Tag Archives: credit card debt

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.

Goals Part I – Get Out (of Debt), Girl

So I have three primary goals:

  1. get out of debt
  2. get in shape
  3. build some new marketable skills so I don’t feel trapped in my job and so I have something I can make money with if I get desperate and want to change careers.

For this post I’ll focus on my get out of debt goal, and break it down a bit. I’ll do my debt story in a future post.

My fiance and I have combined finances. I know some experts do not recommend this before marriage, but he and I both feel totally secure with it. It also improved our relationship because we don’t argue about money anymore. I’ll go into detail about how we got there and our specific arrangements/agreements in another future post.

Our debt falls into a few categories:

  • Credit cards (both of us) – ~$28,000
  • Student loan (me) ~$12,000
  • Car loans (both of us) ~$10,000
  • Bad debt in collections (him) ~ $8,200 (but we’ll probably settle the debt for a little more than half that)
  • IRS (him) $2000

So that’s a nice ugly $60,000 in debt there!

The credit cards are the ones that are really on fire because the interest rates are all over the place, but they’re all high, and even if they weren’t, I still wouldn’t want to have them. The plan is to pay credit cards off first, IRS is on a payment plan already, pay off all the debt in good standing and then settle the collections crap along the way. The past two years were spent dealing with fiance Gogig’s financial “emergencies” so we agreed the next year or two would be about taking care of stuff that is in my name since I covered the majority of both of our expenses for a while prior, and a good chunk of the credit card debt anyway is from spending on both of us, not just my stuff.

Since credit cards are the first goal, I’ll break them down:

  • Discovercard ~$1250 – pay off in February 2014.
  • Banana Republic Visa ~$5900 – pay off in May 2014.
  • CapitalOne ~$5800 – pay off in November 2014.
  • Citicard ~$10,000 – pay off in February 2015.

I have a budget spreadsheet and basically the plan is to throw all extra money at this debt until it’s paid off. Some money that doesn’t go to living expenses will be put into savings for an emergency fund and also for some planned future expenses like pet stuff, kid stuff, holiday stuff, birthdays, car registrations, etc.

I’m also expecting a small raise and bonus in June this year (2014), with the possibility of instead getting a promotion and significant raise which may speed up my timelines. So fingers crossed for that.

I tell you, I just can’t wait for February 1 to roll around – it’s pay day and it’s the day I’m going to pay off that Discovercard. I CAN’T WAIT. I hate it! I want it gone and out of my life!!