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Archive for November, 2012

Finally under $100K and overall debt

November 27th, 2012 at 04:10 pm

I'm closing the books on the month of November. Our mortgage balance will hit the "under the $100K mark" on Friday. Our overall debt, including the house is $124,465.87. I'm so excited about the progress we have made on our goal to be completely debt free.

On another note, DS#2 also managed to reach his saving goal of $10k. He worked really hard to save a lot of this money. Some of it comes from our contributions, birthday, Holy Communion, graduation gifts and his part-time work. DS#1 is getting close to the $10K mark. I'm really proud of the way they are handling their money.

I went to see Jersey Boys on Broadway Saturday and it was worth spending the $147.00 for the ticket. It was a great show! Our next Broadway show will probably be Annie in February.

Well, I hope you have a great week.

What keeps motivated an a little more

November 20th, 2012 at 04:22 pm

Okay fellow bloggers, I have some exciting news for you. As of today, our mortgage balance is $103,516.56 down from $243,500 twenty three months ago. I project that if everything goes according to my plan, the balance will be at $99,000 by December 30th. Today, I was thinking that I have done several things to keep me motivated to pay down this debt (debt is debt, whether it is considered to be good or bad debt). Here is a list of things that keep me motivated.

1) First and foremost, keeping you abreast of our progress on SA is definitely motivator #1.

2) I am pretty much a visual person so I keep a debt repayment binder to log payments. In this binder, I keep a complete mortgage amortization table in which I highlight with a pink marker where we are. As of today, our balance is the amount we should have owed on July of 2012. I also keep a drawing of a picture with 244 boxes (each representing $1,000). Each time $1K is reduced I color the box.

3) I also love to read the success stories posted on Dave Ramsey's website. They are often inspiring and great motivators to keep me going.

4) I scour the internet often, looking for websites that offer valuable financial advice for our specific situation.

5)I set up automatic as well as "one time" extra principal withdrawals using CHASE online services.

6) Once a month, I cash in coins we have accumulated and make a deposit. The smallest amount made to the principal was $7.50. Any amount I put into the principal will get me closer to paying it off.

7) Any amount of money saved by using coupons, rebates or any unexpected windfalls goes to the mortgage principal automatically.

8) Of course, living BELOW our income has helped us reduce this debt.

On another note, Leo, our new puppy is doing great. He is playful, super cute and has somewhat filled the void left by my beloved Max. I also made a contribution to a non-profit organization that rescues stray dogs from the streets in Puerto Rico in memory of Max.

My DS#1 has only four weeks of college left and he will officially fulfill all the credits required for his degree. We are so proud! DS#2 continues to attend our local community college and works part-time.

This is it for today! Happy Thanksgiving to my SA family. I'm definitely thankful for all of you.

PS. I am also headed to New York City this Saturday to see Jersey Boys on Broadway!

Debt repayment binder:

Payoff HOUSE visual:

What I have learned

November 6th, 2012 at 06:09 pm

Things are getting back to somewhat normal. I did learned a few things from this experience, you know, Sandy the superstorm. I learned that we no longer want to keep a deep freezer in the house. Honestly, the freezer was necessary when the boys were growing up, but they are barely here anymore and the meat consumption in the house has gone down significantly. For now, I'm using what we got and will unplug it once everything is gone. We are thinking of donating the deep freezer to a local food pantry. We also realized that we have to buy a generator to offset the loss of power. We are thinking on going with a generator that runs with gasoline or propane (dual). I'll let you know what we have decided. Third, we now know who are true friends are. I'm planning on have a really nice dinner for friends and family members who really stepped up to the plate to help us.

On Day 7...

November 4th, 2012 at 06:54 pm

we finally got power back at about 7:30 this evening. I feel so much better. There are areas in my town that are still without power. We are lucky to be tied up to the our public schools power grid because we tend to be the first to get power. I'm watching the news and I'm pretty shocked with the devastation in New York and the Jersey Shore. Frown

Day 6...

November 3rd, 2012 at 09:02 pm

with no power. The house became unbareable to stay. I crashed at my friends house today. To say that I'm frustrated is an understatement, but I realize that there are people worst off than us. My town is a ghost town and the governor just passed the gasoline ordinance for odd and even numbers (last number on your license plate with even or add day of the week) which I think is a great idea. The lines to get gas were miles long. Work will resume Monday but we are not expected to have power until Wednesday. Halloween was postponed until Monday. Halloween has been cancelled two years in a row. We are definitely buying a generator as soon as this mess is over.

Well, I wish you all a great week. I'll keep you posted.