Allrighty folks! Here is the first day's weigh in and debt dollar total. We shall see how this goes.
WEIGHT: in my birthday suit, I tip the scales this AM at a healthy 272.5. AAAAUUUUGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!! I'm a fatty!
Talking with the boss lady today, she mentioned something she saw on Oprah last week. The Mighty O was discussing weight loss and dieting with some guest who proved that by reading the ingredients on the back of packages of food, you can drop weight. If you were to read 'enriched flour, high fructose corn syrup, margarine, or hydrogenated oil' in the first five or six indredients of a package, put it back and get something else. This diet weenie also said to watch out for sugar, too, but you can have it in moderation because it is a naturally occuring substance. By cutting out the 12-pack a day diet soda habit, he said one client of his dropped over 40 pounds in 90 days.
I did a bit of grocery shopping for myself this weekend. While shopping for quesadilla fixins, I picked up some lunch meat, PB&J, whole wheat bread, almonds and spicy pistachios. I forgot the sandwich bags, though. Have to stop and pick some up tonight along with some fresh carrots and celery. Spending the same amount I spend on buying lunch and junk food every day on groceries instead should help cut back on wasteful spending. Cutting coupons and shopping for value will help further cut costs.
It has been a while since Swede and I cooked some decent home meals. This should be fun.
DEBT: Well, according to my calculations, I sit at an estimated $9,500.00 (rounded up for interest and service charges and whatnot). Based upon my take home pay and minimum balance payments, I should make twice monthly payments of $320.00 towards each debt in turn. I will start with the smallest debt first, my credit card. That has about $700.00 left on it and can be knocked out this month. In fact, once it settles down and all payments post, I will have just two payments left.
Next is the CD Secured Loan. That one is a bit less, and I should have started it first. I went with the Credit Card first because the interest rate is much higher. After the credit card is done, I should have approximately $420.00 left. That will take about one and a half payments at $320 to knock out. I may KO it earlier with my change jar and make up the difference out of my savings account.
*NOTE* I do have a savings account right now, but am holding off putting any more money into it until the debt snowball is complete. Right now, I get about $50.00 a month deposited from my paycheck. I still count that as income to use against the debt.
I will leave the CD alone once it is released as collateral. It is earning almost 5% on a two year term. I will add to it when it matures and use it as a small retirement fund.
Next in line is my Personal Line of Credit. It is maxed at $2,500.00 right now. After two months, it should be down to 2,350.00, or thereabouts. I'm guessing about 7 and a half months for that to be paid off. As I get free from the rest of this debt, I may adjust my monthly payments to pay it off quicker. Also, any and all extra income will be thrown into the mix and used to pay down the debt.
This leaves us with the 401(k) loan. It is at $5,500.00 right now. I have about $316.00 taken from my paycheck every month to pay this back. In about nine months, after everything else is paid off, it should be reduced by $2,900.00+/-. That will leave me with a grand total of $2,600.00 to pay off. It will still be auto-debiting monthly from my account, and I cannot pre-pay the loan unless it is in full. I will continue to make the minimum of $320.00 and place that in a savings account. If I did the math right, eight months is what it will take to pay off the remaining balance through auto-debit. I should be able to pay that off in half the time with the extra money I am putting away.
Once the debt snowball is complete, I will work towards my emergency fund. This is the money I plan to use in the direst of circumstances. Is it direst, or most dire? I can never figure that out. Dire circumstances include open wounds, disabled vehicles, giant earthworms falling from the sky...that sort of thing. Just 'cuz I see a brand new, in the box, Sig 229 for sale doesn't constitute an emergency. With the extra income returning from my 401(k) loan to my paycheck, I should hopefully be able to sock more money away for my emergency fund. What's the rule: You should have a six month reserve of living expenses in savings for a worse case scenario. With some hard living, I would like to get that up to a full year for me and Swede combined.
That hard living will likely include paying down our first mortgage. I can feel that we are close to a home. After this last option period fell through, I think our realtor is back on track. Either that, or she is liking the homes we've seen recently. I am leaning towards the hope that she finally saw the error of her ways and got her shit wired together. Eating beenie weenies and Top Ramen for a few years so we can clear our big mortgage would be a great and worthwhile sacrifice. I really want to live a debt free lifestyle so I can pass my love and wealth on to my children. I should be a debt free hero like my dad is, and his dad before him. It has been hard because I grew up not knowing about finances and money. I just assumed wrongly that we were made of money and I would have it for the rest of my life.
PHYSICAL FITNESS: I have not started working out, yet. I still have a couple more days to get to the Y and look into a membership for me and Swede. The one by my apartment has a large olympic pool for laps and a good workout room. Right now, it is just a five minute walk away.
I wasn't in the mood to ride this weekend, either. The weather did not cooperate like it should, too. Rain hit on Saturday and threatened on Sunday. Well, that fouled my plans up. Besides, the hangover from Friday night did not help.
I have adjusted my sleep cycle so I get up earlier in the morning. I started eating breakfast at home (saving $5.25 a day) and will get the blood flowing with morning calesthenics (sp?). Swede has a workout tape that she pops in the DVD and works for 30 or 45 minutes (depending on her mood). I have a book on Navy SEAL PT. They outline basic BUD/S PT drills and break it down for those of us sitting in the flabby section. Thirty minutes of PT in the morning (push-ups and sit-ups with a couple of squats thrown in) should get the blood flowing and the waistline shrinking.
Remember, it is all about discipline. I have to remain focused and disciplined in order for this to work. I think the easiest part of this whole journey was stopping smoking. I save $20.00 a week in cigarette purchases and my lungs thank me. I still have urges, strong urges. I just tell myself that I am never allowed a cigarette again. Now, I have to do the same with my finances and tell myself that I don't need to buy that, or spend on this. My spending habits are worse than my smoking habit. I go about it the same way, and with the same discipline, I should be okay.
I want to thank Alandp, Hammer, and Debtective for your encouraging words. I'd really like to get the word out and get fellow bloggers to join in. You don't have to do any one of the things I am doing, but find something else that you want to improve about your life and blog about it. Besides, it might be a good thing to post on since the 60-day or whatever McCain/Feingold turdbird is floating around the net.