February 2016 Snowflaking Report

Welcome to the February 2016 Snowflaking Report!

As a reminder, I’m doing this once a month for the following reasons:

  1. We pay our minimum payment automatically around the 13th of every month, and I send our extra payment as soon as the payment posts to improve the likelihood that our Snowflaking payment will go entirely to the principal and not to interest.
  2. My monthly recaps are kind of long, so I’d like to take out some of the details to streamline them.
  3. Snowflaking will make or break the achievement of our 2016 Mintly Goal(s)!

Note: Beginning in March, we will be budgeting $1504 per month as additional payments to these loans, but as that money is budgeted as part of our strategy to meet our goal, I don’t consider it “snowflaking.”

What is Snowflaking?

“Snowflaking” can be defined as putting all of your extra income (often in small amounts) to your debt. For instance, if you do an odd job or have a side hustle, that money would go to your debt. If your mom sends you money for your birthday, you can send that money to your debt. If you get a refund on an item, that money can go to your debt. For more, see this.

Mintly Snowflaking 2016 by the numbers:

  • $239 – amount needed per month to pay off all of H’s loans by our target of February 2017 (for more information on our debt, including the amount, please see this)
  • $1091 – amount needed per month to pay off all four of our loans by our target of February 2017 (definitely our “stretch” goal!)

February 2016 Minimum Payment

I include this information because our snowflaking will continue to decrease the amount of interest we pay every time we make a payment, and tracking that decrease helps me see that we’re making a difference, even when it seems like we’re barely making a dent each month!

  • $391.83 – minimum payment we sent
  • $241.52 (62%) – amount that went to principal
  • $150.31 (38%) – amount that went to interest

February 2016 Snowflaking:

  • $1,127.06 – amount we sent (+$888.06 more than needed for our first goal!)
  • $1,127.06 (100%) – amount that went to principal
  • $0 (0%) – amount that went to interest

February 2016 Snowflaking Breakdown:

  • $250 – from Mom for reimbursement for L’s ballet classes for spring
  • $250 – H’s side hustle (2nd half of January)
  • $19.89  – Propay (Mary Kay sale)
  • $150 – Swagbucks (<– referral link)
  • $0.58 – interest from checking account
  • $64.36 – consigning
  • $100 – leftover from transition from January to February (if we have money to spare over the budgeted amounts, we snowflake that to debt)
  • $175 – H’s side hustle (1st half of February)
  • $22.90 – Ebates (<– referral link)
  • $79.95 –  reversal of charge we contested
  • $100 – from our emergency cushion fund (which is about $6,000) that I decided we could spare (and this brings us back down to just over $6,000)

Reflection:

Last month, the breakdown on our minimum payment was 80% to principal and 20% to interest, which was great! …But that was because I had a number of small payments in between the regular payment in December and the regular payment in January. So we’re now back up to a very unsatisfactory percentage of our regular payments going to interest.

On the other hand, I am super thrilled about what we were able to snowflake from the middle of last month to the middle of this month, though! A lot of the items were unusual – we had a payment go through on our card that we contested (it was some kind of subscription to Ancestry.com and we didn’t remember signing up for it, though it may have been a gift for my father-in-law?), so when we received the reimbursement for the reversal of the charge, I just put it in our snowflaking account. H also had a good month or so of side hustling. My mom also paid for L’s ballet lessons for the semester, but since we budget for that kind of thing already, I immediately plunked that cash right into the snowflaking account!

I have been thinking about how difficult this summer will be – it will be quite a challenge to find the extra money to snowflake, as H’s side hustle is only active during the school year. We will also have some additional expenses, such as yard care (which we outsource because of our lack-of-mower situation and the sheer size of the yard) and camps/childcare. So our expenses will go up, but our income will go down.

I have plans, though – I’ve taken my first steps towards selling on eBay. We have some jewelry from my mother-in-law that none of the daughters-in-law wanted, and while most of the items aren’t worth much to a jeweler, they might be worth something to the right person. I’ve done some investigations and have tentatively listed my first item this week. I don’t actually anticipate making a sale (I really am trying not to get my hopes up) but I want to sell a few smaller, less expensive things before I gear up to try to sell some more valuable pieces.

Anyone have advice for selling jewelry (or anything) on eBay? (I’m so scared of getting ripped off by unscrupulous buyers who will pretend they didn’t get the item…!)

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