$1639.23

That is the amount to be capitalized to my student loan.

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Ugh, right? Now I’ll have even more interest accrue once it’s capitalized at the end of the month.

And, despite a post I made earlier this year, that monthly payment reversion on my ICR to over $500 a month was temporary. I had thought they had accessed my tax return and upped the price automatically, but it turns out I needed to submit my return, some paperwork and basically re-up my ICR for another year. Starting next month, my monthly payment is approximately $292 a month. But, this does not cover the amount of interest calculated monthly.

I have a couple of decisions to make here though. If I just pay around $300 a month, that will free up another $225 a month to put towards the credit cards. And once those are paid off, I can re-evaluate how much month I want to pay toward my student loan monthly. OR, once the interest is capitalized, I can re-figure how much interest my student loan accrues monthly, pay above that amount so that I can start making a dent into that principle and make sure I have no more letters like that telling me I have even more money to pay. If I were to go with option one, I would be done paying off the credit cards by November if I take into account teaching dance again in September. If I go option two, I’m looking at probably paying off the credit cards in January. Option one would also allow some leeway at Christmas time and once the new year starts, I could start more aggressively paying my student loan. Option two, the more aggressive payments would be held off for another month or two.

I don’t have much audience participation on my blog, but I would love to know your thoughts on what you would do. Are you like me and go for the immediate gratification of paying off the credit cards as quickly as possible, or start trying to kill the principle on the student loan now and go for the longer credit card pay off?

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I Peeked….

I finally looked at CC2 the other day…

Not only did my spending the past month negate what I paid off on CC1 last month, it exceeded it by a few hundred dollars. After some quick scrambling, it’s down to $3200 even. I could have paid more, but I held back a bit because new kitten needs her shots and I need to get a couple more Christmas gifts. I want to do as much of that as I can with one of my debit cards, so I needed to leave some money in the account.

See, I’m trying to be a little responsible here!

Obviously, it changes the landscape of the debt payoff a bit. I was originally hoping to have everything paid off by April if I were conservative in my estimates. Now we are looking at June, if I’m not aggressive, though I am not sure how much more aggressive I can be- going into January, I’ll easily be paying $1200-$1400 a month on my debts, which is approximately 63-73% of my income.

The landscape currently is CC2- $3200 and Cosmetic Loan- $3450ish, but I just paid $550 (I don’t have online access to this, so I can’t say how much that has actually shaved off once interest has been accounted for), so we’re looking at roughly $6100-$6650 owed on those two debts. My $1200-$1400 in payments include my student loan payment, which I had hoped to up come January, but will keep at $250 for now, so when it comes to the other two debts, I’m really only paying $950-$1150 a month. AND I still have a wedding to pay for and a house to fix….

It’s a little bit discouraging. Yes, my ace in the hole could prove a huge benefit if I just made a simple phone call, but that’s only if I get what I want, which there’s always the chance that I won’t. But I also don’t want to rely on it either, no matter how much or little I may get. I need to learn how to budget smartly and effectively, learn to use more constructive means of dealing with stress (instead of shopping…) and do things without the help of others.

Once I get more details of my wedding planned and I’m able to balance life and work a bit better, I’ll reopen the question of extra income again. I babysat for that friend and made some money, which is great, but I really just don’t have the time and energy right now. I missed some chances to earn cash doing market research earlier this month, so hopefully more opportunities will come along again, sooner rather than later. I’ll continue to plan and pursue, but yet again, I’ve hit a wall.

Time for a Blog? Me?!?

I know, I know. I’m a week overdue for my December Debt Picture.

Past two weeks have been insanely busy, stressful and I was battling the un-flu last week as well. It’s been hard to want to do what I need to do.

And, honestly, this month’s picture isn’t super pretty.

I really have not wanted to look at my debt. I HAVE paid off CC1 minus $13 on interest from last month’s balance, but there was a glitch with the cosmetic loan and my monthly payment was not paid. CC2 is probably way up too thanks to new kitty bills, Christmas gifts, and I have to admit, I might have been stress shopping some. So, what I paid off on CC1 is probably null when I factor in CC2 [over]use.

Awesome Things Have Started to Take Shape

Last month, I did a small experiment. I put $300 in one of my checking accounts, and used that debit card to pay for my gas and food and small extras. I used it all, and then had to use my other debit card for one more gas tank fill (approximately $44). This month I put in $350. Hopefully that will get me to the end of the month, and if that does it means I have successfully shaved $50 off my monthly livings expenses.

One of the those small extras was a weekly automatic $5 transfer from checkings to savings. I really want to build up my savings account more, like I’ve discussed before, and I figure an easy, small weekly transfer won’t be missed and will help me build up my savings some. I will continue this, and as things get paid off I’ll be able to increase that amount.

I also sold some stuff on eBay! A Coach purse, some Harry Potter stuff (yes, I’m that kind of nerd) and I’m working on selling some music boxes now. I tried selling one of my music boxes, but no one bought it so I will try again. But, I’ve sold three things and after shipping expenses, I’ll have netted around $50, so I can’t complain- every little bit helps. Less clutter too (thank God- I watch “Hoarders” and start freaking out about all this crap I own, so less muss, less fuss).

I tried getting any babysitting gigs I could via Craigslist, but it didn’t work (got one nibble, but that person needed a weekday babysitter). A friend, however, needs me to babysit her kids one night and I’ll do that for a little extra cash.

Finally, remember that ace in the hole? Well, there is a certain medical aspect to it, and I discussed it with my doctor. I think I’m ready to call the ace in the hole and get it dealt with, so I’m not counting a December debt kill down and out yet.

I may or may not post the picture for this month, I’m still trying to gain the courage to look at how much damage has been done to the one credit card. Stay tuned…

Revenue Highs and Woes

The good news first.

Health insurance with my new job kicks in next week, which means I can ditch my mediocre individual insurance that I pay out of pocket!

I’m going to start teaching a class on Thursday nights at my pole fitness studio!

….And that’s about it.

Now the bad news.

I took the most expensive health insurance plan. I thought it was $160 a month, which would have still been cheaper than what I’ve been paying out of pocket for my individual plan. I found some documents to suggest that it’s actually $160 a paycheck. Holy shit! I emailed HR today to try to resolve it. We’ll see. 😦

I no sooner gain a dance class than I will probably lose one. Went to teach my tap classes, and my beginner class which hasn’t run in years only had one kid and we were both miserable the whole class. If there are no other students signed up, the class will get ditched. I’m hoping the hole can be filled with private dance student lessons, but we will see. In some ways I’m not too disappointed though because teaching three dance classes a night can be absolutely exhausting even if it’ll mean less money for my bottom line.

Other prospects yet?

None, I have absolutely no prospects for more additional income. I have great intentions going into the weekends to look and research ideas, but then I get out of bed on Saturdays and Sundays and have absolutely no motivation to do anything. Lack of motivation and caring got me into the mess I’m in now, so I had better find some soon.

It’s not much of a post tonight. I figured a decent public self-shaming might rev me up a bit. I’m looking forward to posting my debt numbers in a few days and sharing the progress. But don’t expect any progress notes on my budget, I still suck at staying in the lines and September illustrated that to me.
Until next time!

Got My Mind on My Money, Money on My Mind

I have to admit, ever since I decided to tackle my debt and get out from underneath it all, I think about my money as I fall asleep.

(That isn’t me, just a stock image I found in my word processing program. 🙂 )

Any way, I wouldn’t say I count dollars signs as they jump over fences, or stay awake endlessly worrying and fretting over money, but I probably stay awake a little longer than normal because I want to succeed so badly! I want to just log-in to my bank account tomorrow, see a ton of money magically appear there, pay off all my debts and POOF! DONE!

But that isn’t reality.

I have to work hard for my money, and then I have to work even harder to pay down my debts using self-control, which I admittedly lack. I fall asleep thinking about my paychecks, when I’ll receive them, how much will probably come in them (I’m so excited that I will soon know exactly how much money I’ll get in my paychecks every period, as opposed to this craziness of working such varying hours every pay period), what debts and obligations the money will be delegated to and how much time that will shave off my timeline.

I’ll be happy for the days as they come along that I’ll hit the “Pay Balance” buttons on my accounts and know that I do not have to worry about that debts anymore (barring some disaster, knock on wood). I still don’t have a definite timeline- right now it’s looking good for the first credit card to be paid by December. But, as time moves along, life could throw me curve balls, but hopefully with the strategic planning I’m constantly doing, those curve balls won’t knock me out.