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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.

What to Do With Tax Refund?

January 2nd, 2017 at 08:04 pm

Well it's that time of year again... TAX TIME!!!

I've already started inputting my information but of course I haven't received everything to put in the system yet.

So I'm trying to figure out what to do with it. I already know I'm going to go on holiday with some of it. A couple of my best mates and I will be going on a cruise. We'll be sharing the same room so that will make it cost a bit less.

The rest...

I should have my reimbursement by then hopefully so emergency fund should be re-funded. I'd pay off one card but my parents will be doing that. So the other things that are left are things that wouldn't get paid off with it.

I'm thinking if I should fund all the things that I should save for such as Christmas presents, property taxes and whatnot. Especially for the move I plan on doing in July if I don't move sooner. (If another incident happens at the apartments, I may need to see if I can break my lease for safety reasons. Last week a woman stabbed her husband/boyfriend after catching him with another woman)

What are ya'lls plans? And/or maybe you have some opinions on what I should do.

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.

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.

Credit Card Debt

June 11th, 2014 at 08:34 am

Well I WAS credit card debt free but since moving into my apartment I've purchased a few things that I actually needed as well as other furniture.

One is a line of credit with 0% interest rate right now and the other is my credit card attached with my bank, and also the Emblem card that I'm still trying to get the APR lowered.

The Emblem card is $30/mo, bank card is $91/mo and the line of credit is $114/mo. So I'll be trying to pay off the line of credit first since it's the most that I pay for monthly.

When I move into my new place in a few months I know that I'll be able to put more money towards paying them off.

We'll see.

Funny Thing Happened at Work Today

June 6th, 2014 at 04:47 pm

This morning as we were doing physical training I happened to mention that I'll be moving soon and that I was going to go and sign lease papers today.

So a fellow associate mentions that he's renting out his house (duplex) for $350 (includes everything). So I'm going to rent from him. Can't wait to move!


Found an Apartment!

May 26th, 2014 at 10:59 am

There are several things happening in the next two months. I've found an apartment with a GREAT deal. $99 move-in special. The rent includes water, cable and internet.

The rent doesn't include the washer/dryer. If I rent from the complex then it'll cost me $50 extra (I'm in the process of finding a cheaper one because if I spend $600 I could actually buy a brand new one for less...

Also my current roommate will be moving out and I'm looking for two roommates to cut down on rent.

It's about ten minutes closer to work so I'm hoping it'll cut down on about %50 worth of gas every month.

So I'll be moving a month earlier than expected but this will allow me to not be homeless for a day. LOL.

So at this point I'm looking for two roommates ($500 each all inclusive), and help with moving. I'll take the whole month to move because I believe that'll benefit me better. Less stuff to take out at the end.

So it'll only cost me about $200 to move but that's including the internet, cable and water.

I'm already advertising in two places for a roommate but there are also two other places that I will advertise as well.

I'm excited!

About that Credit Card You're Paying Off...

April 9th, 2014 at 03:22 pm

I'm in the process of paying of a credit card. I was paying the minimum because I've been snowballing another account.

The card was shredded earlier last year so I haven't been using it.

Statement came in today and I looked at it because I know that it should be paid off in the next few months.

Imagine my surprise when I opened it up and saw about $1000 of charges!

So know I have to call the credit card company. I've never had this issue before so I'm not sure how this is going to pan out...

My advice to you: Check your statements every month even if you have shredded the card and no longer using it! And don't forget to DEACTIVATE it so that it can't be used!

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.

Annnnd Starting Again

April 6th, 2014 at 11:36 am

So I'm starting over again it feels like. Things happen an my savings have been depleted. If anything I may need to use my retirement funds if push comes to shove but that is only in a dire situation such as can't pay rent until I move (I'll be moving in several months. I've found a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom apartment for about $1000/mo. I'll get 2 other roommates and it takes 10 minutes off of my commute.

My window for re-enlistment comes up in October so I'm wanting to change my MOS and try to get Korea in my contract. Which in the long run will save me money.

So in the meantime I haven't been following my budget because things come up but as long as I keep trying then it means that I'll eventually get to where I'm wanting to go.

Cheaper to Have a Roommate...

January 22nd, 2014 at 07:29 pm

I've been shopping for a new place (hopefully I've found THE place and an apartment will be available when it's time for me to move).

I would LOVE to have my own place and pay less than $400 all inclusive. But alas, it isn't so...

After looking, I've come to the conclusion that it is cheaper in this area to have a roommate.

Now the difficulty is finding a place that someone would like to rent with me since my roommate is moving out.

I figured $500 with their own room and bathroom. It's not furnished but the rest of the place will be. The place I found is a nice place with indoor storage in the apartment as well. And some other perks such as garbage disposal, microwave, A/C, pantry, washer/dryer and dishwasher. Although it doesn't have a gym or pool.

But I still think it's a good deal. Small community (24 apartments total) but very nice place and close to post (which being military is a bonus).

I'm glad I found this place I'm just hoping I can get this place when the time comes. Smile


December 29th, 2013 at 11:28 am

Well I've finally done it. I've taken ALL of my children off of my auto insurance policy LOL.

She's gotten married and has given me a grandchild in the last 6 months. So she's been informed that as of the 6th of Jan she needs to have her own insurance.

My insurance goes down about $30 but that'll get eaten up by something increasing... LOL.

Gotta redo the budget because of this but I'm glad it goes down. I've had my kids on my insurance for nine (9) years now.

YAY ME! j/k lol

Baby Clothes & A Bit of Fun

September 6th, 2013 at 08:04 am

Just bought baby clothes yesterday for about $30 from a friend's wife. I will also be cruising the yard sale this Saturday because I'm looking for a road bike. I may also purchase more baby clothes.

As for entertainment I will be going to bingo this Saturday. It'll cost at least $17 but I thought I'd give it a try and also there is a chance to win prizes. If I win, I win but my intent is to have a bit of fun.

Should I Be Upset?

September 2nd, 2013 at 09:03 am

I have a timeshare... yeah yeah I know... but anyways lol

I have a timeshare with the current rate of APR at 17%. I have sent in paperwork to get my rate down to 6%.

I sent in this paperwork (& it has been received) at least 2 months ago. I actually tried to send it 4 months ago but the person that actually handles that kept stating that she hadn't received it.

Now I know that it has been received but my rate STILL says 17%. I do have an account manager at the timeshare place that is handling it but she can't directly put that information on my account. It is the responsibility of someone else. My account manager has verified that the paperwork has been received and given to the correct person.

But in the meantime I'm still making payments and nothing is happening. I'm getting very frustrated with this. Even if I was informed that the rate would be backdated it's still "blah, blah, blah" for me because IT HASN'T BEEN TAKEN CARE OF.

Do I have a right to be upset? I can't get in touch with the responsible person directly, only my account manager who has helped me out tremendously in the past. I don't blame her at all because it's not her job to update the rate. She was able to confirm the receipt of paperwork but that is about it...

Again, should I be upset about this?

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

A Lot Has Happened

August 31st, 2013 at 03:29 pm

A lot has happened in the past few weeks...

I was pretty much kicked out of my apartment. Why you ask? Because they didn't want for me to rent it for the amount that they put on the contract. It was for half of the amount in which they intended. They stated that they sent me an e-mail (which they sent to the wrong address) which only gave me 3 hours to vacate the premises because my current contract was up at noon that day.

I was already at work (I'm military) and didn't have access to any of that information. My parents sent me a text stating that I need to turn in my keys. This was at 11:00am. I didn't get to the apartments at 11:30am. They stated that I had 30 minutes left to vacate.

Mind you, this was almost 2 months after knee surgery and I couldn't carry anything heavy by myself. I had to contact my roommate and she arrived a bit after noon.

The complex then gave me till the close of business to vacate. My roommate and I pretty much moved out by ourselves (with my not really being any help :'( ).

I signed a new contract with a new place and have been VERY satisfied with their service. The new place has given me $1,450 in incentives when I move in. $250 was for the security deposit that I did NOT have to provide. And I'm using the $1,200 to put towards my rent ($100 off monthly).

The only thing I needed was furniture which I now have. I did purchase a bedroom suite which I have divided among my bedroom and living room. I am not purchasing dining room furniture because we're using that area as a home gym.

I feel lucky that I was able to purchase my dream bedroom furniture (except for the platform bed) but whenever I move into my dream home, I'll just put that into the guest bedroom. LOL!

At this point I'm still unpacking and will be going through my things to see what can be donated, sold, or thrown away.

So right now my rent is $960, but with $100 off it's $860. Then my roommate pays half so it's $430. The only utilities that we have are electricity, water, and internet.

Electricity is $57.22 for 16 days. $30 is the activation fee so it's actually $27.22. But I will expect to pay about $80 per month.

Internet is $68.86. This includes a modem rental of $5 per month ($60 annually). I will try to find a modem for less than that so I would no longer have to pay them for the rental. The internet is actually $29.95 the first year then $49.95 after that.

Water bill is $15.27 which is exciting to me.

So all in all for the new place, it costs me $1,101.35 for the first month and I have $100 off every month which equals to $1,001.35. And since I have a roommate we only both pay $500.68. I'm VERY happy with where I am and I'm looking forward to the next 11 months here.

New Way of Paying Bills LOL

July 16th, 2013 at 10:20 am

So I'm sure that plenty of you have already figured this out. But I've now become part of a new credit union that I'm enjoying, but I've never participated in automatic bill paying.

Here's the setup...

I have a car loan in which I've been able to now pay off two months earlier because I refinanced at 50 months for a 48 month loan.

But I used to pay bi-weekly on the loan which meant that I'd be paying less interest and more principal.

So this is what I'm doing now:

I've currently setup my automatic bill paying for weekly payment. This should pay more towards principal in the long run but I'm not sure if it'll pay it off sooner.

But paying this off now isn't my main objective because this loan has the lowest interest rate. My main objective (the account I want to payoff first) will also be on weekly payments but at the last day of the month (28th), I will make a larger payment to it at that time. (I want to be sure that I have the extra funds needed for that month).

I'm definitely going to start doing this with as many of them as I can (which I've already input into the system).

So here's to paying off my debt with less interest as well as sooner. YAY ME!


July 8th, 2013 at 07:05 pm

While I stayed with my parents I have made a major decision.

I had already made the decision to change my MOS (job). Not only due to the injury that I sustained downrange but also to the fact that I'd prefer an MOS that had more mental challenge to it. The field I'm currently in is great if you want to be in construction. And although I actually like construction I'd prefer being a carpenter more than anything else.

I'm listening to my big brother while I make the decision as to what I want to change it to although he thinks I'm not listening (haha).

But my big decision is where to PCS (permanent change of station) to. Meaning where I want to try to change my duty station. This affects me a lot more than usual since they are changing the PCS rules. Before I joined it was two years that you'd stay at your duty station. Then when I joined it changed to three years. Now, it's going to change to FOUR years.

That's a lot of time a one place if you're single and one of the reasons that you joined was the ability to be at different duty stations.

So the big decision is for me to go back home. Meaning going to the post that my parents live at so that I would be staying with them for four years. In doing so, I would not only live with them during that time but pay them rent which would be $300/month.

My rent is currently $779/month (which it'll go down to $550/mo next month) which includes water, electricity, internet and cable. I'd save almost $500/month doing this. Which in turn means that I have an extra $500/month to put towards debt reduction.

What would actually be a bonus is if I was not only able to do that but also go into an MOS that had a bonus. Yes, I realized that it would be taxed but it's better than NOT getting a bonus at all.

Hopefully I can find out more in the next few months. There are a couple of programs that I can inquire about to change my MOS before my re-enlistment comes up or I can just wait until then...

But either way, it'll mean living back at home with my parents.

Maybe I can give them enough money in rent so that they can take a trip to Paris!

Income Properties

July 6th, 2013 at 09:22 am

I think that every small child dreams of one day having their own home. No matter what it is i.e mobile home, apartment etc.

But for me, as a small child I remember dreaming about my dream home. It was a gorgeous two-story stand-alone home with lots of bedrooms and bathrooms. As I got older I realized what my dream home actually was and I still hold that dream to that day.

Folks, my dream home is a duplex!

(I think this comes from the fact that even as a small child I knew you had to pay for a house and I didn't want to pay for it if someone else could. I don't know HOW I made the connection, I just knew I wanted to live there for free!)

But I want my home to look like a single family home from the front. (through research I've actually found the plans for it online).

But I've actually expanded on it as I've gotten older. As a child my dream job was real estate (yes I know that this means I was undoubtedly a weird child in some respects...)

But it wasn't the owning of homes that I really wanted. What I really wanted to do as a child was buy a house and make it "pretty" again. And have the opportunity to let someone live in it (interpret this to keeping it and renting it)

In other words -- RENOVATION!

Again, as I have gotten older this hasn't changed.

But I've also looked at it at different points of views:

Should I buy a house/condo an renovate it and rent it out
Should I buy a move-in ready house/condo and rent it out
Should I buy several houses/condos and rent it out
Should I buy a duplex/multi-plex and rent it out
Should build a duplex/multi-plex and rent it out

These questions are so hard for me to answer over time.

I've already decided that I would either:

purchase several move-in ready condos/a duplex/a multi-plex and rent all out (if I'm still living with my parents)


build a duplex/multi-plex and rent it out.

I've found plans for the duplex and multiplex that I'd want to build. I'd just need to see what the cost of construction is and the best area to build it in.

I already know that if I built the multi-plex then I'd hire a property manager to take care of it and probably the same if I go for the duplex depending on the amount of rent I'd get. A property manager instantly eats into your profits but I believe it's worth it if you have multiple properties in the same area.

So this is a goal for myself. A home that pays for itself. Even with the headaches that it can come with, I still believe that the pros outweigh the cons.

I'm not looking for a quick turn-around on these properties. I want to keep them for at least 10 years if not more. This is also part of my retirement plan because after the military I want to keep working. And real estate is a job that is ageless. Someone is always buying, selling or building. And since I've always loved construction and like building I figure it's definitely a good fit for me.

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!

That's How We Roll

July 2nd, 2013 at 12:57 pm

My parents just called me and they informed me that they visited my credit union and refinanced their car with them. Navy Federal still has the special of refinance and get $250. Plus my parents used me as a referral and both of us get $25 each.

Yep, that's how we roll!

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.


How Should I Invest?

June 23rd, 2013 at 03:19 pm

Today I just remembered something that I've literally forgotten. I have approximately $2,000 coming to me.

While I was overseas I had the option of putting my money into an Savings Deposit Plan (SDP). So for nine months I put in $250/month into this account which stops when you come back from overseas.

As of my last paycheck I have $2,345.34 in this account. So it's earned at approximately $95 in interest at this time.

So at this point I'm not exactly sure what to do with the money. I could put it in a Roth IRA, CDs or just deposit it into my savings account to help boost my emergency fund.

I'm just upset with myself that I actually forgot about that much money. It was coming out of my account automatically so I didn't have to think about it but that's the flip side. You may truly forget about it and not even realize you have it especially if you have beneficiaries.

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