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Sorry I've been gone so long

February 15th, 2008 at 07:27 pm

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 12th, 2008 at 09:08 pm

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.

Creative Bill Paying

December 28th, 2007 at 08:22 am

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


My Current Debt

December 23rd, 2007 at 07:40 pm

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.