Posts tagged with: IRS debt

Ashley’s April 2017 Debt Update

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Hi All,

May the fourth be with you! (heh, get it – May 4th? okay enough of that.)  : )

It’s another month and another opportunity to put a little bit of debt behind us.

Here we are and I feel a bit at a crossroads. I haven’t included the IRS in our debt spreadsheet because – honestly – I’m still so embarrassed that we owe so much!!! I’ve worked out a payment plan and we will be paying a hefty sum – $1,000/month – until the debt is fully resolved. It will be a large household expense over the next several months (year+). Maybe I’ll eventually add it to the spreadsheet just so it can be properly acknowledged but, honestly, I just can’t add it yet. It would push us back up over the 1/2 way milestone and just causes so much emotional distress by increasing our debt numbers that I just can’t fully face it yet. I mean – it’s been “faced” as far as the IRS goes (in terms of admitting the debt, establishing payment plan, etc.), but for some reason I can’t “face” it here with you guys. Not yet, anyway.

So that’s my one disclaimer. My debt spreadsheet remains with all our old/pre-IRS debt numbers and our monthly payments are going to be negatively impacted because the monthly payment indicated in the debt tables will NOT include our IRS payment.

With that caveat, check out April’s debt progress:

PlaceCurrent BalanceAPRLast Payment MadeLast Payment Date Original debt, March 2014
Navient - Federal 2 (unsubsidized)$11,0565.8083April$82,433 (all school loans, combined)
Navient - Federal 3 (subsidized)$86225.8025April
Navient - 2 (subsidized)$85026.5533April
Navient - 7 (subsidized)$72026.5528April
Navient - 8 (subsidized)$63766.5525April
Navient - 9 (subsidized)$85026.5533April
Navient - 10 (unsubsidized)$97686.5571April
Balance Transfer Student Loan #2$6000% (through Sept 2017)$400April$7650
Balance Transfer Student Loan #3$43690% (through October 2018)$75April$4594
Medical Bills$00%$1215Paid off in April 2017$9000
Balance Transfer student loan #1$00% -Paid off in March 2016$5937
PenFed Car Loan$02.49%-Paid off in January 2016$24040
License Fees$02.5%-Paid off in April 2015$5808
BoA CC$07.24%-Paid off in June 2014$2220
Mattress Firm$00%-Paid off in May 2014$1381
Wells Fargo CC$013.65%-Paid off in May 2014$7697
Capital One CC$017.9%-Paid off in March 2014$413
Totals$64,997 (March balance = 68,714)$1,988Starting Debt = $145,472

So as you can see, we “only” paid $1,988 in debt in April. I say “only” in quotations because obviously that’s a huge sum of money. But we’ve been trying to pay closer to $3,000ish/month, so it’s a big decrease from our goal number. Though, again, this does not take into consideration the $1,000 payment to the IRS. I’ll do a goal update post soon just to check-in with numbers and take a pulse of how we’ve been doing so far this year in our financial goals. With the IRS hit, some of our goals are going to have to be re-thought. But I’m optimistic overall. Our biggest/most central goal is to pay $30,000/year toward debt and I think there’s still a good chance we can hit that number. We’re aiming for it!

I’ve also been re-working our budget to account for the changes in salary and expenses that are coming up. My part-time job officially ends this month. I have about another week worth of work, but my last paycheck was received last month (womp, womp!) My new rate of pay (from my big raise) doesn’t go into effect until July. So May and June will be TIGHT!

This is probably the first time in my debt-repayment journey (of 3+ years now!!!) that I’m a little bit nervous about the possibility of moving backward. I mean….these two months are going to be really rough. I’ll be writing a post soon to talk about different savings strategies and ways we’re going to try to reduce spending to only absolute necessities, etc. Be thinking about it because I could certainly use all the tips I can get!!!

I’ll be back soon! In the meantime, have a great week!

 


Spring Break (+ Feb. Debt Update)

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Hi All!

Last year, my first year back to full-time work, my Spring Break happened to align with my kids’ Spring Break. I remember at the time colleagues mentioning how lucky that was and to appreciate it. So it was no real surprise when this year rolled around and, looking at our academic calendars, I realized our Spring Breaks did not align. Bugger!

But, I think we’re also making the best out of having separate Spring Breaks! This week is my school’s Spring Break (and hubs’ Spring Break as well). I’ll be back in Texas for a couple days to deal with some dad-related issues. But otherwise, hubs and I are looking forward to doing some serious manual labor out in our backyard. When we bought the house, it had nothing but chest-high weeds all through the back. We mowed them all down, but have done very little since then. Hubs has a friend who owns a landscape company and came over to take a look at our yard and offer some practical suggestions in terms of plants, placement, etc. So for the cost of some plants + weed killer + some hard work and elbow-grease, we’re hoping to get our backyard into a more presentable condition. We’ve allotted $200 to the project. It would be a project the girls could help us with…but will probably be easier without the interference, er, “help.” And I like that the couple days I’ll be gone are on days that they’re already in school. Makes it a bit easier for the hubs and makes me feel less guilt about being away (quick Dad update for those who have been following along and are interested – skip this part if you’re only here for the financial -my Dad, who has frontotemporal dementia, continues to decline. His speech is almost gone at this point and he lives in a constant state of agitation, presumably from the confusion and frustration associated with what’s happening to him. He’s been living in an independent living facility but we’ve been touring several assisted living and dedicated memory-care places. It’s a tough move to make but it’s coming up probably sooner rather than later so we’re trying to research and prepare accordingly. Being that the purpose of my trip is for things related to his care, my sister and I decided he would cover the cost of my airfare – something he would have done in the past if he had the mental capacity. I’ll be staying with my mom so I’ll have free lodging, and will only be paying my meals out of pocket which should be minimal. I’ll be there not quite 3 days.)

Next week is our girls’ Spring Break. In the future, I hope that we can plan family vacations (or even staycations) during Spring Break week, but with our looming tax debt ahead, that’s certainly not in the cards this year. Instead, we’re lucky to be able to hodgepodge together some childcare without having to pay extra to a babysitter. Hubs has class Mon/Wed (but is available other days) and I teach on Tues/Thurs (but am available other days), so between us, we’ll be able to always have one parent home with the kiddos.

I’m still on operation minimal-spending, too. It’s not a complete spending freeze because we still have to purchase essentials like food, fuel, etc. But I have been extra mindful about every dollar being spent. As an example, one of my daughters lost her water bottle for the second time this school year. Last time, I just jumped on Amazon and bought her a new one. This time around, I’m making her take my water bottle as a back-up. I explained that we can’t just get something new every time we lose our old item. It’s been a nice lesson in natural consequences and how its important to keep track of our things. It’s a bit of a punishment because my water bottle isn’t a nice or “cool” as the kid version, but at least it’s an adequate replacement so she’s not going without one. I’m really trying to scrimp and save and see if we can pay our full tax debt ourselves rather than relying on borrowing. I really want it PAID IN FULL by the deadline. I did talk to my sister, however, and if I need to borrow money from my dad it would be an option available to us. I really want to avoid this. It’s such “messy” terrain and I just don’t like the feeling. But I would be able to save the interest + penalties associated with an IRS payment plan. Something to think about, should it come to that (I still don’t have exact figures from our accountant).

In the meantime, I want to share my February 2017 Debt Update. As mentioned in a previous post, the debt payment was less than my originally intended $3,000 payment because I decided to just pay debt minimums toward my student loans so I can try to save up the extra money to put toward our IRS debt. Here you go:

PlaceCurrent BalanceAPRLast Payment MadeLast Payment Date Original debt, March 2014
Navient - Federal 2 (unsubsidized)$11,1055.8034February82433 (all school loans, combined)
Navient - Federal 3 (subsidized)$86085.8025February
Navient - 2 (subsidized)$84966.5533February
Navient - 7 (subsidized)$71976.5529February
Navient - 8 (subsidized)$63726.5525February
Navient - 9 (subsidized)$84976.5534February
Navient - 10 (unsubsidized)$98056.5519February
Balance Transfer Student Loan #2$14000% (through Sept 2017)$800February$7650
Balance Transfer Student Loan #3$45940% (through October 2018)$0N/A
Medical Bills$43700% (must be paid by April)$1216February$9000
Balance Transfer student loan #1$00% -Paid off in March 2016$5937
PenFed Car Loan$02.49%-Paid off in January 2016$24040
License Fees$02.5%-Paid off in April 2015$5808
BoA CC$07.24%-Paid off in June 2014$2220
Mattress Firm$00%-Paid off in May 2014$1381
Wells Fargo CC$013.65%-Paid off in May 2014$7697
Capital One CC$017.9%-Paid off in March 2014$413
Totals$70,444 (Jan balance = 72,560)$2215Starting Debt = $145,472

This month (March), I’m putting less toward the balance transfer card – only $400 instead of the $800 I gave in February. I do NOT want to add “IRS” to the debt spreadsheet, so I’m just stockpiling money in hopes we can pay them their money and not move backward in our debt progression. That will mean lower debt payments for the next couple months (March & April). Even small progress is moving in the right direction.

Have you had any financial set-backs lately?

 

 


New Numbers Are UP! And I hope you’re impressed…

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I could not be more excited to share my new debt numbers!!!!  I set out to make February a turning point and I succeeded!  I paid the $3950 to the IRS AND nearly $4,000 to Bank of America!!! 

WOW!  WOW! WOW!  I was also able to pay a little extra (just to say I did) to the signature loan.  I set a little goal of putting the cash from my regular spending money that I did not use toward that note.  That’s a fun little debt reduction game I can play b/c it is very easy to transfer money anytime to that signature loan via my credit union’s website.  It made me make very different spending decisions all month long.

I hope you are as proud as I am!  I’m working out details on my March goals and hope to have incredible results to share on April 1!   I have to be realistic I know because the chance of burn out increases if I set the goals too lofty and I don’t want to fall off the wagon.


Updated Numbers

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I’ve updated the debt and savings numbers.  I am overjoyed to only owe Bank of America $7.954!  I’m also excited about my extremely low signature loan rate but still somehow more thrilled about the Bank of America aspect.  Whatever motivates you, right?!  While the overall debt amount remains unchanged the savings in interest is no small gift!  I am motivated!

And it’s a good thing I am because I owe $3,950 to the IRS by March 28, 2013. Totally stinks that adding that in takes me back up to $45K in debt but it is short term (very short term…76 days in fact) and I have at least a partial plan to attack.  My goal is to “find” money to put toward that without detouring from my regular monthly debt payments. 

I have moved $1,150 from my emergency fund because I had stockpiled that for taxes when I learned of the debt. Please note:  I have created a separate “asset” item called the IRS savings account but for some reason it isn’t showing up on the sidebar.  I’ve got an email out to Jeffrey for a solution.  I received a small commission check from Pampered Chef for $100 and I sold some of the kids’ clothes at resale shops for $80.  I found a lot of random things to sell and they are selling.  As of now, I have $300 coming in from Ebay.  There’s sterling silver jewelry, purses, kids’ items, craft items and they all have bids. I do not yet have that $300 added into my IRS savings.  So I am currently at $1,330, $2,620 to go.  I really pray that I will get at least that for my wedding ring.  It is a 1-carat princess cut diamond, platinum setting that I have all the documentation for including the receipt showing the $7,000 paid for it and the appraisal at right around $10K.  I have zero emotional attachment to this ring and will spend a little time getting as much as I can but honestly–I’ll be happy if the tax debt is paid.  I do want to share for the record that I did not participate in the selection of this ring at all.  Zero input.  I wanted a plain band, no diamonds and was never very comfortable wearing the ring.  That’s not bitterness talking…just the truth.  The ring only lost more appeal when I learned of the 401K withdraw used to buy it. 

Anyway,  I have two real food workshops on the books for January with prospects for a few more.  I’m confident I can do this….but….IF I can’t “find” the money I DO have the option of making minimum payments for just the months of February and March and using the overage to knock it out.  I think I will see what comes of the wedding ring sale research and plan on revisiting my plan on Feb. 1.

Have a great weekend!


New Numbers are UP!

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I just updated my debt numbers and am happy to see that stupid Bank of America has reduced by $1,776 since last month!  Alleluia!  That debt is my primary focus right now although I did pay a little extra to the signature loan too.  Not much but overall I am pleased with the progress considering it was the holidays and the debit card madness got slightly out of control.

My emergency fund remains the same as I chose to sink extra into debt reduction this month being comfy with the emergency fund for now.  We should see that grow in the next few months as I set aside money for the IRS.  I have some projects in the works to get to the approximate $5,000 needed by March 28.  I’ve challenged myself to leave the regular debt payoff plan in motion while I come up with new sources of $ for the IRS bill.  I have a very real sense of urgency about collecting that money and paying the debt. I did a clean out of old jewelry this weekend and will be exploring my options with that to generate some income.  I have real food workshops on the books for Jan, Feb and March with RSVP’s coming in steadily.   I’ve boxed up kids’ clothing and my clothing for a run to the consignment shop for a little extra cash. All in all, I’m proud of my brainstorming income ideas.

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year’s Day.  The kids and I spent time with new friends and had a great, unique, day!