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Wednesday, August 15, 2018
September 1 Check In

It’s September and you know what that means; back to school for the kids, back to my debt reduction course for you, and another time to chronicle the debt for me.  I like to remind everyone that the entire reason why this blog exists is to chronicle my journey out of debt while sharing everything that I learn along the way.

To that end, I am very transparent with my finances.  I post everything here on this site for you to see and have been doing so since my very first post almost four years ago.  Some of you call it brave.  Others think me stupid.  Whatever your opinion, I’m happy that so many of you come back month after month to watch my journey.

It’s not always easy, you know.  I’m human and thus fallible, so yes, I make tons of mistakes along the way.  I’ve resolved to never be ashamed of my mistakes or foibles, but instead to see them as springboards for a “teachable moment”.  Okay, remember that long ass excuse when you see the numbers this month.

The Debt

september 2012 debtseptember 2012 debt chart
Whoa Nelly!  Yes, that debt is like the Energizer Bunny – it keeps going, and going and going and going.  But if you recall, I bought a new car last month after my car wreck the previous month.  That car purchase has my graph looking like the Swiss Alps.  But wait, there’s more to come!

Remember that 401K loan that I took out to buy my latest investment property?  The plan was to replace that 401K loan with a loan from a line of credit or mortgage that I would take out on the property.  Well, surprise!  I’ve been approved and already deposited my check for the loan proceeds.  The thing, I owe more on the 401K loan than the mortgage that I took out on the house.  Big whoops.

So far, I’ve deposited that check into my ING checking account where I’m earning a 0.80% interest rate for the time being.  Once my 401K loan balance finally falls down to the amount that’s now sitting in my checking account, I’ll transfer the money over and just pay the loan off in full, leaving me with just the 10-year mortgage on the rental property.  Why didn’t I just take out a larger mortgage, you ask? Good question!  Well, the amount that I asked for was 80% of what I believed that my property was worth ($45K).  Instead, the bank’s appraisal came back at $63K, and I was too wrapped up in the aftermath of that whole car crash fiasco to go back to the bank to ask for more money.  Either way, the goal of backing into a mortgage and getting rid of the 401K is near.  Now, I’ll have a loan where I can deduct interest payment from my taxes and I won’t be tied to a loan that would go sour if I lost my job – or in my case, when I quit.

Has anyone else noticed that two of my credit card balances just keep going up?  Well, a few thousand dollars is owed to me by my job for travel and a few thousand came from the house renovation.  I haven’t been reimbursed for expenses from my job in a month, but I should get a check soon to take care of at least one credit card bill entirely.  I’m still not a happy camper about having to carry their debt on my credit card.  They make a millions of dollars in profit every year.  They can certainly afford to pay their bills.

I’m not happy about my debt nearly doubling in less than a year when I’ve actually been working on reducing my debt.  Buying a house is one thing, but buying a car, especially when you didn’t plan to, is another.  I’m somewhat frustrated with myself and this situation, but, I know that it could all be far, far worse.  If I did not have an emergency fund, many small financial emergencies would have driven my debt up.  Instead, my balance reflects the two major purchases that most Americans will ever make in their lifetime.  Mine just happened to occur within a six month period.  With my debt at an all time high it’s time to get focused.  I’m going to go at this debt like Serena Williams at a tennis ball.

Okay, let’s move on to how I did with making some money on the internet.  Again, I always want to show what’s possible, but results will vary from month-to-month.  Also, I might have earned it, but chances are that I haven’t been paid for it yet.

Online Income

Google Adsense YIAC: $128.63
Google Adsense MTFH: $2.12
Google Adsense Super Secret Site: $83.56
Google Adsense Shirataki Noodle Facts: $0.01
Google Adsense other: $0
Lijit Networks: $10.00
Ad network #1: $120.00
Ad network #2: $42.00
Private ads: $301.25
Webmaster Work: $339.55
Sponsored Tweets: $3.30
Total: $1,030.42

It was another stellar month of earning, but I could have done oh so much better.  Since I traveled for my job the majority of August, I had virtually no time to handle work that I picked up as a webmaster. It’s fine because my impatient client will be getting his e-commerce site finalized in September and my earnings should reflect that.  It will be great because I can direct that money towards one of my bills.

On another note, while I still plan on quitting my job, I’m going to shift my timetable a little bit.  I absolutely have to pay off the car note before I can leave, because that debt killed my plans to buy another investment property.  It would have set me up with decent replacement income for when I quit my job.  I can’t buy another house with this much consumer debt since it would strangle my cash flow.  It’s cutting thing close as it is, since I’m still working on building an emergency fund while doing all of this. This seems like a daunting, almost impossible task, but I am determined to get rid of this debt by the time I turn 40 so that I can live the other half of my life debt-free.

Won’t you join me?

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This messy little blog was all my doing. I started this blog four years ago as a way of keeping myself accountable to my own debt reduction plans. Now I'm using this blog to help others get out of debt as well. Consider subscribing to get more delicious posts like this at least twice per week.

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Financial Samurai September 10, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I hear the Swiss Alps are a beautiful place Sandy! What you can potentially do is increase the scale on the Y access so the chart doesn’t look as steep.

Good job on the earnings! My August was down a lot b/c I was gone for a couple weeks as well.

Good catching up in Denver!

    Sandy September 10, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    I like the scariness of those steep peaks. Makes me more motivated. It was gret meeting you in person. Next time we have to chat more.

The College Investor September 11, 2012 at 1:03 am

Nice job on the month Sandy! Have you noticed sponsored tweets declining a ton? I rarely get offers anymore? Does it have to do with Twitter advertising?

Amanda L Grossman September 11, 2012 at 6:33 am

I can understand your frustration. It’s great that you are motivated though–that is what will pull you through. Let’s hope September is even more lucrative!

Nice seeing you at Fincon!

Evan September 11, 2012 at 10:26 am

While it does seem high – I think it is unfair to yourself not to put your assets out there too. I mean yes they went up but you do have a corresponding asset on the other side that eats some of the debt up.

Aloysa @ My Broken Coin September 11, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Wow, it does look really steep. I probably would be laying in bed with a heart attack. Things like this scare me to death. I am amazed how strong and not quite stressed you sound. You are a girl with a plan. I know you can do it all.

Little House September 12, 2012 at 8:53 am

I agree with Evan, put your assets out there too so we can see the larger picture. I don’t think it’s that scary once you factor in your properties. I’m sure you’ll get this under control!

Christa September 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Buying any new property or car — let alone both! — can do that to a line graph. The assets will definitely balance it out, as everyone mentioned. Good luck on quitting that job soon!

Dominique Brown September 13, 2012 at 4:03 am

Though your debts may seem high, it looks like you got your financial goals planned out. Just stick to your plan and you’ll pay off that debt in no time. The key is sticking to your plan. The car purchase definitely derailed you a bit. Great job on income!

30kto30million September 13, 2012 at 6:51 pm

I like how you list the debt’s only on your charts and graph’s doesn’t sugarcoat anything.. Thumbs up and kick some debt butt!!

Manette @ Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance September 14, 2012 at 5:45 am

Don’t lose hope. The “Swiss Alps” will eventually flat out. Be positive. You are on the right track.

Cil Burke September 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Hey Sandi, it was great seeing you again at Fincon12. Have to admit, those are some serious Alps-but I know you love a challenge! Keep up the great work.

    Sandy September 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    I had such a great time speak with you and the good doctor! If ever I’m in your neck of the woods…

retirebyforty September 17, 2012 at 9:36 am

Wow, that car note really pushed the debt up.
I’d like to see your assets too. 🙂

Matt John Canty September 19, 2012 at 4:21 am

cool update! Thats crazy your debt it really does look like the Swiss alps lol. Good luck quitting the job I have been there and its the scariest/best feeling ever 🙂

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