Monday, December 30, 2013
Total debt for December:
Down by $265.09
And for 2013... It was a strange year for us financially. We didn't reach our goal for our credit cards. Not even close. Like with anything else, there are many factors for sure, but I think the biggest issue we're facing is continually trying to walk the line between trying to focus on paying off our debt without tightening the belt so much that we feel restricted and overcompensate by then spending too much. It is a constant balance, and one we're always trying to figure out.
"But we deserve a vacation!"
"But we're trying to pay off our debt!"
"But we can afford to go out to eat more often than we are!"
And on and on and around and around.
Still, we're plugging away, and our credit cards did come down, if just a fraction of what we'd planned.
Total Credit Card Debt for 2013:
Down by $4,266.06
The really interesting thing about 2013 though was that we re-financed our house, and took advantage of a program for people like us... people who'd been hit particularly hard by the market crash and were subsequently extremely upside-down in their mortgages. It basically excused $60,000 of what we owed, as long as we agreed to stay in the house for 5 more years.
So our total debt for the year is down by $80,044.88.
Our total debt at the time of this writing is $212,950.61. And because the market finally did start to show some returns, our house is finally valued over $200K once again. Which means, for the first time in years, we're actually in the black, or very very close to it. So yay for that!!
At some point, I'll sit down and put together a detailed list of financial goals for 2014, but for now I'll start with this: To pay off one more credit card. Just one, out of three. It has a balance of $5900, which works out to $500 a month. We can do that. We can. We can.
Here's to a happy, blessed, and prosperous 2014.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Still, I'm.... frustrated, I guess you could say. For the first time in the eight years that we've lived here, I'm finding myself desperately missing the small NH town we moved from, where everyone was pretty much living the same middle middle-class life, and there wasn't the division that I feel here. I wasn't surrounded by neighborhoods and people who live an entirely different lifestyle, and through no real fault of their own just can't relate. I feel very out of place.
It's a powerful thing to be able to talk to other people who get it, and in "real life" I just don't have that. Thankful today for the internet.
Total debt for November:
Down by $1343.62
Monday, November 4, 2013
Was it irresponsible for us to take such a trip?
Should we be taking ANY trips?
What kind of business do we have spending $4K + on travel to anywhere when we're still trying to pay off our debt?
Was it worth it?
And with the exception of that last question (Yes. Yes, it was worth it), I don't know the answers. I do know that I don't regret the trip. At all. Experiences like that are too important to regret.
But the fact remains that once again, we made a choice that put our debt repayment on a temporary back burner. So maybe next year we don't take a vacation. Maybe we take a smaller one. Maybe we find a way to bring in even more money to get the debt paid off that much quicker. I don't know. I just know that it's making me tired, this big black cloud that too often feels like it's Never. Going. Away.
November is another month.
Total Debt For October:
Up By $288.93
Friday, August 30, 2013
1) We just got back from our four day mini-vacation in Vegas. It was awesome, and a very much needed getaway. We saw some shows, walked through the ridiculous hotels, and otherwise just enjoyed a few days of uninterrupted family time, hotel pools, happy hours, and nice dinners out. And,
2) Mike is paid bi-weekly, and the way the paychecks and due dates fall every month, one check goes almost entirely to the mortgage, utilities, etc, and the other allows us the "extra" money to make a big payment towards our debt, and to pay off any out-of-the-ordinary expenses for that month. We haven't yet received that paycheck since we've returned from Vegas.
One plus two equals:
Total Debt for August:
Up by 1031.07
In one week, we'll pay off the rest of our little trip, AND be able to take another good chunk off our debt in general (thanks in part to Mike's just-received bonus and raise, woooo!) Then we're taking off again for just over two weeks, to take another cross country trip... with the goal of being totally back on track debt-wise by the end of October - mid November. Onward and upward.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
We also spent more than usual on groceries this month, because we decided to try a 40 meals in 4 hours crockpot freezer plan. It meant an approximately $600 shopping spree, but should reduce our regular weekly trip down to $100 or less for the next several weeks.
All in all though, our debt still came down, and it's very encouraging to know that even on the not-so-great months, we can still see at least a modest reduction.
Total debt for July:
Down by $738.34
Monday, July 1, 2013
A mortgage, a second mortgage, and two credit cards.
That's it! We can do this, right?!
Next order of business is to get in as good a shape as possible for two back-to-back trips: One to a conference in Texas at the end of August, and one a two-week long road trip at the end of September. They will of course prove to be setbacks as far as debt reduction (even road-trips are NOT CHEAP) but the goal is to do it with as small amount of financial impact as possible... while still having an excellent time. We've done it before, and I know we can do it again.
Total debt for June:
Down by $1572.57
Monday, June 3, 2013
Look at me, posting twice in a week!
April was a very expensive month for us, and May was not a whole lot better... so it was with great excitement (and relief) that I did the numbers for May and found that we were regaining ground, and that our debt had still come down. I'm actually really looking forward to our next paycheck on the 14th, because it will mean three (count em. THREE) outstanding little debts that have been hanging over our heads will be paid off, freeing up more money for our next targeted credit card: a checking account credit line for $515, a personal line of credit of $159, and a Visa card with a balance of $750.
Total debt for May:
Down by $2147.23