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Budget for the Year-ish

January 7th, 2017 at 05:43 pm

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.

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

Expenses:
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 5th, 2017 at 02:19 am

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:

Needs:
full size washer/dryer
storage
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 06:25 pm

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 06:44 pm

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 24th, 2016 at 06:59 am

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 13th, 2016 at 05:36 am

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 10:26 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 10:50 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 7th, 2014 at 02:53 am

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

Example:
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 15th, 2014 at 03:37 am

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 05:55 pm

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