Happy New Year, Everybody! We sent 2016 out with a bang! Just kidding! It was LIGHTS OUT at this house around 9PM. But we did make some dramatic changes to our finances in the last month and I’m so pumped to go into 2017 in this shape!
Let’s just bust this thing on out and see if you notice anything different:
|Wells Fargo Visa||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00|
|Debt Payoff Percentage:||7.90%|
|December 31, 2016|
That heavy-on-the-heart loan is GONE.
All but one credit card is PAID OFF.
Our debt is 7.9% gone.
It sold. It finally sold. Is this the lynch pin we’ve been pulling at all year?
The raw piece of land we bought for cash in our little town that has been for sale by owner for nearly two years has finally sold. We got an offer on a Monday at the end of November and were at the closing table on Friday. Serendipity at its finest, it just bolstered me emotionally and provided some much needed relief financially.
I’m probably going to have to re-design the chart for 2017 to celebrate this last-minute surge!
We started April $276,243.63 in debt and have finished the year 7.9% lighter.
The hubs and I promptly went to the credit union to deposit the check, and then turned around and paid off that gut-wrenching personal loan AND the credit card in full. I’ve posted the deposit slip at my desk as motivation for this year.
At home that night, it was such a relief to begin paying off credit cards, one by one, since I wouldn’t have to choose which ones get paid off versus only minimum payments. What remains is one credit card with about a $4,000 balance that we could have paid off, but have decided that since it is at a zero percent interest rate for the next 18 months, we’ll keep that money in savings for the “what ifs?” of life.
I realize most of us don’t have 8.5 acres in a country town available to sell to get out of debt. My husband really wanted to keep the land for hunting and hobby farming, but we sacrificed it to get to our end goal: zero debt in ten years, including the mortgage.
What do you have that you could sell to pay off debt?
Because of the work we had done prior to December in whittling down that balance, there was less to pay off on the personal loan–we had paid off over $3,500.00 in seven months. This is even while we have two kids in full time daycare and are still paying two mortgages while the townhouse is still on the market. I’ll post on how we paid off the $15,000 in eight months in the coming month or so.
Below is the breakdown for the entire check. How would you have broken it down?
|Relief Provided||Amount Paid Off||Remaining|
|Payoff of Signature Loan||-$11,440.65||$10,202.46|
|Payoff of Credit Union Credit Card||-$1,258.51||$8,943.95|
|Payoff of Discover CC||-$2,031.04||$6,912.91|
|Payoff of Wells Fargo CC||-$1,222.10||$5,690.81|
|Cash Withdrawal – Hay for Goats||-$50.00||$5,640.81|
|Paid up Car Insurance||-$347.35||$5,293.46|
|Paid for A/C Repair (how convenient)||-$756.00||$4,537.46|
From here, we moved $4,537.46 into emergency savings, but have earmarked $1,500.00 (our approximate gain on the property) for niceties that will make our lives easier.
But first, oh, let me relish the relief: this eliminates about $650 in minimum payments we were struggling with.
So how are we spending our “bonus”?
I couldn’t wait to upgrade our phones to a pair of Samsung Galaxy AceIVs. What great timing! I found them new on sale for a total of $333.84, including accident insurance!
Remember, I’ve been using a low-memory, bare bones twenty olla’ Alcatel from the Wal-Mart since my Samsung Galaxy Ace III took a nose dive in June. It was cracked into many shards that I held in place with packing tape, but completely shattered in August when I tried to replace the broken screen. The Alcatel doesn’t have enough memory for Facebook, but surprisingly, I didn’t find any of that time back.
My husband’s been using his old trusty backup for about six months, since the boys put his S3 in the coolers they were swimming in this summer. Needless to say, we are digging our new phones.
Next, I caught a killer deal on some side sleeper foam pillows at Kohl’s during the Christmas melee.
We’ve been tossing and turning and folding and bunching our pillows for months. I had bought cheap new pillows to stage the house with, thinking we’d be bringing them home soon, but that hasn’t been the case. When I saw these fifty dollar pillows on sale, I immediately put them in my cart, logged into Kohl’s via eBates, applied a magical discount code and free shipping, even scored some Yes 2 U points, making these pillows HALF their original price. Merry Christmas to me and my husband.
For those of you thinking that spending fifty bucks on pillows is frivolous, let me remind you, we spend eight hours a night on those pillows. And we have been very good this year, thankyouverymuch!
Now, we’re watching Craigslist and Facebook Yard Sale sites for barely used small equipment that will make homesteading easier in the coming years, while we wait for the big box stores to hatch us some good deals.
We’re definitely going to buy a tiller!
And we think we can get a leaf blower, an edger, and a weed trimmer pretty reasonably. I’d like to pick up a pressure washer that will also be useful on some of my husband’s junk jobs. If there’s any money left, I’m angling for one of those Shark Vacuums for all these wood floors.
In the meantime, it’s back to the grind, putting every dollar to work toward killing our debt by December 31, 2026!
How was your holiday?
Are you ready to get back into your routines?
Are you shaking up your routines with New Year’s Resolutions?
Tell me about it by commenting below or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Edited 1/1/2017 at 2:49PM for accuracy.