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Car Inspection and Winter Hobbies

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Happy Tuesday everyone!

From my last post, I discussed needing to save up for my car’s state inspection and emission’s test, which I had scheduled for November 9th. Well, that day came and passed and it hit me to the tune of $887.00, which was within the range I was expecting. I needed some work done, which I was told about over the summer, plus I decided to get 4 new tires. Although they passed inspection, the mechanic told me they would have failed given another month of driving. To be honest, I was surprised they even passed at all. Instead of delaying the cost to next year, I decided to get a new set and just take the hit today. But now that this is out of the way, I could either 1) Replenish my EF (or savings, or slush fund, I’m not sure what to call it at this point), again or 2) Start tackling my loans. Personally, I want to see how long I can do #2, before I have to do #1- which should take me into the New Year, at least. I want to get back to paying off my loans as soon as possible (I’m getting very antsy to do so), which could be as early as today, even with only $1,000 in my EF. My goal would be to get below $40,000 before the end of the year, before contributing to my EF again. What are your thoughts on this?

Also, I have some exciting news on the hobby front. After taking a month off from playing guitar in September and half of October, I got back into it, like REALLY into it. I’ve probably put in 2-3 hours a night during the week and 5+ hours per day during the weekend, even spending some time at our city library to try and wrap my head around music theory. A little background: being in a band has been a dream of mine for the better part of ten years. While I have had some jam sessions with other friends who play guitar, they’re mostly just starting out and weren’t as interested in starting a band. Anyway, I put an ad out last week looking for other people who may want to jam/start a band, and I received a reply! We hung out this past week, and I think it looks really promising! The whole experience of putting myself out there and taking action with it was such a rush, as I’ve only played for my girlfriend and those few friends before.

The problem with this whole scenario is that equipment is EXPENSIVE. I have a guitar that is performance quality, but I don’t have anything else that’s up to par. I would need a new amp and speaker cabinets, pedals, and all the other miscellaneous hardware that comes with putting on a live show. But…we aren’t even close to this point, and I’ll likely be out of debt before I worry about gigging. For right now, I guess, it’s just something in the back of my mind.

What are some hobbies you guys have? Has money ever become a factor for them?

I hope everyone has a great week!


Ashley’s October 2015 Debt Update

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I don’t know if I’ve ever been more excited to share a debt update with you guys! Check this out:

PlaceCurrent BalanceAPRLast Payment MadeLast Payment DateOriginal debt, March 2014
Capital One CC-17.9%-Paid off in March 2014$413
Mattress Firm-0%-Paid off in May 2014$1381
Wells Fargo CC-13.65%-Paid off in May 2014$7697
BoA CC-7.24%-Paid off in June 2014$2220
License Fees-2.5%-Paid off in April 2015$5808
Navient - Federal Student Loan$156926.55%-8.25%$332October$17507
ACS Student Loans$86336.55%$20October$8215
Navient - Dept of Education student loans$662796.55%$636October$63254
PenFed Car Loan$69512.49%$3800October$24040
Balance Transfer student loan (Former Navient 1-01)$35120% (through April 2016)$700October$5937
Medical Bills$59860%$25October$9000
Totals$107,053 (Sept balance = 112,171)$5513Starting Debt = $145,472

First, let’s have a moment of silence to appreciate and fully take in the mammoth-sized debt payment this month! $5513 was put toward debt this month!

This is one of the largest debt payment months we’ve ever had, only rivaled by a few months around summer 2014 where our income really skyrocketed for a minute (before crashing down for awhile in 2015. The joys of a variable income).

You’ll see 2 higher payments, specifically:

  • $3,800 went toward the car loan this month! This is insane!! We’ve had months this year where we’ve made less than this, total! We’re very thankful to have had a good month and be able to really knock the car loan debt in the mouth!
  • Over $1,500 went toward student loans this month! This is WAY higher than my monthly minimums. But because my minimum payments don’t even cover my interest I’ve been trying to pay extra so I can continue reducing the principal. Also, I made a large payment toward Navient loan 1-06 this month to pay it off in full (Note, this figure also includes my payment to the balance transfer loan, which was originally a student loan).

Perhaps equally as exciting as this month’s stellar payments, I had a realization as I made October’s debt table.

If we’re able to continue making our expected debt payments (which is really contingent upon hubs’ income the next couple months), we will officially dip below the $100,000-mark in December!

That means in December we will simultaneously be reaching 3 insane milestones:

  1. We will officially pay off our car loan. This will make us consumer debt-freeeeeee!!!!!!
  2. We will have reached out 2015 financial goal of paying $30,000 toward debt this year.
  3. After nearly 2 hard years of chipping away at our debts, we will have finally rounded the corner and officially owe less than $100,000!!!! 

I want to pinch myself! Only 2 months ago I was admitting defeat on my 2015 goals and now (eeek – fingers crossed!!!) we could be reporting some huge accomplishments in the next 2 months! How quickly the tide can change. I only hope and pray things remain on the ups!!