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Debt Free!!!

March 11th, 2008 at 02:59 pm

The payoff on the truck loan went through yesterday so dh and I are officially debt free! I was expecting some sort of confetti explosion, fireworks, sounds of heavenly angels. I have resisted the urge to run up and down the street yelling "we're debt free, we're debt free".

This will be the last post in the debt category and time to start a saving category. The plan is to put a set amount each month in the vehicle fund. The bulk of the extra money will go into the EF and house fund. Hopefully we can blow by the goals I set at the first of the year.

I do want to thank everyone here for your encouragement, ideas, and your stories. It is great to know that others are trying to be financially responsible and are faced with ups and downs of life.

Woo Hoo! Debt Free! Debt Free!

One Loan Down

March 5th, 2008 at 06:28 pm

Dh paid off the loan on our piece of land today. That means that we paid off our 3 year loan in only 8 months!

I mailed off the last payment on the truck loan yesterday as we received a paper bill will the final amount. It should post by the first of next week.

I am amazed by the drop in our debt balance in a little over two months. I hope we can keep up that same momentum when we start saving.

Cheaper to Not Payoff Debt.......Yet

March 2nd, 2008 at 08:09 pm

I finally received my paycheck for teaching and was going to pay off one of the loans. The problem was that if I mailed it, the payment would not be received in time to avoid further finance charges. No problem, I thought as I headed to the website. An online payment costs $15 though. If I wait one week, I will have two weeks for the payment to post and will only get another $2.50 worth of interest. By waiting a week I can keep $12.50. I guess they are trying to make up for the interest they are going to lose since we are paying off the loan a year early. I am getting better at this patience stuff though so I will wait!

Tax Refund Deposited

February 20th, 2008 at 10:58 pm

I was very excited to find our federal refund money in the bank account today. I transferred all of it over to one of the loans. Now if the state money would hurry up and hit the bank, we could be debt free by the first week of March. Since we are so close, I am getting antsy to pay it off. I am not a patient person, but I can wait a few more weeks.

Another Debt Update

February 16th, 2008 at 05:07 pm

I made another change to the debt balance since the second loan payment posted. This total should change dramatically in about three weeks. Still, I am pleased with the progress we have made so far this year.

Job is Almost Over & Odds and Ends

February 15th, 2008 at 10:55 pm

Technically my job should be over, but I ended up getting an extra day. I will get a large paycheck at the end of this month. The last day's pay will not arrive until the end of March. By that time the final paycheck should go into savings.

We are expecting our tax refund in a couple of weeks. It will go toward the debt. If the state refund comes quickly we can be out of debt by the end of March. If not it will be April, but the end is definitely in sight.

We need to build back up our household accounts (medical, dental, clothing, etc) after some spending the past couple of months. The plan is to do this while we are saving for the other three goals.

Now that the job is almost over I am looking forward to being here more often. I have missed reading everyone's posts. I do feel for all of you who are sick. I have finally gotten over the flu and am hoping to stay healthy the rest of the winter.

Busy Little Bee

January 24th, 2008 at 12:09 am

That is what I feel like anyway. I quickly found that this teaching job as well as my other responsibilites leave little spare time. I have now added to the mix a weekly tutoring session. It seems one of my fellow teachers is having trouble in algebra so I am tutoring her a couple of times a week.

I know I am blessed to be a housewife in my normal life and certainly do not want to seem ungrateful for these money earning opportunities. However, it has made me think extra hard before I spend money on things I do not need. My main focus is getting that debt wiped out.

I have taken a moment to update the balance on that. I am expecting the total to drop significantly in the next two months. It gives me hope of meeting our goal of being debt free by the end of June. I am counting on my displeasure at working so much to keep me from taking on any new debts in the future.

A Job is Not Fun

January 15th, 2008 at 11:01 pm

Okay, I knew this but after six years as a housewife I had forgotten how not fun a job truly is. I keep focused on the paycheck I will get at the end of the month and the larger one at the end of February.

Unfortunately I do not have much extra money this month to add to the debt. Looking at the bright side though the February payments will be much better.

Another downside of a job is I do not have the free time that I did before. I am keeping up with the other blogs but not posting much. I only have 17 days left though, and I can happily get back to my frugal housewife status.

Updated Totals

December 28th, 2007 at 01:50 am

I have updated the debt totals now that both payments have cleared. I am happy to see the totals well under $5000. In the past six months we have paid off $3200+ in debt. This may not seem like much but considering we are a one income family I think we have made good progress. It may be slow, but we are making definite progress. I was a little discouraged but now I feel a bit more encouraged. The end is definitely in sight!

Temporary Part-time Job

December 18th, 2007 at 07:58 pm

I got a call from the college I used to work at. They are looking for a computer teacher a few hours a day for five weeks. I will be teaching basic computer to some city employees. It might be a bit challenging as the skill level will vary widely. I am not exactly thrilled about braving the cold every morning, but I am excited about the extra money to put toward our debts. I am waiting to hear exactly how much I will get paid, but every bit will help us reach our goal.

Quiet on the Home Front

December 16th, 2007 at 02:58 pm

I have not posted much this month mainly due to a lack of anything to post about finance-wise. My only spending this week was at the grocery store for perishable items - milk, vegetables, etc. I am sticking with my plan of eating out of the freezer/pantry. I even managed to do that with the food for our church's Christmas party tonight. I had a large bag of chips leftover from another party. I made dip using spices I already have and a purchased carton of sour cream. I am also putting together a big tray of cookies since I overbaked this holiday season.

Tomorrow I will be making payments on the loans. We should be able to get those well under $5K. I need to start thinking seriously about goals for 2008. I did finally get Quicken loaded and am looking forward to using it to track spending in the coming months.

Paying Down the Debt

November 27th, 2007 at 03:51 am

Thanks to an extra paycheck for dh we were able to make two big payments to the loans. We knocked just over $1K off this month. We have gotten rid of about $2500 in the past five months. I think we are on track to have everything paid off by the end of June 2008. I know we will have one extra paycheck in the spring.

I am trying to keep a tight rein on the budget with little unnecessary spending. It can be tempting with all of the sales this time of year. Honestly I have not been that tempted this year. My only splurge was some cheap memory cards and some free after rebate items.

Still Here & Trying to Stay Positive

November 15th, 2007 at 04:38 pm

I have not posted much lately mainly because I have little news to share. We are still working on paying down the debt. I am just frustrated that it is taking so long. Ever extra penny is going toward the loans, but I do not feel like we are getting anywhere. I know we are making progress. I think we are both simply ready to watch a total go up instead of waiting for one to come down.

I started working on the December budget. We have decided to increase the gas budget. With the increase in price, we cannot make it on the current budgeted amount. I decided to decrease the grocery amount for the time being. My goal will be to use up the pantry items and watch the sales to help restock. I am just glad we have a plan to handle all of this stuff now. It makes it easier even if it is not pleasant.

It Never Bothered Me Before, But....

October 26th, 2007 at 04:03 pm

it is driving me crazy now. By "it" I mean DEBT. It has become a nasty four letter word to me. I have always had a car payment at least. Now I just want to pay off that auto loan and save to pay cash the next time around. I am hoping that this disgust about debt will keep dh and I from ever going that route again. I am still searching for every extra penny to add to the payoff. The good news is that dh will get an extra paycheck next month that will not be needed for bills. Hopefully that will go a long way toward shrinking the total.

Loan Payment

October 20th, 2007 at 02:19 pm

I updated the real estate loan total since the last payment has cleared. I was a bit frustrated that some money did not arrive in time to add it to the payment. Hopefully this will just mean an extra big payment in November. I think we are still on schedule with our payoff goals. I just really hate seeing that interest amount every month. Strange that for years I never gave it a second thought. Now it makes me mad, which is the encouragement I need to stay on track.

Back to Being a Housewife

October 18th, 2007 at 03:09 pm

I substituted for two days this week and am happy to be a housewife again. The "work" was very boring, but I guess few people work for the fun of it. I did end up spending a bit as I ate out both days. The money came out of my spending money so the budget was not ruined. I will be happy when the paycheck arrives and a bit more can be knocked off the debt total.

I am off to start working on the grocery list. I am trying to get back to one big shop every four weeks with stops at a smaller grocery store for sale items only. This is always the easiest place for me to cut the budget so hopefully I can keep the spending under control with this shopping trip.

Weekend Spending

October 14th, 2007 at 08:05 pm

I will start with Friday since I am a bit behind. Dh and I had planned to go to a local fall festival and spend the evening there. It ended up being not as good as in years past. I got a candy apple (so good), and he got cotton candy before we left. We had not splurged on any fun stuff in a while so I do not feel too bad about that $5.

We ended up at the video store - our kryptonite. We both LOVE movies. We very rarely go to the theater, and we always buy rather than rent. With the rental fees and driving costs, it is cheaper for us to buy the previously viewed movies. I also like to watch movies over and over again so I think we are getting our money's worth.

Yesterday and today are no spend days, which brings my total to 7 for this month. I am about halfway to my goal of 15. I have been tempted by some online sales but am focusing on that debt total to the side instead.

September Results and October Goals

October 3rd, 2007 at 02:03 am

September was a better month financially than I expected. We were able to get the debt well under $7K. I ended up with 17 no spend days, which is 2 more than my goal. Even with the off paychecks we were able to handle the budget with no problems. We also increased the 401K contributions.

I am hopeful that we can pay extra on the loans again this month. I am hesitant to set a new total goal since I am not sure how much extra we can squeeze out of the budget. Other goals are to have 15 no spend days and blog more often. I have gotten a bit lax in the past few weeks.

Look out! You will be seeing a lot more of me this month.

Updated Debt Totals & Other Ramblings

September 27th, 2007 at 04:07 pm

I have updated the debt totals now that both loan payments have cleared. I am excited to be well under $7,000. I am not sure we will be debt free by the middle of 2008, but we should have no problems being out of debt by the end of 2008.

I got a gift card from Netwinner that helped with the grocery budget, which is the area I cut due to the paycheck mixup. I average $25/month through there so that has been helpful.

I have already saved up a little money to add to the debt payments for October. I am expecting a survey check which I hope will come in time to add to that as well.

I also need to total up my no spend days to see how close I am to my September goal of 15.

Balancing the Budget & Other Stuff

September 11th, 2007 at 05:22 pm

Whew! I have spent most of the morning figuring out the rest of the bills that have to be paid and how much can go toward debt. It actually made my head hurt a bit and I ended up walking away for a few minutes. I came back with a clearer head and got everything squared away.

Here is a quick rundown of financial happenings here since I have posted last. Dh's bonus came to $147 more than expected so with $3 I was able to return all the money to the EF. The electric bill was $120 or about $30 less budgeted. I have about $300 between dh's bonus and saved money to add to the debt. I will update the totals after everything posts to the loans.

Basically I expected to have little or no money to add toward the debt this month. Obviously I am thrilled with have $300 extra. It helps to keep me going especially when I am tempted to buy something I do not really need.

Today will be No Spend Day #6 for this month. I am well on my way toward my goal of 15 NS days. For me that is the key to saving money and paying off this debt. I have been tempted to check out some clothing sales, but I want to inventory my closet and see if I need anything. That will be better than just mindlessly buying clothing because it is on sale.

My next financial focus is going to be on the upcoming holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas). I hope to estimate how much we will need for the holidays so I know how much more I have to save up. I want to do all cash this year and absolutely no charging or dipping into savings.

I think that covers everything recently. I do want to get back to posting more regularly as that helps keep me motivated and gives me a sense of accountability. Unless some unexpected expense comes up this month things should end on a positive note.

First Real Estate Loan Payment

August 17th, 2007 at 03:12 pm

We made the first payment on the real estate loan we took out last month. Of course, part of it went to interest (almost $30). The large majority of it went toward the principal though. It was nice to see that initial drop. Hopefully it will drop much more next month. We took out a three year loan only to keep the payments very manageable in case something happened. Our goal all along was to pay more each month. We decided on a goal of 18 months to definitely pay it off, but we really want to pay it off in one year.

Catching up on Posting

August 14th, 2007 at 04:15 pm

I kept meaning to sit down and post but never quite found the time. The good news is that while I was busy, I was not busy shopping! In fact Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were all no spend days.

The temperatures cooled down a bit but are now on the way back up. I have already budgeted a larger amount for next month's electric bill so I am not worried about it. After this week the heat wave is supposed to break and things should get back to normal.

On the spending front though I am going to need a battery for my car. It just died all of a sudden with no warning. I have enough in the car repair fund to cover it though. The dead battery is one of the reasons for some no spend days. I am stuck at home so no temptations to go to the stores and shop.

We did end up with some extra money this month, which will be applied to the debts. Since I am on the subject of extra money, I have decided to teach piano lessons at a local private school one day a week. I have taught piano lessons in the past and enjoyed it. The school does not charge me a space rental so all of the money that I earn is mine. Having all of the students in one place is very convenient. I hope to get at least 10 students. This would be great in regards to paying off debt but would not tie me down too much.

We should be debt free in a year if this works out. I do not want to get ahead of myself, but it is nice to dream about. We are already saving any extra money (surveys, odd jobs, etc) but this will get us to our goal even faster.

Added Debt Totals

August 11th, 2007 at 07:54 pm

I decided to add in the amounts of just how much we owe. I thought it would be nice for me to see it every day as a bit more motivation to get it to zero. I want it to feel real and not just numbers on a bill somewhere.

My Ebay Challenge

August 7th, 2007 at 10:43 pm

Last week I challenged myself to find 10 items to sell on eBay. I have found 10 things and have photographed them all. I will get them listed this week. Hopefully I can make $50 to add to the debt payoff. I am sure I can come up with a few more items to clear out. I have sold before, but I like to do it in small groups and not overload myself.

Interesting

August 3rd, 2007 at 06:53 pm

I never paid much attention to interest until I decided to seriously focus on paying off our debts. I knew it was there, but seeing the amounts each month is another story. The real estate loan has not added any interest yet, but I have figured that it will be a bit more than $30 a month. The auto loan is adding about $20 a month in interest. Now that I am watching the spending more closely, I am thinking of what I could do with $50 a month.

Instead of spending all my time whining, I am even more focused on paying off these debts. I could be earning interest on that $50 rather than paying it in as interest. My goal for this weekend is to find 10 items that I can sell on eBay. I will get those listed next week and have a bit money to add to the debt payoff.