Friday, January 22, 2016

Focusing on Debt

This was my December update on debt:

Debt killing goals:
(1) Pay off lingering credit card debt in the amount of $6500.
(2) Pay off Mr. Sam's new car, remaining debt $2500.

Of course, we've added to our debt by buying me a nused car.  But, I'm ignoring that for right now.

I've been chipping away at our credit card debt.  We killed the 0% credit card debt that we took out for tile in one of our rental homes.  Mr. Sam also cancelled that card/account.  As for our revolving credit card (Chase) that has been hanging around since Baby Sam arrived, it is now down to $3809.  I'm utilizing Dave Ramsey tricks by throwing a $100 at it here and there, and sending payments from various checking accounts on the same day.  I expect that Chase will be killed off by mid-March (hoping for end of February).

Mr. Sam's truck is down to $2000 and we have 4 payments left.  I don't plan to pay ahead as we have a 0% situation.  So, by May the truck will be paid in full.

Once the Chase is killed, we really need to ramp up 2015 IRAs savings since the deadline to fund is 4/15/16.  At present we have $2500 in our 2015 IRA savings.  That means we need to find $9000 before 4/15/16.  Our available savings is down because of my nused car purchase.  We do have $4200 in our vacation/travel fund, which means I could likely raid it for a couple of thousand.  And I could probably take $1,000 from savings.  That would mean we need to find $5,500 from other sources in about a month or month and a half.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Pulled the Trigger

I wanted to keep my old car, a 2006 sedan, for another year.  But, it didn't happen.  My old car was simply becoming too unreliable, especially since I'm often driving Baby Sam.  So, my options included investing about $4,000 in repairs or moving on.

I opted to move on.  While I could have kept my old car and invested in repairs, our lifestyle and needs have, with a baby, changed.  Babies bring along stuff, strollers, bikes, pack and play contraptions, etc.  So even if I spent the money to repair my car, I still felt like it no longer fit our needs for a family car.  Mr. Sam has a relatively new truck, but since its an open air bed truck, we don't normally use it for family trips or travel.

We ended up doing the research, test driving several models within the class we were interested in (small SUVs), shopping for the one we settled on, negotiating sale, finding financing, buying the car and selling my old car within a week.

Which means, instead of paying off our car debt this year (Mr. Sam's truck will be paid off by summer), we added a new debt to our family budget.  We paid for my nused car half in cash and then financed the other half at 2.8%.  I was bummed that I couldn't get 0% which is the interest rate on Mr. Sam's truck loan.  But, its a short loan, 24 months so the interest total overall is low.

I'm disappointed that we didn't save up and pay in cash for my nused car, in the same way I was disappointed that we didn't pay cash for Mr. Sam's truck (we basically did the same thing for Mr. Sam's truck, paid half in cash and then financed the other half except we got 0% since it was a new truck).  I believe in Dave Ramsey's plan to never have another car payment in your life, yet here we are with car payments.  On the other hand, I need reliable transportation both for family and work and I didn't want to empty out our savings account solely to avoid taking on the debt.  

Friday, January 8, 2016

Updated 2016 Savings/Financial Goals

Still working on our goal planning, some changes since I last posted.

Definite goals:
(1) Max out 401k for each of us, the limits have not changes for 2016 so that is $18,000 for each of us for a total of $36,000. Automatic payroll debits are in place, I will just need to check them in January
(2) Finish funding our 2015 IRAs - $8900, The 2015 IRAs must be funded by 4/15/16. As such, we will have some heavy upfront savings of about $1110 per pay period between 1/1/16 and 4/15/16.
(3) Fund 2016 IRAs $11,000 for the both of us, this number also is unchanged from 2015.
(4) Baby Sam'college fund, add another $5000 this year.

Tentative goals:
(5) Add to emergency fund, reducing this annual goal to $5000 (this year we saved $10,000)

The above savings goals total $65,900.  The highest savings number we have ever hit with our savings efforts is @$64,000 (back in 2013). So, this would be a stretch for us, especially with our child care expenses for Baby Sam.

I've deleted the nused car savings goal, because I went ahead and bought a nused car in December.  More on that in a later post.

Debt killing goals:
(1) Pay off lingering credit card debt in the amount of $4261 (this was at $6500 in my last post, we've made progress).
(2) Pay off Mr. Sam's new car, remaining debt $2000.

Above debt totals at $6261.

Also, I'd like to reduce our total debt to under $450,000 total.  At present our debt total is at $491,863 (this number went up due to the nused car) which would require killing the above credit and car debt and also killing another almost $35,602 in debt. I think that is this is may be a reachable goal since we paid off @$34,000 in debt this year.

Additional financial goals:
Roll over old 401k to my current employer 401k.  This has been a previous goal, and guess what it is still an item on my to do list.