$100 extra paid to principle…

It’s not much I know – but this month I decided to throw a symbolic $100 extra to the principle as we’re almost done saving up for the “new” car we need to get. We should start throwing money at it like banshees next month – although the rate will come down a little bit as my wife stays home to take care of the new baby.

This extra payment brings our total interest saved to $7,720.42 from $7499.22 and the loan will be paid 8 instead of 7 months earlier. That $100 extra saved me $221.2 and one month.

That’s quite a good return on investment.


Mortgage Payoff Update

Another regular mortgage payment bringing the principal down to $280,196.38. The interest was $933.12 – only a paltry $441.25 in principal repaid.

Once we buy the new car in ca$h next month? or July? we’ll start paying extra again soon.

It makes me a little mad that we’ve had this mortgage since September 2009 and have only shaved $14,803.62 off of the original balance of $295k.

I want this sucker paid off. All in good time.


Mortgage Balance Update

Mortgage balance down to $280,637.63 although I didn’t do an extra payment as I’m rebuilding the emergency fund which is now back up to $20k.

I’m debating whether to go hog wild on that or save up for the new car we need first. Thinking of doing the latter. We have $5k saved up so far… need another $5k to go with the $10k that we can probably get our old car for – then we’ll have a nice used minivan. :)

Exciting stuff I know.

We also need to buy a new bed for our 2 year old, move our 2 boys to the office to make room for the 3rd arrival. Good times.



The tax man!

Ahhh the joys of being self employed. I just wrote a combined $20,000 in checks for Federal and State taxes…. for 2012 due and 2013 estimated. Ouch.

Only $10k of that came out of my Emergency Fund… the estimated taxes portion part I’d been saving for with YNAB. But just look at this depressing dip in my net-worth graph:





Well I should count my blessings and stop complaining since I have the savings. Oh well… time to rebuild that E-fund. The good news is that I’ve been working some jobs again recently so that should slowly start to build back up again.



GAH! TAXES! Back to Baby Step 3. :(

So – I apparently withheld too little for taxes and I owe a ton more than I thought I did. $10,860 more. Ouch. (I’m self-employed so I make quarterly tax payments)

So that $10,860 needed from that emergency fund to bring it down to $19,174.91. :( Time to build it back up to $30k.

So…. back to Baby Step 3.

Back to being gazelle intense.


Join the Mortgage Payoff Club!

Do you want to live completely debt free? Do you want to have an extra (in my case) $1,373/month that you don’t have to spend?

Do you want to know how “the grass will feel different under your feet” as Dave Ramsey says?

Then let’s all vow to go “gazelle intense” and pay off our mortgages super early!

I vow to make an extra $750/month payment (at the minimum) plus anything else I can throw at it. This will pay the mortgage off in less than 15 years. I’m aiming for less than 10 – so that means my goal is around $1,500 a month. Let’s see if we can do it!

To make your commitment – simply comment below with the extra payment that you are committing to make! Let’s all keep each-other accountable!


Following Dave Ramsey’s Seven Baby Steps

I discovered Dave Ramsey and his baby steps to financial peace by downloading The Total Money Makeover from Audible in September 2011.

The book spoke to me. “The borrower is slave to the lender” How true is this? How often have I felt controlled by debt in the past. I’ve gotten it under control but that straightforward view of debt clarified alot for me.

We have been brainwashed into thinking that debt is a normal and nessecary part of life. This is not true.

So – in September 2011 I started my journey to become completely debt free. [click to continue…]


How I use YNAB Budget Categories

Some people were curious so I thought I’d post how I use my YNAB budget categories. I got my idea on how to do this after reading Elizabeth Warren’s All Your Worth where she recommends sorting everything into three categories: Must Haves (I call this category “Needs”), Wants, and Savings.

I’ve found it to be a really great and easy way to organize YNAB into categories. This way I can look at my Needs category and I can see for sure how much money I need to have each month just to meet basic expenses.

Also – it you bring up the reporting view you can quickly see if you are close to the 50% Needs/Must Haves, 30% Wants, and 20% Savings that she recommends.

I’m currently at 53% Needs, 24% Wants, and 23% Savings.

[click to continue…]

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Kick Quicken to the curb with YNAB

As I mentioned at in a previous post, I absolutely love this program. Is it strange to love a financial and budgeting program?

I was searching for a replacement for Quicken on the Mac as I was sick and tired of Intuit getting rid of support for different features to force me to upgrade to the newest version… plus not to mention the Mac version of Quicken plan stunk compared to the Windows one.

So in searching for a replacement for Quicken I stumbled upon YNAB. (By using the referral link there – we each get $6! – not bad)

As I read more and more about the software a huge lightbulb went off in my head and it made total sense. YNAB is more a method than a program. The program is just a really easy way to implement the method. It has really made it so I don’t worry about money at all – well at least money doesn’t keep me up at night anymore.

[click to continue…]


My Financial Journey

Like most people – I’ve had a roller coaster relationship with debt and money.  I never really understood money – or the real value in it until my twenties when I got married. Before then I always seemed to be getting into debt and I felt like that was “normal”. Well it may be “normal” for most people – but it isn’t the best way to live. Who wants to be “normal” anyways?

Growing up I never had to worry about money. My parents weren’t rich, but they weren’t struggling either.

I have a distinct memory from when I was a kid, probably in 5th grade, of going to the bank with my father and I saw my his bank account balance. I can’t remember how much it was but I think I said something like “I thought you had a lot of money.” (or whatever that value was for a 5th grader in the eighties). My dad was a little embarrassed as the bank teller remarked that she wouldn’t mind having as much as my father did. Like most kids I saw my parents use money but they never really taught me the value of it or what to do with it when you earn it. Money always felt like a taboo subject.

All of this of course made me a perfect target for credit card companies in college. [click to continue…]