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Archive for November, 2017

Debt Ramble

November 17th, 2017 at 03:34 pm

I had been struggling for awhile on how to handle debt vs saving. The biggest issues for me are the need to be debt free, paying for schooling, and getting my own place. Depending on the day, it fluctuates which one "wins".

A huge chunk of my family loan was paid back, so I got to pay a chunk of my CC debt down. But between that and my unemployment money, I was sitting on about $4k to finish filling my HSA this year.

I decided against doing that today. For one, neither the kids or I will have a HSA plan next year. I know I could still use the funds, but I could no longer contribute. The real reason to not fund it ended up being that I was tired of dealing with this remote credit union. So I will be closing the account after the last bit is paid on this month's PT bill.

So... instead I used that money to finish paying off my 7.5% Whole Life loan! Yahoooo!

All that is left of my consumer debt is about $8k in credit cards which will be paid off with the last of the family loan this month. I will have zero consumer debt! However, I will have around $10k in student loans. Bugger.

Now I am pondering my next steps. I will have consumer debt paid. I have $1k in an EF. I am fully funding my car maintenance etc fund. I am saving so I won't need to take out more student loans. Christmas, birthdays etc will be cashflowed into my normal budget easily. Health money for next year has been figured out. I still will have money leftover every month to tackle... something.

The next questions I am tackling are:
- Do I work on paying down student loans? Being debt free sounds really good.
- Do I work on building a huge EF? I would like to not be in the same situation again.
- Do I start building a savings fund for my own place? I will need furniture and normal household supplies on top of down payments/security deposit, so this will be large, I think.
- Do I do a mix and feel like I am getting no where? The snowball method is the most motivating for me.

I am torn. I would LOVE to get my own place and feel like a real adult, no longer "burdening" my amazing parents.

But I do need to be more financial secure to be able to do that.

Plus I have found that the housing market in my area has ballooned again. Fixer upper, small houses that I could have gotten for $120k previously are selling for close to $200k. That is a huge jump for me, and I am worried about the market popping again. But I am not sure renting works for my kids. Shared walls/floors/ceilings are not an option, and house rental prices are just as crazy here. I remember when my parents bought a $200k house when we were young, and we were in the "rich" neighborhood. Now, the same house is priced for $440k. Yowch

Add in that I am a "contractor", I could face unemployment again in a year. Although, with my degree (should be almost done by then), I will be in a good position to find a job quickly. It helps that I also now know that I can work a normal full time job with my kids, as long as the job has some flexible hours allowed, so my hunt will be a lot easier and less stressful.

Having written this out, I think what I need to do is put aside a mortgage payment every month into savings. It can be a cushion until I decide what to do. Then with whatever is leftover, I will tackle the student loan debt slowly. That way I know I can handle the payment AND I can pay down debt. I need to remember to include utilities into my mortgage amount though. That is sometimes a forgotten cost. Time to go to a mortgage calculator!

Thanks for listening to my ramble! It helps to write it all out!