October 2018 Statement of Net Worth Update

Hello, and welcome to our October 2018 Statement of Net Worth Update! I was disappointed when I wrote our last report because we came very near to hitting a milestone in our journey: Getting to the negative teens!

Well, we are there now! I’m happy to report that we skipped right over -$19,000 and went right to -$18,000.

October 2018 Breakdown

House – Our home fell a little bit more in value this month. In September I mentioned that we were doing some outdoor work to help spruce up the curb appeal. In the last few weeks we have done some interior work, too!

We have removed the last of the carpet in our home to reveal the beautiful hardwood floors in the master bedroom. In my son’s former bedroom, the floors are a little sadder. I have a goal of sanding his floor myself with a palm sander. Our bedrooms are so small that a drum sander would be very difficult to maneuver. Wish me luck!

HSA – I had to pay a $230 dentist bill for my daughter because of a problem with insurance. I’m hoping for a reimbursement eventually from the insurance company. My daughter’s father and I both cover her under our dental insurance, and both companies were arguing about who had to pay first. It was so long and drawn out that the dentist insisted on payment and that I take it up with the insurance companies myself.

I also got a new pair of prescription sunglasses at a cost of $191, because my old ones have my old prescription which is very different from my current prescription. I struggle with wearing contacts, so if I want to protect my eyes from the sun, I need prescription sunglasses. Switching between prescriptions is bad for your eyes. I tried wearing my old sunglasses on very bright days a couple of times and got a headache immediately from the eye strain.

I could have just changed the prescription in my current sunglasses, but to be honest I wasn’t enjoying their look anymore, and getting a brand new pair was only about $50 extra so I went with that route instead. Not the most frugal decision, but I’m happy with it.

My orthodontist also took out their $85. We are almost done paying for braces!


Home Depot – Last month I told you guys that we were doing some power washing, and edging of our lawn. What I didn’t mention (because it was not yet reflected in the balance) is that these 2 items were put on our Home Depot card with 0% interest. I know, we aren’t winning many awards in the frugal department this month! This account increased $175, and we will be increasing our payments to $200 per month.

We intend to have a balance on this card going forward for home improvement projects. Currently we are paying off a furnace, which I thought would save us a ton of money but oddly enough we are burning about the same amount of gas as our old 1950s furnace. Strange.

We are only a few months away from having the balance paid off, and I have no idea what our next project will be!

Here are some ideas:

  • Replacement of Central AC – I’m a little jaded with this option, because I thought we would save so much with the furnace, but the new one uses as much as the old! Who’s to say a new AC won’t do the same thing?
  • Flooring in the kitchen – Take a look at my old blog post Small Scale Home Renovations
  • Laundry Room Sink – This one is a little more complicated now than when I wrote the above article. Our laundry room sink drains in to a hole in the floor which sometimes emits an odor which is disgusting. I would like to have our washer drain line re-routed directly in to our pipe and eliminate the need for a laundry room sink entirely. If we do that, I of course would like to have the hole in the floor filled in. Then, we could look in to getting a half bathroom set up. Can you see how this is snowballs?
  • New Shower – We would like to get rid of our bath tub and just have a stand up shower. Our daughter protested loudly to that one, but she’s 17 and will be out of the house soon.

So, in closing, we are a few months away from Home Depot being paid off, and no idea what we would like to work on next.

CP Visa – We were able to pay off this account entirely! We do not intend to carry a balance month-to-month, so this account will be deleted in the next update.

Great Lakes – We had enough money left over after paying off CP Visa, that we were able to pay $300 additional to this account!

Planned Debt Payoff/Life Update

Well, I gave a little Life Update above in regards to home improvement plans.

Since we have paid off CP Visa which was our last “high interest” (9.5%) debt I have decided that the money I earn from overtime will go toward home projects. These are small DIY projects or handyman hires for the things we can’t do ourselves. I may or may not post my new Home Improvement Savings Account Balance and report on the changes. Maybe I will, it sounds fun. Here are the upcoming projects with overtime money:

  • Scrape off popcorn ceiling in all 3 bedrooms – DIY project. All we need is the scraper and respirator masks for this.
  • Refinish Hardwood Floors – This will be a DIY I’ll test out in my son’s old bedroom first. Cost will be sandpaper and finish.
  • Quarter round installation for all 3 bedrooms – This will be a handy man hire and will cost anywhere from $72 -$84 per room to install.
  • Blinds – This is a DIY project and will cost about $50 per bedroom.
  • Back Upper Patio – I have a company picked out to install railing around the roof of the kitchen nook addition. There is a door leading out there that we had to board up per our home insurance policy since it was not gated. This will cost about $750 for materials and installation. I think this will have a huge impact on the value of our home!

Last month I estimated we would have $1,025 extra to go toward debt payoff, and I was right! It may have helped that I wrote last month’s post only a few days away from October 1st.

At the end of October I project we will have about $1,850 extra to go toward debt payoff. Here is the current debt snowball:

  1. Great Lakes – $3,144 (4.7% Interest)
  2. SL #1 – $1,938 (5.75% Interest)
  3. SL #2 – $3,535 (5.35% Interest)

If you are wondering why Great Lakes is first on the debt snowball, it is because this one account has a minimum payment of $50 per month and once it is paid off that extra money can go toward paying off other debts.

I have 6 Navient Accounts with interest rates above 5% which I will name SL #1, SL #2, etc. Once all 6 of those are paid off, our debt free journey will be over! But don’t fear, it’ll take a while. I’m not going anywhere.

Don’t forget you can follow me on Instagram @networthnegative for daily updates on our debt free journey.

Thanks for reading!



September 2018 Statement of Net Worth Update

Hello, and welcome to our (very late) September 2018 Statement of Net Worth! I’m a bit disappointed this month and that’s the reason for the late update.

Our net worth increased, our liabilities decreased, so why am I upset? We were so close to getting our net worth above negative $20,000!

September 2018 Breakdown


House – Our home just keeps on falling in value. I was so excited when it increased by thousands, but now it keep decreasing so much that I think perhaps the increase was just a fluke, and now it’s correcting itself.

To make myself feel better, I looked back at the lowest our home has ever been valued since I started reporting. In March 2017 our home was worth only $73,115, so that really puts things in to perspective: I shouldn’t be upset at a value of $85,794 which is an increase of over $12,000 in just 18 months.

This past week we have been doing some work around the house to try to increase the curb appeal and hopefully increase the value as well. Remember, we are on a mission to get the home value to $96,000 in order to get rid of the PMI on our mortgage. $96,000 is my figure. Our lender advised us that our home would need to appraise at $81,333 in order to drop PMI. Since Zillow (the site I use to quote our home value) can be off by 20%, I won’t request an appraisal until we are at $96,000 according to Zillow, and if we are actually 20% lower than that, we still meet our lender’s threshold.

HSA – This account is increasing nicely! The only thing that came out of it since our last update was the second out of five $85 payments for my orthodontist bill.


Only a couple of unusual decreases in liabilities this month:

CP Visa – This account decreased $1,684 and is well on its way to being paid off! I just love seeing the Liabilities side of our Net Worth Statements shrink as we pay off and close accounts.

Navient – I was able to make a few extra payments on this account thanks to my side hustle, Shipt.

Home Depot – Somewhere along the line I had a discrepancy in the balance which I corrected this month. We pay $175 per month to pay off a furnace we purchased in March 2017 with 0% financing. We are showing a decrease of $225 because apparently I reported $50 short at one point.

Planned Debt Pay Off/ Life Update

Braces – My braces have been in for nearly one month now. I hate them with every fiber of my soul. I’m just kidding, they’re not that bad. Eating is gross, everything gets stuck in my braces. I cut my tongue on the brackets constantly trying to dig out what I’ve just eaten. The good news is that the braces themselves are not painful at all. More bad news is that I get more spacers in on October 16th. I thought I was done with spacers!!

Test – I passed my test with a score 86%! Yay for not having to pay $150 for a retake, and yay for not having to take that test again for 5 years! There was a lot riding on that test, things that have not come to fruition just yet, but I’m not rushing things. Life is good and comfortable currently, and the future looks bright.

At the end of last month, I projected we would have $1,500 extra to put toward debt. We actually had $1,800! This was due to some reimbursements from the test in Chicago (including the test itself), per diem, and mileage reimbursement. My company was very generous! We also had some overtime that helped us come up with extra funds.

In addition, we were also able to help a family member with an emergency by gifting him $300.

At the end of September, I project we will have about $1,025 extra to go toward debt. Here is the current debt snowball:

  1. CP Visa – $864 (9.5% interest)
  2. Great Lakes – $3,483 (4.7% interest)
  3. Navient SL #1 – $2,064 (5.75% interest)


Even though our assets decreased $284, we were able to decrease our liabilities $2,802 and increased our net worth by $2,518 for a total of $(20,168).

Thank you for reading!





August 2018 Navient Review

Hello, and welcome to our August 2018 Navient Review! Boy, do I have a lot to report!

On my last update, I was struggling with putting myself on schedule with my side hustle, Shipt. I made a few attempts to get back on the band wagon. I told myself that I was putting my car at risk and depreciating the value of it faster. But suddenly, something clicked.

I realized I am damn lucky that I can set my own schedule and make nearly $20 an hour doing so, on my terms, whenever I want or don’t want to. And as for putting my car in danger, and just being tired I told myself: “This is temporary.” And it is! This is not forever, and the more I do now, the faster I can stop busting my ass.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am back. Now to find a way to update you guys on 4 months of absence…

May 2018

May 2018 Breakdown


  • $101.06 Paycheck
  • $30.32 Saved for Taxes
  • $25.00 Filled the Tank
  • Sent $50 to Navient!


  • $35.12 Paycheck
  • $10.54 Saved for Taxes
  • $10.00 Filled the Tank
  • Sent $25 to Navient!


  • $43.61 Paycheck
  • $13.08 Saved for Taxes
  • $15.00 Filled the Tank
  • Sent $25 to Navient!

June 2018

At the beginning of May I really made a valiant effort, but quickly burned out again.

June 2018 Breakdown


  • $157.42 Paycheck
  • $42.43 Saved for Taxes
  • $20 Filled the Tank
  • Sent $100 to Navient!


  • $133.45 Paycheck
  • $40.04 Saved for Taxes
  • $20.00 Filled the Tank
  • Sent $75 to Navient!

July 2018

I took a few orders in June, but it was only enough to cover gas. I use this gas to get to work also, so it’s not a complete wash to only have money to cover gas. It’s still extra and it still helps!

July 2018 Breakdown


  • $17.79 Paycheck
  • $5.34 Saved for Taxes
  • $10 Filled the Tank


  • $20.01 Paycheck
  • $6.00 Saved for Taxes
  • $20 Filled the Tank

August 2018

I’m finally back! At the time of writing this, I have gotten a paycheck for 7 weeks in a row, and I’m getting paid again next Friday. They say it takes 66 days to create a habit, so I’m pretty confident I’m back.

August 2018 Breakdown


  • $26.43 Paycheck
  • $7.93 Saved for Taxes
  • $20.00 Filled the Tank


  • $66.66 Paycheck
  • $20.00 Saved for Taxes
  • $20.00 Filled the Tank
  • Sent $25 to Navient!


  • $74.26 Paycheck
  • $22.28 Saved for Taxes
  • $15.00 Filled the Tank
  • Sent $25 to Navient!


  • $29.31 Paycheck
  • $8.79 Saved for Taxes
  • $20.00 Filled the Tank


  • $111.21 Paycheck
  • $33.36 Saved for Taxes
  • $25 Filled the Tank
  • Sent $50 to Navient!

It was interesting grabbing all these numbers for an all-at-once update. I got to really see how the amounts change over the course of those 4 months, and I’m starting to re-think my Navient Snowball. Here’s how I have things lined up currently:

  1. #1 – $2,268 @ 5.75% Interest
  2. #2 – $3,532 @ 5.35% Interest
  3. #7 – $7,323 @ 6.55% Interest
  4. #4 – $7,565 @ 6.55% Interest
  5. #5 – $8,654 @ 6.55% Interest
  6. #10 & 11 – $16,645 @ 6.375% Interest

I am approaching my debt with a hybrid snowball/avalanche approach. I only focus on accounts with more than a 4% interest rate, and then from those I work from smallest to largest. However, the amounts seem to gain more interest even though the interest rates are lower, or the balances are lower. I am pretty sure that’s because of the subsidized vs unsubsidized loans; some of them have a lot more interest accrued on them already and that interest is gaining interest.

Let’s take a look at how these accounts have increased from April until August and see if they still fall in the order I put them in to begin with.

  • SL #1:  $0 (Duh, I’ve been working on this one, no chance to increase)
  • SL #2: +$7.00
  • SL # 7: +$14.70
  • SL # 4: +$4.62
  • SL #5: $+10.56
  • SL # 10 & 11: +$27.62

Now some of these are obvious: Of course #10 and #11 will have super-high interest due to their super-high balance.

But look at #4 and #5. There is a $1,000 difference in balance and the same interest rate, but one is increasing at over twice the rate of the other. Do you think that using this information, #5 should come before #4? It’s definitely something worth pondering.

For now, #1, #2, and #7 look like they are in appropriate places on the chopping block so I have quite a long time to go before deciding, especially with my $25-$50 weekly stabs at the balance.

As always, thanks for reading. It’s really great to be back.




August 2018 Net Worth Update

Hello, and welcome to our August 2018 Statement of Net Worth Update! Everything went according to plan this month and so there is not much to report on at all. This is a good thing!

August 2018 Breakdown


None of these accounts moved much except for the normal fluctuations we see month to month.

Savings – Reg seems to have a significant decrease, but this account is just a pot to hold all our money until the end of the month when we pay our bills. At the time of writing our July update, we already had a lot of money built up to go toward the August 1st bills.

I finished inputting our August numbers more toward the beginning of the month, so these numbers are much more normal.


No increases once again!

CP Visa – On our last update, I estimated we would have about $1,000 to go toward debt. We actually had $925. Together with the “minimum” payment I make every month, we reduced this account $1,025! This is extra exciting because this account has always been one that we struggled with.

Whenever we were running low on spending money, or — I’m a little ashamed to admit this, whenever I didn’t feel like spending “real” money, we would use this account and then just pay our $100 a month.

We have swiped this card every once in a while in the past few weeks, but whenever we replenish our spending money I immediately calculate the total of the 2-3 swipes a week and put it back on the CP Visa. This is working well to keep the account at the balance we worked hard to pay off.

I have always thought that I would keep budgeting $100 a month for credit card spending, so paying it off wouldn’t affect our monthly bills, but I think I like the weekly pay offs from our spending money better. Also, we won’t be losing $25-30 a month in interest anymore, so that’s even more money we get to keep! I love how this debt pay off stuff works.

Navient – I am happy to report that I am officially back on the bandwagon for my side hustle, Shipt! I put myself on the schedule every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. This gives me enough to pay $25 – $50 a week extra toward my student loans after saving for taxes and filling my gas tank.

This also means my student loan reports will be coming back, so keep an eye out for that! I have a big goal of paying off Navient #1 before the end of the year. That’s going to be a pretty big feat, seeing as there’s still $2,243 remaining at the time of writing this post.

Planned Debt Pay Off/ Life Update

I have spacers for my braces in right now. I have had them for 10 days and they are still uncomfortable. I am really tired of mashed potatoes and gravy. I can eat bits of meat and real food now, but nothing as adventurous as a sub or a burger. I had a piece of pizza a few days ago and that was a major victory.

The spacers come out in 11 more days, and I get my actual braces installed! I figure I will probably be reduced to smoothies and soup again for a week after each orthodontist appointment, but that’s okay.

I found out how much my braces are costing us out of pocket, and what the payment coming out of our HSA will be: $425! Total. My braces cost $4,650. My husband’s insurance is paying $2,325 (half), my insurance is paying $1,500, and the orthodontist is giving us a $400 discount because my daughter also had braces through them. They are splitting the payment up over 5 months for $85 per month. I can’t believe how lucky we got! But preparing ourselves and planning things out strategically isn’t really luck, is it?

I mentioned last month that I had a test coming up in Chicago. I’ve since taken it. I don’t have the scores yet, but I did get reimbursed for it. That money will show up on my next update.

That test was actually very difficult and I’m not confident I passed. I’m happy with the amount of time I studied; I really think I did my best with the materials I was given, but there was a lot more stuff on the test that wasn’t covered. I feel like the materials I received taught me more of the basics, and I was given in-depth questions. I won’t be upset if I didn’t pass because I was not properly prepared. The next test is in October and I will have to pay $150 out of pocket for a re-take. I’ll let you know in the next update what my scores were. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know the moment I do!

At the end of August, I project we will have about $1,500 remaining to put toward debt, and it will go toward our credit card. Here is the current debt snowball:

  1. CP Visa – $2,548 (9.5% interest)
  2. Great Lakes – $3,518 (4.7% interest)
  3. Navient SL #1 – $2,243 (5.75% interest)


Although our net worth actually decreased this month, we decreased our debt nearly $2,000 which is pretty incredible! Our net worth is now $(22,686).

Thank you for reading!





July 2018 Statement of Net Worth Update

Hello and welcome to our July 2018 Statement of Net Worth Update! I mentioned in our last update that I thought things would be looking up from here on out, and so far things are going well! We were able to pay off one of our debts this month, and it feels incredible!

July 2018 Breakdown


House – The housing market is definitely done with the crazy uptick in value that we have seen over the last few months. Can’t complain! It was a fun ride up. In March 2018 our home was worth $82,450. Now it is worth $89,163 so we saw a $6,713 increase in just 4 months.

401(k) – X – I’m not typically too concerned with fluctuations in the stock market, but I wanted to mention that this account is from my husband’s old employer. We are trying to figure out the process of rolling it over to his new employer’s plan or perhaps opening a Roth IRA. I listen to a lot of personal finance podcasts so I know what we should do in theory, but actually opening an account and getting it rolled over is scary and confusing. We always back off because we’re afraid the check will come in our name and be treated as an early withdrawal.  Due to this, his account has sat stagnant for a while and is starting to accumulate fees.

The good thing about these monthly updates is that we have to face every month that this account hasn’t yet been dealt with. Just this past week as we were collecting all our numbers, my husband remembered that he hadn’t completed the new employer’s 401(k) election. If we weren’t checking this monthly, who knows how long it would have taken to realize he wasn’t contributing at all?

Another good thing is that now that his new account is open, it looks as though we can access the routing number and account number for the old account to roll over electronically. This was information we didn’t have before and why we kept getting nervous.

Emergency Fund – We have a fully funded emergency fund again. Hooray!

HSA – I used $147 from this account for new glasses. It is so good to see again. My glasses went missing and after a few weeks of being blind and relying only on my prescription sunglasses, I had to finally break down and get a new pair. Luckily I was overdue anyway so our insurance covered a good portion.


No Increases this month! Yeah!!

Personal Loan – Say goodbye to this account! We were able to pay it off, and it will be off the breakdown next month.

CP Visa – After paying off the above account, there was even a little money left over to go toward paying this one off!

Navient – We only decreased $6 in this account this month. That’s because I haven’t made any additional payments to Navient since May 11. As of the writing of this article, I have been a little better about getting myself on schedule again for my side hustle.

I am trying to come to terms with how lucky I am that I have a side hustle where I can set my own hours, and make nearly $20 per hour. I am also trying to keep in mind the mantra popular with people on a debt free journey: This is temporary.

Someone else recommended getting a visual tracker to help with my motivation to keep going. I have just filled it out and set it up at work, and I’m already excited to fill in more lines.



Planned Debt Pay Off/ Life Update

As of 7/27/201 I expect us to have about $1,000 remaining to go toward debt pay off. Here is our updated snow ball for the end of July:

  1. CP Visa – $3,475 (9.5% interest rate)
  2. Great Lakes – $3,630 (4.7% interest rate)
  3. Navient SL #1 – $2,375 (5.75% interest rate)

We are approaching out debt free journey with a combination snowball/avalanche method. Great Lakes is above Navient #1, because my husband’s one student loan is not on an Income Based Repayment Plan so we are paying $50.60 a month to this account. Paying it off will free up $50.60 per month to go toward other bills. Paying off the Navient Student Loan #1 will have an unknown impact on my Income Based Repayment Plan, but I imagine it will be much less than Great Lakes.

Some other things coming up include:

I’m getting braces in less than a month! Yikes! We are doubly insured for dental and vision, so this actually won’t cost that much. About $75 per month. There’s a 5% discount for paying in full, but only if it’s paid in cash so I would have to forfeit my tax savings by using our HSA. Since we are in the 12% bracket this wouldn’t be a savings for me, so monthly payments from our HSA it is.

I have an important test coming up in August in Chicago for my new position, so I’ll need to cash flow the hotel stay for that. We paid $150 from last month’s budget for this test and if (I mean when) I pass I will have that $150 reimbursed. The hotel stay will be reimbursed as well. This test will determine my trajectory for becoming a Senior Radiation Safety Coordinator which could have a big impact on our debt free journey. Wish me luck! The test is August 9th.


In July, we reduced our debt $2,299 and increased our net worth by $5,277 for a total of $(22,035)!

As always, thank you for reading. I hope you will follow me on Instagram @networthnegative for daily updates on our debt free journey.




June 2018 Net Worth Update

Hello, and welcome to our June 2016 Statement of Net Worth!

I think this will be the last “bad” report for a while. At the end of June we should be able to start making some pretty good sized payments to our debt. But as for the end of May, we were just able to keep up like we have been for the past few months. But, for the first time since 4/2017 our net wort actually decreased this month. Boo.

June 2018 Breakdowb


House – It appears the huge boom in the market that we have been experiencing for the last few months is starting to slow down.

Dart – Our Dodge Dart fell quite a bit this month! Kelly Blue Book (where I get our values from) has changed their website so now there are more steps involved for me to get our car values. I may have been misreporting in the last few reports.

Savings – Car Insurance – We paid our insurance this month so that’s why this account is now at $0. We pay our car insurance every 6 months in full to take advantage of a 5% discount for doing so. It drafts automatically from our Capital One credit card which earns us 1.5% cash back so that’s a further discount on top of the 5%. I am hoping that since we are paying off our CP Visa soon, our credit scores will improve and result in a lower amount due for our auto insurance renewal in Mid-November. We will find out the new amount sometime in October. This last cycle amount due was $1,250.


Nothing too exciting to report here, except that we kept almost all the liabilities from going up, with the exception of the CP Visa card. This time, we used the card for a couple trips to the grocery store. Every month we set aside $100 a month to pay to this card, and when it’s paid off I’m going to still assign $100 out of our budget to it, since we seem to keep swiping it. It’s never much, so I think that $100 will keep the balance at $0 month to month. Here’s to not losing $30 per month in interest anymore! That’s nearly a tank of gas!

Plus, keeping an eye on this card and its swipes has taught me the areas that we need to set up sinking funds for: Pets and Auto. Using the card for groceries was just poor planning on our part, we obviously overspent and went through our allocated money too quickly. Getting rid of the $30 per month interest on this card, and an additional $30 in interest on the Planned Debt Pay Off I will discuss below will help us keep more money each month and hopefully curb the overspending!

Life Update/Planned Debt Pay Off

My husband had a business trip to Indianapolis as part of his career path in to management. We pulled $500 from our emergency fund to cash flow this trip which involved a car rental, fuel, and spending. All of this will be reimbursed and our total out of pocket only amounted to just under a couple hundred dollars. When I brought the $500 from savings to our checking account, my husband then transferred it over to our CP – Visa account because he wanted the business trip transactions separate from our regular spending. So, $500 extra toward debt pay off a little early!

As of 6/29/2018, I expect us to have $1,700 excess savings to put toward our debts. Here is the updated debt snowball:

  1. $700 Emergency Fund (replenish)
  2. $960 CP Loan (9.5% interest rate)
  3. $3,425 CP Visa (9.5% interest rate)

Looks like we are getting rid of the Personal Loan this month! This debt has a minimum of $150 per month, $30 of it interest so that will be a lot extra freed up every month to go toward more debts. Thank goodness for months with extra paychecks in them.


Although our net worth decreased $398, we were still able to decrease our debts by $1,026. Our net worth is now $(27,312) but I still believe we can become worthless by the end of the year.

As always, thanks for reading!





Change of Plans: Private Mortgage Insurance

Hi there!

A few months ago, I changed the layout of my Statement of Net Worth Updates to include the smallest 3 debts coming up in our debt snowball.

Since the beginning of our journey I have expressed interest in paying off additional principal on our mortgage in order to get rid of the Private Mortgage Insurance on our account.

We bought our house in 2011 for $73,500 under land contract. You can read more about what a land contract is in my post here.

We put $10,000 down in 2011 and made payments throughout the years and then in 2015 we got a traditional mortgage through Quicken Loans. At that time we had paid the principal down but with extra costs added in to our mortgage our loan amounted to $64,800 and Quicken estimated our home’s value at $72,000. We were unable to come up with another down payment for the traditional financing since we were advised that we had to do repairs in order to qualify for an FHA loan.

In the end, our house wasn’t eligible for FHA lending because of an inaccessible crawl space under a kitchen nook that was added on to our home many years prior to our purchase. Since we were not able to give access to the crawl space without significant damage which we refused to consent to, our loan almost fell through completely!

Thankfully we were able to back track and get a conventional loan seeing as this is what we originally requested in the beginning. I think some strings were pulled because of our poor experience with being guided in to doing an FHA loan and spending our down payment on repairs under their advisement.

Since then, I have done research on how to get rid of our PMI. I understood there were 2 ways for it to fall off: We can request its removal early once we reach 80% original loan to value of our home, but we would have to pay for an appraisal to prove the value. The second way is if we had done substantial improvements to the home, boosting the value which would then bump us in to a lower loan to value ratio. Again, we would have to pay for the appraisal to prove the value. The third way would be once the loan reaches 78% original loan to value, the PMI would come off automatically.

I decided the latter was the best course of action because we would not only be saving tens of thousands of dollars by making big payments very early in our loan term, but in addition our mortgage payment would be reduced $54.54 a month. We would of course continue to make the same payment to our mortgage that we had all along so this would result in an additional $54.54 a month to principal for the rest of the term of the loan.

78% of our original value would have been $56,160. Currently, we owe $61,038 on our mortgage. Getting rid of PMI has been the #3 priority on our debt snowball until a few days ago when I got this letter in the mail which effectively threw a wrench in that plan.

Change of Plans Quicken Letter

It turns out that PMI is written in to our contract to remain until the originally scheduled date that we will reach 78% LTV:  8/2022. I called to verify and the rep advised that we could (surprise) pay for an appraisal and get rid of PMI early without the extra payments. I am supposed to get a call next week to tell me what the cost of that would be, since our home values are going up like mad currently. According to our May 2018 Statement of Net Worth our home is worth $88,617. That number comes from Zillow so may not be too accurate, but if it is that means our mortgage is 68% of our home’s value.

My husband is a little nervous about this transaction because it could blow up in our faces and determine that our home isn’t yet worth $78,250 and we will be stuck with having wasted our money on that appraisal and still paying PMI. But, I think it’s worth a shot. Do you have thoughts?


It’s been a week since I last wrote. Since then I have spoken with Quicken’s PMI Removal department and was advised that a home evaluation will cost $200, and that they will be looking at the interior and exterior of the home, counting bedrooms, number of rooms, and looking for any updates.

In order to request the appraisal I need to submit a request in writing, and give my payment over the phone. It will then take 3-5 days to schedule the actual appraisal, and 10-14 days for Quicken to get the numbers. I was advised my home needs to appraise at $81,333 in order to remove PMI.

I have also done a little more research in to how accurate a Zillow Zestimate ® is. One article I read stated that that Zillow’s estimate is within 5% of the true assessed value only 50% of the time. It can be as much as 10-20% difference in the actual value. That article was written by a real estate company, so their opinion could be biased, but I’ve decided to wait until our Zillow Zestimate ® is $95,685 before we move forward with scheduling the appraisal. That will give us a 15% buffer, and it isn’t very far from what the value already is. Plus, I have more updates I would like to do coming up. The first of which will be adding a half bathroom to our basement. We only have one bathroom currently and it’s terrible.

Anyway, now that PMI is getting knocked off the debt snowball, that moves one of my Navient accounts, SL #1 in to its spot.

I have long dreaded when the Student Loans will make it in to the Debt Snowball countdown because they are going to take so long to get rid of. I am worried about debt fatigue.

Also, I have not been participating in my side hustle for about one month so I haven’t been making those extra weekly payments either. If I continue like this, we will have the biggest percentage rate student loans paid off sometime after 2020.

Thank you for reading if you made it this far in to my post! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for daily updates on our debt free journey. If you are a follower, you were privy to the PMI drama as it unfolded, and how fun is that?!

Thanks again.