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Archive for January, 2020: Debt-free By 33's Personal Finance Blog
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Archive for January, 2020

Another student loan down, 2 more on the chopping block

January 22nd, 2020 at 03:57 pm

I made the final payment on my big student loan today. $16000 finally gone. Considering I've had 0 family support for school and actually started in a really big hole since I was also supporting my family, it feels like a weight lifted. Forecasting with the extra money in my own bank account, I should be able to pay off the smallest of the remaining 6 loans by June. Then, there's a handful of $2k loans, so throwing everything at the highest interest rate one would leave about $180 by Dec, so I'm going to aim to get that one paid off as well. That would leave 4 loans totaling about $17.5k.

Refinancing Update

January 22nd, 2020 at 02:05 pm

The refinance is finally moving forward. We had to pull a new credit report since it had been so long, and with all of the overspending (including the new car), I was a bit worried. I was pleasantly surprised to find out scores were both well in to the 700s. Doesn't seem like a big deal, but when you've consistently been low to mid-600s for a decade, it feels like nice progress.

We did the appraisal yesterday, so just need to finish getting in all of the paperwork, and will hopefully be good.

Someone had suggested paying off debt with the money that we're getting back. Honestly, we'd been so focused on some of these house projects that we've been wanting that it never occurred to us to make big leeway on the debt front. It just feels like debt is so ingrained in our lives that we should use it to fund some of our wants that we've continually put off. I talked to my husband about it, and we decided to split the difference. We plan to add $2k to the EF, pay off the credit card for the fence ($5k), and then choose one house project. We nixed the 2 less important ones and have one inside (basement bathroom remodel - main cost would be materials since FIL would do the labor) and one outside project (backyard remodel - regrade yard, install better underground drainage, deck maintenance, and fence/deck staining) that we plan to get quotes on before deciding. But we may end up changing our minds again and just putting it all to debt or to savings.


In personal news land, our new addition is healthy and everything is going well so far, so fingers crossed that continues.

2020 Goal Setting

January 8th, 2020 at 02:34 pm

DH and I have been having lots of money talks, and we've come up with some 2020 goals. Full disclosure, we're working on a refinance that would give us the cash to handle the house projects in addition to removing PMI and lowering our mortgage payment by $300. If for whatever reason, it doesn't work out, then the home projects will be removed.

Debt Payoff:
1) Pay off big student loan - Original balance was $16k. There's a measly $225.22 left which will be paid off this month.
2) Pay off one student loan - The 8 remaining loans range in balance from $1100 to just under $4k. I plan to have the $1100 one paid off by summer.
3) Catch up credit cards - We were doing really well with the credit card use, but the holidays really knocked us off track. We currently owe about $950 on the Amazon card and $9k on the Marriott card. There is $76 and $2340 set aside in YNAB to pay to these cards, so obviously a bit of catch up to do.

Savings/Buffers:
1) Get back to living on last month's income - I suspect we'll need this first quarter to catch back up, but should be back to it by March.
2) Increase EF - Our EF currently sits at about $1300. I'd like to get it to $2500 by August.
3) SAH Funds - I'd like for us to be able to stay home again for a bit if everything works out with this pregnancy. Ideally, we'd have a month's expenses set aside (not counting on last month's income). This is a super stretch goal, but we'll see. If the refinance pans out, we do plan to set aside $2k of that towards savings, so that would jump start this.

Home Projects:
This is still being worked. DH and I identified 4 projects that we'd really like done on the house. We won't be able to do all 4, but with the cash we're slated to get back on the refinance, we should be able to do at least 2. We've agreed to get quotes for all 4, and then based on that, set our priorities.

Our Annual Movie Date

January 6th, 2020 at 01:10 pm

DH and I each get a free birthday ticket to a movie theater that we love. It's one of those where you can order legit food and drinks. It can get super expensive, so we don't go often, but since our birthdays are only a few weeks apart, I wait to redeem mine, and we make it a movie date. Our costs are the food that we splurge on. It's become a fun little tradition. We saw the new Star Wars movie, and since it was the first time leaving DS in daycare, it was a good way to keep us distracted.

We did a big Costco shop and started some meal prep on Sunday, so I'm going to buckle down and start recovering from all of the holiday spending.

DS starts full-time daycare today, and DH returns to work next week. Looking forward to a new, exciting year.