Not Impressed with our Debt – Week #33 of 80 – Paying off the Home Equity Status

I am determined to pay off our Home Equity this month. We only had $1900 left to pay on it and this week our Federal Tax refund came in so I pay $543 right to the principal of the loan. Right now the balance is about $1346.

Keep in mind that figure is not actually the payoff amount. When I made that payment I asked the teller for a loan payoff amount through the 31st of March. The actual payoff figure is around $1400.

So why is the payoff figure more than what is says I owe when I look at my account on-line.m? It’s more for a couple of reasons. One, because the interest is not fully figured in there and two, the bank charges a fee to file your mortgage discharge with your County Clerk.

Let me back up to when you sign for a new mortgage or home equity loan. When you buy a new house or apply for a home equity on your existing home, your mortgage is recorded in the county clerk’s office where you live. It shows up on your property’s history report which they call your Abstract. When you pay off your mortgage or home equity the bank is supposed to file a discharge of mortgage with the county clerk that you have paid the loan in full thereby your mortgage has been satisfied.

When you go to sell your home later, your Abstract should show the bank has filed the discharge of mortgage. If they fail to do that, that can be a real problem. Many times your original mortgage, if it was a 30 year mortgage may have been assumed by another bank more than once. Many old banks have closed and new banks have assumed the mortgages from those banks. This may be the reason a discharge was never filed.

When you pay off any mortgage or home equity, follow up with your mortgage company to make sure they indeed filed a discharge. It will save you time and money later on and a whole lot of aggravation.

I hope to get another good chunk of that loan paid off this week. I’ll check in with you again next week! -MM

Not Impressed With Our Debt – Weeks 28-30 of 80- Home Equity Loan

Home Equity Loans can be wonderful things if you are doing a major project on your home, like renovating your kitchen. A new kitchen adds value to your home but unfortunately when you take out a home equity loan just to consolidate debt you don’t have a pretty new kitchen to show for it.

We took out a home equity in 2014 for $17,000. It is due to be paid off in August of this year. I don’t want to wait that long though. I want it gone, and I want it gone NOW. We owe just under $1900 on it. I am paying that sucker off next month. Seriously. I mean it. I don’t care if we have to eat peanut butter and macaroni all month, that home equity will be history by March 31st.

I have a plan. It may not be popular with my family or the financial experts but sometimes you just gotta take a leap of Faith. For me it’s all about cash flow. Paying this loan off now will not save us much on interest but that’s not the point. Paying it off will free up $328.00 a month and that burden that has kept our hearts and minds hostage for the past 5 years will be gone. Paying off the Old Navy freed up $300 a month and saved us thousands in interest a year.

I also realized after looking at our cell bill that we were paying $26 a month just for protection for two cell phones. Oh yeah…you bet I canceled that real quick! Scott’s cell phone was just paid off this month and it’s 2 years old so if he drops it in the toilet we’ll just get another one. The payment for that phone was $30 a month. Hey, now look at that, we just had our bill go from $297/mo to $239/mo. Every little bit helps!

I had a feeling all last year and I continue to have it this year, the feeling I should pay off any loans that are attached to our house asap. I don’t know if it is the political climate or what but I am listening to that feeling. I paid off the home equity line of credit with a no interest credit card and now I want the regular home equity gone too.

Say Geronimo my friends! I’ll check back in soon. Hope your debt is shrinking too! -MM

Not Impressed With Our Debt – Weeks 24-27 – Up to Date Results

Hi all! I looked back to see the last time I posted a monthly result and I haven’t posted results since October! Yikes! Sorry about that.

Between Christmas shopping bills and property tax bills that came due in January I am a little behind in paying off debt but I do have some progress to post about!

In October I posted that at the end of the month we were down to owing $30,531 in debt.

As of now our debt owed is $27,011. That’s down $3520.00. Remember I talked about owing for medical bills for a night in the emergency room that added up to at least $3500? Well I haven’t gotten the bill for it yet so as of right now that $27,011 is still a solid number.

Now that, the Old Navy balance is gone I need another bill to focus my energy on so this time I am picking a bill that has a smaller amount owed, our home equity loan. Right now the balance due on that loan is $2,207.46. Seems a much smaller goal to pay off than that $6500 Old Navy balance right?

If I can get this bill paid off quickly it will free up that payment of $328.00/month which will give us a much greater cash flow.

I told my husband every time we pay a large bill off we will add another $10 to his 401k retirement a week. Doesn’t sound like a lot but when his employer matches that amount it will definitely add up. So far we have increased his 401k contribution $20/week since December.

How are you doing on your debt? Do you use a budget? See you next week! -MM

 

Not Impressed With Our Debt – Weeks 22 -23 -Rearranging

It’s been an interesting two weeks. I didn’t think I would get much extra debt paid off this month because I have Town/County taxes to pay, our planes tickets for our trip to Ireland to save for and now these medical bills which just got bigger today.

But get this… we had an unexpected surge of cash this week which lent me to paying our taxes in full (Thank you to Him!), that’s one off the list. We have saved about $500 for plane tickets so far and from the advice of our pastor I am going to apply for a grant through the hospital to help pay for the medical bills from that emergency room visit. We will see what happens.

Remember when I posted about reading all the mail you get? A few weeks ago I got another set of checks from our credit card company where I could use the checks to pay off anything I wanted and the interest rate would be just 2.99% for a full year.

I thought a lot about those checks and I even called the credit card company which was through our credit union and asked about the details. They were in fact valid checks and I could use them for anything.

So after really thinking about it, I decided to sit down with my favorite Credit Union rep yesterday and I asked her what she thought about paying off our Home Equity Line of Credit with one of the checks.

She said “well it would certainly save you a lot of money in interest.” The interest rate on the loan was 15% and the amount I owed was still the exact same amount ($5000) since I took it out 8 years ago. I took the line of credit out in 2010 to pay for the equipment to start my bakery and I still owed the same amount because I kept drawing from it.

Without even thinking about it anymore I told her to do it. I wrote the check and she gave me my receipt and I paid it off. In my mind it’s one more thing that’s done. Yes, it’s on a “credit card” but if you use them correctly they can actually set you free of debt. I have one year to pay it off before the interest rate goes up and believe me I intend to do just that.

Every day I work on our debt. Every day. You have to stay on top of things my friends. Keep working and using your magic to get out of debt. There will never be a dull moment!

See you next week! -MM

 

Not Impressed With Our Debt -Weeks 18 -21

I survived the holiday baking season. The only thing I can say without going into details is that it was awful by the end and I am so glad it’s over! Terrible to say that isn’t it?

During that time though I am happy to report a very good thing and very bummed to report a very not so great thing.

Here is the very good thing:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=547540485763700&id=1455853581377715

I paid off the Old Navy card!! All $2048.00 left on it. In full. Felt amazing!

Now for the not so great news… Remember that emergency room visit I had in November? I am getting a whopping bill for over $3500 from the hospital from it. That’s after insurance took care of only about a $1000 of it. Gotta love that high deductible plan we all have right?

I was devastated at first but not for long. We have to keep going. I will get that $3500 paid off next is all. I am not worrying a single second about it. Yes it sucks but the Old Navy is gone and it’s never coming back.

We accomplished paying off $6500 in debt in 5 months. That’s a reason to celebrate in my book!

I hope you all had a very Happy Christmas and please enjoy your New Year. It’s always a new beginning. -MM

Not Impressed With Our Debt – Week 16 & 17 – Take Care of Yourself

close up composition conceptual creativity

Photo by Pedro Figueras on Pexels.com

The last two weeks have been eye opening for me. If you have not suffered from anxiety, panic attacks and/or had large amounts of stress in your life consider yourself lucky.

While working to pay down our debt (which is stressful enough) Life has thrown us multiple curve balls since September.

When people are under large amounts of stress we tend to forget to take care of ourselves. Doctor’s appointments get missed, we don’t eat right, we certainly don’t get enough sleep and our families, God bless them, get the brunt of our stress and frustration full on.

Two weeks ago I landed myself in the emergency room for uncontrolled nausea and stomach discomfort. I couldn’t stop shaking and I couldn’t get warm. I wanted to crawl out of my skin. It got worse if I tried to lay down. I was crying and miserable and my husband, the wonderful man, was trying his best to calm me down.

After multiple tests and pumping fluids into my system the only thing they came up with was slightly low potassium. They handed me 4 potassium pills and miraculously within an hour the shaking, nausea and discomfort subsided. Hmm..

They aren’t really sure what caused all of this because my levels were all pretty good. What I suspect? Panic attacks, anxiety, and pure stress. My body is just shot from all of it. I can’t seem to handle any kind of stress right now, which is a real bummer because I have always considered myself a very strong person.

I am making some changes in my life that should drastically cut down on my stress level after the new year.

I plan on taking care of myself better and work harder to make sure my marriage stays strong and that my boys are all happy, well fed and feel loved.

I will not stop trying to pay off our debt. It is still my number one goal for the new year but goals are different than priorities.

Goals are future but priorities are now. -MM

Next week: November results!

 

 

Week 15 of 80 – Not Impressed With Our Debt – Buying on Autopilot

two person holding credit card closeup photo

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

As we get older we tend to get more forgetful they say. I say we are just getting more and more distracted by stuff around us.

We women especially have so many things going through our brains that we tend to do things on autopilot. Am I right ladies?

A great example of this autopilot thing is constantly misplacing my debit card. Yikes, right? Misplacing ones debit card is never good and trying to figure out where the hell you last had it is even worse.

I misplace my debit card at least once a month. I hate my debit card. I want to use cash again exclusively but that card is so darn convenient.

So how do I misplace my debit card so often you ask? Shouldn’t it be in my wallet which is in my purse? I hate purses and wallets too. I am a “carry it in my back pocket” kind of girl. I wouldn’t even own a purse if I didn’t need it to carry my chapstick and gum.

Here in lies the problem. I take my debit card out to pay for something on-line and forget to put it back. I take it out to pay for my lunch at the store because I don’t want to lug my purse with me into the breakroom then I forget to put it back. Then it gets washed because I forget to take it out of my pocket at the end of the day and God forbid but my husband refuses to check pockets before he puts things in the washing machine. Yes, I know it’s my own fault.

The other day after missing it for almost a week I found it in a pair of pants I didn’t even wear because I was too lazy to iron them. I have no idea why I would even put it in those pants but it happened. And then I lost it again a week later but found it in my stupid purse in a pocket I swear I checked at least three times. I think God just thinks it’s a hoot watching me search for it.

So what does this all have to do with debt other than it’s funny hearing about my debit card follies?

Going through life, especially when it comes to managing your debt on autopilot is part of our debt problem. We are not paying attention to our money. We have no idea sometimes where it goes or what we have spent it on.

Sometimes I ask my husband where the money went that he had yesterday and he usually says he has no idea. In fact he took a friend to breakfast a few weeks ago and when I saw the bill it was over $50. For breakfast? What the heck did you eat?? I asked him. We tried to figure out what would have cost that much and seriously couldn’t figure it out. How easy was it to just swipe that debit card? He was just on autopilot, probably chatting away and just added a tip and signed his name, not even looking at the bill.

We all spend our money frivolously and on autopilot at times. Every day we go to the same coffee shop, and buy our gas at the same gas station or take our books back to the library and pay a $1 fine and not think a thing of it.

I think that’s why when we talk about debt we aren’t spending money on large purchases most of the time. It’s the autopilot purchases that really get us into trouble. Large purchases we think about first and plan for and try to get the best price. Our vacations, vehicles, homes and furniture are planned items.

I have been seeing posts on Instagram lately from people that are using cash envelopes for their monthly spending. We used to use cash envelopes and it worked great. We were mostly debt free too. However, this was before easy access to on-line shopping and smart phones, which are huge contributing factors to debt for all of us.

Here is a challenge for you: when you are buying something, anything, pay attention to what you are doing. Just be aware. Don’t buy your groceries while talking to your best friend on your cell phone. Don’t go shopping at the mall and get up to the counter to pay for that new sweater all the while searching for your husband’s Christmas gift on Amazon on your phone. In fact put your phone in your purse and say hello to the cashier and pay attention to what you are buying and how much it costs.

I will have to attach a large key chain to my debit card like the ones you get at a gas station when you want to use the bathroom. Seriously!

restroom keychain

See you next time! -MM