Sunday, November 18, 2012

Month 1: Progress Update on "the Mission"

Here we are.. one month after I declared our intent to wipe out our $64,000 of debt before DH and I reach our 30th birthdays - a 53 month mission.

How'd we do? We're down $2,347 which brings us to:


This month we did awesome on repayment despite Hurricane Sandy making a dent in DH's paycheck. DH even accidentally made an additional visa payment, not realizing I had already made one for the month. Score. With Christmas fast approaching, I don't anticipate our repayment will be anywhere near as good for the next couple of months. As I mentioned in our budget post, we allocate just over $1500 per month to debt repayment so anything above and beyond I think we can feel good about.

Our total Christmas budget is $1000 which includes the tree, Santa photos, gift wrap, small christmas charity donation, etc. Some studies have shown the average Canadian will spend about $630 for Christmas so we're doing alright at $500 each. Last year we managed to pull Christmas off for $1200 without going into the hole so this year we'll do the same only with a smaller budget. Side note - we were visiting family yesterday and my sister-in-law mentioned they are getting one of their children an iPad for Christmas. I couldn't help but think that an iPad would be half of our ENTIRE Christmas budget.. not to mention they have two kids so assuming they spend an equal amount on the other child, that would equate to our entire family Christmas budget in two gifts.

So far I have spent $230 and there are 5 pays left until Christmas (DH gets paid weekly and I get paid bi-weekly so we have a pay every week). This means we'll have to fit in about $150/week for the next 5 weeks into our budget.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Better Late than Never November Goals

I'm really needing some help, I think, to get through the rest of this month. It seems like Christmas is fast approaching which means I have a ton of school work, shopping, and social commitments all piling up. Writing my goals down seemed like a good idea. Here is what I am hoping to will accomplish by the end of November:

- Help out at two events as part of my volunteer affiliations
- Prepare annotated bibliography entries for half of my course readings/research
- Start my graduate assistantship work
- Get half of my Christmas shopping done
- Host a family birthday dinner for my mom
- Continue with regular debt repayments & stay out of the hole. Work has been slow this month for DH. We got the fall out from Hurricane Sandy so it rained for about 10 days straight which meant very few hours of work (I don’t think I could live in Vancouver – lack of sunshine really took a toll on me). Luckily he gets paid weekly and there are 5 Thursdays this month, which means an extra pay. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Debt Breakdown

When I originally posted about our goal "Debt Free by 30", Kelsey asked whether this debt included debt for our house or schooling. I thought I'd share the answer to this question and provide a breakdown of our debt as promised (numbers are approximate). The orange is our priority debt (high interest/smaller loans/family). The rest is mostly hanging out on interest-free status while I'm still a student until the Spring and then we'll have a 6 month grace period before repayment begins. Consequently, we want to get rid of as much of the orange as possible before we start repayment of the other "student debt". Next week I'll have an update on our progress! *Note: We do have a mortgage on our house and don't consider it as "debt" since technically we could sell our house tomorrow for more than what we paid and retain the equity.

The Debt
Renovating our old house – we completely gutted and renovated a 1928 home. Which we bought for $150K and sold 3 years later for $225K. The profit was used to pay the downpayment on our new house along with real estate fees, paying off a small renovation loan, and a hefty $10K buy out from our old mortgage provider so we could switch to a lender with a lower interest rate. 
This debt is on a low interest student line of credit (one of the benefits of being a student).
This debt is my biggest regret. It was for my first car, which was around and in good repair for about 6 years. This equates to about $150/month if I had of paid it off over those 6 years. Instead I just made interest payments each month. Sigh…again this is a “student debt”.
DH’s debt from attending college
Approximate remaining payments left on our two vehicles.
Mostly made up of bad purchasing decisions or covering large expenses like "unforeseen" vet bills, car repairs, etc. Just over half of this is on a consolidation loan that we are actively paying off and will be gone in just under 2 years. $5K is spread over 2 visas and about $4K is a loan through a family member that I am paying off at about $700/month and should be gone by the Spring.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Jolly Birthday Party

Imagine my delight (both in the environmental sense and in the frugality sense) when we received this invite hand delivered from the birthday boy's older sister.

Nice to know we're not the only ones in the neighbourhood getting creative.

I managed to catch a grand opening sale at Mastermind and save 25% off the gift this weekend. I'm feel ing good!