I am creating a Financial Plan for 2019, not a resolution. I have found resolutions to be too wishy-washy and not specific enough. For example, a lot of people say they want to lose weight or get out of debt, but there is no follow up or plan behind that. The goals must be achievable, measurable, and have a date or “ongoing” attached. So, here is my plan with notes on the steps needed to accomplish it.
1) Purchase a used car with saved funds and tax refund by the end of February. I need about $7000.00 to buy a car in decent shape and pay tax and registration. I have about $5937.00. My tax refund should be at least $1000.00 and I will be putting in at least another $210.00 in savings from payday savings. I also estimate I may get around $100.00 (yes, it’s in that bad of shape) for a trade in. All of that should put my balance over $7300.
2)Pay down balance on cc #1 to $2000.00 by December 31st. To that, I need to pay $228.00 per month on this debt. I currently pay about $200.00, so this will be a bit of a stretch.
3) Continue to eat super healthy by growing some of my own food and buy some at the farmer’s market and stores. Doing this, especially growing my own vegetables, makes a considerable difference in food expenses overall. I will contribute the estimate on what I would save to credit card payoff. Ongoing.
4) Contribute any coupon or sales savings to credit card payoff. This is a money game I play. Ongoing.
5) I will also contribute any funds I get from rebates to credit card payoff also. Ongoing
Viewing the 'Debt Payoff Challenge' Category
Hi, everyone. I got paid today.
Retirement and savings are up. Debt is down. Here is my update of retirement, savings, and debt. Woo-hoo!
Slush Fund $20.00
Regular Savings $1595.10
Car Account $4307.93
House Account $579.70
Professional Account $318.38
Medical Savings $140.26
AAA/Car Tax Savings $43.01
2018 Tax Prep $18.03
Escrow Account $43.00
Appliances Replacement $27.00
Retirement account $121,033.90
Hi, everyone. I got paid today.
My car savings fund is up to $4212.43! My goal is to have at least $7K when I go to buy a car.
cc #1 is at $5483.62.
The car replacement fund is at $4,062.25. This is not counting future anticipated funds or the value of selling or trading in my car.
cc #1 is at 5597.43!
Okay, so I have hit a major snag in my plan to pay off cc #1 this year. So, the story goes that last Thursday, the water heater officially died, hence the removal of $500.00 from the house account. It wasn't something I wanted to do, but by the time the plumber arrived, my husband said it was spewing water out the top of the unit. I have not written the check to cover it yet, but it is covered. Fast forward to Wednesday this week when it was 36 degrees outside and our very old furnace was blowing cold air. My husband called a local company to come out and work on it. They "fixed" it, but told us it has a max life of 5 years left. So, we made a mental note to step up the game on saving for the hvac right away. He scheduled a visit with the same company to come out and do a free in home estimate to replace the furnace and a/c. It was basically window shopping so we would know what to shoot for in our savings plan. That same day the furnace quit again, so we began to look more seriously at the quote. The quote is $4564.00 to replace a/c, furnace, thermostat, and a concrete pad for it to rest on. I still had 94% of the tax refund sitting in savings, as we used $95.00 of it to get a new yard/security light installed. When we finally made our minds to accept the quote, we transferred the rest of the tax refund to pay off a large portion of cc #1 in order to cover the cost of the repair. I am definitely going to step up the game of surveys and rebates and not buying non-essentials, like right now!
I am not doing the Uber challenge, but I am doing a challenge to pay off cc #1 THIS YEAR! Yes, this is the year I go debt free of cc #1.
Tomorrow, I get paid again. I have already allocated for the mortgage, cc #1 payment, paid the water/sewer bill, and made a deposit to savings. I still have to buy gas for the car, groceries, some replacement kitchen items, and health supplements.
$3.00 to cc #1 from pinecone check
$79.00 to cc #1 from my pay
$119.00 deposit to savings ($30 to car, $30 to house, $30 to professional, and $29 to medical)
I indicated in my last blog that I removed my husband from my health insurance because the rate went up so high. He is a vet, so he does have access to care, but we won't have health insurance on him anymore. I am saving $29.00 per payday to the medical savings to allow for any significant medical expenses (not co-pays).
I found $.03 on the ground this week. I will use that at the store on Saturday and make a payment equal to the store savings and cash to cc #1. See you later.
1) Pay off cc #1 by 12/31/2017. To do this, make at least $225.10 in payments monthly ($79.00 per payday from my paychecks and $67.10 from my husband).
I made some significant changes in my health insurance enrollment at work because health insurance premiums for myself and my husband went from $111.00 to $163.00 per payday and my dental went from $0.00 to $6.00 per payday. So, my husband asked me to take him off of my health insurance. This will result in about $80.00 less being taken from my pay each payday. My plan for this "extra" $80.00 is to send $40.00 to cc #1 and put $40.00 in medical savings for any out of pocket potential medical expenses.
2) Continuing contributing to savings as normal.
3) Contribute any survey money, rebates, coupon savings, and credit card rewards to cc #1 payoff.
4) Grow as much of my own food as I can. Buy as much other food from organic local sources. This will help me to eat as clean as I can.
5) I will continue to use a refill fountain cup as a way to challenge myself to spend as little as possible on beverages. I will funnel my savings to cc #1.
6) I will continue to use my pocket change as a way to pay part of my grocery store bill.
After years of searching, I have finally found something that works to help stabilize my budget so I don't run out of money before I run out of month. It's so simple that it's scary. It works for me anyway. I think each person has to find what works for them.
I have a skeleton budget on a 4x6 index card for the entire month with all usual expenses: mortgage, electric, gas for car, gas heat, groceries, insurance, cat food, savings deposit, and credit card payment, etc. Whenever a new payday rolls around, I use a new index card for the budget for that payday with the expenses and amounts for the next two weeks based on the skeleton budget referred to above. For each item, I have an amount budgeted for that item. Whenever each one gets paid, I mark through it and add the date paid. If I only use part of the allotted amount, I mark through it and add a note with the amount left in that category. If I am at a store and want to buy something out of the ordinary, I can check my card to see how much I have left and what I need to leave room for so that I know if I can afford to buy the item I want. It is for this reason that the budget be on an index card so that it is portable. I can keep it at all times in my purse. I found it does not help to have a budget on my computer because I can't see it when I really need it.
I have been doing this for about 6 months. At first, it was difficult, because I would want to buy something and see based on my card that I could not afford it. It helped me to really distinguish my wants from my needs and make better choices. I have also paid down my cc #1 from nearly $5000 to about $2900 in just around two years in a two adult, one income household.
Another cool thing I have been doing is to use the amount I save at the grocery store and make an equal payment to cc #1. I also use pocket change to pay part of the grocery bill and so I also make a payment to cc #1 equal to the pocket change amount. Sometimes, I don't really save anything, so I don't make a payment.
Hi, everyone. I have been doing really well with unplanned spending and also using cash for purchases like iced tea at the convenience store. Because I am doing so well, I am sending an extra $5.00 to cc #1.
Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2818.93
$5.00 extra payment to cc #1
New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2823.93
The cc #1 balance is now $2963.30!!
Hi, everyone. I get paid tomorrow and so I am sending more money to debt, savings, retirement, and regular expenses. I have already written a check for deposit to savings reference below, paid the gas bill, allocated for 1/3 of the mortgage, and made a payment to credit card #1. I also wrote a check for payment on plumbing work we had done, but that is not a debt.
Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2583.93
$40.00 regular savings deposit
$25.00 car savings deposit
$25.00 car savings deposit
$20.00 slush deposit
$5.00 escrow savings deposit
$5.00 medical savings deposit
$5.00 hvac savings deposit
$5.00 professional savings deposit
$5.00 AAA/car tax savings deposit
$100.00 cc #1 payment
New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2818.93
I forgot to say that this month is a 3 paycheck month for me, so I have allocated extra funds towards savings and debt repayment. After buying groceries and other necessities, I will contribute more to debt repayment.
Hi, everyone. I got paid today, so I am sending more money to debt, savings, and retirement.
Old 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2367.23
Regular Savings Deposit $40.00
House Savings Deposit $25.00
Car Savings Deposit $25.00
HVAC Savings Deposit $5.00
Medical Savings Deposit $5.00
AAA/Car Tax Savings Deposit $5.00
Escrow Savings $5.00
Extra Left in Slush From Last Payday Sent to cc #1 $20.00
DH's Payment to cc #1 $66.70
addendum: Slush Deposit $20.00
cc #1 balance is now $3067.30!!!
New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2583.93
Hi, everyone. My credit card payment came due again on Friday and despite all the hard work I did at paying a good off, about $30.00 in finance charges were added. It's not even close to maxxed out. I think I need to verify the interest rate, because it's supposed to 12.9%, so the interest amount seems high. This interest brings the balance to $3157.00. Ugh!!!
Anyway, I recently got a Pinecone check of $3.00, so I sent it directly to cc #1.
Old 52 Week Challenge Balance $2364.23
$3.00 Pinecone payment applied to cc #1
New 52 Week Challenge Balance: $2367.23
After the payment, the cc #1 balance is $3154.00.
I should add to the above that no recent purchases were made to cc #1 which did not get immediately paid for.