Monday, April 27, 2015

The 27th

Today I had my regularly scheduled payment of $174.91 deducted from my account for my student loans. This amount went down after I paid off my other loan last month. So here is the break down.

On 3/31 I put back $75 from my paycheck which was my raise that I pretended that I did not get.

On 4/13 I put back $57.76 which is what I received from selling my old NES on Amazon

On 4/15 I put back $224.00 from my paycheck which was a combination of my new raise for 2015 and payment for an extra 4 hour shift that I picked up.

On 4/20 I put back $24.32 which I received from my local consignment shop for selling clothes that I no longer wanted.

On 4/27 I received payment from Amazon for selling my weighted hula hoop that I used a few times and decided that it wasn't for me and received $23.52.

I also continue to pretend like my student loan payments are $200 a month, so I subtracted $174.91 from 200 and had an additional $25.09 to put towards my loans.

Grand total put towards my Stafford 1-09 loan: $429.69

As of today, my balance on my 1-09 Stafford loan was $1180.50 and after my payment, I will have a remaining balance of $750.87

In May, my goal is to pay off this remaining balance and move on towards the ugliest loan that bothers me every time I look at it. I am going with the highest balance that I have with a 6.8% interest rate.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

12 Things To Do With Your Tax Refund Besides Buying A Bunch Of Stuff You Don't Need

Most people dread tax season and some people get their taxes done as soon as possible to get their refund. In some cases, the refund is already gone before it's even in their bank account because they have already gone out to buy new things like a tv, patio furniture and other big ticket items. Those items are things that you are going to own temporarily and not giving you what you need to look out for your best interests right now.

If I were single, I would use my refund to pay off one of my loans, but since I am married, my husband and I discussed what to do with our refund and we decided to put it in our savings account.

Here are some other ways that you can use your refund that will help you in the long run:

1. Pay off or pay down debt.

2. Put it in your savings account for emergencies. An emergency is an unexpected car repair, house repair, appliance replacement or an unexpected medical expense. A new designer releasing their latest ANYTHING is not an emergency.

3. Use it to pay bills like your car insurance or life insurance in advance so you don't have to worry about it for 6 months or a year.

4. Open an IRA.

5. Buy all hygiene products and household necessities like cleaning supplies, dish detergent, laundry detergent, soap, deodorant, etc. for the year. You can make your refund go a lot further by getting as many of your boring essentials at the Dollar Store.

6. Use the refund for money saving items around the house, like a programmable thermostat, light bulbs, tankless water heater, extra insulation for the attic, etc. Then use the money that you save from installing these items and put it towards your debt.

7. Use your refund for expenses that you have to pay throughout the year that are not fun for anyone to pay. I'm talking about things like getting your car/driver's license renewed, oil changes, new tires, any routine car maintenance, anti-virus software for your computer, homeowner's association fees, vet fees for vaccinations and heartworm medications.

8. Put the money back for Christmas gifts, Birthday gifts, Anniversary gifts, Hostess gifts and other occasions where you need to purchase something for someone else.

9. Replace an item that is on it's last leg that will not be a fun expense to pay when it actually goes out like a water heater, air conditioning unit, refrigerator, stove, fixing cracks in the foundation of your home, or any other item that may be on it's last leg that you would rather fix now then be in an emergency situation later. No one wants their furnace to go out when the temps are in the negatives and the furnace company tells you that the technician will be out in three days to fix it.

10. Put the money back to pay for gas for your vehicle for a year. It will almost feel like you are getting free gas for a year.

11. Use the refund to pay for prescriptions and medical copays and deductibles that you may expect throughout the year.

12. Pay any membership fees, professional membership fees or dues that you may be responsible for throughout the year.

I know that it may feel more fun to have something shiny and new in your home, but wouldn't it feel better knowing that you have money put aside for the things that you know are coming up that you need to spend money on and then not have it touch your entire paycheck when it happens. It will almost feel like getting free tires put on your car or having a free air conditioning unit put in when it actually happens. If you still want that shiny new thing. do it the old fashioned way where you save a little money from each check and then pay for it in full when you have the money.

Friday, April 10, 2015

So Many Options To Waste Money

Everywhere you look, there are so many options to waste your hard earned money. Temptations are everywhere. If you go grocery shopping, they put non food, colorful items in your view that make you think that you need it. If you get a service done, like getting a hair cut, they may suggest highlights or that you buy a product for your hair. Sales people are very good at trying to convince you to buy things that you don't need.

It is good to know this going in and instead of an automatic "Yes" to every suggestion of something that you should buy, "No" should be the first thing out of your mouth. Sales people do not give up at the first no. If a hair cut, was what you intended to go in for, then a hair cut should be what you walk out with. If it is time to buy conditioner for your hair, you should walk out with conditioner only and not any other item that you may have come across along the way. No one should convince you to hand over more of your hard earned money for something that you were not planning to buy.

Think of all the beauty items that you have that you tried once and didn't like that is taking up space in your bathroom. You decided to get that product because it was going to give you something that you wanted like gorgeous straight hair or beautiful eyes and when you found that it did not deliver what you wanted and you stopped using it and put it away. What makes you think that this product is going to do anything different for you? If you have something that works, keep using it, don't be fooled by ads and pushy sales people that try to convince you otherwise.  No sales person is looking out for what is best for you. Be strong.

I know I became deaf to sales people when I immediately thought that I would like to spend an extra $15 on my student loans than having hot cocoa and an aromatherapy candle burning during my massage. I am so determined to pay them off that nothing is going to shift my focus.

You need to train yourself to not accept every shiny new thing that is dangled before you, so it's important to ask yourself:

Do I need it?

Will I use it?

Would I work an extra hour to pay for this?

Do I already have something like this at home?

Would I rather put this money towards my debt?

The first time you say "No" is liberating and makes you feel more comfortable with the word "No" the more you use it. Look out for yourself, because no one else is and no one knows your best interests like you do.