April 2018 Net Worth Update

Hello, and welcome to our April 2018 Statement of Net Worth!

We are a lot later than usual because we are still recovering from all that went wrong in March. Murphy is continuing to kick our butts in April, but we are almost through it now! The future looks bright. May is a 5 Pay Day month for me, and June is a 3 Pay Day month for my husband’s biweekly paychecks so we should be recovering nicely soon, and saying goodbye to our Personal Loan soon along with its $150/month minimum payment. That’ll be a nice reduction in monthly expenses.

But, as for April we could only make our minimum payments and it took us a few pay days in to April to be able to cover those expenses. But, even though we have had a couple tough months our debt continues to fall and our net worth continues to grow.

April 2018 Breakdown

Assets

House – The housing market is doing something wacky. These numbers are all a snapshot in time at around 4/9/2018 when I was able to make my last minimum payment for the bills due in April. Since I am now writing this 10 days later, the house value is continuing to sky rocket according to Zillow. The one year forecast has our home pegged to reach nearly $100k. That’s unthinkable to me, and now instead of being excited, I’m watching this cautiously. Are we heading in to another bubble?

Our real estate company recently posted a Facebook Live video stating they have stacks of files for pre-approved buyers, and not enough homes for them to buy. Demand is high and people are missing out on opportunities because they are beat out by other buyers, so they are settling for homes they don’t love, which I find sad. I wonder how long this will continue, and if the market will fall by the time we are ready to move on to purchasing our first rental property. Let’s hope so!

Savings – Emergency – Again, since I am privy to information I wouldn’t normally have when I should be writing these posts, I can tell you that we had to use some money from our Emergency Fund for my son’s car repair so we will see this asset decrease next month. I also need a car repair, but I’m not sure how much that will be and if we will be able to swing it or need to dip further in to our Emergency Fund.

Liabilities

There was only one small increase in Liabilities this month. Since we were only able to make our minimum payments, all our balances decreased as usual with the exception of the CP – Visa account.

I was able to make a few extra payments to Navient with my side hustle at Shipt resulting in a decrease of $331, which I am proud of.

Planned Debt Pay Off/ Life Update

My husband is now about 6 weeks in to his new position, and he likes it! Adjusting to the biweekly paycheck has been a struggle. The typical way that we would break up our spending money when we both were paid weekly would look like this:

Wednesday – $100 for gas and spending (usually takeout)

Friday – $100 for groceries

We used to do $50 a week budget for groceries and $50 a week for spending cash ($20 each for my husband and myself and $10 for my daughter), but since nixing the grocery budget we haven’t been able to do the spending cash. I feel like this is resulting in lots more debit and credit swipes for takeout and overall decreased happiness. Having that pocket money to save up or to spend on whatever we chose made us happy!

Since he now gets paid every other Friday I assumed that if we tucked an extra $100 in to Savings – Reg and then took it out on Non-Pay Friday that it would work out just the same. In theory, yes but it just doesn’t seem to be a smooth transition at all! Maybe that’s because of the tough couple of months we had.

I base my husband’s paychecks off 45 hours per week, and his last couple of checks have been nearly $200 more than my projection. For now, instead of adjusting my projection I’ve decided to continue with the “base” projection at 45 hours and whatever extra, is extra. This is allowing us to take our spending cash out again which hopefully will reduce the amount of swiping in our checking account. Last week I had to take $100 extra out of Savings – Reg on 3 separate occasions because we were burning through it so fast! It really was an off month. With this new tweak, I’m hoping the money I project to have in savings at the end of the month will STAY in savings!

Last month I projected we would have another $375 to send to our smallest debt, but we didn’t have anything extra at all. In fact we weren’t able to cover all of our April bills until April 8th.

At the end of April (only a few days away now as I write this) we again won’t have any extra money to send to debt. We will be able to pay all of the May bills by May 2nd instead of the last payday of April which will be April 25th.

I’m really looking forward to May and June when we will have excess savings and things will get exciting again!

The smallest 3 debts in our Debt Snowball as of April 2018 are:

  1. Personal Loan – $1,366 (9.5% interest rate)
  2. CP Visa – $3,754 (9.5% interest rate)
  3. PMI – $5,003

Conclusion

Although we had a tough couple of months we still increased our Net Worth by $3,950 for a total Net Worth of $(33,400)! The nice, round numbers are continuing!

Please don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for daily updates on our journey to a positive net worth.

Thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Dolores

March 2018 Navient Review

Hello and welcome to our March 2018 Navient Review! It’s been a weird month. I didn’t do too much work for Shipt this month because I was getting overtime left and right at my full time job. When I take in to account the cost of gas and the time spent shopping and delivering an order, I come out way ahead getting overtime hours at my full time job.

That being said, I did catch a few shops here and there.

March 2018 Breakdown Image

2/9/2018

  • $573.12 Excess Tax Savings
  • Sent $310.81 to Navient #9. Paid in Full!
  • Sent $275 to Navient #1

I also cashed in my Shipt Income Tax Savings since I got a refund! This resulted in a huge payment that got rid of Navient #9 once and for all! Now the attack starts on Navient #1.

2/9/2018

  • $56.54 Paycheck
  • $16.96 Saved for Taxes
  • Sent $25 to Navient!

2/16/2018

  • $47.85 Paycheck
  • $14.36 Saved for Taxes
  • Sent $25 to Navient!

3/2/2018

  • $51.16 Paycheck
  • $15.35 Saved for Taxes
  • Sent $25 to Navient!

Recap

I sent a total of $660.81 extra to my student loans for the March billing cycle, and reduced my loans a total of $673.05! Not bad at all.

I know I said last month that I was hoping to get back in to the swing of things, but we had an unexpected turn of events at my full time job which resulted in me being needed there so I didn’t have much time for Shipt at all.

I am hoping in the future to start making around $100 per week again so I can continue getting these debts paid off!

I have also decided to clean out my cash tips jar quarterly so we will see those payments 3/31, 6/30, 9/30, and 12/31.

Thank you for reading!

XOXO,
Dolores

Addressing My Biggest Fear: Financial Ruin Via Medical Bills

I am an unusually healthy person and only go to the doctor for annual checkups. I rarely get sick and I have a high pan tolerance so when I do get sick or injured (think: The Haunted House Incident), I often muscle through it. It’s a source of pride for me if you can’t tell. This makes me a perfect candidate for a High Deductible Health Plan.

My husband however is not so lucky. He has a medical condition that has been ignored for years: a dangerously low heart rate. Recently, he failed a physical because of it. His heart was beating a mere 32 beats per minute, and he was advised that he is at Stage 2 of having a heart attack. Stage 3 is heart attack and possible death. He went from getting a standard physical for an exciting new opportunity to a scary reality check. We cannot ignore this anymore.

I dealt with this news by becoming angry which is my usual method of adjusting to a stressful situation: Anger, Defeat, Acceptance, and then eventually Planning.

To be completely honest, this has always been my worst fear since starting out becoming financially secure, attaining good credit, and buying a home.

I am reading a book called The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom by Suze Orman, and she advised us to address what we are afraid of. I am afraid I’m going to lose everything. The one thing I see that could wipe us out is a medical emergency resulting in medical bills we can’t afford, debt, collections, law suits,  bad credit, financial ruin, AH!

My husband and I ran numbers a few years and found that we were both better off paying for our insurance individually. Since I enjoy good health, I have been part of a HDHP for a couple of years now. In 2017, I contributed $500 to my Health Savings Account in order to get a maximum $250 match from my employer. I used the savings for medical, dental, and vision bills for my family, and any bills above the $750, I contributed after tax dollars and deducted that from our income at tax time.

Even though I am the only person covered on my plan, I am still able to pay for bills for my spouse and my dependents.

Knowing all of this, and having this medical scare for my husband brought out the planner in me.

I have mentioned before that every debt free journey is going to be personal because we are dealing with personal finance. This is another way that I am tailoring our debt free journey to our specific needs. A medical emergency scares the living daylights out of me. I don’t want to hide anymore. I don’t want my husband to go on pretending he is healthy only because his condition hasn’t become serious enough to affect his daily life yet because in reality, eventually it will and waiting will only make it worse.

We are going to do what we can with what is available to us and start preparing for the bills that are coming as he gets his work up done by his cardiologist. I’m going to decrease my take home pay in order to increase my HSA contributions.

I have read that a good rule of thumb to contribute each year to an HSA is the amount of our deductibles. My deductible is $1,750. His is $2,500. Yes, that’s right. My unhealthy husband is in a high deductible plan. We will have to fix that coming up! More about that later.

Since I am the only one covered on my HDHP Plan, the most I can contribute is $3,450 even though our deductibles add up to $4,250.

Now, I know that we could use that $3,450 a year to pay off debt and keep going on our merry way, but like I said this medical issue needs to be addressed and it needs to be worked in to the budget. This is how we are going to do it. Maybe it’s a little wacky, a little doomsday if you will, but it makes me feel worlds better. We will be adding the HSA balance as an asset account in our Statements of Net Worth Updates beginning in March 2018.

Here are some notes from a little research I have done.

HSA Notes

2018 limit is $3,450. After age 55 you can contribute $1,000 catch up.

Only I am covered on my HDHP, but I can pay for medical, dental, and vision bills for my husband and children. Hearing is covered as well.

Unused money rolls over year to year and is able to be invested once your account exceeds $1,000 (I plan to keep the amount of our deductibles as a “cash reserve” before investing in a mutual fund).

If I leave the plan, I still own the money but I can’t contribute any additional funds.

All contributions (matches from employer, gifts, after tax additions, and pretax additions) all count toward the maximum annual contribution.

After age 65, you can withdraw the funds for any reason just like a 401(k).

I am not eligible for an HSA if I have other insurance in addition to my HDHP.

A Happy Ending

Remember that failed physical? Well, the cardiologist declared my husband healthy enough for the opportunity which brought him to the Medical Center for his drug test and physical in the first place!

He has a new job training to be a manager with a competing company. This is a life changing event, so you can bet your bottom dollar I will be pouring over his medical plans and not letting him go in to a HDHP again!

I hope you learned something from our experience and my notes above.

Thanks for reading.

XOXO,

 

Dolores

February 2018 Navient Review

Hello and welcome to our February 2018 Navient Review! Our balances decreased by a huge portion this month. Not only was I able to pay extra, but I became eligible for a rebate program which paid a portion of some of my student loans for me! The amount was equal to about $1,400 in addition to what I paid each week. That helped a lot!

But, I’m confused again. I am not sure which payments actually posted this month because of how Navient bills customers. I’d like to be able to see each individual payment posted on its dates, but they lump it together as one sum and then the credit I mentioned above was included with my payments in that as well.

So, here is a list of the payments I have made. I feel like the 1/3/2018 may have been applied in January since my bills cycles go through the 6th of each month.

February 2018 Breakdown Image

1/3/2018

  • $113.00 Cash Tips
  • $33.90 Saved for Taxes
  • $75.00 Sent to Navient!

Remember the cash tips that I’ve been stockpiling? I asked on Instagram if my followers thought it would be appropriate to take the cash out, save 30% like usual, and then send the rest to Navient. They were cash tips received in 2017, so I need that information for the IRS anyway! The overwhelming consensus was yes.

01/05/2018

  • $131.71 Paycheck
  • $39.51 Saved for Taxes
  • $20.00 Gas
  • $75.00 Sent to Navient!

01/12/2018

  • $92.79 Paycheck
  • $27.84 Saved for Taxes
  • $25.00 Gas
  • $50.00 Sent to Navient!

The small paychecks are starting. Truth be told, I miss sending in those big payments. $50 is definitely a respectable amount, too! I decided that when I’m in between $25 and $50 to send to Navient, I’m going to go with the closer amount. For example, $92.79 – $27.84 – $25.00 = $39.95.$39.95 is only $10.05 from $50.00 and $14.95 away from $25, so I went with sending a $50.00 payment and made up the shortage with spending money in our checking account.

1/19/2018

  • $96.31 Paycheck
  • $28.89 Saved for Taxes
  • $30.00 Gas
  • $50.00 Sent to Navient!

1/26/2018

  • $33.64 Paycheck
  • $10.15 Saved for Taxes
  • $15.00 Gas

This was an abnormally small paycheck. My daughter has been on an extended winter break at her school, and this paycheck reflects her first week back at school. When she is in school I would put myself on schedule for 7p-8p and that would work out just fine. For some reason, this week I had anxiety about being able to drop her off at home and getting to the store in time to do a shop. All in all, I just had a hard time getting back in to the swing of things.

At the time of writing this, I’m at the tail end of her second week back at school and the 7p-8p window is working just fine just as it always did. I am still sticking with my vow to spend more time at home making sure all is well here, so I only go on the schedule Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays which are the busiest days aside from Sunday.

However, my Saturdays are going to be a little shorter for the next few weeks because I am working Saturday mornings at my full time job to get caught up on thing there and earn over time. The over time I earn at my full time job goes toward my smallest consumer debt.

2/2/2018

  • $54.83 Paycheck
  • $16.45 Taxes
  • $15.00 Gas
  • Sent $25 Extra to Navient!

My funk is continuing. I am finding that only working on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays are leaving me with really small paychecks. I want to get back in to the old swing of things again, but not so much that I am never spending time with my family.

Right now the weather isn’t so hot, and daylight savings time has me delivering groceries in the dark in the country to unplowed roads. I just haven’t been wanting to commit to the struggle lately.

I think there’s light at the end of the tunnel. After a snow storm left us with about 7 inches of snow, in a few days’ time the temperatures will be in the 40s with rain. And we move the clocks forward March 11th, so soon I won’t have to deliver in the dark anymore. Shipt is so much more enjoyable in the warmer months.

Recap

We knocked Navient #9 down to $310, and reduced our overall balance by $1,617! Hopefully in March I can pick up more deliveries and get back in to the swing of things.

Thank you for reading and following along!

 

XOXO,

 

Dolores

February 2018 Statement of Net Worth Update

Hello and welcome to our February 2018 Statement of Net Worth Update!

Remember last month when I said that I could enjoy having only 8 liability accounts for a couple of months? Well, I found a great deal on a car that I loved so we went ahead and purchased one early!

You guys would be proud of me. I researched the KBB value of the value of the car as a private party sale before I bought it. This is the value that I assign to cars on our Net Worth Statements. When we bought the Dodge Dart I mistakenly looked at the KBB value when buying from a dealership and compared that amount to what we were paying and thought we were getting a good deal! Then, when I added it to our Net Worth Statement I found us once again thousands of dollars under water. Not this time! Not only did we get a great deal on a car that I am absolutely smitten with, the purchase of it actually increased our net worth. We are getting smarter and smarter with each car purchase. Keep an eye out for a future post depicting how we got our 2012 Chevy Sonic for $4,700!

February SNW Breakdown Image

Assets

You’ve already learned a little bit about the star of the Asset show, our new Chevy Sonic. I adore this car. I’m absolutely in love.

The only asset that decreased this month was the Dodge Dart and that’s mostly because I had been guessing at the mileage in previous statements. I took note of the actual mileage and I found I was off by about 5,000 miles! I corrected it and we had the huge decrease reported. I am going to check in every month to see what the mileage actually is before reporting from now on.

The Savings – Taxes account will be zeroed out on our next Statement of Net Worth because we didn’t need the savings at all. We got a refund! So this money will be going toward Navient.

Liabilities

Again, the star of the show is the new Sonic account at $5,000. I am so happy that under the Assets column the Sonic is worth $505 more than the liability. For the first time ever I am not upside down on a car loan.

The loan term is 36 months at 4.3% interest. This is a little higher than I’d like to pay, and higher than the financing we had set up through my credit union (3.49%). But it was part of the negotiating process, and we can always refinance in a few months with our credit union. In fact, I think that we can get our credit scores even higher and maybe qualify for an even lower interest rate than originally offered to us.

The interest rate on the Dart loan was 3.99% at our credit union.  Since we were approved for the Sonic at 3.49%, they went ahead and did a one-time interest rate reduction for the Dart and brought it down to 3.49% as well. So, we should start seeing a slightly larger decrease in this account each month going forward.

Another unexpected change happened over on the Navient account! Check out that decrease of $1,681! No, I didn’t make that much extra to send from my Shipt paychecks. I only paid about $200 extra! It turns out that I signed an agreement stating that if I made my first 12 payments after graduation on time, a certain portion of my loans would be forgiven! Hooray for responsibility!

Planned Debt Pay Off

In January 2018 I stated that I thought we would be able to pay about $1,000 extra to our Personal Loan, but the process of purchasing our car cost us a lot of money:

  • $52 Oil Change for Lease Return
  • $108 on Used Car Inspection
  • $159 Car Detail for Lease Return
  • $253 Partial Payment of Tax, Title, and Plates on Sonic

After parting with all that money, we were left with $200 extra to send to our Personal Loan account. A far cry from $1,000 but it’s something and I think it’s understandable! I am proud of us nonetheless.

Here’s our updated debt snowball for February 2018

  1. Personal Loan – $2,037 (9.5% interest rate)
  2. CP Visa – $3,825 (9.5% interest rate)
  3. PMI – $5,252

At the end of February I estimate that we will have about $500 – $750 extra to send to debt. I look forward to checking in and reviewing the actual amount we were able to send!

Conclusion

We increased our net worth in February by $3,940 for a total Net Worth of (38,408)! We are getting closer and closer to becoming worthless.

Please don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for daily updates on our journey to a positive net worth.

Thanks for reading!

XOXO,

Dolores

 

I Want To Be a Landlord! So Why Don’t I Study How?

I read once that to become an expert in any subject you should read 7 books on the matter. Since reading that quote, I have made reading personal finance books as important of a goal as making and saving as much money as possible.

Owning rental properties is a pin on the map of how I plan to become a millionaire before I retire.

That map looks like this:

  1. Contribute to Employer Matched 401(k) Plans
  2. Eliminate all debt with higher than 4% interest rates
  3. Save for retirement
    1. Buy Rental Properties
    2. Max out Roth IRA contributions
    3. Max out 401(k) contributions

Step 1 has been done for a while now. You may have noticed that I have talked in depth about Step 2, and nothing at all yet about Step 3. In fact, Step 3 is very murky because I haven’t studied these goals at all. If I want to be a landlord, why haven’t I expended the same devotion to learning how as I have with my debt free journey?

The One Thing

“What is the one thing you can do, such that by doing it makes everything else easier or unnecessary?” That is a line you will hear time and time again if you have delved in to the subject of mono-tasking as told by Geoff Woods, Jay Papasan, and Gary Keller. I have learned  a lot from listening to the podcast called The One Thing, the most important of that being that I do not yet have the right to adjust my laser focus from the one thing that I can do now (get out of debt) to what I want to do later (buy rental properties).

I do not allow myself to get in touch with the real estate agent to ask about rental properties being sold in my area. I don’t go looking on Zillow for potential homes. I don’t contact my chosen property management company that will be getting our business in a few years. All of these things if done right now would only distract my focus from my One Thing which is getting out of debt.

Thinking Forward

I am not heading in to my future completely blind. I have an idea of what I would like to happen after I am out of debt, I just don’t actively work on those things.

Once I have paid off all the debt has higher than a 4% interest rate, I will then start reading books on becoming a landlord while I save up money for the down payment on our first rental property. Even though I haven’t yet earned the right to even think about buying rental properties, I do have a list of books that I would like to read once I decide that I have earned the right to do so:

  • Retire Rich with Rentals
  • Real Estate Investing Gone Bad
  • Investing in Real Estate
  • Hold – How to Find, Buy, and Rent Houses to Produce Wealth
  • First Time Landlord

I have a long list of books that I want to read regarding self-improvement and personal finance as well. Self-Improvement may seem like it would also be a distraction from personal finance, but I think the self-improvement books help me to live a happier life which will help me make more money for a longer period of time which helps me get out of debt. Here are some of the self-improvement books on my list:

  • The Power of Nice
  • The Miracle Morning
  • The Power of Habit
  • Moon-walking with Einstein
  • You Only Live Once
  • Man’s Search for Meaning

Personal finance keeps me inspired and focused on the goal at hand. Here are some books from that list:

  • Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
  • Automatic Millionaire
  • The Two Income Trap
  • The Millionaire Teacher
  • I Will Teach You to Be Rich

I share my favorite quotes from the books I’m currently reading on my Instagram page (@networthnegative). I decided to share them on my blog as well, so look out for these posts. I will name them “Lessons I Learned from The Richest Man in Babylon” or maybe “Favorite Quotes from Rich Dad Poor Dad”

I started to write a post like that tonight but I thought I would first share my modus operandi to becoming not only net worth positive, but a millionaire as well. I’m looking forward to these posts!

January 2018 Navient Review

I made some pretty amazing strides against Navient #9 this past month. It feels amazing knowing the principal is going down, and seeing the way my regular monthly minimum payments are being applied and are already starting to change as a result of my hard work.

On December 1st 2017 my first increased minimum payment of $217.42 applied, and all of it went to interest. On January 1st 2018 $212.76 of my $217.42 went to interest and $4.71 applied to principal.

I’m excited to see how this changes over the next few months as a result of paying Navient #9 off and moving on to Navient #1, both of which are high interest low balance loans.

January 2018 Breakdown Image

Weekly Breakdown

12/8/2017

  • $104.29 Paycheck
  • $31.29 Saved for Taxes
  • $30.00 Gas
  • $50.00 Sent to Navient!

12/15/2017

  • $198.40 Paycheck
  • $59.52 Saved for Taxes
  • $30.00 Gas
  • $100.00 Sent to Navient!

I was bummed this week because I had to stay home for a day due to icy road conditions. My first two orders of the week only paid $7 each with no tips, so I was really upset wondering if all of winter would be this way.

But the next day the roads were much better so I got an order on schedule and was able to pick up an extra promo order that same night.

The weekend was incredibly busy, and I actually broke my record of the most money I’ve ever made in a week with Shipt! Take THAT, snow!

12/22/2017

  • $200.73 Paycheck
  • $60.22 Saved for Taxes
  • $30.00 Gas
  • $ 100.00 Sent to Navient!

Since we had to cancel our trip to Puerto Rico, I had 40 hours of vacation time saved up at my full time job that I couldn’t roll over to 2018. I decided to take off Mondays and Fridays for the rest of the year because those are the busiest Shipt weekdays.

Monday, December 11th had blizzard-like conditions just after I dropped my daughter off at school. I sat around at home dejectedly until it let up around noon, so I took some orders then. At 6pm the conditions got bad again so I stopped. In those 5 hours I made $68.81 plus $20 cash tips! This is in addition to what I was making at my day time job for my paid time off!

Cash Tips

I set aside any cash tips I receive in my Savesaurus Rex box. I’ve never touched them, and I’m not sure how much money is in there currently. My guess is around $100. I don’t really have a plan for my cash tips yet. I might save them until tax time when I see how much if anything we owe to the IRS. At that point I’ll probably combine it with my Savings – Taxes account and make a big payment to Navient.

Part of me thinks I should clean it out December 31st, save 30% of it for taxes and send the rest to Navient. It doesn’t amount to much right now since I just started Shipt in September, but next December 31st should be a whole year’s worth of cash tips assuming I keep Shipting so it could become a sizeable amount. Do you have any thoughts?

Cash Tips

I took that Saturday off to help my mom move in to her new home. If I had worked this day as well, I might have made more than $250!

12/29/2017

  • $162.46 Paycheck
  • $48.74 Saved for Taxes
  • $15.00 Gas
  • $100 Sent to Navient!

This was the week that I decided I was putting Shipt and my student loans over my own family and taking care of my home. I vowed this week to stop doing that.  Read more about my thought process regarding that here.

However, I still had taken time off from my full time job so I decided that I would go ahead and Shipt my regular work hours and not feel guilty about it. But I ended up helping my mom buy and install new appliances in her home a couple days this week so I wasn’t able to Shipt as much as I could have.

Due to that, I made only a little extra money but I also didn’t drive as much so I didn’t need as much gas as usual, either.

At the time of writing this post, December 29th I have just used the last of the vacation days at my full time job while still rolling over the maximum amount of hours I’m allowed for 2018. We should see a big reduction in the amount of money I’m able to put toward Navient every week but we will have a much happier home and better relationships because of it. I’m okay with that trade off.

Recap

I was able to send $350 total extra to Navient in the month of December! Hey, it looks like I finally have the timing and posting of payments worked out. We are down to a balance of $590.06 for Navient #9.

Since I am planning on slowing down the side hustle, I think I will be paying an extra $150 per month from now on. That means it will be around March or April when this loan is paid in full. That’s a little disheartening but like I said above, having a happy home life more than outweighs the disadvantage.

I hope you will join me next month for another review of how I am attacking my student loans.