2017 Goal Recap with 2018 Updates

I started out 2017 behind in bills, meaning I didn’t have enough money at the end of the month to pay all the bills that were due the next month.

I’m ending 2017 all caught up and feeling pretty positive about 2018! I came across this article recently.  I had forgotten all about it and was amused as I read over what goals I had planned out for the year.

I thought I’d go over them with you.

Financial

  • Bills caught up approximately by 4/2017
    • Achieved! I’m not sure about the date, but I did eventually become able to pay all of next month’s bills on the last pay day of the previous month.
  • Send extra payment of $175 a month to Navient, focusing on smallest loans first
    • Fail! – I never did end up increasing those payments like I wanted to. I think instead I decided to concentrate on the debt snowball, focusing on one thing at a time rather than spreading all our extra money among many small things. I think that was the right choice! Now I send extra to Navient and I’m finally getting somewhere with this loan.
    • 2018 Goal – Continue to pay $25-$50 a week from side hustle through the year
  • Increase Christmas Club and Vacation Club savings accounts from $5/week to $20/week.
    • Fail! I had a hard time letting go of that money, and now I know that it’s silly to put so much a month in to something that isn’t THAT important. That was an extra $30 a week that went in to savings and eventually to bills and debt instead.
    • 2018 Goal – Continue $5/week automatic transfer to Vacation and Christmas Club savings account. Cash flow any vacations and gifts.
  • Personal Loan sent to 0% interest 18 months balance transfer 4/2017
    • Fail! Do you know I had still not gotten an offer to do that darned balance transfer?! I’m still waiting! At that point it would have cost $101 (3% fee), saved $336.60 in interest, and moved the loan maturation date from 8/2019 to 9/2018.
    • 2018 Goal – Pay off by 3/2018 by paying all extra money at the end of the month to it.
  • CP Visa paid in full 8/2017
    • Fail! We were sending $100/week to this card in an effort to pay it off, but we ended up just swiping away the $100/week again on miscellaneous stuff. We made a change in 2017 and started sending this card $100/month instead and trying to use it less, but it still stays maxed out.
    • 2018 Goal – I haven’t figured the bills out far enough in advance but I know that after the Personal Loan is paid off in March, this CP Visa will be next on the chopping block. I estimate it will be paid off July or August 2018.
  • HHR paid in full by 10/2017
    • Achieved! If I remember correctly we actually paid it off earlier than this.
  • Save $250/mo. for vehicle to replace Equinox lease in 3/2018
    • Fail! – Like with the Christmas and Vacation savings accounts listed above, I decided our money would be better spent tackling high interest debt like the Personal loan and CP Visa.
    • 2018 Goal – Purchase a used car with less than 100,000 miles, 5-8 years old, and preferably around $6,000. We are preapproved for a used auto loan from our credit union of up to $20,000 at 3.49%. I verified that there isn’t a minimum required amount to finance after I was briefly star struck by a $2,995 VW Beetle convertible. 3.49% beats 9.5% (the rate of our CP Visa and Personal Loan) so our money is better spent going toward those debts rather than avoiding financing a used car.

I then went over some ideas what to do next in 2017 as I didn’t have a clear plan. Here they are:

  • Send extra money to mortgage to bring balance below $56,160 and getting rid of PMI payment of $54.54/mo.
    • Fail! I didn’t do anything above sending the regular extra I do every moth.
    • 2018 Goal – This is still an idea I like. I have been toying with the idea of adding it to my debt snowball. At the time of writing this post, I would have to pay $5,499 to do that. Adding this to my debt snowball would be about #3 on the list. I would put it after the Personal Loan and CP Visa, but before my student loans and before any debts with interest rates under 4%.
  • Send extra money to Navient which has interest rates up to 6.55%
    • Achieved! A work in progress.
    • 2018 Goal – Continue working with Shipt and paying $25-50 a week on highest interest, lowest balance accounts first. Start throwing extra money at the end of the month toward these debts after Personal Loan, CP Visa, and maybe the PMI are paid in full.
  • Send extra money to retirement account which would earn 8-10% over next 29+ years
    • Fail! I now know this is a bad idea as long as I have debts that I am paying over 4% interest on. I will focus extra money on those debts first.
  • See a financial planner
    • Fail! I still want to do this!
    • 2018 Goal – Set an appointment with The Financial Gym the next time we go to NYC.

That’s it for Financial Goals for 2017. It’s amazing how my mindset changed over the year, and how much I learned listening to personal finance podcasts and reading personal finance books all year.

Now let’s see what 2017 Me had to say about other areas of my life.

Home Goals

  • Install new interior doors upstairs 4/2017
    • Achieved! We did install new interior doors, we just haven’t sanded and painted them.
    • 2018 Goal – Sand and paint the doors.
  • Purchase high efficiency furnace and central AC with 0% 24 month special financing through Home Depot
    • Achieved! Kind of. We only did the furnace, which allowed us to install a Wi-Fi thermostat which is really fun to set schedules and turn down when we are away from home. However we haven’t been saving any money on our gas bill at all so that’s disappointing.
    • 2018 Goal – Purchase high efficiency central AC with 0% 24 month special financing through Home Depot. I KNOW this one will save us money because our AC died a couple years ago. One of my coworkers happened to have a motor that fit my fan blade even though it ran at a higher horse power than our old motor. We used it last year and our electricity bills were ungodly.

That’s the end of the 2017 Goals Review!

Let’s go over all the 2018 Goals so they will be easy to review next December.

Financial

  • Pay $25-50 a week to Navient earned from Shipt working in this order:
    1. Navient #9
    2. Navient #1
    3. Navient #2
  • Cash flow any vacations and gifts
  • Send end of the month money to Personal Loan beginning 1/2018. Pay in full in or around 3/2018
  • Send end of the month money to CP Visa beginning on or around 4/2018. Pay in full in or around 7/2018
  • Send end of the month money to mortgage to get rid of PMI payment of $54.54/month beginning in or around 8/2018.
    • Will continue to send the same mortgage payment, so additional $54.54/month will go toward principal. This will drastically reduce the term of our mortgage.
  • Send end of the month money to Navient concentrating on highest interest rates and lowest balances beginning in or around 8/2018.
  • Turn in Equinox 3/2018 and purchase used car
    • 2008 – 2012 manufacture year
    • Less than 100,000 miles
    • Between $6,000 – $8,000

 

Home

  • Purchase high efficiency central AC in or around 4/2018 using Home Depot 0% 24 month special financing
  • Small scale kitchen remodel with tax refund money
    • Garbage Disposal
    • Flooring
    • Dishwasher

>1 Year Goals

  • Eliminate any debt with interest rates higher than 4%
  • Minimum payments on any debt with interest rates lower than 4%
  • End of month money divided in half and sent to individual Vanguard Target Date Retirement Funds

I feel really good about these 2018 and further goals! I had a lot of fun reviewing the goals I made just 2 months after I started my debt free journey.

I can’t wait to see what else I learn as I continue to educate myself through reading personal finance books, listening to personal finance and personal development podcasts, and sharing my journey with the debt free community on Instagram.

Thanks for reading and following my journey! You can follow me on Instagram @networthnegative where I share inspirational quotes from the personal finance books that I read and post daily updates on debt elimination and more. I hope to see you there!

Thanks for reading!

XOXO,
Dolores

October 2017 Student Loan Review

For a long while I have wanted to closely observe and document how my student loans grow every month. In October 2016 I started my blog documenting our family’s journey to a positive net worth, and here I was able to list my Navient account as a whole and see exactly how much interest was being added every month. Prior to 10/4/2016 my head was in the sand. I had no idea what I owed and every time I was forced to look I would be shocked to find that the balance had grown by hundreds, if not thousands, from the last time I looked.

If you want to change something the best way to start in my opinion is by tracking it. Since we started tracking our net worth it has grown $20,000 in a year some by hard work and some luck, which I think were caused by the magic of tracking the changes and reacting to them.

I started this same habit by looking at my loans individually. I started writing down all of my student loans and their balances but I continued to make my minimum payment, which was based off my income. If you have been reading my blog, you know that my minimum payment was about $125 too little each month. I wasn’t even keeping up with interest!

While I was tracking how each individual account was growing, I struggled with coming up with a clear and concise way to display it to my readers. Also, I may have been a little discouraged because I was still working on catching up on our regular monthly bills, and I had a few smaller bills to take care of on my debt snowball.

A couple of things came together to really get me encouraged to start chipping away at this debt. And I do mean chipping! I am making very small jabs at this debt now, but I’m beyond excited that I’m finally doing something.

First, a person on the Instagram debt free community recommended Shipt as a side hustle to a woman that I follow. That morning during my commute to work I heard a commercial on the radio advertising Shipt for our local grocery store. It didn’t occur to me then to look in to it but I was a little curious so that post reminded me that I wanted to research it. It turns out Shipt is a grocery delivery service! I signed up to be a shopper: I get a grocery list on the app, scan each item as I grab it, pay for it with a company credit card, and deliver it to the address provided in the app.

That was a very readers’ digest version of the job, but I plan to make another post in the near future about the side hustles I have attempted in the last year.

Shipt pays me $5 for every delivery I do, plus 7.5% of the order total, plus tips. It can add up fast! My very first paycheck I brought home $76.97 after completing  shops the week before. I put $30 gas in my tank, put 30% away for taxes, and paid $25 extra to my smallest student loan!

From then I made a goal: Deliver as many orders as I can until I get to $100 and divide it as follows: 30% tax, less than $30 gas, and $25-$50 extra payment on my student loans.

But still I struggled with how to document and share the journey? During one of my drives to a delivery last night, I started talking out loud outlining my spreadsheet and got it figured out. I came home and plugged in all my numbers while watching Orange is the New Black and waiting for a load of laundry to dry.

Navient.October 2017 Corrected

Figuring out how much interest is added each month to each individual loan is still a bit wonky, because I can’t find it listed on my statement. The best I could figure was taking the previous statement from Navient and comparing the total interest with the total interest for the new month.

This has been a humbling experience. With the Sum feature on my table, I found that I accrue $121.06 of interest each month AFTER my $90.61 payment. We sort of already knew that, but when I looked at the total unpaid interest from the previous month is when the real shock kicked in. This is a huge hole. This is where not making any payments on your Income Based Repayment Plan will get you. This is where hiding from your problems gets you: Nearly $6,000 of unpaid, capitalized (compounding) interest. I’m going to start doing something about it. Or so I said.

Next, came time for my annual Income Based Repayment Plan income review. After submitting my documents and waiting a couple of months I learned that my minimum payment would be more than doubling! I am going from $90.61 due each month to $217.42. I am pretty happy about this because I can afford this payment, and I’m now being forced to at least keep up with interest if I do nothing more than make the minimum payments. No more glowing red accounts on my net worth statements!

With my side hustle going strong, and my minimum payments increasing, we should see these shrinking over the next year. I’m excited to look back 10/2018 and see where I am then. I hope you’ll be here, too!

Thanks for reading. You can follow me on Instagram @networthnegative for daily updates on our debt free journey as well as other shenanigans I get up to.

XOXO,

 

Dolores

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September 2017 Net Worth Update

Hello, and welcome to our September Statement of Net Worth Update, only a little late this time! We have had another insane increase in our net worth due to the house going up a crazy amount in value again. I’m not sure how long this trend will continue, but I’m enjoying it while it lasts!

September 2017

ASSETS

The home increased in value again this month, just over $2,000 this time.

The Dart also increased a good amount again, more than the house! Like I said, I have no idea what’s going on but I hope they don’t revert back to the downward trend we had been seeing the last few months.

Although the house and car is doing well our 401(k) amounts are increasing slowly. These accounts seem to creep up slowly and then about once a quarter they jump a higher amount. I think what we are seeing now is market fluctuations, and then the big increases are our companies making a lump sum deposit of the money we have accumulated in that time. That’s just a guess though from watching this over the last year.

By the way, we are coming up on the one year anniversary of starting this blog! It doesn’t seem so long ago.

Our Savings – Vacation account increased $100 more than usual because we added some extra money at the end of the month after paying off some debts – more about that later.

LIABILITIES

I’ve cleared Vermuelen’s off this list since it was paid off last month, and now Amazon is also at a 0 balance so that will be removed next month. Then, the number of liability accounts will match my asset accounts! Yes, aesthetic!

So while we had some success in paying off debt, we have also been really bad with the CP Visa. We put some back to school shopping and birthday spending on here, and basically just used this card when we ran low on funds elsewhere instead of slowing down our spending when we were running out of money. We just swiped s different card and I really wish it didn’t happen now.

The Capital One account also looks to have increased but the $1,150 balance is actually the cost of our flight and rental car to Puerto Rico which will be coming off tomorrow at the time I’m writing this post, so I’m not too concerned with that increase. This account should be at or near $0 for future reports so I might actually take it off the report altogether. That is, until we do our next 0% balance transfer to take care of the Personal Loan and CP Visa. These accounts both have a 9.5% interest rate, and one of them has insurance on it which runs it up an additional $10 per month. That’s frustrating, so I can’t wait to be done with it!

If you remember, the Capital One account was holding the balance for the HHR that I put on a 0% balance transfer last year. We also paid that off this month! Since this account will soon be at a 0 balance I’m hoping we get another 0% balance transfer invite so we can move those 2 accounts over soon. We will see.

DEBT PAYOFF

Some of these details accidentally made it over in to the Liabilities section but I’ll recap here.

After paying all the September bills we were able to pay off the radiology bill, Amazon Store Card, and the Capital One balance transfer for the HHR (2 months ahead of schedule)!

As of today, our smallest 3 debts are:

  1. Navient Loan #9 – $1,254
  2. Equinox – $2,304
  3. Home Depot – $2,972

I would say it is high time for me to go ahead and make that student loan post I’ve been talking about making where I will breakdown my balance, but according to my calculations I will not have anything extra to throw at debt until the end of November, and by that time the Equinox will have bypassed the Navient Loan #9 in being the smallest debt to pay off. Plus the minimum on the Equinox is $475 a month compared to about $1 on Navient thanks to the Income Based Repayment Plan.

These next couple of months will be touch and go with just paying the minimums and seeing if I can make extra money wherever possible.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @networthnegative for daily updates on our debt free journey.

 

XOXO,

 

Dolores

August 2017 Statement of Net Worth Update

Hello, and welcome to our August 2017 Statement of Net Worth Update! This is a very late update again for no good reason, but hopefully I will get back up to speed soon!

I have a lot of things going on at the same time: We have decided to go on vacation for the first time ever in my life, and my husband’s first vacation since he was around 13 years old. We are going to Puerto Rico! So I have been trying to lose weight for our trip.

I have a new Intagram account where I post daily updates on my weight loss similar to my personal finance Instagram account. I’ve been practicing intermittent fasting, I started and finished a swim class, and I’ve been playing with strength training but I haven’t gotten a firm grasp on that yet.

I have gone from 158.6 pounds on 4/8/2017 to 141.4 at the time I’m writing this: 9/2/2017. I hope to be 125 by 11/4/2017 (talk about a stretch goal)! But, enough about weight loss! Let’s get back to the personal finance side of me. Something very strange happened this month. Keep reading to find out.

Statement of Net Worth. August

Assets

Here it is! The house increased in value after months of falling drastically. And not only did it go up in value, it increased by over $6,000! This had a major impact on our net worth, quickly boosting us into the mid 50s range with absolutely no fanfare or effort.

Sadly, I have not been doing my part on keeping up on the yard work and increasing the curb appeal with how busy I have been recently. Also, I’m lazy. Could you imagine the increase it could have had then? Wow!

Even the Dart increased in value. I have no idea what’s going on here. I can explain the house going up in value with sales going up around us but I have no idea why the Dart would appreciate. But I appreciate it! Ha, get it? Appreciate? No? Okay, moving on…

The vacation fund went up a little more than usual because we chucked an extra $25 in there to go toward our Puerto Rico vacation. Big spenders over here haha.

LIABILITIES

The CP Visa. We have been swiping a lot again, I don’t really have an excuse for it. We’ve been naughty and this naughtiness has leaked over into the September Statement of Net Worth as well which hopefully I will be writing later.

Other than that all liabilities are decreasing as expected!

DEBT PAYOFF

This one is going to be a little harder to write, because as of the end of July when I should have been writing this, I had plans to pay off debts which I did do, so now I have to remember what they were. I need to stay ahead!!

Since I don’t remember what the actual plan was for the end of July, I will tell you what we ended up doing. We paid $246 extra to the Radiology bill, and we paid off Vermuelen’s! Our Radiology bill I actually never added to the report, and now all that’s left is $100, so I won’t bother doing it now.

Thanks to the huge increase in the value of our home, our net worth increased a staggering $9,780 this month! Isn’t that crazy? We now have a net worth of $(55,889). I am over the moon.

As always, thank you for reading! Please follow my personal finance Instagram account @networthnegative for daily updates on our debt free journey and join me in my monthly money savings and personal happiness challenges.

 

XOXO,
Dolores

June 2017 Net Worth Update

Hello and welcome to our June 2017 Statement of Net Worth Update which is extremely late even though I had the numbers ready by 6/2! I’ve been busy settling in to the summer routine, finishing up the side hustle, and I’m working on diet and exercise lately. So sorry I have neglected my blog! I get summer blues and usually find myself more motivated in the Fall/Winter seasons. I’m strange. Anyway, on to the breakdown!

Statement of Net Worth. June

Assets

You will notice an incredible decrease in our Car Insurance savings, because the car insurance became due! So all this money got cleaned out and we were able to pay the car insurance in full without a problem. That was a great feeling. I also charged it to our Capital One account before paying it off to earn 1.5% cash back. Yay, free money!

Starting July 1st we will start an automatic transfer of $325 per month in to this account so we will see it growing again soon!

The Dart lost another significant chunk of value this month as well, but looking at the liabilities section makes me feel a little better about that. The value of the liability decreased $208 compared to the decrease in the asset of $188. It still stinks, though.

Again, the decrease in Savings – Reg is a holding place for our paychecks until we pay all the bills on the last day of the month so that will go up and down in value but it doesn’t mean much for reporting purposes.

Liabilities

This was a good month, with only the Navient going up in value $121. I had planned to increase my payments to this account in order to avoid growth in my liabilities, but I have become very active in the Instagram Debt Free Community and they advised me that I should go ahead with the Debt Snowball method so that is what I’ll be doing.

I have some more liabilities that I haven’t been completely honest about. Well, not un-honest it’s just I failed to add them to my spreadsheet. They are RAC once again. My husband has a laptop on 0% interest. As of the writing of this blog, the balance is now $169.84.

We are also on a payment plan for the medical bills I discussed in a previous blog. In fact it has been my intention to write a blog about our success with the Compassionate Care program – Our $1,800 bill got knocked down to $378.83 and we were placed automatically on a payment plan of $127 per month. I just never got around to writing that blog. We also have a radiology bill for the MRI he had to have of $746 which we are on a $100/mo payment plan. These are all 0% interest of course.

Vermuelen’s didn’t come down at all because I have been counting $50 ahead somehow and just caught on to it. Whoops! This is the corrected balance.

Debt Pay Off

Hey, what is this? This is a new section where I will discuss what debts were paid off this month (if any) and where I will announce future debt pay off plans.

It just so happens we did pay off a debt for the month of June! That $1,800 bill that became $378.83 is now paid in full! This saves us $127 a month on our total bills each month. Win! Now, our 3 smallest debts at the end of June will be: RAC – $106.27, Vermuelen’s – $306, and Radiology – $346. I should have $350 left after paying bills so we will hopefully be saying goodbye to RAC and possibly Vermuelen’s as well!

Conclusion

You guys! We are now at our HIGHEST Net Worth since I started my blog in October! I only see good things from here on out, We increased $1,560 for a Net Worth of $(66,153)!

As always, thank you for reading. Please follow me on Instagram for daily updates on our journey! @networthnegative

XOXO,

 

Dolores

May 2017 Net Worth Update

May.SNWWelcome to another installment of our Statement of Net Worth updates!

I have been slacking on posting lately, I apologize for that. I have a lot of ideas that I would like to share with my readers so I’m hoping to get back in to posting once weekly. Also, I’m on Instagram! Please follow me @networthnegative.

We have made a nice recovery from last month’s decrease of $3,354 with an increase this month of $3,011!

I’m excited because I don’t foresee us having any more decreases in our Net Worth for about another year. I am considering the Central A/C replacement in March of 2018, and we will be buying a used car that same month because our lease for the Equinox is up 3/31/2018.

But, I digress. On to the breakdown!

Statement of Net Worth. May

Assets

Only one decrease in assets this month which is the Dodge Dart depreciation. Quite a sizeable decrease though. $268 in only one month!

You may have noticed that the Savings – Tax CD account name has been changed to Savings – Car Ins. I mentioned to you guys in a previous post how I was unable to put anything extra toward debt for a few months because we were recovering from our car insurance costs. Well, now I have made a plan to contribute an equal monthly amount to this account automatically so that we will be able to make our car insurance payment in one go. We also charge this bill automatically to our credit card and earn 1.5% cash back on it. Winning all around!

The car insurance is due 5/11/2017 so we will have a ginormous decrease in this account next month. Sad face. We are being charged an exorbitant amount due to having our son on our policy and then we recently discovered 1 error on each of our credit reports so we are working on getting those errors fixed and then we will shop around for different car insurance quotes. I heard a quote today: “Your insurance company isn’t loyal to you, so don’t be loyal to your insurance company! Shop around!” I do love my agent though, but he’s not worth $2,020.32 for full coverage on 3 cars for 6 months. Sorry, Chris!

Liabilities

2 liabilities increased in value this month and that was the CP Credit Card and Navient. The CP Credit Card continues to be a problem. We went on a bit of a spending spree for my birthday (April 5), and we spent a lot this weekend attending my best friends graduation (flowers, parking, gifts). My card has been put away since the day after my birthday, but my husband still has his and refuses to be cooperative.

Many of our credit card transactions are restaurant visits for us. I like to think that I’m doing much better about cooking dinner at home every night, but the credit card statement says otherwise. Also, my husband is a fan of picking up the check when he has lunch with friends much to my chagrin. His generous spirit needs to be reined in.

As for Navient, this was an odd increase this month. Typically we see over $100 increase each  month but this month it was only $87! I think that may be due to the timing of the month when I’m writing this post. It’s the earliest I think that I’ve ever been able to give an update on our net worth since I changed both our student loans to autodraft on the 1st instead of the 3rd of the months.

Overall, we see an increase in net worth of $3,011 and that brings our Net Worth for 5/2017 to $(67,713). Our record highest net worth was in 11/2016 of $(66,969). I’m sure we can beat that next month! We have only had 2 consecutive months of net worth increases since we started tracking in 10/2016 so having consecutive months of increases in our net worth will be another goal.

Coming up in May:

Fully funded baby emergency fund – $1,000

Drastic decrease in Savings – Car Ins

0 increases in liability accounts???

Thank you for reading and following our journey!

XOXO,
Dolores