I have spent 3 days working on this post to shorten it. With constant interruptions, this is the best it is going to get. Sorry for the length!
Last year, we did a RESET of the the debt. For tracking purposes, this was going to change the annual date of looking at the big picture, although I do continue to give a nod to the blogiversary too (in August).
So the RESET entailed taking a loan from G-man's retirement account, after paying off a different loan and waiting the 60 days, per regulations. We never included that older loan in our debt number, although we do count this newer loan. This all happened in late April 2012, and it was early May when we had officially paid things off with this loan.
The loan was for $38,000, which consolidated 3 CCs and Lending Club, and included some money for the new mattress we purchased last winter. This loan is autodebited from G-man's bi-weekly paycheck, at $380.15 a payperiod. The interest rate is 1.875% (I think!). It is a 4 year loan, so if we do absolutely nothing but the minimal, it will be paid off in late April/early May 2016.
Because this loan has such a low interest rate, most of the payment goes to principal, which is just refunding our retirement account. Previously, the interest rates on the CCs were 15.99, 11.99, and 9.24%. So obviously, our new rate was WAY better!!!
Taking this money from our retirement account sparked alot of debate. Very few people thought it was a good idea. I will say, one year later, it absolutely was the right choice for us. While our CC debt did go up (more in a minute), we were able to pay off just shy of $10,000 in the past year on this loan. With the interest rates such as they were, there is no way that would have happened without the loan.
So where do we stand now? Current numbers are posted on the side bar.
Retirement loan - One more paycheck (next week), and we will have paid off $10,000 of this loan! We are very happy about this, and while it stinks that we pay just under $400 a payperiod, at least we are paying it back to ourselves, and not to a big credit card company. We have toyed with changing the amount we pay (we can pay as much as we want, but the $380 is the minimum). But for right now, it stays as is. We would like to get a little further down the line before we make any changes.
Student loan - Not a whole lot to say on this. The monthly payment is $229 at 3.375%. This consolidated loan is technically is 2 loans, where one has a balance of $1200 (the very last of my undergrad degree), the remainder is my graduate school. Long story why it isn't one in the same. And if we were to pay extra to this loan, we would designate it to the little part. But since we don't do that....it is a non issue. The payoff date is 2024, based on the minimum. Um....that is the year my KIDS will graduate college. No, that won't work. There is NO WAY the loan will be around then. Based on current plans, the whole kit and kaboodle will be paid off in 3-4 years, so I don't pay attention to the 2024, other than to remind me that I wish I understood all of this better when I was younger.
Car loan - Again, not much to say on this. $230 is autodebited on a monthly basis, and is slated to be paid off in late 2016 if we don't speed up the process.
Credit Card - This one is the thorn in my side. It was under $1000 when we did the retirement consolidation loan. And then there was a car repair. And the *(^&*#$^ trip to see my parents. And a few other slip ups. And another car repair. And here we are. It is on its way back down, but it is frustrating that it was almost paid off and we used it again. The slip ups are on us. The car repairs....that is a function that we can't seem to go a decent amount of time without SOMETHING happening, despite saving for car repairs. And the trip to my parents was certainly NOT vacation....but it was something that had to be done.
Dentist - This little darling bill was much smaller a year ago. Then I needed a root canal and a crown. Since our insurance didn't cover it, we had to foot the bill. The first part of the money came from our FSA, which then dried up shortly after. And we have been paying since. But since our insurance doesn't cover even a cleaning, regular dental stuff contributed to the bill. At least it is under $1000 now.
Bossy's supplies - Earlier this year, we received a financial waiver that reduced our bill by 60%. We had a 100% waiver several years ago, but when the company changed hands....all that went away. The bill continued to rise until the company changed hands again, and we got some much needed help. One thing that has helped us this year is that Bossy is being weaned from this, so we aren't using as much. However, we were able to order "extra" when we hit catastrophic at the end of 2012, and that extra has been carrying us this year. We haven't needed to order food for him since December, and we probably have another 2 months worth before we have to order.
Right now, we are about 5k less than where we were when I started this blog. And 9k less than a year ago. Based on the minimums, we will pay off at least another $11k just on the retirement, car, and student loans. So by the end of the year, we should be at the lowest debt number we have had since starting the blog!!!
Our goal is to be under 60k by calendar year end. We are optimistic that this is possible. It really will be about our personal spending. The 3 loans do what they do. The credit card just needs to continue to go DOWN. And dental emergencies need to stay away!!!
There ya go!!!! Long winded, kind of boring, and not sexy at all. Need to think of a financially sexy post, to spice things up......suggestions welcome!