Home > Archive: August, 2021

Archive for August, 2021

Update on School & Debt Consolidation

August 16th, 2021 at 09:23 pm

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I finished my first semester.  My official grades finally posted last week, and I received an A in one class, and an A+ in the other.  Good by me Smile  I went ahead and submitted the grades and payment receipt for tuition reimbursement, and got confirmation this morning from HR that they will be reviewing all of this period's requests on Wednesday and will let me know if they need anything further from me.  If all is good, then reimbursement will be processed along with the Aug 31 paycheck.  That reimbursement will get sent directly to one of the existing 401k loans, and in combination with reimbursement for the fall semester (which HR coincidentally informed me that I am approved for as well lol), will pay that loan off, and I will begin looking at what I am eligible to take as a new loan for surgery (which I've decided to push until next year, for a multitiude of reasons.  That should eventually be its own post...)  

I took another one of the exams for credit last Friday, and missed the mark by 4 points.  Ugh.  Thankfully, I can re-take the exam (have to wait 3 months), and can get another voucher to do so for free.  I'm bummed but it is what it is....I have another one scheduled for this coming weekend that I am a bit nervous about, and then waiting for vouchers for the remaining 3 that I am quite confident in the material so shouldn't have any issues passing.  Once these are all done, and I finish the fall semester, that will take me to 44 credits earned since June 1!  I couldn't be more pleased with how school is going.  

On another topic, I received an offer to convert my remaining balance with the debt settlement company to a personal loan from one of their partners.  I was approved, and even though the terms are terrible, I decided to go ahead and accept.  This fixes the "reporting issue" I was having with regards to keeping track of what I actually still owed, vs the balances that were left to settle.  It also pays off all of my balances still with the creditors, so that they reflect as paid off on my credit and hopefully makes an improvement there faster.  I've zeroed out the consolidated balances line item on my tracking, and added a new one for the loan (they don't balance because of the reporting issue I just mentioned, but now this is an accurate picture of how much money I actually still owe everywhere!).  I will be aggressively throwing extra money at it so that it is still paid off when the debt settlement program would have been completed.  It is not the wisest financial move, but overall will be better, in my opinion.  I'm aware of the drawbacks, and since I'm the one paying for it, I'm the only one who gets a say haha.  I'm hoping that I can maybe refinance (either with a new personal loan, a mortgage refi, or a credit card balance transfer) at some point in the next few years to try to save on interest and pay it off faster.  I'm still on schedule to be debt free (except for mortgage and student loans) by August 2023.  

July 2021 Spending and Summary/New Pay Allocations Update

August 1st, 2021 at 06:17 pm

How is it August already?!  

July was a doozy of a spending month, and I almost didn't post this because of that.  But I guess the whole point of tracking this is to see the ups and the downs (or......I guess in this case the ups are not the good times haha).  While everything came in kinda to very high this month, I was also traveling and celebrating my promotion.  I have a little more travel and celebrating planned for August before I buckle back down and finish the year strong.


Category - July / YTD - context

Alcohol - 0/$279.80 - after a spendy trip to a fancy liquor store in June, I didn't have any need to buy anything this month.

Car/Gas - $83.02/$362.96 - this was gas (at a more expensive station than I usually go to but when the light comes on, you gotta react) & my annual safety/emissions inspection.  Thankfully, there were no issues that needed to be fixed in order for my car to pass.  I'll need new tires in the fall, but actually have the money in savings for this so it's more of a scheduling/convenience thing, which is so nice and refreshing.

Clothing - $385.16/$794.78 - yikes.  I went a little nuts this month on clothes, I do have some returns to make that will be reflected in August, but I guess $800 in clothing for half a year isn't the worst.

Dining/Entertainment - $445.75/$995.37 - double yikes.  I ordered delivery a lot more often than I normally would this month, had a few meals out, so it added up.  Gotta get this back under control too!  $50 of this is also Kindle books I bought last night.  Since I have the next few weeks off from school, I hope to be able to spend some of that free time reading for pleasure.

Education - $100.96/$958.57 - I think this was proctoring fees for two exams for credit (that will eventually be reimbursed) along with study materials for two more exams I'm planning to take this month.  Oh, and a scientific calculator for one of my classes this fall.  These are all worthy expenses!

Gifts - $87.32/$510.25 - my sister's birthday was this month.  All of the spending this year been on my mom and sister, I believe.  I'm good with that!

Grocery/Household/Toiletries - $775.86/$3591.51 - infinity yikes.  This is usually my biggest category, and I'm not 100% sure why it's so high this month, I definitely included some food that I picked up for socializing here....I must have bought a bunch of stuff for the house as well (not too worried about it so I don't feel like going back to check).  Hopefully will be back down to normal levels next month.  I officially have a line item in my budget for grocery sinking now, but it's not for nearly as much as this haha.  

Medical - $94.78/$403.91 - this was two co-pays for my therapist, included in budget and a co-pay/my responsibility for some bloodwork from June (but paid in July).

Miscellaneous - $11.91/$251.93 - literally have no idea, and it's a low enough amount that it doesn't seem worth it to switch to another tab in my spreadsheet haha.

Office Supplies - $0/$106.92 - hopefully the printer ink I bought in June lasts a while.

Personal Care - $316.45/$567.60 - got a haircut, bought a giant size of my expensive conditioner at the salon since they were having a sale, and think a mani/pedi is in here too.  

Pet - $88.21/$623.11 - food/toys and such.

Subscriptions - $2.99/$260.37 - monthly iCloud storage

Travel - $1773.99/$2540.20 - wowsers.  I did have a fairly decadent weekend away with my bestie.  She owes me some money once we reconcile all of the Ubers etc but that will be reflected in August since she hasn't tallied her share yet.  I also went to Philly the other night to meet up some coworkers for a happy hour, and while I didn't count the cost of the train ticket (was purchased with my commuter card that is pre-funded), I did have Ubers and pricey parking.  

Grand Total - $4166.40/$12247.27 - sheesh.  Let's hope I return to the $1k-$1500 range soon lol.


As always, this does not include the 401k contributions/loan repayments from my last check of the month.  This is all mostly still going in the right direction, and if it is not, it was calculated and expected (private student loan increasing, spending some money from sinking funds to pay for travel, etc).  

Regarding the consolidated balances, I am still waiting to hear back about whether or not I was approved for the loan.  If approved, it will close out my program with JG Wentworth, and clear this line item, but create a new line item for the total loan balance.  The amount needed to pay off all of those balances is somewhere around $20k.  It will look like I'm taking on more debt, but it's just a more accurate way of representing it, I guess.  

Now that I have gotten two paychecks at my increased take home, I've settled on how it will be allocated for the rest of this year.  I added money into my budget for groceries ($200 per check, twice a month), added in the payment for the private loan (the minimum is $25 while I am in school, but I will be paying $150.  Once my surgeries are all handled, then I will look to directing tuition reimbursements to this loan, and can hopefully have it paid off before I graduate), and am putting the rest of it towards knocking out my big credit card, which should be paid off by the end of the year, along with the other two cards I paid off that started creeping back up a bit.  

The goal is to start 2022 with very little credit card debt (the only balance remaining is on a fixed promo that will be paid off in early 2023).  Depending on the scenario at that time, I plan to start a Roth IRA, increase my general autosave amount, add to the buffer in my mortgage/HOA checking account, and stay outta debt.  The current 401k loans should be paid off, but will likely be exchanged for a much bigger one that will be covering my out of pocket costs for surgery (~$30k?).  If I can keep this momentum up, then I can continue increasing savings, so that I'm well positioned for buying my next home in 2024.  I believe I will get promoted again in that time, and assuming I get a comparable increase as this, things should be looking excellent. 

For the next home, I will be doing a lower down payment initially (hopefully the market will have cooled by then!!!), and then once my current home sells, I will be putting any proceeds into that mortgage, so I can either refinance or just straight out drop PMI.  I'd like to have $50k in savings to put towards this, and am shooting for a home in the $500k-$550k range.  Once I sell my current home, I should be able to put at least another $50k into the mortgage, but who knows what will happen with values by then.  Based on my purchase price, I have $50k of equity, but that's not taking into account the improvements I've made.  I would like to think I have about $80k of equity.