Monday, May 31, 2010

June 2010 Update

It's June, so you know what that means. Time for the monthly update:

The Debt: $2,650.36
The Savings: $1,966.95

The change in debt is more than $100. Actually, it's a bit more than that. I have a credit with one credit card account to the tune of about $50. It hasn't been posted yet, so I didn't factor it in up there, but it's still good to know.

As for the savings, well ... it has decreased quite a bit since the last update. But as I mentioned a couple of months ago, I haven't updated the amount in the margin because it has been fluctuating so much. Still, last month I had about $15K. Now? Not.

But considering that I bought a home, that I have any savings at all is a blessing. In fact, I have more than what I posted. I had extra left after the closing and then I got a refund on my closing amount. Also, June happens to be a three-paycheck month, so I'll have an "extra" check coming. And down the road there should be other cash infusions, including payments for freelance work and, I hope, my full rental deposit for the place I'm leaving.

So I think I'm in decent shape to start my life as a homeowner. But -- there's always a "but," isn't there? -- I must work to maintain the good habits I've picked up the last few years. I can't afford to become comfortable. I must continue working to knock out that remaining debt, and I have to continue saving. It will be hard, especially since I'm itching to decorate the condo. But that could be a recipe for financial disaster if I'm not careful. A couch here, a cabinet there, and before you know it, I could be in trouble.

I will buy myself a new bed, at least new mattresses. But other things? I want to take my time and buy only things I love, even if it takes a while -- and only when my finances permit.

Have a mentioned lately how grateful I am? Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Enough With the Condo Already!

Today I closed on my first home. Me. The girl who started this blog owing more than $20,000, just bought a place. And not just any place, but a place I love.

The closing went extremely well. Honestly, I don't think it could've gone any smoother. My agent and I both got there early, and since the settlement agent was available, he started the bowl rolling. A very nice man. No condescending to me at any time. Patiently explained everything before having me sign on the dotted line.

And sign. And sign. And sign.

It took about an hour, not as long as I'd been warned. The seller wasn't there, so that helped move things along. Her agent was a doll. An older lady with smiling blue eyes. Her enthusiasm when she put the keys in my hand was so touching. And my agent, who has been great from the beginning, was awesome to the end. The positive energy in that office supporting me in this endeavor moved me to tears. Literally.

And as it turned out, I got a refund of part of my settlement costs.

After, I met with the office manager for the building to take care of the administrative details of being a new resident. When I went upstairs to my condo for the first time as the owner, I jumped up and down like a little girl in the middle of the living room. I mean, full-on arms flailing about kind of jumping. :-)

But this is a PF blog. So enough about the condo already and more about the debt:

I have money left over. The refund for part of my closing costs will add to the cushion, as will some other money that I'm expecting in June/July, including the return of my rental deposit of my current place. This cushion will allow me to continue my payment plan at least one more time before dropping my payment amount.

But to tell you the truth, I'd still like to pay it off by 10/10/10. I really would. The money will come.

The monthly update is in a few days. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Still on the Path

With all the talk about the condo and moving and whatnot, I've not mentioned my credit card debt very much, except in the monthly updates. And that's really what this whole blog is supposed to be about -- the credit card debt.

Well, I'm happy to report that I'm still on the path. My goal has been to maintain the payment plan until the condo purchase is complete and I have to pay my mortgage and condo fee. And that's exactly what I've been doing. And it's paid off (pardon the pun) -- I now owe less than $3,000. After this payment I scheduled today, the balance will be about $2,700.

Three years ago, I owed $20K. Twenty. Thousand. Dollars. Let that sink in for a few moments.


I'll be able to stay on my payment plan at least one more month before I have to reduce my payments. My first mortgage payment will be due July 1. But that's OK. By then, I'll owe around $2,000. I can live with that.

In other news, I've discovered what the rent will be for the new tenants of the apartment I'm leaving. It'll be $100 more than what I'm paying now. Once you factor in the power bill at its highest, the cost will be close to what my mortgage + condo fee will total. Only I'll be owning a bigger and better place. I'm grateful.

Friday, May 14, 2010

So it dawned on me last night that in a month I will be in my new digs. A month. How trippy is that? I'm not sure how unpacked I will be, but knowing me (and my serious OCD issues), I'll be pretty much done with the move.

Things are proceeding OK. In fact, I heard from my agent today. She told me that I'm done, nothing to do but wait for settlement. That was good news. I mean, I've been pretty much living under the assumption that all was well, but it was good to have confirmation.

I've been taking care of various details, but I really need to pick up the pace with packing. I'd like to say that I'll make headway this weekend, but the weather is supposed to be spectacular, so ...

Also, some good news: I may have another freelance gig, this time with writing. It's not a done deal, but I'm supposed to talk to my contact this weekend. We'll see. Also, I've been wanting to sell my bike. I never ride it, and I don't want to drag it to yet another apartment. I advertised it at work and one of my coworkers is coming by to check it out. A little extra cash will come in handy.

So that catches you up. I'll probably check in after settlement, so see ya then!