June 2016 Snowflaking Report

Welcome to the June 2016 Snowflaking Report! (Sorry it’s a bit late!)

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)!

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 Mid-Year Report:

Things are changing! We made a huge payment to H’s Navient loans, and you’ll see that reflected in our new balances. I would love to say that “all of H’s loans are paid off!” but the truth is, even though his Navient loans are gone – WIPED OUT, WOOHOO! – we still have the balance we transferred to a 0% interest credit card. Of course, we also still have my two loans at Navient (which have always been at the low interest rate of 2.88%, so they have never been our primary focus).

In case you’re just joining us, the money to pay off H’s loans at Navient came from our “Oh $hit Fund” (I wish I had called it that from the beginning, it makes it a lot more fun). For a few months, we stopped paying extra on our student loans in order to build it up so that if H’s job situation turned out badly, we’d be able to keep ourselves afloat for a while. Then I just got really happy having that much money sitting in the bank. But after a while, it really did seem like the right decision to use it to pay down the loans (keeping back about $5000 for an emergency fund / house downpayment fund / whatever we need it for fund).

We also used other money, as well. The additional funds came from our House Downpayment fund. This money was set aside after we sold our first house so that we would have a bit of a head start on a downpayment the next time around. However, we decided that in order to meet our 2016 Mintly Goals, we needed to eradicate debt as quickly as possible.

There’s a balance between money in the bank and debt eradication, and for each person it’s a bit different. Plus, I can testify to the fact that the balance can change pretty quickly!

June 2016 Minimum Payment

Well, this is all completely off this month, because we paid off H’s Navient balance at the beginning of June. This year I was only tracking H’s loans in these Snowflaking Reports because those were the ones we were paying down aggressively. Now it’s different – we’ve got my loans as well as the credit card loan.

My Navient Loans:

  • $114.01 – minimum payment we sent
  • $106.53 (93%) – amount that went to principal (last month: 73%)
  • $7.48 (7%) – amount that went to interest (last month: 27%)

Citibank Card (H’s last loan): There is no interest on this card. The original plan was to send a scheduled monthly payment of $450 each month and snowflake the rest to my loans. However, we have decided that it’s better (after all) to prioritize the credit card loan debt moving forward – our main reason is that if something terrible happens and we can’t pay down the credit card, we could be in big trouble. However, if we pay off the credit card and something bad happens, we only have to send $114 a month to my student loans. I don’t love that we’re not capitalizing on the fact that we can eliminate interest-generating debt, but I don’t like being without a safety net either.

  • $450 – scheduled monthly payment we sent

June 2016 Extra Payments (including snowflaking):

  • $8,874.46 – total amount we sent to pay off H’s Navient loans (that’s all that was left on his to pay!)
  • $3,602.77 – total amount we sent to pay down my Navient loans (which included $1500 which was budgeted)

Current total student loan debt: $17,95780 (last month: $30,683.99)

  • Citibank (H’s loans): $8,549.99
  • Navient (my loans): $9,407.81

May 2016 Snowflaking Breakdown:

  • $1500 (budgeted)
  • $175 – Swagbucks (<– referral link)
  • $75 – American Express Rewards Dollars
  • $389.90 – H’s work reimbursement (finally, woohoo!)
  • $100 – H’s work reimbursement
  • $141.52 – Mary Kay order
  • $391 – this is the amount that would have automatically gone to pay for H’s loans at Navient but we had paid them off by the time
  • $150 my side hustle (few and far between, but still good!)

Reflection:

We found out that H should be getting his work award ($1000, before taxes) in his end-of-June paycheck, so that will be nice! Unfortunately, after talking, we decided he should go ahead and spend it on a work-related expense (which can be written off, of course). It’s disappointing, but at least we’ll get some Chase Ultimate Rewards points, and it really is his money. I also believe that we would have had to purchase this same item later on anyway, and then it would have really hurt our wallets!

As I mentioned above, I’m not super excited about putting all of our efforts into paying down the Citi card, but I think it makes the most sense overall. I’m thinking I may still use budgeted funds for the credit card but then send some little snowflakes over to my Navient loans. I’m not sure that dividing and conquering will give us the biggest emotional pay-off, and at this stage of the game, I feel like that’s a bit more meaningful than the absolute best financial route. We’ll see what happens in July!

Advertisements

May 2016 Recap

Welcome!

Each month I review how we did on our budget, whether we made our snowflaking goal, and how much we brought in consigning. That debt is going DOWN.

H just got his contract and we sent a big chunk of our “Oh $hit” fund to his loans! I blogged about it yesterday, but the big changes won’t be reflected here, as those big changes happened in June. 🙂

May 2016 Budget Recap – How We Did

screenshot 3.png

Food – I was optimistic that we could make this work, but my parents are visiting and we had to stock up on some items that we don’t normally have. We also took them to dinner.

Home Services – Apparently we are just going to be a month behind on this (for lawn mowing) but they haven’t even billed us for May yet, so I fear we will get hit with a big bill in June!

Slush – We just had a few extra items that came up, including parking for L’s ballet recital, H’s haircut, pedicure with friends, and shipping a few gifts out for family.

Month-to-Month Progress:

screenshot 10.png

How far we have come:

screenshot 9

May 2016 Snowflaking

As a reminder, our goal for each month is to snowflake at least $239 to pay off H’s student loans by February 2017. (For more on our goals, see this.)

We snowflaked an extra student loan payment of $2,341.46 (including a budgeted amount of $1492) in May. Read more in the snowflaking post I did for May.

May 2016 Consignment

  • $0 (May)
  • $0 (April)
  • $51.98 (March)
  • $6.96 (February)
  • $64.66 (January)

$26 is just sitting at the consignment store, waiting for us to pick it up! I have more to drop off as well, but the past two months have been too busy to get there. Hoping we get there later in June.

Other Money Details

  • H got a reimbursement check for more than expected for his work trips back in February, so that check helps cover a few of the other expenses incurred on that trip, thankfully. We put about $300+ of it to paying off credit card debt that we had taken on (though we pay it off each month) and then $600 to his work sinking fund so that there will be some cash in there for the next time he takes a work trip.
  • H won an award at work (woohoo! he’s so awesome!), and it comes with a check for $1,000 (though I’m sure taxes will be taken out)! Par for the course, he has not yet received the check, and I’ve been nagging him about nagging the powers that be to get it to him. He’s done just about all he can at this point. Jeebus. Well, when it does arrive, it will be lovely!
  • As I mentioned above, we’ve taken a good chunk of money over the past two days to pay down student loans at Navient. It still leaves us with quite a bit left, and it will still be a stretch to get it paid off by February 2016, but I think it’s possible!

I can’t believe we’re already basically halfway through the year. What?! That’s insane.

I hope, no matter where you are on your personal finance journey, that things are looking up for you, too!

You Have to Admit: It’s Getting Better!

I’m so excited to report today that yesterday, I paid off H’s student loans still held at Navient!

Looky, looky!!!

screenshot 5.png

Now, this doesn’t include the $9,000 that we recently transferred to a 0% interest credit card, so we’re not out of the woods yet, but I seriously am SO EXCITED.

Plus, in the best service we’ve ever received from Navient: I made the payment yesterday (online) and it posted TODAY! We didn’t incur any extra interest or anything!

Just to be safe, I removed our bank account information so they couldn’t “accidentally” take another automatic payment (even with a $0 balance) – I guess my prejudice against Navient is showing….

After the $8,874.46 payment posted, I went ahead and used the remainder of our money that we designated for paying student loans for MY loans at Navient. Hopefully it will post tomorrow (that would be kind of amazing) and we’ll see our overall debt drop even more!

The payment I just made on my loans today totals $3,602.77.

For those of you wondering, this money came from our regular snowflaking, plus our “Oh $hit” fund, which we built up when we weren’t sure how H’s job would shake out this spring.

Oh, yes – he finally got his contract back – signed, sealed, and delivered!

(That big whooshing noise you hear is my sigh of relief.)

I’ll do a regular May update soon… but wanted to shout this from the rooftops!

The end is in sight! At this rate, we could even pay off ALL of our loans by February 2016 (it’s still a stretch goal, but it’s possible!!!!).

And yes, I totally did a dance at my desk when I saw that the payment had posted and the accounts said “$0″!