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Posts tagged with: hard decisions

Kids’ Activities: Gymnastics is No More


My kids’ activities have been a bone of contention since I began blogging here over 4 years ago. And I will admit as they have gotten older and more talented, the price of those activities has gone up steadily.

As of this month, I have pulled Gymnast from gymnastics completely. This will save me close to $600 a month is training costs and gas alone.

I will admit, the decision was not all financial. There are other things going on in our life that were “the straw that broke the camel’s back” per se. But in the end, it has devastated us both.

Giving Up a Dream

Gymnast has trained for over 6 1/2 years now. Countless hours in the gym, studying video and dreaming. He was ready to move up a level this year. He is floundering now, who is he without gymnastics?

Gymnast Muscles

As a mom, I have had big dreams for my talented son. I have been so proud of his dedication and natural gifts. The sky was the limit for him. This decision has ripped my heart out.

What Now

Now we have to find a new normal.

  • No more 8-10 hours in the car each week commuting to and from practice.
  • No more 16-20 hours a week burning off his energy and emotions.
  • No more regular trips to a larger town with resources and business opportunities we do not have here in our tiny town.
  • An enormous financial obligation has been lifted from my shoulders. We won’t feel that now, but down the road it will make a big difference.
  • Gymnast is lost and angry with me. I don’t think he knows who he is without gymnastics. (I understand, but I’m not sure how to help him.)
  • We now have about 25 hours in our week. How do we fill the time? He needs a new release for his energy and emotions, but the options are limited here.

When I look at my spending for the last year, kids’ activities have cost me at least as much and sometimes more each month as rent and utilities combined. This includes the monthly training fees, uniforms, travel expenses, gas for training and so on.

But I will be honest, if it wasn’t for other factors that are not finance related, I would never have made this choice. And I hate it. It’s breaking my heart to watch my son so lost.

As much as this will help financially, I fear that this decision will send my son spiraling in the wrong direction. Any guidance you have for redirecting a child who has been training so intensely and so focused on one thing only to have it disappear?


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!