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Personal Finances / Credit Cards and Consumer Debt


Subject:  updated plan Date:  11/27/2002  10:40 PM
Author:  xxannxx Number:  146185 of 312161

Okay, I lied. I was doing some last-minute finagling before I leave work for the day, and I realized that I have most of my December plan in place. So instead of waiting, here it is!
Monthly Net Income      6756.48                
Monthly Expenses 2760.62 (2095 is rent)
Debt mins 956.73
Freedom Funds** 1344
Leftover 1695.13 (to efund)

A few things…

My Freedom Fund contribs are high this month because I'm front loading gifts and travel.

I've managed to work it so that I'm paying off my Amex (this month's regular purchases) by the end of this month, so I'll have a “clean slate” for next month. I'll record anything I charge to the Amex immediately, and hopefully that money will be covered by what's in my newly formed Freedom Funds. It was definitely tricky beginning to fund those and catch up with Amex; it meant that my contribution to my efund was really low this month, but it feels good to have them in place.

And despite the fact that my standard work week is 50 hours (leave my house at 8:00am, get home between 8:30/9:00pm), I've been inspired by Wild and other Fools to get a second job. I'm going to work weekends through the holidays (or until I turn into a stark-raving lunatic) so that I can get that efund in place!

My debt, as you may remember, is:
Citibank       13,733.86  2.90%
Student Loan1 788.61 5%
Student Loan2 7,513.91 7.50%
Student Loan3 17,435.58 4.61%
Car Loan 5,753.62 6%

I've decided to snowball the car first, because I can have that paid off by September (when I could possibly become unemployed). And then I can sell it if I have to.

Credit card second, because I just can't stand it. And if I get into real trouble, I can get forbearance on my student loans (thanks for pointing that out, uwalum), but I won't be able to do that with my credit card. My 2.9% is through April, and I'll do some BT hopping when that expires, but I just want it gone.

If I can stick with this, I'll only have Student Loan 2 and 3 left by the end of September. Completely out of debt by June 2004 (if I'm still employed).

Other things…
I've reduced my contribution to my son's 529 from $200/month to $50/month.
I'm going to think some more about upping my retirement contributions. Maybe if I can find a reliable 2nd job (that allows me some time off so I can play with my boy; I hardly get to see him at all during the week because I work so much), I could pump that money into retirement. I don't know. Have to mull this one over.
My net income is going to decrease in January. I reach the max limits on Social Security and CA State SDI by the end of summer usually, so my take-home pay goes up towards the end of the year. I should be getting a cost-of-living raise, but those usually don't kick in until March or so. I haven't done the calculations yet, but the difference before my potential raise will be about -$100/week.

I think that's about it for now. I'm looking forward to next month when I can update on how it all worked out.

Comments/suggestions are always welcome!

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