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Month in Review- August ’15


Hello on this Tuesday evening. I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.

I realized over the weekend that it is time for another month review, so let’s dive into it:

  • At the beginning of the month, we (GF and I) decided to do a garage sale (here). The thought was launched after reading a book about de-cluttering our house. However, after much work, we still have not done the garage sale :(. It’s still on the forefront of our minds, but the stars just haven’t aligned, where we’ve gotten a weekend free of no plans to just do it. Plus, we still have a lot of work to do going through our house. The basement is done, but the attic is only 25% cleared. My fear is that we are too late for garage sale season. Should we just hold off until the spring?
  • Here, I posted about my plans going forward for paying off my debt, albeit with some caveats. I’m keeping the fun fund going, continuing my contributions to my nephew’s ESA fund, continue contributing 10% of my pay to my 401k and pay weekly towards my mortgage ($150/week).
  • It the same post, I also outlined my timeline for paying off the debt. Hope fully this will occur in 18 months (now 17) before I hit 30, but most likely to happen in 22 (now 21) months.
  • In this post , I showed everyone the less than professional card I made for my dad for his birthday. I also highlighted some of the other things we did for him. He loved our gifts for him and we had a great time celebrating his 55th.
  • In that same post, I also shared my budget with everyone. This is the budget I’m going to use from this point moving forward.
  • In Weekly Update #22 (here), I shared my plans concerning my life after debt. This stirred up some controversy, particularly my plans concerning my retirement funding. My ultimate goal is to become financially stable without having to worry about a traditional job. This isn’t saying I’m not going to work at all; I do plan on making making still in some capacity.
  • The following week (here), I outlined my past, present and future stances on my retirement contributions. I received some great feedback from all you which I’m using to more carefully outline my post debt retirement plans.

Financially speaking, this was a very successful month back from vacation. All together, I was able to pay off $1,883.94 this month! Not bad.

And to update my balances since last week, here you go:

Loan NameInterest RateOriginal Balance- May '09Current BalanceTotal Paid OffPaid Since Last Week
Sallie Mae 015.25$27,837.24$23,719.92$4,117.32$0.00
Sallie Mae 024.75$22,197.02$18,604.04$3,592.98$0.00
Sallie Mae 037.75$20,692.10$0.00
Sallie Mae 045.75$10,350.18$3,342.10$7,008.08$703.13
Sallie Mae 055.25$6,096.03$0.00$6,096.03$0.00
Sallie Mae 06 and 074.75$6,415.09$0.00$6,415.09$0.00
Sallie Mae- DOE 015.25$5,000.00$0.00$5,000.00$0.00
Sallie Mae- DOE 025.25$3,000.00$0.00$3,000.00$0.00

I hope everyone has a fantastic week!



  • Reply Judi |

    Great progress for the month! I would hold off on the garage sale until spring. the high season has passed and it sounds like you have a lot of inventory to go through still. If you have some larger items you could try selling them on a local eBay-like site. I’ve found that the seller typically gets the upper hand in individual exchanges for large items online when compared to garage sales.

    • Reply Walnut |

      Agreed with Judi on the larger items. List these on Craigslist and then find some other people to do a spring garage sale with. I find that the multi-family garage sales have better sales and as a shopper, I’m more likely to stop and linger at those than I am at a smaller garage sale.

      • Reply Matt |

        Yes- great idea about the multi families. I have a couple of friends that I think I could convince to do a large sale next spring.

    • Reply Matt |

      Thanks Judi! I think we are going to wait for spring. I have a couple of larger items I will try to sell over the winter on Ebay- I think that’s a great suggestion.

  • Reply AT |

    I think you are going to make it before the 30th birthday. Maybe a raise in the future? Maybe that yard sale? Something awesome will work out.

    • Reply Matt |

      I’m really pushing for it, AT. We do get an automatic 2% raise every year, so while small, it will def help. Plus the garage sale, plus tax returns, so I’m holding out hope.

  • Reply Den |

    Why not take whatever garage sale stuff you have ready to go and do a quick and easy one day sale this fall? I find fall sales to be good for buyer and seller and it will give you a good idea on how to run a sale, how to price, how to make money, etc…..then spend the winter gathering the rest of your stuff (and definitely get together with more families if possible) and plan a big sale this spring. If you make a little money that will encourage you to de-clutter even more!

    So excited how close you are to paying off Sallie Mae 04!

    • Reply Matt |

      Thanks, Den. At this point I’m more inclined to agree with Judu and Walnut and wait until Spring vs. rushing to put together a quick sale before the bad weather starts hitting (it’s Erie, so we only have, like, 2 more weeks, lol)

  • Reply Emily N. |

    I know others advised waiting, but I definitely don’t think it’s too late for a garage sale. Around here (northern NJ) my town always schedules a town-wide garage sale the last weekend in September. You want to get that stuff out now, not hang onto it for another nine months. Plus you can always do another sale in the spring once you’ve cleaned out the attic. I do think the suggestion to put larger/more valuable items on eBay and Craigslist is good, though.

  • Reply Sim |

    Are there any virtual garage/yard sale websites that could work for your area? I dont’ know how it is in your area, but here in Toronto, in addition to the likes of ebay, craigslist, kijiji, there’s also “varagesale” that’s apparently popular. So until you are ready for the actual garage sale, these kind of sites might be an option?

So, what do you think ?