Monday, December 30, 2013

December Update, 2013 Update, and The Goal for 2014

First: We're through the Christmas season, and while our reduction was modest, the holiday is paid for, and it's onward and upward into the new month and the new year.

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!"

"But.... debt!"

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

November Update

November turned out to be an expensive month for us, but thankfully it also happened to be one of two times a year that we get an "extra" paycheck, so we were covered. Christmas is paid for, and we even have $60+ on our Fresh and Easy card that we're saving to go towards our Christmas day feast.  So we're feeling good about moving into December.

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