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Archive for February, 2010

more to CC1

February 22nd, 2010 at 04:01 am

In my last post, I thought I had $408 left on one card and I wanted to pay this off by March 5.

I had forgot about a reimbursement from COBRA that I had already deposited and applied to the card, so it is down to $265...but interest accrued, so as of today, the balance is $273.10.

Got the gas bill today, and it is about $45 less than I budgeted for. I also looked at the timing of bills, and I can send $75 more now, and send $75 less on March 14...though with this out of the way, all of that money will go to CC2! Yes, I'm switching from having student loan the next thing to CC2, since the difference in interest rates between those are about 14%!!! Anyway, I am sending a total of $120 right now to CC1.

After balancing the food/gas/misc checkbook, I can sweep $55 from the previous pay period to CC1 as well. Should have done this last week, as this Thursday is pay day again.

That means I only need to come up with $98 (+ interest) in the next few weeks. Yay me! I have one more bill (electric/water/trash) to come in before then, that may help. But we'll see about getting that $98 out of the other account and I won't have to use any of the LOC.

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Made homemade yogurt this weekend and some bread. The yogurt was awesome, the bread is very dense. I don't know why I can't make bread to save my life!?! It always turns out perfect for throwing through windows, not so much for eating. Tastes good, but you could break a tooth on it, I think. I mixed the yogurt with some peach salsa (also homemade from this summer, also very yummy) this morning for breakfast and used it as a substitute for sour cream on my chili for lunch. It was soooooo easy. Like, pour 8 c. milk in the crock pot. Heat for 2 1/2 hours. Unplug for 3 hours. Add 1/2 c. yogurt (with live active cultures). Wrap with towel as an insulator. Let sit 8 hours. I mean, how easy is that! And very good. Thank you, http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html

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Helped DH with some hay feeders today, and got to watch a calf be born. That is so neat. We had 3 today, and are up to 13 for the year. Wanted to get some fence built, but didn't get around to it. The loader tractor had the steering go out the other day because a hose broke, so we had to modify a bale fork to fit on the other tractor. Goodness, DH is good with a welder and a torch. I mean, yeah, he did that for 10 years out of high school before we go married, but he can build and modify about anything.

is this cheating?

February 19th, 2010 at 04:29 am

I'm doing the Dave Ramsey thing, trying to pay off some credit cards. Let me throw a situation at you...I asked one sister her opinion, but would like my friends here at SA to opine as well.

I owe $408 on Card 1. My student loans are at around $2500. I owe $13,500 on Card 2. (there are more cards, but they don't play into this situation). My debt snow ball is $420 per month, and all extra budgeted money that I don't need for bills go to the snowball, so on March 14, I'll have around $480 to pay off Card 1 and then the rest goes on the student loan. The current interest rate on Card 1 is 11.24%, and the current interest rate on the student loan is 3.125% or some such ridiculously small number. The interest rate on Card 2 is, I think, 16%.

I got an offer to transfer balances to Card 1 at 3.99% for a year, with a 3% balance transfer fee, but the credit limit on that card is $2000 and it has to be done by March 5.

My goal for the year was to pay off the house (done), card 1 (almost done), student loans and the pickup we bought with a loan from DH's grandma ($3000 - 0% loan).

I am doing Dave Ramsey's method because I need a process to follow. I know in my head that attacking highest percentage is the smart math thing to do, but at this point, I need a method that gives me pride every so often before slogging through a year of payments to pay off a card.

I want to do this:

* use our farm line of credit to pay off Card 1 in the next week
* transfer $2000 (with a buffer for interest and fees) from Card 2, lowering that card to $11,500ish.
* pay the farm line of credit on March 14 with the snowball
* keep paying minimums on Card 1 (with the new balance) and Card 2 after the transfer
* concentrate on the student loans this year and the pickup, even though the $2000 on Card 1 would now be the lowest credit card amount.
* Once the goals for this year are done, start over on Dave's plan, starting with Card 1 again, then moving on to Card 2.

This way my goals from the beginning of the year are the same and I effectively lower the interest rate on a card I won't get to until next year. If Bank of Amigo (Card 2) said "we'll lower the interest rate on $2000 of your balance to 6.99% for a year, but keep the rest of it the same" I would jump on that. I think that the minimum payment on Card 2 should go down the same amount that the minimum payment on Card 1 would go up, so the snowball should go up by the original minimum payment on Card 1, right?

But, is that cheating? Is it going to undermine the procedure I am trying to follow? Will not reducing the number of cards I pay each month hurt my psyche? lol about the psyche, but I hope you know what I am talking about.

I know in my head that this is a smart thing to do. But I also know that I am following a plan because I have not been tenacious enough to do it by myself. That is what I am really afraid of...falling off the wagon.

Any advice would help.

Thanks!

going good on goals

February 12th, 2010 at 04:07 am

alliteration is good for you

Anyway, my goals are going well. My financial goals for this year were:
1) pay off house (orig $1300 left)
2) pay off Capital One (orig $1477 left)
3) pay off Student loan (orig $2590 left)
4) pay off DH's grandma (orig $3000 left)

Got the house paid off in December...should have taken until March 6, so even though that was before 2010 started, it still counts.

Swept $83.59 last paycheck toward Capital One. This paycheck I don't have any more to sweep, but my snowball is $455, so that can go today. That makes $800.08 I've paid since the last due date. Today, the balance was $864.88, so after the payment is applied, I'm down to $409.88 on this card. Yippee! It will be gone for sure by next month.

Last month was a huge household bill month for some reason.
- Farm electric was $77.23, and the highest it had ever been before that was $53.66. Asked DH why, and he said he had to keep the tractors plugged in all the time so they would start in the cold weather. Ok, good reason. Just so long as we hadn't left something plugged in without realizing it and it was just draining energy.
- Cell phone was $95.64 because I had switched plans, usually ~$70. I think my roaming is causing more trouble than I thought it would.
- We are going crazy renting movies from our VOD service. $40 in movies last month? Really? I keep saying we need to sign up for Netflix, but I haven't yet.
- Gas bill for house was $126, the month before only $67, the month before that $26. Darn this cold weather!

Most of those I can usually count on to have extra to go to the snowball, but I only mustered $35 extra. I upped all of those categories in the budget, and it balances until the end of April, so if bills get down to normal, I'll have a lot more to go towards the snowball after paying each bill.

Only paying $50 / month for the Student Loan, so not much progress there, but the pickup loan Gma gave us is down to $2100.

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The tax game I played worked out well. I had rolled over a little more than $16,000 from my 401k to an IRA in December, and then rolled exactly $16,000 to a Roth IRA. Because I was laid off, got a lower paying job, $2400 of the unemployment was not taxable, and farm depreciation, when all taxes were said and done, we had an AGI of only $26,000ish. We are supposed to get a large refund...about $9000. Should be here next week. That will turn around and go right to the swather loan, and we'll only have to come up with $3300 more for that by the first week of March.

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Baby news: well, lack of baby news: I've been charting for two full cycles now, and from what it looks like, I simply don't have enough mucus. My doctor upped my Metformin, and told me to get Mucinex Max to help the mucus production. Three days after I ovulate this month, I'm supposed get blood tests done every other day for 11 days to see how my progesterone levels are doing. If they are off, I'll take a supplement. I lost 6 pounds on my diet since Thanksgiving, which is good, but I need to stay on the wagon instead of cheating.

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Last week was hell at work. We sent 1099s out on Jan 30th, and they were totally and completely wrong. We sent out the amount of grain that was settled in 2009. That doesn't take into account grain from previous years that was sold in 2009, pushed forward up to 4 years ago. It also doesn't take into account grain that hasn't been sold yet. My boss, the accounting manager and I spent probably 80 hours last week trying to get this right. To add another complication, some of the taxes that are taken out when grain is sold (the checkoffs that I have complained about before) should count as income to the producer and an expense. Ok, that doesn't look right, but we had to add those things back in, and then send the producer a second paper showing the amount of taxes they paid so they could count it as an expense. Except not all of them, and we got that wrong twice. It was really hell. I think we finally got it done on Tuesday, but people are still calling because we have never sent these out before and they are confused. My boss told me I can take a day off sometime in the next month or so and not have it count as vacation because I put so much time in. In a few weeks, after I get some of the confusion out of my head, I'm supposed to start over and try to get it right the first time so we have a process to use next year. Bosses won't be happy if we have this same problem again.

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I didn't know Big Love had started again! I finally checked it, and they are on like episode 5 already. I watched s4e1 last night and e2 tonight. Looking pretty good.