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Hope’s Debt Update – July, 2018


You can see my June debt update here. My business continues to grow, which I am very grateful for.


(as of 10/14/17)
Min. Payment
Student Loans$34,4852.88%$0 (income based deferment)
Car$6,4907.00%$308 (pay $92 extra every month)
Credit Card$3,78217.00%$36
Collections 3 (Ex-husband)$4,7076.25%$246
Collections 2 (Apartment)$499$0
Self Lender$19410.57%$97

While my plan was to finish paying off my Self Lender account and then the credit card, I got ahead of myself and put all my extra towards the credit card. This month I’m committed to getting rid of the Self Lender payment. That will free up $97 per month.

School Starts

Not much else going on. School starts Thursday. I’m adding $80 to my budget each for Princess to purchase lunch at school. Gymnast’ school provides free breakfast and lunch to all students so I don’t have to worry about him. I told Princess when she runs out of money, she will have to pack a lunch. I felt this was a good compromise. (New budget coming soon.)

I’m ready for school to start. These last couple of week’s have been hard to handle with balancing all the in and out for Princess volleyball and work commitments. Having a regular schedule will really help.

Trip to Virginia

We will drive up to Virginia in a couple of weeks to bring Sea Cadet home from his summer camp job. We will get to spend a day with History Buff while we are there. I’m really excited. (And sorry if this is not new news, I cannot remember if I wrote about this plan.)

Sea Cadet at Summer Camp

Sea Cadet at Summer Camp

Gymnastics Update

Well, there is one big piece of news. I have compromised on Gymnast continuation in gymnastic’s training. He’s been out for 2 1/2 months now. And despite time to think about the free time he would have, trying another sport and so on, he is at committed as ever to returning to gymnastics.

I am committed to making better financial decisions. I will write more about this piece of news later.

Right now, I’m feeling good about my progress with my debt payoff for this month. It feels good.

Were you able to make it through the summer without blowing the budget? What changes do you make to your budget for the school year versus the summer?



  • Reply Cheryl |

    May I ask why your daughter can’t pack a lunch everyday? That seems a lot for lunch per month.

    • Reply Hope |

      She could and we did that last semester. This is a compromise. She will be at school from 7am-5:30pm everyday due to her sports. It essentially gives her $4 per day. She will be packing snacks and such to get her through such a long day, and will have to manage the money.
      I am not willing to go any higher, but after the sports season is over, may cut back.

  • Reply Reece |

    Hey, if you qualify for food stamps why wouldn’t you qualify for free or reduced lunch? O

  • Reply Reece |

    Our school district offers the application along with enrollment forms….have you checked that out?
    Sorry for formatting; hard on mobile…

    • Reply Hope |

      I thought of that, and Princess has actually brought it up. But I don’t believe we will qualify for food stamps much longer so want to be prepared for the inevitable.

      • Reply Laura |

        Fill them out anyway. Even if you only qualify for a month or two it saves money. And you might still qualify for reduced lunch even after you are off food stamps.

  • Reply C@thesingledollar |

    Hope, I looked back at some of your earlier debt updates. That student loan just never seems to go anywhere. (In fact, it’s going up right now because of the deferment.)

    I understand that everything else on the list seems more urgent. But I think you should think about a pattern where you keep adding things (a new debt, like for the computers, or a new payment commitment, like for gymnastics) every time you pay something else off or make more money and otherwise get some room in the budget. This is the kind of thing where you could keep paying it for another ten years and make no progress — you’ll eventually need to pay real attention to it. It’s not THAT much in the grand scheme of things. But if you ever want to get rid of it you’ll eventually need to make it a priority and I think you shouldn’t put that off in favor of seemingly more urgent things forever.

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, a reader suggested paying at least enough to cover the interest so that it doesn’t go up on last month’s update. Frankly, I like that idea, I just haven’t had time to sit down and wrap my head around it. July was an insanely busy month.
      With school starting, I plan on being able to sit down and really focus on a plan. Just been flying by the seat of my pants since February’s job loss. Thanks for the feedback!

  • Reply SMS |

    This has probably been said before, but why not pay that extra $92 on the credit card instead of on the car? Huge discrepancy on interest rate!

    • Reply Hope |

      It’s the psychology of it for me. Having a paid off car and no car payment will be a huge weight off for me.

      • Reply Cwaltz |

        Think of it this way though. Your minimum payment is not enough to cover the interest on your credit card. It is not going to be psychologically great to see that number creeping up despite your best efforts not to use the card. Additionally if you were to apply the 92 dollars AND the 97 dollar self lender to the card you could pay the card off quicker and be able to put that money toward the car again. As it stands with a 3700 balance you are paying over 50 dollars a month in interest. You are essentially in the hole 14 dollars each month you cover the minimum only. If you took the 36 + 92+ 97 after self lender is paid you could be paying 225, 50 of that would go to interest but 175 goes off the principle. You would pull that card down by over 2000 in a year. The 1600 balance would mean you half you r interest. I know you want the car payment gone but even with the extra 92 dollars you will still have that payment in a year and you are going to bring that balance down regardless of the extra money since you are paying over 300 a month and the interest is around 40 a month meaning you ALREADY are cover ing over 250 towards your principle. In a years time without the extra 92 dollars your balance goes down to 3500(Vs 2300 give or take with 92 extra). In a years time you could then add the 92 back and still have the car paid off that next year and continue to pull the credit card towards the finish line shortly behind it. (97 + 36 = 133 would mean 100 dollars towards principle with the card reaching 0 the following year.)

  • Reply Tee |

    Can we get an actual budget post? All income vs ALL expenses and debts? Also, why are you paying for the ex’s debts, when you just made a post about not paying other peoples debts?! “But that doesn’t mean, I am going to be responsible for other’s debt.” I’m confused.

    Can we get some new contributors? Neither Ashley or Hope are getting anyway and it’s zero motivation for readers. I wouldn’t mind writing, and I would absolutely heed the critical, well-meaning advice, and put it all out there. As a reader, I appreciate transparency and commitment to paying off debt. I miss the old BAD.

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, a new budget is forthcoming. Due to my variable income, it’s hard to put one together that works every month. But now that things are stabilizing with work and such, having a set budget is high on my priority list.

  • Reply SMS |

    I wouldn’t say that Hope isn’t getting anywhere. She reduced her debt by about 2k since last month. Considering her fluctuating income, that is good. Good job, Hope!

  • Reply JP |

    You need a budget more than anyone. Having a variable income doesn’t mean you can’t do a budget. Your expenses should be predictable. That way you’ll know if you’re income is slated to meet them. February was six months ago, that really is no reason to be still in “flying by the seat of my pants” mode.

    • Reply Hope |

      It’s taken me the 6 months to get to the point where I’m making enough to cover all the monthly bills…prior to that it was always “what do I pay late” or “how long can I wait to pay this.” But you are right, I’m now in a position to make a firm budget.

  • Reply Walnut |

    I think this looks great! You’ll have that credit card paid off by the end of the year (or earlier) for sure!

    I would also encourage you to include your emergency fund balance in these debt payoffs. We definitely will cheer for your debt reductions, but I think I’d cheer even louder seeing contributions to your emergency fund. You’ve done a lot of soul searching about being the sole provider for your family and that emergency fund is the best way to give yourself a good night of sleep.

    • Reply Cwaltz |

      No offense but how do you figure? Her interest monthly exceeds her minimum payment. It’s great she paid a lump sum but if she doesn’t figure out how to regularly budget over 50 dollars to that card the number is only going up. I applaud Hope for what she has accomplished but I have some real concerns about her continuing ability to make headway if she is only paying minimums on thousands of dollars. Her budget should at the very least cover those minimums plus enough to cover interest or she’ll just be blogging not blogging away debt.

So, what do you think ?