Monday, June 29, 2015

Getting out of Debt. Month 1

1st. Paycheck came in today, along with the husband's vacation pay. Yes he gets prepaid vacation time, and in many ways this is both good and bad. For 1 if we want to plan a vacation we don't only need to plan for the cost of the vacation but also for the lost pay from the time off, certainly we could just save his vacation check but sometimes there are bills you need to pay off or things you need to buy. 2, we have a substantial cash influx that can go into a savings account or be used to take care of important things immediately. 3 unfortunately it is much easier to spend a cash influx then it is to save it. 4 as long as you aren't planning on taking more then 1-2 days of vacation at a time the loss of monthly income with have little effect overall.
   As much as I would love to just put this money in saving, and I will admit it would be the better option, we aren't. We have been trying to replace the fences, and though the neighbors are chipping in for half the initial cost is coming out of our pockets. I also need to take 3 of the 4 animals to the vet for annual shots,  normally I would use a credit card for this but we are choosing in efforts to pay off credit that we will use the vacation pay. Both cars were over due for oil changes, small expenses but nessecary and by using the vacation check this won't cut into monthly income and hopefully provide us with savings at the end of the month.  And yes we took the kids the dinner, and got a few things for t-ball. There are other needs and wants this money will go to, hopefully not all of it, and certainly not more then available.
   I also have started entering the monthly bills into the check register so as to make sure that everything is accounted for and our available money is known.  Most of the bills will come out of the account between the 3rd and 7th. Also by pre recording later bills I both insure payments are available and avoid spending "bill money". But this only works for us becuase our total bills fit into the paycheck we get once monthly. Gas and groceries come out of the biweekly paychecks, and yes we have a single joint account so there is no his bills/income-her bills/income. It's ours and everything it taken care of together.
   As stated in the prior post our pay off plan is going into effect. And though an extra $100 seems hardly enough to make a difference it will. The first bill I am paying off currently totals $840 and change. Totally payment will be $125, the $25 which is the standard month minimum I have already been paying. Simple math 840/125 shows it will take 7 months (rounded up) to pay this bill off. With interest my excel plan is estimating 8 months. But a down side of this biller is temporary interest free phases on new charges. This can be 6-24 months of interest free payments but if you don't pay this off within the phase it will expire and all of that accumulated interest that hasn't appeared will. I had almost $300 in back interest appear one time from this.  And worse part charges aren't typically paid first in first out. No your payment is fragmented between multiple charges. Meaning the more times you use the card the longer it will take to pay off each past charge.
Example: $250 with 6 month interest free you plan to pay $50 a month this should take 5 months to pay and you don't have to pay the interest. But after your second payment you charge another $250 again with 6 month no interest. Your total due is now $400 and you continue to pay only $50 a month.  But now you have 1 interest free at 4 month and the other at 6. But your payments are spilt (not 50/50 but let's pretend) 150 at 25 a month will take 6 months plus the 2 you already paid is 8 meaning your 3 months over your interest free and getting charged a high interest rate plus let's pretend another $50 in back interest that was added to your bill. And I'm sure you can already see that at only $25 a month the second charge wasn't paid off at that 6 month mark either putting a second $50 back interest charge on the bill. That one is now at $100 plus $50 back interest from the first and another $50 from the second. You still owe $200 plus monthly interest.
OK, yes chances are I'm to that piont already and my $840 balance due and 8 months to pay off are completely inaccurate. But for now we will hope I don't get hit with any back interest, and my formulas don't figure back interest anyways, only monthly on the total due. So hopefully if I do get back interest it will be already mostly figured into the plan. If not it will take a little longer to pay this one of then I hoped.
   All other bills are being paid at minimum due simple to avoid late fees.

    Well, after t-ball, dinner and oil changers the vacation check didn't stretch as fast as I had hoped. Then add in that we decided to take a family vacation that we probably couldn't really afford... is the 25th right now and I'm down to pennies in the bank account. Most of the mid month pay went to groceries or camping, and right now I'm  on the edge of having a few bills that might overdraft our account. This is an issue with overspending and not having a back up or vacation savings.  Good news is hubby got a raise and will be getting almost 700 more a month, but due to training he doesn't actually get the raise till September, though his training bonus will hopefully come in before. So effective September 1st, my additional payment amounts will be increased, though I haven't discussed with him how much.

    Also I did get looking at the statement for my first payoff card... I was right there is a promotional period expiring soon, early August, and unless I can pay the almost 800 on the first I will have another $40 or so more interest to pay.

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