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Well, the first month of the year was a real doozy. I spent New Year’s with my husband packing stuff up for the move to Denver. The next day, I flew back to Mississippi.
So here I am at Keesler AFB, spending every day studying for the dreaded Sec + Certification test and trying to pass the Client System blocks. It’s going well so far, but I can’t let up. I gotta go hard the whole way or I could get washed back.
Financially, it was a pretty good month. We barely reached the financial goals we set, so I am super proud. Here’s a recap:
1. Pay the Chase Card down to $600.
Success! We did it! We were able to pay over $1000 on the Chase card. We are well on our way to paying this card off before the promotional rate ends in June.
2. Push our Emergency Fund up to $3500.
We just scraped by on this goal, but we did it. Our emergency fund is now right around $3500, and I’m going to let it sit at that. I think this will be plenty to get us through the moving process with deposits and pro-rated rent. Hopefully we can get this number up to $5k by May, but I’m not worrying about that right now.
I am happy with the progress we made in January, though I know we could have done better. We had a lot of money coming in and going out, and I splurged a little on a big sale that ModCloth was having.
Life is swell. Here’s what happened this past month.
1. We bought a GMC Terrain.
Obviously, this means that even though we paid off a lot of debt this month, our debt total is now higher than ever before because we added a $21,000 loan. You can see it below in the chart. Still, I’m happy to have the car-buying process over and done with. Now we can focus on knocking out these debts with fury.
2. I got a raise!
It’s crazy, since I have only been in the Air Force for a few months, but thanks to the new year and a vote by Congress, the military got a raise. Not only did they raise our incomes, but our BAH (housing allowance) rates as well. That means more money for paying down debt and saving.
3. We had to pay sales and personal property tax.
We all know the end of the year means paying taxes. This, as well as sales tax on the Terrain set us back a little on paying down debt. I wanted to pay more on the Discover, but the money just wasn’t there. It was either pay on the Discover, or add to the emergency fund. Right now, the e-fund is more important to me.
The worst is over for now, and tax time is right around the corner, so hopefully we can get some money BACK from the government. Yay for tax refunds! I’m not sure if we’ll have our taxes finished by the end of February, but we’re sure to be done by the end of March. There’s going to be some big pay-offs then.
Here are January’s numbers.
DECEMBER 2015 DEBT
FEBRUARY 2016 FINANCIAL GOALS
After looking at those numbers, you can see that we had a huge rise in debt due to our new car. However, look at the impact we’ve made on our credit card debt! We went from $10,554 to $9,140. That’s pretty great. If you take the car out of the equation, we paid $1,739 down on our debt. I only say this to show that we are making progress. Next month, the car will be in the equation and we will see where we’re at. Still, we have a ginormous amount of debt considering we don’t have a house to show for it. On to the goals!
1. Pay off the ($575) Chase card.
I know it’s 0% interest until June, but honestly, I’m sick of seeing it on this report. This is where I mix debt snowball with debt avalanche methodology. I want to be done with this dumb card, so I’m going to pay it off now and focus on bigger things next month, like the Discover. Plus, the payments are only $25 a month, so I’d have to pay a big chunk on it eventually to pay it off before the promotional rate ends. Might as well do it now. Come the end of February, Chase will be gone!
2. Pay the Discover card down to $5000.
This is a far-reaching goal for us. The Discover card is annoying and I’m tired of seeing it. Since we’ll be finishing off the Chase card, I’d really like to transfer my focus to the Discover. Even though Mike’s truck has the highest interest rate, I don’t feel like I can truly focus on it until the Discover is gone. Hopefully, we can make big strides on this in the next few months.
How’s your debt journey going?