Break it down, again…

…ah, remember that lovely song from the 80’s? Tears for Fears, I think it was?

Anyway, I thought it might be illuminating for me to list the breakdown of our debt so it tells a more complete story.

Here are the totals at the beginning of January 2010.

Balance Bank of America 3226.68 Capital One 2565.14 Capital One #2 1167.30 Lane Bryant 1385.56 Sears 1077.25 MBNA 16641.03 Citi Bank
Direct Merchants
SearsPLUS 12132.52
0.00 Credit Card total 38195.48 IRS 2785.66 State Taxes 0.00 Tax total 2785.66 Grandpa 0.00 B&S 0.00 Personal Loan total 0.00 Total debt 40981.14

As you can see, we have a long way to go, but we are steadily attacking out debt and we’re looking forward to all of them being at zero ($0) balance.

The next two items that we are focusing on eliminating is our IRS bill (hoping to knock that one out in February/March w. our return) and Sears (which has an AWFUL 29.99% interest rate – thanks, Citibank – but we hope to be rid of it by the beginning of April).


It’s almost been a year!

I’ve been reading a lot of personal finance blogs that had a milestone at the end of last month/beginning of this month as they had started their journey a year ago. Since we started this blog on February 26, 2009, we have a little over 7 weeks before we hit our bloggerversary (yes, my own little snigglet).

So I thought I’d let everyone in on our 1-year goal…

Where we started

Credit Card Debt  ::  $50,083.03
Taxes Owed        ::   $   5,814.78
Personal Loans    ::   $   5,450.00

Total Debt*          ::  $61,347.81

Where we want to be on February 26, 2010

Credit Card Debt  ::  $36,768.48
Taxes Owed         ::   $   2,419.66
Personal Loans    ::   $         0.00

Total Debt*          ::  $39,188.14

That would be a total (net) reduction of $22,159.67 in ONE YEAR!  And a percentage of 36% of debt “lost”!

I KNOW we can make it!

January 2010 :: Goals

Our goal for January is to pay $1,264 toward our debt. Taking into account the interest that will be charged ($374) , the net will be $890.

So our totals at the end of January should be:

Credit Card Debt    ::  $ 37,481.48
Taxes Owed              ::  $    2,609.66
Personal Loans        ::  $          0.00

Total Debt*              ::  $ 40,091.14

*does not include school loans

And now for the Savings Goals – at the end of January, we aim to have:

Regular Savings  :: $     30
Family Leave       :: $  690
Emergency           :: $  205

Total Savings      :: $  925

According to MSN Money, our debt-free date is still :: June 24, 2012

But I think we can get it all paid off by February 2012, which is 5 months earlier, so we have June as our goal and February as our “push” goal.

December 2009 :: Report

Debt Reduction

Our goals for December were:

Credit Card Debt    ::  $ 38,275.93
Taxes Owed              ::  $    2,771.70
Personal Loans        ::  $          0.00

Total Debt*              ::  $ 41,047.62

And here is where we were after 12.31.09:

Credit Card Debt  ::  $38,195.48
Taxes Owed          ::   $   2,785.66
Personal Loans    ::   $       00.00

Total Debt*            :: $40,981.14

*does not include school loans

Good month in the debt reduction department!!! Our goal was that we would pay $1,260 toward debt, with a net reduction of $898. Our total reduction for the month was $964.  I took 1/2 of my bonus at work and applied it to one of our credit cards, so that accounts for the little extra.


This was a really rough month budget-wise. Part of it was residual moving/new-home costs ($600), some of it was an unexpected and expensive car-repair ($800+), some of it was a housewarming holiday party ($350) and some of it was that my mother was visiting for the first time in three years and we went a little overboard with the dining out.  I’ll write more about it in another post, but the bottom line is that we were over $3,000 over budget. Let’s take a moment and shake out heads in shame. Yeah. We deserve it.


Savings Goals for December:

Regular Savings  :: $    300
Family Leave       :: $ 1,250
Emergency           :: $    535

Total Savings       :: $ 2,085

Where we landed at the end of December:

Regular Savings  :: $       0
Family Leave       :: $  221
Emergency           :: $  205

Total Savings      :: $  426

You remember that extra money that we needed when we went over budget – yup – it came out of our savings, which is a better place for it to come out of than a credit card. Still, this is really embarrassing even if we are glad we had money in savings to cover these issues.