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!!!

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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″!

January 2016 Recap

Welcome!

This year, I’m going to try to keep my monthly recap posts a bit more succinct, so here goes!

January 2016 Budget Recap – How We Did

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We went over budget, and the categories were the usual suspects: restaurants (well, usually it’s food altogether, but I’m happy to see that we stayed under a reasonable amount for groceries this time around) and the slush fund (a curling iron, library fine, shipping costs for a box for my parents, new slippers, parking). The other areas were a $10 I forgot we would need for an activity for our daughter and our higher-than-normal electric bill, given then cold weather recently (brrrr!).

Month-to-Month Progress:

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There wasn’t a huge change this month – that $1000+ decrease reflects our regular monthly payment plus our snowflaking. It’s better than I expected it would be, but it wasn’t easy to pull it together this month!

How far we have come:

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Okay, at least that number is pretty gratifying! Almost $50,000 of debt paid off in a little over two years! (To clarify, that amount includes debts that are no longer listed above, as they’ve been at a 0 balance for a while, such as our car payment and other credit cards, as well as another student loan that has been paid off.)

January 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 $281.99 this month, as you saw in our January 2016 Snowflaking Report. (For more details, please see that post.)

Things are already looking great for February’s Snowflaking, so I’m looking forward to sharing that when I send the next payment!

January 2016 Consignment

  • $64.66

I suspect this number will not be so high in the coming months, as I haven’t given them as much stuff to sell recently, so we will see what happens….

Other Money Details

  • We have saved another $1504 for this month, which gets us to our goal in our Savings Account! (In case H’s job situation doesn’t work out, we want to have a comfortable amount of money in our emergency fund – we should know something before May 1st. Please send us good vibes….)
  • Next month will begin our more robust repayment of our loans, as that $1504 we’ve budgeted for savings for January and February will now start going straight to extra student loan payments!
  • I completed our taxes last night, and I was disappointed (again) by the amount we’re (not) getting back. It will actually be around $1500 (knock wood), but I was secretly hoping for more. I did not include any possible refund in our 2016 Goals, though, so anything is icing in the cake.
  • I am still hoping against hope (and doing all I can to make it happen) that we can reach our stretch goal and have all of our loans paid off in February 2017, but while it still seems feasible now, I think the next few months will be telling in whether or not we can accomplish it. We could always hope for a windfall, right?

That’s all for now! How’s everyone’s February looking?

August 2015 Accountability

Welcome to the August 2015 Accountability & Budget Recap post!

August has been a whirlwind of school starting back up (which affects all of the members of our family, since H & I work in higher ed, and L is in 1st grade this year!), KonMari-ing, and, well, the KonMari has pretty much taken over my life for now…. A post is forthcoming about Part 2 in that experience!

Of course, I have to mention that our retirement funds (which I don’t include in our budgets or recaps) have been taking a beating, but we’re in it for the long-haul, so I try not to freak out about it.

This post is broken into two sections: Budget and Debt Eradication.


Budget Accountability for August 2015:

August Budget

August 2015 Budget

Woohoo!:

  • We did send a lot to Debt Eradication, which is nice, but there’s not much else to say that’s awesome about August….

Whoops!:

  • We had to scramble to find childcare for our daughter during the days that H had to go back to work full-time (he’s off in the summers), but the public school hadn’t yet begun. That cost us a little more than I budgeted for, but it was a necessary evil.
  • We went over again on food. (I’m sounding like a broken record, I know, I know.)
  • Home Services was so high this month because of our issue with the lawn last month. All caught up now, though….
  • Our utilities/bills were higher this month because AT&T charged me for the July add-on I felt was necessary for our France trip, even though I never even turned it on. Oh, well. Peace of mind.

Total Debt Eradication for August 2015: $2,066

December 2014 - August 2015

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Debt Eradication:
  • $1206 extra payment sent to Loan 1 & Loan 2
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August 2015 Net Income: $1,459


Snowflaking: $430.55 (all of this went into our Student Loan Debt Eradication Fund – if it was prior to the middle of the month, it became part of the big supplemental payment we made; if it was after the middle of the month, it’s still hanging out in the account to be used in September)

  • $211.62 – leftover from our July paychecks (we snowflake any amount over $5000)
  • $75 – American Express Dollars (credit card points we earned and turned into a payment towards the balance on the card; the money we saved from doing that went directly to student loans)
  • $27.42 – Payment from Ebates! (<– referral link!)
  • $60.35 – consigning – cash from 6 boxes of books we consigned! (Again, KonMari to the rescue!)
  • $0.29 – interest income on our checking accounts
  • $43.67 – reimbursement from LL Bean (we returned L’s backpack from last year that didn’t hold up the way we had hoped – we had already purchased her a new backpack for this year)
  • $12.20 – direct payment from Gradible to our student loans (Gradible used to allow you to do tasks for “creds” that could be turned in for a payment towards your student loans; however, they have stopped providing that service and now just aim to help educate people on dealing with student loans, it seems.)

2015 Consigning Totals: 
I’m curious about how much we will make in one year by consigning our clothing and L’s old toys at my favorite consigning store (and any other sales, if I decide to participate). 
  • $0 (January)
  • $56 (February) – yeah!
  • $20 (March) – woot!
  • $80.31 (April) – yay!
  • $44.20 (May) – whee!
  • $20 (June) – woohoo!
  • $12.82 (July) – what what!
  • $60.35 (August) – wowie zowie! (can you see that I’m running out of imagination on my happy exclamations?)

2015 Consigning total so far: $293.68


2015 Mintly Snowflaking Goal Progress:

My goal originally was to snowflake at least $50 per month, for a yearly total of $600. As you can see, we’re doing better than that, so far:
  • $110.01 (January)
  • $929.75 (February)
  • $649.58 (March)
  • $534.50 (April)
  • $289.84 (May)
  • $273.91 (June)
  • $292.02 (July)
  • $430.55 (August)

2015 Snowflaking total so far: $3,510.16

To see more 2015 Mintly Goals, please click here.

Life Accomplishments this Month:

  • I’m really working hard to pare down our possessions and reorganize the things we do want to keep. I’m not joking when I say that, so far, the KonMari process has been changing my life!

TL;DR: Back to positive net income, still can’t stop spending on food because I haven’t developed an actual plan, and KonMari-ing the crap out of our house. It is awesome.