September 2016 Snowflaking

Happy September! Here we go!

Navient Minimum Payment & Additional Payment

Mintly Navient Loans

  • $81.13 – minimum payment we sent
    • 73% – amount that went to principal (last month: 72%)
    • 27% – amount that went to interest (last month: 28%)
  • $35 – extra sent to Navient (this is a budgeted amount we send to keep our payment to Navient the same as it was before they lowered my minimum payment)
    • 98% – amount that went to principal*
    • 2% – amount that went to interest
  • $9,127.45 – balance (last month: $9,231.26)

*So, funny story – apparently the minimum payment that Navient is now asking me to pay ($81.13) doesn’t actually cover the entire interest that is due, so even when I make my additional payment of $35, there’s still interest to pay! The other option is that somehow the payment isn’t going through quickly enough and interest has already accrued since the minimum payment. However, in August when I did this same process, I paid additional payment the SAME DAY and was still charged interest (which, honestly, I did not note because it was so weird… but now it’s a thing, apparently).

Citibank Card (no-interest until August 2017)

  • $1,157.75 – payment we sent
  • $5,377.62 – balance (last month: $6,634.37)

Snowflaking/Savings Breakdown: $2,022.68 (half sent to debt, half put into savings)

  • $56 – Swagbucks (<– referral link)
  • $44.41 – money that I was supposed to send to the dentist bill from our sinking fund but I never transferred the money to our checking account… and so it gets to be put into our savings/debt eradication!
  • $50 – American Express Dollars
  • $2,022.68 – money from our paychecks that was budgeted for savings/debt eradication
  • $69 – H’s side hustle
  • $13.30 – Pact app

Current total debt: $14,505.08 (last month: $15,865.63)

  • Citibank (H’s loans): $5,377.62
  • Navient (my loans): $9,127.45


I feel like there are a hella lotta goals in my life (well, my husband’s, daughter’s, and my lives, that is) and I’m getting overwhelmed with trying to achieve all of the goals. How strong is a goal of buying a house this year? How strong is our goal to pay off our debt as soon as possible? Some goals HAVE to take precedence or it takes forever to achieve them (witness our slowly growing savings fund and our slowly diminishing debt). I know we could do one or the other a lot more quickly if we could focus everything on one goal, but it’s difficult when you don’t know when the right house might come on the market. We are definitely in a period of transition, and at some point, either a house will show up and be THE ONE or we will get our debt paid off and also have a good sizable chunk of cash for aiding in a house purchase. It’s just hard to see things moving so slooooowly now. If I recognize that period of transition though, maybe I can be a turtle, if it means we win the race!


June 2016 Monthly Recap


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.

Ugh. Sorry that this is so late this month. We have been going through some ups and downs and I couldn’t really get myself in a mood to write up our month.

June 2016 Budget Recap – How We Did



So not good!

When I look back at my Google Calendar for June (because who can remember stuff that happened a month ago, amiright?), we had my parents here for a few days (from a stay that began at the end of May), a slew of birthday parties for L to attend, a day camp for L, and a trip to see a musical. The tickets for the musical were paid for by a family friend (woohoo! such a great gift!) but we still had to get there and eat afterwards as part of our get-together treat.

We also paid for Playstation Vue for a month in the hopes that we’d be able to see some soccer games, but it turned out to be a bust by the end because our lousy internet connection in this rural-ish area just couldn’t handle it. Grrr.

It is good, though, that our groceries were good for the month! And that’s including one really discounted order from Blue Apron (it was our first, so that’s why it was cheap), and then the order that we got subsequently because I forgot to skip the delivery. Oops. It turned out really nice, though, and we MAY continue getting them once a month. We get the family-plan so we have four meals (leftovers!) and it’s nice to have fresh foods that are just enough for the meal so I don’t end up with half a bunch of green onions going bad that we couldn’t use.

Month-to-Month Progress:

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How far we have come: almost $71,000 paid off in 2 1/2 years!

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June 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 $12,477.23 (including a budgeted amount of $1500 + an extra $450 that came out automatically – and unexpectedly – as a payment to Citibank) in June. Read more in the snowflaking post I did for June.

The issue is that $450 that came out unexpectedly – we ended up having to pay ourselves back when we got our paychecks, so that meant not as much debt repayment for this month, July.

June 2016 Consignment

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

We picked up our consignment money earlier this month, but of course you’ll see that on our July round-up!

Other Money Details

  • H was supposed to get his check for $1000 in his paycheck for June. I know you’ll be SHOCKED when I tell you that they messed up and submitted the request to the wrong person to get it paid out. That person neglected to respond to the submitter to let her know that she needed to resubmit to someone else. Awesome. It should – SHOULD SHOULD – be in July’s paycheck at the end of the month. Ugh.
  • We had been seriously considering (again) buying a house but worked the budget (for the millionth time) and are trying to consider all of the things we MIGHT want to have for the future. Private high school for our kid? Traveling every few years? Extra money for retirement? Saving for L’s college? These kinds of things are difficult to prioritize and even harder to plan for when we these decisions are in the future but decisions we make TODAY (like, how much to spend on a house) will affect the decisions we’re able to make in the future. Prioritization is key! For now, our plan is to save half of our “extra” funds and put the other half to debt. We can then do what we did at the beginning of June and use the savings chunk to pay down the rest of the debt when we want to, OR we can use those savings for things that pop up. I could write many, many posts on housing in the area where we live, but it would mostly say “this place is so overpriced / the housing in this area is way too expensive / ridiculous / even the city nearby has better housing for lower costs / stupid destination-retirement location making our house hunting process difficult / we’ll never have enough money to buy the kind of house we’d like to have / let’s live in a hovel” and no one probably wants to read that b!+@^ing and moaning….

We’ll just keep on keeping on…. It is motivating (when I feel like we’ll never be able to buy a house that would be considered “normal” but is $300,000 in this area – and the rentals are also awful and simultaneously expensive) to see how far we have come in 2 1/2 years!

March 2016 Recap


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.

This month has (well, the last three months have) been tough. H’s job situation has been up and down and for a while there we really thought he wasn’t going to have a job. We’re still in a land of uncertainty for the time being, which has made thinking about money and financials (and anything, really) difficult.

March 2016 Budget Recap – How We Did

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Something weird happened with Mint this month. For some reason, our credit union expenses sometimes came up as income instead of expenses. I don’t know why this happened, and to be honest, I’m not in a place where I care too much. It makes things look weird, but it’s not enough for me to pursue it. The last time I removed the credit union accounts from Mint to try to fix something, I lost a good chunk of our past records, so… not doing that again.

Meal Planning – Originally I planned a big post on this to tell you how I did. The end result is that while I still went over budget, we did spend less on groceries than we have in the past 12 months. That’s still a win. The problem was that when I budget, I budget to 0. That means that I didn’t allow any wiggle room on the budget (all the money that used to be allocated to food went elsewhere). So we overspent the budget, and that affected the rest of the budget as well. It was a tough month.

Month-to-Month Progress:


How far we have come:

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(Edit: as a reminder, the total debt listed for 2014 is confusing because there is no longer listed all of the credit cards and car loan that we had at that time in this chart – I really need to find a better way of sharing this info, as this makes the math look totally weird.)

March 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 $3,156.82 in March. Read more in the snowflaking post I did last month.

March 2016 Consignment

  • $51.98 (March)
  • $6.96 (February)
  • $64.66 (January)

Pretty good for this month! Looks like I’ll have at least $11 for April, though I may not get there to get it and drop off more things this month.

Other Money Details

  • Once H and I talk about how things are going in the job world and things get resolved, we may be able to send the Job Emergency Fund money (almost $6,000) to his loans. I’m hoping that can happen this month. If not, it’ll be okay. I’m doing my best to let things go that I can’t control and that aren’t as important as family and friends and love.
  • Our Sinking fund took a huge hit in March to pay for H’s work trip (that he may or may not be reimbursed for, sigh).
  • Looking ahead in April, we will not be able to send our regular extra budgeted payment of $1500 to H’s loans. We had to use some of it to replenish the sinking fund, and we also had to put aside money for a repair on something related to H’s work ($500-ish) and pay credit card bills incurred from his business trip. I’m still hustling on Swagbucks and trying to snowflake all I can to be able to still send something substantial this month, but I’m only up to about $250. Ergh.

I’m hopeful that things will be looking up soon – it’s just a difficult time right now for our family. I know we’ll be okay, but it’s taking an emotional toll on all of us. I hope you have a great April! 🙂