should at least help in the area of high grocery bills. We seem to spend between $250-$520 each month, but it varies usually staying around the $300-$400 range. I think a lot of it gets wasted and I can bring that amount down. I also think making a better menu/grocery plan will help cut down on dining out, though we don't really do that as much as we used to. So I'm going to try to work on some sort of plan for at least dinners to start with since that is when we are all home together and tend to have our "big meal".

Those are my on-going goals. I have other goals that are not financial that I've been working on as well. I've tweaked them here and there as needed, too. I think it's great to have goals and something to work on, but people put too much emphasis on only making broad ones at the beginning of each year, which end up only lasting for a couple of months.

Daily Spending and Saving--12/26/07

December 26th, 2007 at 11:53 pm

Today I didn't spend anything. I just spent the day relaxing and sometimes sleeping, sometimes playing referee with the boys.

DH spent his normal daily expenses today plus he got me a little get well soon gift (a bear that says get well soon and some little beaded stretch bracelet...awww how sweet!).

So today was a no gas day so that keeps expenses down a bit.

Spent: $12.69 (includes gift, morning OJ, and lunch)
Saved: $1.31 (into round up fund)

My Amazon.com Order

December 26th, 2007 at 11:46 pm

I used my $100 in Amazon.com gift certificates from Christmas today. I was able to pick up:

6 books: 2 cooking books, 2 fiction books, 1 real estate investing book, 1 book on writing

3 CD's: The latest CD's from Avril Lavigne, Maroon 5, and Kelly Clarkson

1 ring: sterling silver celtic knot with a rainbow moonstone

It took me some time last night and this morning to figure out the deals and what I wanted. I always like to see how many good deals I can find. This year's deals weren't as good as last year's, but they weren't bad either.

Plus this year I opted for the ring. I don't usually wear a lot of jewelry. I bought the ring I wear as my wedding ring earlier this year when my old band didn't fit anymore. It's a sterling silver with a small emerald. I've always wanted a nice chunky moonstone necklace, but I saw the moonstone ring and liked it a lot for my other hand.

Oh and I forgot that I ordered some stuff before Christmas with points I earned on my credit card. I ordered some headphones for DH and myself (I previously ordered 2 for my boys and liked them a lot) and I ordered a small bookcase for my room. The same bookcase on my Amazon.com wishlist is $49.99. To me using the points is a better deal!

Christmas

December 26th, 2007 at 04:50 pm

Christmas went off without a hitch this year. OK, we had one small hitch. A whole package of hoagie rolls were getting moldy. I just bought them Friday! So I looked at the date and noticed they were expired before I bought them! I am so going to complain! I no longer have the receipt, but I'll probably write a nice letter to the company. Their delivery people are supposed to remove old bread before they put the new stuff on the shelves.

So other than that it all went smoothly. Out of everything I only charged about $20 in all and the rest was paid out of pocket. This is the first year I didn't charge everything up! I actually had the money to spend for Christmas. Well, that and we put spending limits on what we were going to buy. I made gift baskets (4 of them) for each couple. Each one cost about $35, which includes the basket and a gift card. For each of our boys we set the limit at $100 each knowing they will get spoiled from everyone else anyway, which they did. Though I must of done something right because my youngest was just as thrilled opening a present with clothes as he was the ones with toys.

We bought way too much food, but that too is alright. We now have extra for ourselves, which not having to go shopping again for a while is always nice.

Everyone else spent way too much! I wish they wouldn't, but they know what they can and cannot spend. Plus they don't have children (we are the only ones which is why they always get spoiled). You know how children can make money disappear quickly! My boys received way too many toys, but they are keeping pretty quiet today so that helps me out. My parents gave us a refurbished KitchenAid mixer. I love those things! Now I have to start making bread and stuff. Anyone have any good recipes? DH is Italian (born and raised) and he loves a good fresh bread with his meals. So do I.

We also received a bunch of gift cards. My parents gave us $50 worth for Darden Concepts, which can be used at Red Lobster, Olive Garden, or Smokey Bones (and some other restaurant I've never heard of before). I also got two $50 Amazon.com gift certificates. So did my DH. We usually get them at Christmas and I'll use them for things I wanted throughout the year, but wouldn't buy usually. Like I'll update my music CD collection, maybe some books I wouldn't buy usually unless I find them for $0.25 or less. DH also had some from work. Instead of a Christmas ham, he got to choose $65 in gift cards. He got $40 gift card from Amazon.com before Christmas, but they were out for the other $25. I told him to try again after Christmas to see if they got more or he can add it to our restaurant gift cards.

The only other thing is that I've been sick. I was feeling alright when we had everyone here, but later last night I was feeling worse and this morning I was all congested. I'm feeling better now that I've been up for a while. Hopefully it will go away soon.

Oh and Christmas Day was a no spend day! Smile

Check Received

December 24th, 2007 at 10:35 pm

What a nice surprise! I just received a check in the mail from our homeowner's insurance company for a $22.34 overpayment. That's a $22.34 reduction in my credit card balance!

Daily Spending and Saving--12/24/07

December 24th, 2007 at 06:52 pm

Today I went to Publix to buy the remainder of the food needed for tomorrow. Including us there will be 8 adults and 2 children. We're doing appetizers, subs, side salads, et cetera. So today I got the produce, deli meats, and cheese along with a few items I forgot during the last trip.

Spent: $87.08
Saved (Round up fund): $0.92

Saved in advertised store savings: $3.57 (I don't usually do anything with this, but when I do my regular grocery shopping I like to see how much I would have paid if I didn't shop smart.)

Gasoline Expenses

December 24th, 2007 at 03:46 pm

Other than groceries, this is our most expensive expense. The rising gas prices have really put a crimp in our budget, but we've absorbed it and hopefully it will even out at some point (*crosses fingers).

Here are our gasoline expenses for the year 2007--may 2008 be cheaper:

Jan 2007: $403.91
Feb 2007: $357.68
Mar 2007: $375.32
Apr 2007: $477.23
May 2007: $530.63
Jun 2007: $321.40
Jul 2007: $81.58 (when DH was out of work)
Aug 2007: $449.57
Sep 2007: $507.77
Oct 2007: $608.95
Nov 2007: $601.38
Dec 2007: $475.71 (so far as of today...I'd say add another $55 to that at least for another tank of gas...thank goodness for days off from work!).

Saving Money

December 24th, 2007 at 02:47 pm

So how do I find ways to save money? There are several actually.

1) I got an online high interest savings account with FNBO (savings #2). They originally had a promotion with a 6% interest rate. They have since reduced it to 5.05%, but still that is very good! I am very happy with them. I am now using this account to rebuild up our emergency fund. My original savings account (savings #1) is only used to pay the automatic mortgage payments.

2) I have been rounding up all my purchases to the next dollar. I use Quicken to keep track of my spending and with it you can set up new accounts. I've set up one called "Round up from Checking", which is where I transfer this round up money every purchase. At the end of each month I transfer what is in it to my online savings account.

3) I receive a disability check every month from the VA for my military injuries. This is tax-free money so that gets transferred now into my new online savings account every month also. It isn't much (darn red tape Frown ), but it adds up each month. I had it going into my savings #1, but I don't like when I get lazy and fall back on it as part of my mortgage payment...so out it goes every month to earn some interest!

4) I joined MyPoints, Lightspeed Panel, Opinions Outpost, et cetera. I have received a couple of small checks from the last one already. I don't have as much time as I'd like to make more. With the first two I am able to get gift cards. I usually get ones for gas or fast food places and give them to DH to offset some of his daily work/commuting costs (he travels 57 miles one way to work each day). It's not much but every little bit helps.

I cannot think of any more right now. I'm pretty sure there are more, but you know they get to be habit and then I take them for granted. I'll update if I think of any.

UPDATE: I remembered another thing I am starting to do to save/earn money.

5) I am starting a pile for yard sale stuff. I have a huge amount of stuff in my garage for a yard sale I plan on having in the spring. I also have put aside some items that I feel I can make more on through eBay. Unfortunately, I don't feel very comfortable selling on there. I've sold books and movies on Half.com (an eBay subsidiary), but larger and/or more fragile items I have a problem with. I may bring them to the eBay store and let them handle the sales and shipping after the holidays.

My Current Debt

December 24th, 2007 at 03:40 am

So here's a little rundown of my current debt. Now don't go cringing on me. I do enough of that as it is on my own...lol!

Credit Card:

owe:
$4,900.98 with fixed 7.9% rate

payment: the minimum payment is about $96, but I pay $195 per month towards it plus anything I may have charged depending on the reasons charged and when.

HELOC:

owe:
$44,580.77 with adjustable 7.25% rate (currently at 6.25% apr on last statement...yay!)

payment: the minimum payment varies but is usually under $300 so that is what I pay each month and the difference goes towards principal.

Truck Loan:

owe:
$9,524.39 with fixed 5.99% rate

payment: the payment on this is $232.76 I currently only pay the minimum, but would like to make additional payments as soon as the credit card is paid off.

Mortgage:

owe:
$111,553.01 with fixed 5.75% rate (originally $121,159 in Dec 2003)

payment: $707.06 plus taxes and insurance escrows = current payment of $920.01. This will hopefully be lowering in April due to a decrease in escrows.

Total DEBT: $170,559.15 (with mortgage); $59,006.14 (without mortgage).

Right now we are doing our best to pay what we have down plus regain the money we lost from our emergency fund when my husband was out of work for 5 1/2 weeks this past summer. Thank goodness we had it, but now we have to recoup it in case we need it again. That plus gas prices have decreased the amount of extra money we have available.

I see the credit card going down dramatically soon. I had to charge some textbooks (and some I paid cash for) and DH has been told he'll be getting a bonus in February though I don't know how much yet.

We've already decreased our expenses to the most we can go at this time without being totally cheap and deprived. So now it is just a matter of being patient and plugging away at the debt little by little while trying to not bring it up further.

Introduction

December 24th, 2007 at 02:27 am

Hello everyone! As I'm sure you've already read my "About Me" info over to the side, I'll just elaborate a bit more on it. OK, I'll ramble on for a huge amount of time--be prepared! LOL!

I've been a SAHM since August 2004. Actually my last day of work was the same day Hurricane Charlie came through (yes, I'm in Florida). I was working for a major mortgage company and had been there for 8 years. Prior to that I was in the Army, but was discharged after 1 1/2 years due to multiple injuries (long drawn out story that really isn't that exciting).

In between I was able to get in one year of college before getting married, committing myself to a full-time job, and having children. I was finally able to go back once I could become a SAHM. I began my second year of college at the beginning of 2006. It took a while to finish due to now having children around, but I finally graduated with my AA degree in Behavioral & Social Sciences this December 2007.

I will be continuing my degree with the University of Central Florida this January 2008. I'm majoring in Criminal Justice (BS), minoring in Psychology, and working on a certificate in Behavioral Forensics. I should be done in three years (December 2010).

While I am going to college I am racking up the student loans so I know I'll need to get rid of as much debt as possible before I graduate in December 2010 and they become due in June 2011. Even though I'm sure I'll be working again by the time they are due, I would really rather not have many other bills/debts with them. Debt is evil! LOL! But I really could justify getting what I needed for college if it means a better life in the future.

So that is me for now. I'll add another post to explain where I am starting out with my debt and how I plan on getting rid of it. Ta-ta!