Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Financial Overview - part 2

So here are the details that some of you love to read.  This basically chronicles what has happened to date.  Since we are trying the experiment of increasing my hours, and saving part of G-man's 2nd job money....I am not sure what everything will look like in the future.  In theory, we will be able to put another $5k toward debt this year if it works out as it does on paper.  But as Kim said yesterday:  Mysti Plans, God Laughs.

I will probably do a post about our overall budget at some point....but here is an outline of all the major debts:

Retirement loan.
The nitty gritty:   Originated April 2012, for $38,000 at 1.875% interest, for 4 years.  Payments are auto-deducted from G-man's paycheck (bi-weekly) in the amount of $380.15.
Current estimated pay off date:  April/May 2016 
Update:  This loan just does its thing.  We are heading towards the 50% mark!!  In 2 years when this is gone, it will change our cash flow considerably!  Since the last update, we have paid about $2600 to this! 

Student Loan.
The nitty gritty:  Originated in 2003 as a consolidation of my graduate school loans, at fixed 3.375%.  We paid on it for a few years, and then it was in an "interest only" status for about 2 years.  Went into full repayment status in Fall 2011.  Current payments are $229/month.
Current estimated pay off date: September 2017

Update:  Until other debt is paid off, we just pay the $229. This one will be the last debt to be repaid. By doing NOTHING but the minimum...this would drag out until 2024....NO WAY.

Credit Card:
The nitty gritty:  Standard issue card, no annual fee.  We do earn "cash back" with this card, which we keep as a "super rainy day" amount (we can take it in cash, get gift cards, put it as a credit on the account).  But for whatever reason, it sits there, JUST IN CASE.  We don't count this money as anything.  And yes, it could go to debt....but we just want it to sit there for now.   Interest rate is 9.24%.  We currently pay $100 bi-weekly to this card.
Current estimated pay off date:  September 2016

Update:  Yes, we ran this card up after we did the retirement loan 2 years ago.  Some of it was nickel and dime....some of it was larger chunks (such as the plane tickets to my parents house.....such a mistake going there..... or things that we didn't save properly for (back to school!).  During the holidays, we used this card for "cash back" and then paid the monthly amount in full from our Christmas Account. 

Some assute readers will notice that the amount is a little higher than it was.  At the end of October, the same week we had to buy the car, Gray Kitty got sick again.   This time it was a UTI/Bladder infection.  Per the vet, we didn't do anything that caused it, it just is one of those things that can happen with older cats.  They wanted to rule out other issues, and did an ultrasound.  Additionally, the other 2 cats were due for their annual check-up, and because they are getting older as well (my three cats this year are 15, 15, and 12), they wanted to do blood work.  All in total....the vet bill for the week was $1000.  And since Gray Kitty sucked up the kitty fund when he was sick in know what happened.  Roughly half of it has been paid off at this point.

(As a side note on kitties...we put $30 per paycheck aside toward the vet care.  Last year we also used this money for their food and litter.  Because they are getting older and may require more vet care, their food and litter now come from our grocery/personal care budget, and this money is solely for vet care).

Mysti's car:
The nitty gritty:  Originated at the credit union in Nov 2011, for $12,000 at 2.49%.  Payments are $230.66 per month, for 5 years.
Estimated pay off date: Nov 2016
Update:  Chugga chugga.  In May/June we will hit the 50% mark. What's the Cost doesn't currently show us making extra payments here (of course, if other debt gets moved up, this will also move up).

G-man's car:
The nitty gritty:  Originated in October 2013 at the credit union for $6,000 at 9.99% for 5 years.  Payments are $127 per month.
Estimated pay off date:  April 2016 by snowball, October/November 2018 if we do nothing
Update:  There are several parts to this.  1)  The loan amount was about $350 more than the "out the door" amount we paid for the car.  We had to pick a loan amount before we were totally done negotiating on the car because it was Friday at 5pm and we needed the loan to fund.  More on that $350 in a minute.  2)  The loan was done as a personal loan because the car was too old to qualify for a car loan (it is a 2001), but we had no problem securing the loan either away.  This made the interest rate considerably higher.  3)  We did qualify for a car loan through the dealership, but it was cobbled together because of the age of the car, and we wanted to make this simple.  The monthly payment would have been $5 cheaper, but we would have had to make a larger downpayment.

There is no way this loan will be around until 2018.  Per What's the Cost, we should put anything extra we have towards this loan.  In February, we will be adjusting this accordingly. 

On the side bar, I have combined medical and will see why in a minute.

Bossy's supplies:
The nitty gritty:  Our insurance generally covers 90% of the cost of the items (pump, bags, accessories, and prescription enteral food).  We have had a 60% waiver that has been increased to a 100% waiver as of Feb 2 for one year).  We have been paying $50/mon on this.
Estimated pay off date: Excellent question
Update:  The company who administers this cannot get their act together.  We have NEVER gotten a bill that is correct.  I have to call them every month and have them fix what is wrong, and then I ask for a revised bill that never comes. Then the next month I get a bill and the stuff I called about previously is fixed, but the new stuff is wrong.

Just as a quick history, we had a 100% waiver; then the company was taken over by another company who didn't honor the waiver.  We paid $50 a month, but the balance continued to grow (partly due to items that the company sent us that we didn't order, but they wouldn't take back because the law doesn't allow it....but they still charged us for).  Eventually a new account manager contacted us about the waiver (January 2013), and we were able to get 60% of the balance removed, and a discount of 60% moving forward.

As of our January payment, we have a credit of $30.  BUT, they haven't billed us for November, December, or January yet.  Those will remain at the 60% waiver, so we are estimating that we will owe about another $200 to them.  We have accounted for this on the chart under Geekery.  Once the bill is actually zero, the payment we have been making to them will roll to the dentist.

As long as Bossy has a feeding tube, this line item will never truly be gone.  We will have to watch the bill to make sure they aren't billing us for anything except the aforementioned stuff.  The financial waiver is up for renewal in January, but we have no idea if next year they will renew it.  We may end up back where we were, paying the full amount.

The nitty gritty:  Because of our poor dental insurance, we pay almost all of our dental care out of pocket.  No interest.  We pay a minimum of $50 a month,
Estimated pay off date:   July 2014
Update:   We have toyed with taking some money we have in holding and just paying this off.  But since it doesn't have any interest, we haven't decided yet.  The number just goes up and down depending on the amount of dental care we have used and if we have any FSA money left to cover it.  I had a $2,000 root canal and crown in 2012, so it has taken some time to pay that off.

The balance on this bill is about $322.  At $50/month, this will be gone in July.  If Bossy's supplies get billed in a timely manner, then in April (?) we will be able to apply that money here.   Then this bill should be gone in May instead.

So I mentioned some money we have in holding.  We have roughly $650 (excess from car overage, and G-man's mom gave us $300 when we were going through the car stuff, which also was around G-man's birthday).  Because we were also dealing with the government shutdown at that same time (October was NOT good), we held on to all of it.  Now that the government will not shut down again until at least Oct 1 (and let's hope not at all), we feel that we can actually allocate it somewhere.

Because we will be also doing our taxes shortly, we have decided to wait until after taxes to make the final decision. If we still get some sort of a refund (which I am starting to doubt), then the $650 plus the majority of refund money will go towards debt.  Yes, I said majority.  Our bathroom floor in the powder room needs to be replaced (peel and stick tile that have warped due to plumbing issues, and there is no heat in that room....the cold has cracked all the vinyl.  So the tiles are just coming apart).

If we end up owing taxes, then the money will go toward that.  And if there is anything left....that will go toward the bathroom.


So there it is.  Since October, we have paid about $4,500 toward the debt.  Because we also increased our debt by $7,000...we are up $2,500.  I believe it will be April when we are back where we were.  Year end should be in low 50's for a total. 


  1. I think pay off the medical with that extra cash and be done w. that! 1 less payment per month.

    I love that you have a graduate degree, my parents keep pushing for me to get one but I'm like mom I don't want the debt!! She think I could make 150k with one but I just don't see it happening in my field.

    You need to put your education to good use I think you can make way more money!! Keep looking for a job, apply for something at the top fortune 500 companies!!! Yup, send in 500 applications.


    1. Yeah, it is done...until it comes back. I will have a dental visit in the near future;G-man will in May, and then again in Sept/Oct (he goes every 4 months). FSA will probably be gone by then, so then we have a bill again. We save separately for medical for the stuff after FSA runs out, but depending on how the year goes will depend if we can pay the bill in it may still have a balance.

      As for my education....I totally agree that I can make more money with a Master's. It is just figuring out how to do that, since I will not be going back to the classroom. In CT, options are limited....there isn't anything here!!!

    2. Like I said, apply for anything, my MIL is a Administrative Assistant with a big corporation and she makes 85,000... bonuses and insurance included.


    3. See...and here in lies part of my problem. I have done Admin for 20 years...and I am DAMN good at it. But I don't want to do this....I have spent 20 years making other people look good...having them take my ideas as their own....and being looked down upon as a "lesser" employee. No thanks. I would like a job that is MINE, not just there to help everyone else.

    4. I know!! I meant just try to increase the income for now...

    5. The longer you stay...the harder it is to get out. I am already feeling it. I posted my resume on some of the larger sites, and have been contacted to be a glorified copy girl as a temp, to work for Aflac as an admin, and something else. Not interested.

    6. I am curious as to what your primary goal is with regard to jobs. Do you want to work at something you enjoy no matter how little it might pay or are you interested in making a better wage? I have been in admin of one sort or another for 30+ years. My current incarnation is as the an office and CFO of a small consulting firm. Through the years, though, I have felt my job was to support and make my boss look good, and as long as he was paying me fairly for my time on the clock, I was okay with letting him take credit. If you are a pursue your passion and your dream jobs are difficult to find and pay very little at first, I hope you go forth and can be happy. I think what HS was getting at is that if you need to make a certain wage and do not want to go back to teaching, maybe applying for an admin type job that PAYS well is an avenue of consideration.

    7. I am still trying to figure out what I want to do. I am leaning toward event planning. But dream job.....I have absolutely no idea.

      I am not going to seek out another admin job. If I happen upon something that pays considerably more, then I will consider it. But I am not even looking in that area. Maybe it is because I have done this for 20 years, mostly for upper management, and all I have dealt with are egotistical a$$es. I am done with that.

  2. I was wondering how a 2001 car could still be worth $6000 in 2013. Was it a high end vehicle? Hopefully you don't start having major repairs before it is paid off.

    Will your son be on a feeding tube forever? Does he swallow food at all? I think it is horrible that you have to pay a dime for this. It should be 100% covered.

    Lastly, did you graduate in 1997?? Have you done the math to see how much interest you have paid since then? Glad I went to college and had like $3000 to pay back(in 1995). Guess it is good that they give people 20+ years to pay it off but still....the interest yikes!!

    1. It is a Toyota Camry....not a high end car. Blue Book value for the car was over $5,000. We looked at several cars in this price range....and they were junk. I did NOT want a car this old, but in trying to keep the payment as low as possible, we couldn't go over $6,000, and there weren't many choices.

      Feeding tube: He got it when he was 5 months old, and he is now going on 12. I wouldn't say he will have it forever, but it isn't going away anytime soon. He does eat orally, but we still have to supplement him. He isn't gaining weight, so we are now going from 1000 calories by tube to 1500 calories by tube, plus what he orally eats. As I have said....this bill is just part of our will never go away as long as he has a tube.

      I graduated with my BS in 1996, and my Master's in 2002. My parents did not help me for my undergrad, and they got me horrible student loan rates (10%!!!!, and I couldn't consolidate those per the terms of the loan). And yes, I have done the math on the interest. :( But for now, this is how it is. I wish I knew more about this years ago when I first graduated. I have already paid 20k+ for my undergrad degree. This loan is just graduate school.

  3. It's good to look at numbers... whether they're good or bad. I think setting the plan and looking forward definitely makes a difference vs just paying without a "deadline". I've heard you talk about the calculator you mentioned. May I recommend another one? It's by Vertex:

    This was the original calculator I used, and though I don't use it full time anymore because I ended creating my own based on this original format, it's great for lining things up and strictly doing snowballing and comparing orders (avalanche, smallest to biggest, your own order of paying debt, etc). Worth a look, and of course, it's FREE!

    1. Always good to see different calculators....thanks!

  4. Hi Mysti. Just a general comment. It always seems like ya'll are always just treading water. But that's why I come back. I want to know how the story unfolds. best of luck.

    1. That's a fair statement. We tend to have some good progress, and then something happens to derail it. I have been told by my therapist that our family does have a higher than average number of things happen!

      Our cars are probably at the top of the list of things that derail the plan!!!

  5. You have no heat in your bathroom? That seems odd and sort of a recipe for potential disaster w/all the water pipes in there. Maybe you might want to think about having an electric baseboard heat put in that room. In the longer run it might help with your tile floor issue too, since replacing the floor but not correcting the heat issue will just lead to having to replace the floor again down the road, if you are still in this house when that time comes. Just a thought....not like you NEED another expense, but even so....

    1. This bathroom was a butler's pantry way back when, and was converted to a powder room at some point. The floor is over the bilco door to the basement, so it gets very cold. With the door open to the bathroom (unless in use!), the heat from the house (since it is off the kitchen), keeps the pipes from freezing. But the floor is COLD.

      Our son.....TMI....has some "gastric" issues and has overflowed the toliet several times. The water seeped between the tiles, and over time the adhesive came loose, so the tiles shifted, and once they got cold, and you stepped on them....

      The bathroom is so small that the heat really isn't a huge issue. We aren't using the same type of floor this time. But you are right...sometimes there is an underlying problem that needs to be corrected.

    2. Glad to here the walls where the pipes are aren't affected by your bathroom heating issue. I'd suggest vinyl sheeting instead of vinyl tiles to replace the flooring that is broken. It would probably be the most durable for a lower price point than ceramic tile, which would make the cold floor issue worse. Sheeting floor might avoid the buckled issue in the future too.
      Not many non-porous choices out there.

    3. Yep, the pipes are on an "inside" wall. The flooring is going to be vinyl "planks" that adhere to each other, and not the floor. We have it in our upstairs bathroom, and it has held up great (even with overflow toliets and showers!).

      SOMEDAY....we want to redo the floor in the kitchen (sheet vinyl that is 20+ years old) and whatever we pick will get carried into the bathroom. But that project isn't even on our radar....that is the "dream" project for the day we can redo the kitchen. If I had to guess...that is 10 years away!! So we don't even think about it. LOL

  6. Mysti, your life is like mine. 4 steps forward 2 back. All I can say is we have to keep plugging along. I hate just plugging along, I want to be rich, I want to go to New York, I want a new kitchen, I want new furniture, I want, I want, I want...........

  7. Girl - you've got this. Have faith, keep strong, and time to do some booty kicking!

  8. Question about the cu loans. Will they combine them? They did with mine last year and I wound up rolling the cc, roof and a personal loan into one loan. The interest was much cheaper and then I only had to worry about that payment. Not sure how that would work with the car loan though...guess I am not much help on the suggestion side

    1. I don't know. But my car loan has a much lower interest rate so I wouldn't want to lose that

  9. Mysti,
    You have a lot on your plate. Having debt must make it even more stressful. I'm praying that your family will find relief soon (perhaps a good tax refund?) hang in there, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it sounds like you have a good view of what you have to do. I'll be cheering you on!!