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Archive for March, 2024

Stolen Car Update

March 27th, 2024 at 07:04 pm

WHELP… our stolen car saga is mostly over. Now all that’s left is getting a new vehicle.

Our car was found 11 days after it was stolen. The whole car was trashed, inside and out. It looks like they played bumper cars with our car and I feel badly for all the cars they must have hit!

Last week we received a toll violation from FasTrack because we didn’t pay the toll. We had already called and told FasTrack our car was stolen and deactivated the account for the car, but the left hand never knows what the right hand is doing so we had to go through it all again. We are hoping this time will be the last to deal with FasTrack.

Initially, our car was towed to a body shop to get an estimate for the repairs. The lovely owner of the body shop intimated to us that we should probably start looking for new vehicles. Two days later we were informed that our car was not worth being repaired (which we were glad about, we didn’t really want it back at this point) and that our car was officially going to be totaled. At this point, my husband started trying to figure out the price of similar vehicles so we would have an estimate of what we would get for the car and so that we would know if we were being given a fair payout or not.

Our car was 9 years old with 150,000 miles but still in good working order. There were no mechanical issues and only a few minor cosmetic issues with the car. After doing research, the closest we could find was the same model with only 130,000 miles for $8000. That was the lowest amount we decided we would be happy with.

Fast forward a week or ten days and we were finally given an offer by our insurance… $10,500 plus tax, license, and registration fees of another $1200. They offered us $11,700. We were very happy with that price. 9 years ago we paid $21000 plus tax, license, and registration for the car so we felt this was a good amount. After our deductible, we received $11,200 plus an additional $250 (which they said was the maximum) for personal items. We also pay our insurance yearly so will get $400 back for the “unused portion of the year”.

Additionally, we are filing a case with Hyundai personally. Due to the high theft rates of their vehicles, we are eligible for money for personal items lost (of which there were many and way more than the $250 from insurance) and up tp $375 for our deductible. Hopefully we will get even a little more to put down on our next car.

We are planning to put down (at least) $15,000 on whatever car we do buy and then planning to pay it off early by making extra principal payments.

Once we hear back from Hyundai and get a new vehicle, then our stolen car saga will finally be over! We are 80% of the way done with this drama and I’m ready for it to be over.

March Debt Update

March 18th, 2024 at 03:35 pm

This debt update is based on our most recent credit card statement which posted on 3/16/24. I do this mid-month because our credit card closes on the 15th. I can't wait until we are credit card debt free!

As always, we are not paying off our debt as fast as I would like, but I am happy to say that our debt decreased again; not by much this month, but I’m trying to take my wins where I can get them.

Here is our current credit card debt total:

            $9601.18 at 19.99% interest  

Our total credit card debt stands at: $9601.18 That’s still a lot of debt, but we have seen more progress in the last 19 months than we have seen in the last 8 years. All we can do is just keep plugging away. We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and the light is getting bigger and brighter every month.

Plus side: Our debt decreased! We have the least amount of credit card debt that we have had in several years! We dropped a digit on our debt! This month our debt is OFFICIALLY below $10,000! That is a major plus! We paid off $399.12 of credit card debt (after interest); that amounts to 4% of our current debt. And we have paid off 61% of our total debt from our high of almost $25,000! The amount of interest we pay monthly has decreased by over $185 per month from its peak!

Down side: No matter how much debt we pay off, it’s never enough. Of course, interest, interest, interest – that will always be a down side, and we still have a ways to go before we are out of credit card debt!

Looking forward to: having the lowest credit card debt we have had in over 9 years! Continued progress on our debt. I’m excited for March because it has an extra payday for my husband and about half of that is going to go straight to our debt.  There is even a (very slight) chance that we skip the “$8000s” all together and our debt will be in the “$7000s” for my next debt update. Also, my district voted on our raise and now we are waiting for the county office to approve it and then to get our retro checks. Mine should be nearly $5000 and it will almost all go towards our debt! I will also get a small stipend for coaching soccer of about $1700 and that will all go towards our debt, too! There is a possibility that we will be credit card debt free by the end of the school year and I am giddy with hope!

For the first time in a long time, I feel like I have a lot to look forward to regarding our debt.

I hope your debt freedom journey is smooth, uneventful, and beyond successful!

New Goal

March 5th, 2024 at 09:05 pm

I have a new goal for my debt... I'm kind of excited about it!

Now that my debt is a more manageable $10.000 instead of $25,000, (still a lot, but we are making progress!) I want to find money every month to pay an additional 1% of our debt.  

I know that doesn't sound like much, but I believe every little bit helps and any extra money thrown towards our debt will help us to get out of debt faster. Each month the extra money can come from anywhere. If I am able to whittle down our budget we will send the extra money towards our debt. The money could come from extra paychecks or overtime. The whole goal is to send an extra 1% of our debt total towards our debt that wasn't already planned and budgeted for debt.

When our debt was at nearly $25,000, I don't think we could have found an extra $250 to put towards debt. We were making irresponsible choices with our money and didn't have the extra money to spend. Only needing to come up with an extra $100 (at most) is so much more manageable; partly because it's a lower amount but also because we are so much more conscious of what we have coming in and going out.

I literally only thought of this yesterday and my credit card bill is due on the 12th so I don't have a lot of time to come up with extra money this month, so  I will be using the small extra paycheck I will get on the 10th for class coverage to put towards our debt.

Each month we will have to come up with less and less money to find 1% as we decrease our debt, but I still think it will be a fun challenge. I think it will encourage me to take on extra work at school and to be more mindful of our budget monthly.

I'm excited to see what extra money we can come up with and to see if we can come up with more than 1% extra each month. I think I will keep track of the extra money we send towards our debt. When we are debt free, it will be fun to see how much extra money we were able to scrape together and how much this extra little challenge goal affected us. Anything that helps us get out of debt faster is worth it to me! 


March 1st, 2024 at 06:47 pm

Payday was yesterday (for me) and today (for my husband). I feel like we made some good strides this week.

We sent about $650 towards our credit card and stuffed a lot of envelopes this week. We are still dealing with car drama from our car being stolen. (It was found but was in really bad shape. Seats were written on with sharpees, all four sides of the outside had some sort of damage, etc. It was like they played bumber cars with our car!) Due to the car situation, we stuffed $700 into car repair and an additional $300 into our new car fund, with the idea we will be combining those one way or another when the time comes. We also paid our mortgage and added $300 to our savings. 

Sinking fund balances as of 3/1/24:

Christmas: $820

Gas: $965

Food: $300

Clothes: $230

Household: $345

Hair/Nails/Beauty: $400

Kids: $75

School: $110

Car Repair: $1435

Health: $290

Appliances: $260

Home Repair/Furniture: $1275

Car Replacement: $4375

We currently have *$6405 in our sinking funds, not including car replacement. That's pretty good. Our sinking funds saved our butts last month when our water heater went out. I was sad to take the money out of our "appliances" envelope, but so very glad we had it in there! We will also be using money from home repair shortly as the fence between our neighbors yard and ours fell down during the last storm, but again, I'm glad we have the money to pull from.

We will keep plugging away to meet all of our goals: debt reduction and eventual pay off, increased savings, and sinking funds that help keep us on track. 

*I know many people would suggest we use our sinking funds to pay off debt, but life happens. Sinking funds are the way we are preparing for it! Things like the water heater going out, cars getting stolen, and fences getting blown down. All of those things suck and take money to fix. Because of our sining funds, they were inconveniences, not emergencies.