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February Look Back / March Look Ahead

March 5th, 2014 at 07:15 pm

I'm going to try to do monthly reviews/projections to see if it helps me stay on track (I'm good about the debt paydown, but tend to let the savings side of things slide.)

February
I though I'd end up having paid off about $2300 in debt principal, but I forgot about some Bill Me Later purchases I made. They're 0% interest for six months, at which time I'll pay them off, but they're still technically debt. So I only ended up paying off $1990 in debt principal. Then, based on comments on one of my other posts, I set up my Excel spreadsheet to calculate the interest I've paid each month. Not including mortgage interest, this month's total is about $871. Ouch!

That said, I did pay $74 extra on the highest-interest card (that was a little low, actually, but I had a 0% BML amount due so that payment was higher than usual).

March
I've decided to attempt the 52-Week Mega Savings Challenge. I'm quite a bit behind, though, and there are some big amounts to catch up! I'm going to give it my best shot, and if I miss I should still hit the "double" challenge (which is probably called something else). I'm only going to fund this with snowflakes, which does not include hubby's (we'll call him S, just to save typing!) commissions, or checking account sweeps. Those will go toward upcoming planned expenses like summer property taxes, new a/c at the rental, etc. It will include money I make from my side gigs.

I'm also debating joining the DietBet 6-month "Transformer" challenge. It's $125 (if I pay up front, $150 if I pay month-to-month -- hm, can I count that $25 as a snowflake?) and if you meet the goals (monthly and overall, which ends up at 10% weight lost) you are guaranteed to at least get your money back. (They of course take a fee from the winning, but have pledged that they will reduce or eliminate their cut to be sure everyone that meets the goals gets their money back, which I really liked.) This may be a 'doing it wrong' thing again, since there's no guaranteed return on the investment (they say on average people get 1.5-2x their money back), and I could theoretically invest the money somewhere and make a small return (around $3 at 5%?) -- but I would consider it an investment in my health, since I really do need to lose (far more than) 10% of my weight. If anyone has done a DietBet before, I'd love to know what you thought of it.

Snowflakes
I finally finished up and set out an invoice that should have gone two months ago. That will really jump-start my 52-week challenge, since it's for $625.

I "found" money in a couple of savings accounts I'd set up at ING (now Capital One 360) -- I'd forgotten about them until I was working on our taxes, and they came up under the Interest schedule. So I logged in to see that there really wasn't that much interest to report Wink but the two accounts had $67.31 and $54.06 in them. Coincidentally, that same day we got letters from Capital One stating that the accounts were at risk of being transferred to the state as abandoned property. So that's the $120 square checked off. Smile I think I'll use one of those accounts as my 52-Week savings account, too -- that gets it out of my easy reach and will keep those accounts from going dormant again. (I should probably combine them, really; I have one in my name and one joint, but there's no real reason to have two.) (I'm going to call them ING accounts, because Capital One 360 is too much to type!)

I also need to track down the EOBs from some physical therapy I had last year. I paid the $20/visit co-pay, but if I'm reading things right it looks like my insurance company paid for the full cost of the visit (we have Health Reimbursement Account, and it looks like the co-pays were paid from that account). So I need to verify that, and then call the PT place and ask for my $200 back.

52-Week Mega Savings Challenge
Starting late, on week 10!

Beginning Balance: $0
ING Joint Account: $67.31
ING Solo Account: $54.06
Ending Balance: $120
Reserve: $1.37 (In case I need it to round out a future week!)

3 Responses to “February Look Back / March Look Ahead”

  1. snafu Says:

    Good on you for taking action to clear debt and work on savings like the 52 week challenge. I won

  2. snafu Says:

    sorry, my 'puter is dropping words...trying to suggest checking your state's abandoned accounts for forgotten funds that may have transferred in the past.

  3. doingitallwrong Says:

    Great idea. Haven't found anything yet Frown but it's certainly worth checking -- I checked my grandparents and great-grandma, too, just in case!

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