You know the saying: When it rains, it pours. Boy oh boy has that been the case lately. Let me tell you.
Where does it start?
Well, you see, it started when we went to that wedding in Chicago that I mentioned in my last Life Lately update. That wedding weekend cost nearly $1000 split between the two of us. Casey was a groomsman so it’s not like we couldn’t go. I knew the wedding was coming, so I had started to save for it, but unfortunately we didn’t think Casey was going to be able to get Leave. We waited and waited and waited to buy the flights. That alone ended up costing me $283 more than I had budgeted for it. I thought I had prepaid the hotel, but I hadn’t- totally my fault- so there goes $300, plus the rental car and .. well, it was a $1000 weekend. Well, I was able to swing it. Between my emergency fund and some freelance work, I did not go into more debt.
But that wedding was on October 8. I shared that I had drained my emergency fund down to $500 in August when my car broke down. The thing is that later that same week it broke down again, costing me another $500. Then it was FinCon where I was struggling to just stay afloat, then the wedding. I never got the chance to rebuild the emergency fund or pay down debt aggressively. I just stayed afloat.
I told myself that November was going to be the month that changed. Then I needed a medical thing that my insurance company refused to pay for. After much pestering, I got it down from $1200 I was initially quoted to $315. Then I suddenly needed mouth surgery this week which has already cost me $75 (diagnosis) + $1050 (surgery) + ?? for the followup. Unfortunately, when it comes to some of this medical stuff, I have no choice but to swipe the credit card. I’m not ashamed to admit it, but I am not willing to put it off because of debt. As much as I don’t want to have any more debt, I’m not willing to put my personal well-being at risk.
As if this all hadn’t thrown me off kilter enough, the oil pan on my car broke, meaning it was going to cost me another $1000 to make my car safe to drive. After two weeks of driving a car that had no oil in it (do not do this at home, kids) and mulling over what I was going to do, I decided that I was going to buy a new-to-me car. I had a budget in mind and shopped around. I went through the USAA car-buying app and was able to get my loan through them. I set up auto repay for a lower interest rate on both the car payment and the insurance. I ended up buying a 2015 Certified Pre-Owned Honda Civic with less than 16,000 miles on it! All in all, I ended up paying $15800 for the car- way below the Kelly Blue Book Value and reeeally under the True Car “Great Price” category. I’m reeeally happy with the car I’ve gotten.
Before I update you on my debt-progress, there’s something you could do to help me. If I get 100 “Sparqs” on this picture, Bryan Honda, where I bought the car, will give me $300! Can you help me do that? Click this link to open the picture and in the upper left-hand corner hit “Sparq.” Every single Sparq matters! If you send me an email (emilie at burkedoes dot com), letting me know you did it and your address, I’ll send something your way!
That update being said, last I shared about my debt repayment progress was in August. It is worth noting, these payment totals already include November payments, but I will get back in the routine of sharing my debt-repayment progress on the Final Friday of the month. Thanks Stephanie for leading that! Also, the “starting balances” here are from August and do not reflect me not making payments since then, haha- I’ve never missed a payment on anything in my life.
Well, my debt has doubled.
For some reason, I didn’t know that until I just updated that chart. I mean, I knew it, but I didn’t know it. A part of me is disappointed, if we’re being totally honest here but I know that I did the right thing in getting this car. Even with the interest rates I’ll be paying (3.68%), I’ll be saving the money I was literally pouring into my beater. I hope to drive this car until it can’t drive anymore, so $15K for 20 years of being on the road? I’ll take it!
Financial Goals for the Rest of the Year
We’ve got two months left in the year, so what financial goals can I hit between now and then. My goal is to wipe away that Southwest card for good. I’ve already declined to travel for Thanksgiving (sorry, fam) and may be doing the same for Christmas (we’ll see), so hopefully between that and some extra freelancing money, I’ll be able to get rid of that (of course, while also making all my other minimums). It certainly won’t be easy, but I know that it will be worth it.
On my debt snowball, I’ve decided to add my Car Loan to the end. First, it is my largest loan, which means that its proper place in the snowball is at the end. Second, it has my lowest interest rate at under 4 so I feel good about letting this one sit there a little while I get the rest of these guys taken care of.
My absolute first priority right now is rebuilding that $1000 emergency fund. Then that Southwest card. Then the Discover. Then ECSI. Upstart should be done right around the same time as my ECSI (or maybe even slightly before). I plan to be done with all those debts by October 2017, freeing up not just the ~$400/month I make in minimum payments but also the $1200/month I make in aggressive payments. I cannot wait to get this stuff settled for good.
Emilie is an Army Wife, Data Engineer, and CrossFitter with a love for working through her thoughts in this space on the internet. She is a contributor to many open source projects including dbt, Meltano, and GitLab. She lives with her husband Casey, their son RJ, and their pup Bo in Columbus, GA.