12/25/18 Debt reduction/money planning thread - Page 2
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  1. #16
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    Added another $400 to the house fund, $29,410.97 to go

  2. #17
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    Have paid more that monthly payment allotted to our medical bills and still plugging away on those for the next few months. have my first 400 to my Ira and dh's roth has his first 400. slow and steady wins the race.

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    It is a few days early, but I want to sum up the month now: we have reached another goal! Since we started this journey, we have paid off more than $100 000. Our main goal now is to get rid of the last student loan before summer. Depending on how costly the renovations really get, we aim to be rid of the mortgage before 2020. That won't be easy, but it might be possible.

    Slush fund: $3 300 (done)
    Student loan #1: $12 000 (done)
    House renovation: $70 000 (done)
    Full size EF: $13 300 (done)
    Student loan #2: $6 500 ($29 500 left)
    Mortgage main part: 0 ($130 000)
    Mortgage rest: 0 ($90 000)
    Total paid/saved: $214 900
    Total goal: $304 900
    To do: $90 000

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  5. #19
    Registered User MaggieTrudeau's Avatar
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    I'm going to jump on this late.


    I've been saving but haven't been on the thread. I'm hoping to have 70k$ in the building fund so I can get a foundation poured and HOPEFULLY a post-n-beam structure and roof on my future house done this July.

    Right now there is 63k$ in there. That means saving a MINIMUM of 1750$ a month for 4 months.
    It's just about doable if I really watch things. If push comes to shove, I could sell one of my vehicles, but living 25 miles from work (and the nearest mechanic) it's been really nice this winter having the two. If I live on one pay check a month (I get paid every two weeks) and I put the tax return and the "extra" paycheck in March (it's a three paycheck month! WOOHOO), it is doable. I'm traveling this week and will have time at airports to go through the budget and see where I can shave a bit on budgets. Probably downgrade my food from local to industrial for a couple of months or start sprouting seeds in my office rather than buying salad...time to go frugal-ninja.

  6. #20
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    Welcome Maggie, glad to have you join us. Taxes done ( just need to mail the state off) Should have our one IRA fully funded by the end of March. some new piano students should be starting next week. And some new sewing repair jobs to complete too. Doing well so far for our goals for this challenge.

  7. #21
    Registered User AllyG47's Avatar
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    I'm so thankful for these 12/25/18 goals. Two weeks from Friday, on March 30, I'm moving into my new place (apartment?). It's a house with a mother-in-law suite in the walk-out basement. Even though my parents will own the house, they will be living in the basement. I'll be living on the first floor - 3 bedrooms & 2 baths all to myself. My parents are getting older and don't want to go up and down stairs and the 1st floor is on top of the hill while the basement is at ground level. The MIL suite just works better for them. I'm planning on paying them rent each month - 1/2 the mortgage payment - as well as utilities but I'm not sure what everything will be yet. For now, I'm just focusing on saving as much money as I can.

    I have so many plans for my new place that it could be very easy to go into debt. That's why I'm glad to have these goals to keep me on track. For now, I just want to focus on saving an emergency fund, paying off my debt and adding a fence to the backyard to keep my dog safe. Here are my 12/25/18 goals and my progress so far:

    -Save $2500 for a new vinyl fence - I'm not sure exactly how much a new fence will cost but I don't think it will be any more than this. I plan on installing it myself if I can ever figure out how to apply for a building permit. I'm planning on installing it in May when the ground thaws. I currently have $1400 saved and I should have the last $1000 saved by the end of April.

    -Pay off my $1700 line of credit - I used my line of credit to outsource some work for my business back in January. It's no interest, no payments for 6 months. I own $500 by June 1, $400 by July 1 and $800 by August 1. I plan on making an extra $20 a day doing surveys for Amazon which should be enough to pay these balances off by the deadlines to avoid interest.

    -Pay off $15,000 towards my student loans - I've been paying extra on my student loans each month but not enough to really do anything. I started a new business (selling t-shirts on Amazon) a few months ago and I'm hoping it starts gaining steam and making a profit so I can get these student loans paid off. Otherwise, I plan on making some extra money doing surveys on Amazon MTurk. After I get my line of credit paid off it will all go towards my student loans.

    -Save $10,000 towards a new-to-me used car - I really need a ride of my own. Every time I want to go somewhere, I need to ask my mom if I can borrow her Subaru. It's such a pain because she wants to know where I'm going, who I'm going with, when I'll be home, etc, etc, etc. I'm 34-years old. I shouldn't need my mom's permission to go out. In the past year, she has told me I couldn't go to certain places because "it's too dangerous". Ugh! I don't know if I'll be able to scrape up $10k to buy a car but I'm going to try. I might sell stuff on eBay and see how much I can come up with. I might even *gasp* try to get a job outside the home (which is extremely difficult for me since I have social anxiety - panic attacks nearly every day at my last job). Of course, $10k is just an estimate. I should be able to find a dependable car for cheaper than that - depends on if I can give up having an SUV which is my dream car.

    -Save $2500 for new windows - The living room windows in my new place need to be replaced badly. The wood is rotten, the handles are missing and the middle windows are designed to never open. There are two sets of 4 large casement windows. Each window costs around $300 to replace. I would love to replace them before next winter but I'm not going to worry about this goal until I complete the goals above.

    -Save $1K for an emergency fund - This is probably the most important goal. I need an emergency fund, especially since I'm now (kind of) living on my own. I'm now responsible for rent, food, utilities, insurance, etc so I should have at least $1K saved in case something happens to my business/income. Actually, I probably need more than $1K saved but since I have so many other goals right now, I'm going to start small. I'm hoping the fence ends up costing less than $2500 (10% off coupon at Lowes and a really good fence sale would save me a few hundred at least) so I can put the extra money in my emergency fund. I'll fund the rest by doing surveys on Amazon MTurk and, hopefully, my main business will pick up in sales.

    Sorry for the long post. I get kind of at night and can't stop talking (or, in this case, typing).
    2018 Financial Goals:

    Emergency Fund: $0.87/$1,000
    Line of Credit: $1700/$1700 - Done!
    Fence Fund: $1,900/$1,900 - Done!
    Bathroom Fund: $100/$4,000
    Student Loans: $430.76/$15,000
    Cruise: $0/$3,087

  8. #22
    Registered User AllyG47's Avatar
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    This week I made an extra $156.97 doing surveys on Amazon's Mechanical Turk. I transferred the money to my savings account for my new fence. I still need to save $521. I get paid this week so I'll be able to add another $200 plus whatever I earn completing surveys. I'm hoping to have enough money to build the fence by the end of April which should give the ground enough time to thaw. We are scheduled to close on the house on Friday. I can't wait to move!
    2018 Financial Goals:

    Emergency Fund: $0.87/$1,000
    Line of Credit: $1700/$1700 - Done!
    Fence Fund: $1,900/$1,900 - Done!
    Bathroom Fund: $100/$4,000
    Student Loans: $430.76/$15,000
    Cruise: $0/$3,087

  9. #23
    Registered User AllyG47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllyG47 View Post
    This week I made an extra $156.97 doing surveys on Amazon's Mechanical Turk. I transferred the money to my savings account for my new fence. I still need to save $521. I get paid this week so I'll be able to add another $200 plus whatever I earn completing surveys. I'm hoping to have enough money to build the fence by the end of April which should give the ground enough time to thaw. We are scheduled to close on the house on Friday. I can't wait to move!
    I was going to edit the above post but can't find a way to edit it. I'm sure the edit button is right in front of my face but I just can't see it. Anyways, I also wanted to mention that I realized that I already own a car and might not need to buy one. You see, I bought a (ugly) mini-van two years ago and paid cash for it. I couldn't really afford gas for it (we currently live 40 miles from town) so I barely drove it. My dad couldn't afford his car payments so I told him he could sell his car and drive my van as long as he paid for the insurance and maintenance on it. He's been driving my van for the past 2 years and I completely forgot that it's mine. LOL! Now he really wants a pickup truck so he's thinking about buying one next month and giving me my van back. The van is in rough shape - I think I paid $2000 for it two years ago - so I'll probably turn my new-to-me car goal into a car maintenance fund goal. Either that or I'm thinking of trading it in for a small car. Since I'll be moving into the city, I probably won't need AWD since the roads are cleared fairly quickly in town. If I need to haul something large, I'll borrow my dad's truck. My dream is a SUV but I really don't want to pay the higher price for one. Either way, if I keep the van or trade it in for a small car, my current goal of $10,000 will probably be reduced significantly.
    2018 Financial Goals:

    Emergency Fund: $0.87/$1,000
    Line of Credit: $1700/$1700 - Done!
    Fence Fund: $1,900/$1,900 - Done!
    Bathroom Fund: $100/$4,000
    Student Loans: $430.76/$15,000
    Cruise: $0/$3,087

  10. #24
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    Ally, a small car is much nicer to drive and park in the city than a van. You'll save a lot on gas, too. Some of them have fairly good size space in the back, especially when you put the back seats down.

    There's an edit button on the lower right of your post, next to the "reply" option, but it's only available for about 20 minutes after you first post.
    Stop trying to organize all of your family’s crap. If organization worked for you, you’d have rocked it by now. It’s time to ditch stuff and de-crapify your world.

    If you're not using the stuff in your home, get rid of it. You're not going to start using it more by shoving it into a closet.

    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

  11. #25
    Registered User jettsmom's Avatar
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    I know what you mean. We are 55 and just now getting our act together. We have quite a bit of debt ($60K doesn't include mortgage) and it will take us about 5 years to get out of it. We have a goal to get it done, and a fairly detailed plan. Our first goal is to pay off some zero interest debt ($1300) by October. Then have the rest of the zero interest ($1000) paid by June of next year. Also June of 2019 we will have our car paid off and two other credit cards paid. Then we will really attack the rest of the debt. Our long term goal is 5 years and we've made a few shorter term goals to keep us on track. We hope to get a little ahead of schedule because in planning we didn't count overtime, bonuses and what we call 2 extra paychecks. (we get paid every 2 weeks but do our monthly budget based on 2 paychecks a month.) We are a bit behind on retirement planning, but with the debt gone, we should be okay. We did get off budget this month because our military son came to visit. Total surprise! But with overtime this coming payday, we should be back on track.

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    more put into my IRA this month. 2 vehicles down right now. We have the money to repair, but just taking our time doing it because, we want the best price possible, not the one the dealership is trying to ram down our throats. a small hiccup in the plan but will recover and get it done.

  13. #27
    Registered User AllyG47's Avatar
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    *Sorry for the long post* It's about time for an update. We finally got moved to our new house. As I said in a previous post, it's an up-down duplex. My parents are going to live in the downstairs unit (it's a walk-out so it's actually the ground floor) while I'm going to live in the upstairs unit (it's on a hill so I'll have access to the backyard). I'll be paying half the mortgage plus half of the utilities. Since the house is a fixer-upper, my parents are going to live in the upstairs unit with me until they can get their unit remodeled. It's frustrating because they don't seem to be in any hurry to get it done. When they get home from work, they watch TV when they could be working on their place. I love my parents but I can't wait to have my own apartment. I'm hoping they will be moved into their own place within the next 6 months or so.

    My first goal for 12/25/18 is to get the backyard fenced for my dog. It's not much fun having to go out with her in the middle of a blizzard. She's a beagle so she can't be off her leash or she'll run away. We live next to a public walking trail but it's been far too snowy/muddy to walk on it right now. She needs a fenced-in yard so she can run, play and get some exercise. The plan is to put up a vinyl privacy fence along the front of the side-yard and between our house and the neighbor's house. This will give us privacy from both the road and the neighbors. The other two sides of the yard back up to a large hill and a ravine (with a beautiful creek at the bottom) so there aren't any neighbors back there. I'm going to put up a cheaper chain link fence on those two sides of the yard. For the vinyl privacy fence, I was going to purchase the Everton Fence from Lowes but, yesterday, I saw that Menard's was having a sale on fence panels. There's a similar vinyl privacy fence to the Everton that is half the cost (these panels are a little shorter than the Everton panels but are still cheaper if you go by linear foot). If I buy the fence panels from Menards now and wait until an 11% off sale for the fence posts, the fence should be a lot cheaper than I would be paying for it at Lowes. For the chain-link portion of the fence, my mom thought I should just use the old fence I took down from the last house. It's flimsy but it worked great at keeping my dog contained to the yard. Using that fence instead of buying a chain-link fence would save me a lot of money as well. I think I can get this fence built for a thousand dollars less than I was budgeting. Now I just need this foot of snow to melt and the ground to thaw so I can get started.

    My second goal was to pay off my line of credit. It's no interest if I pay it off before August 1st. I think I'll have enough money to pay it off before the deadline, especially if I save money on the fence.

    My third goal was to save for new windows for the living room. After living here for two weeks, I've decided that I'm going to try to fix the windows and wait on replacing them. There are two sets of four tall egress windows. One of them looks like the handle has been ripped out so I'll have to replace it. I'll also have to replace the rotten piece of wood on the sill of the far right window. Then I'll caulk/foam insulate any places where I can see to the outside (lots of places). I may re-glaze (I watched some YouTube videos about it and I'm still not sure if I need to do this or not). Then I'll take down any hardware still left up from previous blinds/curtains and fill the holes will wood putty. Finally, I'll paint the trim white and they should look like brand new windows *cross my fingers*. I'd also like to build DIY interior storm windows for next winter but I'll hold off on that until the fall.

    The money I'll save from the windows (and maybe the fence) will be put into my guest bathroom. The ceiling in the bathroom of the downstairs unit is rotten and falling down. It's right underneath my guest bathroom. Which means that something is/was leaking in my bathroom (we already know that both the toilet and the sink were/are leaking). We have the water turned off to that bathroom and are not using it. Luckily, my master bathroom toilet and sink are working just fine (although they need to be replaced as well). My dad thinks we should remodel my guest bathroom at the same time as the downstairs bathroom. It will be easier to do the plumbing with the ceiling opened up and we can ensure that there are no more leaks. I did some research on bathtubs, toilets and vanities this weekend and, wow!, they are expensive. The vanity I fell in love with is about $2K, the toilet about $500 and the soaking tub (I love baths) is about $800. That's over $3K right there plus I would still need paint, tile, cement board, mortar, plywood, lighting, mirrors, towel rods, shower door, sink faucets, bath faucet, shower head, trim, shelving/doors for the linen closet and I'm sure other stuff I can't think of at the moment. Who knew a bathroom could be so expensive! Right now, I think I'm just going to focus on saving $4000 for the tub, toilet, vanity and tile floor. If I can get the tile floor put in (I'll be doing this myself) and the tub, toilet and vanity installed while the ceiling is open in the downstairs bathroom, then I can do the other stuff later when I can afford it.

    My next goal was to buy a new-to-me car. My dad bought a truck so I was able to get my van back. It's in rough shape and not very reliable but it will work for now. I don't think I'll be buying a car this year so I'm going to push this goal to next year. I may start saving for a new car if I can get my other goals done (which is unlikely).

    My emergency fund isn't looking so hot right now. It's hard to save for something that doesn't exist right now when there are so many other things I need to save for. Maybe I should make it a goal to get $150 put into my emergency fund each month. That should get me to $1,000 by November.

    Finally, my biggest goal of the year - paying off $15,000 in student loans. I don't think this will be happening. I'm going to try but, right now, my other goals are taking priority. I'm still paying extra each month but it's a measly $16 extra which isn't doing much considering I owe over $33,000.

    That's my update for April. I hope everyone is continuing to make progress towards their goals!
    2018 Financial Goals:

    Emergency Fund: $0.87/$1,000
    Line of Credit: $1700/$1700 - Done!
    Fence Fund: $1,900/$1,900 - Done!
    Bathroom Fund: $100/$4,000
    Student Loans: $430.76/$15,000
    Cruise: $0/$3,087

  14. #28
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    Keep going everyone. I know it gets hard and sometimes we all want to throw in the towel, but the rewards are so great. Have my IRA up about a third of the way funded for the year. DH did get a small raise, which we will be throwing at either some debt ( not acruing interest, or to our home, or at our IRA's. ( remember that is my biggie goal to get the house paid off in about 5 years.) We currently have my DD and her 3 children here living with us. her hubby is trying to find a place for them to live and in the meantime, they are with us. ( loving the pitter patter of little feet) We are doing a lot of play at the park days as we can.

  15. #29
    Registered User AllyG47's Avatar
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    May update: I'm doing pretty good at accomplishing my goals. It's been difficult though because it seems like as soon as I make money, I end up spending it. For example, I made an extra $50 doing surveys yesterday and then I needed to buy a dog door which cost around $50. Ugh! Luckily, there are more days that I'm saving than not.

    Here's a quick run-down:

    I made enough money to pay off my line of credit but I don't actually have the money yet. I'll get about $500 next week, $800 at the end of June and around $300 at the end of July - or something like that.

    A few days ago, I found out that the bathtub I wanted was on sale for $50 off. I snatched it up. A deep soaking tub for under $200 is a deal I couldn't pass up. So now I need to make another $200 to make up for the money I spent since that money was supposed to be for my line of credit. Oops! As far as the bathroom renovation goes, I think it's going to cost me a lot more than I'm expecting. The floor tile alone will be at least $700, if I can get it on sale. That doesn't include the cement board, the thinset, the mortar or fixing the rotten sub-floor. I'll also need tile for the tub surround, faucets (shower, bathtub & two vanity faucets), a toilet, a vanity, lights, vent fan, door knob, towel bars, etc. You get the idea. $$$ I'm just going to focus on saving for one thing at a time right now. I've got the tub and after I get that installed (should be sometime this week), I'll need to save some money to fix the plywood sub-floor and then install the cement board on both the floor and walls. Baby-steps. At this rate, it will probably take over a year to get this bathroom completely done - they make it look so easy on HGTV. LOL!

    My emergency fund is still non-existent and I'm making no progress on the student loans. I really need to get something done on these goals.

    I'm also going to add another goal. My parents want to go on vacation (10-night cruise out of Tampa) in January and my mom is begging me to go with. While my parents love each other, they get on each other's nerves a lot. I don't think my mom likes going on vacation alone with him. I told her that I would go on vacation with them if I can save up enough money by November. It'll be about $3500 so we'll see.

    I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by all my goals but I think I'm making good progress. I'll be a lot less stressed after 1) I get my line of credit paid off, 2) I have the tile floors done in my bathroom and 3) I've got enough money saved for the vacation in January.

    That's all I've got for now. I need to get back to work at making some money!
    2018 Financial Goals:

    Emergency Fund: $0.87/$1,000
    Line of Credit: $1700/$1700 - Done!
    Fence Fund: $1,900/$1,900 - Done!
    Bathroom Fund: $100/$4,000
    Student Loans: $430.76/$15,000
    Cruise: $0/$3,087

  16. #30
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    My IRA is now fully funded, and was able to put a bit extra towards my CD's that came due. Now on to finish DH's Roth and fill our savings account up again. Little bits do add up.

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