Another one bites the dust

So I’m happy to announce that I made my last payment on a card this morning. I had to do the math to make sure I was good but $858.51 was made early just because of the fact that I have 3 pay periods in June. That just leaves me my truck and house now. With only the truck left the plan is to pay it off at $1770 a month for 5 months. The reality is I can do $1400 a month and pay it off by December and give myself some breathing room to buy some Christmas gifts and do some nice things for the wife the summer/fall.

Every time I make an update on my everydollar app I just feel like I’m in control of my finances and even when unexpected things pop-up it’s not the end of the world now. The wife and I can have a quick talk about it and move on because we aren’t struggling to find the money to do stuff.

Have a good 4th of July everyone and keep working for your own Independence day.

Last Payment

The Bills

Revolving Debt: $0.00 (last update $3,132.46)

Vehicle: $8,156.91 (last update $8,713.51)

House: $183,647.59 (last update $184,383.47)

Total: $191,804.50 (last update $196,229.44)

Difference: $4,424.94

 

 

 

The bills

So I didn’t know if I would post this but I just looked at another site and they posted the amounts on their bills so I figured I would do the same. I also think it will help me keep everything going if I have constant reminders that the amount of debt is going down as well.

So we have it broken down by revolving debt plus my homeowners association. Next would be my vehicle and finally the house. This is just my debt and doesn’t include the house with the obvious exception of the house. She has her own debt which I told her I wouldn’t harp on her about paying her stuff down until I made some real headway with my own. Her car is paid off and I think she only has a couple thousand in revolving debt. She makes more than me but with the raise I’ll hopefully be getting in November/December.

The cool thing is that we are both putting $250 a month towards principal on the house. Just by doing that we knock 11 years off of the mortgage but I’ll be snowballing the bills so one year from now I’ll have a huge amount going to the mortgage. I’ll show the amount at the end of the month/after the first off the month.

So here they are, the bills.

Revolving Debt: $7,214.93

Vehicle: $13,578.77

House: $190,908.72

Total: $211,703.42

I have $1200 a month going to revolving debt and my truck and that will get bumped up to $1750 a month in December (hopefully). I am also using Dave Ramsey’s Everydollar app/website and have quite a bit of money left that needs to be budgeted. I plan to save some amount monthly for emergency savings and then put the rest or as much as I feel comfortable with towards my bills.

Crazy to think I could have this paid off in 6-7 years but I’m going to do my best. Since I started this quest last month I really need to see how I’m doing after a full month of working towards the goal. I think one of the big things is that we’ve definitely limited the number of times we’ve gone out to eat or to grab drinks. I’ve spent┬ásome more money buying alcohol for the house but it’s nothing compared to what we would spend going out. We’ve also done great this month with food as far as not letting anything go to waste. It seems like a lot of the time we have extras from meals that actually sit in the fridge until they go bad. For instance, we made tacos the other day with flour tortillas and when it was all said and done I had 2 tortillas left that would’ve sat in the fridge for a while. This morning when I made our breakfast I put my eggs and potatoes in the tortillas and had some breakfast tacos that tasted amazing. I have leftover hash browns and those will go get thrown in with my breakfasts for this week or at least the first day or two.

We shopped yesterday for our food and our menu this week includes pork tenderloin for a couple of nights and thai red curry turkey meatballs. A friend that does paleo made these and they looked amazing and since we have a lot of ground turkey we thought it would be cool to do these. For tonight and tomorrow we are doing a grilled chicken that I have brining right now. She likes the white meat and I like the dark so it works out perfect for us. I’ll throw it on the grill later on tonight but I did a lemon pepper brine with garlic, onions and thyme also thrown in.

I really think that is it for this week, quite a bit I know but still working through what I want to put down on here.

 

 

 

 

 

First blog post

This is it, a few weeks ago I decided I no longer wanted to live with a ton of debt so I made a decision to pay off everything including my house in the next 7 years. With any luck this will happen and with some really good luck we may be able to pay it off faster. I talked to my awesome and supportive wife and aside from some anxiety she is on-board with doing this.

So a little bit about us first, we’re a middle-aged married couple with no kids, living in the St. Louis area. We are both employed and have a fair amount of debt. We aren’t living beyond our means but we haven’t done the best when it comes to paying our debt down. My plan is to use a ‘snowball’ approach to paying my debt off and putting money towards principal on the house. When the bills are all paid off that snowball will all rollover to principal and with any luck 7 years from now we’ll own our house outright and have no bills.

For those that don’t know what a ‘snowball’ approach is, that is when you figure out what your monthly minimum payments are for your bills and based on highest percentage or lowest balance (there are excel spreadsheets online that will help you determine) you put an extra amount of money towards that bill to pay it off faster. Once you pay that bill off you take all the money you were using for it and put it towards your next bill. You keep doing this until you pay off all of your bills. In this case our house will be the last bill and we’ll be putting an extra $2,000 towards principal after my first 3 bills are paid off. We love St. Louis but we have no family here so if something else comes up for either one of us job wise we want to have the option to move and take a chance.

Life happens and 7 years is a long a time so there is a buffer in there for both time and money. I’ve actually plotted everything to be done in 6 years but we all know life doesn’t go the way we want it to sometimes. So we’ve both looked at all of our bills and accounted for things like food, gas, entertainment,etc and we still should have a decent amount left over between the both of us. Any extra money saved initially will go into a joint savings account and once we get to a point where we are happy with that any money that is left over will go to the snowball.

So applying extra money to a credit card is easier than most people think. All I had to do was look at my bank account to see where I was spending money. You have no idea how many times you get nickeled and dimed to death a month or how much money you spend on little things. The first thing I did was look to see what auto deductions I had coming out of my account, things like ‘spotify’, ‘netflix’ or ‘dollarbeardclub.com’ (I love my beard). So between these 3 that was $30 a month. We also had all of the pay channels through out cable to include HBO, Showtime, TMC, etc. We didn’t need all of them because we don’t watch movies every night or even every other night. We dropped out package down a level and only kept Showtime for ‘Ray Donovan’. When the season is over we’ll drop that and when Game of Thrones starts up again we’ll order HBO. So just by changing our cable and dropping some subscription services we’re saving $80 a month right there.

The next thing that we have, and the one that hits us the hardest is going out for food and drinks. We don’t go out every night but we go out more than most just because we don’t have kids. It doesn’t seem like a lot because we take turns buying dinner but when you look at it on paper it adds up quick and it is an ugly number. Two adults going out 2-3 times a week, even for something cheap is an extra $300-$400 a month easy. If we lived in a perfect world where we never had a drink then it would be different but 2 adults at 2 drinks a piece every time you go out is an extra $25 every meal easy and we usually do more damage than that.

So this blog is going to be about some money saving tips, some bill paying tips and pretty much regurgitate some of the same stuff you see out there from other folks. I guess the main difference with this blog is that we’re not saving because we need to but because we want to. We’re not going to sacrifice everything we enjoy doing but we’ll be cutting back and using our heads a little more when it comes to how we spend our money. Since this is Thursday you’ll probably see a post his weekend because we’ll be preparing our breakfast and lunch meals for the week and I’ll go ahead and say what we did and how much we spent.

This picture is staying here, it’s the default photo but we’re doing this because my dream is to have a sailboat when we move to Florida and the easiest way to make that happen is to have a house that we buy with cash when we get there.

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