February 1 Check In

It’s a new month and time to review how I did with my debt reduction and alternative income building.  As most of you know, I plan on firing away at one debt at a time until I have just my student loans and HELOC left to pay.

Based on the goal that I made for 2011 of saving at least $3000 in an emergency fund, I need to make and save at least $250 in extra money every month.  I made the goal of making that extra money but as you know, stuff happens and that money has been redirected.  Read on to find out how.

January 1, 2011
Credit Card #3 $4,232.44 @0%
HELOC $41,010.99 @3.125%
Student Loan #1 $349.66 @2.47%
Student Loan #2 $9,343.65 @7.2%
Student Loan #3 $28,007.14 @3.0%
Car Note $0
Credit Card #1 $0
Credit Card #2 $0
Personal Loan $0
The Bed $0
Total: $82,943.88

February 1, 2011
Credit Card #3 $4,006.18 @0%
HELOC $40,770 @3.125%
Student Loan #2 $9,334.43 @7.2%
Student Loan #3 $27,938.01 @3.0%
Car Note $0
Credit Card #1 $0
Credit Card #2 $0
Personal Loan $0
Student Loan #1 $0
The Bed $0
Total: $82,048.62

You will notice that I paid off one of the student loans.  Yaaaay!  We can do a happy dance for that one.  But, separating out my student loans also made me realize that the way in which Direct Loan Servicing allocates my payments isn’t in my best interest.  Student loan #2 decreased by less than $10 because the vast majority of my loan payment was directed towards the higher balance, but lower interest loan.  Why is that significant?  Student loan #2 will continue to accrue interest at a high rate and the balance will not budge.  I know that my focus right now is on the credit card (which will be paid off this year) but knowing that my balance is going nowhere with the student loans is killing me.

Okay, let’s see how I did this month with making money on the internet.  Remember, I might have earned it, but I might not have been paid for it yet.

Internet Income in Januaryvalentine card
Google Adsense $33.47
Sponsored Tweets $1.34
Commission Junction  $1.70
Cash Crate $0
eHow   $2.05
Direct Ads: $535
Total:          $573.56

I had some great partnerships this month from advertisers.  Again, I’m incredibly selective about the companies that I choose to partner with.  I could probably add another 25% to the ad revenue reported if I accepted every proposal that came my way, but if you’ve ever read my disclosure, you’ll know that chances are that most advertisers will be rejected.  This extra $535  should have gone to my bills and emergency fund savings but that total is before fees and I might not have been paid by some of these partners yet.  Also, since we are now in January, BF has decided to go back to school to pursue a degree and our eBay revenue is nil.  For now he is using the money that I have earned here to pay his bills in January.  Maybe next month I can use the revenue that I earn towards my credit card and the emergency fund?

Commission Junction is severely underperforming.  I will slowly cycle out all affiliate and partnership based revenue sources since I limit the number of ads that I allow on the site.  Underperforming ads actually cost money if they are not making money! Does that make sense?

Let’s see what we can do in February as I inch towards cracking the $80K mark while dealing with my tenant from hell.  Wish me luck.

Oh, and don’t forget to enter my giveaway to get a free code for premium Federal tax filing through the good folks at H&R Block.

This post was included in the Carnival of Debt Reduction Packers Take It Home Edition.

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14 thoughts on “February 1 Check In

  • Adios, Student Loan #1- hooray!
    I’ve been reading your blog for almost a year now and it is so great to see how you’re doing, even with the setbacks. You give me the courage to tackle my own debt.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Michele! It’s nice to know that someone is following along and that by putting everything out there and coming clean someone else can be encouraged to try.

    • Thank you! It means a lot coming from you. It’s nice to see those zeros begin to pile up. I’m happy to add one more zero to the pile.

  • I remember how great it felt each time one of my student loans was paid off. Even if the amount paid wasn’t huge, it felt like a big accomplishment.

    You are doing a great job by having a solid plan to get rid of this debt. If only everyone was so dedicated!

    Congrats on your success!

  • Great job on the Student Loan! I am so far away from paying those things off that I am living through you lol.

    Is letting the BF use your cash for school a better investment then paying off your debts…..?

    • I’m looking at it this way…If I didn’t give him the money he would just take out more loans to cover his relatively low living costs. Even though student loan interest rates are low now, why even get into debt if you can avoid it. I’m such a softie.

  • That must have been a tough decision, but a relationship is a partnership and I’m sure you made the right choice for you guys.

    I love that you are selective about your advertisers but still pull in a decent chunk!

  • Those student loans are killers! My wife’s loans had an interest rate of 6.5%, which doesn’t sound bad, but it seemed like we were never making progress on the balance. When I really looked into it, in the course of 10 years, would would pay back $9,000 on a $6,250 loan (that’s how they would like us to pay it). When we saw that, we agreed to tackle it with a vengence. 4 months later, we had this debt paid off, and now we’re just working on mine! Almost there!

  • Congratulations on paying off one of your loans,before you know it the rest will be paid off. I need to learn more about Direct ads. It seems like it’s a good source to help towards paying some bills.

  • Step by step, you will get rid of it all! You’re doing great so far. As long as you’re moving in the right direction, that’s all that counts. Really smart pinpointing the student loan payoff matter.

    • Yes, it seems that the government doesn’t have my best interest at heart afterall. I’m really ticked about how they allocate my loan payments. I’ll have to cut a physical check (I don’t even own a check book) and in the memo tell them which loan to direct it to. Now it’ll cost me 45 cents (I think that’s the cost of a stamp) every month just to pay them.

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