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Posts tagged with: debt plan

Fall, 2015 Budget – Hope


We have been living on a pretty strict budget since last spring (see previous budget posts on this here: Summer Plan and here: Going Hardcore.)  We gotten lots of amazing things done on this budget including playing off most all my consumer debt (minus ex-husband’s car,) sending all the kids to their summer camps, having a mini-vacation at Great Wolf Lodge for the twins’ prom and just generally getting a better handle of our finances.

An important part to our success was budgeting on my “regular” income and saving “extra” income.  Regular income are long term clients who have hired me on a contract basis AND have proven reliability of paying regularly.  It also includes the adoption subsidy for the twins. Extra income are a variety of projects that I pick up at any given time.  That EXTRA is really what allowed us to live a little while going extreme in day to day finances.

So with that being said, I have decided to continue to budget that way.

DescriptionMonthly Goal
Monthly Total$3,108
Rent + Water + Storage$1,344
Life Insurance$23
Car Expenses$150
Car & Renter's Insurance$107
Kids (Misc)$400
Busch Gardens$50
Misc Business $20

Based on this budget and a reliable, regular income that varies little on a month to month basis of $5,261, this leaves with me $2,153 monthly to pursue debt pay off, savings and housing options.

At this time, only two things are for sure with how I will use this money…

  1. I will continue putting $100 per month into my EF account which I promptly forget is there.
  2. I will continue paying monthly minimums on my one remaining debt.

After my September 1 deadline for making a housing decision, I will come up with a more concrete plan for this money.

So the Plan – Hope


Ok, I’ve posted my new debt numbers, I’ve posted my new monthly budget, and I’ve figured that even with my lower income I’m going to be able to pay about $1400 extra towards debt.  So here’s my current plan….

January – pay off remaining utility bills from old house, pay of checking account balance and put the rest towards the Retail #2.

I then have a little bit of extra money that should come in towards the end of this month from client invoices.

February – between the extra income I’m expecting and regular monies, my goal is to pay off the Retail #2 by the end of February.  It will be a stretch, but that’s what I’m gunning for!

Then I will focus on the personal loan and credit card simultaneously, I think, but I’ve not yet mapped that far out.  One step at a time…

But my goal, at least in my head is 6 months to pay off everything but my student loan debt.  I realize that’s pushing it with my numbers, but I’m super motivated so I’m working on how I can make more money!!

The New Debt Plan


First off, thank you so much for your constructive advice over the last couple of weeks while I sorted out my priorities and created a new debt plan payoff. (You can read my last debt number update here.)

So without further ado, here is the new plan with estimated pay off debts. The debts are listed in new priority order with current balances and estimated pay off dates with new plan:


Name Balance Interest Rate Minimum Payment Estimated Pay Off
Line of Credit $623 15.95% $218  Aug, 2014
Joint Account $807 0% $0  Oct, 2014
Car Loan – NV $30,762 6.79% $696  Mar, 2017
Retail Card #2 $3,297 25.99% $99  May, 2017
Car Loan – Honda $1,900 0% $0  Jul, 2017
Credit Card $5,083 13.9% $150  Jul, 2017
Student Loan $31,687 2.88% deferred  Oct, 2019
Retail Card #1 $0
Property Tax $0

I ABSOLUTELY HATE that I am looking at Oct, 2019 for pay off…so after much review and soul searching there is more to this story…I AM PUTTING MY CAR UP FOR SALE!  On Tuesday of next week I will clean up the car, get the state inspection and put it on the market.  That $696 payment and $30K debt is going away!!!

That is why the car loan is currently #3 as I believe I will be upside down when I get an offer so I neat to get as much paid off as a I can and then I will look at a small loan from my local credit union to make whatever difference is needed.

With that in mind, and with some extra income this month, I anticipate both the Line of Credit AND the Joint Account paid off by July at the latest.  So if those two are paid off as expected AND my car sells for close to asking price, this will be my debt pay off plan.

Name Balance Interest Rate Minimum Payment Estimated Pay Off
Car Loan – Honda $1,900 0% $0 Sept, 2014
Retail Card #2 $3,297 25.99% $99 Dec, 2014
Credit Card $5,083 13.9% $150 Apr, 2015
Student Loan $31,687 2.88% $218 Apr, 2017
Car Loan – NV $0 SOLD
Line of Credit $0 PAID OFF
Joint Account $0 PAID OFF
Retail Card #1 $0 PAID OFF
Property Tax $0 PAID OFF

This will expedite my debt free life by 2 1/2 years…BEFORE my boys would go to college!!!

Now with this in mind there are a few caveats regarding the car sale…

  1. In selling my car, whenever we have the twins’ siblings here, we will be stuck at home except for places we can bike too. Ugh!
  2. After selling my car, I will have to learn to drive a manual because that’s what the Honda is.  Ugh!
  3. I will not be able to take any foster/adoptive placements because the Honda only seats 5.
  4. And of course, I will need to pay it off ASAP, but will only carry liability insurance on it so my property tax/insurance costs should go WAY down.

I am fully prepared to make these sacrifices for now.  I have spent a lot of time thinking about it and looking at the numbers.  I can’t say that I don’t HATE the thought of not being able to help some kids in need, but I know this is the right course of action for right now.

This plan will allow me to 1) pay off debt on my credit report (helps my debt to income ratio,) and should 2) clear up some credit issues as accounts show paid and closed thus raising my credit score.  Can you guess where I’m heading?

I will start dealing with the housing issue this fall after I begin on the second debt plan…woohoo!  (And I may have some news on that sooner as well.)  The earliest the twins will get driver’s licenses is the end of next February.  At that time, I will revisit the car situation and consider purchasing a USED larger car MAYBE.  Hopefully you will stick around to guide me.

So tell me, what do you think of my plan? I AM SO MOTIVATED by those pay off debts!

Debt Update


Sorry for the delay in getting this update up, but I’ve really been productive with the extra time (minus being sick, of course.)  To be honest, I feel like I’m starting all over again on this journey with revised debt, new debt and a new perspective. With that being said, while I typically have a plan, months in advance, I am really wanting the communities input on how I should tackle this debt now.

So here it is, listed from high interest rate to lowest with the Estimated Pay Off date blank as with your help I’m ready to re-prioritize my plan:

Debt as of June 10, 2014

Name Balance Interest Rate Minimum Payment Estimated Pay Off
Retail Card $3297 25.99% $99
Line of Credit $838 15.95% $218
Credit Card $5,080 13.9% $150
Car Loan – NV $31,043 6.79% $696
Student Loan $31,687 2.88% deferred
Joint Account $889 0% $0
Car Loan – Honda $1,900 0% ASAP


Retail Card – This is a retail card that I use for my business. You’ll notice the balance has gone up several hundred dollars since I first listed this one. That was for ink for my laser printer I needed for a project, an unavoidable cost, but I am ready to be rid of this high interest debt! The minimum payment required doesn’t ever seem to make a dent so I need to really increase the monthly payment to see progress.

Line of Credit – This debt shrinks quickly as I make payments so I’m ready to finish it off and free up that $200 towards something else.

Credit CardAgain, the minimum payment doesn’t seem to make a dent here and I had started to free up some credit until this past month. I can go either way on this one as far as priorities go.

Car Loan – NV – This is our GIANT family car, a necessity but a huge money pit!

Student Loan – Speaks for itself.

Joint Account – This is new debt. I’ll explain it in my short and sweet version. During my marriage, I handled the money. Since my marriage ended, I have continued to pay 1) his life insurance and 2) his car insurance for one car that he kept but is in my name. The joint account was left open so that I could continue to pay these bills to make sure they were paid. At times, he would overdraw his personal accounts and then it would clear out this joint account (which only I used.) The account was overdrawn this last time by $1,300. I had enough and closed the account AND stopped paying his life insurance policy. I’ve paid down to the current amount this month and need to get it paid off to avoid affecting my relationship with the bank. This is just what it is. I will address the insurance stuff with a revised budget shortly.

Car Loan – Honda – Again, a short sweet version of this new debt…for the last year I have “stored” one of my parents’ cars since they moved to Texas. It was an informal agreement that the car would be made available for me to purchase for my twins when the time came that they were ready to sell it. (They left it here when they moved to Texas so when they came to visit we would have an extra car for them to use.) The time has come that 1) my twins have their learner’s permits and are now 9 months from getting a driver’s license (a privilege, not a right, but one I will be thrilled with as a single parent with lots of running around to do.) And 2) my dad wants me to pay for the car before the boys drive it for valid safety and insurance reasons.) We’ve agreed to $1,900 and he would like me to pay it off ASAP.

Note: I have removed the debt to my dad as we are both in agreement that I need to focus on my credit affecting debt in order to get in the position to refinance the house in my name.

Ok, so give it to me straight, what should my plan of action be? On a typical month my minimum payments are $1,163, I typically have a snowball payment anywhere between $200-400, sometimes more. I am listening EARS WIDE OPEN for your advice here.

An Introduction to My Debt – Hope


Note: This is the application post from Hope wanting to be the next blogger for BAD. Feel free to ask any questions, leave your opinion and express your feelings in the comments

I’ve been asked to introduce myself before and that was hard, but introducing my debt as a first assignment is like asking me to appear at an interview in the most horrific outfit I own, unshowered and without doing my hair and make up. Talk about intimidating!

The worst of it is the shame, trying to keep up appearances that everything is fine when I’m really just drowning in debt. Deciding who to pay, how much to pay and when to pay is really stressful. Juggling the payment dates to try to avoid a late penalty, a ding on my credit score and still have enough money to cover groceries and gas for the month. You are probably getting the gist of my overwhelming dilemma.

For the last three years or so, I have been trying to pay off debt. I have had some successes, but also some major backslides. But I am truly and thoroughly sick and tired of being so stressed about my overwhelming debt and I’ve recently added some serious motivation to 1) getting out of debt and on solid financial ground and 2) setting a good example as a steward of my financial well-being.

With that being said, I must tell you a little about myself. I am an entrepreneur, who has successfully run a home based business for the past 8 years. I have a Masters degree and market myself as a high tech virtual assistant which typically translates into either business system consulting jobs or technical customer service and project management for small businesses. I love what I do.

I am also a single mom, who gets sporadic financial support for two of my kids from their dad and an adoption subsidy for my other two. My kids are my joy, my reason for everything I do and the reason that I work from home rather than going out and getting a fabulous corporate job with a six figure income (at least that’s how it would work out in my head.)

This past fall I was blessed to fulfill a lifelong dream of adoption and welcomed twin teenage boys into our home on a permanent basis (they had been placed here two years earlier as foster kids and since going home did not work out…) They are my new motivation. You see, my other two children are younger and I anticipated having at least another 6 years to get right financially before I had to think about cars and college, etc. But now, that run is very short, the twins started high school this year and could possibly drive next year (it’s a privilege, not a right, of course.)

So I’ve GOT to get a handle on this. I’ve got to get on solid financial ground. I’ve got to be a good example. And I’ve GOT to do it now.

So now you’ve heard of my greatest shame and my greatest joy. My income comes solely from my business and some support for my children. Now, a drumroll please, my debt consists of:

– a student loan incurred during grad school
– a car loan (I had to get a bigger car with the addition of children, purchased early last summer)
– three revolving credit lines
– a personal loan from my dad (no interest)
– a maxed credit card
– a tax bill (that was due in Dec, 2013)
– a consumer loan.

The total owed is $77,792.80. Ugh, just makes me sick. But I am ready for a fight. I am ready to tackle this and frankly I can use all the help, advice and nudges to stay on track that I can get.