Week 14 of 80 – Not Impressed With Our Debt – October 2018 Results

money coins cash currency

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October has been a much more productive month in terms of paying down our debt.

In September we had to pay our school taxes and when you are living paycheck to paycheck saving for them is tough.

With those taxes behind us for another year I was able to make bigger payments on that darn Old Navy balance. Not quite what I was hoping for but still a huge amount for us!

Here we go, the results!

Last month our Old Navy balance ended as $4,410. This month our balanced is now down to $2900!! We got $1510 paid off in 31 days!

Now to the total debt for the month.

We started off the month with a total debt of $32,483.00. Right now on the 31st (Happy Halloween by the way!) our total debt is down to $30,531.00. We paid off $1,952.

Not bad!

Since we started this debt pay down journey in August we have paid off a whopping $5393 in just 14 weeks!

Seems pretty amazing to me since, like I said, we are used to living paycheck to paycheck.

I wish we could have paid off more. Even when we commit to paying down debt things still come up in life we don’t expect and for my family the past couple of month have been exhausting and a bit heartbreaking.

As they always say though, Keep Calm and Carry On.

Last week on Week 13 I took a break and did not post. Not much to really report but I plan on plowing through the next few weeks with more info and hopefully some videos!

Have a great rest of your week and try not to eat all of your children’s candy tonight.-MM

 

Week 12 of 80 – Not Impressed With Our Debt – Wardrobe Problems

Ladies, has your husband or significant other ever packed your things for a trip? We were participating in a friend’s wedding this weekend and like usual I got hung up at the bakery and didn’t have time to pack anything for myself the night before.

Scott had to pack for me (he is such a good sport), I rushed home from work, jumped in the car with him and we took off for our three hour drive to the rehearsal, with me still clothed in bakery stained work attire.

I have to admit he did a pretty good job throwing all of my make-up and clothes in a bag for me. He even remembered the phone chargers!

But I groaned a bit when I saw the underwear he grabbed for me. Not that anyone but him was going to see me in them, but the elastic is shot on them and well, they are not one of my go to pairs if you know what I mean.

Then I thought to myself, why the hell do I still have them then?

Why do we keep ill fitting clothes? The faded, stretched out, torn, elastic shot clothes that we would be mortified if someone saw us wearing them?

I don’t really have an answer for that. Maybe we just dont want to be wasteful?

I have struggled with clothes lately. Because of our debt pay down plan I have had tremendous guilt about buying anything for myself.

With my new second job as a legal secretary though I need to have some decent clothes so I tried one of those home delivery box services where they send you clothes to your specifications and individual tastes.

The reason why I decided to try the home delivery is that going to the malls is too time consuming working seven days a week, the clothes never fit me properly and the styles malls offer lack imagination. The thrift stores, while cheap, still limit me greatly.

I have to say I was completely impressed with what the home delivery sent me. I got a pair of jeans a shirt, a blouse, a bracelet and a long sweater.

The cost of the box was more than what I am used to paying, but then again I have also been getting my clothes from thrift stores mostly.

I felt great going to work in my new clothes and you know what? I don’t feel too guilty about it. I kept all the clothes because I loved all of them and I will do it again!

Hubby also got a new pair of shoes for the wedding which he really needed and we took advantage of the huge store closing sale at our Bed, Bath and Beyond store to invest in some decent sheet sets because of course ours were torn and stretched out and scratchy.

But the good news is that I didn’t use the credit card to buy any of it. We used our debit card and I still got a large payment made to the Old Navy card this week and we are able to double our contribution to our 401k which our employer matches.

I have been putting a lot of pressure on myself to pay off this debt quickly but I have to remind myself that there are going to be things we need to take advantage of when we can to save money in the long run.

We are getting there! See you next week -MM

p.s. congratulations John and Beth!

Week 5 of 80 – Not Impressed with Our Debt – End of August, the Results

yeah printed white board

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Well it’s been an interesting month. Not only have we paid down our debt but we also managed to pay for new tires and brakes for my husband’s car AND finance a trip to Boise, Idaho to pick up a car for my son.

I started out this journey by stating we had $35,924 in debt we wanted to get rid of in 80 weeks and that my first debt I would tackle in that total was the “Old Navy” balance which I switched to a new zero interest credit card to save on interest.

That balance started off at $6500. It’s current balance is $4700!

I managed to pay $1800 on that balance! Holy Cow! Amazing. Seriously. Being able to pay $1800 towards that credit card is just unbelievable. Hard work really paid off this month.

However, $1800 is not the only amount on our debt I paid down this month. Remember all of our other payments are still ongoing while I pay on that credit card.

The rest of the debt I managed to get paid off added up to $737.00.

Grand total of debt paid down for the Month of August is $2537!

Total debt owed is now down to $33,387!

Sorry for all of the exclamations but I am just so excited!

Some how we managed to pay for most of our extras in cash this month. Like the tires and breaks for example. because we paid in cash the guy gave us a 20% discount. We saved for this trip to Boise and so far have only put a few hundred dollars on the other credit card which we will pay off when we get the bill.

Every time I thought something was going to de-rail my plan, something else came along and helped us achieve our goal. I have learned to stop worrying about it.

In the Month of September I am not anticipating paying a ton down on that Old Navy balance because we have school taxes to pay but seeing what happened this month you just never know and I am excited about that.

Week 6 the topic will be: “Read your Mail”

Catch you next week! -MM

 

Week 2 of 80 “Not Impressed With Our Debt” – The Rules

credit-card-bill

Last week I wrote about the Plan for eliminating a big chunk of our debt. This week I want to write about the Rules I have set for us along this journey.

Plowing large amounts of money into your debt each week can get pretty intense and if you don’t have rules set up for yourself you will definitely fail.

When I was coming up with this plan I gave myself these following rules:

(RULE #1) As I am paying off one of the credit cards (right now its the Old Navy) I will pay only the MINIMUM monthly bill on the other two cards. I understand this is traditionally not sound advice and the experts would say pay the card that has the highest interest rate first.

I think that advice is stupid. Why? Because for me it’s all about cash flow. If I can get the lower or no interest rate card paid off first it frees up money quickly that I can put into another debt faster.

(RULE #2) While I am paying off one card I can still use the other cards in very small amounts.

Again not a good idea say the experts.

(RULE #3) If at any time we have an emergency, like the hot water tank goes or the car needs repairs I can take the amount we would have put towards the current debt for the week and use it for that emergency. Now, If I have a REALLY big emergency like something in the thousands I can take that amount for a month and just add that on to the end of my plan. So instead of 80 weeks to pay off my debt it may take me 84 weeks.

Does that make sense?

I know this plan is not fullproof and the experts say to have an emergency fund of six months salary or some other advice but realistically could I even save that much?

Also the experts say to pay more than the minimum each month on your credit card. I have paid more than the minimum for YEARS and it has done nothing for me. I called the credit company on one of my cards one time and asked…”I have been paying $200 over the minimum for over 2 years. Why has my cash advance balance not gone down in that whole two years?” You know what they said to me? “What you pay over your minimum payment is not enough to make up for the interest charged” What?? I don’t even own the car anymore I took the cash advance out for!

So I am done paying more than the minimum for the other two cards. Lets see what happens if I pay a lot on one card and the minimum on the other two.

As far as the emergency aspect of this plan, Let’s just use an easy number like $500. If I pay $500 a week into my Credit Card and an emergency comes up like the hot water tank goes and it costs $1000 to replace it, I would just take the $1000 I would have put into the credit card for the two weeks and pay the hot water tank bill. I wouldn’t charge it on my credit card and I would put the two weeks on to the back of the plan so it would take me two extra weeks to pay my debt. Not so bad, right?

Hopefully emergencies won’t come up very often but your never know.

Lastly I want to address using the other credit cards while I am paying off the one.

I am not talking about going crazy and buying a bunch of clothes and stuff. What I am talking about is while doing this “paying off debt” thing it can get pretty frustrating at times and instead of going on a super duper spending binge and blowing the whole plan, I am talking about blowing off a little steam and maybe taking the family to the movies some afternoon for $50 on the credit card. That’s all.

You have to give yourself some sort of reward every once in a while or you will have a breakdown and then you will give up.

I guess that’s just three rules but they are important ones.

Believe it or not I made my first extra payment to Old Navy last week and after paying the rest of the bills for the week I still had money in the bank account. That’s amazing for us! Today I will make another payment. Can’t wait to see what happens this next week!

Week 3 of 80 I will write about what is different this time around for us and why I think this plan will work. See you next week! -MM

 

Week 1 of 80 “Not Impressed with our Debt” – The Start and the Plan

Credit-cards

Yesterday’s post laid it all out. “I am not impressed with our debt” “This is for the birds”

I said I wanted to tackle about $35,000 in debt in the next 80 weeks. Here is the starting number, give or take.

$35,924

The plan is pretty simple. We are going to take the majority of my husband’s paycheck and plow it into the debt each week and live off of my paychecks. I’ll talk about what we do for a living in another post. Now keep this in mind, we have, in the past, lived paycheck to paycheck so closely that most weeks even going out to the movies would break us. So what has changed? Again that’s for another post 🙂

Each week I will pay a large amount into just one of our debts. The first debt I am tackling is my Old Navy Card. This isn’t a store card it’s a Mastercard. With 28% interest!

Believe me I have tried for YEARS to get rid of this card and I swear it has never gone down, no matter what I tried to do. I called them to see if they would give me a better rate of interested and they flat out said NOPE. They do not give a lower interest rate, period. So I fixed them! I applied for a credit card through my local credit union and transferred the entire amount to the new card with 0% interest for 12 months. That 12 months is up in November and I want to get it paid off before the interest starts again.

The balance on that is about $6500.

Each month I will give you an update on the individual debt and the whole picture. Each week I will update you on how I am doing keeping the cost of living down for us.

I make my first payment to my “Old” Old Navy today. Wish me luck!

-Next week’s post will be about “The Rules of this Game” -MM