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Another One Bites the Dust...

April 18th, 2009 at 12:56 am

And another one's down! We paid off the 2nd mortgage today! The car loan is the next one to go.

It feels so good to have that pesky little payment behind us. I had to log onto our bank account just to see those nice little zeros beside the words "Loan Balance".


April 10th, 2009 at 02:22 pm

Thanks to Aleta for the nice comment you left on my last post. That made me decide I needed to drop in here and do an update.

I am excited to announce that we should be debt-free by the end of this year!!! We will be paying off the little mortgage this month. I am really excited to do that. Then we'll be whittling away at the car.

Is anyone planning on attending Dave Ramsey's Town Hall for Hope on April 23rd? Our church is hosting it. I am in charge of getting it all together. I've never done anything like this before, so I hope I'm doing everything I need to do. I have no idea how many to expect. I just hope it's more than just my husband and me. LOL

I'm still working on my accounting degree. I only have another month left of this semester. It will be nice to have a summer break.

Encouraging Figuring

January 9th, 2009 at 11:39 pm

My last post expressed my frustration over not being able to snowball as much as we thought we could from the beginning of this year. Well, I decided tonight to run the numbers I am going to be able to apply toward our 2 debts and found out that we should still be out of debt (except the big mortgage) at the end of next year. That really encouraged me. That's not THAT far away!


January 8th, 2009 at 12:02 am

DH and I are going through FPU and we had decided that we are finally ready to take the step of stopping our retirement contributions temporarily so we can apply that money to the debt snowball. I had no problem stopping mine at work since I'm the one that does the payroll. DH went into his payroll department and was told that he can't stop his contributions until the beginning of the next quarter.

It's just very frustrating to finally have him on board and now we can't do this. It will really slow the debt snowball down. I guess I'm just anxious to get it done and get a fully-funded emergency fund.

Long Overdue Update

January 2nd, 2009 at 12:17 am

Wow, has it been a long time since I've written on this blog! Lots of changes for us in the past 7 months.

DS#1 is in his last semester of college. He is pursuing an art degree. DD#1 is taking a semester off of college and working to save money. DS#2 graduated high school and is now in paramedic school. He's working as an EMT and loves it. DS#3 is a junior in high school and working on getting his driver's license. DD#2 is in the 8th grade and is growing up way too fast!

DH and I are going through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. We bought the home kit and just finished the Dumping Debt lesson. We are no longer using credit cards. We should have mortgage #1 paid off this year and the car paid off next year. DH is really getting into it now that he sees it's not boring and it does work.

Our 24th anniversary is this Sunday. We celebrated by buying Walmart's cheapest DVD player ($30) because the Playstation 2 that we'd been using will not play the newer DVDs. We'll go out for dinner on Sunday and use gift cards that we received for Christmas.

I completed 2 more semesters towards my accounting degree. I have 6 more to go. This past semester I took 2 classes instead of just a single and it really worked out well so I'm doing the same this semester.

I have also met my weight goal with Weight Watchers in June and became a Lifetime member in July. Soon after I began working for them as a receptionist. I normally work one meeting a week, but sometimes substitute for others an manage to earn a bit more money. I really enjoy helping other people meet their weight goals.

All in all, 2008 was a pretty good year for our family. I'm hoping 2009 brings a lot of financial advances for us as we strive to pay off the debt.

Profit Share Check

March 4th, 2008 at 08:30 pm

Today DH received his spring profit share check. I am sending half of it to our gift savings account to cover gifts for the year and the rest is going in the house repair fund toward the new roof.

I would much rather apply the entire thing to the mortgage, but I know that we would then be in trouble later on and be tempted to borrow. So for now, it will sit in our ING account and earn some interest.

Getting a Little Nervous

February 21st, 2008 at 12:07 pm

I'm getting a little nervous about only having $1000 in my emergency fund. I know the reason that Dave Ramsey recommends that amount is because most emergencies will be under $1000. But with the car repairs (if the insurance hadn't covered them) being over $500 just for struts, that's a little too close for comfort for me.

I also think he recommends the $1000 so that it will spur you on to getting baby step #2 (pay off debts) done faster. I just feel like we're not really making much headway there because there always seems to be something else coming up.

I would really like to save another $1000 just to have a higher comfort level, but then it would be putting off getting the mortgage paid off even longer.

$8.00 in Change

February 8th, 2008 at 03:22 pm

I still have my change box in which I collect any change I receive. That includes change back from purchases, any coins found around the house, and most important of all, my "pay" for doing laundry from those who aren't wise enough to empty their pockets.

I rolled change yesterday and came up with $8.00. That is being deposited today and will go as extra on the mortgage payment at the end of the month.

A Sense of Urgency

February 7th, 2008 at 09:10 pm

The past few weeks I have felt a sense of urgency to get out of debt that I have not felt before.

I have been working on it steadily for about a year and a half now, but the crisis in the housing market and other economic indicators have really gotten me focused on getting out of debt as soon as possible.

The more I observe what is going on around me and hear the horror stories of couples hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, the more thankful I am that our debt is only $65,000.

I really want to get the debt out of the way and get a fully funded emergency fund built up, just in case.

Not What I Wanted

January 31st, 2008 at 12:15 pm

I sat down this morning to figure out how much I could pay on the mortgage payment that is due tomorrow. I want to pay $604.16, but looks like I'll only be able to pay $307.48, maybe a bit more depending on how much overtime is in DH's paycheck. But that's more than the minimum I have to pay of $235.34 so I guess that's better than nothing. The oven repair set me back this month and then the unexpected ER visit and DD#2's new medicine that she's taking for migraines.

I should be getting my first paycheck for the new bookkeeping job in a couple of weeks, so I'm planning on putting that on the mortgage.

And I've been told that I may be getting another bookkeeping job. I guess the librarian at the library just across the border in NY state is pushing for me to do their books for them. I went over a couple of weeks ago and helped her treasurer get their QuickBooks set up. When she heard that I do a monthly report for the libraries so that they know what they're spending, she was interested. Right now they pay an accountant to do their books. All he does is figure payroll and then inputs the yearly information into the annual report. He doesn't give them a monthly report so she never knows exactly how much she's spent on collection items or anything else for that matter. So keep your fingers crossed that she can convince her board to hire me!

Debt Reduction Revision

January 25th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Okay, so this morning I hear for sure that the max that a household is going to get from the stimulus pacakge is $1200. So I had to revise my Quicken Debt Reduction Planner.

With only $1200 put down on the mortgage it extends the payoff date to January 2009. At the end of the year there will only be a balance of $550 left on it though. I'm betting that I can find an extra $550 somewhere this year so that it can be paid off. That will be my challenge to myself.

DH also wants to buy a coal stove for the main part of the house to replace the wood pellet stove. We have found that the coal stove in the kitchen puts off much more heat and is more reliable than the pellet stove. So the money I save each week out of his paycheck will probably end up going for that.

We will probably also need to put a new roof on the main section of the house this year. The garage roof also needs replaced. Ack! So many expensive projects. It's going to make it a real challenge to pay off that mortgage, but I keep telling myself that it will be well worth it.

Stimulus Package

January 25th, 2008 at 12:04 am

According to
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Voice of America DH and I could be getting $2700 we weren't counting on this year. That's banking on reports that it would be $300 per child, with no limit to the number of children.

I reran my Quicken debt reduction planner, and if that is correct, mortgage #1 can be paid off this November and the car payment could be retired November of 2009.

Guard that Money!

January 24th, 2008 at 11:29 pm

We received an unexpected check in the mail today for $129.60. It is a rebate from our escrow account.

Guess where that check is going? Right into the checking account to be applied to that very same mortgage balance! I'll be making that payment on the 29th. Can't let much time lapse or something else will come along that will claim that money!

3 Debts in 3 Years

August 4th, 2007 at 09:08 pm

According to Quicken's Debt Reduction planner I will have 3 debts paid off in 3 years if I can continue to funnel as much money to them as I am now.

The furniture can be paid off in December 2007.

The smaller mortgage can be paid off in December 2008.

And the car loan can be paid off in December 2009.

That would be awesome! The only debt that would remain is the larger mortgage and that could be paid off in February 2013. Not bad at all!

Under $70,000!!!

June 27th, 2007 at 09:07 pm

I just wrote the check for the mortgage payment and our total debt is now below the $70,000 mark! My goal was to accomplish this by the end of the year and I've done it 6 months early! Yeah!!!

Aiming for the Bull's Eye

June 22nd, 2007 at 10:03 pm

I should be knocking out Goal #3 next week. I'll be paying an extra $260 on mortgage #1 which will bring overall debt below the $70,000 mark.

I have to seriously sit down now and come up with a set of goals for the rest of 2007.

Debt Payments

May 30th, 2007 at 12:46 am

On Thursday I will be paying an extra $233.90 on mortgage #1 and doubling my payment for this month on the furniture loan. This will bring our overall debt total down to $70,505.08. We're closing in on goal #3!

Feeling Squeezed

May 16th, 2007 at 10:35 am

I assume it's just the price of gas and the fact that we now have 7 to feed again for the summer since college is out, but I'm feeling the financial pinch. We just got rid of the credit card debt so you'd think that I'd have some extra money laying around. Not!

I am adding extra to the mortgage payment but that is all coming out of overtime pay.

I think what I need to do is get that EF back up to $1,000 and I'll probably relax a bit. It makes me nervous to not have some money tucked away, just in case.

Changed My Mind

May 6th, 2007 at 11:49 am

I've changed my mind on what debt I'm attacking next with my debt snowball. I've decided to roll my credit card payment onto mortgage #1 instead of the car loan. The mortgage has an interest rate of 9.38% and the car loan is 7.09%.

I can have the mortgage paid off in March of '09 at the rate I intend on paying. My challenge to myself will be to pay it off even sooner with extra money I can save and find.

This mortgage is the one that has our taxes and insurance escrowed into the payment. They are the bank that decided they weren't paying our fall taxes and never notified us so we were turned into a collection agency. I'd really like to be done with them as soon as possible.

Pay Off Mortgage or Car First?

April 9th, 2007 at 11:00 pm

Now that the credit card payoff is within sight I need to decide which loan I'm snowballing next. Should it be mortgage #1 or the car loan?

I have gone back and forth on this decision, but I'm leaning toward the car loan right now.

The mortgage has a higher interest rate than the car loan and has a lower balance. If I were to snowball into that loan it could be paid off in 2008.

But my thinking is that the car loan is for something that depreciates quickly and if we were to have to get another car and this loan were not paid off we'd be rolling a lot of money onto another loan.

What would you guys do?

Profit Sharing

March 7th, 2007 at 11:17 am

DH came home last night with his profit sharing check for $1124.42. Of course, $337 came right off the top to pay for those taxes that our escrow didn't pay. The rest went right into savings for house repairs.

I contacted the collection agency and they assured me that this will not show up on our credit. Anyone know if that is true??? I find it hard to believe. I paid the bill so it's taken care of and now I need to contact the escrow department at the main bank to find out why, if they weren't going to pay the bill, they didn't send it to us so that we knew it was due. I just don't understand that. How can we pay it if we don't know:

#1 how much it is
#2 when it is due
#3 that they didn't pay it
and #4 that the obligation even exists???


For 2 cents I would take the profit sharing check and our tax returns and pay off this little mortgage just to be done with them. Then I would receive my own tax bills and know that they are paid. Too bad we actually need to have heat though and the money has to go for that!

What the Heck???

March 6th, 2007 at 02:29 pm

This morning has not been a good one by any stretch of the imagination.

As soon as DH left for work this morning I walked back into the living room to find that the pellet stove was shutting down yet again. It's been doing that every couple of days lately. When it does this DH has to pull it out away from the wall, take all the pellets out of it and take it apart to clean the top auger. For some reason it is getting a build-up of something on it that prevents it from turning and feeding the pellets down so that they burn. So we started the day with no heat and the record lows for March of 1 degree with wind chills of -20.

Then I picked up the mail on the way to work and there are 2 notices from a debt collection agency that our school taxes from last fall were never paid by our escrow account! So I called our tax collector and she said that for some reason the bank did not pay anyone's taxes last fall (which they've always done before) and that she sent out notices so that we would know they hadn't been paid. I never got the notice. So now we've been turned over to the collection agency which is going to mess up our credit.

My question is...why didn't the bank let us know they were not paying them and why aren't they paying them??? This is how it's worked for 7 years now. It would have been nice to know that they changed things. The money to pay these taxes is included in our monthly payment. Would be nice if it was used for what it's intended for.

I'm very close to changing banks right now.