Monday, March 07, 2011

Birthday Survival...

The mass birthday celebrations at the beginning of the year are almost over. We celebrated my Mom's 62nd Birthday on Saturday, yesterday was my Assistant's birthday and housewarming and my Best Friend's birthday is on March 25th. Then I am DONE for a while!

I am passing up on a baby shower on March 26th and I don't want to be invited to another birthday, baby, wedding, house, whatever celebration for a while. lol My gift fund is depleted!

I am feeling a bit anxious about attacking Group D and at the same time, I am feeling uneasy about giving away any more cash. I am toying with the idea of trying to devote $25 of my $200 weekly allowance towards debt repayment. That would mean an additional $100/month towards repayment of Group D.


DreamChaser57 said...

Attacking a mountain of debt can be exhausting and intimidating but keep the faith! Do you anticipate any other windfalls? Tax refund? Could you possibly take all of the minimum payments on the debt you paid off and throw it toward Group D? You only get paid once a month, have you ever considered coming up with what you can throw at Group D and divide it into three payments, staggering the payments like this can avoid you coming up too short before payday? Did you sabotage yourself by reordering your debt according to interest instead of amount due? An extra $1300 can mean many more months of diligence? For me, I have to hype myself up that means reading personal finance blogs (Check out Get Rich Slowly) and books (I know you wanted to six this year have you started?) - do you have any frugal friends perhaps you can share stories? For gifts, instead of money, have you tried giving people gift certificates for helping them out around the house, etc. Maybe you can offer to cook dinner. Perhaps go to low cost things like Lincoln Park Zoo, Garfield Flower Conservatory. Dave Ramsey's podcasts help me, especially on Friday's when people scream I'm Debt Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How about journaling -intensely focusing on what a debt free life feels like?
You do a great job with graphics, graph out your attack plan of Group D. Track each payment. Send every extra little thing you have. If you have several loans with one lender, make sure every extra payment is going toward Group D alone, this may involve writing a check.

Whatever you do, whatever choice you make, stay motivated!

Good Luck

Chitown said...

@ DreamChaser -- I am not sure about a tax refund. I upped my witholdings last year and I can no longer write off my student loan interest because my AGI > $75k.

With zero budgeting, you have to change the budget each month depending on what you anticipate. Since I have medical expenses this month, I am only able to make minimum payments which are still $1,260 for debt. Next month, I am hoping to return back to $1,400 for debt.

I started reading Women and Money by Suze Orman last night. It was a book that I dowloaded for Free off a while back but forgot I had it on the bookshelf.

Aideen said...

Agree with Dream Chaser. Do you have a fixed amount that will go to Group D every month that is over the minimum, but not stretching you too thin for the month? – figuring this out is the key to dept repayment.

In regards to your comment - Are you able to send a decent amount from the $1400 to Group D?

Chitown said...

@ Aideen -- Thanks for your comment!!!

I have one credit card lender and one student loan lender. Minimum payments on all of my debt is $1,260 -- $1,039 for student loans and ~ $220 for my credit card.

Since I have so many individual loans and I only have one student loan lender, the lender takes a lump sum payment each month on the 5th and applies it to the individual loan balances. I have a minimum even payment of $1,039 due each month on my student loans and
Group D has a minimum payment of approximately $77. If I am able to pay an extra $140 to bring the total debt payment to $1,400 for the month, then the extra $140 would go toward principal on Group D.

Hope that explanation helps.

Aideen said...

OK got you. Does your student loan allow you to pay online and decide where the money goes? I ask because I have 3 student loans and when I want to pay above the min and directly to one loan I am not able to, they split the money between the three.
I’m aggressively paying it off now, I have to send a check with a letter each month telling them to apply it directly to the principal, it’s hugely annoying, but gratifying when I number dropping each month. I’m tackling highest rate student loan first (5.8%), which also happens to be the lowest amount so I am keeping with Dave Ramsey.

Chitown said...

I am not completely happy with Access Group's website but they do allow me to enter payment instructions on their online payment system so I can direct extra payments towards a specific loan. =)

Good luck on your debt repayment journey!!!

DreamChaser57 said...

Like the exchange here - even if your tax refund is not huge, let's say its just $300 - you could send that to Group D. DH and I keep our withholdings at zero and get pretty sizeable returns back because we do big things with it every year. This flies in the face of conventional personal finance wisdom, about giving the government an interest free loan. However, I don't care - because at the end of the year our savings account does not have a comparable amount it. Part of that is due to lack of discipline. This may be a good temporary strategy for someone, others may need all the money they can get from month to month. It works for us. For instance we settled a $15K debt for $6500 with this year's tax return.

We are also paying off our car - I do online bill pay so sometimes I may just send an extra $25 to it.

Everything adds up......