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Off and running...

March 21st, 2007 at 06:23 pm

I have been blogging for my family for a little while, but I keep finding that what I have talking about recently is our personal finances. I have recently gotten my DH and I on the path to debt freedom and it is nice to be able to hash things out in print, but I am going to try to focus on that here and my family on the other blog. At least for now. Smile

Where to start. I guess I will start with the present and move backwards a little from there. Currently we have the following debt short term/revolving debt:

* Credit card: $10300
* Truck loan: $ 9600
* Furniture loans: $2096
* Second mortgage: $13100

For a grand total of more than $35,000 in debt. That is the number scared the crap out of me. We also have a first mortgage of $189,000, but for purposes of this blog I am only going to focus on the debts listed above. These are the scariest to look at and the easiest to work on.

The good news is that we have been working on putting money into an investment account for the last 9 years. We put the money in automatically each month and then promptly forgot about it. As of the end of the year, that fund had $26,000 in it. Wow! So we are skipping the emergency fund step that most gurus advise because we already have it.

My plan:
Step 1) I am working at implementing the Debt Snowball along with using the You Need A Budget (YNAB) program. YNAB works best when you have a buffer equal to 1 months expenses in your checking account so that you are using last months money to pay this months bills. That way we won't be living paycheck to paycheck anymore. Obviously, we aren't anywhere close to that, but I am going to work towards that while using the debt snowball, just not paying anything EXTRA to the snowball until the buffer is in place.

Step 2) Once buffer is funded, aggressively paydown debt with snowball method. Maintain this to get out of revolving debt in 12 months, car debt in 24 months and second mortgage in 33 months.

Step 3) Make maximum contributions to IRAs and other retirement funds, fully fund savings for planned future purchases (i.e. car, etc) then pay rest to first mortgage.

Step 4) Start breathing easier.

I know we are not as bad off as some, but as the daughter of 2 accountants, I am ashamed of where we have landed. We have been doing some things right, but we have also been doing a lot of things wrong. That stops right now. We are done using credit cards forever (with the exception of DH's travel for work) and once we have worked to pay off the debt we are not going back.

A word of caution: I tend to be long winded. Read this blog with caution! Smile

2 Responses to “Off and running...”

  1. tinapbeana Says:

    nice to have you join us, sara!

  2. Elly Says:

    WooHoo! We started our blogs on the same day! I look forward to reading your entries!

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