Wednesday, June 21, 2017

401(k) Progress

A quick but exciting update. I officially have more in my 401(k) than in my emergency fund. This has been a bit of a goal of mine.
Every increase or promotion- I increase my retirement contribution. It really increases twice. Once because I'm making more money so at the same percentage it's still more. And then again increased by upping the percentage.
It's still not a lot, but it's a start. I have to remember about the time I asked J$ how much I needed to retire....he advised just to start saving and go from there.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

June Networth

I have something scary to admit. I've stopped updating my budget spreadsheet. Really it's a little nuts.  

I feel like I've kind of figured out what I typically spend and have curbed a lot of my really bad habits. I know lately I've been eating out more than I should. Also I've put a little too much on my credit cards. Good thing is I've been paying them off right away.

The thing is, I want to pay down this debt. I'm trying to pay as much as possible each month. So maybe that's why I haven't budgeted lately. I'd rather not put money aside for groceries I don't buy that month. I'll set aside some spending money and then just go from there.

Still - even though I've become more lax lately - I'm making good progress. I'm at -37,691.69. That's better than last month and putting me ahead of pace for my goal of $14,000 paid off this year.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May Networth - Overall Trend

Hey Everyone!

First of all, thanks for reading! A friend from college - Hi Zoe! - mentioned she reads and it reminded me why I'm doing this. I want people to hear my unique point of view and hopefully it will resonate a little bit with them.

Things are still plugging along. I've slowed a little the last couple months, but still on the right path.

I'm at a - 39,390.37.  That's exciting enough right there. I only have two Parent Plus loans left. I'll move onto my auto loan next. My reason for targeting these loans has first of all been the nasty interest, but also getting a little more independence since those my parents helped me get. 

Look how far I've come! I've paid off over $25,000 in debt. I've increased my 401(k) and haven't touched my emergency fund. P.S. - I increased my income by about $1000 each month - but it took time. I also make $0 from this blog.

It's the small wins combined with the overall trend. Here's to another month and another chance to make some progress. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

I Got a Credit Card

I did something I'm not sure many FI bloggers talk about. I got a credit card. I'm 24 guys, so I don't really have much credit, but what I do have is good.

I've considered credit cards with some rewards or cash back. I'm not really going to get approved for those. Some have fees that don't really make the cash back worthwhile.

My search really started when my debit card expired and I was trying to get a hotel room for work. I didn't have the new card yet to replace the expired one.

I've decided to go with a credit card at my local credit union. I get a good interest rate of only about 8%. I intend to only use the credit card for work related purchases. I get reimbursed, so I can pay it off easily. Also it will allow me to not personally budget for work trips as well.

Overall, I think it's a step in a good direction. The limit is only $500, so I can watch myself and see if I can handle it.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Living on one Paycheck

Have you ever looked at Pinterest for something besides Whole30 recipes and new crafts? My "feed" is flooded with budget tips, cupcakes, and bullet journaling - even though I never crack open a journal.
I really enjoy searching for new debt free journey tips and trackers.  It's nice to see other people are on my journey. Time after time I see stories of people who "paid off $45,000 of debt in two months" or "how I made $20,000 on my blog last month". Honestly, those make me scoff. They likely aren't real or not like my situation.
I keep seeing another topic on the order of "how to live off one income". I think - HEY THAT'S ME! But then I realize that they're talking about how families do it with only one parent working.
Still. It's a concept I can kind of go with. Right now, with raises and such my goal is to live off half my income.
Half of my income goes to my food, drinks, insurance, fun, miscellaneous, auto loan payment, and one of my student loan payments. The other half goes towards my target for my debt avalanche. Lately some of the other area has been coming over - so it's a work in progress.
So here's me - successfully living on one paycheck!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Extra Cash - New Dryer

I'm very fortunate to work for a company that gives out a yearly bonus, if we make our company goals. I also had a relatively large tax refund this year.

I've been smart and put some toward savings and some right away toward my loans. This bonus though surprised me a little. It's the first time I've ever gotten one. I asked my mom her thoughts and she said that something always comes up that it needs to go toward. She said it always seems that the food needs fixing or a tire blows.

My Granny has been wanting a new washer for a while now. (It has rust on the front - so I can't blame her.) She's using her refund for it, so I've decided to put part of my bonus toward it and help her out. She does to much for me and deserves every penny of help.

Really this is why I want to pay off my debt. To help my family out even more. To give us the stability and strength we deserve.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Baby Boomers in Debt

I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal about a woman who invested a majority of her money in the housing market, suffered the results of the 2008 market crash, and now has moved and reduced her expenses to live a decent retirement.

This certainly isn’t the only story of baby boomers trying to sort out a comfortable retirement. The article cites that in 2012 about 43% of people age 65 and older are in debt. I personally know one of those people.

I am very close with my grandma. She has lived next door to me my whole life. She has been at every barbeque, class recital, and even came to my senior thesis presentation. Now, I live with her to keep an eye on her.

Her home as been in our family since it was built. Our family, Herman and Wilhelmina came from Germany and bought a large parcel of land. They built a cabin on the land and then sold other pieces off to other good Germans. The family continued to build on the cabin and turned it into a two-story home that now is about 100 years old.

This house is more than just a place to live. It is our family and our history. My grandma inherited the home from her “Pa” when she was in her early 20s. She’s always had a mortgage. They needed to take out a loan to build the second story, and since then it’s always stuck around. It’s been there through refinancing and new roofs.

Now, my sentimental grandma is 72 with a $60,000 mortgage. She has a tough time with money in general, so it’s not surprising - just sad considering the home has been in our family for so long.

It’s my mission to help her in any way I can. I’ve already started to pay the water bills for her and helped her buy a new dryer last month. My game plan and motivation for paying off my own debt is to then take on the house and get it finished up. I hope my granny is around for a long time, but getting it paid off early for her would be a big relief.