March 2013 Monthly Review

Lately, both H and I have been feeling rather frustrated with our finances – it seems like we are always primed to make a big move for the month and steadily reduce our debt, but then something happens and we end up spending that cash on fixing up something around the house.  With the exception of some money that we spent on new curtain rods and fabric for H to make some new curtains, we didnt really do much with the house this month.

Debt:

These are all of our debts. Right now, that includes a vehicle loan, a mortgage and 1 student loan. When I started, I had 3 credit cards, 3 student loans and no vehicle loans.  I’m married now, and everything that I’m still paying off now (with the exception of the student loan) has been incurred since I’ve tried to become debt free. Funny how that works out, eh?

House

Mortgage $117,462  ($539) – Same monthly payment here.  Approximately half of our payment goes to interest, which I’m oddly ok with.  In normal times of higher interest rates, it’d be closer to 75-80% and we’d hardly be making any headway.  Low interest rates and a low amount borrowed really helped us here.

Student Loans

Great Lakes Loan $ 8,951 ($126) I bumped this up to 175 a while back, but this is going down slowly.

Truck Loan

Ford Credit: $ 2,413 ($696): This is going down fast, and we did get a tax refund this year that we may apply to this loan.  If we elect to do that, we will be able to pay it off by May, after just 3.5 years.  That will free up a lot of cash flow, as i”ll significantly drop the insurance on the vehicle as well.

Total Debt: 128,826 ($2678) – This is the highest number that we’ve had in a while, which is so awesome.  Hopefully this huge reduction

Health Goals

Slowly but surely the death race training marches on.  I”ve finally figured out a way to get around my plateau at the gym by simply increasing the amount i’m lifting once a month by 10 lbs, weather I feel ready for it or not.  So far, it’s worked out well, and I’m coming upon another switch here at the beginning of the month.  Though the death race training is still pretty intimidating, it has also been a lot of fun doing a bunch of new and interesting workouts.  The burpees are going to kill me at some point, I swear.

As for the diet changes, I’m still honestly trying to get used to those, but they really do seem to be making a difference.  I’d estimate I’ve knocked off a full percentage point of my body fat, but unfortunately I really cant say for certain.  I feel a lot better after I eat (meaning that I dont overeat and feel like sleeping right away), so that’s a plus.  It’s just a pain sometimes because I forget to bring my snacks to work some days,

I’m still carrying my pack to work to train for the death race, and I add weight to it at the beginning of every month.  The pack is still fun to carry, and it really doesnt even feel heavy anymore – probably a sign that I need to add more weight, which I’ve been trying to do but cant find anything that’s heavy enough.

Goal Workouts: 20

Total Workouts: 27

 

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7 thoughts on “March 2013 Monthly Review

  1. Be careful about downgrading your insurance. Raise the deductible, sure. But think about what would happen if you were hit by an uninsured driver and your truck was totaled. Would you be right back where you were with a huge vehicle loan?

    If you haven’t already, be sure to adjust your tax withholding given your new married status and deductible mortgage. I always try to owe/get back only a couple of hundred dollars. Anything else is a free loan to the government.

    • I’ve thought about that (and maybe will post on it) but the long story short, I drive about 200 miles per month – so I basically never use it. Most of those miles are going to the gym, which will be replaced by biking now that the weather is turned and i’m motivated to get my tire fixed. There’s not much that hasnt cosmetically already gone wrong, as it got nailed by a hail storm in 2011 that caused about 7k worth of body damage.

  2. Good luck. Hopefully, you’ll be be debt-free soon. It’s not easy, I know. But you’ll get there one step at a time. And it looks like you’re doing good when it comes to your health goals.

  3. It’s cool to watch his efforts toward sustainability and financial health. Those of you who are interested in the psychological level of the spending/saving issue might want to check out my regular column on The Psychology of Money and Happiness. The column is about this: No matter how shrewd we are about money management, serious efforts to restore financial health usually require us to reduce our consuming, and rather than being miserable about that, we can use psychological strategies to get more happiness from less stuff. Check it out!

    http://www.quizzle.com/blog/category/GoodCents

  4. Bricks. Go by a construction site or to a home improvement store and get some cheap bricks or pavers. Wrap them in a little plastic wrap and then duct tape to pad them and keep them from damaging things. They make great rucksack balast.

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