Not Quite Working As Expected

The past few months have been a bust financially for a few reasons:

  1. I decided to sign up for my next grad school class.  I am regretting the class not only financially but also for the time commitment.  I should have waited until later in the year when I had more debt paid down and more free time.  Now I am stressed out. My company will reimburse 80% of the course as long as I get a B. I will easily get the B, I just have added pressure on me to put as much time as I can into the course to get my return on investment. Even the 20% that I pay on the course is hefty!  I have decided to postpone the second course I planned to take this year until late Fall.  (Cost $1000+)
  2. We put our dog through obedience training.  Our lovable, big dog was getting hard for me to control and had started to nip at me.  We were recommended an obedience school by a coworker and we decided to put him through training last month. His behavior has improved 100%. We are able to take him through all of the basic commands.  Occasionally, he reverts back to his old ways but then we correct him.  Overall, I think it was money very well spent.  If we had the time to train him that would be the preferred approach but due to our travel in the past month and my course, it was easier although expensive to work with a professional. (Cost $1000+)
  3. I can’t stop traveling.  I mentioned in a previous post that my New Years Resolution the past few years has been to not travel.  Well, it turns out that is impossible for me.  We had two weddings in the past month that required flights, hotel, and food costs.  The second wedding involved the added costs of shoes, hair, and accessories which were purchases I had sworn to avoid.  The crazy thing is that I use points and miles for almost all of our flights yet associated travel costs take up such a significant portion of our budget. Beyond the weddings, we also booked a trip to South America in the Fall to attend a conference on wealth and happiness.  It’s totally up our alley and we planned on hitting our debt payoff goals and using this trip as a celebration.  If we don’t hit our goals, I’ll be embarrassed to be around the other participants who I perceive to be so much further along than we are now.  It’s motivation! (Cost $1000+)

 

My Debt Snapshot:

Type Balance Rate
Student Loan $1,177 4.25%
Auto $24,638 1.90%
Store Card $2,974 0.00%
Total $28,789.00

 

The above totals do not include my grad school tuition, the trip to South America, and the associated wedding expenses which I still have on my credit cards.  It stinks because we will have to work on eliminating that new debt before we hit any of the debt we had outlined in our goals for the year. I can’t complain though because we did this to ourselves. I stand behind our spending decisions, it’s just unfortunate that we put ourselves in a situation that will jeopardize our long term goals.

My plan is to payoff the credit card debt first, then attack the auto loan, then payoff the store card, then lastly payoff the student loan.  It seems weird to keep the student loan since its the smallest amount and the highest interest rate but I read somewhere that it can help your credit score to keep debt like that open.  The interest comes out to $4 a month. I’ll continue to research but for now, my plan is to attack my debt in that order.

I have not included Mr. Debt Albatross’s debt because he has not made much progress beyond the minimum payments in recent months.  We restructured our expenses (I am now paying more in utilities, food, and mortgage costs) to help him have extra money to pay towards his debt.  He is not spending very much money at all yet he doesn’t have any extra money to put towards his loans.  We’ll have to re-evaluate our spending and optimize our approach for the coming months.

Side Hustle Update

  1.  We Need More paying clients.  Mr Debt Albatross lost one of his paying personal fitness clients due to injury. We need to step up our marketing so he can get more clients. It seems easier for him right now to write programs for pay versus actual one-on-one coaching. We need to evaluate our options.
  2. We have roommates for now.  We secured two roommates in the past few weeks.  One was for two weeks, one was supposed to be for the entire summer.  The second roommate was offered a family friend’s home to stay for free for the summer which screws that plan up.  We do bring in a bit of income and its been entertaining to have people to talk with in the past week.  Truthfully, I’m relieved. We have a bunch of family and friends visiting this summer and it’s tough to share a house for a long time. We already were notified by our HOA because one of the roommates parked his car literally in the street versus pulling to the side of the road.
  3. We want a rental property.  Still looking for that ideal rental property.  Not finding the $20,000 gems that Paula Pant from Afford Anything seems to find in Atlanta.  We’re interested in a second vacation home rental property but can also see how that could be a bad idea. We’re also interested in multi-family properties as well.  Although we love our current home, I feel like we locked up too much equity in this house.  We should have went for a less expensive property and secured additional loans for rental properties.
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Bitchy Texts and the Start of a Side Hustle

There is a point in your twenties where your social calendar starts to revolve around weddings – and its great.  I love going to weddings! I love spending time with friends and family celebrating a couple that we all love.  The only downside to this joyous occasion is the expense for the bride and groom and their guests. The wedding reality TV craze does not help the situation.  I personally love a good episode of Say Yes to the Dress or David Tutera’s My Fair Wedding but these shows increase the expectations around weddings and all of the events leading up to the big day.  Between the bridal shower, the bachelor and bachelorette parties, and the wedding – it gets expensive.  Forget it if you are in the actual wedding party.

This leads me to my latest dilemma, one of my best friends from college is getting married in May.  Her bridal party is throwing her a bachelorette party in my state. I am not a bridesmaid but I was invited to the party and will absolutely attend.  I just want to stay in my own house to cut costs. I offered the party planners the use of my house and car and they took me up on the car.

The bridal party ultimately booked a fancy Airbnb apartment near downtown with modern furniture, hot tub, and great views.  It’s a fair price for a large group of girls and looks like an amazing apartment.  I just can’t meet our goal of eliminating 97k of debt this year if I don’t stick to budget.  At the same time, I feel guilty skipping out on the apartment since I was very close to a few of the girls in college.

I had hoped my friends would be supportive of my decision, especially since I communicated it to them prior to booking, but not everyone has read Mr. Money Mustache and “gets it.”  Cue the bitchy texts:

 

bachelorette party text

bachelorette party drama

bachelorette party drama

I love my friends and I understand WHY they are reacting this way – it just sucks.  Achieving this goal is super important to me and I’m not going to let less-than-supportive friends stop me.

Also, if you get the irony of that last text you’ll like the following articles on two of my favorite blogs.

Your Debt is an Emergency

Teaching a Debt Perspective to Twelve Year Olds

 

Side Hustle Update:

Moving on, I decided to put our house up for rent on Airbnb and VRBO.  Mr Debt Albatross and I will be renting out our house for a few key events at the university near our house.  We priced the rental on the high end to make it worth the inconvenience of having to find another place to stay during that time.  I’m a bit creeped out by having other people live in my house and sleep in my bed – but there is a price that would make the heebie jeebies worth it for me.

We already got one inquiry! It’s a woman that wants to rent the house for a full month this summer.  I gave her a quote and will wait to see the response. Truthfully, a one month rental goes against our original game plan. We were planning to keep the rental under 14 days so we wouldn’t have to pay taxes on the rental income and so we could face as little disruption to our normal lives as possible.  If we go through with this rental, we’d have to find some other place to live for that month.  It’s doable if we spend some of that time visiting our families or need to go on a work trip.

In addition to the rental income, Mr Debt Albatross has launched his own weightlifting club which we hope will bring in some extra cash.  He already has one paying client!  We both work long hours and really value our free time so we used the “what price would make it worth it” method to price this business too.

We’ll see how these two side hustles pan out!