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Archive for June, 2015

Payday and Other Doings!

June 29th, 2015 at 08:07 pm

Friday was payday! I managed to get about $100 of "outstanding debt" paid down, and $200 went to the Cap One card. I always forget to mention the car payment because it's on auto-pay and I can't check the balance anyway (so annoying!) but that was paid too. A few fixed bills this paycheck, so progress was smaller (rent, student loan, gym, etc), but I also funded the new M&T account with what I'm considering the start of my baby EF - $250. 401k is up as well, but the app is giving me 2 different balances (using the lower to be conservative, altho I think the higher sounds more accurate).

Spending will be tight until next check, but I'm hopeful I can make it work without dipping into one of the credit cards (didn't work last week, as evidenced by the higher balance on the Verve). Tracking my spending has been eye opening. I'm definitely spending more than is coming in, hence the lack of progress, so I'm looking for ways to make cuts. I cancelled one gym membership that I've been procrastinating on. Trying to drive a little less to conserve parking $$ (a set amount is deducted from my check pre-tax, once it runs out I have to pay out of pocket until the month resets) and gas. I'm already very lean on groceries and entertainment. Once Mom takes the car payment over it gets a little looser, and more money will be directed to debt repayment and/or savings.

Thankfully, I'm traveling for work for a few days this week, which means all of my expenses are being covered. I don't have a corporate card, so I will be reimbursed next week. Since I use a debit card for almost everything, that'll feel like a mini-windfall (although I'll have to juggle funds around in the meantime).

As I mentioned, I sent $250 to fund the M&T account. The direct deposit kicked in for the Key account, so I removed my primary account, and added the M&T account. I'll have a month until the next change, which will be to remove Key and add Nationwide. Still waiting for the M&T debit card, and am slightly annoyed that I can't set up external transfers until it comes. Whew. I am earning this $650!

Happy Monday!

June 22nd, 2015 at 12:37 pm

Hope everyone had a lovely Father's Day! It's a non-event in my house these days, as we all choose to honor my dad differently, but it was a nice Sunday.

Some financial doings over the weekend that I wanted to share!

Mom closed on her refinance on Friday. She is still waiting to see how it all shakes out, but essentially, she is going to take over my car payment for now. Not exactly what I wanted, but she isn't planning on paying anything off in a lump sum, and I certainly am not going to be ungrateful. Might push my timeline back a bit, but I can make it Smile I'm not sure exactly when she is taking over the payment - I've kept 2 additional payments on my budget for now (I pay bi-weekly, so this Friday and July 10th). By then, all the dust should have settled, and she should know her new budget. We do still want to refinance the car to get the rate down, but it needs a bit more principal paydown before that's an option.

Once she officially takes over the payment, I am going to increase my 401k contribution to 8 or 10% (haven't decided which yet, need to run the numbers). I'll also begin attacking the other debt in earnest, starting with tax bills (oh yay), then focusing on debt currently still accruing interest, then moving on to the older things in collections (the damage has been done there, so I don't think a few more months will make much difference one way or the other).

I went ahead and opened the 3rd (and final for now) bank account in my summer of chasing bank bonuses. I did a little research, and they don't seem to have any kind of mobile deposit option, so I wanted to get a jump on it, even though the funding for the account is part of Friday's paycheck. I will mail them a check on Wednesday, and by the time it arrives, I'll have moved money around to cover it. I'm funding this account with $250, which will be the start of my baby e-fund ($500 - which coincidentally is the average balance needed to keep this account fee-free!)

Lastly for today, my company just introduced an ESPP. I was considering it, but decided to opt out for now...I am not yet in a position to start taxable investment accounts. Perhaps during the next enrollment period.

This and That

June 19th, 2015 at 11:12 am

Making an effort to post in between paychecks. I've accomplished a few tasks this week related to finances, so I thought I'd share.

Bank Account Bonuses:
As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm chasing a few different bank account bonuses right now. I sat down with a calendar, and the fine print from all 3 offers, and figured out a timeline for all of the crazy changes my direct deposit will need to go through to make it all work. Everything should be back to normal by October, and then maybe I will start another round. I may end paying a few months banking fee from my primary bank, but I'm still going to come out way ahead.

I also downloaded all of the banks' apps to my phone, and set up external transfers for the 2 accounts already opened to my primary bank account. Key takes 1 business day to process, waiting on Nationwide (only scheduled the transfer yesterday, it has not come through as of yet). I have not yet opened the M&T account, planning on doing that next Friday, and funding with the $$ allocated for savings from that paycheck. As soon as the account is funded, I'll do a test there as well.

Spending:
I created spending worksheets a few years ago, when I was prepping for a move. I thought it would be a helpful exercise to start using them again, since I am having trouble getting from paycheck to paycheck. So far it's been going well - got a (very long overdue) haircut the other day, and it was about $25 more than I budgeted...I guess the price went up. I'll have to adjust elsewhere. I'm trying very hard not to use my CC...all I need to buy for the next week is groceries, so I should be fine.

The "Mom" plan:
No updates yet. Haven't heard on a closing date, so I am proceeding as usual with my budget. Of course, me being me, I did create a "modeling" tab in my spreadsheet, showing how it COULD look. But no idea when it'll go into effect, so not getting too crazy yet. Still keeping my fingers crossed to be able to move in Nov or Dec. It's a good time to move in NYC, bc no one wants to - helps with inventory and finding a good place.

Think that's it for now. Just keepin' on keepin' on.

Payday...Again...

June 13th, 2015 at 12:54 pm

Here I am...only writing after payday again. Not much interesting stuff happens financially in between checks, it seems. My budget is set up to be bi-weekly to follow paychecks, so all of my financial activity occurs then.

Paid down another $400 or so of debt, between "outstanding" and current CC" debts. But...got hit with a few bills for taxes to the tune of almost $3k (no unexpected but I wasn't thinking about them too much, unfortunately). Those have been added into what used to be called "older debt", and what is now called "outstanding debt". Now the only money owed out not listed on my sidebar are my student loans. And frankly, since they are on auto-pay and in good standing, I just don't think about them that much, since I have so many bigger fish to fry. When the time comes that I am debt-free and have robust savings, I will think about accelerating, but the balance is less than $8k at this point. 401k is up another $230 or so, broke the $1k mark!

Had another long talk with my mom about her paying off the car and the approach we are going to take. I asked if she would consider paying half of the amount she offered ($22k) to the car, and the other half to the "outstanding" category. I think by negotiating with some of those creditors, I could get the balance down a decent amount. I would then re-finance the car, for a much lower payment and (hopefully) lower interest rate, since it'll have a much lower balance and no longer be underwater. I decided to hold off on the idea of trading my car in for the one I want...and will then direct all the funds allocated for debt repayment to the moving fund. She seemed amenable to the idea, since it doesn't cost her any differently than her initial offer and still goes towards paying down debt, but we are still in a holding pattern as we are waiting for the closing on her refinance. Fingers crossed that comes soon. Got the appraisal back, so I think it's moving, albeit slowly.

Found another two bank account offers I plan to go after, one for $200 (Nationwide), and one for $150 (M&T). That'll take me to $650 in bank account offers in a fairly short amount of time. The first account opened (Key Bank) should get its first direct deposit next pay period, and then I'll be able to change it back or to a new account (since it takes a pay period to go into effect, only need that one to deposit twice, no fees to maintain a free account here). Once I know what's happening with the different debt categories and have a better idea of when I can expect these bonuses, I'll decide exactly where they'll be allocated. Either debt repayment or savings for moving - these are the main goals right now.

That's about it financially. On the moving front, spent an evening in the neighborhood I want to move in, and it's gotten me very excited - lit a fire under my a**, so to speak. Obviously, the expense of rent skews my budget a bit, but there are several other ways that moving saves me money - commuting, different gym, time savings, etc. It's really what I want, and I think it'll be great, so I am more motivated than I have been in a while to get this moving. No pun intended Smile