Tag Archives: car loan

The Year of Less Debt

At the beginning of the year, I declared 2015: The Year of Less. Throughout the year, I'll be sharing what exactly that entails and how I'm executing the idea and mantra of less in my day to day life.

Year of Less: Debt

I had to start the series with this one. After all, this is a pf blog!

When I decided that this year would be The Year of Less, my debt immediately came to mind.

As you may or may not know, I started this blog as I just climbed out of credit card debt for the first time. I’ve since fallen in and out of credit card debt and it’s frustrating to say the least.

Not to mention all the other debt I have. Credit card debt… student loans… car loan… mortgage… oh my!

Year of Less Debt

Current Debt Breakdown

As of the end of 2014, here is what my debt looks like:

Debt Breakdown

All in all, my debt amounts to $308,598.

Holy. Guacamole.

Game Plan

I don’t really have a set number that I want my total debt to be at by the end of the year. The Year of Less means less focus on end goals and more focus on habits and ongoing changes that need to be made. With that being said, this is what I hope The Year of Less will bring to my debt.

Credit card debt: eliminate completely

That’s right. I’m sick of focusing on my credit card debt and I’m sure you all are tired of hearing about it. 2015 is the year where I get rid of my credit card debt for good. I’ve even stopped saving for my wedding so I can focus on annihilating my CC debt!

Student loans: slightly overpay every month

My original goal when I first started this blog was to pay off all of my student loans by December 2015Oh, I was so naive. Now, being at the start of 2015, I know that this goal just isn’t realistic. Not only am I still battling high-interest credit card debt, I’ve got a wedding to pay for! So, the game plan for this particular debt is to pay the minimum payment each month PLUS I’ve rounded up to the nearest $100 increment. That’s it.

I know, it’s a little disappointing that this debt won’t get paid off according to my original goal. But I’m not too worried. I don’t have any private loans, so the interest on these bad boys is pretty low. Letting go of the original accelerated payoff goal means less stress, too.

Car loan: minimum monthly payment

Although my monthly car payment isn’t exactly small, the interest on it is. I don’t mind paying the minimum on this for this year. I do plan on accelerating the pay off sometime after the wedding, but for this year, minimum is the way to go.

Mortgage: minimum monthly payment with occasional overpayments

My real estate agent did a wonderful job in locking us in at an incredible rate, so I’m not exactly in a rush to pay off this debt. So for the most part, the minimum monthly payment will do.

As far as the occasional overpayments go – my mom, brother, auntie, and I all split the mortgage and house bills. Every month, I pay the minimum on the mortgage as well as make sure all of our bills are paid on time. Since the house bills are on different cycles and are slightly different each month and quarter, there are some months where we have an overage of funds. When we have extra in the pool, I throw it straight to principal.

Less debt = more freedom

When you focus on less, you make room for more. So what does less debt mean for me? Less debt means more freedom. More specifically for 2015 – less debt means more freedom to put my money toward my wedding savings.

In the long run, I want to be completely debt free. Who doesn’t? When that glorious day comes, I’ll be more free not only from credit card companies, but also my student loan servicers and mortgage company. When I no longer have monthly payments to others, I am free to finally pay myself more and even give more to others.

That’s the end goal of all of this. That’s why I want to focus on less debt in 2015 and in all years to come after that.

What are you doing in terms of your own debt? What does less debt mean to you?

AMDG,
Lisa

December 2014 Net Worth Update

My last 2014 net worth update! Here we go…

December 2014

Net Worth as of December 31, 2014: $219,634

Overall, my net worth increased by $3,654 this month!

Assets

Cash: $3,302 [up $1,716]

This category always fluctuates and this month was no different. This is probably one of the biggest increases in cash, mostly because my auntie gave me two month’s worth of her mortgage payment at once. I mentioned before that my mom and auntie will be gone for a while (until the middle of February to be exact) so my auntie gave me her money in advance. I’ll take it!

Short Term Savings: $2,050 [up $21]

This consists of:

Emergency fund – $1,005 [up $1]
Personal Escrow account – $41 [up $21]
Wedding fund – $1,004 [up 1]

I keep most of my short term savings accounts over at Capital One 360 so I can look at all of my savings in one place. My wedding fund stayed practically the same (except for the dollar I gained in interest – woohoo!) since I’ve vowed to stop saving for my wedding until my credit card debt was gone. The increase in $20 came from my monthly contribution to my personal escrow account.

Retirement Savings: $27,657 [up $546]

This consists of:

401k – $1,828 [up $303]
Traditional IRA – $8,745 [down $52]
Roth IRA – $17,084 [up $296]

I successfully fully funded my Roth IRA by year end. I know you can make 2014 contributions in the first few months of 2015, but I personally wanted to do all of my 2014 contributions in 2014. Other than the small decrease in my Traditional IRA, I’m very satisfied with my retirement accounts.

Est. Car Value: $16,225 [no change]

Self explanatory.

Est. Home Value: $479,000 [no change]

Self explanatory.

Liabilities

Credit Cards: $3,694 [down $428]

This consists of:

Discover @ 15.99% – $693.96
Wells Fargo @ 0.00% – $3,000.00

This is the first time I’m showing the breakdown of my credit card debt. I figured the more transparent I am, the more I can hold myself accountable. I mentioned in a previous post that I recently did a balance transfer to a 0.00% credit card. Of course, the 0.00% rate doesn’t last forever – it goes up to a whopping 22.15% in 15 months! Don’t worry, I plan on paying it all off before I even get to that point.

Student Loans: $15,033 [down $127]

This consists of:

Group A – Direct Subsidized @ 6.8% – $2,917 [down $15]
Group B – Direct Subsidized @ 6.0% – $3,717 [down $19]
Group C – Direct Subsidized @ 5.6% – $4,524 [down $25]
Group D – Direct Subsidized @ 4.5% – $2,235 [down $13]
Group E – Direct Unsubsidized @ 6.8% – $1,640 [down $54]

Solid, solid progress on these loans. As long as I have credit card debt and as long as I have a wedding to plan for, these aren’t exactly a priority right now. But I’m still throwing $200 each month to these.

Car Loan: $16,865 [down $331]

Pretty solid progress considering I pay the minimum on this loan. There’s really nothing new to report on this front.

Mortgage: $273,006 [down $484]

Same as above – I pay the minimum on this. Nothing new to report on this front either.

Overall, December was a fantastic month for me! I love seeing all these greens!

How was December for you?

AMDG,
Lisa

November 2014 Net Worth Update

Since my December 2014 net worth update will technically be up in the beginning of January 2015, this will be my last net worth update for 2014! Crazy.

November 2014 Net Worth Update

Net Worth as of November 30, 2014: $215,980

Overall, my net worth increased by $1,600 this month 🙂

Cash: $1,585 [up $66]

Nothing too eventful in this department, since this category seems to fluctuate every month.

Short Term Savings: $2,029 [up $122]

This consists of:

Emergency fund – $1,004
Personal escrow – $20
Wedding fund – $1,002

My personal escrow account is something new I just opened up. I will be writing a post about what it is in the near future. In the meantime, I’m slowly socking away money in my wedding fund.

Retirement Savings: $27,110 [up $892]

This consists of:

401k – $1,525
Traditional IRA – $8,797
Roth IRA – $16,788

Oh baby! I only contribute about $530 to this category, so the rest of it was pure gains baby! Seriously – seeing my money grow without me really thinking about it never gets old!

Est. Car Value: $16,225 [down $17]

It’s been 2 years since I purchased my Honda Accord. The value keeps going down, but at least this decrease wasn’t as big as the last one.

Est. Home Value: $479,000 [no change]

Self explanatory.

Credit Cards: $4,122 [up $411]

*Sigh* Terrible. I know. Christmas shopping definitely does not help. The Fiance and I plan to share a Christmas list, similar to what we did last year. Hopefully that will help keep the costs down. I’m also considering making some of the gifts myself. All in all – I have no excuse. My retail addict self is up to no good and I’m torn.

Student Loans: $15,160 [down $131]

This consists of:

Group A – Direct Subsidized @ 6.8% – $2,932
Group B – Direct Subsidized @ 6.0% – $3,736
Group C – Direct Subsidized @ 5.6% – $4,549
Group D – Direct Subsidized @ 4.5% – $2,248
Group E – Direct Unsubsidized @ 6.8% – $1,694

Solid progress on these bad boys this month! This is the first time I’m actually providing a breakdown of my loans. As you can see, I have 5 loans, all under the same provider. I’m throwing about $200 each month to this and I’m paying them down using the snowball method – minimums on everything and any excess to the loan with the smallest balance, which is Group E, the unsubsidized loan.

Car Loan: $17,197 [down $333]

Nothing new – slow and steady for this loan until everything else is cleared out of the way.

Mortgage: $273,491 [down $483]

Same as the car loan – slow and steady for a while… but progress is progress!

Overall, a great increase. Yet that damn credit card debt that I keep adding to is still haunting me. I need one of these:

How did you do in November?

AMDG,
Lisa

October 2014 Net Worth Update

October 2014 Net Worth

Net Worth as of October 31, 2014: $214,380

Overall, my net worth increased by $1,729 this month 🙂

Cash: $1,519 [down $345]

Yuck. My cash accounts fluctuate every month, so I’m not too worried. But still – it just doesn’t look good!

Short Term Savings: $1,907 [up $301]

This consists of:

Emergency fund – $1,003
Wedding fund – $902
Travel fund – $2

I withdrew some funds last month from my Wedding fund to help pay for the Engagement Party, but I made sure I replenished the fund and contributed some more to it this month. I haven’t contributed anything to travel yet, but I will soon once we start honeymoon planning!

Retirement Savings: $26,218 [up $1,350]

This consists of:

401k – $1,244
Traditional IRA – $8,744
Roth IRA – $16,230

Wonderful gains this month – considering I took a bit of a loss last month. I’ll take the win, but I won’t celebrate too much. I’m in this for the long haul!

 Est. Car Value: $16,242 [no change]

Next month will mark 2 years of owning my 2013 Honda Accord. Which also means I’ll probably be taking a hit in this value next month. *sigh*

Est. Home Value: $479,000 [no change]

Self explanatory.

Credit Cards: $3,712 [up $503]

This number should actually decrease by a lot in the next few days. I actually used my credit cards for all the party decorations/food/supplies for the engagement party and I’m using all the cash and check gifts we received to pay this back down. We actually received a lot more money than we expected – we actually “broke even” if you consider all the cash gifts we received against the party expenses. Only The Fiance and I would think to “break even” on a party 😛

Student Loans: $15,291 [down $118]

Another solid month of progress for these bad boys. Maybe I can get it down to $15,000 flat by the end of the year!

Car Loan: $17,530 [down $327]

Also some solid, yet slow, progress with this loan. I’m still very underwater, but hey – I still have no regrets about buying brand new!

Mortgage: $273,974 [down $481]

Slow and steady progress as always. With an awesomely low interest rate, I don’t really mind paying this one slowly.

Overall – October was a great month net worth wise. My October 2014 Net Worth increased overall, but I do still need to work on my credit card debt.

How was your October?

AMDG,
Lisa

September 2014 Net Worth

Can you freaking believe that it’s already October???? I sure can’t.

I’ve got a lot to catch you all up on, including the proposal story, a quick FinCon recap, a new wedding series (mine, duh ;)), and the first official Lisa’s Book Club review! But of course, the second I get back from FinCon, I get struck with a damn cold and I’m still recovering! Not to mention I’m super swamped trying to catch up at work and with all the wedding planning. All I can do  right now is squeeze out this net worth update for y’all, and let me tell you right now, it isn’t pretty.

September 2014

Net Worth as of September 30, 2014: $212,651

Overall, my net worth decreased by $1,199 this month 🙁

Told ya it isn’t pretty.

Cash: $1,864 [down $711]

I feel redundant saying this, but this particular category fluctuates every single month. Not too worried about this, even though it doesn’t look too good. As long as I’m following my zero-sum budget, I know that I’m good on cash overall.

Short Term Savings: $1,605 [up $380]

This consists of:

Emergency fund – $1,003
Wedding fund – $601
Travel fund – $2

My emergency fund is right where I want it – hovering around $1,000 and slowly gaining interest. The wedding fund is new and up $600, but will soon be depleted since this is mostly for reserving our dream church (more on that on another post). My travel fund is sad – down to $2. I pretty much withdrew all of it when I went to New Orleans this past month for FinCon.

Retirement Savings: $24,869 [down $384]

This consists of:

401k – $926
Traditional IRA – $8,541
Roth IRA – $15,401

Took a bit of a loss, mostly in my Traditional IRA this month. But I’m not stressin’ too much about that – I’m in this for the long haul! I am thinking of doing something with my Roth… but more on that later.

Est. Car Value: $16,242 [no change]

Self explanatory.

Est. Home Value: $479,000 [no change]

Self explanatory.

Credit Cards: $3,208 [up $1,395]

Yuck yuck yuck. I’m super sick of this credit card debt! I’ve stopped putting my gas on this card, so now I have no excuse but to leave it at home! I’m also thinking about doing something radical… using some of my Roth IRA to just pay this damn debt off and be done with it! What do y’all think? I can use the money I’m throwing at this debt towards saving for my wedding or travel.

Student Loans: $15,410 [down $118]

I think the next milestone I’m looking forward to for this is reaching $15,000. Hopefully I can reach this my the end of the year, if not by early next year!

Car Loan: $17,857 [down $314]

My car loan is slowly starting to catch up to it’s value. Can’t wait until I’m no longer underwater with this loan!

Mortgage: $274,455 [down $480]

Solid progress with the mortgage this month. Slow and steady as always 🙂

September was pretty yucky when it comes to my net worth. But I know that I’m more than my net worth. In fact, other than the ugly decrease in September 2014 Net Worth, September was a fabulous month for me! I got engaged, I traveled to New Orleans all by myself for FinCon14, and I spent a whole lot of time with family and friends.

I do wish I was around on the blog a lot more. That’s why for this month, I’m joining Brian from Luke1428 in Writing Oktoberfest! I will be committing to writing for 30 minutes every. single. day. No, that doesn’t mean I’m posting every day, it just means I’m working on posts on a daily basis. I’ve got a ton of ideas in my head and I really just need to commit to writing them all out for you guys!

How was your September?

AMDG,
Lisa