Friday, January 27, 2012

Blog disclaimer

This is MY blog. I'm not a professional writer. This is a place for me to share what is going on with me financially.

I am not a financial adviser. Please do not take anything here as professional financial advice.

My blog is my financial journal. Nothing fancy.Just me and my money or lack thereof.

Finance goals Jan 1st to March 31st, 2011

3 goals

Complete and file federal and state tax returns.

Build my savings back up to $5,000. Last year I sacrificed saving to pay off Sallie Mae. Now it's time to get back to the 'pay yourself first' routine. 

My savings account is currently at $1,100. That is enough for any 'oops' moment that might come up.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Filing taxes

It's that time of time. I'll be filing my taxes as soon as all the necessary documents have been received. This year I should be getting a decent enough refund. If I do, I'll be adjusting my federal withholding. My state refund is always negligible. This year turbo tax will be my software of choice once again.
Today I reviewed my Sallie Mae interest statement. In 2011 I paid $30 less in interest compared to 2010. The accelerated payments in 2011 saved me money, and paid off my loan in full.

When paying extra on your student loans remember you'll be saving interest in the long run,and paying off your loan sooner.

Monday, January 02, 2012

New Goals

Now that Sallie Mae is no longer an issue (still waiting on my pay off letter so I can frame it) I have new goals.

My focus will now be on paying off the rest of my credit card and my federal student loan (Sallie Mae was a private loan).

I've done the calculations and it's entirely possible to pay both off before 12/31/2012.

Sallie Mae Pay off Tips I used

Tips in paying off Sallie Mae sooner:

1. Key is to make multiple payments each month. EDIT!! Please make sure the minimum due gets there before the due date. No use in making multiple payments if they don't get there on time.

2. If paying by check or money order please write specific instructions with your payment. "apply to principal only" or "principal only payment" etc. Anything that would let them know the extra payment is to be used to pay down your balance immediately, and not applied to a future payment. See #3

3. Keep an eye on your due date. Sallie Mae will sometimes move your due date months into the future when you start making extra payments. Please call and have this corrected. At the same time continue to send in extra payments. Check your payment history to make sure the principal vs interest breakdown is correct.

4. Please remember a due date months into the future isn't your friend. Make a payment each and every month or bi-weekly until your balance is 0.

5. I used to send my multiple payments a day apart. A $200 payment would be sent $100 today, and $100 the next day. Why? Just a preference. Both payments usually got applied same day, with the second payment going entirely to principal.

These are the things I did. They worked for me. Applying laser focus to Sallie Mae was key in getting rid of her. I sacrificed savings in 2011 in order to achieve this pay off goal.

Was it worth it? Hell Yes!!!

My Sallie Mae student loan..........

The total amount owed is $0.00

I'm proud to say I finally got that monkey off my  back.

How did I do it?

I started out by paying bi-weekly instead of monthly.

Any extra cash I had went towards my payments.