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It's official!

March 16th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

My small student loan through Sallie Mae is paid off!! I mean, I sent them the final payment ages ago (it seems). I made it online after first looking to see what the 10 day payoff amount would be, but when I entered that amount it told me I couldn't enter more than the 5 day payoff amount so I changed it. Must have had something to do with paying it off online instead of mailing it in. At any rate, it seemed for a few weeks my account stayed at a -$0.06 from the difference between payoff amount and amount showing as current balance. But as of yesterday that is all behind me. Yipee!

Of course now I still have my $30k one at Wells Fargo but one step at a time.

In savings related news, I've decided that once each of my online savings accounts reaches $500 I am going to stop contributing to them and instead take that money I was socking away and use it to pay stuff down. I have to have the $75 auto transfer for my brick and mortar bank but I'll just transfer the money back later.

Small student loan paid off and new clothing allowance

February 12th, 2008 at 09:53 pm

Over the weekend I paid off my small student loan! That makes me happy!! It also frees up a $50 payment I was making to it to be used elsewhere.

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This Friday I will receive my first full month check. It will be nice to see how much I'm actually receiving. Although it will change in a month or so once they actually start taking money out for my retirement. Still though I think I'm left with at least $100 extra to pay off stuff.

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I think I need to give myself a clothing allowance. I've been in my new job for 4 months now, and some of my clothes are showing signs of wear. Since I need to dress a little nicer I want to be prepared for spending a little more when it comes down to it. I'm considering taking that $50 that I was paying on the student loan and just setting it aside every month so that when I do need to buy clothes I have the cash for it. I rarely pay full price on anything, usually it's on sale, more often on clearance. But still things add up and with my height that adds at least $10 to the price of things no matter how much it's reduced by. Especially where pants are concerned. I don't need to buy anything now which is why I think I should start setting aside money now so I have it when I need it and don't raid savings or pull out the cc.

I'm pretty excited for Friday though, let me tell you. Smile

I think I can pull this off.

September 18th, 2007 at 08:54 am

I debated about asking my dad for help with insurance. I still might but its hard to ask him for anything even though he tells me to if I need it.

This morning I got another bt offer for 0% until 4/2008 and a 3% fee with a max of $75. That got me thinking along the lines of, should I request a check just to have as backup funds and not cash it if I don't need it?

Here's how it breaks down...

By the end of this month I will have at least $1,000 in savings. Probably more but I won't know til I get paid. Add to that $200/mo repayments from my brothers guaranteed ($100 is via allotment straight to my bank account and the other I have access to his accounts so he is sure to pay me regularly). Over the course of the next 4 months that makes an additional $800. Plus there's the kicker check I'll be getting in December. They say the median amount is $260 or so, I plugged in numbers at a website and it showed more like $500 for me but I'm not 100% sure since I can't find my state tax forms.

I know I'll have other extra cash I'm just plotting worst case scenario. I'm also making the assumption that I can pay all my regular bills with whatever pay I get.

Ok so I will have to pay for COBRA in November and December. October should be covered by what I've already paid since we pay for the next month. January I'm going to go without and just get meds at Costco. That will satisfy the continuous coverage with less than 63 days of non coverage thing so I don't have to worry about pre-existing condition stuff. That's assuming I get hired on in January as benefits would start in February. Total costs for COBRA will be about $840 for the two months.

All told, even with not getting paid for holidays since I'll be contract, and with my first month once I get hired on, having to live on a smaller paycheck as I transition from every other week to once a month, I think I'll be ok.

My student loan that I've been working like crazy to pay off tells me I don't have to make a payment til January. So I think I'm going to take them up on it. I will make monthly payments of $20 + whatever interest has accrued but not my usual $60 plus whatever extra I can scrounge up. That will help. Hopefully I won't have to resort to using my cc to pay bills. But at least I have that option.

All told, I think I'm going to hold off on the bt offer. If I can make it through this and still have $500 in my EF, I will be a happy camper. If I can make it through this without having to charge anything, even if it means draining my EF completely, I will be fine with that too.

25 100s

August 8th, 2007 at 09:16 am

My first attempt got lost in the ether...

My brother made his first installment to me of 2500 in cash. Its going in the bank today and as soon as it's registered as being deposited (it's cash so that should be almost immediately) here's how it's going to be dispersed:

220 - Wells Fargo Savings to pay back what I'd drawn specifically for him over the course of the year.
709 - Pay off credit card that's supposed to be cleared off completely.
1500 - Put on student loan that's at 13% (current total about $2131)

And the rest (about $70) will be used to buy gifts for my ex-roommate's bridal shower and wedding that's coming up fast.

It'll put my EF really close to my goal of $1000. It'll put a huge dent in my highest interest debt. It'll make it so I have a limit on what to spend on gifts. I will probably still charge the hotel room but I'm sharing it so it'll get paid off right quick.

I am SUPER excited right now!!

My brother and I made arrangements for the rest of his debt. He will repay me $100/mo starting in September and continue in that fashion until he gets his tax return. Then he'll pay the rest of the balance, or at least another large portion of it.

Finding my way back.

June 14th, 2007 at 03:58 pm

In my head it made perfect sense. I was paying more than the minimum on my 10.9% loan because that was the amount already in the budget from when it was a credit card with a higher minimum. Recent changes in required minimums have forced me to rethink things. And considering I'm training for a walking relay, and walking about 6 miles three times a week, I have LOTS of time to rethink things.

This is what I have come up with:
Priority 1: Pay off CC2
Priority 2: EF up to goal
Priority 3: 13.25% personal (not federal) student loan
Priority 4: 10.9% loan and back on track with my Three Phase plan

Priority 1... well you see it went something like this. I had CC2 all paid off. A couple months ago I remembered that CC1 was still the billing card for my website (annual automatic charge) so I changed it to be CC2 since CC2 was paid off and it would be more motivation to pay it off before interest accrued. Only I thought the website renewal was in July and it's really in June so it's been charged already and I have yet to pay it off.

Then as I was looking at something at Ticketmaster I saw that Stomp was coming to town. I have this friend, we've known each other a long time (since '94). Her birthday is coming up end of June and I haven't really ever gotten her something that's really special, something that she'd really appreciate. Usually it's just the token 'oh crap her birthday's coming up I need to do something' type gift. Granted, she doesn't expect anything from me and has told me that on numerous occasions. But, she also has come up with some pretty amazingly thoughtful wonderful gifts for me over the years. (like my justification bit here?) She also happens to Really like Stomp. So I decided to see what tickets were available and found some pretty decent seats. I went ahead and bought two tickets, thinking it was in July and she could just take whoever she wanted to. But after I bought them I realized the show is in June, just before her birthday. So I'm going to surprise her and take her to the show. She knows we're getting together that night for her birthday just the two of us but that's all she knows. I'm really excited about surprising her on the one hand and mildly kicking myself for charging it before knowing that I'll have the funds to pay it off before interest is charged.

And of course then there was my dentist visit on Wednesday. It wound up costing $448, a little more than expected but they did two fillings rather than just one so I knew it would be more. I have transferred money out of my Medical Savings to pay that part off.

Priority two... I just recently realized that I'm never going to get my EF to where it needs to be at the rate I'm going. Which right now is I have a small amount in the budget that goes to Savings but then I take all of the extra money and throw it at my 10.9% loan. It wouldn't take me all that long to make my goal if I'd just put the extra into Savings instead.

Priority three... This loan is the bane of my existence. The interest rate increased after I actually started paying on it and instead of being the $50/mo it claimed it would be, it actually wound up being more. I got sick of the fluctuations in how much to pay every month so I just started paying $60/mo. That at least made my budget simple and meant that I was paying a little extra on it. But I just want it to go away! So I've decided to focus on that soon.

Priority four... I really still want to have all of my consumer debt paid off by April 2010. I feel like I'm going to be behind in my goal if I put other things in front of it but my gut feeling is that this is the way it needs to happen. Besides, then I'll have an extra $60/mo to pay on things once I pay off the 13.25% loan.

Writing this all down is more for me than anything else. I seem to think of all this great stuff but never follow through. Perhaps with it written down perhaps I can actually stick to it.

Student loan interest reduction

May 4th, 2007 at 06:57 am

I got a letter in the mail that I forgot I was expecting. Since it's been however long since I started paying on my student loan by letting them auto transfer from my account (both operated by the same bank) they reduced my interest rate by 0.25% Which may not sound like a lot..but according to Quicken it reduced the number of payments left from 227 to 216. I am so not complaining.

I got the rejection email yesterday, didn't get the job. Oh well another will come along.

I'm going away for the weekend but I don't think my spending will be too out of control. I'm driving my best friend from Portland to Medford for her sister's wedding. Her mom asked if I would pay for the gas and in exchange she would cover my hotel room. Fair enough. I have $20 left over from last month's gas budget and a $25 gift card for shell plus I just got paid so have my regular gas budget for the next two weeks. I think I'll be ok. I started thinking about money I'd need for like food and realized, it's not going to be that bad. I'm packing us both a lunch for today (I pick her up at 12:30), we'll be down in time for the rehearsal dinner, I think the place we are staying at has a free breakfast. That just leaves lunch and dinner on Saturday and lunch on the drive back on Sunday. The wedding is at 2 and they're going ultra low budget so I expect there'll just be cake.

Pay day!

October 20th, 2006 at 08:21 am

It's payday today. It actually went surprisingly well. This is the first paycheck where I'm actually paying two of my bills instead of using them as part of the payment of my CC1. I had earmarked more money than necessary for some of them. Others had credits I wasn't expecting. So it all rounded out to not bad.

All bills got paid and leaves 20.03 cushion

I'm anticipating a nice deposit for Tuesday to pay towards CC2. I have the following in hand to pay:
30.00 From paycheck
5.00 Pinecone check

And the following potential:
20.00 Babysitting Friday night (guess)
50.00 Childcare on Sunday (they didn't pay me last week so I'll get double this week)
30.00 Childcare on Monday (extra $5 for what I gave a parent for change last week)

Grand total of $135 potentially to pay on CC2. I checked the calendar and there are exactly 4 Tuesdays between now and 11/20 so I'm ok to make a payment every week. That's exciting too. I can only make 4 online payments per statement period.

Once my statements are available online I'll be updating my Three Phase Plan.

It just looks better.

October 17th, 2006 at 07:59 am

I have a couple of loans through my bank (Wells Fargo) and when I log in I see the grand total of those loans on the main page. It's a rather discouraging amount, $43k. But today, after one of my loan payments got applied, it's down to $42k. That seems like a really big deal to me. I can't wait for next month when I actually start making a dent in the student loan.

I only got $20 last night. Well, I got $25 but one of the parents needed change and so I gave him my $5 and I'll get it back next week. I was debating about whether I should even bother making a trip to the bank to deposit just $20 but then I realized, it's cash. If I have it, I'll spend it. So I went ahead and made a payment on my CC2 for $20 which means that I HAVE to go to the bank to deposit it before work.

Still no sign of the allotment. I'll contact step bro later in the morning if it's still not there. I can never figure banks out. How they process things I mean. Sometimes they show the pending deposit/withdrawl, sometimes they don't but when it does show up it shows that it was credited the day before. I don't get it. Ah well, so long as I know it's coming out it's all good.

Finally!

October 6th, 2006 at 01:04 pm

I'm no longer just paying interest in my high student loan!! That'll teach me to skip a payment just cuz they tell me I can. Tsk tsk.

I expect next month to be more on par with what it will actually be. Out of a payment of $259 only $50 went to principle this month. But at least my numbers will start looking better NetWorth wise next month.

I'm going camping this weekend. Really looking forward to it. I think I'm going to take my babysitting money from tonight and use that to pay for the campsite (there's a bunch of people splitting the cost so I don't know how much it will be but not more than $13, plus I'm getting a ride out with friends and we're sharing food) and breakfast on Sunday.

I'm so tired right now. Coffee sounds really good. Even though I should avoid caffiene.

Just because they say you don't have to make a payment...

August 10th, 2006 at 10:29 pm

..doesn't mean you shouldn't. I know this. Really I do. But I got so excited when they told me in July that I wasn't required to make a payment til August that I used the money to pay off other things. And now I'm paying for it, in another respect. My payment to my consolidated student loan this month, went completely to interest. Next month will too. Finally in October, I'll actually pay off approx $30 towards principle. In November I should be back on track. Ugh.

Ok now if my transfer papers will just show up so I can get them filled out and sent off and be done with my timeshare then I'll have that money to use elsewhere! I'm getting anxious about it now but I know things take a while to get mailed so I shouldn't be.

End of Sunday.

July 9th, 2006 at 09:47 pm

I walked 5 miles (to church and back) so that was cool.

Donated $5 to a gas card fund for a friend who's moving to Boston for graduate school.

Spent $6 at the movies.

Spent $4 on dinner.

And the best news in the world.... I happened to log into my online banking and noticed my student loan balance looked odd. I thought at first that it had increased, that the interest from this month that I didn't have to pay got added back in. Nope that wasn't it. They'd accidentally overpaid my Sallie Mae loan by $515 and so Sallie Mae sent it back to Wells Fargo who then took it off my balance. Sweet!

So the remaining balances on stuff I spent:

$9.01 personal
$31.00 grocery (because I used cash that was grocery money for personal stuff I now have some grocery money in the bank so nothing goes to the dollar jar)

I'm going to a pampered chef party on Tuesday, I was planning on buying something small anyway. And I already planned on spending some of the extra in my checking account on some personal products from a friend of mine. Plus I have a graduation gift to buy. But I'm going to see if the gal I'm planning on buying the gift from will take payment out of my next check. I see her a lot so I don't think that'll be a problem.

I wish I could go to bed already, but I didn't have time to start laundry til now so I have to wait for that to finish. Well, only if I want dry workout clothes for morning. At least it's only 35c to wash and 25c to dry (normal size washer and dryer).