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Posts tagged with: making better financial decisions

Considering Student Loan Payments

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My student loans are in deferment until next spring. Up until this past week, I hadn’t made any payments since they went into deferment.

But I know the interest in accumulating and adding to my already large balance. And it’s time I did something about that. Even if it is just a little something.

I asked the BAD Community for guidance on what debt I should be targeting over the next couple of months last week in my September Debt Update.

Student Loan Balances

Here is where it stands right now (screenshot taken 9/10/18:)

student loan balances

I’ve never really paid attention to the Group A and Group B and I’m not sure how that affects anything since they both have the same interest rate.

Plan of Action

With a target on a different debt, I have some questions about my student loan plan of action. Knowing that no payments are due until next spring AND that it is accruing some interest.

  1. Should I add a small regular payment toward my student loan debt to my monthly budget?
  2. If yes, should I target a specific Group? And how does that matter?
  3. If yes, how much should I add to my monthly budget? I’m guessing it should be enough to cover interest and prevent an increase in the on-going balance.

I paid $100 toward Group B last week. Another one of my flying by the seat of my pants decisions. But I feel like I need  a solid plan with this. And I need your advice.

 


Hope’s Actual Spending and Income – Week of 8/31

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You can see last week’s actual spending and income report here. This was a good week. I know the table looks like we ended up in the red, but in actuality, we are mostly living on last month’s income so there is a buffer behind the scenes.

Because I brought in about $700 (before taxes) more than I anticipated, I went ahead and paid some additional monthly bills and made some debt payments. Right now, I am not really sticking to focusing on any particular debt, it’s more whatever strikes me. Yes, I know that’s not the best plan. I need to focus on a new plan soon. Maybe after my next debt update.

Actual Spending and Income from this Past Week

Without further ado, here’s how our finances looked this week. Bear in mind that these numbers are after taxes and without business expenses. The BOLD items are items that were either not anticipated for this or I was off in my planning.

Actual Spending - Week of 8/31

DescriptionAnticipatedActual
Income *after taxes$1235$1706
Gymnastics($100)($62)
Rent($650)($650)
Reimburse Grandmama($16)($16)
Life Insurance *quarterly payment($67)($67)
Utilities - Gas, Water & Trash($92)($92)
Utilities - Electric($170)($170)
Gas($40)($20)
History Buff *loan replayment$50$50
Cost of Girdle for football($25)
Amazon($158)
Utilities - Internet($61)
Tax Debt($500)

Total$150($64)

Spending Notes

There are just a few things to note:

  1. Gymnast is actually going to continue with both football and gymnastics. The football team does not practice one day per week AND the season ends in less than a month. He will continue going to gym 1x per week. My monthly fee was offset by selling part of his competition uniform this past week. Right now, he will not return to competition this season.
  2. Gas was 1/2 the normal cost this week since we are really not driving much at all. Other than 1 trip to gym, everywhere we go in less than 5 miles from the house. Woohoo! Not to mention, Sea Cadet is driving himself again.
  3. My Amazon Prime membership renewed and I hadn’t checked into the discount BAD readers had told me about. We use Prime all the time, but it charged to my old Amazon account (paid off 11/2017) which remains open but no balance is carried. So I wanted to get it paid off ASAP. (There were a couple of things purchased by the kids/grandmother which were on this bill, they paid for all of those earlier.)
  4. Internet – on my taxes, I split this cost between business since I work from home 100% of the time and personal since we do all use it for leisure and schooling. But figured I would put it here rather than keeping it out in business expenses. Thoughts?
  5. Tax Debt – the monthly payment on this debt is $246, due at the end of the month. I wanted to get ahead and I’m thinking this may be my next target. But we can discuss another time. But I really just went with my gut with my extra income and decided to get ahead a bit. This pushes my due date to the end of November and drops by balance below $4,000. Yeah!