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2018 Financial Year In Review

November 14th, 2018 at 09:55 am

Here is my annual review on what my balances were since I started tracking:

MORTGAGE:
NOV 2016 = 86,735.14
NOV 2017 = 84,213.18
NOV 2018 = 81,699.54
NOV 2019 =

STUDENT LOAN
NOV 2016 = 17,764.25
NOV 2017 = 15,990.72
NOV 2018 = 14,157.47
NOV 2019 =

CC1
NOV 2016 = 13,928.46
NOV 2017 = 11,564.48
NOV 2018 = 9,759.51
NOV 2019 =

CC2
*** NOT TRACKED IN 2016
NOV 2017 = 8,315.19
NOV 2018 = 0 (Paid Off Balance Transfer back in August)


Goals for 2018 to bring CC2 to zero. CC1 down to $6,000. Did not quite make it down to 6,000 as of November.

Goals for 2019: Pay off CC1. Then, snowball Student Loan by end of year get it

Set Some Debt Goals

October 11th, 2018 at 05:24 am

As I was updating my debt balances on my side bar, I realized that I can see a faint light at the end of the tunnel.

So I examined a couple of scenarios which I believe to be attainable give or take a couple of months.

I met my goal of reaching $3,000 in my emergency savings account so I can redirect those deposits toward debt payments.

Balance Transfer Nearly Paid Off

August 10th, 2018 at 04:54 am

Updated my sidebar. I am $200 shy of paying off the balance transfer from January. By the end of August the entire balance transfer will be done.

Then,I will continue the accelerated pay-off and my hopes, if all goes well, I can have my Visa paid off by March or April. Then I will be entirely free of consumer credit card debt.

Once the Visa albatross is gone, I will tackle my student loan. My goal is to get that paid off in two years or less.

Love seeing those balances come down!

Lots of Waiting

April 26th, 2018 at 03:22 am

Well I understand that sometimes the hiring process takes some time. So far it has been one week since my interview and I have not heard. The lady who recommended me said she is not getting any vibes from management and no one else has been brought in for an interview. Whatever happens! The commute alone (under 10 minutes) is super appealing.

In January I consolidated my credit cards to one with a lower rate (see side bar). As of yesterday, I have paid $3,084.00 since the balance transfer. I can't wait to get this credit card paid off.

In health news, I had an x-ray and a nodule in my left lung was found (unspecified). So my doctor wanted me to go again in a month. I went last week and apparently the nodule is still there but I'm not clear if it has moved to the lower lobe or grown into the lower lobe. So I was sent in for a CT scan.

So now...more waiting.

Happenings Since March

April 13th, 2018 at 05:28 am

The bad part:

I've been sick most of March and the early part of April. Basically it amounts to several things that occurred at once like severe seasonal allergies, a relentless cough, change in medication strength, and finally overall severe fatigue. I probably missed something, but those were the main ones. I'm better but not at 100% just yet. My mom has not been well and my uncle had a fall.

April has been a slow start to the business and though we have bids pending, we haven't heard back. There may be a bottle-neck somewhere but hopefully we will get approval soon and get to work. For one of my clients I ask them to remove "insurance inspections" off our contract agreement. It is not worth the trouble and time for what they pay. Let me say this... if you know anyone who is considering getting a reverse mortgage, if you care about them at all, don't let them do it. I will explain the dark side of what I have seen in another post.


The good part:

Our business did well this month and 1st quarter.

My youngest finally is receiving SSI payments. We applied for him in October.

I earned another $5 Walmart card and $5 from Receipt Hog. My savings is growing and now it is half-way to my goal.

Credit card balance is going down.

Credit score went up 25 points since January due to paying down the one card aggressively and making on time payments.


Taxes and Credit Card

March 3rd, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Well we were very pleasantly surprised that we are getting over $2k back as a tax refund.

Half of it will go to the CC.

Back in December, I blogged about my payoff goals and that I would have paid CC2 off and Have half of CC1 paid down. If I stay on target, I should have the credit card half way paid down. My aim is that if I can get aggressive and creative enough, I can have this card paid off by Spring 2019.

I have frozen CC2 and the current CC I am paying is essentially cancelled by the bank since they now have a new credit card (a variable one).

Side Biz Earnings 1/5 and 1/6/18

January 6th, 2018 at 09:19 am

Earned $50 for a property inspection yesterday on 1/5/18.

Earned $150 ($50 each) for three inspections this morning.

Total for literally 90 minutes work is $200.

I went to get more supplies from the property manager and asked for my check. I earned from October - December $750.

All that, however goes into the business account. Like I mentioned in a previous post, we need to make over $5k to make a profit.

Credit Consolidation Twist

January 5th, 2018 at 11:44 am

CC2 balance transfer over to CC1 hit today. $6,841 will have the 2.99% APR until 3/31/19.

Now I have one credit card payment with split APR (see sidebar).

End of story right? Wrong! CC2 is now offering a 0% credit card balance transfer. My credit limit with CC2 is $12,100.

Here is what I'm thinking of doing.... After everything clears, I'm going to transfer the $12,100 from CC1 back to CC2 for 0% before the deadline (2/28/18). Since that payment is distributed to the oldest APR first (9.9%), then the remaining balance will only have a 2.99% APR.

CC1 new balance will then be $5,900 with a 2.99% APR until 3/31/19.

CC2 new balance will be $12,100 with a 0% APR, also until 3/31/19.







Consolidated Credit Cards

January 2nd, 2018 at 10:30 am

I updated my sidebar just now, so here is what I did.

CC1 credit limit is $18k. I transferred enough from CC2 to reach my credit limit.

I tapped into my emergency savings fund to pay off the remaining balance on CC2 to bring it to zero.

My goal is to pay this off in 24 months and not add any consumer debt, Lord willing.

Thank you Credit Card Free for your advice!

Amber, you have motivated me to get my debt down.

I look forward to sharing my progress this year. Please pray for me!

Income on 1/1/18

January 2nd, 2018 at 05:20 am

Earned $70 from side gig (two property inspections)
Received $60 from my parents (I ordered some meds for them and they paid me back)

Side gig funds go to the business checking account.

The $60 will go to the EF for now.

No spend day yesterday.

I'm still contemplating how to make the credit card balance transfer work (see comments from the previous entry).

In other news... it's freezing in Northeast Florida, so much so that we may even see some snow flurries tomorrow (I know, Northerners are saying "ha, ha, that's cute!)

Stay warm friends!

Need Some Advice

January 1st, 2018 at 04:02 pm

So CC1 is offering a 2.99% APR for balance transfer. I have until March 31, 2018 to make the transfer and then the rate is good until March 31, 2019. After that, the transferred funds will be subject to whatever the variable rate will be at that time.

If I transfer the balance from CC2 to CC1, I have one year to pay off the entire balance, which as it stands now, is just under $20k.

Here is the promotion:
"Lose some rate with an introductory/promotional rate as low as 2.99% APR* on balance transfers through March 31, 2018. Just transfer the balance from a non-VyStar credit card. If you don’t have one yet, apply by phone or at any VyStar branch. The special low rate will apply to qualified balances until March 31, 2019. After that, your standard variable or non-variable APR will apply to any remaining balances. And, of course, there are no annual fees, no transaction fees, and absolutely no inactivity fees. Saving money is sure to make your new year happier."

Here is the small print:
"* APR=Annual Percentage Rate and is current as of January 1, 2018. Introductory/promotional rate is valid on balance transfers from non-VyStar loans/credit cards through March 31, 2018. All loans subject to approval and actual rate may vary and is based on an evaluation of the individual’s credit history. Rate on unpaid balances returns to standard variable or non-variable APR (currently as low as 10.35% - 14.75% APR) on April 1, 2019. Programs, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Certain restrictions apply. Balance transfers and cash advances do not earn rewards points or cash back. Business and Savings Secured VISA cards are not eligible for this promotion."

If it were you, would you go for this offer?

Lowered Interest Rate on CC2

December 28th, 2017 at 08:56 am

I called my bank to check on my variable interest rate, which is greater than the 15.4% I had on the side bar. The current rate is 16.15%. The bank was able to lower it to 12.65%. I was told they could only do this once per year so I can call again on 12/29/18 to have them lower it once again.

That's nice.

Review of Debt Since 2016

November 27th, 2017 at 09:30 am

Here is a perspective on what my balances were a year ago and today.


MORTGAGE:
NOV 2016 = 86,735.14
NOV 2017 = 84,213.18

STUDENT LOAN
NOV 2016 = 17,764.25
NOV 2017 = 15,990.72

CC1
NOV 2016 = 13,928.46
NOV 2017 = 11,564.48

CC2
*** NOT TRACKED IN 2016
NOV 2017 = 8,315.19


Goals for 2018 to bring CC2 to zero. CC1 down to $6,000.

Pay Off CC2 with Some IRA Money

August 23rd, 2017 at 09:23 am

Hope you all had a nice summer!

I've been contemplating cashing in some of my IRA to pay off CC2. I can afford the penalty. But I can't continue this treadmill anymore. I have to pay off something. There will still be a large balance in my IRA account.

Once that is done, I need to get down to business to pay off CC1. My goal is to have it paid off by end of Summer of 2018.

All that will be left is my student loan and mortgage.



Need to Consolidate - Help!

January 3rd, 2017 at 07:27 am

As you can see from my sidebar, I have a hefty credit card balance to pay.

I have a 720 credit score. With that, I am looking for a credit card with the following features:

1. No annual fee.
2. Balance Transfer with 0% APR.
3. 24 month term minimum on 0% APR.
4. The most likely card that would grant $20k credit.

I am prepared to pay $400 per pay period ($800 per month) before the end of the term to get this albatross paid off.

If you are perusing the rates for a card similar, will you send me a link?

Thanks bunches!

Under $14k

November 7th, 2016 at 07:46 am

Health:
Food: Over the weekend, I ate like a fool. I don't even remember what I ate. Weekend food tracking is tough.
Fitness: Sunday went to the gym for cardio.

Paid bills since it was payday on Friday. Credit card #1 is now under $14,000. So far this year I paid just over $3k on the card.

I am considering consolidating CC1 and CC2. CC1 has a lower APR and is fixed. I would like to wait for a promotional rate and get my balance lowered on both before I do this.

I anticipate next payday to be short since I had to take a couple of days off. Hopefully, I can make do with the shortage (about $160 less).


Interest

November 1st, 2016 at 04:51 am

Health:
Breakfast - grilled cheese, coffee, Good Belly
Lunch - overnight oats and orange juice
Dinner - not sure yet
Fitness - 30 minutes cardio (that's the plan) and 30 minutes personal trainer.

Well, today is the first of the month and I got my interest payout of a whopping 11 cents (.25%) in my savings account. At least that makes a nice round number of 682.00. My goal is $1,000 by December 31st so I have five more paydays to go (two in November and three in December).

I lost track of my change jar total. I've been adding here and there.

Paying and Saving

October 10th, 2016 at 06:18 am

Well now that the hurricane is gone and things are back to normal in my world, I need to get back on track on my finances, my eating habits, and my fitness.

Health:
Breakfast – Overnight oats, Good Belly, Orange Juice, Coffee
Lunch – Chicken breast sandwich with chips and a coke
Dinner – Beef Stew and rice
Fitness – Thinking about fitness

Financial:
Good news is that now I am over half way toward my $1,000 savings goal. $25 is automatically deducted from my checking account and deposited to my savings account each payday. Last payday, I was able to add an additional $100. This payday, I was able to do the same. If I can continue this steadily, I could reach my targets in 4 more paydays (2 months).

Well, the wheels are turning on how to build upon that. However, there is still the debt to tackle. By the end of the month, CC1 should be under $14k.


Sunday

September 12th, 2016 at 05:44 am

Breakfast: 2 cinnamon buns and coffee
Lunch: 1/4 smoked sausage and baked beans
Snack: Wendy’s frosty
Dinner: 1/2 sandwich and unsweetened tea from Panera

Wendy’s frosty are 50 cents right now so I got one for each of the boys and one for me. $2.14. That is all I spent on Sunday.

My friend treated us to Panera to celebrate DS3’s birthday. She was his religious education teacher and confirmation sponsor. She is a very great lady and I am privileged to call her a friend. We went to see another friend who is recovering from open heart surgery.

Wore one of my new tops to church yesterday.

That’s pretty much it for Sunday!

This morning one of my coworkers told me that he and his wife started attending the Dave Ramsey class at their church. He is young and in debt but he and his wife are totally on board with getting their finances together. I’m proud of them!

Day 7 - One Week of Blogging

August 30th, 2016 at 03:32 am

Boring Entry...
Yesterday:
Breakfast: Overnight Oats and coffee and 4 oz of Goodbelly
(www.goodbelly.com)
Mid-morning: omelet and 1 slice of toast
Lunch: Greek salad and apple
Dinner: Beef stew, white rice, fried plantains, crackers, small slice of cake and ic cream for dessert.
Extra food: 1 brownie from training at work

DH pays these:
8/29/16 Mobile phone (family plan) = 222.34
9/1/16 Mortgage = 805.44
9/19/16 Auto insurance (two vehicles semi-annual) = 881.14

I paid:
8/26/16
CC1 = 211
Electric/Water = 100
Student Loan = 90

My investments as of 8/29/16:
401k Fidelity = 22,147.03
Roth Sharebuilder = 721.82
IRA Sharebuilder = 19,541.74
Sharebuilder Investment Account = 217.83

Day 3

August 26th, 2016 at 04:29 am

Today is payday. I have two main checking accounts that I set up some time ago for different reasons.
8/26 Paycheck:
1/2 payment for CC1 and CC2
1/2 power bill
1/2 student loan bill
savings deposit
tithing monthly
security alarm service
mortgage (transfer from DH’s account)

There is drama. My DH’s job has made a mistake with the majority of the employees’ paychecks who have worked overtime. The errors are as low as a penny or two per hour to up to a dime per hour. Now they are auditing everyone’s paychecks a year back and are demanding their money back. So DH spends about two hours yesterday, on his own time ( I think this should have been on company time since the snafu was theirs) printing out his pay stubs and going through the OT rates. He did find errors on some which amounted to less than $50.00. A huge relieve because we were afraid it would run into the hundreds. The company was recently sold and the changeover will be completed by December so they are scrambling to audit their accounts. Very sloppy. I hope this new company is better.

I have the day off from work today to take my dad to see a new doctor, an orthopedist for his knee issues. I use Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to take my dad to his doctor appointments. I elected the “intermittent leave” FMLA because I only need time off to drive him to the doctors. If you didn’t know that and were considering using FMLA to help a family member, this is available. My mom doesn’t drive and he has some mild mobility issues (reason for his medical appointments) and also a language barrier. He has been living in the U.S. since 1962 and though he understands enough English, his pronunciation is limited and his understanding of what he is told in English can be misunderstood. So I’m the interpreter.

FMLA days are without pay so I started a savings account with Capital One 360 recently to fund my days off. For take home pay, that is about $80 per day. So I am trying to build up that account to make up for time lost.

Yesterday 8/25:
Helped my uncle with his new answering machine
$50 loan to DS2 for college textbook (unplanned spending)
Personal training at the gym
Breakfast: overnight oats, coffee, omelet on toast
Unplanned snack: a slice of cake someone brought in at work
Lunch: chicken tenders, mac n cheese
Snack: Greek yogurt with strawberries
Dinner: shepherd’s pie
I need to control my eating as well as my spending!

To do today:
Meal plan
Laundry
Side gig (earn 50)
Dinner at Mom’s (My mother cooks dinner for us on Mondays and Fridays-HUGE blessing!)

Variable spending for today (estimates):
Groceries - 125
Buy gas – 35 (gas buddy priced the lowest at 1.88/gal)



Day 1

August 24th, 2016 at 10:14 am

I decided earlier this year to split my monthly expenses on each pay check so that I have a little breathing room on each check (money to spare). It gets to where it is tough to pay all from one check and be basically broke for two weeks and so far, this system has worked out well for me.

For 2016, I have 10 more paydays for my regular job. I also have a side business that is not steady but reliable, meaning, that I can count on having assignments each month from my business, but some months have more activity than other months.

I know that I can do better on my savings and debt reduction and as I blog my thoughts, I know that I can come up with a plan to get ahead!