Righting the Ship

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WheresTheLight
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:24 am
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Re: Righting the Ship

Postby WheresTheLight » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:33 pm

Haha, there's some room in there for fun. I probably spend too much money at bars, to be honest.

My budget now is:

Monthly income (after health care & 8% 401k deferral):
Salary - $4275

Monthly expenses:
Mortgage - $1590
Power - $125
Water - $60
Internet - $50
Mobile - $70
Gas - $200

Debt repayment:
Auto - $1000 ($390 minimum, extra to principal); should be paid off Sep. 2012
HELOC - $300 ($40 minimum, extra to principal)

Savings:
Irregular bills - $100 (auto insurance, registration renewal, gifts)

That leaves me close to $800 a month for personal and household needs, going out with friends, and other random things (like my cat's $200 vet bill last week).

My mortgage payment should drop a little next year due to declining property value (taxes), and I'd like to use that to bump up my 401(k) and HSA contributions. Beyond that, I'm starting to ponder the idea of selling the car once its paid for and using the money to pay off my HELOC and buy a cheap used truck. This would get me to my goal of have no debt outside of my primary mortgage a year ahead of schedule.

fantasma
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Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
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Re: Righting the Ship

Postby fantasma » Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:12 pm

Cheap trucks have issues...that's my only issue with that idea. Also since you've had the car all this time, you've taken care of it. Know its history, whereas buying a nused truck that you know nothing about :^) ...
Be what you want to attract.

WheresTheLight
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:24 am
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Re: Righting the Ship

Postby WheresTheLight » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:49 am

Well, I got my final paycheck for the year and scheduled the last of 2011's bills. Now I know where I stand...

2011's highlights:
- Emergency fund still at $5K
- Paid off a 401k loan I carried into 2011
- Paid off my student loan early
- Started paying extra principal on my car
- Still chipping away at my HELOC balance (under $15K now)
- Bought a motorcycle (with cash!)

2011's lessons:
- Emergency fund still at $5K; I really want this number to be $10K+
- Raise HSA contribution; I had minor surgery in late August, wiped out the small amount I had in my HSA. I was able to up my HSA contribution to make up for the difference, but I really should be saving at least enough to cover my annual deductible
- Squirrel away a small amount of money every month for Christmas gifts; I'll be carrying a small balance on my 0% interest CC until next month. Should have saved!

Goals for 2012:
- Pay off car (January - September)
- Start aggressively paying down HELOC (October - December)

That's really about it. 2011 was an exciting year because I had many smaller goals going in. 2012 will be fewer goals, but bigger results!

One nice thing, even with conservative valuations on my house and despite being underwater on the mortgage, I'm (barely) in the black on net worth! Not bad considering I went into 2011 close to $25K in the red!

Ellie
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:23 am
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Re: Righting the Ship

Postby Ellie » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:01 am

You have done great with sustained discipline and commitment, good for you! Good for you also that you are looking to the future, not looking back in bitterness. Congrats on all the goals you have reached. I'm glad you were able to add a "fun" item to your life (the motorcycle)--just be careful!

WheresTheLight
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:24 am
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Re: Righting the Ship

Postby WheresTheLight » Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:53 am

Thanks Ellie!

Paying off the car right now is the biggest thing that I'm struggling with, discipline-wise. I really miscalucated when I bought it; having your only car be a sporty car (Mazda RX8) stinks.

The one place I do poorly on w/ financial goals is my cars. I'm too impulsive. That's why I'm forcing myself to pay it off. Not only will that make it easier to sell it private party (clear title in hand) and avoid getting screwed by a dealership, but it gives me a long period to evaluate what I want my next car to be.

EDIT: The motorcycle is also turning out to be a decent purchase financially. I'm spending about $100 less a month on gas and it's keeping the wear-and-tear on my car to a minimum. Also, my car insurance rate dropped over 20% because I drive it so infrequently now. The money saved on my car insurance actually covers my motorcycle insurance!

N2Deep
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Location: Arkansas
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Re: Righting the Ship

Postby N2Deep » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:58 pm

WheresTheLight wrote:EDIT: The motorcycle is also turning out to be a decent purchase financially. I'm spending about $100 less a month on gas and it's keeping the wear-and-tear on my car to a minimum. Also, my car insurance rate dropped over 20% because I drive it so infrequently now. The money saved on my car insurance actually covers my motorcycle insurance!


Talk about a stroke of luck.

Hopefully in a couple of years I'll have my bills down low enough that I can replace the bike I sold. Right now Im really jonsin for another bike, but I've been fighting back that urge. Really don't have the $$$'s in the budget for that expense.
I can not dwell over that to which I have no control...


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