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Archive for December, 2012

3 steps forward, 1 step back?

December 19th, 2012 at 05:23 pm

So far, I've done really well with Christmas shopping! Absolutely nothing on credit, bills are still paid, money still in the bank, AND...

The biggest challenge for me is not to over-shop for people. I LOVE giving people presents. I've tended to go a bit overboard in previous years, buying two presents for someone when they only need one (or NONE, for that matter). But this year, I've kept it in check! That is a big step for me.

So all of that is my three steps forward.

The one step back...and could be two steps back, I haven't decided...after the first of the year, my significant other's work hours are going to be cut almost in half. From 40 to 24. He will still keep his benefits, and SAYS he's going to see if he can pick up a part-time job. This could go on for at least 3 weeks up to 10 weeks, then he'll go to the other extreme of probably working 50-60 hours per week (overtime). I am happy he is keeping his job of course, but this is FRUSTRATING!

Hoping for the three weeks!

Debt I didn't think about...

December 12th, 2012 at 04:24 pm

So...a thread I responded to yesterday/the other day reminded me that there is debt I don't regularly pay on and that I don't really think about. And a statement came in the mail yesterday that reminded me of another one...

UGH!

My son has the opportunity to take a trip to Italy and Spain next June. It's been planned for a year and a half now (2 years before departure). I've paid about a third of it, and minimum $1600 is due in February (remaining balance is $2220). I can't really say I had forgotten about the February payment, but I hadn't been thinking about it either. He cannot opt out at this point without a huge penalty. SO...I have to shift focus to pay off that trip without using credit! I can do it, but it sucks I didn't plan better.

Another debt I don't think about: vet bill. We are fortunate in that our friend is a vet, but we do still cover costs associated and don't want to take advantage of our friend. We usually make a large payment 2-3 times per year.

And...money owed to parents. Mine and his. Or, not sure it's owed exactly, but our parents have helped us (separately) over the years, pretty significantly in a couple of cases at least on my side, and we really should give back at some point.

Just more things I need think about, and plan for.

Two more down! Now I need a plan...

December 10th, 2012 at 06:14 pm

I paid off two more credit cards today, and moved $1000 into a savings account for emergencies.

Now these (total of four) credit card payoffs and emergency fund occurred because I got some unexpected money and sold my stock from employee purchase. I'm not expecting any more "unexpected money" or stock until March or April. So now I need a plan to continue the momentum.

I'm shopping for cheaper auto insurance right now, and waiting for my cell phone contracts to expire. Going back and forth on the DirecTV...we live outside of town and an antenna didn't work for us, and I think we'd have to get a new TV for netflix to work. I don't watch much TV, but the significant other enjoys watching UFC...every night Smile

Debt:
Credit Cards:
1: $ 639 / 18.4%
2. $2681 / 22.98%
3. $7026 / 19.24%

401(k) loan #1: $2400 / 4.24%
401(k) loan #2: $10,500 / 4.24%

Auto loan #1: $2700 / 6.5%
Auto loan #2: $18,000 / 4.1%

Student Loan: $51,000 / 4.625%
Parent Loan: $14,372 / 7.65%

Mortgage: $69,314 / 4.25%

Household Income:
About $2600 biweekly, take home, no overtime
(Health insurance, 401(k) contributions and loan payments already out of that.)
I can usually work 8-10 hours of overtime per week without question.
My significant other is not working overtime right now, but is expected to start ~60/hour weeks in February.

Bills (monthly unless otherwise specified):
Mortgage: $296 biweekly
Car Pmt 1: $264
Car Pmt 2: $407
Auto Insurance: $450
Credit Cards (min): ~$350
Phone: $45
Cell Phones/internet: $320
DirecTV: $82
Propane: $90
Electricity: $100
Student Loan: $336
Parent Loan: $186
Gas (Auto): $400 estimated
Groceries: $400 estimated

Savings (not much):
$1000 "emergency fund" in a separate savings account
I still plan to carry ~$1000 between three checking accounts.

401(k): 50,843.72
Contributing 5%

And, we begin

December 5th, 2012 at 08:22 pm

I've realized a while ago now that I'm not in a good place financially, even though I have a stable career and make good money. There is too much debt, and almost no savings at all. I'm not getting any younger (as a matter of fact, today is my 39th birthday).

I've come to terms with the situation and am intent on fixing it.

I have a significant other who has no desire to or expertise in managing money. We both brought debt to the relationship. I have primary control over the finances. He is aware of the financial situation and trusts me to make the right decisions.

I've recently (JUST THIS WEEK!) paid off two of the highest interest credit cards! It felt so good! I've also just sold some stock and will pay off 2 more high interest cards within the next week. This is my debt picture, as of today:

Credit Cards:
1: $ 639 / 18.4%
2. $ 665 / 21.5%
3. $1012 / 22.9%
4. $2681 / 22.98%
5. $7026 / 19.24%

401(k) loan #1: $2400 / 4.24%
401(k) loan #2: $10,500 / 4.24%

Auto loan #1: $2700 / 6.5%
Auto loan #2: $18,000 / 4.1%

Student Loan: $51,000 / 4.625%
Parent Loan: $14,372 / 7.65%

Mortgage: $69,314 / 4.25%