Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Time to start anew

It’s the beginning of the year which is when I would normally set some goals for the year. This year in particular is in need of some focus on goal setting after stepping away from the blog for the past year and because of the loss of focus and hope we’ve been feeling. It’s time for us to start anew on our journey, learn what we can from the past and find a way to move forward to the ultimate goal of being debt free.

One of the nice things about having documented my journey on this blog is that I can go back and retrace where I’ve been. With the goal of rebooting my blog and reinvigorating my hope that we can and will get out of debt, one of my first goals of 2017 is to re-read all of my own posts. I don’t want to spend a huge amount of time dwelling on what we could have done differently but I do think it’s important to revisit what worked and what didn’t. I also need to start actively reading other debt reduction blogs again, the lapse in my own writing was coupled by a lapse in reading/ being inspired by other peoples’ debt reduction journeys.

Another immediate goal is to re-work our budget. We ended the year with a balanced budget by moving to a much cheaper housing option and cutting full-time daycare to offset the increases we faced by adding S to my health insurance and by taking on debt for S’ business. However, I just received the estimate for 2017 health insurance and it’s going up again plus our balanced budget only included minimum payments to debt. We need to figure out how to free up some money and bring in more money to get back on debt reduction track and cover the increased health insurance. To that end, I’ve already cut my IRA contributions to get us back to balanced. Over the next month I will be looking at alternative health insurance plans for S and the boys to see if we can get something more affordable, S is looking into part-time jobs particularly ones that may offer health benefits, and I’m applying for Income Based Repayment on my student loan, which may or may not lower my loan payment.

I have not given much thought to the year at large yet, mostly trying to focus on what I can accomplish immediately to get us moving in the right direction again. Once we get through the above mentioned goals in the next week or so and can get a better understanding of what we’ll have to work with in the coming year, I’ll look at what I think we can accomplish in 2017.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

End of 2016 Report

Starting point (Oct 2011):

Student Loan 1 (My fed loan): $38,339
Student Loan 2 (S' state loan): $21,719
Student Loan 3 (S' fed loan): $5,454
Car Loan: $11,684
Credit Card 1: $10,577
Credit Card 2: $3,635
Credit Card 3: $0
Misc. small debts (S' small debts in collections): $5,443
Medical expenses: $3,672
Parents: $600

Total: $101,123

Here's where we are at the end of 2016:

Student Loan 1: $33,579
Student Loan 2: $18,186
Student Loan 3: $0
Car Loan: $0
Credit Card 1: $1,698
Credit Card 2: $5,856
Credit Card 3: $6,930
Misc. small debts: $4,284
Medical expenses: $0
Parents: $1,856
Consolidation Loan: $5,354

Total: $77,740

Paid off to date: $23,381 paid off + $3,543 in savings