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Hope’s Debt – September, 2018

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In NoIt’s time for another debt update. And I’m really excited about my progress. I’m less clear on what my plan is. I’m kind of flying by the seat of my pants right now.

When I know I have the bills for the next month covered, I start putting extra income towards debt. And I was able to make some extra payments this past week.

Current Debt Load as of 9/10/18

Creditor
Balance

(as of 10/14/17)
Interest
Min. Payment
Student Loans$34,5872.88%$0 (income based deferment)
Car$6,1627.00%$0 (deferred until November)
Credit Card$3,78217.00%$0
Collections 3 (Ex-husband)$3,8046.25%$246
Collections 2 (Apartment)$499$0
Self Lender$010.57%$0
Total$48.834$246

Debt Notes

  • First off, I paid off my Self Lender loan last month. A month ahead of time – woohoo! And received my payout last month which funded my emergency fund! Even more exciting is that I’m receiving a $10 affiliate check from them shortly, someone else must have thought this was a good idea. I know the 10% interest is kind of high, but it was like a forced savings plan and that was really good for me! I would do it again (but I’m not.)
  • Because I have been able to pay extra every month on my car, I was offered a 2 month deferment (September and October.) I decided to take advantage of it and pay the extra towards some other debts the next couple of months. In November, I will return to paying $400 per month.
  • I haven’t made any more progress on my credit card. Last month, I dropped my on-going total right at $1,300. But that doesn’t mean I’m not paying on it. I continue to use it as a rolling credit line – use it and pay it.  Here’s a screenshot of the payments made in the last 10 days. (Sea Cadet is an authorized user on this card as well, his only credit card access and also uses and pays it immediately.) While the balance hasn’t dropped any more, I do not have to designate a separate line item to make the month minimum.

Credit card payments made since Sept 1

  • As you can see, my largest debt payments this past month has been towards Collection #3. I’m thinking this is the debt I would like to target now. A change from my original plan to pay off the credit card first.

Just a side note, I did read the comment regarding my student loan, and while it is in deferment until next spring I am looking at starting to pay some on it.

I am now ready for your guidance. You can see my last debt update here. You are seeing my twice weekly anticipated and actual spending and income. I believe I’m getting back on stable ground and ready to make a plan of action to KILL my debt. WHAT should I target?


Busted Budget???

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With the chaos of the move and settling in to the new place, I kind of let my budget get away from me this month.

I’ve found that, in the past, I do BEST when I have a concrete budget on paper before the month begins. Then I can reference it and know, “Oh, I’ve still got $X left for groceries” (or clothes, or household, or whatever else).

But when all my office stuff was in boxes and I was busy trying to unpack and get situated…..I just kind of “bought.” It wasn’t like I was out buying with reckless abandon or anything. I was still trying to be frugal and mindful to only buy basic necessities and not a lot of extras.

Even so, I finally got around to balancing the budget and….it’s not so pretty.

In my “household” category (which was only budgeted for $100), I’ve already spent $370. YIKES! I swear, I didn’t even realize the number was that high! Again, it’s not like I was out buying anything crazy. I needed a couple new waste baskets (I get the cheap $1 ones for the bedrooms, but I got a $30 for the kitchen), shelf liner for the kitchen cupboards,  a small $20 tool kit, some supplies to connect the washer and dryer to the water and gas lines (my Dad generously gifted the washer and dryer themselves, but I still needed some tubing and hoses, etc.) You get the idea – just your basic run of the mill we-just-moved type of stuff.

The problem is the budget was already stretched thin. I’ve tried to reallocate some funds – reducing the funds that had been set aside for exercise (races, yoga) and clothing and moving those funds to the housing line item of the budget. But even with all my tinkering, I’m still coming up $81 over budget. It could be worse, but I’m still pretty disappointed. I was determined to make the budget BALANCED, so I’m not too happy that my very first month living alone it looks like may be a failure in that regard.

I’m going to try to see if I can make up the money. I do still have $106 left in my grocery budget. It would be tough to make that stretch, seeing as its only the 11th so we’ve still got 2 and a half weeks left of the month. But maybe if I can squeeze $50 from there (leaving me with $56 for the rest of the month), then I’ll only have a deficit of $31. And then I can try to squeeze that from somewhere else. I mean, I’m really grappling with pennies over here, but I’m pretty determined to somehow make this work.

I’ve already pre-made my entire October budget so the budget is completely balanced AND includes some savings for an EF, semi-annual fees, and care/repair maintenance. So it’s not impossible to have a balanced budget (and even put some aside in savings), but it definitely will take some intentionality and a close eye on every outgoing penny. I’m going to give myself a little grace given that I literally moved on September 1st (it would’ve been tough to keep the household budget to $100 given the circumstances), but I’m bound and determined to try everything within my power to get it at least to even for this month, and to have some savings stocked away for next month.

What do you do if you need to make a quick $80 (and/or save it from another category of spending)? Would you sell some plasma? Sell goods on Facebook Marketplace? Or find ways to cut back from other budget categories?


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