Financial Tracking for the Week of January 12, 2020 + Life Update

Oh my gerrddd!!
First of all, sorry I didn’t post last week!
It was one heck of a week!

The day after my car accident, my bathroom ceiling started to leak… HEAVILY.
Between making phone calls with the office to get it fixed and making phone calls with the insurance company.. it was just too crazy!

It was also the week I started my classes and resumed work from winter break so it was just overall overwhelming for me.

First of all though.. some PRAISES are due!

My school refund money came through and I received more than I anticipated! I’m not sure how I did my math wrong but when I double checked, everything was accounted for so it was not a mistake!

Second, I received $500 from my friends and family from my GoFundMe campaign and I couldn’t be more grateful for such supportive people in my life!

Third, about a month ago (I had forgotten that I did this), I applied for a COF waiver. It’s essentially a fund for college when you are a resident in Colorado. I had already used mine up for awhile. But recently, I got an email stating that my financial aid is running low. After my Fall 2020 semester, I won’t have any Pell Grants to use. So I panicked and applied for the waiver.

On Thursday, I was notified that my waiver was approved! It will be applied for this Spring semester as well my Fall semester.
So financial aid for Spring 2021, my final semester, is a little iffy – not sure how I will be able to afford it since it is the semester where I will be doing student teaching and we don’t get paid for that but I’m placing that in God’s hands.

For now, I just want to celebrate the fact that I got an additional $1,700 from my COF!

RIGHT in the nick of time as I haven’t been able to drive for Lyft while my car was in the shop getting fixed, that I also did not have to spend a dime on.

GOD IS GOOD!

All that being said, lesson I learned is that I need to CHILL.

God has never steered me wrong so far.

I’ll be put in tough situations but He has always come through for me.
A book I recently read stated that hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.

I need to keep my hope alive in HIM and worry a lot less.

Anywho, let’s get into the nitty gritty.

Weekly Budget

Monday 13th:

xcel: $205

Capital One CC: $25

Wednesday 15th:

Total Visa CC: $40

student loans: $100

Thursday 16th:

Disney+: $13

Friday 17th:

VS: $45

Car payment: $361

Saturday 18th:

BB: $17

Total due: $716

Major payments coming up the following week:

Lendgreen loan payment: $208

Car insurance: $200

Golden Valley Loan payment: $400

Needed: $808

How much I need this week:

What I have in my account: $452

Cash: $1,200

What I need to pay my bills this week: $264

How much I need for next week (including other bills): $867

So I know some of you guys think I’m crazy but I’m going to try REALLY hard not spend any of my cash.

Reserving it for NEXT MONTH’S rent so that I won’t be behind again.
So driving for Lyft is still very crucial to me.

I also got a SUPER part-time flexible job (like 6 hours a week). It’s a little strenuous putting in the time between school, being a mom, and my day job, but I’m looking forward to it nonetheless.

I’m trying to decide whether or not I should make that income as “unusable” and just cash it in and putting into my envelopes… (or put it towards my bills..to finish my thought because I’m about to go on a tangent).

Which reminds me.
I decided to use the envelope system!

I am using my envelopes as a form to pay my rent on time and save up for different things (my kids’ college tuition, fun, house, emergency, etc.)

Whatever is in my bank account is for paying bills.

Anyway, back to my budgeting. It is a hefty amount that I owe next week but it is also the week that I get my first paycheck from my new job and child support comes in.

I don’t think I necessarily need to drive for Lyft either but I will be.
Goal is to earn $250 next weekend (or more depending on the following week’s bills).

Since I am sort of getting “ahead,” with my bills, I want to start saving an additional $100-$200 from my main income depending on how much I make (I get paid hourly and since I work at elementary school, there are extended weekends to be accounted for).

I also started a home business working with a network marketing company called Color Street and I absolutely LOVE it.

I’m going to make a separate earning page for it soon.

I think I will also start sharing the books I read (52 books in 52 weeks) and use Amazon’s affiliate program to earn an extra income that way as well.

Another WIN for me is that I paid off TWO of my installment loans so far!

So goodbye MoneyTree and Speedy Cash!

I need to update that on “My Debt” page!

I am SO excited that they have been paid off and even though a part of me SOMETIMES gets the itch to borrow again, I refuse to. I just cannot keep living in this vicious cycle of debt and I don’t want to.

It is hard enough as it is without the extra payments.

Right now, I feel like I am still staying “afloat” financially.
But eventually, I would like to get to a place where my extra job, home business, and driving for Lyft not only covers my bills but I will be able to pay off my loan debts.

According to my notes, if I am following the snowball method, Bright Lending would be the first one I’d like to pay off. I called for this month and they deferred the payment of $236.54

I owe a total of 8 payments with that payment but the payoff amount is $483.77
Crazy right?

Those interest rates are RIDICULOUS.

I have a couple other loans that will be paid be off  next month and March per payment schedule so I’m excited for the extra breathing room!

Once those are paid off, Advance America is the next to go using solely my “own money” (income, Color Street, Lyft – whatever it takes).

What I mean by that is at some point, I’ll be getting my tax refund. The only debt I plan on paying off using that money is Golden Valley (large principal + high interest).

After that, I only have my AmerAssist collections payment to worry about but the amount is too large. Even if I could cover it with my tax refund, I’d rather keep my money because (to my knowledge.. I should call and check) it is not accruing interest.

I’d rather keep my money for the summer months that I do not get paid, a required class that I need to take over summer, 2020-2021 winter break, and finally, my 2021 student teaching months and then the next two summers (though I’ll get a tax refund for next year too.. but I’m just planning ahead).

Not to mention whatever is left over after rent and bills to cover with my refund, I’d like to put the rest into my cash envelopes – mostly my house one.

There has been some definite victories over this past week and many more to come.

I just gotta keep my head down and keep grinding.
I think the first six months of this year is going to be HARD.

19 credits, a side job, a home business, this blog, Lyfting, reading 52 books a week, working on my fitness…I’m a little all over the place but they all have rhyme and reason.. a purpose.

I’m excited to work hard and embrace the year of sowing.

Happy New Year to you guys!! ❤

 

Financial Tracking for the Week of December 1st, 2019

Blegh.
I always dread the first week of any month because it’s time to pay rent.

I cheat the system

Here’s the sad truth – I never have enough to pay rent.
Rent is due on the first (at the latest, the third) but I get paid on the tenth.
Since I don’t make a lot of money to begin with, I never have enough for it.
Not to mention the fact that my hours cut so it makes things even harder.

So how do I pay rent? I put myself at a negative. I make sure I have some money in my account (I usually do) and use that to pay rent. But I can’t do partial payments so I pay the whole $1200 ish and I’m at around -$900 until I get paid.

Estimations for the week:

Monday 2nd:

  • Wells Fargo Payment: $63

Tuesday 3rd:

  • Rent: $1135

What I have in my account:
$348

At this point, I don’t due further calculations.
It’s just a risky waiting game hoping that I didn’t forget any other bills or payments.
For the most part, I’m on top of things, but I’m human and sometimes, I forget one or two things.

Estimated pay that I will be receiving is $1600 but I also have lots of payments going through on the day I get paid (that’s how most personal loan payments work – they are automatically withdrawn on your payday).

Ideally, if I was smart and not lazy, I would drive for Lyft just to help myself financially but I don’t like driving for Lyft unless I absolutely HAVE to.

Anyhow, that is all for now!

Financial Tracking for the week of November 24, 2019

I find it sad (on my part) that my debt has become so severe that I have to look at what payments whether it’s for loans, credit cards, or bills, are coming up each week and having to plan for it to ensure that I’ll have the funds for it…. otherwise I wont.

This upcoming last week of November is kind of a breath of relief because it doesn’t tail off into December, which means I don’t have to factor in rent and other “beginning of the month” payments..at least not yet.

This is how my week is going to look financially:

Sunday 24th:

  • Speedy Cash: $86
  • AmerAssist: $150

Monday 25th:

  • Golden Valley Lending: $699
  • Blue Trust Loans: $525
  • Advance America: $300
  • Plasma donation: $32

Thursday 28th:

  • xcel bill: $114
  • car payment: $361 (x) – will not be paid on time
  • Plasma donation: $45

Friday 29th:

  • Lyft goal: $200

Total needed for this weekend:
$1,410

Total coming in:
$902 (does not include Lyft amount because it’s variable)
What I have in my account:
$597
How much I need for the week:
$0
What I will have left over:
$125

So here’s the sad deal.
I already applied for a new loan yesterday and qualified for $525 to help cover Monday’s payments.
I also plan on refinancing an already existing loan on Monday and they said that I’ll be able to receive $300. I plan on using that to pay off another loan in full because the interest rate is higher.
But if I’m going to do that, I’m going to have to pay my car payment late.

The reason why I am choosing to go this route is because I had asked to defer the payment for this particular loan. Different loan companies have different rules. Some will add a month to the end so everything is just pushed a month back, some don’t. This particular loan company adds your payment to the next which would come out to $350 on my end with two more payments to go. The current payoff amount for this loan is $295.

When I weight it out..$350 payment + 2 more payments (and pay my car payment) of $116 OR pay it off in the amount of $295 and use the otherwise $350 payment towards my car payment…?
I choose the latter.

I am also going to call someone that I had connected with on Saturday to consolidate some of the personal loan debt that I have.

I don’t know too much about consolidating debt and wondering if it’s a good idea or not.
The plan that he gave me is definitely a lot more doable than the payments that I would make individually so I’m leaning towards the side of signing up for the service.

But we’ll see.

Oh, and because I’m aiming to buy a house in 3-6 months, I am also working on building my credit (minimum 620, ideally 725).

Currently, it is 614 (when I first started, it was 512).
For the month of December, I want to bring it up to 635 by paying $230 on one credit card and $45 on another (recommended plan by a service I had signed up for).
That is an additional $275 that I need to factor in.

Anywyho, that is all for now.
Have you guys tried consolidating your debt? Did it help you? What was your experience like?

Peace and Love, Fam! ❤

Why I’m Blogging This

Between growing up with a diary, falling in love with journaling, sharing my weight loss journey (and starting over) on social media, and making YouTube videos for fun, I think I’ve gotten to appreciate documenting any type of journey and being able to see progress is motivation in itself.

Growing up, my family didn’t have much. After getting pregnant at 19 and rushing marriage, my 20’s was living a lifestyle of low-income.
And here I am, entering my 30’s, divorced, single, raising two kids in a state that’s high in cost of living, I’m barely making it, or a term that I learned in one of my classes – living in absolute deprivation. At least that’s what it feels like.

The stupid part? I made it harder on myself because I wanted a quick fix.
Because I couldn’t afford rent, food, gas for my car, bills… I pulled personal loans.
Which means I created more payments to keep up with that I couldn’t afford to pay in the first place.

That led to working odd jobs on top of my regular job, pulling more loans, putting most, if not all, of my tax refund towards debt – it got old.

We all reach our breaking point and I’ve reached mine.

Tired of living paycheck to not even the next paycheck.
Tired of sacrificing time with my kids, my weekends, my free time trying to make money just to scrape by.

I already know that the beginning of any journey is the hardest and there’s a lot of obstacles to get over but I have big financial goals from buying a house to being able to put my kids in extracurricular activities, having emergency funds, being able to travel, and paying it forward.

I want to document my journey for accountability, tracking, reflecting, and sharing with others what’s been working for me and what hasn’t been.

On that note, I hope that this blog will be both enlightening and inspiring.

Peace and Love, Fam ❤