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Hope’s Debt Update – June, 2018


I didn’t realize it had been so long since I published a debt update. You can see my last one published in February here.

June, 2018 Debt Update

Here are my debt numbers as of yesterday. Despite limited income over the last few months, and primarily living off savings, I have stayed on track with paying off debt.


(as of 10/14/17)
Min. Payment
Student Loans$34,3752.88%$0 (income based deferment)
Credit Card$4,98217.00%$36
Collections 3 (Ex-husband)$4,9536.25%$246
Collections 2 (Apartment)$499$0
Self Lender$29110.57%$97
Summer Camp (2018)$00.00%$0
Taxes (State)$00.00%settled with refund for 2017

I removed the debts that were previously settled. Since the February update, the kids’ summer camp was paid off and my VA state tax debt was settled with my 2017 refund.(Received word of this, this week – yeah!)

State and Federal Taxes

I had both VA and GA earnings so had to file in both states. I am still waiting on the GA results, but I anticipate a refund. Because I am a first time filer in GA, I had to file via paper and their website says it can take up to 9 weeks to hear anything.

I am also anticipating a federal tax refund. More on that once I hear from the IRS. (Because of the final year of the adoption tax credit, W2 job where I had more than required withheld and my estimated tax payments from my consulting business, I was well covered.)

Looking toward the Future

As I put in the comments yesterday, I have now contracted out full time hours with my consulting business. While some hours I only earn $17 per hour, the bulk of the hours are contracted at $40 per hour.

After I get a month under my belt, I will publish an anticipated budget. For now, as many BAD readers advised when I wrote about the unemployment benefits I was to receive, I am only spending the minimum on the monthly bills and saving the rest.

Once I get back on stable ground with all the new clients, I will begin with a new debt pay off plan. My first goal…pay off my single credit card!

Your advice has been invaluable these last four years, but most importantly the last few months. Doing at this debt update gave me a lot of hope that being debt free is not too far off.



  • Reply Angie |

    Wahoo! Way to go on booking full-time hours AND increasing your wage! I know we can be tough on you but I think a lot can be attributed to confusion and missing info. We’re detailed people! You are killing it though on increasing your business in a such short amount of time. Keep it up and keep yourself accountable.

    • Reply Hope |

      I think being laser focused on my business has been key. Each day I market in some new way. I am spending very, very little. And I am 100% committed to building this business.
      Thank you for the encouragement. I know it’s hard since my story spans 4 years here, I don’t write well enough that people know all the stuff from the past to see the progress I am making.
      But now, finally, I am seeing it, I feel it. I am different, in a good way.

  • Reply Den |

    Hope – I think you are doing great!

    Keep your expenses down, Keep saving your cash, and Keep your chin up – great progress!

    • Reply Hope |

      Thank you, Den! For the first time, I am really kind of proud of myself. Despite all the setbacks and things we have given up, I really see a light at the end of the tunnel AND more importantly, I see and feel real change in me. That is the most important.

  • Reply J |

    Given your situation, I think it’s a win that you’re not currently adding debt, but I do have a few questions:

    1) The last budget you posted was for May. In that, your total monthly costs were less than $3k. If you’re charging up and then paying off the credit card, how is it coming out to almost $5k?

    2) What happened to the medical debt? In the last budget update, it had a $0 payment and is now gone completely. Were you able to settle it?

    3) Given your recent increases in contract hours and income, does this affect your Medicaid/food stamp status/eligibility?

    I think you’re doing the best you can which I applaud you for, and I hope you’re enjoying your kid-free weeks. Hopefully, you’re keeping your gas and food costs extra minimal at this time. Even with things like utilities, when my husband is gone, I’ll crank the AC up closer to 75 since I can live with a hotter house.

    • Reply Hope |

      Unfortunately, with the loss of my income my continuous pay it off and use it with the credit card had to stop. I am still paying the credit card and using it to pay bills. Making the most of the income I do have, and making on time payments to the credit card, only to turn it around and use it again. It is my #1 goal as I get back on my feet to stop this practice and pay off the credit card in full.

      As for the medical debt, I have been fighting what were 2 charges for the twins from several years ago. I can’t remember when I wrote about them. The short story is that social services inadvertently cancelled the twins medical insurance one month, at the same time they both had to be taken to an Urgent Care. That is where we discovered the insurance issue. While social services did reinstate their insurance and back date it, there were issues with the provider. Long story short, social services finally just covered the bill. The other was forgiven by the provider because they essentially did nothing but send us to the emergency room.

      It will affect food stamps and Medicaid. Since I will not get paid until July, I will lose eligibility for food stamps in August. And Medicaid when I hit a certain income level for the year so I have a few months of breathing room.

      I’ve been keeping the AC at 78 during the day and dropping it at night. I’m so grateful for AC and ceiling fans during these 95+ degree days though!

      • Reply J |

        Thank you for the explanations! I hope you get the credit card paid off soon and good job on minimizing expenses while the kiddos are gone.

  • Reply M.V. |

    This is good news. Once you are back on your feet for steady income and covering the basics pay of the Self Lender for a quick win/morale boost. I also suggesting paying enough to cover the interest on your student loans even though you are on IBR. Save the unemployment for emergencies and real necessities. I assume you have depleated your emergency fund over the last several months (at least you had it!).

    • Reply Hope |

      Hi MV,
      Good suggestions. I am ready to pay off the Self Lender loan. Then I will have to decided what to do with the $1,100 I will get back from it. When I first did it, it was to be used for Christmas money. Of course, a lot has changed since then.
      My first thought it to just leave it and let it become an emergency fund that is a bit harder to get too!
      I hadn’t thought of paying the interest on my student loans but that is an excellent idea too!
      Thank you!

      • Reply Walnut |

        Emergency fund! Send the self lender to your emergency fund!! Nothing will help you sleep better at night than knowing you have cash in the bank to pay the rent in case life throws a rotten egg at you.

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    You not only haven’t acquired debt Hope, you’ve paid down $9000 worth of debt. Good job! Self lender is almost complete. If you find anything to sell focus on that and put that $97 towards your credit card debt once it is paid. How long are they willing to defer your student loans for ,now that you are working?

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    I asked in the debt thread about your student loan deferral. Even with a 2.88 interest rate you are accruing over $1000 a year in jnterest. If you can add a $85 line item for that loan now that you are working so that you don’t end up adding more to your debt balance I think you should try.

So, what do you think ?