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Viewing the 'Home Equity Payoff' Category

We Have Less Debt!!

December 1st, 2009 at 09:29 am

I made a big payment to our home equity loan today in the amount of $935. As a result, the loan balance is now $4,236.95!
I think we can get to under $4K by the end of the year. Smile

I told my husband I made a large payment to the loan. He said, "What? A double or triple payment?" Umm...our regular payment is $118. That's almost 8 times the regular payment! Can you tell he doesn't pay to much attention to this stuff?

I bought 20 holiday picture cards online yesterday from Kodak. I never send out picture cards, but I took a really nice picture of our girls while we were at my parents over Thanksgiving. I found a 40% off coupon and with shipping paid $11.78. Pretty good! I now need to buy some stamps.

I'm thinking of buying our new digital camera from Amazon. I realized that I can save the sales tax by purchasing from them. The camera I'm looking at comes with an extra memory card if I buy from Amazon as well. I would save about $24 online. It seems worth it. I just need to run it by my husband.

Our Debt A Year Ago

November 24th, 2009 at 05:10 pm

Our debt consists of three loans, including our primary mortgage, a home equity loan and an auto loan. A year ago we were in more debt than we are now. Yipee!! At least we are going in the right direction. Are you?

Total Debt - Nov 2008: $174,624.40
Total Debt - Nov 2009: $158,031.25

Total debt paid in one year is $16,593.15!! Not bad.

The next year to year and half are going to be amazing for us financially. In fact, in 1 1/2 years we will be free of our home equity loan AND the van loan. Oh, and right now, we owe over $19K on the van. Obviously big plans are in the works!

Make a plan. Work the plan. And celebrate when the plan works!!

Another $86.24 Paid!!

November 18th, 2009 at 05:05 am

I made our regular home equity loan payment yesterday. It isn't really due until December 1st. I've been paying the payment a couple weeks ahead for cash flow purposes. Our next regular payment is in 2010!

Of our $118.01 payment, $86.24 went to principal. Our new balance is $5,171.95.

Year end goal is still to get this loan under $4,000. I think we'll make it.

More Debt Paid!!

November 16th, 2009 at 06:18 pm

I made a principal payment towards our home equity loan this evening in the amount of $665.00. This brings our loan balance down to $5,258.19!!

I'm excited to be getting closer to another milestone. Under $5K will be very nice.

So far this year we have paid an additional $8,058.17 towards this loan.

After the Home Equity Loan

November 8th, 2009 at 08:30 am

The home equity loan should be paid off in February or March of 2010. I'm really looking forward to it, primarily because of our new plan!

We will start funding our girls college accounts again after a little more than a year off. The remaining extra funds will go to increase our emergency fund by $5000. I expect to complete that by the end of May 2010.

Once, the EF hits $15,000 I'm going to divide our extra funds towards paying off our van loan (did you know I had one?), adding smaller amounts to the emergency fund and saving for a truck!

I'll be giving you lots more information about these goals as they are happen. I know you like that kind of thing!

Deployment is getting closer. As a result there will be some extra government cash to help us realize those goals. Yipee for that. Of course, that's the ONLY positive thing about deployment. Emotionally it is a huge drag.

Two Months of 2009 Left

November 1st, 2009 at 07:26 am

There are only two months left of 2009. Have you accomplished your goals for the year? If not, can you still wrap them up?

I looked at our goals that are on the side bar. We are most definitely on track to save 15% for retirement. It helps that that the goal was automated!!

The home equity loan began 2009 with a balance of $13,999. Our first goal was to pay off $7,000. We did that!! A few months into the year we thought we could get ambitious and pay the whole thing off. It is very clear that we will not get there with the cash we have or expect to have available. Right now, I think we can get the loan under $4,000. Which means we will have paid over $10,000 in debt off this year.

We did pay for our Disney World vacation in cash!! Yipee. So fun. And the ONLY way to go on vacation. Trust me.

We also paid for our daughter's braces in cash. On some level we knew she would need braces, but we didn't have this in our plan at the beginning of the year. She's only had them on for two months and there are no lingering bills just straighter teeth!

We made zero college contributions. This is a little disappointing because the market was low at the beginning of the year and has rebounded, so it would have been a good year to be investing. So be it. We will contribute in 2010...once we have that HEL paid off.

To wrap up. The final two months of 2009 will consist of saving for retirement and paying another $1925 in principal towards the home equity loan. In order to do that we have to make conscious spending decisions during the holidays.

What are your financial plans and goals for the last two months of 2009?

No Extra

October 28th, 2009 at 11:54 am

Payday is Friday. Unfortunately, I don't think I have extra for our home equity loan!

Turns out our gym membership is about to expire on November 14th. We paid in full for a 3 year membership...well, three years ago! We need at least two more years. So, the extra cash needs to be held until I figure out the gym membership costs.


Escrow Deleted

October 22nd, 2009 at 02:43 pm

I took care of it yesterday. I emailed Bank of America and confirmed that we did indeed like to delete our escrow account. They emailed back within a couple of hours that it was complete and a check with our escrow balance is on its way!!

As of November 1st, we will only send Bank of America our mortgage payment consisting of interest and principal. That will be strange!!

The escrow check will be for $404.34 which is just under the amount they would needed as a buffer or low balance amount. I may find something to do with that money. Maybe the home equity loan?

I will begin setting aside $281 per month to account for taxes and insurance right away. The first payment I need to make is not until March 2010!

I feel very confident this will work well for us. I plan to set up email reminders for the taxes since I will only be billed once a year for those.

Under $6,000

October 15th, 2009 at 06:29 am

Finally, we are under the $6K mark on our home equity loan! I made our regular payment and sent in additional funds.

Total Principal Payment: $339.17
New Balance: $5,923.19

It feels good. Last time we hit a big milestone like this was May of this year when we went under $7,000. I'm sad it has taken this long, but I know all the reasons why. You probably do, too!!

Here's to continued progress!

Making A List

October 13th, 2009 at 02:07 pm

I made two lists today. One was things I needed to do today. Turns out I did everything!! The second list is things I need to pay on payday. These aren't usual bills. Here's the list:

Auto Registration
Out of State Gym Membership*
Maintenance agreement for flute
Extra money towards mortgage escrow
Extra payment to home equity loan

Yipee! Did you see that last one?

*we are have a 24 Hour Fitness membership which costs us $52/year each! We do occasionally work out when we visit relatives, but when we move again we hope to be all set up!

Looking Forward to February

September 20th, 2009 at 09:06 am

Oh my! I have been doing many nerdy calculations regarding our debt. I'm obsessed with getting it paid off! But, I must admit that I'm getting tired of watching every penny. It's draining. It makes me feel poor, when we really are not.

My nerdy calculations show that the money for the braces will be paid back by mid October of this year!! Only one more month to go.

The calculations also show that we can have the home equity loan paid off by the end of February 2010! That's only 5 1/2 months away.

While paying the home equity loan, I decided it is important to save some cash along the way. I'm not going to send every penny into the loan, like I normally tend to do. That technique works, but it is stressful. For me. For my family. We leave ourselves without any wiggle room in the budget. I don't like saying, "Can we wait until next week to buy that?"

While we pay down the HEL, we will pad the extra checking account with savings for when life happens. We have our emergency fund, of course. This extra pad will just be available for when things come up that aren't emergencies. I guess its a way of planning for things that aren't always in the plan.

Honestly, we have had an extra pad in the checking account before. Turns out we don't have it any more. I guess what I'm really doing is setting it up again!

At any rate, I'm looking forward to February. I like that I've set up the journey there to be less stressful.

A Little More Debt Paid Down

September 16th, 2009 at 10:56 am

I made our regular home equity loan payment yesterday. The regular payment is $118.01. The pricipal portion was $79.69.

Our new balance is $6,262.36.

Someday in the near future I won't have to write about this loan. Someday it will be paid off!! I can't wait.

Since the braces will be repaid in the near future, our focus will return to this loan. By the end of December, I hope to have made another significant dent in the balance.

Honestly Unmotivated

September 9th, 2009 at 11:22 am

I'm one of those people that does pretty good about getting rid of our excess stuff/clutter. In the past, I have held garage sales, sold on ebay, listed on half.com, taken clothes to consignment sales and stores. I've sold used books, and old cell phones. But right now...

I'm unmotivated.

And the truth, I have stuff to sell. The girls are always growing out of their clothes and shoes. They've recently decided to give up Barbies, Polly Pockets and Bratz. There's an extra coat in the closet. There are movies we won't watch again. There is real stuff to sell.

Right now is when I SHOULD be motivated. I have braces to pay my emergency fund back for, and a home equity loan that I want desperately to go away!!

But for now...I'm not motivated. I'm just being honest! Maybe I'll think about it more tomorrow....

The New Plan

August 19th, 2009 at 07:00 am

Yep, life keeps getting in the way. My husband called from work at 8:45pm last night, with a dead car battery. He works 30 minutes away, but we bailed him out anyway! Wink

The battery was only 1.5 years old, so we get a credit on that. While he's getting the new battery, he decides the car does need an oil change and the transmission fluid flushed (this alone is $150!). I haven't heard the total yet.

As Boo commented on my last post, sometimes it is best just to focus on getting rid of the debt rather than within a set period of time. So, here is the new plan.

I will pay for my daughter's braces on August 28th in full. This saves us $189.05. The total is $3,591.95! I currently have $953. Of course, this is going to be less after the above mentioned car maintenence. Ugh!! The remaining money will come from our emergency fund. I know...it's not a true emergency, but I don't want to add more debt. Luckily the US Army provides my husband a stable job, so no worries there.

Since, the money is coming from the emergency fund, our first priority is paying this money back to ourselves. I hope to have this completed by the end of October. But if it happens later...so be it, right Boo?

Once we have paid ourselves back, we will turn our focus back to the home equity loan. I can't wait! Even though I've estimated when I think we can pay it off, I'm going to let the chips fall where they may.

While on this journey, I'm going to increase my focus on things I can sell on ebay or consignment stores. I'm going to do as many surveys as possible. I'm going to reign the spending in as well. We do pretty good with the spending...but I'm going to make an extra effort!!

That's the plan. I guess it's time for another ticker!

Home Equity Loan Update

August 18th, 2009 at 06:44 am

I made our regular payment to our home equity loan. With $79.21 going towards principal, our new balance is $6,342.05!!

A little history:

The loan balance was $13,999 at the beginning of January. My original goal was to pay off half. That we did!! At some point, much earlier this year, we changed the goal to pay it all off.

But then, we decided to go to Disney World for vacation at the last minute with cash. It's not something I regret, as we expect my husband to be deployed early in 2010.

Although not unexpected, we are facing costs for our oldest daughters braces to the tune of $3781 if we pay over time. But we could also pay in full, on August 28th, and save $189.

Can you see a lack of focus here?

I tell all of this to explain how and why our goals and priorities are changing. It may have been a bit too ambitious to pay the full loan in 12 months time, particularly knowing the braces were on the horizon. However, it's really the trip that could, maybe should, have been skipped. But again, I do not regret it. It just will take us a few months longer to pay off the home equity loan.

Honestly, I think we have done an amazing job. Our debt load in total is less than the beginning of the year. We increased the amount we invest in our retirement. We paid for a big vacation in cash. We will also pay for my daughter's braces in cash. So, I'm giving us a pat on the back for accomplishing what we have.

Tomorrow, I will post about the plan for the braces, as well as give a few more details on my goals for the HEL. So, check back in!!

It's a Toss Up

August 7th, 2009 at 09:57 am

I'm still deciding about how to pay for the braces. Upfront with a 5% discount equaling $189.05, or on the payment plan.

If I pay upfront, I have to slow down our home equity payoff which results in paying an additional $75.70 more in interest.

Obviously, paying $76 more in interest is less than the discount on the braces. The difference, to me is negligible, at $113. It's a toss up, I could go either way.

I'm actually leaning towards paying the braces on the payment plan. I would need to pull some money from our emergency fund to pay them in full. That leaves me sweating bullets. I don't like to dip into the emergency fund. And really this is NOT an emergency.

I probably should have been saving money for this. I knew it was coming, but it is something we can pay off pretty quickly. In fact, I think I can pay off the home equity loan and the braces by February or March of 2010. That's pretty fast for over $10K of debt.

Discount on a Smile

August 6th, 2009 at 10:19 am

I called the orthodontist today to inquire about a discount for paying in full. They have one. It's 5% on the balance after the insurance makes their payment.

In our case, we would get 5% off $3,781. That's $189.05.

I can't decide what to do. I really wanted to focus on the home equity loan. It has an interest rate of 7.25%. My goal of finishing this by the end of the year is stressing me out. My plan puts us on a very tight budget, especially when I put payments to the orthodontist in the mix.

I can afford to pay the regular payments to the home equity loan and orthodontist with no problem. For that I am extremely grateful. It's when I start making a plan for paying them off early, even by the end of the year that I start getting very anxious.

I need to come up with a plan that will make me less anxious, but still bring progress to our goals.

Normally I Would

July 31st, 2009 at 07:42 am

Normally I would take all the extra funds and throw them on the home equity loan. I love doing that.

But, you see, there are clouds on the horizon. It just might rain. In the form of braces and eyeglasses. Technically, I should have been saving for these all along.

But...that's not how we roll around here. Generally, we bring in enough 'extra' each month to handle larger expenses when they come in.

Usually, this is a good time of year to get glasses. Last year, I paid about $50 for my oldest daughter. Our insurance covers the eye exam and then I look for a good deal on frames. She's going to want contacts soon, too. We'll see.

The braces. We have an appointment on Wednesday. I have about $1100 left of insurance coverage on those. I'm sure it will cost more than that, don't you? Most likely, I'll pay those off over time. Orthodontists are nice people...they don't charge interest!! My younger daughter might luck out and not need braces at all. Wouldn't that be nice?

So...for now the nearly $700 in extra funds I have will sit in the checking account. Waiting for instructions.

Plan for Payday

July 28th, 2009 at 06:59 am

We did make it through yesterday without spending a dime. Yipee!

Today...may require a mini run to the store. I'm completely out of liquid dish soap. I have zero left. It feels like we are low on snacks. I will probably buy some crackers and cheese. And, while I'm there, I'll pick up a gallon of milk. I promise I won't buy anything else!!

The plan for payday. I need to repay one of my accounts for the dance/tumbling lessons. After that I should have at least $400 to put towards the home equity loan, but I'm going to wait until next payday to send the money in. The reason? I like to hoard cash in times of uncertainty. Right now, I'm not certain how much braces, school supplies and possible glasses are going to cost me. Oh, and DH is having some dental work in September that may not be covered by our insurance.

P.S. I didn't get ANY organizing done yesterday. I'll try again today!

Home Equity Payoff Plans

July 20th, 2009 at 07:58 am

At the beginning of 2009, my goal was to pay our home equity loan down by half. The balance at the beginning of the year was $13,999. A couple months into the year, we revised our goal to pay off the entire balance by year end.

Currently, we owe $6,421.26. We have paid more than half of the balance!! Specifically, since January 1st we have paid 54.13% of the balance.

I added a page to the sidebar to show our plan for getting this paid off by the end of the year. It is optimistic. It will change, but it shows there is wiggle room to see this plan through.

This home equity loan was taken out when we purchased our current home because we didn't have the full 20% downpayment. We also used some of the cash to pay off a $6,000 car loan. I wanted to avoid PMI. I haven't yet reconciled if that was the right thing to do.

Paying off the loan, will increase our cash flow by $118.01 per month. The payoff won't exactly bring a big change to our budget. When we move, we will have that much more equity to take with us for a future purchase. That is the primary goal. (Of course, as a military family, we may decide to rent instead!)

I Kicked it Down to $6,500

July 15th, 2009 at 08:05 am

It's payday. I feels like forever (just April) since I paid extra principal on our home equity loan. Our Disney World vacation was worth it, but I sure missed attacking this particular debt!

Today, I made a payment of $347.10 to bring the balance to an even $6,500.

Tomorrow, I will make our regular payment of $118.01. That should bring the balance to $6,421!


Turns out my girls have decided to dance and tumble again this year. Two months ago, they were ready to be done. I think they were just tired out at the end of the school year. We missed early registration, but I can sign them up any time. I will pay all costs upfront and they will waive the $84 recital fee, which is basically a 10% discount. So, there goes another $750!!

HEL Update

June 16th, 2009 at 06:17 am

I made the obligatory payment to the home equity loan yesterday in the amount of $118.01.

We paid $76.18 towards principal!

The new loan balance is: $6,847.10

Is it terrible to say that I can't wait to come back from vacation, so I can continue tackling this loan? It's been two months of seeing the balance trickle down. It is painful to watch.

I will really be celebrating when I can get the balance under $6K. Keep moving forward, right?

Home Equity Loan Progress

May 15th, 2009 at 07:18 am

This is the first month in several that I'm only making the regular payment on our home equity loan.

Regular payment is $118.01.
Principal portion was $75.72.

New HEL balance = $6,923.28

Hey, I'll take it!

We're in a much better place than we were at the beginning of the year AND I get to go to Disney World on CASH!!

Just a reminder: Normally, I wouldn't even condone a vacation, especially one of Disney proportions while in debt. However, DH may be deployed overseas in the next year, so I feel that an exception can be made.

Happy memories and family time: priceless.

If I wasn't going on vacation...

May 1st, 2009 at 07:36 am

I would have $980 to send to the home equity loan today. Oh, that would be so nice!! It would have put me less than $20 away from the under $6K mark. Smile

However, we ARE going on a vacation. Today, I paid myself back for the airline tickets to the tune of $900. The other $80 will be saved for other vacation expenses.

Although, I'm really looking forward to going on this Disney World trip with my family, it is hard not to see what the money could have done to our home equity payoff. I hope to make this my last post about this because....

I need to maintain my focus on cash accumulation for the car rental, hotel, theme park tickets, food and clothing. I will most likely start a little ticker on the cash I've accumulated for this. Look for it sometime this month!

Big Announcement!

April 16th, 2009 at 06:22 am

As I have stated previously, the goal for this month was to get the home equity loan under $7,000.

We did it!!

I made our regular payment of $118.01, with $75.27 going to the principal balance.

Our new balance is $6,999.00!!

Did you notice how I got the balance to a nice round number? I really had to work on my algebra skills to figure out what principal balance I needed to be at before making this month's regular payment, so that it would turn into this nice round number. It looks like my math was correct.

Again...call me a nerd!!

Often I make the extra principal payments prior to the regular payment, but I realized I was then paying interest on the larger balance, rather than the lower balance that results from making extra payments! Silly me. Smile

Side note: Balance updates on our home equity loan will be minimal while we use our extra cash to pay for our Disney World vacation this July.

I Couldn't Wait to Tell...

April 14th, 2009 at 01:49 pm

I scheduled another extra principal payment to our home equity loan. It's a funny amount, but after our regular payment, it should be a nice round number.

Additional payment is $668.43

Loan Balance is $7,074.27.

We're getting closer!

Remember my original goal for 2009? I wanted to get this loan under $7,000 by the end of the year. Did you know it is only April? Wow! Even I'm amazed.

Only another $74.28 to go. This will be the principal portion of our regular payment that I will make in a couple of days. Of course, I'll tell you all about it when it happens!

Getting Closer to $7K

April 14th, 2009 at 07:03 am

Last night I made an principal payment toward our home equity loan in the amount of $100. This is the money my parents sent us for our anniversary.

The new balance is now: $7,742.70

Trust me...I will get this down under $7K just days from now. Payday is tomorrow!

13 Years in the Making

April 12th, 2009 at 07:17 am

My DH and I are celebrating our 13th anniversary today! We feel very bleesed to have been able to enjoy each others' love and companionship for this long.

Here's for many more to come!!

My parents sent us $100 as a gift. They send us the same gift every year. This year it is going to the home equity loan payoff. I've got to get that balance down under $7000.

Yes, we are celebrating...we are on a mini vacation right now that we already set cash aside for. Those kinds of trips are the best kind!

Second Mortgage Damage

April 1st, 2009 at 01:43 pm

It's okay. It's the good damage. I sent in an extra principal payment to the home equity loan today in the amount of $145. Our new balance is $7,842.70.

This will be a slow month on the payoff as things currently stand. I do expect to make another, more significant payment on the 15th of April.

My mission is to get the balance below $7,000 by the end of this month. Just another $842.71 to go!!

I'm hoping for ebay to be my friend this month! Or at least, receive some survey money. I have interest in our money market account, I could pull from there, if I get crazy desperate!! Hmmm...it does sound like something I would do. Smile

Finally, I've made a plan....

March 31st, 2009 at 02:05 pm

for this payday. Tomorrow is the big day!

I will have $645 extra funds to allocate somewhere. I would love to send all of it to the home equity loan, but it turns out we have planned a spur of the moment mini vacation. Of course, it needs to be paid in cash! I will allocate $500 to the vacation. The remaining $145 will go to the home equity loan.

This is so hard for me to only send in such a small amount to the HEL. I'm on a mission, I wasn't ready for a detour.

The vacation is important too. And we will be taking several of these over the summer and fall. It has been a few years since DH was deployed, so it just feels like it could happen again. We want to spend quality time together while we can.

As I write this, I'm feeling better about my debt payoff detour. It is after all a vacation...not something worse!

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