PinchingPennies

Saving money to pay off student loans and consumer debt

Cash For Clunkers & Selling Our Used Car

This is the last weekend for the Cash for Clunkers program – where the government pays for trading in older cars in exchange for cash toward a new car with better gas mileage. This is also the weekend where we try to sell both of our cars.

Friends have taunted us, saying that we will never sell our cars this weekend because everyone will be looking for a new one under the Cash for Clunkers program. A woman looked at our Hyundai last night and she told us of an interesting side effect of the program. There aren’t any Toyotas available here. She noticed we have a Corolla as well and asked about it. It is a 1996 so she wasn’t interested but she did mention she looked for a Toyota first and couldn’t find one because of the program.

For those who are curious, she did agree to buy the Hyundai but we are waiting for her to return with the cashier’s check and no deal is done until cash is in hand.

Fingers crossed! Our car loan will be paid in full as soon as we sell it.

August 22, 2009 Posted by | Car Loan, Debt | , | Leave a comment

Save Money or Pay Off Debt?

We have a larger emergency fund then Dave Ramsey recommends and we still have debt. We go back and forth about whether we should have less in savings and pay off more debt or keep our savings.

Dave Ramsey recommends: $1000
We have: $9000

There are a few reasons for having a larger emergency fund.

Pros:
Husband is in grad school and if I lost my job I could hold out before putting kid in daycare fulltime.
Husband finishes in 1 year and we have some foreseen expenses for him to get a job (travel, postage for 100 applications, moving out of state expenses).
When husband gets job, we could pay off all of our debt in 6 months.

Cons:
We could pay off entire car loan.

I think we should keep the savings because our financial outlook will be drastically different in a year. We also need cash for those things that are going to be coming up.

It is just hard to sit on the money and not send it to Capital One.

July 5, 2008 Posted by | Car Loan, Debt Snowball | , | 2 Comments

My Debt Hit List – The Car Loan

Husband’s car loan is on the chopping block to be paid off. I sent in $1000 from our stimulus check and husband added the amount we were sending to American Express ($100) to the minimum payment as part of our debt snowball.

FTR, we are starting with $8090 to be paid on the car loan. When we get our next statement I expect the balance to dip below $7000. Yesterday I was playing around with debt payment calculators and according to them, paying the minimum plus $100 will take us over 2 years to pay off that sucker. lol Yeah, right. Like I will allow it to take that long. I still have $2000 for the car loan from our tax return and as soon as I see that Capital One credited our account properly for the $1000, I will send that in.

June 16, 2008 Posted by | Car Loan, Debt, Debt Snowball | , | Leave a comment

Stimulus Check is Here

Our stimulus check finally arrived. A friend of mine didn’t receive hers, something about a screw up that will be fixed in July. Too bad since she needed to buy a new washing machine unexpectedly. Ours arrived last week and it was for the expected amount too!

I expected to put all of it toward our debt but I think I will take a little bit out for a couple of things. Err, I mean to stimulate the economy. I bought some shelves for the kid’s room because her toys swallowed the floor and I thought she might sleep better if her room wasn’t so chaotic. lol That implies she sleeps in her room which just is not the case. I’m hoping to transition her to her room though and in my mind shelves will help. The other thing I want to buy her is a bike. Used of course. She won’t care though, she is 3.

The rest of the money will go toward our debt. Since I like crossing off lines in my spreadsheet, I am planning off husband’s smallest student loan ($98). I will probably put a couple of hundred toward one of my student loans so that it goes to the next lowest thousand mark. The rest will go to the car loan.

June 9, 2008 Posted by | Car Loan, Debt Snowball, Earn Money, Splurges, Student Loans | , , , | Leave a comment

June Goal Update

Two goals attained! I just called and paid in full one student loan and added $21 to my debt snowball.

In the mail today I got a statement for the car loan. Apparently husband owes $8090.33 to the car that I hate. Oh well. I will attack it soon.

Also in the mail today I got a letter from the government saying my stimulus check is in the mail.
With all the people paying off debt I am not too sure how stimulating this plan is.

June 2, 2008 Posted by | Car Loan, Debt Snowball, Student Loans | , , | 1 Comment

Decisions, decisions

The husband and I talked about how to spend our $5700 tax refund this morning. Here is what we came up with:

$2000 pays off AMEX
$400 pays off all 3 of husband’s student loans
$600 pays off smallest of my 8 student loans
$750 into an ING account to go toward WAMU 0% interest credit card when it starts in with interest
$2000 toward car loan

Then tonight when kid and I drove to the store, I got out of the car and went to get kid out and hear a hissing noise. Yes, my tire went flat again. There is something really wrong with this car. So now I am wondering if I should trade it in on another car and put more of the tax return toward another car. The car is still under warranty but I can’t have a car break down all the time, especially when kid is there.  I would like to be out from under all those debts (5!) but I need a dependable car. We should have stuck to our 12 year old Toyota.

May 7, 2008 Posted by | Car Loan, Debt, Student Loans | , , | 1 Comment

$1000 Goes To American Express

I just sent $1000 off to AMEX to pay down husband’s credit card. Although the new balance looks pretty nice, sending $1000, even electronically, is psychologically difficult. Now I have a little more than $8000 in the savings account which will go down quite a bit once we decide what to do with our car.

Someone offered us $5500 for the car today which is about $3000 less than we owe. Ouch. We might be keeping this car for a while. I’ll list it on Craigslist and see what happens.

March 28, 2008 Posted by | Car Loan, Credit Cards, Debt | , , | Leave a comment