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 Post subject: Re: Journey into debt reduction (Round 2)
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:03 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:48 am
Posts: 526
Location: Arkansas
I won a bout of "I wanna". I wanted something real abad but didn't have the cash. First thing that crossed my mind was... Hey, I got some space on my credit card because I just paid it off.

Thankfully I was smart enough to take them out of my wallet way back when. Because of this I was able to ward off that "I wanna" by the time I got back to where I could get my hands on them.

I also didn't want to buy it with the cash I had on hand because that was my eFund and quite frankly this wasn't an emergency.

Then just as I succeed with this battle and I'm enjoying my victory I get slapped across the face with an emergency.

My dog tried to play chicken with a vehicle and lost. :swear: By the time I left the vet's office I deposited $230 into their account. Thankfully it was only a glancing blow and nothing was broken. She was however hurt bad enough that she wanted to eat the vet when he started poking on her leg. She came unglued.

So I guess my exercise in money management was a wash because that was close to what I would have spent on my "I wanna". At least I had it in the eFund though.

In other news... I also started reading "Your Money or your life". Maybe it will shed some light on my financial dysfunction.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey into debt reduction (Round 2)
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:27 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:57 am
Posts: 374
That's not a wash. That's a clear win. You paid for the emergency with your e-fund! Yay! :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: Journey into debt reduction (Round 2)
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 4:32 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:48 am
Posts: 526
Location: Arkansas
There hasn't been a whole lot going on with the financial front. I have been kinda on auto pilot and I'm not sure if that's a good thing but it is what it is.

The reason for this post however is to share a nice moment I had the other day. As I had posted earlier... I had paid off one of my credit cards. I had paid the amount the customer service lady said I owed and as it turns out I over paid by $0.28

Well I kept forgetting to call BOA and have them send me a check for my credit. The other day for some reason a suggested video came up on youtube in reguards to BOA shafting one of it's clients that produces firearms. I am a huge backer of the 2nd admendment to the constitution and that was the push I needed to call BOA.

I called BOA and told them to send me my refund and while I had him on the phone I told him to cancel my account with BOA. I no longer wanted to do business with them.

Of course you know he had to ask why :)

I told him of the stories I had read where BOA screwed over their clients and the latest with the firearms manufacturer. I told them that I was tired of playing russian roulette with BOA and that I was putting down the gun before the hammer didn't land on an empty chamber. It was only a matter of time before BOA screwed me over like they have so many other folks.

I figured I was better off without them.

I felt pretty good after that phone call.

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I can not dwell over that to which I have no control...


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 Post subject: Re: Journey into debt reduction (Round 2)
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 4:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:48 am
Posts: 526
Location: Arkansas
I must be having one of those days. I guess I do have something to report on the financial front. I just forgot about it.

In the past month or so I have been doing some thinking on where I want my life to go and how I want to live my life.

I have decided that I want to remove myself from the consumerism lifestyle that I have been living and work on a more self sufficient lifestyle. That thought process brought about other issues. I am without a doubt a techno geek. I love my computers and the web. Over the years I have built several websites and I pay for web hosting yearly.

Since I sold the business my websites have mainly consisted of sites for my hobbies and thus my hosting was costing me money. The other day I changed my hosting options from "auto renew" to "manual renew". As of this moment... my goal is to let August come and go without renewing my hosting.

Once I get all my info downloaded and my email addy's changed over chances are real good that I'll forget about renewing. That would save me around $120 a year. While that is not a lot... it will help later down the line. One day maybe I can even do away with my cell and internet connection but I dont see that happening anytime soon.

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I can not dwell over that to which I have no control...


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 Post subject: Re: Journey into debt reduction (Round 2)
PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 1:23 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:47 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Ontario, Canada
I think autopilot is a good thing if you've got you debt repayment plan on track. Keep up the good work!

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 Post subject: Re: Journey into debt reduction (Round 2)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 12:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:48 am
Posts: 526
Location: Arkansas
Ok... need your advice.

I am seriously considering letting my life insurance go. It's not a whole lot but I'm getting to the point I think it is a waste of my money. I pay $33 per quarter for 100k. I got this back when I was probably 19 or 20 and I am now 39. I don't have a wife or kids and I dont forsee any in the near or even remotely distant future. I am kinda torn so I would love to hear what you think.

In your opinion...

what is the pros and cons to keeping it?
what is the pros and cons to dumping it?

I either need to make a decision quickly (It's due again) or pay for yet another quarter of coverage while I decide.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey into debt reduction (Round 2)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 1:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 959
Who would it go to if something happened?

Would it cover you if you were in an accident and became handicapped?

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 Post subject: Re: Journey into debt reduction (Round 2)
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 3:48 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:48 am
Posts: 526
Location: Arkansas
fantasma wrote:
Who would it go to if something happened?

Would it cover you if you were in an accident and became handicapped?


It would go to my parents and I don't think it covers me in those situations. I think it is strickly a life insurance policy.

It also has no cash value :(

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 Post subject: Re: Journey into debt reduction (Round 2)
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 4:04 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
I always read that life insurance is for married people or people with kids. I would cancel it. You don't have $ for this unnecessary, extra expense.


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 Post subject: Re: Journey into debt reduction (Round 2)
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 3:13 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:47 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Ontario, Canada
It might be worth keeping $10,000 or so to cover a funeral, but other than that you don't need it.

It is much more important to have disability insurance. If something happens to your ability to work, then you'd be in trouble.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey into debt reduction (Round 2)
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 4:39 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1721
Location: Ottawa, Canada
If you have no dependents (and it sounds like you don't), and you have no co-signers on any of your loans, then cancel it immediately. It is a total and complete waste of money for you.

Life insurance is intended to replace your income for people who depend on you financially. The salesmen spin it much more broadly than that, but that's because they want the commission from selling you an expensive policy you don't need.


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 Post subject: Re: Journey into debt reduction (Round 2)
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 4:06 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:06 am
Posts: 50
I agree with the posters who say 'cancel it'.

While setting up my mortgage a few months ago I had every man and his dog trying to sell me a variety of life insurance products. Why? I have no dependents, all my nearest and dearest are financially secure, and my savings and assets will cover funeral expenses and mortgage payback with plenty left over to bequeath.

The only conclusion I can draw is that people love a COMMISSION and will happily talk up the most unnecessary products in order to obtain one.

Disability or income protection insurance, on the other hand, is something that might come in very handy for you as it sounds as though you might not have the cash cushion to cover your expenses should you need to take an extended period off work (e.g. broken leg, cancer).

One more thing - in Australia many people already have some life/disability insurance as a default option through their superannuation. Maybe make sure you don't already have some cover through your employer or pension plan before doubling up.


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 Post subject: Re: Journey into debt reduction (Round 2)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:13 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:48 am
Posts: 526
Location: Arkansas
Since this year is about to come to a close I suppose I should update this thread.

This year has been a rollercoaster of a ride and the last few weeks haven't been any better they've been worse. It's like life would throw me a curve ball and then it would come back and pop me in the back of the head.

Anyhow...at the first of the year I set out a goal for my debt reduction. I missed the mark. I missed it by about 3 grand. My debt did go down in 2012 but not as much as I was hoping for. Some was due to lack of funds, but most was due to my dumb :swear: adding to it.

Now for the good... by the end of Dec first of Jan I should have my mower paid for. This will open up 113 a month and give me some breathing room. Right now things are way to tight for my liking.

If I can maintain my payoff schedule then I'll have my largest monthly payment (448) gone by December 2013. Scratch that.... Because I maintaned my payoff schedule, I'll have my largest monthly payment (448) gone by December 2013.

Over the course of the last few months I have been trying something different on the financial front. Instead of just moving numbers around on paper... I have physically been saving $20 a paycheck and adding whatever little bit I could to it. I was able to save $500 and I have been reluctant to touch it. That was until two days ago. Now I've had to pull out $200 to repair my property because of vandials. Thankfully I had the cash on hand, but I'd rather not have touched it. I was shooting for $800 as my next goal. This new tactic has however sparked a new desire.. and that's to see just how high I can go.

Considering all the ups and downs this year... I'd say that is a very good thing. Maybe I have finally found something that will help me stay true to my journey and hold the course. Next year will be the true test I guess. Over the next few day's I'll set up some goals for 2013. Some will be achieveable... some will require serious dedication. Kinda like setting the debt reduction at 8 grand...then the serious dedication at 9 grand. Doesn't seem like much, but when you're cut to the bone already... it makes a huge difference on how you live.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey into debt reduction (Round 2)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:48 am
Posts: 526
Location: Arkansas
2013 is going to be a challenging year, but I think I am up to the task. I have set some lofty goals and I am going to do my best at achieving them.

Even though my debt reduction didn’t go completely to plan in 2012, I learned some valuable lessons. I was able to reduce my debt load by $4360. This is a bit shy of the $8000 reduction that I wanted, but even the missed goal isn’t a complete loss. This is the first year in a long time that my debt actually went down vs. going up. At least I am heading in the right direction.

As I mentioned above, my 2013 goals are a bit lofty but I think they are achievable.

In 2013 I plan on reducing my debt load by $8500.
In 2013 I plan on increasing my savings to $1000.
In 2013 I plan on increasing my eFund to $500.
In 2013 I plan on increasing my retirement value by $4000. (compared to its value on 12/23/12)

Debt Reduction…

While this is the largest amount of my goals, I don’t think it’s going to be the hardest to achieve. Two days ago I was able to pay off my mower. That opens up $113 a month. Of that 113, $93 each month will go with whatever else I can put towards my debt reduction. Currently I am budgeting $100 a month so this would bring it up to $193 plus any extra I can find. My main debt reduction goal is to get my big loan paid off. This will open up $448 a month. It will be a stretch, but I should be able to accomplish this in 2013.

Savings…

As mentioned above, I finally paid off my mower. Out of that 113, I am adding $20 each month into my savings on top of the $40 each month I am already tossing into savings. I also add my change to savings when I cash it in. This is going to be one of my hardest goals to achieve. Not because of the amount, but because of how I have been using my savings. My savings is more of a holding location for items that I want, but I also want the security that comes from having the cash back in reserve. Right now I am trying to build my cash reserves up to $500 (was there before vandals and Christmas came along). IMO utilizing my savings this way helps me not only save some cash, but also helps keep me from adding to my debt load.

eFund…

My eFund is currently a little anemic. It is only at $200 and my goals are to increase it to $500. This goal should be easily achievable in 2013. Whenever I have a little extra at the end of the month, I’ll roll it over into the eFund until I get to my goal. After that all extra will go towards debt reduction or retirement… whichever one looks like it needs it the most to reach the goal.

Retirement…

Under my current goal system this one will be the most difficult to achieve. It not only requires me to add $$$ to my retirement, but also requires the market to be kind. Due to me having multiple accounts, it seemed easier to just make a goal for overall retirement value vs. trying to figure out how much was added to each account. I may have to rework this goal since I am not the only one that it hinges on. What are your thoughts? I currently have a couple ways to increase my retirement value. A percentage of my check goes towards retirement, and I am planning on using any extra in my check from overtime or holidays towards my retirement goals.

And there is one last goal for 2013… To spend more time, and participate more often on this site. I do value all input, and I do consider each tidbit of advice given. I am also going to try and do bi-weekly updates on my progress. If I am on schedule each paycheck then I should be able to pull off the yearly goals.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and following along.

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 Post subject: Re: Journey into debt reduction (Round 2)
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:37 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 959
Look into what is it exactly that sidetracks you from progress and slowly change that.

If you do this every year....how do you make it different this year so that you can actually progress?

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