Friday, July 28, 2017

July 2017 Debt Update: $60,423.98

Finally I'm able to get back to reporting numbers! :) As I mentioned in an earlier post, even though I have not posted updates for the last couple months, we have been staying on top of our planned debt payments. The past couple of months have offered up a few extra expenses which we had to dip into our savings to pay, but the good news was that we had those savings and were able to weather it without too much trouble.

This month our total debt is $60,423.98. This includes mostly student loans and an auto loan, but I also had to add in the $95 or so in pending charges on our Discover card that it won't let me pay off yet. We have the money for that portion of our Discover, so if you took that off we would owe only $60,328.37. 

New tires
One of the biggest unexpected expenses was our tires. We knew they would probably have to be replaced next year, but then noticed the metal peeking through one of the tires. Yikes. So that had to be fixed immediately. We changed out all four of the tires and chose a tire that would hopefully last for a good while, but it meant that we had to pay over $600 when all was said and done.

A trip to New York City in the fall
The second expense occurred when we found out that my brother-in-law had gotten married. He lives in New York City and wanted to have a wedding party to celebrate in October. He's well aware of our financial situation and offered to pay for all four of our kids' tickets as well as offer lodging (he owns two apartments in New York). After talking about it, we felt like we should go because it would mean a lot to him, and most of my husband's family would be going too. It will still end up costing us a bit more for taxi fares in New York and maybe one or two meals out, but we are going to do our best to keep costs down by cooking in the apartment while we are there and sticking to frugal outings (he lives within walking distance to Central Park). I am looking forward to enjoying New York in the fall, though!

Medical debt (that we paid off)
For whatever reason, I just realized recently that in my monthly numbers I was not including a medical bill that we were slowly paying. Last fall our youngest daughter was accidentally hit in the face with an aluminum baseball bat, but thankfully nothing was broken and there were no head injuries. The ER bill came to well over $400 just for them to examine her for 5 minutes, and because the hospital offered 12 month 0% financing, we decided to just pay it off slowly so that our HSA wasn't hit too badly. We only had $80 left to pay when I realized we had not shared this bill, so I went ahead and paid it off this morning. I'm sorry for leaving that out - I guess the 0% interest made me think it was more of a payment system and not a debt! :)

A modest raise
The legislature in our state recently voted to give workers a variety of low raises. Our state's budget has been under a lot of pressure over the past few years due to a change in tax policy, and as a result many state workers had not received raises in 5 years. My husband had received some raises and we were thankful for the very modest slight raise he got this time. It's only an extra $80/month or so, but we are going to add it to our debt payment. As I shared in a previous post, I am ready to make an even bigger effort to wipe out this debt!

Negotiating a lower internet rate
After hearing from different people that they were getting faster speeds than us for less money, we were ready to ditch our current provider and go to cable. We have been living with a speed of about 3 Mbps and it mainly affects our evening tv viewing when we watch shows on our computer. But after calling, our current provider offered us a speed that was 8 times as fast as what we currently get and for almost $15 less a month. Again, that $15 will also go toward our debt payments. $15 may not seem like much, but it will save us $180 per year and get us a faster speed.

Well, that's it for this month's update. I hope to have even better numbers to report in the months to come as we re-direct more of our monthly budget toward debt, and speaking of budget, I think an updated budget post is due. 

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