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Work Anniversary Snowflake

July 15th, 2019 at 04:58 am

I received an email from HR congratulating me on 10 years of service at my company.

I got to select a gift from their catalog and I chose a 2-piece luggage set from PremiumBag (worth $160)because we plan to do some serious traveling in the next few years.

A major snowflake in my favor! Smile

Happy Developments

July 12th, 2019 at 09:46 am

My company's contract has been renewed, but with that came some changes.

I lost my vacation and sick leave which is a bummer, but was paid out.

I finally received my raise from last year and the retro pay.

As a result of the super fat paycheck, I was able to pay 1/3 of my student loan balance. My new goal is to pay it off by the end of this year. We have savings that could pay this off entirely, but I'm not comfortable taking from savings. At least not yet.

DH and I are re-financing our mortgage to a 15-year, 3.5% fixed APR. That would reduce 2 years off the life of the original loan and an estimated $60-ish reduction in the mortgage payment. Our plan is to continue to make the same payments what we were normally paying now on this mortgage. As soon as I pay off my student loan, we would double the payments. We could conceivably pay off the mortgage in 5 years.

13 Years

May 8th, 2019 at 08:14 am

It has taken me 12 years and 11 months to pay down half of my student loan. I am on track to pay off the other half of this loan in 12 months! Lord, please don't let financial obstacles happen during this time!

One of the greatest gifts we gave to our kids is that we enrolled them in the Florida Prepaid College fund. My oldest son just graduated college without student loan debt and my middle son is on track.

I had consumer debt which I finally paid off in March.

I still have a mortgage which we will refinance very soon to a more favorable rate.

Snowball Payment

April 10th, 2019 at 04:55 am

Well, now that I have paid off my credit card, I enjoyed one pay week with a paycheck that didn't include a payment. It's amazing how much money I could be saving, spending, enjoying if I didn't have that debt.

This paycheck will be the first snowball rollover to my student loan. If I can stay on track with this fixed amount, I should have it paid off by May 2020.

In other news, I opened another business. I am now a travel agent! So now I have two businesses and my day job.

Zero Balance!

March 13th, 2019 at 04:45 am

I sent in my final payment to my credit card. I'm happy... WOO HOO!!!!!

Next month I will roll over the payments to my student loan. The goal is to have it paid off by next summer.

Everybody! Do the happy dance with me!

Closer to Pay-Off

February 15th, 2019 at 05:06 am

One month in I have paid a quarter of my credit card balance. By the end of this month, I plan to add an additional $350. I hope to add a little more than that if the budget allows. My goal is to pay this off by April 30th.

DH started a new job three weeks ago and so far he has worked overtime every day. Needless to say, it is a major boost to our income and has helped accelerate our debt pay-down.

We had to reduce our scope on our side business since DH started his new job. But it was always designed to be a way to make some extra money and as a fall back if we come to hard times, which we just came out of.

I returned to the gym and started doing the classes offered. There is a 6-week challenge which I signed up for and the grand prize for most % of weight lost is $3,000, 1-year free membership, and 5 or 6 free personal training sessions. The buy-in is $35.

Now that I have become a little more fitness- oriented, I did a little research and found cross training footwear geared toward Zumba and Boot camp classes that is highly-rated. Hopefully they will soften the impact on my knees more than my current footwear. They cost $79 on Amazon.

For these type of expenses, I began to use an under-utilized checking account and I call it my "wellness" account to cover things that FSA doesn't (i.e. vitamin supplements, gym expenses, athletic wear and such). I deposit $25 a pay period into this account.

Balance Transfer

January 16th, 2019 at 10:20 am

I opened a new credit card with Navy Federal Credit Union for a 0% APR for 12 months.

A year ago, I owed $18,000 on the credit card. I am down to $8,000. My plan is to put my nose to the grindstone and aggressively pay it off by Easter.

It will feel soooo goooood to finally have zero consumer debt.

Donated Bing Rewards

December 17th, 2018 at 05:07 am

So far in 2018, I earned $35 worth of Walmart gift cards just by using the search engine and doing the challenges.

My ladies' group at church adopted a family and my contribution was the stack of gift cards.

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.

Almost Met my Savings Goal

September 19th, 2018 at 05:13 am

I am just $7.00 shy of meeting my savings goal of saving $3,000 in my emergency fund.

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.

Now I Wait

April 20th, 2018 at 10:54 am

Interview was yesterday. I feel lukewarm about the experience and I was told that they would contact me. I haven't heard anything yet. Que sera sera.

Job Interview

April 18th, 2018 at 04:33 am

Back in January, I posted this blog entry regarding a possible new job: http://tryingtogetahead.savingadvice.com/2018/01/09/possible-new-job-need-your-feedback-plea_214641/

Fast forward to yesterday. I woke up yesterday morning thinking about the lady and that job. A few hours later, the lady calls me on the phone said that her manager was ready to hire and asked if I was still interested in the job and I told her that I was. How wild is that?

I learned some additional things from the lady.
401k is 5% match (after 1 year employment).
15 days vacation/sick time and holidays.
Friday after Thanksgiving the office is closed but counts as vacation.
Annual raises.
Annual bonuses starting at 1,500 and increasing yearly until year 5 where the max would be $3k.
New office building move in July or August with new furniture and...drumroll...those adjustable stand-up desks. The office is still in the same area so the commute is still only 4 miles.
As a vacancy arises, the next person down the line gets moved up with the raise along with it (no need to apply and compete).

What can I say? It sounds better every time. My interview is tomorrow afternoon.

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.