Tag Archives: budgets

Planning and Progress

Now that the Discovercard is paid off, the next move is to pay off the high interest Banana Republic Visa card. The current balance (before next month’s interest is added to it) is $5531.46. I’ve initiated a $3500 balance transfer to my Discovercard which offered me a 6 month, no-interest balance transfer. The fee is 5% of the balance, so my Discover balance will go to $3675, and the Visa down to about $2500.

The March debt payments will be split between these two balances. The reason for that, rather than just paying off the Visa, is that I am awaiting a $400 reimbursement to the Visa when the VA/GI Bill reimburses me for fiance’s spring semester registration fee. So the plan for March, more specifically, is to pay down the balance on the Visa, after balance transfer, to $600. Then in April when I get the reimbursement, I will only have about a $200 balance which will be paid off in April. In March, at least $700 will go to the Discovercard, then in April another $2300, then in May the balance of $605 will be paid. Also in May, we will pay off fiance’s IRS bill. That one makes me feel really gross so I’m looking forward to that.

We will continue to work on our frugality, specifically cutting back on alcohol and not eating out. We kind of sucked at those this month so far. We’ve only eaten out twice, and at about half of what we used to spend when eating out, but we did get take out a couple of times. When it’s just the two of us we get lazy. When we have fiance’s daughter, we tend to be better about this. I think it’s for two main reasons, at least on my end: I want to feed her nutritious food for the sake of my conscience, and it’s more expensive to take three people out to dinner rather than two (even if one is a kid).

My stepfather came into a little bit of money so he and my mom sent us a windfall (to us) of $500 which will help us accelerate some of the debt payoff. I have to deposit the check though! It was totally unexpected and very generous of them, I feel so grateful. We do have the dogs’ vet visit coming up which will cost at least $500, but that was planned and budgeted for so it should not impact anything and allow the gift from my mom and stepfather to be a boon to us. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that the dogs get clean bills of health and that bill is kept to the minimum of what it needs to be.

One thing that felt really fun last weekend was that fiance’s car registration renewal came in the mail earlier than we had planned for. Since we had the money in savings (leftover from tax refund), we just paid it online, and the sticker is already here and on the car two months early. This is a huge change from two years ago where he was driving his old car for six months with an expired registration. So I will be able to update my budget and delete that expected expense from the month we had been planning on paying for the renewal.

I feel good and really optimistic about the financial/debt payoff side of things. The plan is solid, and I think we can do even better than planned if we are really diligent and disciplined. I still need to really get motivated on the exercise/fitness side of things. I started a hand-written journal just tracking daily goals and how I did in hopes that will keep me mindful. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that here, but I may at some point.

I have also been feeling good about work since the New Year. I would like the promotion my director said he wanted to give me before he retires in June, but I feel okay where I am for now. I think I will give this place another year or two as long as I continue to be happy. And after that, if I’m still being under-utilized and haven’t received the raises I’m looking for, I’ll start looking at my other options. It’s just a big change from the end of last year when I felt really trapped and hopeless in the job. I feel really happy that I’m feeling happy. Lol.

I am so looking forward to continuing to make progress on these debts. It will be such a good feeling this summer to have a few things paid off and gone from our lives for good.

Stumbling Blocks

So payday for February has finally arrived! Yay!

We had some implosions (eating out, extra alcohol, extra grocery store trips) at the end of January that used a portion of the dogs’ vet money. I had planned to recover that with some money that had been planned to go into savings: a portion of my tax refund, an “extra” work study paycheck from fiance, and a reimbursement from the GI Bill for fiance’s school registration for the semester.

But then we found out that the disbursement my fiance got from the GI Bill was much lower this month than we had estimated. I knew it would be only a small portion of the full month payment because classes didn’t start until the 27th of January, and the payment is based on the portion of the month where classes are in session. Consequently, that meant we had to adjust our budget. Out the window went things that were adjustable: $100 for eating out this month, paying only the minimum $25 payment on a store credit card rather than the $50 planned, and using a portion of my tax return, when it arrives later in the month, to pay off my Discover card which had been intended for wedding rings and savings. I had planned to pay off the Discover card on payday, but instead I was only able to pay a portion of that today. I will receive my tax refund, registration reimbursement, and fiance will get two more work study paychecks before the end of the month, so I will still be able to pay it off this month as planned. But pulling some money out of the tax return will take away from money that was planned for wedding rings and our summer wedding “tour” of our home states. I’m hoping I can make up for that money with money my parents usually give me for my birthday in April, which I had not included in my wedding tour savings calculations because I don’t know how much it will be.

While this was disappointing, it certainly has not diminished my will to keep moving forward and making progress on getting out of debt. I felt really relieved that we had the ability to readjust and reprioritize and just make it work. We were lucky that we have a few irregular sources of extra money coming in this month that we were planning on putting in savings.

So while we stumbled, we did not fall! Yay! Of course, we still need to continue working on avoiding those implosions I mentioned…