Wednesday, February 03, 2010

February Finance Talk

5 Million Dollars In Cash Displayed At Seminole Hard Rock Casino

Like most American's we have a lot of debt. Unlike many, our debt is not consumer credit card debt. We owe a lot of money on student loans and business loans.


I cannot stand it when I hear people talk about "good" debt. I am here to tell you that all debt feels bad. Now, maybe a mortgage doesn't feel this bad, but all my debt feels awful!

We are starting 2010 with nearly $200,000 in debt. Think about it. Paying minimum payments would never get us out of debt. We will die in debt unless we do more.

Some of you may know we have been following Dave Ramsey for several years now. I really like his approach to debt elimination. I like several other books by other authors as well. The plans I like are all so similar that we just stick with the DR plan. One of the great things about DR is that he is very motivational. His most popular book is The Total Money Makeover. I really enjoyed Financial Peace Revisited and More than Enough. More Than Enough has a lot of meat to it.

One thing I love to do is use debt elimination calculators to see what we need to do to pay off our debt before we are dead. There are several out there and some are better than others.
I really like the free one I use with Excel from Vertex24. I like using Excel beacause I can save it on my computer and make changes as often as I like. Some of the online calculators are nice, but you have to redo them from scratch whenever there is a change you want to make.

Current Debts:
Hospital: $819
Biz Overdraft: $8,911
Biz Loan #1: $25,660
Biz Loan #2: $40,000
Student Loans: $115,700
Total Debt: $191,090
Minimum Payments: $2667

Obviously, we need a BIG shovel to get out of this debt. We were not able to snowball at all last year, but we did avoid any new debt. This year it looks like we will be able to start our snowball back up. That is a great feeling!

With our snowball our goal is to knock out the hospital bill this month and the overdraft by October 2010. I wish we could get this debt taken care of faster, but with it being so large this is how it goes. The other debts will take several years. I'm hoping we will have everything paid off by New Year's Day 2018. GULP!

February Snowball Goal: $1379

Financial news for our family this month is that DH has been hired as a full-time employee for the graveyard (3rd shift) at a box company that he has been temping at for 8 months. This is great because he now qualifies for benefits and a pay raise! This will lower our health insurance and increase our income.

I started babysitting this year, but my days went from 4 times a week to 2. This lowered my expected income but frees up more of my days for other activities.

DH is still running his chiropractic office part time. He is bringing in enough to cover overhead. We also cares for my disabled sister at night and he transports her. This source of income has been a life saver for us, but will end in July this year. We've been using it to pay minimums on debt.

How does your February look?


Anonymous said...

Excellent post! Debt is horrible and we're also getting out of it as soon as we possibly can!

Midwestern Housewife said...

We used our tax return to pay off our hospital bill and a small student loan!

It felt GREAT! I even blogged about it, I was so excited!

BTW, I chose you as one of my 12 Sunshine awards for my favorite blogs! :)