August 2012 Monthly Review

I just noticed that I put august monthly review in the title for the one for july.  I cant believe that it took me that long to realize!  At any rate, it has been a busy month over at our place – H and I are putting the finishing touches on the place, and hope to move upstairs at the end of august or the beginning of september – finally, life will hopefully return to a bit more normal off of that.  They came and measured for the countertops for the kitchen, and those should be in by mid september – it will have been a full 4 months without a functioning kitchen at all, but we did it and will be glad to cook meals at home again.


This has been up and down for a while, but now that we have closed on the house it’s going to shoot up – I’ve also got a bit more on my credit card than I usually do, which I’m hoping to get most back because of (another) tax mix up.


Mortgage $ 121,200 –  After I contacted customer service for this at my bank, they added the account to my profile, which made me really sad.  I know this number isnt that much lower than what we borrowed, but we’ve already sent them a ton of money (it feels like, anyway).  H and I have been talking about getting a plan together by christmas, so that we can start in january with a plan of attack for this loan.  As of right now, the plan is to make bi-weekly full payments starting in january.  That should knock the balance down rather quickly.

Student Loans

Great Lakes Loan $ 10,445.26 ($139)  It’s nice to see this going down a bit faster after I increased the payment, but it’s still not going down as fast as I’d like.  This will be the next focus after the truck.

Truck Loan

Ford Credit: $5,608 ($310): After the little snafu from last month, this is back on the way down.  I’ll be making another payment here (most likely after I get paid) so this should go down quite a bit more for the next update, though I’m not sure how much.  (I’m still owed about 2k from taxes that need to be returned to me this year, and I plan on putting that towards this)

Total Debt: 137,253  This does include the house, and isnt really that bad.  After all the work we’ve done, we are expecting a large increase in value for the property.  My highest total ever, but it’s not all bad. 

Health Goals

Continued on a streak of epic fails for this, actually.  I still walk to and from work and to most of my errands, but I dont count that.  I am curious to see what sort of effect it has on my exercise though.

Goal Workouts: 20

Total Workouts: 3

I ran 1 race this month, as well as went running two times.  Last week, I started going to the gym again, and for added fun, I’m going to be biking to the gym (and home) for the foreseeable future.  I’ve also found a few things that I can use for working out at home that wont seem like a workout, and I’ll let you know about those when I finish them.

Food Challenges:

This month, in an effort to save some money and start eating what food H and I have, I started a Meat Challenge.  This has gone well, as we havent really bought any meat for quite some time, and our grocery bill has reflected that.  I got my new hunting tags in the mail for when I was gone (Im going for 2 antelope, 1 deer and 1 elk this year) so I will probably continue this on into next year as well.  If I fill all these tags – possible, but i’m not counting it as likely, we will probably need a chest freezer or some sort of deep freezer.

The Grocery Store Challenge has been a bit harder to pin down.  This has been going good, though we’ve bought a few veggies, etc from the store to finish out the recipes that we’ve planned for the week.  We are really learning how to cook a lot of new stuff, so I’m expecting us to get much better as the share season goes on (we are exactly half way through.

How was your june?  Did you make any debt progress?  Are you trying to complete anything else this year?

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11 thoughts on “August 2012 Monthly Review”

  1. Hi Jeff.. First time visitor, but definitely wont be the last time. It sounds like you are on a path very similar to what me and my wife are hoping to accomplish.

    Making double payments on your mortgage will shred that debt in no time at all.. A wise option. Altho I am sure that your loan for your house was at a lower rate than what you have on your truck. I might consider just making 1x mortgage payments until the truck is paid off, and then jumping in.

    • Actually jefferson, I got my truck in 09, so I got a killer rate (1.9%) so that’s actually about 1.5 percentage points different than the house loan. A part of this plan is to have the truck paid off by the end of the year anyway, so I dont really think that this will conflict at all.

    • elizabeth – thats what we are looking to do, though we may do it bi-monthly (so 24 payments) in a year. We are waiting until january to start so that we can get all of our accounts joined, a savings plan created and so that we can save for some holiday travel that we will be having. We’ve done a lot, but still have a lot to do – we are also looking at paying off my truck before we start this to free up some cash flow.

    • I’ve got a few “before” pictures up, and we are currently getting ready to take some “after” pictures, will post them when we are ready.

  2. Jeff,

    I think you are on the right track by making extra payments on the house. After I bought my first house I did the math and couldn’t believe how much in total interest I would pay over the life of the loan. That motivated me to make extra principle payments. Just watching the principle owed decrease each month is additional motivation to make even more extra principle payments. I may have gotten a little obsessive, but long story short I payed the house off in 5 years and then turned around and did it again on another house while living in a very small cabin. This was during the tech bubble and everyone was telling me how STUPID I was for not investing in microsoft, AOL etc…. I’m not saying I don’t have my moments, but this was not one of them. I was able to gracefully bow out of the job market at 42 and have not regretted it since. You can (and I think you will) pay off your house early. One important thing I learned was how important it is to realize internally how possible this is to do and how life changing it will be. I also found if very helpful to put the numbers on a chart and post a graph where I could see it. Keep us posted

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