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

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 Net Worth Update

Hello and welcome to our first Net Worth Update for 2018!  I have a big goal this year, but I don’t know if it’s a stretch goal or a delusional one. I think by the end of this year, we might become worthless! I say this because our net worth increases thousands of dollars a month usually. It’s a tall order but we will see what happens.

This month we have a smaller than usual increase in net worth due to the holidays. We cash flowed all our gifts for the first time ever. I actually didn’t expect us to have any money left over but we had an extra $325 at the end of the month that we were able to put on our personal loan!

Please keep reading for a detailed breakdown of the changes in our net worth for January 2018.

SNW Breakdown Image

Assets

The home value decreased a bit this month but that is due to normal fluctuations in the housing market.

I wanted to talk more about the decrease in our Savings – Emergency Fund. You will remember last month that I was putting my income tax savings from Shipt in our Emergency Fund because I didn’t have a designated place for it yet.

We went ahead and opened up 2 new savings accounts, one for my husband’s bonuses and one for Savings – Taxes. I will not be reporting the bonus account as an asset on our net worth updates because my husband needs the freedom to purchase big ticket items from that savings so I don’t want to have my eyes on it. Also, this keeps him from taking money from the end of the month to make those purchases as well! We both win!

We transferred the excess money from Savings – Emergency in to the new account Savings – Taxes and added to it as the month went on and I collected more Shipt paychecks.

Liabilities

Not one increase this month! I do believe that’s the first time ever! Not only that, but I just love to see this side of the chart shrinking. I took off the Equinox since it’s paid in full.

Though I will be adding an account for the next car I get, I can enjoy seeing only 8 debt accounts for a while.

Navient decreased $203; I will have more info about that in an upcoming post next week. I’m waiting for the next bill to post before I detail all the extra payments I made during that bill cycle.

The personal loan decreased $387 thanks to the excess of $325 at the end of December and our regular minimum payment.

Planned Debt Payoff

At the end of January I think we will have nearly $1,000 extra to send to debt. Last month I shared our smallest 3 debts and explained my reasoning from straying from the debt snowball method that we all know and love. I am doing a hybrid plan of:

  1. How much our monthly obligations will decrease by paying the balance in full.
  2. What the interest rate is on all debts that are within “firing range”.

Here are our 3 smallest debts as of January 4, 2018. These are listed in order of the typical debt snowball method, taking in to account balances only:

  • Navient #9 – $590.38 (6.5%)
  • Home Depot – $2,275 (0%)
  • Personal Loan – $2,364 (9.5)

Since I’m already devoting all of the money I make from Shipt on knocking out Navient #9, the excess money at the end of the month I am sending to our personal loan. It has the highest interest rate and nearly the same balance as our 0% debt at Home Depot. Even the payments we send are similar: Home Depot is $175 a month and the personal loan is $150 a month. Therefore we don’t gain much from focusing on Home Depot just because it’s a slightly lower balance. The personal loan eats money!

I think the personal loan will be paid in full by the end of March, but I have high hopes we might be able to get rid of it by the end of February!

Here is my updated list of attack items on my personalized debt payment plan:

  • Personal Loan – $2,364 (9.5%)
  • CP Visa – $3,796 (9.5%)
  • PMI – $5,375 (see below)

In order to get rid of PMI we need to bring our mortgage balance down to 78% of the original value of the home found on our appraisal at the time of our purchase. That amount was $72,000, so we need our balance to fall below $56,160 to get rid of PMI.

Our PMI payment is $54.54 per month, but we would of course keep sending the same mortgage payment that we have been sending all along so that $54.54 would become an additional principal payment.

When I crunch the numbers on Rocket Mortgage’s amortization calculator I can choose only a one-time extra payment, and a repeated extra monthly payment. Given that information I can see that a one-time extra payment of $5,375 made tomorrow would save us $11,760.69 in interest and reduce the term of our loan 54 months (4.5 years).

If I were to send an additional $54.54 a month on top of the $24.52 extra I usually send for the rest of the time we have the loan, we will save $16,137.62 in interest and reduce the term of our loan 106 payments (nearly 9 years).

I can’t find a way to calculate doing both of these things, but I do plan to do both of them! And the good news is, I think we should be able to accomplish all three of the goals outlined above before the end of 2018. Maybe even more!

Conclusion

After paying all of the bills and sending the extra payment to our personal loan, we paid off a total of $1,306 in debt and raised our net worth $701 for a total net worth of $(42,438).

I know my numbers aren’t very impressive this month, but I am proud nonetheless. We moved forward even though we gave at Christmastime with the same generosity as we have in recent years, but with much less stress. We didn’t go in to debt.

December 2017 Statement of Net Worth Upate

Hello and welcome to our December 2017 net worth update! We were able to pay off our Equinox lease this month and I am so excited! Cue the confetti! We paid $475 a month on this debt and it is going to free up so much money in the future. Even though it was a 0% interest debt, we went forward with paying it off because of the sheer amount of money it would free up.

That’s our big update for this month! We had some short comings as well that were kind of sort of planned. We usually do splurge for Black Friday so we went ahead and did that but we didn’t spent very much at all. We got a couple of Christmas presents so those are taken care of, my husband got a new recliner for his game room, and I bought some Hunter rain boots and a North Face jacket. I also got an Ancestry DNA kit for myself which I have been wanting for eons.

But, even though we had our little splurge session above (about $500 worth) we were still able to pay off debt which I am ecstatic about. Without further ado, on to the breakdown!

December 2017 Breakdown

Assets

Looks like the home is on the rise again! When I checked Zillow.com our home is projected to raise 7.2% in the next year bringing it to $90,000! Don’t mind if I do!

The car insurance fell a bunch because we paid the car insurance this month. I have our car insurance come out of our credit card automatically every 6 months, so we get a 5% discount from the insurance company for paying in a lump sum and we earn 1.5% from our credit card rewards program for paying it through them! Discounts on discounts? Yes, please.

The Savings – Emergency account is growing unusually because I have been chucking my tax savings from Shipt in to it since I don’t have a Savings – Tax  account currently. Hubby is also earning bonuses now and he wants to open another savings account to keep that separate for big ticket items in the future. Not sure where he’s going with that, but it’s his bonus so he can do what he pleases. Anyway, I think a trip to the bank is in the future in order to set up a Savings – Bonus and Savings – Tax account so we can track these more accurately.

All other assets are fluctuating as normal.

Liabilities

We have two stars of the show over on this side of the ledger. The first being that the Equinox is at a zero balance! Hooray! Seriously, where is the confetti?

The second is *drumroll* our Navient account for the first time EVER in the 14 months that I have been tracking our net worth for the world to see did not grow! We are now in for 11 more months of increased payments due to the reevaluation of my income based repayment plan, and Shipt looks like it’s something I’m going to be doing for the long haul. I feel really comfortable that I have worked out the kinks in my learning curve and I know exactly what I’m doing now.

I’m pulling an average of one order per weeknight 4 nights a week, and 2-3 orders on Saturdays which makes it possible for me to pay $50-$75 per week on my student loan in addition to my regular monthly payment.

The Visa went up a bit because my hubby took off without me to make his recliner purchase so he didn’t have the credit card with him that we pay off every month. And I haven’t paid it off because I’m still a sort of naughty human who is trying to break the “debt is okay” mentality.

Debt Pay Off

I’m not sure how much debt we will be paying off this month with Christmas coming up, but I do think we are going to be paying some extra.

Our smallest 3 debts as of 12/1/2017 are:

  1. Navient #9 – $939 (6.5% interest)
  2. Home Depot – #2,450 (0% interest)
  3. Personal Loan – $2,75 (9.5% interest)

This is where I’m going to stray from the Dave Ramsey debt snowball method. Home Depot isn’t costing me anything to pay off slowly, and I’ve broken this down to an amount to bring the balance to $0 way before the promotional period expires for our new furnace. In or around April I may start focusing on this debt because we need a new central A/C unit. The one we have currently uses so much electricity so I think replacing it will pay for itself and I plan on using the 0% option again when that time comes.

I mentioned last month that I’m not particularly motivated to throw even more money at Navient #9 than I already am because it doesn’t change my payment in the short term.

I am choosing to work on our personal loan next. It has the highest interest rate that we currently pay, and paying it off will reduce our bills $150 per month for good. Our CP Visa account is also 9.5% but once we pay extra money on to it, it’s possible, and maybe even probable that we will just re-spend that money so it won’t necessarily stay paid down. However, once the personal loan is done, and depending on what’s going on with how long that takes we may work on the CP Visa Account or Home Depot next. But, that’s at least 2-3 months in the future. We will cross that bridge when we get to it.

I am also still waiting on the 0% balance transfer option from Capital One which just has not wanted to spawn for me! If that comes available, we will be getting rid of both CP Visa and the personal loan! If that were to happen, I’d probably be forced to work on my student loans next since some of them have the next highest interest rates at 6.5% and lower.

But again, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Conclusion

We were able to pay off $1,518 worth of debt this month and we increased our net worth $3,359 in one month! Our net worth is now $(43,049). Since we started our journey our net worth has increased almost $25,000! That’s amazing for only a little over one year! I am betting that we will become worthless in 2018! 🙂

Thank you so much for reading!

Dolores

November 2017 Statement of Net Worth Update

Hello and welcome to our November 2017 Net Worth Update. This is an exciting update because this is the month that reflects the changes I decided to make in October. I signed up to be a personal shopper through Shipt, and decided that any money I made over the amount to pay for gas and save money for taxes would go toward my student loans!

This is also the last month with my tiny $90.61 minimum payment so I really think that this should be the last month that any of my liabilities grow instead of gradually coming down and dropping off.

Nov 2017 SNW

Our home is the asset that dropped the most this month, but that’s nothing compared with November 2016 when it dropped over $1,000!

Our Christmas Club account matured November 1st and was added to our regular savings account. We are going to use the funds at the end of November for Black Friday shopping, after paying off a debt of course. More about that below.

Our Savings – Car Insurance fund also dropped because my hubby borrowed money from it for a table top arcade system he’s been wanting. The game system is pretty cool, and it’s this consideration for each other’s wishes that makes our debt free journey possible. It can’t be all work and no play so I’m okay with this every once in a while. We will be replacing the lost funds at the end of this month and paying our car insurance December 1st. The charge will actually hit our credit card November 11th and earn us 1.5% cash back and we will pay the credit card December 1st.

Liabilities

Only one account grew this month: Navient, and by a whole lot less than usual! That’s because every week I paid an extra $25-$50 with the money I earned from Shipt. As of December 1st my minimum monthly payment increases from $90.61/mo to $217.47/mo. So I really don’t think we should see this one growing anymore.

Speaking of which, I have been really reviewing my statements lately for my Navient Posts and I have student loans that have grown SO MUCH. Ones that started out at $6,000 and are $8,000 now. I think I’m going to make a post about each one and how it’s grown.

In happier news, check out the Equinox account! We had money left over after paying all the November bills and we paid an additional $554 on the Equinox! Once this bill is gone we will save $475/mo until we have to get a replacement car in March. We haven’t been saving up for a replacement car because we’ve been focusing on debt pay off instead. Even though the Equinox doesn’t charge us interest I chose to pay this one off because it frees up so much money per month.

Debt Payoff

At the end of this month, we are planning on paying off the Equinox and then using the rest of the money for Black Friday shopping. This is when we will get a start on our Christmas shopping and really treat ourselves to whatever we want this one day a year. Last year I got 2 boxes of Tupperware, a crock pot set for keeping our Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve dinners warm, leggings, boots, a basket set with fabric liners, and a couple of chenille knit throws which I adore.

I haven’t for sure decided the next debt I want to attack, but I think it will be the CP Personal Loan. Both it and the CP Visa are my highest interest loans with 9.5% each. I really looked forward to doing a balance transfer through Capital One but I haven’t gotten an offer in so long I’ve kind of given up on that option.

If I were to get the balance transfer option, I would probably then start working on my debts in the typical debt snowball fashion: from smallest to largest. As of right now my smallest 3 debts are:

  1. Equinox – $800 (0% interest/ $475 per month)
  2. Navient Account #9 – $1,165 (6.5% interest)
  3. Home Depot – $2,625 (0% interest/ $175 per month)

As of right now, my motivation isn’t particularly high to work on Navient any more than I already am with my side hustle. For one, I already give it extra money and for two, this debt doesn’t “hurt” as much. It should! While paying it off doesn’t make my payments any less, intrinsically I know it betters my future so hopefully my feelings on that will change in the future.

As for the next couple of months I’m not sure if there will be a lot going on in the debt pay off department what with our annual Black Friday splurge and Christmas spending and recovery coming up, but we will see.

I’ve also been thinking about adding a line item to our debt snowball to get rid of the PMI on our home loan. Right now our mortgage payment includes $54.54 going in to escrow to pay our private mortgage insurance. This will stay on our loan until our balance is at 78% of the original value of our home according to the appraisal done when we purchased it. Our home appraised for $72,000 then and our balance is now just under $62,000. We would have to have a mortgage balance of $56,160 in order for the PMI to fall off on its own and without us beeding to pay for a second appraisal. We are currently $5,621 short of that. Do you guys have any thoughts about accelerating our mortgage principal payment to get rid of PMI? We would of course continue paying the same mortgage amount we have been all along so that $54.54 a month saved would go right on the principal. So the $5,621 would save us a ton of interest over the life of the loan, and then the $54.54 extra every month thereafter would also save us a ton. I’m seriously thinking about it!

Conclusion

At the end of October we were able to reduce our debts almost $2,000 and increased our net worth $1,580 for a total net worth of $(46,408)!

Thank you for reading and please check back for more information on my progress paying my student loans down!

XOXO,
Dolores

Changes: Random Reflections

It’s starting to get cold again in Southern Michigan. It’s a funny thing to be back home where I grew up and see everything that I used to see as a child now as an adult.

Yesterday, at our local grocery store I saw 2 young teen girls running around giggling and clutching at each other while they ran through the aisles, imagining someone was watching them. Well, someone was watching (me) but probably not the someone they imagined. My eyes caught briefly with one of them and her eyes slid right over mine as she dismissed me.

These girls grabbed my attention because they reminded me of me. Their clothes, coats, and shoes were bedraggled. Their hair was unkempt. Shipt had brought me to this side of town that I don’t frequent often on my own now, but somewhere I often was as a child. Often to this same grocery store in fact. I could also be seen running through the aisles giggling with a friend while I imagined a cute boy was watching me as I disappeared around the next corner.

I was a happy child even thought I didn’t have the best clothes, never owned a pair of Nikes, or a Starter jacket. I had great friends, ones that read this blog (hi, guys!), and an awesome mother who made sure my sister and I were always active in things that didn’t cost money.

Sometimes I think that if I look hard enough, I’ll be able to see myself 25 years ago. I’ll be able to see my dad again if I look hard enough at the motorcycle passing me by. And if he has a child behind him clutching his back, it’s possible that I’m looking at myself circa 1987. These girls were me, circa 1992 as they slipped by 2017 me.

Around this time of year I always get reflective on how far I’ve come. It’s because of Halloween, I imagine. I bought a home when I moved back to Michigan that I very may well have walked past as a child. It was in the “nice” neighborhood. The neighborhoods where I used to walk on my way to school every day, inhaling the aroma of their dryers pumping out the sweet, warm smell of their laundry in the morning.

We had to do our laundry at the laundry mat and my mother would make sure there was not a droplet of water left in those clothes before we could fold them and take them home. They never smelled good to me. Maybe because we had to use the off-brand? I vowed when I was old enough I was going to buy Tide and Bounce for my own laundry. I didn’t know what Downy was back then but I live by that stuff now. I’m not a fan of Bounce.

At more than a few of the houses I would pass, I would get a short reprieve from the cold as the cars they were warming up in their driveways would brush my legs with warm exhaust as I passed. I couldn’t imagine the luxury of letting a car sit empty just running the gas so the occupant wouldn’t be cold.

We often didn’t own a car, and if we did the reliability of it even turning on to get us where we wanted to go was never guaranteed. And I can’t tell you the amount of times I heard: “Do you think cars run on water?” when I would ask to be taken somewhere.

And every year at Halloween, my best friend’s family and mine would traipse the same course that we took to school every day in “the nice neighborhood”. Up one side and down the other back to her house. I dreamed that one day I would be have the ability to pass out candy when I was older.

I guess that’s why this time of year sticks out so vividly for me, because at this time is when the things that I did not have stood out in stark contrast with what others did have. This is the time of year when I dreamed of everything I might achieve, and today I can reflect on what I do have.

A couple of days ago my husband walked in the house and said he could smell our laundry when he was coming up to the house and it smelled amazing. Also, I need to wrap this up because my car has been warming up in the driveway for almost 10 minutes now.

I hope that you all have a safe and happy Halloween.

 

October 2017 Statement of Net Worth Update

Hello and Welcome to our October 2017 Statement of Net Worth Update! It’s been 1 year now since I started tracking our net worth. It’s amazing how time flies when you’re having fun. Our net worth has increased nearly $20,000 but our debt has stayed nearly the same (an increase of $80) in one year.

I feel like the next coming year is going to bring some drastic changes because 2016 going in to 2017 was spent cleaning up a lot of small messes like balance transfers and medical bills. As of October 2017 we have only 2 bills that cost us over 6% interest each month: CP Personal Loan and CP Visa, both of which are 9.5%. I’m choosing to concentrate on bills that are first of all a low balance so that they are within firing range, and I’m also keeping my eye on those with interest over 6% because paying these bills off give us more return than investing in the stock market (assuming the average rate of return of 8%).

We have many bills coming within firing range that will free up a good chunk of money which can then go toward the small balance bills or the high interest ones.

I’m getting ahead of myself. On to the breakdown!

October 2017 Corrected

Assets

It looks like our home is finally stopping its wild run to the top of the market this month. That was great! Let’s just hope that is doesn’t fall drastically like it did around this time last year.

Our Dart also fell a bit in value, but nothing too concerning.

Of course our decrease in savings is a reflection of the normal fluctuations seen after we pay bills and start building up funds for the next month.

The only unusual change this month is our Christmas Fund falling $50 instead of the regular increase of $25. I took money out of this account to pay for a birthday gift for my daughter. We were a little short on funds and I didn’t want to use the credit card so this was the solution, and I don’t regret a thing. I think it was a good choice!

Liabilities

All of our liabilities fell as usual in accordance to the regular monthly payments we send each month. We made more of a concentrated effort to give some love to the CP Visa since we have been abusing it as of late.

Navient of course continues to grow, but we have an exciting change coming up that I am going to talk more about in an upcoming post. Basically, my Income Based Repayment Plan was re-evaluated and my payment changed from $90.61 a month to $217.47, an increase of $126.86. Navient grows typically less than $125 a month so this increase will keep me about even with Navient instead of growing each month. I think in 2017 we are going to see these student loans start to be paid off one by one.

Debt Pay Off

After paying all our October bills we had $275 remaining. My husband and I discussed it and decided to put that extra money toward the CP Visa since it was nearly maxed out. We have been very good since then about not using the card at all.

We are also waiting on the 0% balance transfer offer from Capital One. Once we receive that we will move the CP Visa balance as well as the CP Personal Loan balance on to that to pay off in 18 months and save the 9.5% interest.

We also have canceled our trip to Puerto Rico due to the damaged caused by Hurricane Maria since I updated this spreadsheet so at the time of writing this post, we actually have a credit balance on Capital One which frees up money for the next 2 months.

At the end of October I think we should be very close to paying off the Equinox which will free up $475 every month and the Equinox doesn’t need to be turned in until 3/31/2018! We will have about 4 months of no car payment at all so lots of opportunity to work on more debt pay off.

Conclusion

It’s absolutely crazy how much change can happen in 2 short months. In September we made it in to the 50s, and this month we are well in the 40s for our net worth! We had an increase of $2,408 this month for a net worth of $(47,988).

I hope you continue to follow us on our journey to a positive net worth because I feel like we are going to move up in leaps and bounds this year. We are making smarter decisions, making more money, and just overall dong better. I’m excited to see where we go and I hope you’ll be a part of it.

XOXO,

 

Dolores