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Budget for the Year-ish

January 7th, 2017 at 09:43 am

Getting my budget together. I think this is the first time I've put this on here. LOL. My bar is updated with all my debts that I pay on. My parents do pay on several and I've decided that in the meantime, I will let them keep up with the amounts.

Apartment reno: $10
Timeshare: $85.07
Rewards Card: $160
Navient: $240.73
Car Loan: $360
Nelnet: $102.16

Rent: $931
Water: $61 - Apt utilities
Sewer: $11 - Apt utilities
Trash: $10 - Apt utilities
Common Area Electric: $4 - Apt utilities
Service Fee: $4.68 - Apt utilities
Electricity: $85 (average)
Renters Insurance: $11.41
Motorcycle Insurance: $28.36
Car Insurance: $213.38
Petrol: $180
Groceries: $200
Cellular: $150 (multiple phone lines)
Hulu: $7.99
NetFlix: $15.98
Internet/Cable: $60.00
F.I.T. Radio: $3.99
Entertainment: $50 (consists of movies and books)
Restaurant: $50

Adds up to $3,145.07 for expenses.

My take home is approximately $3,400.00.

I need to get my expenses down to less than $2,000 hopefully by early next year. Those expenses will not count rent, apartment utilities, and electricity.

Now with the 2.6% raise the military received, I should be able to pay down debt with almost an extra $300. But I'm still spending too much on restaurants. I need to get that portion of spending under control. I'm already at my limit for the month on restaurants and it's only the 7th... SMDH...

I've updated my debts and put them from lowest to highest amount left. I'm going to snowball them that way. Although I'm still not paying off the apartment reno because there isn't any interest on it.

My plan when I get my tax refund, is to pay off one of the lower amounts which will be my timeshare. Then I can pay off the maintenance fees (which I'm trying to find out what it is but I'll say it's approximately $1,000) that went with it and sell it off. I doubt I will get any money back on it. But I'll be rid of it once and for all. YAY!

Never will I ever get another timeshare....

I will get the interest rate down on my car loan. I have to wait 6 months at least. But I'll keep working on it until I can get it back down to as close as what I had on the previous vehicle which was 4.5%.

I do know that my budget will be impacted by two things this month. I will be cooking food for a friend because she will be having surgery and I want to make sure that she's good to go. Also I will be going on a field training exercise this month so therefore, the food I buy for the meals should be a wash.

My ultimate goal is to get divorced which will be sometime next year. I need to make sure that I have enough money to pay my bills and expenses when that happens. I want to be able to move forward with my life.

Looking for an Apartment

January 4th, 2017 at 06:19 pm

I've started my search for a new apartment. I currently have a 1bdrm, 1bth, 649 sq ft for $931. So, especially with the new car payment, I would prefer a lower costing apartment. I don't want to live in a "bad" neighborhood, but there have been several incidents since I've been here. The latest being a woman stabbing both her boyfriend/husband when she found him and another woman (she stabbed her too).

It's not that I live in bad neighborhood, just stupid people....

So back to the issue. I do have certain needs:

full size washer/dryer
walk in closet
decent water pressure

What I'm willing to compromise on is getting a 2 bedroom instead of a 1 bedroom and using that as storage. Also if I get a 2 bedroom then I wouldn't need a WIC.

Water is expensive here. When I had my other apartment (in a different state), it cost me about $20 a month. Here, I've paid as much as $60... So I do have to consider that as well.

Apartment utilities can cost as much as an extra $100 a month. This is not including electricity which can cost as low as $60 to as much as $112.

So I have to add there there can be as much as $200 for all utilities.

So I've paid as much as $1,131 for everything, and I definitely would like to get lower than that.

I'm hoping to find what I'm looking for at $800 or less. I've seen them. I just don't know if it would be possible to lock in the rate now if I applied for it. Or would it be the rate of when the apartment becomes available... which is in July.

Decisions, decisions.

SNAFU: New Vehicle

December 31st, 2016 at 10:25 am

This is a bit winded.

So on Monday, I bought my new to me vehicle. I absolutely love it! I went from a 2004 Kia Sorento to 2012 Cadillac SRX Premium. This SUV is sweeeeeet! Although anything would be an upgrade.

So this is how everything got messed up......... And why it's taken me several days to write about this because I have been upset but I'm doing a little bit better now. So I'll start at the beginning.

While I was in Korea for a year, I gave my parents some money to get some things and the A/C fixed in my Kia. That cost me about $1k. I got back and noticed that I was still having some issues with it, so I took it to a mechanic for a diagnosis. Clutch, oil valves, and carrier bearing all needed to be replaced, approximately $3k. At this point I only owed $1,200 on the vehicle. I had it for 4.5 years, but only have driven it for 2.5 years. So at that point, I decided that it was time for a new vehicle. Used of course.

So the search began. I got a pre-approval through my bank which was contingent on my trading in my Kia and I found a 2011 Chevy Equinox for $13,600 with 127k miles with a lot of bells and whistles. I had to get it shipped through CarMax and it arrived in early November. I was elated, but the paperwork was not acceptable for my state and it took until Dec 22 for it to come through. While waiting, I had to do another pre-approval because it ran out so another credit hit and the interest possibilities increased.

Well I did test drive it but it needed a new battery and I wanted to test drive it again. Well on the 23rd the vehicle wouldn't start. So I started looking for another vehicle. I found a 2011 and a 2012 Cadillac SRX Premium. I tried to test drive the 2011 but it wouldn't start. So I left to test drive the 2012 at the other dealership.

I ended up liking the 2012 and signed the paperwork for the buy. They didn't take trades (I bought the Caddy through a broker) and sold my vehicle separately. Well by doing that, my bank wouldn't honor the pre-approval check. So I had to do another loan, but this time for the actual amount because now I had the vehicle. Another hit to my credit.

My interest rate ended up being 16.94%! I had no clue as to why it was high. I hadn't opened or closed any accounts. Only the credit inquiries for the past several months were hitting my credit. As far as I knew, my credit was in the 680s!

So I pulled my credit report that night. It dropped from 680 to 617! Why?! Because two of my student loans were bought out by Navient (Sallie Mae). So it shows as a negative on my account now. Two of my oldest accounts is now in the negative section because of HOW the creditor closed it...

I immediately went to another bank and did another auto loan and got it down to 13.8%. Not good but not as bad as 17%...

So now my credit has dropped and hasn't been this low since 2010.

I WILL refinance in a year, but now I need to play clean up with my credit...

I can afford it, but now my plans have changed a bit and I will be reworking my budget. Goals have been delayed but not stopped.

Still Trying to Buy a New Vehicle

December 25th, 2016 at 10:44 am

So for the past few months I've been trying to purchase a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox LTZ fully loaded except for the rear DVD entertainment for $13,600. There were issues with the paperwork. The DMV wouldn't take the title from the form DMV because their titling laws were different and it took another month to get it fixed. So I've been waiting on this particular vehicle since October.

Well the paperwork came through on Thursday. I had already test driven the vehicle prior but I knew that it needed a new battery. Well when the paperwork came through they replaced the battery that day, and on Friday... it was dead.

So now there may be electrical issues or an alternator wrong with it.

Well at this point I'm no longer wanting to deal with them and I don't really want the vehicle anymore so I started looking again (although I was looking the whole time).

So at this point I have found two vehicles that I like. a 2011 and a 2012 Cadillac SRX Premium Collection. The 2011 is at $16,240 but the internet sale price is $15,741. The 2012 was at $21,998 and now at $17,998.

I can afford these but I do want to negotiate for lower. I know I suck at negotiating but I think that I have time on my side. Meaning it's the last week of the year and the dealers want these cars off their lots so they don't have to pay taxes on them.

Does anyone have any advice for me in the meantime? I am already financed and will be going on Monday to the two different dealerships.

Downsizing My Paycheck

November 23rd, 2016 at 10:59 pm

I will be downsizing my paycheck in about a years time. My paycheck will be going down to half of what it is when then. So I'm working on getting my complete budget under that amount. What I was counting on was the car loan being paid off and not having a car payment for two years. Unfortunately I have to purchase a new vehicle because the current one needs $2,800 of repairs and I've already put in $1,000.

So the current payment is $200 on the current vehicle. It will go up to about $220, but I plan on making payments of $250. So I need to get rid of approximately $2000. Approximately $1,020 is the rent and water (it may be a bit more than that), electricity is approximately $100, and my parents are paying off two of the bills. So I just need to get rid of $120 more and I can be good to go on living on less.

Home Sweet Home?

November 12th, 2016 at 09:36 pm

I'm currently living in a 1-bedroom home for $931. It's pretty small. It has a walk-in-closet and a stackable washer/dryer. I leased it during the mid-summer. By now I realized that I should have gotten a 6-month lease instead of for a year. For someone looking at this apartment complex right now for my same apartment is $817... Talk about being pissed-off...

Also I've been looking around and there are 2-bedrooms for less than what I'm currently renting at, so I'm going to be moving when this lease is up. And yes, I compared the prices of summer vs fall (preferably with a FULL SIZED washer/dryer).

The places that I've been looking at are lower than $900 a month and preferable below $800. I figured also that I'd rather have the extra bedroom for storage than anything else. I have a lot of gear and a closet isn't going to be the best option for that.

Future Plans!

January 4th, 2015 at 02:26 pm

Well as of the first of this month I am getting ready for the future. I will moving not too long from now and I am in the process of getting the rest of my finances and belongings in order. There will probably be several yard sales and craiglist/ebay listings. And I want to be able to payoff three (3) accounts before I leave so my finances are on "lockdown" lol.

YAY me. :P

Car Issues :'(

June 26th, 2014 at 03:50 pm

The bane of owning vehicles is having issues with them.

Well after asking certain people at work (mechanics) as well as someone that actually owned a Kia. The person that owned one actually had the same issues told me exactly what is wrong. Pilot bearing and the clutch. ARGH!

It will be a few months till I actually get it fixed but I have the motorcycle (having some issues with that as well) but it means that I'm only driving each one half the time. So I'm hoping that it can wait till I have the money.

My friend told me that it should be about $600 to fix both the SUV. I could put it on a card but I'd rather save up the money.

I am in the process of cancelling an account so that I can save up quicker. But with moving and whatnot, it's going to be a hectic month or two.

Paying Weekly vs Monthly

April 6th, 2014 at 07:53 pm

I've been paying certain bills monthly and others weekly.

Timeshare: $85.07/mo balance = $4,855.55
currently I'm on track to pay this off in 7 years. No sooner, no later. Next payment is due on the 27th Apr.

car loan: $194.33/mo. I pay weekly instead $48.58. Looking at the account I am, at this moment the next payment is due 19th Jun.

So instead of it being paid off in Sep 2017 it looks as if it'll be paid off by Jan 2017.

I think it's better to pay something off weekly instead of monthly whenever possible.

Moving to Cheaper Rent?

January 14th, 2014 at 07:37 pm

My lease is up at the end of July and my roommate will be moving out at that time. (I'm lucky enough to have her for the end of the lease). Currently I'm paying around $1000/mo. This includes rent, water, electricity and internet. My roommate gives me $450 for her part.

I'm considering moving to a VERY CHEAP place for at least 6 months. Where I'm currently at I could get rent as low as $250/mo. I've seen places that I'd rent out that cost about $300/mo. With the cost of utilities I could pay approximately $500/mo. This would save me about $500/mo and $3,000 for 6 months. Or I could rent this low for a year and save about $6,000.

With this money I'd like to pay stuff off. At this point I'm just "making payments" and that's no conducive to being debt free.

What are ya'lls thoughts?

A Nice Little Surprise

September 1st, 2013 at 10:55 am

Today I went to pay my rent. I was expecting to pay more because last month I didn't pay for the washer/dryer I'm renting from them because they put it in after we moved in.

'Lo and behold when I got there they stated that the are not charging me for the partial and I just pay the $860. WOW!

I just saved money again! Even if it's about $25 I'm satisfied with that! I really do like my new place. =D


August 31st, 2013 at 08:45 pm

I got off budget for August but I'm still n the green. I'm hoping for a lot better September and will start working hard on the budget of getting my debt down.

I have a possible third roomie that'll stay with me for a month or so but if it happens, I'll go to 1/3rds in the rent amount. So instead of paying $500 it'll go down to about $334!

Let's hope for lower rent!

Since moving I've gone off budget. I haven't really been putting information into my budget so I've had to play catch-up.

I'm getting things in order so that for September I'll be all set again... I have kept up with my spending so that I'm not over-spending on anything but I'm still admonishing myself in the meantime.

It's so easy to get off-budget. Especially since I'm still in the middle of changing banks as well.

My Student Loans

July 3rd, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Student loans are loathed and not just by me. I have a lot of student loan debt but I am also using the tuition assistance as well in order to offset the usage of more student loans.

But the past damage is done. So I have to pay it off. I won't start paying it off until I pay off my other debt first.

But after looking at the debt and the fact that the other debt will be paid off, I'm looking at about three years of being able to pay it off!

A total of 7 years until I am completely debt free! And that's the MAXIMUM amount of time it would take.

I'm so excited!

The Fast Five

June 28th, 2013 at 10:57 pm

I have an app on my phone that lists my debts that are in order from how I entered them to highest interest rate to lowest balance, etc.

It also lists at the top how much I am putting total towards my debt. I have so much debt that if everything that I owed was due this month I wouldn't have enough to cover the minimums...

But fortunately for me most of my debt are student loans.

So I've decided to put in only five accounts. These are the five that I'm currently paying on (basically everything except for the majority of my student loans).

So the five that I have in the list are:

car loan
WF student loan
apartment collections
medical collections
Sallie Mae

This app also compares all the different ways I could pay it off and gives me both the amount of total interest that I would pay and the month/year that it would be paid off at.

For instance, if I chose just the minimums then I'd pay $5,143.23 in interest and paid off by Nov 2047. Whereas if I chose highest interest rate first I'd pay $3,786.28 total interest but paid off by Apr 2018.

Right now I'm wanting to do a 5 year debt plan so this latter would actually fit better.

My minimum payments for these debts are $664 and I'm able to put as little as an extra $100 towards them for now and as much as $400.

This isn't including pay raises/promotions or even when I stop paying alimony. I'll adjust it accordingly but those adjustments won't just go directly to my debt payoff plan. They'll also go into my other savings category because I don't want to feel restricted with what I can and cannot do with my money.

My main objective is to pay off my debt within 5 years but to do it so that it's a workable plan. My first promotion will be sometime between August and November so I don't mind the restrictions that I currently have for two to five months. I still have "some" pocket money but I won't be really doing anything for a while.

Right now even looking at my budget, it has several wants that I'm glad that I can budget for such as Christmas and Birthday presents. In the past it's been about a $5 dollar budget for each person (twelve people). I'm ecstatic that I can increase it. Although it'll never go beyond $25 per person (I normally give the couples a gift card so that way they can put it towards whatever they want).

My plan states to pay it off in this order:

car loan
Sallie Mae
WF student loan
apartment collections
medical collections

I won't start this until July because I'm still recovering and I just want to set everything up this month. And plus I'm still waiting for the timeshare people to lower my interest rate from 17% to 6%. They have my paperwork but I'm just waiting for it to be applied to my account.

My plan is to put almost $800/month towards debt (including minimums). Which means I'm NOT doing any other money challenges right now. That'll have to come next year at the earliest.

Keep in mind that my goal isn't to pay off the collections. They are at 0% interest and I don't mind giving them a few dollars for the rest of my life which goes directly towards principle.

My idea is that when I've paid off the non-collections, to start chipping away at the rest of my student loans. Maybe I can be completely debt free in four (4) years! Although my goal would be sooner than that!


June 27th, 2013 at 08:55 pm

So I just looked into my account (I only do that in the late evenings since I know I have money to cover expenses) and realized that today I have officially received my state refund (which I applied for in April)...


So since I've received a fair amount of funds I'm going to actually boost my savings. So instead of saving monthly for the ones I've prioritize I will actually fund them and free up money for other things.

For some odd reason this feels like a fresh start but I'm enjoying it.

Budget until Promotion/Pay Raises

June 27th, 2013 at 08:49 pm

After inputting things into YNAB this is my budget for next month, although my rent will be a little off because of moving from one apartment to the other. So for now I'll keep that as the original amount:

car loan: $194.31 (I plan to at least put an extra $100 towards this debt to pay it off first)
timeshare: $132.80
WF student loan: $108.52
medical collections: $20
apartment: $10

newspaper: $13.95
cell: $143.58 (parents pay $40 for their portion)
cell insurance: $7.49
Netflix: $10.47
auto insurance: $132.29
rent: $779.00 (roommate pay $200 for her portion)
renter's insurance: $19.83
civilian clothing: $10
groceries: $50
health & beauty: $5
household goods: $10
fuel: $225
military clothing: $10
restaurants: $10
salon & spa: $40
spending money: $10
emergency fund: $73
vehicle maintenance: $10
home maintenance: $10
birthdays: $9
Xmas: $40
timeshare fees: $27
property taxes: $10
electronics/games: $5
genealogy: $5

Although now that I look this over some things will change. I'll be changing things during the next month anyways to flow with how I pay things.

Actually I'll be re-doing my YNAB because it's not setup like I want it so my official starting month will be July. I want to be sure that I'll get off to a new start.

I have several money challenges that I want to start participating in so that I can save money and start really putting money in my retirement. But that won't start until next year (although I'll begin participating in my retirement again this year).

Umm... Another Refi?

June 26th, 2013 at 06:27 pm

So I went to a different bank today in order to open a CD with a good APY. So I went to them in person but I need to open a checking account in order to open a CD. After talking to the representative she asked if I had a car loan. I told her that I JUST refinanced with my current bank and got 7.1%.

So I said sure I'll put in a loan application for a auto loan, what can it hurt and it could be to my benefit.

Well as she put that in the system I signed up for my checking account and low and behold I learn that they are doing referrals and I end up getting $25 in my account and one of my friends accounts. YES! Free money, LOVE IT!

So she comes back and gives me a high five (I just rolled with it), I got refinanced for 4.49%!


She also informs that since I refinanced I get a $250 to my checking account!

That is now $275 of FREE MONEY!

So from my original loan I have now cut my interest more than half the amount and I'm also now paying abut $20 LESS than I use to!

I'm stoked for the rest of the year! HAHAHA!

Great News for My Budget!

June 24th, 2013 at 05:07 pm

I've just received great news from my roommate. She's been staying with me for a while but only paying a couple hundred because I only have one bed. But my great news is this.

My roommate has decided to make it permanent!

This means I'll need to get a 2-bedroom apartment but it also means that I'll pay about $200/month less.

I'm really excited because now I can put more towards savings/debt payoff.



June 22nd, 2013 at 06:44 pm

I've finally input everything into YNAB except I need verify three account balances, but I won't be able to do that until Monday. Goodness me, it's so disheartening to actually see the amount that I still owe. But I have to keep in mind how much I've paid off even though my net worth is in the negatives.

Of course everyone's goal is to have a net worth that is in the black! But for those that haven't achieved that, some people are closer than others, not even I.

I literally have VERY close to $50K in debt. I have VERY few assets. But this just wants makes me want to be debt free all the more. It's really the student loans that are killing me. I'm hoping that I can make a large dent in the before I get my degree.

Overall I do like the look and feel of YNAB. Although I wouldn't mind a few changes to the app. Such as being able to change the budget directly from the app. But the app is FREE so that's a nice change!.

But it'll just take discipline and hard work. I'll get there, especially with the support of friends, family and the people here on SavingAdvice.com.

Auto Refinancing...

June 18th, 2013 at 07:12 pm

Today I did something to that I've been wanting to do for at LEAST 6 months.

I went to my bank to see if I could refinance my vehicle...

My loan info:

current balance: $8,461.02
interest rate: 11.5%
months financed for: 63

My goals:

1. lower rate
2. lower payment
3. get parents removed as co-signers

So I went with both my parents because:

1. I can't drive since I've just had surgery
2. I may have to have them co-sign on my loan again if I can refinance.

So in we walked and I met up with one of the bankers. He asked me if I knew my credit score an I stated about 660-ish (I know that it's come up a lot in the past 10 months).

So he stated off-hand that if that's what the credit report pulled then I'm looking at a 9.5% interest rate. Well that's a LOT better than what I had so I went ahead with it.

He pulls my report and it says 675!

So he starts writing up the paperwork as I'm watching the computer screen.

He says my interest rate is 7.1%! WHOOHOO goal 1 accomplished!

He says my payment is down to $202.91! WHOOHOO goal 2 accomplished!

Then I sign all the paperwork and he says that's it... I asked "My parents don't need to co-sign?" "Nope", he says.


So these are the great points I accomplished with the refinance:

I refinanced for 48 months. I had 50 months left on my original loan so no matter what I'll be paying off this loan 2 months earlier than planned.

I've already paid approximately $1,100 in interest so far but with the refinancing I will pay approximately $1,200 in interest over the life of the new loan.

I had gap insurance before which I decline to get this time around. I didn't know that when I did this, I get a pro-rated amount back which they'll deposit automatically in my savings account for me.

So all in all I'll be saving approximately $2,100 over the life of this loan compared to the original loan! And the only thing I did was just refinance...

So this time next year I'll be back in there again when my credit is even better and I can get an even lower rate then as well.

I'm so ecstatic! Even my parents are happy! Although they weren't worried about co-signing it because they know that I pay my bills, but is was just one less thing that I wanted them off of. Hopefully this means that I'll never have to have them co-sign on anything else again!



June 14th, 2013 at 04:13 pm

So I did it, I bought a motorcycle!

I paid for it fully up front so the only thing I'll have to pay is maintenance and insurance. Of course I need to pay for the initial registration/titling but that's to be expected.

I currently have it in storage. FOR FREE. A friend of mine is storing it in his garage for me as long as I let him use it for the motorcycle safety course that, as military, we are REQUIRED to take.

I don't need to purchase a helmet since the person I purchase the bike from included that. I do need to purchase safety gear which would only be a motorcycle jacket, which can cost me as little as $60 but as much as $300 but I technically have everything else. As long as it has armor and keeps me cool in the summer and warm in the winter, I'll go for the $60. (as long as it's NOT pink...)

I did find out that the motorcycle safety course is free for me so I'm even golden there.

The bike gets about 50 miles to the gallon and it only costs $12 to fill up the tank. So I can actually visit my brother for less than $24 a trip! $24 would only fill up about half my tank in the SUV...

I also do need to purchase a motorcycle permit which will later turn into a motorcycle endorsement on my license. But again that was expected.

My residential state doesn't have vehicle state inspections so that's not an expense that I have either.

I do need new tires but I knew that when I looked at the bike.

Also my auto insurance had gone down earlier about $30/month. With the motorcycle it went back up $30/month. So that is a wash.

But overall I'm happy! I'll save money overall on gas going to and from work and sometimes it will save me some cash on trips to certain places also!

New Cell Phone

April 30th, 2013 at 07:23 pm

I bought a new cell phone today, for my parents that is.

I've actually been wanting to do this for years but have never had the means to do so. But today I purchased a new phone so that not only will they have their first smartphone but they'll be on my account.

I like the fact that now I will be able to get in touch with my parents whenever I actually need to at anytime.

They will only pay me either what they were paying before on their previous bill or whatever they want. They didn't have texting on their cell but now they will. So this is something that they'll need to get used to but I know they will. My mom is really excited about it.

I'm so proud of my parents going from flip phone to smartphone. It's a very large step for them but I'm very proud that they have made it.

My parents rock!


It only adds an extra $20 per month to my account so it's not really a big deal either. And that's with an increase in the data package!

Good Things for April

April 21st, 2013 at 06:25 pm

Two good things happened this month:

1. Paid off the Emblem credit card. YAY!!

2. Auto insurance decreased by about $20.

So now I have to readjust the budget. I haven't set anything in stone yet and wasn't coming out with an actual budget until May.

I've also submitted the paperwork for all but one company to get all of my interest rates down which happens to be the credit card I just paid off. I'm going to start calling them this week to verify if I'm unable to verify it online.

But so far this is a good month. Looking forward to how things will go next month. I'll put up a budget later and see if I come close to that for debt repayments.

A Funny Thing Happened to Me...

April 1st, 2013 at 08:33 am

Well a funny thing happened to me yesterday....

I had to get a new hard drive last month because mine was dying. So in it went.

I had to also re-install my genealogy software. Genealogy is more a passion than a hobby.

But when I first purchased this software 2 years ago, it came with a 6-month free subscription to Ancestry.com which I used. And this is why I purchased it anyways. Now I would need to purchase it for an annual amount of $155 or semi-annual of $77 which is what I was going to do anyways.

Well when I re-installed it yesterday it asked me to register. Which I dutifully did. Right when I registered it stated that I have received the 6-month free membership.

HUH?! But! UM! UGH! I can't tell it that I have already done this so NOW I get another subscription for free.... So I just saved myself $77 without even trying. LOL

OH well, this allows me to save up for when the subscription renews. =P


March 5th, 2013 at 01:56 pm

Well I'm finally home from Afghanistan! YAY ME!

First thing I did when I arrived at my brother/sister-in-law's place was eat some chinese takeout! =P

I have also installed YNAB (www.youneedabudget.com) onto my computer and have started inputing my budget. I've gone over certain things with my parents and I'll probably be doing this over a month but next month all the bills should be settled as to what I'll be paying.

Good news:

My parents told me that ALL of my medical collections have been paid off except for one which happens to be the biggest one. I also have leftover fees to pay to an apartment that I'm no longer at.

Bad news:

That's an extra $30/month that goes towards debt repayment.

Good news:

The WF student loan that my ex has that I'm currently paying on went from $110/mo to $106.82/mo.

I'll pay the minimum because of the snowball debt repayment plan that I'm incorporating this month. I'll need to re-calculate some information because the original plan was to have the car loan, timeshare, Sallie Mae paid off by September 2017. Now I will recalculate both the old apartment and medical collections into it to see what the NEW pay off date is. My ideal plan would be to have all of those paid off in five years. I would throw any extra money that I had at it as well but wouldn't be able to count that as a gaurantee since it's just extra money.

I'll put up later what my actual budget is. YNAB should be able to actually list directly what I'm doing and need to do.

But I'm glad that I am home. I'm really looking foward to not having to have a battle buddy EVERYWHERE I go...

I'm finally home and I'm loving every minute of it! =D


The Motorcycle vs the Car

March 2nd, 2013 at 01:25 am

I've been thinking lately to purchase a motorcycle. A cruiser. NOT A NEW ONE. A used vehicle that I will pay for outright.

The reasoning is mainly gas. Although I'll pay for it in insurance and property taxes, I believe that it'll pay for itself in the long run due to utilization of gas. I currently have a 2004 Kia Sorento which uses about 20mpg/hwy and 18mpg/city.

If I get a motorcycle then it'll be about 50mpg/hwy and 45mpg/city.

If gas costs about $4.00/gallon then would it benefit me to have a motorcycle for "in city usage" and use the SUV for traveling?

The motorcycle has a 4-5/gallon tank and the SUV has a 20/gallon tank. It would take $16-20 to fill up the motorcycle while getting 180-225 miles a tank (city) and the SUV would cost $80 to fill up while getting 360 miles a tank (city).

It takes me 16 miles to drive to work so that's 32 miles daily. Using the motorcycle I would still be on that first gallon where as the SUV would already be ending the second gallon.

I will not be paying more than $2,0000 for this vehicle because I want it used and I'm not wanting to spend a lot of money on it.

But I'm still thinking that maybe it'll save me money in the long run if I have the second vehicle.

What do you think?

Good News for Me! YAY!

February 12th, 2013 at 09:46 am

Last night I learned some good news for me personally.

When I received my leases the manager had stated that the first lease will end July 31st because all the leases in the community do. When it renews it will renew at the lower rate for the next term. So I was expecting $809 for five (5) months and then $779 for the subsequent months. It's only a $30/month difference but that's an extra $30 that I can put elsewhere. I've decided that I will be splitting it between my Wallet Fun Money and Debt repayment. The majority going towards debt repayment. (I put this in detail in my previous posting).

So imagine my surprise when I received both leases stating that my rent amount would be $779!! This amount was handwritten on both leases so I knew it couldn't have been a mistake. I'm really excited because now I can put that amount immediately towards my debt instead of waiting five (5) months to do it! YAY ME!

This could be the difference of paying off Sallie Mae in three (3) years instead of four (4) years. I'm planning to write down what I currently owe and seeing how long it'll take me to pay it all off completely. My plan is five (5) years but we'll see.

I'll do whatever I can to make it five (5) years instead of more. For some odd reason I'm thinking that I can have everything paid off in seven (7) years. I'm not sure why that number keeps popping into my head. I haven't even done any of the math yet. But we'll see!


Expected Expenses

February 11th, 2013 at 08:02 am

When I get back I know pretty much what my expenses are going to be but I'm not sure if they'll change...:

Ex's Student Loan 1: $110
Insurance: about $150
Netflix: 8.55
Time share: 132.80
Car Loan: 213.55
Cell w/insurance: 82.49
Food/Gas: 400
Coupon Inserts: 55
Rent: 809 (this includes water/trash/sewer/electricity/high speed internet/furniture) - upon renewal lease will decrease to $779 (technically this is more than the original place that I looked at ($705) but that didn't include water/electricity)

(I do have a credit card but I will pay that off when I get back with my savings)

The other student loans are on deferrment/forebearance:

Sallie Mae: 190.01 - forebearance til Nov 2013
Direct Loans: deferred til Sep 2013
ACS: 75.96 - deferred til July 2013

I'm not worried about the Direct or ACS loans because as long as I'm in school I can defer them. But that stupid Sallie Mae loan is what I really hate.

My net will be about $2,305.77 (according to calculations)
Bills: -$1962.82
Which equals $342.95 left until Aug which will then be $372.95 left. Then in Nov because I'll have to start paying the Sallie Mae again. Then that'll leave only $182.94.

I'll contribute the leftover as such at first:

Roth IRA: $25
DebtL 230 (and whatever else comes my way)
Wallet: 50 (fun money to do with whatever I want with)
Savings: 50

in Aug it'll change to:

Roth IRA: $25
Debt: $250
Wallet: $50
Savings: $50

in Nov it'll change to:

Roth IRA: $25
Debt: $60
Wallet: $50
Savings: $50

Now the thing is this. I can pay something down about $2,400 before Nov but I won't be paying anything off with it. So I've decided to actually start my debt repayment by paying off the Sallie Mae loan. That way I can continuously pay $250/mo to it. I know that it only has 6% interest and my car loan has 11.5% interest.

So it would seem to make sense to pay off the higher interest loan first but after Nov I would only be able to contribute $60/mo to it. But I think it makes more sense to keeping paying on the Sallie Mae and that way it'll only take me about three (3) years to pay it off

Your opinions and suggestions are appreciated if you have any.

Guess What We're Having!!!

February 10th, 2013 at 09:20 am

My youngest (21 years old) is pregnant with a little boy and my oldest (24 years old) is pregnant with... yes you guessed it. TWINS!!! Both a boy and a girl. So by the end of this year I will have two granddaughters and two grandsons. I'm both scared and excited. I'm worried that my daughters will have extra to take care of when they are still learning to take care of themselves.

I've actually (recently) offered them a budget software. My conditions are that they must go to the website and download the 34-day free trial (www.youneedabudget.com) and if my girls with their significant other uses it then I will considered purchasing it for them as a gift so that they can get their finances together. This is software that I will be using myself.

Recently YNAB is also offering a workbook to go along with the software, and I would also purchase this for them (i'm actually going to purchase the workbook for myself as well. I starting a new life for me when I get back and I'm goin to arm myself with as much tools as possible. And I want my family to be well armed as well. I've even offered it to my ex-husband. The more finanically stable he becomes the more he won't rely on the alimony that he receives.

My plan to help out my children and myself is that when I get home to start immediately start working on ourstockpiles. I want a six (6) month stockpile for all of us but I'm thinking that it'll take about three (3) months to do this. This will allow for them to be able to get their finances in order to be able to set themselves up in a better financial situation.

I just don't want them to learn what they need to know in order to be financially stable by the time they're m age. It's frustrating if they wait to long. Hopefully the will learn quickly but I'm hoping the software will also help them. I just wish it was around when I needed it at their age.

But I'm SOOO looking forward to seeing all my grandchildren.

HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY you lovely beauties! =D

Although the babies are due in June and July, I have a feeling that my grandbabies will be all arriving in May. This means there will probably be a slight change to my 2013 goals. In fact I believe that I will change that to just 'GOALS' instead. They will include both short and long term goals but it'll be an overall instead of a yearly. I'd prefer it that way. It's not really rushed and I won't feel as if I didn't accomplish anything if I didn't complete my list by the end of the year.

But I'm definitely excited! I'm already wondering what they will look like but as long as they're healthy I don't care. I already love them! =D

Major Budget Change

January 28th, 2013 at 09:19 am

I had been hoping to get an apartment for $600/month which included furniture, internet, and cable (with HBO) with a private bathroom. Water was to be $10/mo and I had to pay my own portion of the electricity since the property would be student type living (roommate). But I wasn't able to get the deal that I was promised so it would now be $705/mo (that's including the water).

So now I'm looking at different places but WITHOUT a roommate. If I'm going to be paying that much I'd rather live on my own. Albeit I'll have to purchase my own furniture since I don't have any but that's okay. I only want a new bed with mattress, a table with chairs, sofa or loveseat, coffee table and a nightstand. I'd buy the bed/mattress new but the rest I'd get second-hand. My parents would actually give me one of the tv's that they have that has a DVD player on it. They just purchased a new tv and it's no biggie. haha!

But on my own I'd have to pay for electricity, water, and internet. I don't need cable because I have Netflix. I WAS hoping to find a place where I can pay $600/mo maximum for everything, but that probably won't happen.

I have two reasons that I want my own place.

I've NEVER lived on my own.

I went from my parents, to marriage, to a roommate when I become legally separated, to the Army, to deployment. Especially the last three years...

The second reason is just that I'm just over having a roommate.

I want to live on my own, be by myself and not have to consider someone elses feelings if I put something somewhere...

Whenever I get into another relationship I want to have that experience of just taking care of me. Technically I have been for the past three years but having to live day in and day out with several other people constantly and not being able to take a breather is just grating on my nerves!

So I'm aware that it may take me more gas than I had budgeted for but I'll just have to reduce my grocery budget. I wasn't planning on using the whole thing anyways. But I'll still put the rest towards bills of whatever is left over.

But that's life. To take what it gives you.

Just to let you know I've taken in consideration that I may not be able to find a place just for me. Which means that I WILL have to go the student type living. I've looked at another place where I would pay less than $600/mo. Private bathroom, water, internet and cable are included in the rent. But I would also have three other roommates. But it would allow for me to pay some things down and in a year I'd try another route.

Wish me luck!! =D

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