No. of Recommendations: 3

Creditor Jul'11 Sep'11 APR
Credit Card A $ (10,665) $ (9,515) 0%
Credit Card B $ (3,250) $ 0 8.5%
Equity Loan $ - $ (7,100) 4.99% (5-yr FR)
Mortgage $(258,750) $(257,300) 4.25% (30-yr FR)

Bank Jul'11 Sep'11 Monthly Add'n
CU Checking $ 300 $ 4,130 $ -
CU Savings $ 3,500 $ 5,000 $ 0
House Fund $ 1,000 $ 700 $ 0
Misc E-Fund $ 100 $ 400 $ 100
Car E-Fund $ 1,150 $ 1,850 $ 330

This is my 3 month update since I started using YNAB.

CC-A is being paid off at a rate that stays ahead of promo-balance expiration. I will have to make a couple of one-time payments, $1000 in December and $3250 in March (which should be less than I receive as a tax refund)

In Aug. I withdrew $7500 from a $25000 equity line of credit to pay down CC-B and boost my cash on hand which went into CU Savings and Checking to make the YNAB buffer, etc. It's a 5-yr fixed rate. I believe $141.xx is due each month for it, and I have been paying $200, so at that rate I'll be able to pay it off in just over 3-yrs, I will also start paying more towards this when CC-A is paid off next Spring.

I've been paying $100 extra on my mortgage per month, maybe this is a mistake and I should be paying it toward my other debts like the equity loan or CC-A, or just saving it for future house problems/work. I just liked the thought of the principal dropping a little faster...

Some positives of YNAB--
- I am much more able to recognize (and correct) over spending... previously I had only ball-park numbers for groceries, etc
- I was able to stop buying lunch at work 4 out of 5 days, I was spending about $5-7/day. I consider it 100% savings because even though I am eating food bought with groceries, the overall amount I've been spending on the groceries has dropped since I've started being more careful
- I have a buffer for my heating bills this winter, I'm on track to be able to pay them without having to alter the rest of my budget

Some issues that have cropped up--
I still have not been able to stick to a budget like I would want to--don't get me wrong, I'm doing far better than before, but it just hasn't been where I want. Part of the problem (excuses?) is that over the summer I had a couple of weddings that required travel and a few other things--saying "no don't have the money" wasn't really an option. I feel like each month out of the past 3 I've gotten a little better each time--the next three will hopefully show that is true.

I had over $800 in car repairs in the past 3 months for 2 separate instances of repair. I paid 50/50 out of my Car Fund and by taking money from the monthly budget.

I was told that I need a $2000, no you can't put it off, repair to my furnace (and a second opinion confirmed), this will end up coming out of CU Savings.

I'm also debating about having insulation put into the attic before winter. We had astronomical heating bills last year, I think the pay back could be only 3-5 years, but it's $2500 that I don't have, meaning I'd end up having to either increase the amount borrowed on equity or pay it with a credit card. On the one hand being comfortable and lowering bills makes sense, on the other, borrowing to do so does not. My gut reaction is "do it, you're wasting money on heating!", but when I start to think about it more I feel like the extra $500 or so I might spend on heating this year is worth paying vs. going further into debt. Then again, the savings on the heating bill each season will probably be 3-4X (or more) what I might spend in interest each year on the loan.
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