Milestones, revisited.

First, a little happy announcement – at the end of this week, I’ll be paying the credit card bill for the odds and ends I put on it for the Bat Mitzvah.  I’m thrilled to report that I will be paying the balance in full!  I did it – I actually scrimped, saved, and made wise enough choices that the whole event was paid for, unlike how I did it with my older daughter (put it on a credit card and paid for it for years afterward).  It feels AMAZING to have that behind me – I’ve been worrying about paying for this for a good 18 months.giphy-1

Now, that said, with that off my plate, I can turn my FULL attention to finishing off this debt.  I have put aggressive debt pay down on a back burner since September, as I worked to stash cash for the Bat Mitzvah. That’s about to change.

As I wrote earlier, the last of this credit card is getting erased this year.  I will not end 2019 with a penny of it still weighing me down.giphy-2

Milestones are key.  They are what have kept me motivated and on track for the past three years, and when I relaxed them in the latter half of last year, my momentum dramatically slowed.  With that in mind, here is my new list:

March  – balance below $3000

May – balance below $2500

July – balance below $1500

September – balance below $1000

November – DONE

So, a few words about this.

I am loving the fact that I basically hit a new milestone every other month.  Over the past three years, I often went 4, 5, or even 6 months before hitting a milestone.  While that was necessary, given the scope of the debt I was tackling, I am someone who loves checking boxes, so having meaningful and achievable milestones come so rapid fire makes this girl happy.

Most importantly,  I am hugely motivated by the fact that this debt is gone in 9 months.  Not two years, not a year…9 months!  After worrying and fretting about debt for…basically the last 13 years, and obsessing over paying it off for the past three, it is crazy (in a phenomenally good way) to realize that very soon I can obsess over all sorts of fun and lucrative financial goals.

When I look back at my financial life, I know that 2016 was, without a doubt, the year I got a grip and turned the tide.  But, even better, 2019 will be the year I started gaining speed in a forward direction.

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Long Sigh.

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So, yeah…that’s me.  I just went ahead and scheduled another balance transfer for the last of my credit card debt.  I have to say, this one was hard to do.  In the past, it has always just been a smart move to take advantage of these offers as I worked to pay down my debt.  And, intellectually, I know it is the smart thing to do now, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’m disappointed it has come to this.  Because doing this now, in February of 2019, is acknowledging that I am really, truly, not going to meet the goal I set for myself when I began this journey in 2016.  Even though I have pretty much known this would be the case for nearly six months, some part of me was hoping I could turn things around at last minute (I’ll be honest, I was hoping for a hefty tax refund to drop out of the sky as it has in past years, but … thanks to the Republicans and their shitty-ass tax legislation which is really nothing more than a reverse Robin Hood move, our tax burden actually went UP this year).

So, here I am.  Still.

 

Ok, Looking at the Numbers for Real Now

So, the bat mitzvah is over, but, not all of the expenses are.

As I mentioned in my last post, I did end up putting a bit on a credit card.

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So, I have a balance of $2750 with a payment due date of February 26th.  What’s my plan?

First, I will have $1250 accessible in my emergency fund by 2/26 (yes, I know, a party is not an emergency, but IMO, paying my debts and not accruing new ones constitutes as a good use of these funds).

Next, I have allotted $500 from February’s budget toward payment on this balance.  So, that leaves $1000 left.  As soon as our tax refund ($772) hits our account, I will put it all towards that.  The remaining $225ish will come out of March’s budget.  So, I may incur a small interest fee, but the bill will be in the clear by March.  Not terrible.

Of course, I will need to seriously rebuild our emergency fund.  I will do this through the biweekly $200 deposit I allocate toward it, as well as throwing a couple of anticipated random income streams (escrow refund – $500 and solar power credit payment   – $200ish) there, too.  I hope to have this fund fully replenished by the end of March.

So, where does that leave the status of the albatross around my neck last of my outstanding debt?  Well, mostly unchanged (cue the sad clown music).  The balance stands at $3495.  The end of the interest-fee grace period is rapidly approaching (February 17th).  I’m going to have to do another balance transfer.  Although the offer will give me a full year of zero interest, I’m still hell-bent on having this debt out of my life before the end of 2019.

 

Ok, 2019…Let’s Get ‘er Done!

I’m just back at work today after a glorious, 15 days off.  It was heaven.  Lots of lazy days with my family, lots of books read, lots of naps taken.  Lots of last minute to-dos for the upcoming Bat Mitzvah checked off.  Heaven!  I’m proud to report that it was a very “low spend” end of the year.  Holiday gifting was modest, extraneous shopping was non-existent, and we only splurged on one night out (dinner and a movie).  The week before I went on break, I busted my hump at my side hustle to earn a little fun money to cover the night, so it was a guilt-free spend, to boot.

So  now I am back, and ready to take this year by the…horns?  Reins?  I don’t actually know the metaphor, but however you say it, I’m ready to own 2019.  I’ve got some big goals I want to achieve this year and no better time to start on them then right away. Continue reading

Ok, the world isn’t ending

My last post sure did make it seem like it was, though…huh?  A couple of updates:

1.  We did not need to have the car repaired.  Once I called my husband and told him the price the dealer quoted us, he told them not to do the work, that he could do a workaround repair for a fraction of the cost.  When I went to pick up the car from their lot…miracle of miracles…The thing that broke, miraculously “unbroke” on its own.  Now, I think there’s a good chance that the underlying problem has not gone away, but I didn’t have to make a panic-driven repair payment of $1740, and we’ve got a plan in place to address the issue much more economically when it arises again.

2.  I have contacted Macys about removing the negative credit report.  The request is under consideration, but given my long and healthy track record and the fact that the overdue balance is now paid up, I am hopeful they will do the right thing.