Get Out of Debt Blog – Month 5
If you haven’t been following my quest to get out of a half million dollars in debt, I suggest you begin with My Journey to Payoff half a million in debt or check the Get out of Debt Blog master page.
I’m playing catch-up letting you all know of my progress. For that I apologize. I spent quite a bit of time entering my income and expenses for the past year with a new free budgeting tool I found called MoneyTrackin. I submitted it to be added as a new opportunity here at MoneyStance.com because I think many others would benefit from it as well. In conjunction with the net worth portion of the contributor rewards spreadsheet, MoneyTrackin is much more granular, produces great reports, and creates detailed graphs that I hope will convey the reality of my wife’s spending habits to help steer her toward my getting out of debt effort.
Regarding Last Month’s Rental Property Rant
My rental property woes continue with the property producing roughly $1,200 less each month due to a vacancy and a pending eviction. I’m considering hiring a property management company to reduce the ever increasing stress dealing with it has caused. I’ve wanted to sell the building for well over a year, but the market is not allowing me to do so without losing tens of thousands. So I thought the best solution would be to pay someone 6% of the rents and just take it over. I know that probably goes against getting out of debt, but I think I can make up the difference on less tenant turn over, quicker re-rentals, and insurance deductions for having a professional management company involved.
Get out of Debt Goal Reminders
Goal 1: Achieve a Net Worth of $0 by paying down debt and increasing savings and investments.
Goal 2: Have $0, and I mean ZERO debt and liabilities.
Goal 3: Increase my net worth to $500,000. Basically, turn half a million in debt to half a million in assets…a daunting task to say the least.
Get out of Debt Status – Month 5
Financial Status for the end of September 2009:
|Remarks: This is our home plus our rental property. I took the value of the properties from Zillow to determine equity and subtracted the remaining balances on the mortgages to figure the Asset Value.
|Remarks: Took this line on our primary residence to fund the down payment on an investment property.|
|Remarks: Not much progress, but some..
|Remarks: Yup, it's a lot. Between the both of us there are 13 years of schooling with no parental help. We'll probably tackle these last as the interest rates are very nice.
|Remarks: I took the trade in values for both vehicles from Kelley Blue Book to determine equity and subtracted the remaining balances on the loans to figure the Asset Value.
|Remarks: This is a gamble on an IPO that still hasn't panned out.|
|Remarks: I can't let my kids have the same burden as my wife and I with school loans. Our goal is to pay for at least half of their college education...which is not included as assets.|
|Monthly Changes||$4,027||$4,523||NetGain: $8,550|
My Get out of Debt Monthly Budget
I’ve tracked our income and expenses for the month of September 2009.
|Salaries and rental income||$18,179||$17,728||-$450|
|Remarks: Our income has dropped due to apartment vacancies and a pending eviction of a tenant.
|Remarks: We could put this toward debt, but I need to match company contributions and the investment market is just so under valued at the moment. I hope I'm making the right choice.|
||Remaining Income: $12,004|
|Long Term Debt|
|Remarks: Double payment on one mortgage in a different month. This will balance out with an overpay of $1,537 later.
|Remarks: Double payment on one vehicle in a different month. This will balance out with an overpay of $300 later. These types of things are kind of a normal occurrence each month. The trend should be obvious over the months.
|Total: $3,207||Remaining Income: $8,797|
|Remarks: To cover various school functions and the yearly tuition cost.
|Remarks: With fast growing kids and two working professinoals, I thought it time to add clothing into the budget.|
|Remarks: The + means anything you would buy at a retailer, such as a shovel, toilet paper, lawn bags, clothing, etc. My wife does this sort of shopping and I go crazy figuring out why these necessities are so expensive. This is a huge difference from the $1,700 last month and my wife can't tell me why. Could I ask everyone to comment and let me know how much you spend on groceries et all and your family size. I still need some average bearing.
|Remarks: We paid the quarterly charge last month so this should even out over the year.
|Remarks: Health Club memberships and the like.|
|Remarks: COH is Cash on Hand that is spent every month on lunches at work, fast food on the go, tolls, quick marts, small apartment fixes, and the like.
|Credit Card||$275 (min)||All of our extra income goes toward
this. Therefore, the paydown is
tracked above in the Debt status table
|Remarks: Entertainment is for movies, day trips, games, and other luxuries. Obviously, these aren’t needed, but for now we’ll keep it at a modest amount.
|$957 Various Apartment Fixes and Eviction Costs
$347 Vehicle repairs
$488 New Cell Phones for Work (A write off +$200 in rebates)
|Total: $6,016||Remaining Income: $2,781|
Overall this hasn’t been too bad a month. Reaching the milestone of being less than half a million dollars in debt is quite an achievement for us. HOORAY!
I’ve added memberships, medial costs, and school fees to the budget after examining the incidentals of the past year. I also noticed a trend that sometimes bills are paid twice in one month and then skipped the following. This throws off the monthly over/under, but after analyzing the expenses over the entire year, it looks to even out close to the monthly budget I have set. I guess this is how you are supposed to do it, but if anyone has a better idea please let me know.
My Get out of Debt Progress for October 1st
My Get out of Debt Conclusion for the end of September
I’m a big fan of the free MoneyTrackin budgeting tool and I think everyone like me should try it. I’ve been able to point out expenses that are trends throughout the year and estimate what the annual cost will be to formulate a monthly savings for it.
I’m quite pleased with this month’s progress in comparison to most others, but I’m sure many of you are still shaking your heads in frustration. I’ve practically given up on the Dave Ramsey way of doing business because it has only made my wife and I fight all the more. I’m just going to do my best where I can and pick my battles rather than asking her if there are diamond earrings in the groceries bags.
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