March Finances and Goals

Last month, Hubby and I were very successful in paying down our debt. This was largely due to a big fat tax refund, and some yard sale income. We reduced our debt by more than $6,000 last month alone! We’re hoping to do well this month as well.

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March’s pay periods are from Feb 27- March 12, and March 13- March 31st. This second pay period is one of the longest this year, so our budget will be stretched a little more than normal. March is the second month in our snowball debt reduction! So far we’ve paid off $6,150.66!

Our total income this month (which does not include any extra money I make from various side ventures) is $3,519.

We have these bills (all amounts are rounded up to the nearest dollar):

  • Insurance (because of the pay periods, we’ll have two insurance bills:              $338.00
  • Internet                                                                                                                   $65.00
  • Cell Phones                                                                                                           $42.00
  • Disneyland Tickets                                                                                                $99.00
  • Netflix                                                                                                                     $8.00
  • Savings (We’ll have an extra $100 start up on a new CD)                                   $200.00
  • Citrus Lane                                                                                                            $17.00
  • Haircuts                                                                                                                 $50.00
  • TOTAL:                                                                                                                  $819.00

And these budgets:

  • Gas:                                                                                                                       $200.00
  • Food and Dining:                                                                                                   $500.00
  • Miscellaneous:                                                                                                       $100.00
  • TOTAL:                                                                                                                  $800.00

We Owe:

  • Credit Card #1:                                                                                                        $1,163.74
  • Credit Card #2:                                                                                                        $2,508.67
  • Car Loan:                                                                                                                 $9,975.51
  • Truck Loan:                                                                                                             $1,210.85
  • Line of Credit:                                                                                                           $499.65
  • Student Loan:                                                                                                          $9,000.00
  • TOTAL:                                                                                                                    $24,358.42

This month, our snowball payment plan looks like this. It includes $1000 from a maturing CD. Payments that are over the minimum are in bold:

  • Credit Card #1:                                                                                                        $25.00
  • Credit Card #2:                                                                                                        $51.00
  • Car Loan:                                                                                                                $321.66
  • Truck Loan (This will be paid off this month!!):                                                     $1,210.85
  • Line of Credit:                                                                                                          $192.34
  • Student Loan:                                                                                                           $100.00
  • TOTAL:                                                                                                                    $1,900.00

Goals

  • Pay off $2000 of debt. Our normal month-to-month debt payment is $900, and we have an extra $1,000 to put towards our debt from a maturing CD. I will have to make $100 from yard sales, side jobs, and Textbroker in order to meet this goal!
  • Pay off Hubby’s truck! It’ll be nice to have one vehicle’s title in hand.
  • Deal with our maturing CD. Last month, one of our goals was to come up with a plan for this money, and this month we’ll execute this plan. We have decided to take $100 and use it to open a new 1-year CD at 4% interest. This is the minimum amount allowed to open a CD. We will take $1000 and put it towards paying off debt, and any remaining money will go into our emergency account at 4% interest. We debated investing the entire amount, but saving money at +4% interest doesn’t make sense when we’re paying -14.5% interest on a loan.
  • Revise our debt payoff plan. Since Hubby might not be able to re-enlist, we want to have some savings built up for when he gets out, but we also want to have as little debt as possible. We’re going to compromise on this goal by continuing to snowball all our debt that has a higher interest rate than our holiday club savings account (+4%), then making minimum payments on the remaining debts with a lower than 4% interest rate and putting the money we were snowballing into savings. This way, our money will work for us. We will make one extra payment to each debt so we’re one month ahead, which looks better on a credit report. We’ll pay off the truck loan, line of credit, and both credit cards, but keep the student loan and car loan.
  • Review and adjust our retirement account. We have my husband’s TSA divided between C funds, I funds, and S funds. Our goal this month is to review how it’s doing and make adjustments as needed. We’re taking more risk now, and at age 30 we’ll start shifting to a more conservative portfolio.
  • Have two yard sales. I’m aiming to have one on March 1st and one on March 15th, since those are the weekends closest to payday. On base, selling secondhand items depends heavily on payday, because most people live paycheck to paycheck. I’m hoping to make at least $200 at each sale, and rid our house of some items we don’t want to move in the process.
  • Discuss our job options post-military. We’re getting very close to Hubby’s separation date, and we’re a little conflicted as to our future. We’ll sit down and have a good discussion about our options, and hopefully decide on career paths for Hubby and I.
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6 thoughts on “March Finances and Goals

  1. I look forwards to following you on your “get rid of debt” journey. I should really get more proactive with mine as well since it is a 2014 So Damn Domestic goal of mine. 🙂

    • Good luck getting started on your journey! I recommend using Mint.com to track all your expenses, and if you’re looking for a snowball tool, Whatsthecost.com has a nice one. You can choose whether to pay debts down by interest rate or balance.

      • We cleaned everything up last year and got a consolidation loan. So now, all we have left is that loan, our car (which only has a couple months left YAY!!!) and our points credit card that we use daily so that we get free groceries in return. I’m sure happy with all we’ve done (35000+ 5 years ago to just around 15000 now). I’m going back to work in September to be more aggressive with our pay back.

  2. We briefly looked into a consolidation loan, but we found that the interest rates for them meant we would pay more overall than we would just paying our loans as is. I think this is because we have the car loan, one credit card, and the student loan that have super low interest rates, and they are the biggest debts. Have you looked at little everyday ways to cut spending now so you can throw more money at your debts? Those months before September can make a big difference if you can make an extra $100 payment each month!

  3. So glad I found your blog! I’m aggressively attacking massive student debt that I plan to be out of over the next 2-3 years! I went the consolidation route after grad school and am unfortunately seeing the interest rate consequences! But we will make it, right! Best wishes on your journey, it looks like you’re making great progress so far!

    • Glad to have you along for the journey! I’ve read a lot about consolidation loans, and I’m glad we didn’t choose to go that route. I hope you won’t end up paying too much extra in interest! We can make it, there’s a debt-free light on the horizon somewhere (hopefully an energy efficient one bought on clearance, with a coupon)!

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