Making an Effort, No matter how small

I take time every week or so to reconcile my dads accounts (I reconcile my own daily). His checking, the checking I opened for him for his spending money, and any credit accounts he has that have an online system are kept watch of.

I’ve noticed recently that dad has taken it upon himself, without any sort of prodding from me, to start paying double on his Tractor Supply account (his largest account with the most ridiculous interest rate). He still spends money on this account for feed for the animals and occasional odds and ends, but the money he pays back onto this account covers that -and- his minimum payment.

So, slowly but surely he is actually reducing the amount of money on that account all on his own. This is a very good thing, and I am proud.

I’m sure it helps that he no longer has to go the wound-care center, which was costing $112/month in treatments + $50/week in gas, approximately.

He is making an effort, and making small progress. That is what counts. Now if only I could curb some of his spending :) But one step at a time.

In other news, I got a surprising rebate today from my USAA card of almost $50. Hey, free $50 automatically placed onto debt repayments. I like this idea.

I’ve also noticed I am anxiously awaiting my bi-yearly auto-insurance bill. In fact I’ve been quite impatient about it, checking every day HOPING(??!) I can go ahead and send the money in that I saved up over the last 6 months. I started doing that 2 years ago and it saves me quite a bit of money paying the entire 6 months at once rather than each much individually. I just round up what they normally charge me and divide it by 6. That’s my payment to myself every month. After 6 months, I just send them a check with that money. Any excess (usually $50 or so) is usually placed towards any other debt or savings available. No stress, no worry.

To think in 2003 I let my car insurance lapse because I didn’t have the money to pay it that month. And it cost $150 extra to get it back on. Blah.

Read More...

Yes, Money stresses even me out sometimes :)

People think I always have it together, financially. For the most part I do. I didn’t always, but that’s a whole other post for another day (and one I’ve been meaning to make again here sometime soon). But the last month has been particularly stressful, and I generally sit down and think about what I plan to do to trudge through the next 3 months. Usually this is done through blog posts.

The current status:
Well, first off, my bills are fine. I never have any trouble paying my regular bills, because I make them #1 priority. The first one being the house, obviously. Still to this day I see people who are late on rent, forget to pay rent, can’t pay rent, because they spend money on other things first (chinese take-out and tattoos anyone? Seriously?). ALWAYS pay your mortgage/rent first, and figure out the rest later. If you don’t have a place to stay, if you are foreclosed on or evicted, it’s going to hurt you a lot in the long run.

Now that my mini-rant is over…

So yes, my bills are fine, no concerns there. My current struggle is with debt repayment and putting money back into savings. I am about a month away from getting my savings back up to “acceptable” emergency level. That is going to continue, and once I hit that level, I will stop putting money into savings again until the debt is gone. Once the debt is gone, then everything goes back into savings again. See how that works?

The Stress:
The debt however, I’ve become a victim of my own advice. With recent events concerning my dads emergency gall bladder surgery, now his truck breaking down again as of last night (after I bought my vinegar, argh), I’ve attempted to pay off two debts at once. 1. My fathers recent situations, and 2. my last personal loan debt from a friend. Doing both at once over the last month has not been helping, simply because you’re making less of an impact, while other stuff starts “piling up”. That’s why in my Personal Finance class, I say to make your minimum payments, and put everything else on one debt until that debt is gone.

So while I do feel bad that I’m going to have to reduce paying back my friend, and even moreso not reaching my goal of having them paid back by December 2010, it’s going to be better in the long run. I don’t know how much fixing my dads car and truck is going to cost me, but whatever it costs it is going to charge me interest. So I’m going to have to pay it off as priority. But I will be at least sending some money to my friend in the interim.

The concern now though, how much is all of this automotive work going to cost me? Catalytic Converters, some other thing I forget, and yearly inspection for dads car. A tow to a mechanic and then whatever the mechanic fees are for dads truck. I can’t imagine getting out of there for any less than $1000.

The sad irony is, I do plan to buy my dad a new used vehicle eventually (in cash, no car loan). AFTER the debts are gone besides the house. Theoretically I was hoping for September 2011 as a birthday gift. It may still happen, it may not. If we can get these two vehicles working enough to last another year and a half, I will be very happy.

Read More...

Dad’s Loan Debt Reduction: August 2009 [FINAL PAYMENT]

I’m keeping track of my payments towards my father’s debt reduction to kinda see the progress as we reach my goal of having his loan paid off by September 2009. So expect these posts monthly! Each month, seeing the progress should hopefully motivate me to stay on track with this.

  • Starting Balance of Loan in January: $5388.14
  • Starting Balance in August 2009: $493.62
  • Total Payments in August: $527.17
  • Total Payments YTD: $5516.41
  • Total Finance Charges For August 2009: $2.35
  • Total Finance Charges YTD: $97.07
  • Starting Balance for September: -$31.20 (which will be applied to the next round of debt)
  • $0 Goal: September 2009 PWNED

Notes for this month:
Well that did it, it took 8 months (actually longer than I anticipated because February was such a bad month), but my original goal was to have it paid off by September 2009 and I did it on August 14th. You can view all of the payments and notations throughout the last 8 months. My dad has had this balance for years and I conquered it in 8 months.

Now I will continue doing monthly posts like this as I meet two more big goals. 1. To pay off all remaining interest-accruing debt (about $2600 worth from me taking over dads tractor supply bill and getting his truck fixed etc). And 2. Paying back the last person who loaned us money for the down payment on our home ($5,000). The goal is to complete both of those by December 2010. It will take slightly longer only because after the interest-accruing debt is gone, I plan to start putting a little more away into savings again, so my payments will be smaller.

I will keep charts on my blog of my progress as well.

See also: July, June, May, April, March, February, January

Read More...

Dad’s Loan Debt Reduction: July 2009

I’m keeping track of my payments towards my father’s debt reduction to kinda see the progress as we reach my goal of having his loan paid off by September 2009. So expect these posts monthly! Each month, seeing the progress should hopefully motivate me to stay on track with this.

  • Starting Balance of Loan in January: $5388.14
  • Starting Balance in July 2009: $990.74
  • Total Payments in July: $507.63
  • Total Payments YTD: $4989.24
  • Total Finance Charges For July 2009: $10.51
  • Total Finance Charges YTD: $94.72
  • Starting Balance for August: $493.62
  • $0 Goal: September 2009

Notes for this month:
No news of note this month. Just anxiously, impatiently waiting for August 15th when the balance will be NEGATIVE (which just applies to the tractor supply debt anyway). I guess I should note that dad is no longer mowing the old neighbors lawns, so he doesn’t have any extra money coming in anymore unless he gets lawns up here, which he’s gonna try to do. The old women from the old neighborhood were kinda taking advantage of him and he had enough of it I think. So this is gonna put a damper on finances for a bit. Fortunately we’ll have all interest accruing debt gone this year besides the house.

I will note I also got a $6 rebate on my credit card, which I applied towards this balance.

See also: June, May, April, March, February, January,

Read More...

Dad’s Loan Debt Reduction: June 2009

I’m keeping track of my payments towards my father’s debt reduction to kinda see the progress as we reach my goal of having his loan paid off by September 2009. So expect these posts monthly! Each month, seeing the progress should hopefully motivate me to stay on track with this.

  • Starting Balance of Loan in January: $5388.14
  • Starting Balance in June 2009: $1509.77
  • Total Payments in June : $527.17
  • Total Payments YTD: $4481.61
  • Total Finance Charges For June 2009: $8.14
  • Total Finance Charges YTD: $84.21
  • Starting Balance for July: $990.74
  • $0 Goal: September 2009

Notes for this month:
Finally got the balance under a grand. I may have it paid off by the end of July if my side work money comes in. I put a little extra on this month because I thought it’d be more motivating for me to see it in the triple digits.

See also: May, April, March, February, January,

Read More...