Well it looks like April is finally over, so its time for my monthly spending recap. I was hoping to be credit card debt free by the end of this month, but unfortunately that dream did not become a reality, for reasons I’m not entirely sure of. I was the happy recipient of 3 paychecks in April, something us bi-weekly paycheck receivers covet that happens twice a year. To me, it is better than Christmas and my birthday put together. So, without further ado, here is what went down last month.
I’ve started to keep track of my debt in something in addition to mint, and I’ll explain that as well. After what seemed like many prosperous months in a row, April included quite a few oddities, mostly me misallocating my funds, and forgetting about autopayments (this was the biggest mistake, and most costly).
Citi Card –$ 1,702($790)– This had been the focus of my efforts for last month. Im glad to see this one go down, but I wish that it would have been gone by now. I’ll keep at it next month.
Southwest Card – $ 477($477) – This was paid off in March, but I put more on it this last month. I’m really, really not sure how this happened (well, I know how I spent it, but I’m not really sure what it was on). It looks like most of it was to gas & food. Part of the reason this was used was because I caused myself a cashflow problem.
WaMu Card – 0 – Im considering closing this card, but I don’t want to change my available credit and thus the ratio of credit im using to what’s available until I pay off more of the other 2
Other Debt – This is all non credit card debt. Just Student Loans and an Auto Loan that I took out which you can read about here. This went down more than I had expected, and caused the liquidity crisis that I mentioned above. See, one night I went home and was really excited about paying all my bills (I don’t know why) but I paid just about everything in one night, and then about a week later, one that I paid came up for Auto-draft, right after I had sent what I had left to my Citi Card. This caused me to overdraft my account (which made me mad, as I havent had one in ages, and was hoping to not have one all year), but caused quite a cash crunch while I waited everything out, causing me to turn to the other card.
Nelnet Student Loan $ 3,106($60) This normal payment is $50, but I paid extra last month. I think when I get my Cards paid off, I’ll shift my focus to this because the balance is so small, although I’m not too sure yet. This used to be a department of ed student loan, but was sold.
Direct Loan $ 7,535($262). The regular payment on this is 92, but my parents threw me some extra change to toss on this bad boy. This was up above 12k, but I started sending them a bit of interest payments while in grad school, and by the time my repayment came around, my balance was lower than what I borrowed. I’m glad this is going down.
Great Lakes Loan $13,269($239)This is where my double payment happened, so it went down much more than normal. I’d rather have the credit card lower than this, but progress is progress, and my numbers are lower than they were last month, so I don’t have much whining to do.
Ford Credit $20,874($350) This is the truck loan. I pay $15 extra every month, but on some months, I’ve forgotten to call & ask for them to apply my extra to the principal instead of next months payment.
Total Debt $46,726 This number is higher by last month, and by a bit. I apparently need to determine what calculator I use and use the balance, because it should be lower. My spreadsheet has it going from 48k to 46k. This needs to be worked out.
Here’s how I monitor all of my stuff in excel (along with monitoring my day-to-day with mint)
It consists of 2 Graphs: One showing my monthly income vs my monthly expense, plotted over time. The other has my debt to income. It’s got a line for each one of my lines of credit (credit cards, auto & student loan), my total debt, and my income. I just take all of this info from mint, and make the charts myself. I also calculate the difference between my spending and income, and I’m happy to report that I have not been at a deficit since 12-09, when I stretched (maybe too much) for a down payment on the truck.
The only thing that confuses me is the difference between the accounts. I’m thinking they should be mostly similar, but I’m relieved by the fact that they are trending downward.
Questions for the readers:
1) What has been your best/worst month for paying down debt, and why do you think it was?
As an aside, I’m hoping to continue to blog 2-3x per week, and I’m also looking to change the theme. Not sure if I like the one I’ve got, and I may change up quite a few things about the blog. I’ll keep you posted!
Thanks for reading.