Tag Archives: Moving

Sam’s June Debt Progress Report

For the next couple months I will be writing my progress reports a little differently. I am paying minimums or a little more than minimums while I save up for my move in July. Therefore, I will be reporting on my student loan progress as well as my moving “savings” progress.

The Debt

The table below summarizes my long term and short term debt progress. In the “Current Debt” column, my totals as of June 1, 2014 have been crossed out and replaced with my debt totals as of June 30, 2014.

Progress Report June Chart

During the month of June I paid a total of:

  • $52.34 toward principle
  • $370.76 toward interest

I currently owe:

  • $17,912.60 less than my original loan amounts
  • $86.29 less than I owed on June 1st

The Savings

The table below summarizes my moving fund progress. I provide information about my monthly savings goals as well as my actual amounts saved up to this point.

Progress Report June Savings Chart
Roadblocks: None this month!

May Dollar Hollaaaaas: Due to a trip in early June with family, I was able to decrease my spending money this month by half! I also have picked up a side job teaching swim lessons, allowing me to take out less spending money.

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Sam’s May Debt Progress Report

For the next couple months I will be writing my progress reports a little differently. I am paying minimums or a little more than minimums while I save up for my move in July. Therefore, I will be reporting on my student loan progress as well as my moving “savings” progress.

The Debt

The table below summarizes my long term and short term debt progress. In the “Current Debt” column, my totals as of May 1, 2014 have been crossed out and replaced with my debt totals as of May 31, 2014.

May 2014 Progress Report Chart

During the month of May I paid a total of:

  • $149.53 toward principle.
  • $273.57 toward interest.

I currently owe:

  • $17,826.31 less than my original loan amounts
  • $97.49 MORE than I owed on May 1st

I can’t give a full explanation of WHY my current balance is higher than last month’s balance (partly because I don’t yet understand all of the details), but what I do know is that most loan companies make it VERY difficult for people to pay extra on their loans, thus keeping them in debt. That is likely why my additional payments seem to have been applied towards interest, and conveniently, there was not and still isn’t an online option to pay extra towards principle.

Applying extra payments towards interest enables the loan companies to make more money off your debt because you will have it for a longer period of time which also means you will accrue and pay them more interest. Therefore, they attempt to convince people that paying extra towards interest is as good as paying towards principle, and will also help you to pay less in the long run. They might even go so far to tell you that’ is the only option. If you don’t pay toward the principle, you’re actually paying interest that you may never actually accrue. Clear as mud, right? I wonder why these loan companies make this so difficulty to explain and understand….

The Savings

The table below summarizes my moving fund progress. I provide information about my monthly savings goals as well as my actual amounts saved up to this point.

May 2014 Savings Progress Chart

Roadblocks: I had a wedding in early May that I used extra spending money for and bought a flight to Florida to look for houses. Those extra expenses prevented me from meeting my savings goal in May.

May Dollar Hollaaaaas: Because we found the most amazing place in Florida, I ended up having to spend a significant amount less on a security deposit and fees from my moving fund in May, leaving me feeling more at ease with my lack to save up enough in May.

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6 Tips When House Hunting

I will be writing a series of posts about the process of moving over the next couple months. Whether you’re moving across the country or across the street, this guide should help decrease your stress level and increase your bank account!

Moving Part 1: House Hunting

Moving is expensive and can be very stressful without a plan. There’s the house, packing, how to get your stuff from point A to point B, and paying for it all. Since I am in the process of moving halfway across the country (for the second time), I learned from my previous mistakes and have been able to experience a stress-free move (so far)! One of the most important and possibly the most expensive part of your move is finding a new place to live. Below I outline some steps to take to make finding a home stress-free and actually fun!

1. Budget. Think about how much you can/are willing to spend on housing. The recommended amount to spend on a mortgage or rental is NO MORE than 25% (or a week’s worth) of your annual salary AFTER TAXES. The “after taxes” part is really important because it makes a HUGE difference in your ACTUAL income. See “Your Salary”.

2. Prioritize. Make a written list of what you’re looking for in a home, starting with your #1. If you’re a pros/cons person, write it down and take it with you when you go and look.

3. Research. Start looking 5-6 months ahead on websites like Zillow, Trulia, and various real estate websites to get an idea of what types of houses or rentals are in the area and their prices. Getting an idea of what you can afford in the area you’re looking will help cross things off your “wish list” or re-arrange your priority list.

4. Help. Get a Real Estate Agent! This really did make the entire house hunting experience so much easier. We are renting, so it’s a little harder to find an agent that is willing to work with someone for a rental, but when you find the perfect person, your life will start getting so much easier. I worked with THE BEST realtor possible!

5. Take A Tour. Plan a trip to view a variety of places, even if you think some may not be what you’re looking for. The townhome we ended up renting was one that I was about to cross of my list and then thought, “Why not? We’ll be there anyways”. It ended up being perfect in every way!

6. Narrow it down. Now that you’ve set your budget, make your priority list, know the neighborhoods, and see your prospective future homes you can start narrowing down your options. I would recommend crossing off overpriced options (rent/mortgage costs more than 25% of your take home income) from your list, but if you end up looking at them and choose one, make sure than you not only can AFFORD it, but happily live there without breaking your budget and feeling stressed all the time.

FLHouseFor me, the most important part of finding a home was price. I’ve made the mistake of living in an apartment that was WAY over what I could “afford” (I had money to pay my bills every month, but it was stressful and hard to get ahead). Make sure that the home you end up choosing allows you to have the life you want to live. Don’t try to Keep Up With The Jones’ and become “house poor” (aka broke).

Good Luck on your move!

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Sam

Life Happens…Goals Change.

Throughout the course of a year, your short term plans may change drastically. You may lose your job, move, get married, have a baby, etc. Life happens and your budget and long term goals should change with it. Below are some options to keep in mind when life happens and goals change.

My plans changed when I found out I was moving halfway across the country this summer. I had to re-evaluate my debt repayment plan. Here are some of the options I considered:

Plans Change Chart 1

Plans Change Pic

Plans Change Chart 2

Plans Change Pic 2

Plans Change Chart 3

Plans Change Pic 3 Plans Change Chart 4

My decision: Option #1: Continue putting some (a set amount) extra toward debt/savings while saving for the move.

I am able to continue paying a little extra toward my student loan, making me feel like I’m making some sort of progress toward debt. I also am able to save more than enough for our move and may have some leftover to throw toward debt as well!

Don’t be afraid to change your financial goals but don’t forget to make new ones that fulfill your needs!

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Sam