Sunday, June 30, 2013

Crazy Week

Sorry for not posting last week. We had one long week.

First, we decided we would refinish our kitchen cabinets. They were this ugly, stained, moldy, and nasty looking brown with some gross glossy finish. We assume they were from 1986 when the house was built. This turned out to be quite a task. We had to sand all of the cabinets down, prime, and paint. We have the cabinets on the wall complete, but not the cabinet doors.

Second, we noticed that our AC was running hot so we called over our maintenance company. They came out Tuesday morning and the meeting only took about 5 minutes for them to figure out the problem. The compressor in our downstairs unit is done. This unit was installed in 1986 and is original to the house. So, we got 4 quotes done and the cheapest was $7,500 for just one unit and a furnace. We have two units and two furnaces that are at a minimum 13 years old.  So, we definitely want to replace everything. The quote we decided on costs us $11,595. This includes two 16-SEER 2 stage AC units, two furnaces at 95% AFUE, and a FREE water heater. I negotiated with the company and told them our water heater was 17 years old and if we were going to spend nearly $12,000, they should replace our water heater for free and they obliged with no problem. This REALLY sucks. That is a ton of money, but it is a necessary expenditure in order to upgrade our units to achieve savings on our bills each month. Luckily, we knew these units would need to be replaced and have saved for it. Also, we looked into some rebate programs and stand to see $900 of it back. This is going to slow down our debt payments a little bit because I had to use some of our summer money from our various jobs to pay for this.

On the bright side, this is the last thing we knew we had to pay for. All in a year, we replaced the roof ($9,500), the AC/Water Heater ($11,595), and painted the exterior of the house ($4,600). If anything else comes up, it will be a complete surprise. 

Lastly, our student loans finally transitioned over. I doubt we will be able to pay anything extra to them this month, but I will post some updated totals in the next couple of days.

Hope everyone has had a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Moment of Excitement

Logged in last Friday to check on the interest accrued to our loans and saw that there was a zero balance on what was just over $25K. I was so pumped for a second. I did not understand why it was a zero balance, but I didn't care. Then, I thought it was too good to be true, and it was. Our loans had been bought out and transferred over to another loan carrier. Luckily, it is one we already use and makes it much easier on allocating our payments. I will update our debt totals once the balance shows up on the new account.

Sorry for not posting as frequently. I have been working at the local nature camp for these past two weeks. I really decided I do not like kids between 7-9. I find them annoying for some reason with their complaining and he said/she said stuff. However, the money is wonderful and the people I work with are nice. Only 3 more days of that.

We just got back our tax return and it was more than expected just over $1,000. We plan to mount the flat screen and buy a rug for our living room which is an awkward set up. I will post a before and after picture to show you guys. I anticipate that this will cost altogether about $500. We will just save the other $500. We are up over $9,000 in savings and other cash accounts. The market has been on a little tear the past couple of days and we have made some money.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Over 30% Paid Off!

Good Morning Everyone!

We are over 30% paid off now! We are starting to see that debt total start slipping away pretty quickly, which provides us with even more encouragement to knock all of these loans out! Some of the debt totals are wrong and I will need to fix them as they update, but the bottom line is correct. By the beginning of July, we will have paid off an additional $3,000 or so. This morning I just submitted a $1,510 payment since I was paid last week for my summer tutoring business. I will also have my two weeks at the local nature center coming up. I was able to pick up morning duty for the second week for an additional $100 so I will be receiving $1,300 for that. Also, the wife was able to work an additional 6 days this summer at her school which will pay her $85 a day, so we will get an additional $510 to pay towards loans. Pretty exciting stuff going on.

Update on the $500 gift is all gone. We needed two new front tires for the car and that cost $250. Then, I bought a new suit which was needed badly for the wedding we have next week to go to, and about 5 new dress shirts, some ties, and dress socks for work. I was really wanting a Tony Gonzalez jersey, but I decided to be an adult and use the money for things I really needed. Stinks being an adult.

On another note, we won UGA season tickets for the upcoming season! We are pretty excited about that. It is a bit of a financial commitment with the 100 miles in gas we will drive every other weekend, but I figure it is a good way to reward ourselves for our hard work over the past 9 months.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

Over the weekend, we had a call for a friend to go to the Brave's game. This was one of the bigger series of the year against the Nationals. The friend called us about 2 hours before game time and invited us to the game. Since it was such a big series, the cheap seats were $15. Because of our student loan debt, we politely declined. When we did this, our friend called us lame and asked what better things we had to do that night. We responded saying we had student loan debt and we could not afford to spend $45 that night with tickets and parking excluding grabbing something to eat on the way. I guess to some people think that $45 is not that much money, but not us. That is 1/5 of one of our current loans. I was pretty upset about this. I do not understand why people accept debt and that it is OK to carry them into their 40's. I refuse to owe anyone money at 40 including our mortgage.  

Dave Ramsey warned us about this. He told us people would think we are crazy and call us losers for not going out to dinner every night, or see that new movie. We will just carry on doing our thing paying off debt and then we will enjoy life much more without monthly payments.

Speaking of movies, we went to see that new Fast 6 movie this weekend. Don't worry, we have about $100 to AMC movies in gift cards from our students. I would NEVER spend $11.25 to see a movie. Back to the movie, it rocked! It was pretty unrealistic, but was definitely action-packed. Probably my second favorite to the 5th movie. I love The Rock in them and I hope he comes back for the 7th. Yes, they foreshadow a 7th movie at the end of the newest one. If you need help clarifying the meaning of the preview for the 7th, I will be happy to explain! :)

Lastly, tomorrow is our three year wedding anniversary. I have been saving restaurant gift cards for 6 months for this day. We will be dining at Uncle Julio's, a place we would never dream of going because the average entree is $15, but we have some gift cards to go there, so we should not have to spend too much.

Still waiting on the loan's to update. I really hate the wife's student loan company. They are irritating. One more reason to pay these things off!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Loan Cancellation Update #2

Called this morning to ask why my second year of teaching was not counted and they told me it would count once August rolled around. They also told me that my account would be frozen and I WOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY ANOTHER DOLLAR FOR THAT LOAN!! WOO HOO!! This loan was our biggest loan at nearly $8,300 and we were paying $100 a month for just that loan. Now, I do not have to pay $100 a month. We will be rolling this $100 into another loan every month now. If I would have seen this forgiveness earlier, I would not have needed to pay a single dollar to it, but I ended up paying off about $700 in principal. Oh well, I am saving $8,300, I think I will be OK. All I have to do now is submit my paper work every August.

With that loan forgiven, we are not under $70,000 in loans and 28% paid off! We definitely beat our goal, but we will not slow down. Hopefully by the end of the year, we can pay off another 7% of loans and get to the 35% paid off mark come December 31st.

This is a good start to the week. Hope all of you have a similar start!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Enjoying Summer on a Budget

Hello again, I'm here to pass along free things to do in the summer.  This is the first summer my husband and I have off together, as we are both currently working as teachers.  While it's great to have all this extra free time, it's quite the problem when you don't have the budget to go anywhere or do anything that costs a lot of money.  We have had to promise each other not to go "looking" for things to do around the house, because it will likely turn into a headache and very expensive project. Therefore, I've decided to peruse the web for free things to do throughout the summer and pass these suggestions on to you.

The first "free" thing we did this past week was attend a Food Truck event at a neighborhood park.  This is a new thing in our community as of two weeks ago, and I think it's a great idea.  There are different food trucks each week (about six) and a live band and activities for the kids.  It's a major plus that it's walking distance from the house, so we were able to save gas and walk the dogs at the same time! While dinner wasn't free (it was $15 for both of us), this was a great way to spend the evening and do something that we hadn't done before.

So look around your area for food truck gatherings, take the kids, pets and a blanket and have a cheap (if not free) night out.  Another suggestion is to take a picnic, or at the very least your own drinks, and go enjoy the free music.

Stay tuned for more fun and hopefully free events we do this summer.  Here's to not being bored and saving money!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Loan Cancellation!


I told you guys a few posts ago that I was bored at work and I found that I could qualify for a 15% cancellation of my Perkins loan. Well I heard back and I qualified!! Woo hoo! The original loan balance was for $8,310.93. It is now down to $6,960.93; a reduction of $1,350! This is actually a decrease of 16.2%. They apparently base the 15% on the original loan amount which was for $9,000. I am pretty excited about this. This was one of our biggest loans with a 5% interest rate.

As exciting as this is, I am going to call them on Monday and ask them why I did not get the other 15% decrease. I should qualify for another 15% cancellation because I have been teaching for two years in an area of need at a Title 1 funded school. I know I am being greedy, but I definitely need another 15% forgiven. That would be a total of $2,700. Next year, this number will go up to 20% forgiven.

If  you have student loans, please go scour the internet for different forgiveness options on your student loans. They have all kinds of forgiveness for different areas of public service, so be sure you look. It could definitely pay off! If you have questions, I will be happy to help!