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.




May 2018 Net Worth Update

Hello and welcome to our May 2018 Statement of Net Worth Update.

I am late updating again, because, well things are just more fun to report when they’re going well. Things aren’t going badly right now, we are just keeping up and it’s not as enjoyable as when we are killing our debt!

May 2018 Breakdown


House – There was a huge $4,295 increase in the value of our home in May.

Savings – Emergency – This account decreased $200 because we let our son borrow $200 from it for an emergency car repair.

HSA – This account paid for a filling and I also got a fluoride treatment for my recessed gums due to my aggressive brushing. I also need new glasses soon, so I’ll probably be making an appointment this coming month. Hubby’s medical and dental doesn’t seem to have kicked in yet, so we are waiting for that before we proceed with his more extensive treatments.


Only one increase in liabilities this month: Once again, it was the CP – Visa account. We have the hardest time keeping this one under control.

This past month we used it for my husband’s oil change ($50) and both the dog and the cats needed food ($50).


Planned Debt Pay Off/ Life Update

I have set up a new sinking account for the pets which I will set aside $5 per week because I never plan for their food and it always blows a hole in the budget. And kitty litter, too. The plan for this account is to have money set aside specifically for their food and litter, vet visits, and grooming.

My mom and I have been talking recently about opening up savings accounts for our home maintenance. I have read that a good rule of thumb is to save 1% of the purchase price every year, so for my mom that’s less than $10 a week. For me, it’d be around $15. This is also a plan I want to implement when we have our rental properties.

Seeing as we also had to charge my husband’s oil change, I’m thinking that a car maintenance fund would be wise as well. That’s something to think about. We already have so many savings accounts! I may wait on this one for after one of the cars are paid off. It might be a vehicle maintenance/future car purchase account. I’m not sure yet.

Last month I reported that I would need a car repair, and we got that repair done: $849! We didn’t need to dip any further in to the Savings – Emergency account, but since we cash flowed the repair, we again didn’t have any extra money to send to debt at the end of the month.

At the time of writing this, the end of May is quickly approaching and I am pretty sure that will be the 3rd month in a row with nothing extra put toward debt.

But I’m not complaining. There is always, always a bright side. None of our payments were late, our net worth increased, and the light at the end of the tunnel is growing!

Our smallest 3 debts as of 5/2018 are:

  1. Personal Loan – $1,232 (9.5% interest rate)
  2. CP Visa – $3,776 (9.5% interest rate)
  3. PMI – $4,878


We decreased our debt $1,093 in May, and increased our net worth by $6,436 (thank you housing market boom) for an overall net worth of $(26,914)! I set a goal of being worthless by the end of 2018. It’s really starting to look achievable!

Thank you for reading.




April 2018 Navient Review

Hello, and welcome to out April 2018 Navient Review!

March was a tough month for our family, financial-wise. I went over that in our April 2018 Statement of Net Worth Update. I struggled again in the early part of March with putting myself on the schedule. I did not have a check on March 9, and March 16’s check was accidentally absorbed in our checking account so I didn’t set aside any money for taxes or Navient, but I did get $20 gas. That check was $71.16.

I know I have been saying that I want to get my crap together and get going again, and I think at the time of writing this that I am back on track!

April 2018 Breakdown


  • $101.65 Paycheck
  • $30.50 Saved for Taxes
  • $25.00 Filled the Tank
  • Sent $50 to Navient!


  • $105.00 2018 First Quarter Cash Tips
  • $31.50 Saved for Taxes
  • Sent $75 to Navient!

That’s all I had to offer for the April 7th Statement! I was able to bring Navient #1 down $122.23, with an overall decrease of $113.05. Don’t forget in addition to these extra payments, I also make my regular payment of $217.47.

I am on a mission to get rid of the highest interest accounts. If I had not made those extra payments, I would just be treading water with Navient. Of course that is better than when my Income Based Repayment Plan payments were $90.61 and my total account balance grew over $200 every month. In November 2015 and 2014 my payments were $0 so it grew even more! I wasn’t tracking back then so who knows what the damage was.

Presently, I must admit attacking Navient #1 is not as fun as Navient #9 was. I was able to knock #9 below $1,000 right away, and once it was in the triple digits every little payment I made seemed to have a huge impact on the overall balance.

Navient #1 is not giving me that quick win, so I’m not as motivated as I was when I first started. Of course, my side hustle was shiny and brand new back then so maybe the novelty is just wearing off. I will keep plugging away, motivation or no.

My apologies for the late update. Running the numbers was a little confusing for me because of it! I’ll be back in a week or 2 with my May 2018 update.  Hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading.