Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tilling Up Debt!

Good to be back.

We had a lot of things going on this month, so I apologize for not writing more. I am still working out a schedule for this blog, so I should get more consistent with my posts (hopefully).

This month we laid down some sod in the backyard. I spent about a week preparing the backyard. I had to move some dirt, drop some weed killer, buy top soil, and then till the land. It was some hard work, but it is good to see the fruits of our labor with the final product. The tall fescue sod is starting to perk up a little bit. I am, however, nervous about our water bill as we have to water it for 45 minutes each morning at 6 am. We also have some white grubs underneath the Fescue that apparently eat the grass roots and destroy your lawn, so I am in the process of locating Nematodes to spray into the soil to kill them.

On to the debt. Last month, my wife and I decided to hire a financial adviser to help provide us with some insight on our debt. She is a family friend and absolutely wonderful to work with. She looked over all of our debts and typed up a proposal for us. We have a plan of action and we are going to stick to it. I want to share one of the more interesting things we found out from our meeting the other day. She showed us our plan and told us that if we paid the minimum on our Citi card (no interest and $20 minimum) we could pay off our debts 7 years faster by applying that $80 elsewhere, as we are currently paying $100 a month on this card. My wife and I were shocked to say the least! We know the credit card will eventually have interest, but in the mean time we will continue to pay the minimum on it so we can attack our student loans more vigorously. So, after sitting and talking through our plan, we should be debt free in 2 years and 11 months. This will all depend on our commitment to the plan, as things are likely to come up that aren't planned!  However, it is encouraging that we can hopefully be debt free by 28, as many people in America aren't debt free at that age.

Here is a picture of our finished back yard for your enjoyment...


  1. Smart move with the Citi card... I did some similar moving money around which I was quite proud of... (this is the guy who worked at the car auction btw)

    I bought my GP in 2010 for 11,450 + tax and a pre-agreed cash fee to the dealer doing me the favor. I finance $10K with an unsecured personal loan through Citizens Bank for a whopping 16%. Got $5K paid down in a little over a year and then I came up with an interesting plan. The bank's credit card sent me regular letters to do a 0% balance transfer for a year which I usually shredded, but one day I called them and discovered they will literally send you a check and put the balance on your card. So I maxed out the Citizens card (4700), and did the same with my Citi for another grand (0% for a year) to pay off the remaining 5K of the 16% loan (and another small unrelated debt) with Citizens' Bank's own money!

    The downside was my credit dropped 100 points until I got the Citizens balance below $2,000, and 'went back to normal' once it broke $1500. But if you have a higher limit CC make you a balance transfer offer, take half (so you don't kill your credit) and put it against your highest percent debt, and then keep rolling that amount through 0% balance transfers till its paid. Citizens started sending me letters again the month after I finished paying it off, so evidently if you are a good customer they keep wanting your balance transfer business.

    Fortunately the smaller Sallie Mae loans I have (3400, 2700, 1400) were variable and currently sit at 2.75%. Until the Fed jacks the interest rates, I didn't want to pull that trick on them just yet, and tie up my ace in the hole for zero interest loans.

  2. That is a great idea you present! That is so great you got to pay off a chunk of debt with Citizens' bank's money. You were definitely being a savvy shopper, always looking for the best deals and loop holes. Hopefully soon you will knock out those Sallie Mae loans. Thank you for reading.