Monthly Archives: January 2015

*Escape Plan in process*

Details shall be kept tightly under wraps until it is time for The Big Reveal. Things are going quite well though. We will be finding ourselves in a happier situation pretty soon… In the meantime, I was making an updated “Home Savings Plan” and thinking hypothetically, if we were to live rent-free somewhere and I was still making minimum payments on the loans, I’d be able to save up a maximum of $2500/month. Maybe even as much as $2700 if we are extra frugal!

Then I saw my old post from October (“speeding tickets, and a tentative home savings plan…”) and was kind of like WHAT?! What kind of crack was I smoking? I had said something like how we would be saving $4500 to $5000 per month if we moved in with my parents. UM… I’m really not sure how I came up with that gigantic number, as that was assuming we were making the same salaries. Even with no rent, we’d still have a car payment, groceries, utilities, minor student loan payments and other living expenses.

Anyway, ha! It is kind of fun cataloging my thoughts so I can look back (and that was only 3 months ago!) and compare the reality to what I was originally calculating and kind of laugh at myself.

Do any of you find it hilarious how naive you were when you first put together a personal finance plan, versus realistic numbers?

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Escape Plan: ACTIVATED!

Things have escalated in just the last 6 weeks and I know there are at least 5 of us that are pretty disgruntled at work. Which is pretty bad considering it’s a small company of maybe 20 employees, max! Back in November, I was happily oblivious and had no inclination of getting the hell outta here. Figured I was making good pay, getting some good experience, would stick it out through our two-year lease on the condo (which isn’t up until April 2016, about 6 months after we get married)…

And now the shit has hit the fan.

Things have gotten worse since the unofficial annual review, with being maybe the only employee to not get a Christmas bonus (?!?), and this week having a one-on-one meeting with the supervisor looking at the business plan for 2015 (which only confirmed that I’m ready to leave). So instead, I am following through with the lead I mentioned in my last post and have officially activated the Escape Plan!

On the agenda:

  1. Finalize the new job details and get an offer letter in writing.
  2. Find someone to take over our lease at the condo.
  3. Help Mr. Bacon get relocated through his current company (they have multiple locations).
  4. Give notice at my current job… 2-4 weeks.
  5. Find a new apartment.
  6. Pack up, move out, and get outta here!

On the bright side, last night I went to happy hour with a friend who works in the same field as I do, but as a federal employee. We found out that I make over $30k more than she does as I work in the private sector! WHOA! Then again, I do have 4 more years of experience than she does. Fascinating for having the same certification.

I did talk with our pretty awesome landlord, and he was congratulatory and very cool about us breaking the lease early. There’s not a penalty in our lease agreement, however by Maryland law, he is bound to charging us for any unpaid rent until a new tenant takes over. But he seemed to think it wouldn’t be a problem finding someone at all, as usually posting a month in advance has given him some good leads. We are aiming for me to start the new gig March 2nd. Tick tock BOOM!

Snow Day #1 of 2015!

Good morning, snowy DC! It’s our first snow day of the winter (we didn’t have any the second half of 2014), so as is customary on snow days, I shall take a few minutes from “working from home” to update my little place in cyberspace. 😉

I have a really great lead on a new job opportunity that will take us back to an area with a much more desirable cost of living, slower lifestyle, and nice places to live within a very reasonable commute! We’re talking $1050/month in rent for a 2-bedroom/2-bath “luxury apartment” that was only built in 2013. There is even a rent-to-own program for brand new beautiful homes in that same new development. Check this craziness out:

cheaper homes

WTF, right? Not just real houses, BRAND NEW GIGANTIC real houses!

Now compare that to where we are at right now…we’re paying $1500 to rent a one-bedroom, one-bath condo that is definitely not a brand new “luxury apartment”, and I’ve seen 2-bed/2-bath “luxury apartments” in this area go for about $2650. What the WHAT?! Not to mention that I recently drove by a neighborhood with brand new construction homes about 20 minutes from work and this is their starting price for something similar to above:

not cheap

It is ridiculous that a similar product in a different geographic location can cost 2.5x more! Anyway, this is what we are currently striving for. We’ve realized we are not really city/traffic folks (well we already knew that, but it’s reaffirmed on a daily basis) and the only thing holding us here was my job, which isn’t so awesome any more.

That’s the update for now, more developments to come very soon!

HAPPY NEW YEAR (in review)! 2014 = 25% down!

quarter down

Happy new year! WOOHOO, 2015! What’s that picture? It’s a quarter on the floor. It’s ONE QUARTER DOWN! Get it? I have paid down 25.07% of my original amount of student loans since the birth of this blog. When I hit 50%, I can post up a picture of TWO QUARTERS! 😀

So I haven’t done my December 2014 review yet, but in the spirit of the new year, I was already jonesin’ to do a “year in review”. Can I combine them? Is that allowed? Basically, I kept to my modified plan of just paying the minimum on the student loans while stockpiling some extra money if the bonus didn’t come through. (Which it still didn’t. There may be hope to see it in mid-January, but I won’t hold my breath and that way I’ll be pee-in-the-pants excited IF it does actually come through.) So my debt only went down by $329.34 in December, and $227.80 went to interest.

My new grand total, however, is $71,203.19, which is $15,577.70 LESS than what it was at the beginning of 2014 ($86,780.89). YAY! $71k is so much less than almost $87k! More importantly, it’s 25.07% down from the original amount of $95,026.87. YAY! And 25% is much more than the 8.7% from a year ago. YAY!

Now, reviewing my goals from my “2013 in review”, how did I do?

  • blog here 4x/month or 1x/week
    • PASS! 48 total (published) entries for 2014.
  • get under $60,000 in student loan debt by January 1, 2015 (pay off $27k)
    • FAIL! and…ha! Really? I missed it by $11k. 😦
  • set up a wedding fund together with Mr. Bacon and save $5k
    • PASS-ish… Set up the account and only $1200 is in it.
  • get a raise, or get the bosses to pay for some of the student loans
    • PASS! 10% raise in February that was retroactive to the beginning of the year
  • set up triathlon and travel budgets and stick to them!
    • NOPE… It didn’t get too out of control, but I definitely did more racing than I had originally planned.

Major milestones in 2014…

Financial setbacks in 2014:

  • HUGE UGLY TAXES…
  • Moving expenses (security deposit, cancelling gym memberships and the Dish Network…)
  • New car

Financial Amazeballs in 2014:

  • Getting a raise (despite the frustrations of the new position, it’s still more money)
  • Moving to a cheaper place (saving over $300/month in parking!)
  • A gigantic mid-year bonus in September!

So overall, despite only making minimum student loan payments for three of the 12 months, I still managed to pay off an average of almost $1,300 per month ($1,298.14). If you take out those 3 small months, though, my average jumps all the way up to $1,656.24. HOLY CRAP!

Ok then…so now that only leaves us with 2015 FINANCIAL GOALS:

  • Save up $5,000 for the wedding, have a successful wedding for not much more than that!
  • Pay off the remaining $2,100 for the new bike
  • Stay credit card debt-free (still accrue airline miles on the CC, but pay off the balance each month)
  • Keep blogging 4x per month!
  • Save up $15,000 in the house fund! ($1,500/month)
  • Move towards a better work situation (whether it’s stress, finances, and/or location)
  • Get the loans under $65k (still pay the minimum, and then some)

Happy new year everybody! I am enjoying reading everybody’s yearly round-ups, and wishing you all a prosperous 2015. 🙂