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Need to vent - DH not cooperating

March 19th, 2015 at 06:05 am

So we embarked on this debt payoff journey just over a year ago and have paid of $16K in credit card debt since (Still have $74K to go). I have 5 credit cards in my name and DH has 3. The vast majority of our balances are on my cards and he now has about $13K on his. So when I was setting up our debt avalanche, I asked him what his interest rates and balances were, and he was very wishy washy about it. Most of his balances are currently under various promo rates from doing balance transfers, and he assured me that they were all less than what my highest interest card was, so he has just kept paying the minimums on his cards while I throw all of our extra at my highest interest credit card.

Several times over the past 15 months, I have suggested to him that he let me take care of all of the credit card payments and he take over all of the monthly bills. See, we still have separate checking accounts and we each just have certain bills we're responsible for. We lived together before we were married and did it this way then, and have just always kept it that way because we were comfortable with it. We are both very responsible in terms of paying the bills, so neither of us ever worried that something wasn't getting paid or anything like that.

So anyway, we sold our kayaks yesterday and made $800. I took this opportunity to ask him AGAIN to please look up his balances and interest rates and let me make note of them so I can make sure we're attacking our cards in the proper order. I'm a bit type A (okay, more than a bit) and it has been driving me crazy that I don't have complete control over how much we're paying on what. He has been paying more than the minimums on cards with 3.99% interest rates when I would rather put that extra towards my 12.74% card. So anyway, he did check them, and it turns out that he has a $1200 balance on a card with a 15.49% interest rate!! I imeediately told him to take that $800 and pay that card, and on my next paycheck I would give him the balance to pay it off.

SEE!! This is why I want control over it! I am shocked that he didn't even realize what his interest rate was. Of course my obvious irritation with him turned into an argument, and now it's practically giving me heart palpitations to not be in charge of all the credit cards. I am hoping he'll give it some more thought today and realize that I am right and we should adjust the way we've done things for the last 13 years.

I'm so frustrated Frown

Goals for 2015

December 30th, 2014 at 10:04 am

Since everyone else is doing it Smile

According to my debt avalance worksheet, I will have paid off another $26,000 in credit card debt by December 2015. My biggest goal is to actually achieve that without setbacks. That is counting on a $2K tax refund, which there is a chance it could be more, but this is my first full year working my 2nd job, and so I am not sure yet how that will affect my tax return. If I still get a decent refund for 2014, I will adjust my withholdings for 2015.

If anyone saw my post about DH getting a company car, that is part of the next goal. We have decided to hold onto his pickup truck until June, and camp as much as we can during the spring (the time of year that we do most of our camping anyway). In June we will sell the truck, expecting approximately a $7000 profit, which will also go directly towards the credit cards.

That will reduce our total amount of CC debt by $33K, which would be incredible to achieve in one year!

I have been pretty successful at keeping our grocery budget at $400 a month in the last few months, and hope to keep that up as well.

I've also lost 18 pounds this year and want to keep it off!

Almost blew it!

October 2nd, 2014 at 05:48 pm

So I am getting ready to take a certification exam for my profession, after 2 years on the job. In July, I submitted my paperwork for my eligibility, and got the okay to sit for my exam. I had planned on taking it sooner, but life got in the way, work got busy and I didn't have time to study. I've been studying a lot in the last 2 weeks though, so today I went online to schedule my exam and saw that I only had 90 days from the day they sent me the email!! They sent it July 9th, so 90 days is Tuesday October 7th, and what do you know, they had an opening at 8:30 on Tuesday for the exam. Had I not scheduled it, I would have had to start my application over and paid the $350 test fee again (my job reimbursed me the first time, but I can assure you they wouldn't have paid it again!)

SO I will be doing lots of studying between now and Tuesday morning. I can't believe I almost screwed myself so badly.

Wish me luck!

Need career advice

August 20th, 2014 at 10:43 am

I'm going to try and make this as short and sweet as possible.

2 years ago, I left a job that I loved in the hospital lab to come do infection control. I really enjoy both jobs.

Pros of current job: very flexible, I get to work from home if snowing, kids are sick, etc. Learning a lot, can be very interesting at times. My boss is awesome.

Cons of current job: I don't have enough work to do and I get very bored sometimes. I am in an office by myself and it gets lonely. I thought I would have alot more opportunity for advancement in this field, but I am finding that in my area, hospitals outside of my company only want to hire nurses for this job. My boss will retire in 5-10 years probably, but I'm not sure I want to be in charge - she is extremely overworked.

Pros of new job: Back with the people I love and used to manage, I would love the actual job.

Cons of new job: Although I love them, the people I ued to manage are whiners and some days they drove me nuts Smile Boss doesn't have kids, is very work centered and I feel would be less understanding of my need for work/life balance.

Salary: I would get a 6.4% raise, but would be at the top of the salary range and therefore wouldn't get yearly raises after that, just a bonus in the amount that the raise would have been (so no compounding year over year). I did the math and it would take 5 years of a 1.75% raise in my current job (that's what we got this year) to get me up to what the salary would be in the new job.

Between the raise and what I would save on gas and tolls, new job would net me an extra $250 a month.

I was hoping it would either be so much money that I couldn't say no, or so little money that I couldn't say yes... now I'm not sure what to do.

Any advice?

Big sale on Ebay!

July 26th, 2014 at 06:08 pm

So I decided to sell my clarinet, which was a high school graduation gift from my parents. It was a tough decision, because of the sentimental value, but it's been in the top of a closet for the last 10 years and I figured there was no point in keeping it. I took it to a local instrument store and they said that they thought I could get about $200 for it without doing any of the needed repairs. Well, I was very clear about the work that it needed (corks, pads, and a general tuneup), and after 12 hours on Ebay, the highest bid is $405! I am so excited Smile I guess it's worth more than I thought!

Had a backslide this month :(

June 18th, 2014 at 09:55 am

I knew I wouldn't make any progress, since I had that $1100 personal property tax bill to pay, but I didn't think I'd go backwards! I owe $1700 more in my credit cards than I did last month, so I charged $600 in random other "stuff" in the last month. I know $200 of it was Fitbits for my husband and I for our birthdays, the rest was gas and groceries that were more than what I had on the debit card I've been using for it.

After my minimum payments, I have $412 a month left for gas and groceries, which is impossible to do for a family of 4. I can barely keep us under $400 for food alone, and my gas is typically just over $200 a month.

The good news is that before having my 2nd job, I was in the same boat, and I was building more and more credit card debt. At least now I am making progress (most months). All in all, I have still paid off $4300 of credit card debt since January. I just need to get back on top of it and make some more progress! I have some BIG paychecks coming up from my 2nd job, I'm working 3 out of the next 4 weekends, 4th of July for holiday pay, and a few evenings. That should really help make a dent in it.

Oh so THAT'S what an emergency fund is for!

June 12th, 2014 at 05:42 pm

Big storms last night sent a tree branch through the roof of our pop-up camper. I saw that the branch was down, but DH was out of town and it was still storming, so I stayed inside with the kids. Turned out there was a 4x4" hole in the roof that the rain continued to pour into all night and into this morning Frown DH is home now and covered the camper with a tarp, and checked our insurance policy, and at least we only have a $188 deductible. I can think of better things to do with that money, but you gotta do what you gotta do!

First blog ever - thanks for joining me!

May 14th, 2014 at 09:04 am

So about 4 months ago I added up al of my credit card balances (5 of them) and the number was SOOO much bigger than I thought it was - to the tune of nearly $75,000. I don't even know how it got that bad. DH and I have great jobs, a nice house, drive nice cars, and have 2 beautiful little boys. We never had any problem paying the minimum payments on our credit cards and still covering the rest of our bills. Until one month my daycare payment didn't go through because I didn't have enough credit available (it gets charged to one of my cards so I can get the cash back). For several months I had to ask our daycare provider to wait a week to charge me, or to lower the amount and only pay what I could. Luckily for me the woman is an angel and has no problem that I am $3500 behind on payments now. She told me to pay everyone who is charging me interest first and worry about her later.

So after I added up my credit card debt and picked myself up off the floor, I knew things had to change. I got a 2nd job where I bring in an extra $700 a month on average. I have started couponing like crazy and have drastically cut our grocery bill (almost in half!) I lowered our cell phone plan, saving $20 a month. I have sold tons of stuff on mom's groups on Facebook and on Ebay.

I am doing the "debt avalanche" with the extra money and have paid off nearly $5000 of credit card debt in 4 months. I finally feel like this isn't hopeless and there is an end in sight. Estimated payoff date for all my credit debt is fall of 2017, which doesn't seem so far away!

Of note, this is just the credit card debt! I still have a pop-up camper payment, student loans (at extremely low interest rates, thank goodness), 2 car payments, and a mortgage. But by the time I have the credit cards paid off, I will have so much "extra" money that the camper will be paid off in a matter of a couple of months, and the cars will be almost paid off by then as well.

So I am here to be an example to any of you who have debt above and beyond what most people consider a "huge" amount of debt. So welcome and thanks for joining me as I chronicle my progress!