Category Archives: by the numbers

February by the Numbers

And, not much to report.

Baby is still on its way. Hubby’s work is still slow. Debt Snowball is still on pause.

However – I did a bit of math the last few weeks and was amazed at – with slower work, the payroll tax holiday ending and my insurance premiums going up – how much less in income we take home each month than a mere 6 months ago.  This realization (along with news headlines this week pointing out that across the country, income has dropped significantly) – I was so thankful that we started getting out of debt last year.

I think we have somewhere around $500 LESS a month in payments because of all the items we finished paying off.  So not only did we save a ton of money (on interest that we won’t be changed), we created a decent bit of margin in our monthly budget. That is really helping us get through our current drop in income.

[March sneak peek… Might be ‘Consignment by the Numbers’  🙂 ]

2 Comments

Filed under budget, by the numbers, debt

January by the Numbers

Not a lot to report.  Still slow work. Still expecting a baby in July. So… no debt snowball progress.

We were able to add a bit to our crisis fund.  My job does reviews and possible raises at the anniversary date of your start date.  My anniversary date was in October, but my review and all of the paperwork was not done until this month.  Unbeknownst to me – the company gives you back pay from the point of your anniversary if you get a raise.  So we were thankful for a bit extra in our check. ESPECIALLY because the payroll tax holiday ended and more taxes are taken out of my check.

One particular set of numbers I thought I would highlight is my student loan. Because we paid such a large portion off early over the last twelve months, technically speaking, my next payment isn’t due until 11/14/2017. Of course, we are still paying the minimum payment during this debt snowball pause so we don’t lose all the extra ground we gained (and tack on more interest).

Also – on the saving money front – we are so encouraged about how much one can NOT buy name brand when prepping for a new arrival.  I’m planning to attend two consignment sales (yeah for First Time Mom Presales!).

We are also very blessed and thankful for an entire tub of maternity clothes from family. I honestly don’t think I’ll need to buy much clothes for myself.

2 Comments

Filed under budget, by the numbers

A Debt Snowball Setback

So… in November I posted about how we were putting the debt snowball on hold due to a slower than expected fall. This was, and is still true.

However – we also had a second reason – which we could not share at the time… and while it’s a debt snowball setback – it’s also terrific news.

We’re expecting a baby!

Due this summer – so our debt payoff is on hold – but we couldn’t be more overjoyed.

And we are so thankful for all the hard work we put in last year.  Baby will be born into a family that is only a few more payoffs from being debt free!

2 Comments

Filed under by the numbers, debt, family

December by the Numbers

To start with – no new progress was made on debt this month. We are still putting the debt snowball on hold due to lower than expected income.  We are adding to our “crisis fund” which we hope will we will convert into debt pay-off one day.

One specific number I thought I could highlight from this month was our Vacation Fund.  We planned since May to go to Washington State to have Christmas with my family. Every month, we put aside money for the vacation. From this fund, we paid for our plane tickets, our rental car, and all of our on trip expenses and purchases. We still worked to be frugal on the trip, not spending excessive amounts. We are pleased to report we were at least $600 UNDER budget.  SWEET! Because you know what that means… the extra $600 goes into the Crisis Fund.

Since I don’ t have any other numbers to report, I thought I’d do a quick summary of 2012 by the numbers.

This year, we sold items on CraigsList, re-purposed gift cards, and turned coins into the bank in order to drum up some extra income. We also had several items come up that we had to figure out how to cash-flow. We cash-flowed enough money to cover a Garage Reno, an MRI, a Washer, a mattress set, and the closing costs on our home refinance. And of course, squeezed every cent we could find out of the budget for extra debt payments.

Extra income for 2012: $2,121

Cash-flowed in 2012: $6,181

Over and above debt payments for 2012: $27,304

Total Debt paid in 2012: $31,018

Amount of Debt left – Aiming to be paid off in 2013.  Approximately $15,500

I look at those numbers and I think wow. You mean… we put enough toward debt to pay for a new car?

I find it SO encouraging. No, we don’t have that money to use now – but yes, we are avoiding even MORE than that in would-be-interest.  And once all the debt is gone, we have already established really great financial habits which will help us reach goals like paying cash for a car a lot quicker than we ever thought we could.

Leave a comment

Filed under budget, by the numbers, car, debt, family

We are still here

I’m planning on doing my “December by the Numbers” post tonight or tomorrow.  We just got back into town yesterday evening after visiting the family in Washington State for Christmas.

It was a wonderful trip. But now I am back at work and have tons of catch up to do tonight (like buy groceries and take down the Christmas tree) so my end of the month, end of the year post is delayed.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under budget, by the numbers, family

November by the Numbers

As regular readers know, I was so excited for the month of November.  Since I get paid every two weeks (and we keep a monthly budget that assumes I have 2 paychecks each month) – every once in a while, 3 paychecks arrive within the same calendar month. November was one such month.

Since it’s basically a ‘bonus’ paycheck and it doesn’t fall within the normal budget, we were planning on putting the entire thing toward debt. Because the last few months were slow on the self-employed front – we thought this would give us a nice boost of progress and encouragement.

Now for the sad update….

It has been slow. Really slow. Fall is normally the busy season, but due to slow economy and general uncertainties, this fall’s busy season never really got going.

We don’t really expect it to pick up all that much, anytime soon, so we are considering this a “Crisis.”  Now crisis is a strong word – we aren’t majorly hurting, we have some backup funds, however, we are trying to plan the best we can, hopefully heading off a potential HUGE crisis.

When Dave Ramsey talks about times of “Crisis” – such as Job Loss– (which we are kind of comparing this slow time to) – he says to put a pause on the Debt Snowball.  Save up the money instead. Use it as you need in the crisis situation. The goal would be to avoid accruing additional debt during the crisis. And Lord willing- once the crisis is over, some (maybe all) of the money you saved up – will still be in your possession.  At that point, take that money you saved and throw it at the debt snowball. So this is what we are doing.

All that to say, other than paying our minimums this month, there are no numbers to report.

Total Debt paid in November: $250*

Since 1/1/2012 – Total Debt Paid off: $31,018*

*For the purpose of Baby step 2 we are not factoring in our home mortgage

And then (not to be too big of a downer) but this also means that we will not meet our goal to be completely out of debt by the end of the year.

However, while we won’t meet our goal, we cannot say that it was a complete failure.  We are So Encouraged! Just over 31K  paid off in one calendar year!?! (and a slow year at that!) We KNOW that we will be able to finish once work starts picking up. We estimate that we have about 16K more to go, so we are really hoping and praying that by as soon as possible in 2013 – we will be debt free.

I’ll still be updating monthly on our progress – and with minimums, we are still knocking out really small amounts of principle every month.

Thanks for following along!

2 Comments

Filed under budget, by the numbers

October by the Numbers

So… again, a slow month. Not very exciting numbers – however, I guess for perspective, any number above 0 is better than what could have been. We did have someone give us $10 extra dollars for running an errand for them- so there was extra income this month 🙂

We’ve collected a few more items to craigslist or put on ebay, so hopefully we’ll have some extra income from selling those items soon.

Also, for my office Halloween luncheon, my department went as the social network, with all of us being different social media sites. I was Blogger, as in blogspot, where I blogged from 2005 – 2009. I had a Blogger shirt, very orange elements in my clothing and my prop, which was my “Pennies for Debra” jar because my “blog theme” was finances. (Not completely pretend. Ha!) Having the jar meant explaining what “Pennies for Debra” is. Which resulted in some contributions. 😀 So thanks for those that gave once purposeless pennies a new lease on life.

Anyway, here are the numbers:

Extra income: $10

Extra Debt paid: $403

Total Debt paid in October: $649*

Since 1/1/2012 – Total Debt Paid off: $30,768*

*For the purpose of Baby step 2 we are not factoring in our home mortgage

Click here to learn more about the origins and purpose of “Pennies for Debra”

Or, for a listing of all “Pennies for Debra” posts, just go to www.penniesfordebra.com.

20121031-212014.jpg

Leave a comment

Filed under budget, by the numbers, debt, pennies for debra

September by the Numbers

Again – nothing to exciting to report (other than the fact that, yes, we did feel the DFW earthquake yesterday).  As I stated last month, fall work is starting to pick up again.  With work coming in, we were able to apply a little extra to the debt.

I’m still not sure if we will make our goal of paying off all the debt before the end of the year, but we are certainly getting close.

Here are the somewhat, non-exciting, numbers:

Extra income: none

Extra Debt paid: $905

Total Debt paid in September: $1,151*

Since 1/1/2012 – Total Debt Paid off: $30,119*

*For the purpose of Baby step 2 we are not factoring in our home mortgage

Leave a comment

Filed under budget, by the numbers, debt, earthquake

August by the Numbers

This is going to be a pretty short post.  We’re doing well and thankfully, the fall work is starting to pick up again.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, our biggest contribution to debt this month was deciding to put what we’ve saved for car replacement toward the debt.  We figure my car will last a while longer and should it completely breakdown, that’s what our emergency fund is for.

We just went on a holiday road trip and while driving listened to a few more Financial Peace University Lessons, giving ourselves a jolt of encouragement.

Here are the numbers:

Extra income: none

Extra Debt paid: $1,919

Total Debt paid in August: $2,165*

Since 1/1/2012 – Total Debt Paid off: $28,968*

*For the purpose of Baby step 2 we are not factoring in our home mortgage

 

Leave a comment

Filed under budget, by the numbers, debt

July by the Numbers

Not too much to report. Like I’ve said in previous posts, we’ve squirreled away money to provide for this slow time.  We are thankful that we were both able to make a smaller contribution above and beyond minimums, as well as buy a much-needed mattress.

Normally, big purchases would be on hold. All Wants ARE on hold. However, due to our particular health situations, so that we could get quality rest and not continue to have (sometimes fairly major) back pain, a new mattress, fell into what we considered a necessity.

We were thankful to hit a pretty large mattress sale, 50% off plus instant rebates.  I was surprised at how expensive high-end mattresses can be. It made me sad to think that people were probably walking in the store that weekend, financing a 1,400 – 3,000 dollar mattress. What great deals! 0% interest financing! No credit check! UGH! Lies! Tricks! Don’t do it!!!!

We didn’t sell anything, or make any extra income so here are the numbers:

Extra income: none

Cash flowed to new mattress: $802

Extra Debt paid: $627

Total Debt paid in July: $873*

Since 1/1/2012 – Total Debt Paid off: $26,803*

*For the purpose of Baby step 2 we are not factoring in our home mortgage

Leave a comment

Filed under budget, by the numbers, debt, health