Tag Archives: credit card debt

Starting Over, Again

Starting Over, Again

Starting Over, Again

Yes, I’m starting over.

It’s been almost a year since my last post.

I’ve taken hiatuses from this blog before but this time, I thought this was the end. My last post was a net worth update and I was crushin’ it! My credit card debt was almost gone, my savings were going up and up, everything was all good in the hood.

Then life happened. And now, I’m starting over.

In the midst of wedding planning, family stuff, and just life in general, this blog became a very low priority. Unfortunately, my finances went down the priority ladder along with it.

I was too embarrassed to come back and write about money when my money situation has totally veered off the path I wanted it to take. I feel like I’ve taken several hundred steps backwards in my financial journey and I didn’t want to tell anyone about it.

After all, how can someone who writes about financial independence and her hate of credit card debt have any credibility on a personal finance blog when she still has growing debt? Who in the world would listen to a girl who just keeps making mistake after mistake after mistake with her finances?

Well, I’m hoping you are listening. I’ve decided that I’m not writing for those who are already well on their way to financial freedom. I’m not writing for those who have completely tackled their debt and are free from those shackles.

No, I’m writing for someone like me. Someone who is early on in their financial journey. Someone who is just getting a grasp of what it means to want financial freedom. Someone who keeps making mistake after mistake. I’m writing for those who need to hear that starting over is okay and giving up isn’t.

No one is perfect. A lot of the blogs out there will show you a perfect plan that they followed step by step and how they’re completely crushing it with their finances. They are well on their way to millions in the bank, but I’m still here sitting in debt.

And that’ s okay. I’m writing for those who are starting over. Those who had a plan – heck, maybe several plans – and still feel like they’re 1,000 steps behind. Those who don’t even have a plan, who have no idea where to start.

If you don’t want to read about an imperfect person’s journey to financial freedom – cringe-worthy mistakes, stumbles, falls, and all – then I suggest that this is the last post you read of mine.

But if you want comfort in the fact that hey, not everyone in this world has got it all figured out yet, that at least one other person is starting over, then this is the place to be.

I hope you’ll stick around. Heck – I hope I’ll stick around 🙂

AMDG,
Lisa

June 2015 Net Worth Update

Disclaimer: this post may contain referral links.

June 2015 Net Worth Update

What! It’s July already?!?! Seriously, life is just moving too fast, y’all.

June 2015 Net Worth Update

Overall, my net worth increased by $31,567 this month!

What! That’s insane!

Mind you, most of it is due to my updated house value number. But I’ve also made some great progess on my credit card debt and all other debts, in general.

Assets

Cash: $3,181 – up $487

Someone pointed out that my cash balance is enough to pay off my credit card debt altogether. Which is true, but this money is reserved for house bills (mortgage, electricity, gas, water) and a lot of these bills are paid either every other month or one a quarter. As much as I’d love to just pay my debt off immediately, I keep it in my bank accounts for future bills.

Short Term Savings: $2,251 – up $1,099

My savings buckets are all with Capital One 360. They make it easy to see all your savings at once! Here’s what mine mostly consists of this month:

Emergency: $1,001 – no change
Personal Escrow: $160 – up $20
Wedding: $1,083 – up $1,080

Wait, didn’t I say I stopped saving for my wedding? The funds in there actually aren’t from me. My mom graciously offered to help pay for the wedding, so she’s sending me money once in a while for safe keeping. However, since I’ve got a goal to be credit card debt free before the wedding, I’m thinking of throwing that money at my remaining credit card debt.

Retirement Savings: $32,109 – down $758

This consists of:

401k: $3,755 – down $61
Traditional IRA: $9,081 – down $228
Roth IRA: $19,273.25 – down $469

Yuck. Of course the market takes a little dive the month I decide to stop saving for retirement. I’m pretty far from retirement, though, so I’m not going to worry too much about this. I know that in the long run the market will pick up, so I’m not going to stress over this.

Estimated Car Value: $15,365 – down $605

I look up the value of my car on Kelley Blue Book every quarter and update my net worth as necessary. The car always goes down in value, without fail. That’s what you get for buying brand new.

Estimated Home Value – $497,668 – up $27,832

Aw baby! I check Zillow when I want to see the value of my home. As awesome as this looks, I’m not planning on selling soon, so this value doesn’t necessarily mean anything to me right now. But those gains look damn good!

Liabilities

Credit Cards: $1,554 – down $2,552

This consists of:

Discover @ 15.99%: $20 – down $1,323
Wells Fargo @ 0.00%: $1,534 – down $1,228

Despite the huge $31k jump in net worth, I am most excited about this one! I am so close to being credit card debt free, I can taste it! I really buckled down last month and threw whatever I could at this debt and it shows! Hopefully by next month, this will be a nice fat $0!

Student Loans: $14,264 – down $131

This consists of:

Direct Subsidized @ 6.8%: $2,830 – down $15
Direct Subsidized @ 6.0%: $3,597 – down $20
Direct Subsidized @ 5.6%: $4,374 – down $25
Direct Subsidized @ 4.5%: $2,153 – down $14
Direct Unsubsidized @ 6.8%: $1,311 – down $5

Another solid month for the student loans. Can’t complain!

Car Loan: $14,865 – down $336

The minimum is all I’m throwing at this loan right now. Slow and steady is the motto.

Mortgage: $270,069 – down $493

Same with the car loan – slow and steady with this one.

Overall, my June 2015 net worth update had it’s ups and downs. Mostly ups! Can’t wait to tackle some more debt this month.

How was your June financials? Did you stay on track with your goals?

AMDG,
Lisa

May 2015 Net Worth Update

Disclaimer: this post contains referral links.

May 2015 Net Worth Update

May 2015 Net Worth Update

Overall, my net worth increased by $1,860 this month 🙂

Assets

Cash: $2,694 [down $2,030]

A huge decrease in cash can look like a bad thing at first. But knowing that this had a lot to do with some debt pay down makes it much better.

Short Term Savings: $1,152 [up $22]

I have a ton of little savings buckets, but this amount mainly consists of:

Emergency fund: $1,002
Personal escrow: $140

Every month, I gain a tiny bit of interest in all of my Capital One 360 savings accounts. Also, I transfer $20 into my Personal Escrow account each month.

Retirement Savings: $32,867 [up $466]

This consists of:

401k: $3,816 [up $532]
Traditional IRA: $9,309 [down $18]
Roth IRA: $19,742 [down $48]

This month, I made the decision to temporarily pause my retirement savings. *gasp* I’ll explain more later, but despite stopping my contributions, I still gained a good amount in my 401k. Thanks, market 🙂

Est. Car Value: $15,970 [no change]

Self explanatory.

Est. Home Value: $469,836 [no change]

Self explanatory.

Liabilities

Credit Cards: $4,105 [down $2,452]

This consists of:

Discover @ 15.99%: $1,343 [down $2,262]
Wells Fargo @ 0.00%: $2,762 [down $58]

Woohoo! I made a huge dent this month! All of a sudden, the $2k decrease in cash isn’t so depressing. I’ve really been making a conscious effort to stop swiping, and it shows! I do keep my Discover in my wallet “just in case”, but I’m hoping to tighten up my budget even more so I don’t have the need to do so.

Student Loans: $14,395 [down $126]

This consists of:

Direct Subsidized @ 6.8%: $2,845 [down $14]
Direct Subsidized @ 6.0%: $3,617 [down $19]
Direct Subsidized @ 5.6%: $4,399 [down $25]
Direct Subsidized @ 4.5%: $2,167 [down $14]
Direct Unsubsidized @ 6.8%: $1,366 [down $55]

Again, solid progress on this front. I can’t complain! Right now, I’m targeting that Direct Unsubsidized – can’t wait until it’s finally gone!

Car Loan $15,201 [down $333]

The minimum payment will have to do for now, at least until my credit card debt and student loans are taken care of.

Mortgage: $270,562 [down $492]

Same as the car loan – the minimum payment will have to do for  now. This debt will be the last to go!

Overall, May was a wonderful month despite that cash decrease. But I’m not even worried about it since I know that that money went all to my debt pay down!

How was your May financials? Did you reach your budget goals?

AMDG,
Lisa

April 2015 Net Worth Update

April 2015 Net Worth Update

Disclaimer: this post contains a referral link.

After last quarter’s disappointing update, I was hoping this month would be much better. Here are the numbers:

April 2015 Net Worth Update

Net Worth as of April 30, 2015: $216,395

Overall, my net worth increased by $3,381 this month 🙂

Assets

Cash: $4,724 [up $1,818]

I hate to say it but… working overtime, although taxing, has its benefits. Of course, there are tradeoffs – more stress, low energy, etc. But at this stage in my life, I don’t mind putting in the hours since I’ve got a wedding to pay for and credit card debt!

Short Term Savings: $1,130 [up $22]

This includes:

Emergency fund: $1,002 (up $1)
Personal Escrow: $120 (up $20)

Although I no longer actively contribute to my emergency fund, the dollar increase is due to the little bit of interest I gain in my Capital One 360 account. As for my Personal Escrow account, the $20 contribution is standard every month.

Retirement Savings: $32,401 [up $1,762]

This includes:

Roth IRA: $19,790 (up $939)
Traditional IRA: $9,327 (up $398)
401k: $3,284 (up $425)

When all else seems to disappoint me, my retirement savings usually holds it down for me. For example – my Roth IRA – I’m up about $939. My actual contribution to my Roth is half this amount! The rest – all gains, baby! My Traditional IRA got a nice increase this month as well, due to a rollover from my old 401k. My current 401k is increasing nicely as well, thanks to my company match.

Est. Car Value: $15,970 [no change]

Since I’m not planning on selling my car anytime soon, I’m thinking of only updating this value once per quarter. No change this time around.

Est. Home Value: $469,836 [no change]

Same as above – I don’t plan on selling my house soon, so I don’t feel the need to update this value very often.

Liabilities

Credit Cards: $6,558 [up $1,175]

This includes:

Discover (15.99%): $3,605 (up $1,043)
Wells Fargo @ (0.00%): $2,820 (no change)
Target (22.99%): $132.12 (up $132.12)

These were the balances of my credit cards on 4/30. On 5/1, I paid off my Discover and Target cards completely, but I wanted to be truthful to what my actual net worth was for April.

A lot of deposits are coming up for the wedding and unfortunately, I can’t cash flow them right at this moment. Hopefully my raise will help, but right now the plan is to put most of it on these CCs and steadily pay them down in huge chunks each month.

Student Loans: $14,521 [down $130]

This includes:

A – Direct Subsidized (6.8%): $2,859 (down $14)
B – Direct Subsidized (6.0%): $3.636 (down $21)
C – Direct Subsidized (5.6%): $4,424 (down $25)
D – Direct Subsidized (4.5%): $2,181 (down $13)
E – Direct Unsubsidized (6.8%): $1,421 (down $53)

A solid decrease this month, pretty standard. Again, I’m paying the absolute minimum on these, rounded up to the nearest $100, for now. I am thinking about knocking out that Direct Unsubsidized loan right now, though.

Car Loan: $15,534 [down $335]

Just like all my other non-credit card debt, I’m putting the minimum on this loan until all the others (minus my mortgage) are clear.

Mortgage: $271,054 [down $490]

My mortgage is last on the list, so the minimum payment each month it is!

Overall, a great month except for the credit cards (what’s new…) With another wedding deposit coming up in May, I don’t see the credit cards getting any better, but I am trying my best to throw as much at it as I can.

How was your April?

AMDG,
Lisa

Q1 2015 Net Worth Update

I’m baaaack! It’s been almost 3 months since my last post! I’m so late on my monthly net worth updates, so how about we just jump right into it with a Q1 update?

Q1 2015 net worth update

Net worth as of March 31, 2015: $213,014

Overall, my net worth decreased by $6,621 this quarter 🙁

Assets

Cash: $2,907 [down $395]

As always, this category fluctuates every single month. This time, it just happened to fluctuate in the wrong direction 🙁

Short Term Savings: $1,108 [down $942]

This consists of:

Emergency fund: $1,001
Personal Escrow: $100

The significant decrease in this category is mostly due to the fact that I cleaned out my wedding fund to go towards a down payment for our wedding reception venue.

Retirement Savings: $30,639 [up $2,982]

This consists of:

Roth IRA: $18,851 [up $1,767]
Traditional IRA: $8,929 [up $184]
401k: $2,859 [up $1,031]

Although the rest of this update is pretty ugly, my retirement savings definitely held it down with the nice gains.

Est. Car Value: $15,970 [down $255]

What’s there to say? I expected consistent decreases in this value since I bought brand new. I’d complain, but complaining doesn’t help.

Est. Home Value: $469,836 [down $9,164]

This biggest decrease of the quarter! I pulled this number from Zillow. I could probably pull a more accurate value from my realtor, but since I don’t plan on selling soon, this value ultimately doesn’t matter to me at this point.

Liabilities

Credit Cards: $5,382 [up $1,688]

This consists of:

Wells Fargo @ 0% – $2,820 [down $180]
Discover @ 15.99% – $2,562 [up $1,868]

I vowed to stop my wedding savings until I paid off my credit card debt. But when I have no savings for my wedding, how do I pay for all these down payments? I pay for them with my credit card… smh.

I hate making excuses, but a lot has happened in my fiance’s life and mine these past few months in terms of family issues. Debt repayment and weddings savings have been on the back burner. Until then, my debt grows. Everything is mostly settled as of today, so we’re working on pulling ourselves out of this hole to reach our goal of getting married CC debt and wedding debt free.

Student Loans: $14,650 [down $383]

This consists of:

Group A – Direct Subsidized @ 6.8% – $2,873 [down $43]
Group B – Direct Subsidized @ 6.0% – $3,657 [down $60]
Group C – Direct Subsidized @ 5.6% – $4,449 [down $75]
Group D – Direct Subsidized @ 4.5% – $2,194 [down $41]
Group E – Direct Unsubsidized @ 6.8% – $1,474 [down $163]

Slow and steady with these guys as usual. I’ve decided to no longer rush this payoff until my CC debt is gone first.

Car Loan: $15,868 [down $997]

I paid almost $1,000 toward my car loan this quarter. Great progress in my opinion!

Mortgage: $271,545 [down $1,461]

Same as above – great progress this quarter! As I mentioned above, I’m in no rush to sell my house, so the minimum payment will do just fine for now.

Yuck. Not exactly a great quarter in my opinion, but a lot of it had to do with decreases in asset values. Hopefully next update will be better.

How did the first quarter of the year go for you?

AMDG,
Lisa