Posted on Wednesday 19 May 2010

finish line
Creative Commons License photo credit: smemon87

Three years and two months after we purchased my car, it is finally paid for!  Needless to say, I’m starting to save for the next car NOW.  Seriously and literally.  The plan was to have the car paid off by next month but I received THREE expected sums of money last week (hallelujah) and took ~$200 out of savings to just be done with it.  I looked through my records (I track our finances with MS Money) and the total interest over the life of the loan was $2599.xx.  So $2600 down the drain as penance for not buying a car for cash.  The only bright side is that I have never been upside down on the loan (purchased it used and put $2500 down) and KBB says my car is still worth $16K.  Even though it’s six years old, it only has 37K miles and should last for years to come.

Of course, now that the car is paid off, things decided to start breaking around the house.  My flat iron died Monday so I need to get a new one.  Perhaps this time I’ll invest in a quality iron instead of the $29.99 Target cheapies that break or die every few years.  Also, my digital camera is on its last leg.  The screen has been glitchy for a while but now it only takes pics when it feels like it.  I want to research/buy a new one before this one completely dies.

Not to mention I just realized that both our anniversary and Father’s day are happening in the next month.  Ack!  Not only have I not planned for these purchases, I don’t have any gift ideas…

However, all that said, life is still good.  The next target in my sights is the dreaded Direct Loan.  I’m ashamed to admit that 11 whole years since I finished grad school, I’m still paying this.  Deferring the loans my first few years out of college was a BAD idea but I didn’t realize it at the time.  The interest that accrued was added back into the principle!  Combine that with attending private universities for both undergrad and grad school and I owe the government A LOT of money.  My plan is to have it paid off by May 31, 2014, a little more than 4 years from now and 15 years after graduation.  Gulp!

savvy @ 10:41 AM
Filed under: Debt Reduction
Almost There!

Posted on Friday 7 May 2010

Paid in Full
Creative Commons License photo credit:

I’m so close I can taste it.  Today is payday so I sent a chunk of money to the car loan.  God willing, I should make the last payment in two weeks.  Though I haven’t been as good as I could be (still don’t bring my lunch to work), I’ve done a pretty good job of eliminating frivolous spending.

As soon as the loan is paid, I will restart automatic transfers to my IRA.  In addition, I’ll set up an auto transfer to a ‘car fund’.  My car is only six years old and has low miles so I’m not planning to buy another one for at least four years.  However, it would be nice to pay for the next car with cash.  The only problem is that I hate letting savings (other than our emergency fund) accumulate.  I always think the money would be better used to accelerate our mortgage payments.  One of my goals/criteria for early retirement is to have the house paid off.  It’s much easier to retire when your expenses are low.  How do you balance savings vs debt repayment?

savvy @ 10:51 AM
Filed under: Debt Reduction andIRA andMortgage andRetirement
Almost There

Posted on Saturday 1 May 2010

In a mere five weeks, I will finally have my car paid off.  Three years and three months after I bought it.  I love my car but having a car payment got old QUICKLY.  Needless to say, I want to pay for the next one with cash.  After the car is paid off, I will boost the slush fund (used to pay for unexpected expenses).  Then I will restart my IRA contributions as well as start saving for the next car.

We have a few trips planned (both business and pleasure) over the next few months so I need to be careful not to go overboard.  I’m also realizing that there a few things that will be convenient now that I’ve started running.  I want some earphones that wrap behind the ear since the earbuds I have fall out when I run.  Also, I want some type of armband or pouch to hold my iPod.  Mr. Savvy and I registered for a 5k in June so that’s a running expense as well.  We won’t even talk about the cost of Mr. Savvy’s newfound hobby, road racing (bicycling).  He plans to do the Tour de Cure later this month and has been some items to prepare for that.

All in all, we’re making progress albeit slowly.  We’ve also got some other stuff going on so things should smooth out in the next month or so.  What’s new with you guys?

savvy @ 9:14 PM
Filed under: Debt Reduction andIRA andSaving