Friday, April 28, 2017

April 2017

Not much new to report. Still debt-free, which feels awesome. In fact, not only am I debt-free, but I actually have a negative balance on my credit card, thanks to a recent refund for a train ticket. Yes, I could ask them to send me a check, but next month I have to upgrade my laptop, so I'll use that credit as well as some gift cards I've been holding onto. It'll keep me from gasping at the final price (or so I'm telling myself).

The savings picture is also looking good. I had originally planned ("hoped for" is more like it) to have  at least $20,000 in savings by May 1. Given that May 1 is in, like, four days, let me just say this: That ain't happening. I'm mildly disappointed, but given where I was back when I returned to this blog, I'm absolutely not complaining. I'm grateful. After all, I have $16,000 and zero debt. That's an accomplishment, and I don't take it lightly. I mean, take last May as an example. I had $14,765 in savings, but $10,711.50 in debt. So while my savings balance isn't that much higher since then, I'm still $10,000 better off.

In other news, my tenants are continuing their lease. I gave them the option of two years, but I haven't heard back from the property management company whether that's the case. The new lease doesn't start till July 1, and there's a modest increase on the rent. I'm not really making any money off this, but until it's at a value where I feel like it's worth it to sell, I'll hold on to it. At least it's property somewhere, and that's not a bad thing to have even if I'm barely breaking even on it.

Well that about wraps things up for April. Not sure how much longer I'll be updating things, or how frequent, now that I'm debt-free, but we'll see. Until next time ... save early and often!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March 2017

It's done. I officially have zero credit card debt ... again. Yeah, it hurt to transfer that money from my savings account, but you know what? The feeling of being debt free outweighs any bad feeling related to that. I'm still quite a ways away from my $20,000 savings goal, but I've made my peace with that. I'm still working toward it — just not obsessing over it. It's going to be a busy year for reasons I can't share quite yet, but I'm in a good place, and that's a tremendous relief. It'll be much easier not worrying about credit card debt as the year progresses.

In other news, the condo is still rented with tenants who seem happy to be there. I'm not making money off this, but since I'm not ready to sell and my tenants are taking good care of the place, I'm OK with them continuing to live there. I don't want the stress of trying to find someone else and then worrying whether they're destroying my place.

Anyway, that catches us up for March 2017. Yippee! I'll check back in to let you know how the savings is coming along. See you next month!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Happy 2017!

Hi! I hope everyone has had a happy and healthy start to 2017. Things here are fine and I'm back on track to kick the debt by summer. Whether I have $20,000 in savings, though, remains a question. Don't get me wrong: I'm doing well with saving, as you can see on the balances over there. But there will be some pretty big expenses this year, including a new laptop and a large administrative paperwork processing expense that has to be done in the next couple of months. And then there's our vacation to the U.S. Virgin Islands next month ... My hubs took care of the airfare, so the accommodations are on me. (The cost is already in the debt balance.) Thankfully I had a free night on, which saved me about $180 on our $220-per-night room. A very welcome discount! But there will be some expenses related to our eating and entertainment. I'm going to urge living on the cheap side while there. Let's see how that goes.

Otherwise, all is well. I'm still disgusted about the election, but that's a topic for a different blog. I'll try to get back to updating every month. December kind of got a way from me, what with finishing my assignment for my last class toward my graduate certificate and the holidays. For what it's worth, my diligence paid off. I finished the graduate certificate program with a solid 4.0. Gotta say I'm pretty proud of myself.

See you next month! I think ...

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November 2016

This will be brief because, well, I'm so sickened by the election that I can hardly think straight.

I decided to take some savings out to pay off the card with the lowest balance and highest interest rate. My savings balance took a hit, but it's best in the long run.

Coming up? Christmas and a trip to the Caribbean with my husband. He's taken care of our airfare, but I'll be taking care of accommodations. Granted, this isn't till February, but still. It'll require an outlay. Otherwise, things are OK. Not great but OK.

Balances are over on the right.

Friday, September 16, 2016

September 2016

Well. This isn't pretty.

As I mentioned during the last update, there would be some vacation spending. Boy howdy, was there ever. First up was our two-week road trip. That's about 14 days of hotels and meals. And then gas, too. My husband and I pretty fair about things when it comes to the road trips. We tend to alternate the hotel reservations. And we both cover meals and gas. If he's paid for most of the reservation stuff -- airfare, hotel, rental car -- as he did with our recent getaway to Iceland, I pick up the tab for most of the other stuff. (By the way, Iceland ain't cheap. They're really trying to make up for the banking clusterfuck they had a few years ago.)

Anyway, the vacations have definitely put a crimp in my progress. And there's another trip coming in October. At least the tickets for that have already been bought, so there won't be any new charges for that. We're also staying with a friend and she's letting us use her car, so it'll just be food and any shopping we do.

The figures are over there in the margin. Eeesh.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July 2016 Update


Things are coming along fine, though August will be a ... well, let's call it a spendy month. The hubs and I are going on our second annual vacation road trip next month, taking in lots of New England with (hopefully) a dash of Canada. We discovered during our honeymoon last year that we prefer to wander from place to place than book lots of stuff in advance. This way, if we really like a place, we can stay a day or two longer. Sure, the risk is that we won't find accommodations, but so far that hasn't happened.

We've done several trips this way, the first one by accident. We'd booked seven days in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, only to discover that it wasn't worth being there for even three days, much less seven. Unfortunately, our hotel had been prepaid, so we basically paid twice for the same week, as we got the hell out of SD and headed to a few resorts. Building on that knowledge, when we decided to do a road trip through California for our honeymoon, we booked only three hotels in advance -- the one for our arrival stay in San Diego, the one for our side trip to Vegas (baby!), and the one for our final city, San Francisco. We did the same thing when we went to Costa Rica earlier this year. You can talk to locals to find out what the good places are and plan accordingly. We've discovered some gems doing it like this.

Anyway, back to the money part of all this: There will be vacation spending. Granted, it will be mostly for my share of our accommodations and gas, as I tend not to shop much on vacation. I usually try to find something that will remind me of our trip, but it has to really speak to me, otherwise I pass.

Also coming up is my last class in GMU's professional writing graduate certificate program, so I have tuition coming up for that. I've been taking advantage of employer assistance, since the program qualifies, but I still have to pay it before I can get reimbursed. Grrr.

The updated figures are over there on the right. I'm especially pleased with the savings amount. Woot woot!