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Mini-Update

July 9th, 2022 at 03:16 pm

Just wanted to share that I landed a mid-level contract on Thursday and a lower-level one on Friday, both are remote.  So I should be able to net about $3500 a month. 

 

I also had an interview for a full-time remote position on Friday that went well and I’ll be moved to the second round, just waiting to hear from the recruiter, regarding scheduling. 

 

I’m also scheduled for two additional second rounds with two other organizations. One is in person $100k a year the other is remote $85k full benefits, honestly, I’ll take the remote job over the office, it’s not about to pay for me. It’s more so my peace of mind and the $100k role sounds toxic, I’ll explore and see what the CEO has to say. 

 

In other financial news, I’ve been able to make about $400 in gift cards submitting content for HR professionals. This has allowed me to significantly decrease my grocery, household, and personal budgeted line items. I wish I could use it for gas, but I’ll take this. 

 

I also had to pay close to $700 to get my car fixed. I’m glad I have the money in both my car fund and baby EF. I paid using my credit card for points and will pay the bill today.  I’m disappointed I had to tap into the funds though. I think I’ll take the funds from the baby EF since my six-month car insurance renewal is coming. 

 

Tonight is my class reunion, so I washed my hair and colored it, saved me $55 I’m adding this towards my EF. My goal was to get to $20k this year, and I’m $3k away. 

 

Lastly, I paid an extra $50 on the student loans. I’m praying I get one of those remote gigs because if that’s the case I can pay number 3 off next month 

Positive Net Worth

June 8th, 2022 at 05:27 am

Finally closed my books and I was right, I went way over in the travel category last month due to poor planning. I can't beat myself up over spilled milk, I just have to make adjustments, primary adjustment, be involved in the planning whenever there is a trip. 

Other than that, I either broke even or came in under budgeted. There were a few unexpected home repairs, it happens and I was able to pay all expenses  in cash. 

I decided to run a few more reports and found that in October of 2021 was when I hit a positive net worth. I never really looked at this number, disgusted I guess, but now more than ever I'm so interested in tracking. It's a goal to get to six figures, just as much as it is to pay off my debt. 

As of today, my net worth is $39,799.17 with a credit score of 845, and total available cash $41,852.90. I would have never thought I'd see this day, never in my life I could have imagine a thing like this. Wow! 

I am going to keep pushing, my goal is to hit millionaire status  one day and I think I can do it.  

Quick Update

May 18th, 2022 at 11:38 pm

Well, I paid the HOA and COBRA bills for three months. I paid two months on the mortgage because the website didn't update and I want to make sure my payments are applied to both June and July, before I pay August. 

 

I'm so glad I did this because I don't know what may happen as far as income goes. 

 

I also purchased a used refrigerator for $214 with tax. Thankfully my ex will pick it up for me, so there is no delivery charge. Though it's not the color I was looking for I'm glad I was able to get a good used one. 

 

I got the news that the payment for my settlement was received, after legal fees I'm expecting about $8500. I'm just going to save this money. 

 

I also saved a total of $433.27, I rounded up to the nearest $50 for all my savings account. I'm a big believer of putting something up, no matter how small for rainy days. So, I wanted to make sure I socked away something since money will be right. I'll update my sidebar later. 

 

Lastly, in regards to finances, I have about 310 euros left and will exchange those tomorrow for US dollars, I checked and it will be $308.

 

In nonfinancial news, one of the travelers I went on the trip with, admitted that the trip was poorly planned and that he too was very disappointed. I was really surprised because I thought it was just me. He stated that there were quite a few days that he was very upset with us not spending any time at some location visited and also that we had too many things planned for one day. 

 

That's it for now. 

Feeling Down!

May 17th, 2022 at 02:41 pm

I decided to pay three months of mortgage, HOA, and COBRA. After my conversation with the TPA yesterday, he informed me that it appears as though my contract will be ending. I was really hoping to have paid off my third student loan by June but looks like this won't be happening. 

 

I'm so bumbed by this. I really wanted this loan gone by June. I feel I worked so hard to have come to halt. I know should be thankful for what I have paid off so far, and I am but I am still hurt by this. 

Home!

May 16th, 2022 at 11:00 am

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to have had traveled abroad, though the trip was not what I expected, to say I've been to Greece is a plus.  

After traveling for 23-hours, I can say I finally made it home. After a review of things, I found that I am at fault, rather than relying on others to plan the trip, I should have been more involved in the planning,  asked a ton of questions, and shared my expectations. 

 

What I learned was that you can’t travel with everyone, including friends. One traveler was solely traveling for social media likes so we would get to a location after traveling for hours only to spend thirty minutes for a photo-op, while the other was so “cheap” and inconsiderate of time, that the trip ended up costing way more than I anticipated/budgeted (penny wise pound foolish).

 

Things were so poorly plan; for example, I didn’t get the itinerary, that I asked for multiple times, until the day before (couldn’t make heads or tails of it once received),  there was only one key to the places we were staying so it forced us in many cases to travel together, also transportation wasn’t figured out prior to the trip, so we wasted a ton of time trying to get transportation. At one point we couldn’t even get a rental car. 


 I take responsibility in this, I assumed because I had no experience traveling internationally and they did, that things would be great, and that a plan would be set in motion.
 You don’t have to have travel abroad to plan things accordingly. Lesson learned. 

 

My next trip is to the islands, this one is with family. Lodging and transportation are already arranged. The good thing is, if I want to go off and do things on my own I can. I’m actually planning my days and the things I want to do and see. I found a local driver, at a reasonable cost through a travel group, identified things I want to see and made a list. I’ll be mapping things out, so I can get a clear picture of how long it will take to commute to significant sites and estimate costs. 

 

Now it’s time to tackle my finances. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the person that I was working with,  my biggest contract, is no longer with the organization, so I’m not sure where things are. I have a call tomorrow to touch bases with the TPA who got me the gig. Fingers crossed because I was relying on this to pay off student loan number three(3), now I’m going to pause the extra payments until I get definite answers and a feel of how things will go. 

 

Because of this, I decided to pay June and July’s mortgage, HOA, and  COBRA. Though I have a great deal of savings, I don’t like to touch it, and I only want to in case of a real emergency like no money coming in, and since I have the money to pay these things (I received my last contract payment before I left), I am. You never know. 

 

The good news is, a former client reached out to me to work on a project for a few weeks. We are scheduled to chat some time this week. This should bring in about $2-4k a month. I’ll throw a little at the student loan but I won’t be as aggressive. I’m just thankful for income. It seems like God is always one step ahead of me. 

 

That’s it so far, I’ll update my expenses and share over the next few days. 

Mortgage, Stocks, Debt, and Progress

April 20th, 2022 at 03:59 am

I can't believe where I've come from. I have worked so hard to save and pay off debt. I've done it before but this time seems more difficult. I don't know if it's because I'm older, had more debt, or simply have a better understanding of money. Either way I'm making progress. 

I re-worked my budget to include extra payments on the mortgage. I know some will say why pay extra on the mortgage when you have student loan debts? Well because it makes me feel good and keeps me motivated. So today as I prepare for my trip, I paid my May mortgage and an extra $71.11 towards the principal. I absolutely love the amortization table, I use this to round down my debt. 

Other news, looking at my side bar you can see that I'm way behind the eight ball as it relates to my retirement account. I also re-worked the budget so that I max out my IRA account this year. I'm self-employed so I have no 401(k). I did a little research and learned that a SEP might work for me. I'm able to double what I'm contributing to an IRA to a SEP, so this might work. I've set up a call upon my return with a member of the Fidelity team. 

Also about a week ago, I bought my first stocks, Nike, because I'm a Nike snob. Well it's been exciting to watch how my stocks are doing, following the news on the company and all, not to mention the highs a lows. I'm new to this whole investing thing so I'm nervous as hell, I only bought five shares (I do plan on increasing). I must say that  I'm happy with the progress I'm making. I decided to follow a few other companies and every month when I deposit to my IRA, I'll take a little and buy a few shares. By doing this, I have an entire month to research the companies before purchasing. 

Friday is pay day for me and I'll be dropping $2100 on my student loan, this will bring my third student loan balance under $10k. I'm so happy I can scream. I still cant believe that in just over a year and a half I've paid off over $40k in student loans. Plus my other credit card debts. 

If you're new to this journey, keep pushing it gets better. 

Motivated

March 22nd, 2022 at 10:11 pm

 

I did it!

 

I reworked my budget so that I will max out my IRA for 2022 and meet my savings goals. 

 

Yes, I'm still paying off debt but for me paying debt and saving simultaneously gives me peace of mind and keeps me motivated. I've learned that everyone’s journey is different and I have to do what best fits my needs and most importantly keep me motivated. Who knows this may change again, but for now here's what happened today. 

 

$500 added to EF

$773 paid on mortgage principal 

$2000 paid towards student loan number 3

$500 towards IRA 

$205 saved for HOA

$100 for house fund, next few years I'm going to need a roof 

 

Next week I get another $800 and I’m going to throw it towards my student loan 

Wow, I Am So Excited

January 22nd, 2022 at 11:48 am

I'm so excited, I thought budgeting monthly was going to be hard. When I started working for myself I completely stopped, didn't even try. I continued to knock out my student loans and save a nice chunk but I also spent a little more in a few areas. 

 

Well, I decided to get back at it, I started back using the cash envelopes and when I tell you I killed it, I killed it. I pay myself about the 20th of each month, monthly, this is also new. Anyway, I came in well under budget, this budget period and had a ton to roll over in my cash envelopes. I usually roll over twice before throwing at debt. 

 

I also do these money-saving challenges (e.g. 52 weeks) ad love them.  every year that I do these challenges I say I'm getting a new bedroom set, well the money always goes towards my student loans. Last year June, I took half and threw it at my student loan. Then in December I took a little, even though I have a Christmas fund, and used it towards Christmas gifts. Well, I have $955 left of that money and that will pay for my ten days in Greece (housing). My plane ticket was paid in cash last year. I'm so excited. 

 

For 2022,  I started the savings challenges again and I have $365 saved. This money will be my spending money while in Greece. I'm thinking by the time we go, I’d saved about $1200. Everyone on this trip is just as frugal as I am and I love it. I'm certain I'll probably come home with a ton 

 

I'm so excited about my journey. Never in my life would I have saved to pay cash for a trip, under any other circumstances this would have been on a credit card. I've never been able to afford COBRA and here I am seven months in and haven't missed a payment. I've never had more than a few thousand dollars saved and here I am close to 30k saved. I just can't believe this  

It’s My Birthday!

January 18th, 2022 at 01:00 am

In honor of my birthday and turning the fabulous 48, I decided to pay $48 on my student loan. 

Normally I'm out and about for my birthday but today all I wanted to do was rest. Unfortunately, I worked, well I'm thankful so I shouldn't say unfortunately. I work for myself, and my clients needed attention, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to serve. I am heading to Greece for my birthday later this year, that's my a gift to myself and  I've paid cash for this trip 

In financial news, I've reworked my budget and I should be able to pay the final amount in interest on my student loan, #3, next week, this will allow me to start tackling the principal. With student loans, you must pay the interest before paying the principal. Fingers crossed that I can have this loan paid off before the interest starts back up. 

Student Loan

January 11th, 2022 at 09:52 pm

My brother paid me back, $150. I took this money and threw it at my student loan, and the new balance is $17,500 (student loan #3), I'll update my sidebar later.

Looking at my budget, I may be able to add $2000 at the end of the month, fingers crossed. 

It's a Wrap, the 2021 Numbers Are In

January 9th, 2022 at 07:11 am

After balancing my final account, I've been waiting on the statement, the numbers are in. Sadly, overall I spent 14% more than the previous year( 2020).

 

First, my savings accounts increased by $6789.87; liabilities went up by $2400.07. Last month I used the CC for dental work, I'll be paying it off this month, I wanted to use the CC for points, that equal cash. 

 

I paid off $15,429.81 in student loans; decreased the mortgage by $3455.10, and my net worth increased by$2306.14. 

 

Where I spent my money the most was student loans, up 269% (payments); entertaining, up 101%, I bought season tickets to football games, dental up by 125% and personal care, up by 86%, I started back going to the salon and I'm now cutting this out, so my personal care line item should decrease. Clothing  was also up, 26% 

 

I didn't see much decrease but the mortgage decreased by 7%, auto registration was down by 9%, cellular down by 9%; and miscellaneous spending down by 4%  

 

Looking at these numbers really put things in perspective. I'll admit, I lost focus in June and hadn't started budgeting again until December. 

 

Some things I'm doing to ensure this is a better year:

  • Started the cash envelopes back up
  • Started budgeting again 
  • Cutting my salon visits 
  • Will not buy season tickets to the games this year 

That's it 

EF Update

August 6th, 2020 at 08:57 am

This week I received two checks, one for my escrow from the previous lender and a refund from my attorney. I had asked her to hold on to the retainer a little longer in case my brother started up. Well the check came and it was almost $2k. I was surprised.

With both of these deposits and my payday savings I’m about $15 away from having 6 months of expenses saved. I guess things work out for a reason. Ii will up the side bar later

I’m pretty certain my escrow account will not be enough to cover taxes and insurance in November, so I’m saving my October and November side hustle checks to pay the difference. I do not want a higher mortgage payment.

Things are trucking along, after reviewing the budget, and making some adjustments, I’m able to pay $400 on my student loans Friday. I’ll be honest, I’m hoping this interest free savings continues, I’m making some serious progress on my loans.

54% Saved

July 26th, 2020 at 05:41 am


I completed my budget review tonight and found that for this last pay date I saved 54% of my income. Though most was to my sinking funds (future events) it was nice to know that I’m able to. Just wish I was investing this.

I also paid $300 on the student loans, next week I’ll pay about $500. I haven’t calculated but I’m anticipating that I’ve paid closer to $2000 this month on student loans, surpassing my goal of $1,000.

For the month, I saved almost $500 for my challenges. This will go towards my bed room set. I’d taken half the previous amount saved and threw it at the student loan, this was why I was able to go beyond my goal.

Yesterday was the first day I went out in months. Literally. I took a drive to a consignment store and they required a mask, and practiced social distancing. It was just nice to get out. I didn’t find a bed room set, but I did find the place to be expensive. It’s might be less expensive for me to buy a new set. I’ll keep saving and browsing around.

Every Little Bit Helps

July 20th, 2020 at 12:29 pm


Every little bit helps. I signed up for budget billing with my electric company, I’d budgeted $120 for the month. However, the bill was to be $150 but because I did the budget billing it was $97. I took the $20 saved and added to my student loans.

This week is a pay week, and I’ll be adding $300 to my student loans.

I went back to using cash envelopes, I noticed I was spending a little more with my debit card. I also noticed that I still have about $94 left in my cash envelopes left, hopefully this is a no spend week and I can use what’s left and pay down my student loans.

My fingers are crossed 🤞🏾 that this deferred interest accrual continues at least through the end of the year. I’m really making some headway on these loans. The interest kills me.

Crunching The Numbers Before Payday

July 8th, 2020 at 10:16 pm


Pay day is Friday, I sort of played around with the numbers and realized I will be saving about 34% of my income. Though most of this is sinking funds (e.g. HOA, mortgage, car insurance) it’s still a great feeling knowing I can save for these things.

After tallying what I’ll be adding to my challenge fund, my YTD will be $1532. I’m so excited about this. I had so many plans for this money when I first started, saving for my 50th, then it changed to paying off CC, now I’m teetering between a bedroom set and student loans.

My bedroom set was a hand me down, it’s over 20 years old and the drawers are actually falling apart, literally. I also need a new mattress but think I can hold off another year. However, a apart of me is saying screw the bedroom set and pay off the student loans. Maybe I can find a decent use set for $500 and throw the rest on the student loan. Either way I’m waiting until the last check in December and I make my last contribution before deciding.

By playing around with the budget I found some extra cash and I’ll be paying $150 on the student loans. That’s $707.02 towards my goal of a $1,000 for the month. Though I’ll meet my goal with the last check of the month, I really hope I get my tax return before the end of the month, so that I can throw the money on this student and that will take me over goal.

I’m happy that I’m able to make the payment but ticked off that this $1000 isn’t going towards retirement.

On Track!

July 5th, 2020 at 08:55 am


I’m finally tackling Chris Hogan’s “Retire Inspire” it’s pretty good. I ended up purchasing it because for some reason none of the local libraries had digital copies. Honestly, I like the way books feel anyway, and I can highlight if need be.

After reading a few chapters I got even more anxious about paying off my student loans, I want to max out my 401(k), IRA and HSA but I can’t until I get these loans paid off. I hate I took these loans out. 😡

Now that I’m doing these user surveys, I get Amazon gift cards so I can use these for books and household supplies. I’m nervous about ordering groceries via Amazon but we’ll see what happens down the line. Any money saved from not buying household goods I can throw at the student loans.

This was a good week, money wise, with the next pay day I will only be able to throw an extra $100 at the student loan. I cashed out the reward cash from the credit card, $27.02 and threw at my student loans, MTD paid, $527.02. I’m on track with hitting my goal of $1000 for the month.

I’m hoping I get the mortgage payment refund back soon. I have to reach out to the broker regarding my $75 application fee refund. That’s on my list to follow-up on Wednesday.

Lastly, I reworked my budget. I bumped my direct deposit to the emergency fund by $100 a paycheck since I’m saving that amount in mortgage, I also reallocated the car fund direct deposit. I met my goal for the upcoming six month car insurance renewal in August, so I was able to decrease the amount needing to go to the account for the next renewal in March 2020 by $100. It feels good, everything seems to be working out.

Closed!

July 1st, 2020 at 09:24 pm


Closed today, I’ll be getting a check on the 7th for just over $700 and I’ll also be getting a refund on the payment I made for July.

The first payment is due September so, I’m throwing August payment into the saving that will give me three to four months of mortgage payment saved. I’m happy with that because that was my goal.

Next I’m adjusting the budget, and my direct deposit, to account for the $222, I’ll be saving each month in mortgage since refinancing.

I completed my first user review and made $50 in gift card (Amazon). I’ll use these gift cards to purchase household goods.

Budget Review

June 27th, 2020 at 06:35 pm


Though it’s not the end of the month, I wanted to take a look at my budget and how things were going.

Projected income slightly down.

I’m loving not spending any money on gas. Charitable donations way over, this month was the award for the scholarship I do, normally it’s in April.

Once again groceries are over. At first I thought it was because I wasn’t using cash, now I know it’s because everything has gone up. It’s crazy, cleaning supplies are also up. 🙄🤦🏽‍♀️

Over all, everything is looking good. Outside of the grocery and donations, I’m doing well.

Student Loans

June 21st, 2020 at 09:02 am

Crunched the numbers, and I should be able to add $706 on Friday to my student loans, brining the month to date payment of $1,000. God I pray Congress, approves through the end of the year, zero interest, but if not it, it was good while it lasted. Last week I added an extra $100 to the loans.

I’m hoping to get the closing on the refi by the end of the month, that way I won’t have to make July payment on the mortgage and I can keep those funds in my house mortgage fund, which will be fully funded. The goal was to have at least three months mortgage save, separate from my emergency fund.

I’m excited to get this mortgage payment knocked down by almost $300 a month, this includes escrow. Even with a reduce payment I will continue to add the extra $100 a month. I do not want to stop doing this unless something changes financially.

By paying off the credit cards, reducing my monthly mortgage payments and my side gig, I’m able to save, contribute to my 401(k), pay extra on the mortgage and tackle the student loan debt simultaneously. I know Dave says not to tackle the mortgage, nor contribute to the 401(k), this method gives me a peace of mind.

Speaking of 401(k) I vowed that when ever I paid off a debt I’d add extra to my contribution, though I can’t do an additional $25-$50 as planned, I’m upping my contribution by $10. That will be $60 a pay check. At 46, I can’t afford not to make a change whenever I free up some cash.

End of Month Review

June 7th, 2020 at 10:23 pm


Refinancing my house and it’s estimated that I should be saving about $200 a month, I’m hoping for $300 but either way I’ll be saving.

I opted not to go with the 15 year, because I’ve created a habit of paying extra anyway even as I pay down debt. I’ve always paid extra on the principal, and given the uncertain times, it’s easier to come up with $400 than $800, if anything happens,that’s why I went with the 30. The new rate is 3 percentage points less than my current rate. Right now it’s all about cash flow for me.

The goal is to continue to pay my current mortgage payment after refinancing, that would be $200 extra towards the principal a month and to pay an extra $500 - $1,000 a month on the student loans. If I continue on this path, I should be debt free including the house, within 5-7 years. Fingers crossed.

Closed out my budget for May.
Once again the numbers are very high for food and household items. I’ve got to get this back under control. Though both are a low percentage of my take home pay, less than 1%, it’s still too much compared to what I use to pay.

I was able to save 21% of my take home pay, that I’m happy with. Not to mention I paid off the credit card debt also in May, so May was a good month.

Other news, my blood pressure has been high, the doctor put me on meds 💊, something I did not want to do but hey. I’ve made some minor adjustments to my diet, purchasing low sodium 🧂 food items. I exercise any way, so I’ll continue with this regiment. I’m keeping a health/food journal in hopes of getting this thing under control.

Lastly, SO called someone tested positive for COVID -19 at his daughter’s job. I’m so glad he does not live with me, I would have been going nuts. I told him, they both should be tested and practice social distancing while in the home. I pray all is well, there’s a young kid and a senior in the home.

That’s in a nut shell.

Friday Update

May 2nd, 2020 at 01:06 am


Went to the grocery store today, I really wanted to stick to the list, but I ended up picking up a few extra things. The good thing is, I won’t have to go out for a few weeks.

Since this whole thing is going on regarding the food supply, I picked up some ground beef 🥩, pork loin and chops. I did something I never do, and that’s rationing the meat. I decided to divvy up the meat, so that I could what I eat and nothing goes to waste. For example; I can cook one chop at a time vs the whole pack.

I live alone and I find that when I cook an entire pack of meat most of it is thrown out. Coupled with meal planning, I’m hoping this helps.

I’m in a ton of Facebook groups regarding saving money and paying down debt. This month it’s drink water only, for every day I have water only, I’ll add $1 to my challenge envelope ✉️. For the days I don’t, it’s $2. I’m also participating in keep change challenge, where you round up the change and save it. I like this since I’m not using cash due to COVID.

Lastly, I paid an extra $250 on the CC. Again it’s not the extra amount that I would normally pay, I’m in storm mode saving because I have no clue what will happen with COVID

Friday Update

April 3rd, 2020 at 09:38 am


Well I was given a directive to do something illegal, I told my CEO to put it in writing to me. Now she’s nervous and complaining that I asked for it in writing. Personally I don’t even think she understood what she was asking.

Honestly I think everyone’s anxiety level from this virus is on high alert; but as I mentioned in the past and will continue to do so, we need to stop, take a break, think things through, and then make a decision. Those people who were hired to do a job should be allowed to do so, otherwise we are going to find ourselves in a mess.

It’s the lack of structure, th