The Home Stretch

Not only am I refreshed, back from a week vacation on the other side of the states where there was no snow and lots of sun (pictures and recap coming soon!), but I am also especially chipper today because I am…….. wait for it……… less than $5,000 away from paying off my student loans.  Can you say, “Happy Tuesday?!”

28 Month Progress

  • Starting Debt: $41,868.53 (Nov  ’12)
  • Debt Today: $4,976.94
  • Total Debt Paid Off: $36,891.59

Yeah, that looks more like it.  Last month was a total flop because my snail mail payments took forever to process, so it all rolled over into this month – and a good month it was!!!

February Review

  • Starting Balance: $10,347.06
  • End Balance:  $4,976.94
  • Payments Made: $5,390.35
  • Interest Paid: $18.71
  • Principle Paid: $5,371.64

I chopped my debt in half this past month by paying off two loans and taking a chunk out of the next one on my list, which catches me up to my plan set out months ago to get these paid off in May.  How’d I get all the $ this past month?  Well, like I said, those two payments to pay off loans were caught up in the mail, then my usual $1800 a month, plus a few hundred more because we had overtime offered at work and I snagged it up, working late (8pm-12am) after Avery was in bed a couple nights a week for two weeks.  Sooo paid off!

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However, we have a little change in plans (It’s a good one, so no worries!).  Correction, a BIG CHANGE: My bonus from work (yearly bonus based on company/personal performance) from last year is coming this month and is almost double what I anticipated (because we did awesome this past year), so I updated my plan to a weekly schedule:

Loan Pay Off Plan

  • January February: Pay Off Loan C 
  • February: Pay Off Loan B
  • March: Pay Off Loan A ($2403)
    • -$500 3/3 (from usual paycheck)
    • -$500 3/11 (from usual paycheck)
    • -$1403 3/18 (from work bonus)
    • PAID OFF BY 3/20
  • April March: Pay Off Loan 1-04 ($1470)
    • -$1470 3/18 (from work bonus)
    • PAID OFF BY 3/20
  • May March: Pay off Loan 1-03 ($1103)
    • -$900 3/18 (from work bonus)
    • -$203 3/25 (from usual paycheck)
    • PAID OFF BY 3/27

Yep, if all goes as planned (since I’m making the payments online and no snail mail anymore to slow it down), I’ll have paid off my student loans completely by the end of this month.  Months earlier than anticipated from my target date of my 30th birthday, set out over 2 years ago.  So as pretty as this chart has been looking… that blue line will hit the bottom in a matter of weeks!

CaptureRed = goal, Blue = loans remaining to be paid

So, since I’m soooo close to being DONE, I’ll be documenting my last couple weeks very closely, so expect a long report in a month… and if it wasn’t so cold out, I’d have a bon fire to burn all my student loan papers.  Either way, I’m sure there will be lots of celebrating going on… JUST ONE MONTH TO GO!!!

Then it’s on to my next adventure… saving $ for our very own House!!!  Since I’m smashing this goal, maybe I’ll set my new goal to be in our new house by my 30th birthday??? ;)  I can dream….

<3 Meghan

Check out my About Meghan page for more posts on finances and paying off my student loans.

This post brought to you by jet lag from a fantastic vacation – I couldn’t fall asleep last night, so I wrote this up… more pics to come soon!

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Can You Feel the Love

Can you feel the love (tonight)?  Avery’s been watching Lion King way too much if I’m quoting songs from it for blog posts!  Can’t lie, I have fun singing along to all the movie’s songs, cuz knowing all the words after not seeing it for 20 years is pretty awesome.  Hakuna matata!

We sure felt the love this weekend for Valentines Day.  As with any holiday, we prepped goodies during the week beforehand.  Avery played with scissors, glue, glitter, stamps and markers to make homemade valentine cards for Aunt Sarah, Grampy, and Great Grandma and Grandpa.  For Mimi, Avery painted noodles and made her a necklace!
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Avery’s school had a Valentines party on Friday, so I scoured Pinterest for ideas.  I really wanted a Valentine that didn’t have candy (because I knew there would be lots of candy, which kids love, but I’m sure they won’t need more of after a candy filled party!) so I found one with cars – perfect for my car loving kiddo. The example online had a cheap little dollar store car, so I splurged and got real hot wheel cars that the kiddos would actually keep and use for a long time.  I used the paint program on my computer and printed the simple cards.IMG_5200

Some cutting and taping, and a few minutes later, I had this!IMG_5201

And a lot of more minutes later I had all these!IMG_5202

Avery was soooo excited when he saw them.  And when we brought them to school, I put them in a bag and he demanded to carry it and stopped and showed everyone his valentines as we walked to his classroom.  As kids came in, he kept asking if they wanted to see his Valentines.  It was adorable.  I had to put them away for the party later otherwise he would have handed them out right then and there!

That night, Avery came home with a goodie bag of all the Valentines from school.  He dumped it out on the floor and spread them out to show us.IMG_5242

He also took Mimi’s out from school and checked those out too.  He was most excited about the lolli pops – still one of his favorite candies.

Saturday morning, we opened Valentines gifts.  Avery got a box of chocolates and a fun card from MiMi and Grampy with a Lightning McQueen bracelet.IMG_5247

Grampy also got him a bunch more finger lights (Avery got a set of these for Xmass and loved them!) so we had fun turning off the lights and playing with these yesterday!IMG_5259

And then Avery opened his gift from me while Grampy opened his gift from Mimi…

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We had a theme….

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And of coarse the shot is blurry!  Grampy got blades for his razor, and Avery got a shaving kit!

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Avery got a car like his friends at school, candy for his Pez, and some jelly beans of coarse :)  Mimi got a massager from Grampy and we tested it out!

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Avery got me a card that said ‘I love you’ and two new books for story time at night.  Then we were off for a fun filled morning at ECHO!  It’s been freeezzing here, so since we haven’t been able to go outside, we had some fun at the aquarium inside.

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We saw turtles, fish, star fish and frogs!

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Avery had fun in the games exhibit too.IMG_5266

That night we had a yummy family dinner together and before bath, Avery and Grampy shaved together…IMG_5268IMG_5270IMG_5271IMG_5272

I made a batch of heart cookies for Steve and he brought me the most beautiful bouquet!

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Happy Valentines!

<3 Meghan

May or Bust!

Okay, January was a total let down.  I underestimated the powers of VSAC and made absolutely NO progress last month in the race to pay off these student loans. Dissapointed?  Yeah, me too.  I’ll explain.  First, the lame numbers…

27 Month Progress

  • Starting Debt: $41,868.53 (Nov  ’12)
  • Debt Today: $10,347.06
  • Total Debt Paid Off: $31,521.47

If you look back to last month’s numbers, you’ll see I barely made a dent.

January Review

  • Starting Balance: $10,408.41
  • End Balance:  $10,347.06
  • Payments Made: $90.35
  • Interest Paid: $29.15
  • Principle Paid: $61.20

I know… seriously sad, sad, sad numbers.  And it looks even worse when put on the graph…

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Red = goal, Blue = loans remaining to be paid

Of the past 2-1/2 years, this is my worst month to date.  Not good timing, seeing as I’m only 5 months away from my goal date!  So why did I fall off the wagon?  Well, this month, the goal was to pay off the next loan on my list, a mere $1800 one too.  Well, this is the first of the VSAC loans I’ve paid off, and it isn’t setup the same as Sallie Mae (now Navient) online.  When I paid off other loans with Sallie Mae (all those pretty crossed off ones), I could pay them online (I make all my payments for everything online) thru their website and it asks you which loan you’d like the extra payment to go towards.  Easy peasy.

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VSAC on the other hand, just allows you to pick an amount to pay, and they dispurse it among the loans.  So, I wrote up a letter and a check, explaining which loan I’d like the $ to go towards. Being conscious about what $ I had in the bank, I didn’t send the check until later in the month, guaranteeing the $ would be in there within a day or two, when the letter would probably arrive at VSAC.  And I only made the minimum payments on loans in January, thinking I was using all my money to pay off this loan.  Hence, the itty bitty numbers this month, boo! Three weeks later (today), the payment finally cleared on their website.

In the meantime, I filed my taxes.  I was hoping for at least $3k, and getting the refund by March, and that’s how I planned to pay off the big $4k loan I have coming up on the list.  Luckily for me, my federal refund came quickly(the biggest of the three – yes, three.  Since I worked in Mass & VT this year, I had to file with both states… we won’t get into that mess tho!).  So, even before that first check cleared, I sent another $2k check to pay off the ‘February loan.’ So, technically, I’m not behind at all.  Just held up a little bit.  Oh and since I sent that check a week ago, it sure as heck better clear before March!

Loan Pay Off Plan

  • January February: Pay Off Loan C (payment cleared today!)
  • February: Pay Off Loan B (payment sent last week)
  • March: Pay Off Loan A (Work Bonus & State Tax returns & usual $1800/mo)
  • April: Pay Off Loan 1-04 (usual $1800/mo)
  • May: Pay off Loan 1-03 (usual $1800/mo)

So, although January was a dud, it’s only mid February and I’ve already sent out the check for paying off the loans for this month, which catches me up to my goal of paying off one loan a month til May.  Now, I just save up until I have the whopping $4k for March’s big loan pay off. I can usually save up to $1800 a month, plus I have my work bonus and state tax returns coming to me, so shouldn’t be a problem at all!

I’m way to optimistic for such a lame report.. :-P I bet if I keep $ tight, I might get those two last pesky ones paid off before the end of May!  I am soooo ready for these loans to be gone, so I can start hoarding money away for a down payment… house, here we come!!  Hopefully in 7-8 months, I’ll be blogging from my very own office!!!  It’s sooo close now that i’m getting antsy to pay these off so you can imagine how frustrating this past month was for me, urgh!

I’ll be back in 2-3 weeks with a MUCH better update, and hopefully better reviews of VSAC’s payment processing… geesh!

<3 Meghan

Check out my About Meghan page for more posts on finances and paying off my student loans.

P.S. This blog post, on a Sunday, was brought to you by stickers, scissors, and markers – Avery kept quite occupied while I typed this up.  Oh and we had to resort to the iPad for the last portion because Avery tried working on Mommy’s computer while she went potty, so he had to use his computer for a little while too.  Now we’re off to go shoot Nerf guns at SOLO cups… woohoo!

Snow and Skates

Everyone enjoying the calm after the storm?  We got a whopping 10 inches yesterday, on top of the 4-5 we already had from the storm last week.  Oh and to top it off, it’s -18 today.  Burr!!

We’ve had serious cabin fever lately, so every chance we get, we get out of the house and do fun wintry stuff like playing in the snow yesterday…
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Avery and Mimi went out after lunch, and I went out with Avery after I finished work.Capture1

We shoveled a path around the house (for the dogs) to the sledding hill in the back.IMG_5158

Avery had gotten a white wash earlier when he went sledding with Mimi, so this time, we tried sledding backwards so he didn’t get any snow in the face!

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Avery shoveled the front porch, twice.IMG_5146

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Can you spot the yeti snowman in the background of all these pics?  We built him probably a month ago and he’s still standing strong, just looks a little oversnowed…IMG_5154

After Avery’s fun filled day with Mimi and two trips outside in the snow, he was one tired kiddo.  We had tacos for dinner, at 5pm, Avery’s favorite, and he was so quiet, took a few bites, and laid down on the bench and closed his eyes.  He was wiped out!
…and in other wintry adventures… we went Ice Skating!

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Our town puts up an ice skating rink in the town common every year (which means its free!), and I got some used skates for Avery a while ago, and being a frugal single mom, I got him a secondhand pair (for $6 – he’s gonna outgrow them in a year or two anyways)… but I got some crap for getting him white skates (they only had a black pair, and they were a size too big)…

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It’s been a super cold winter, so we kept waiting for a warm day to go, and it never came, so we went on a warmish, but windy day weeks ago.  Steve and I took Avery – we held his hands and did two loops around the rink and then he was sooo done with it.  It was way too cold.

So last weekend, it was finally warm out, so Grampy and I took Avery for round two.

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We started with milk crates.  The ice was pretty cut up, so it wasn’t too smooth to push the crates, but with a little help, we did a couple laps around.

Then Avery tried walking around – he didn’t want to hold our hands and just went off on his own.

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He was so confident and proud of himself and full of smiles…. oh and a such a trooper.  He fell a bunch, but got up every time!

And it wasn’t long before Avery saw the hockey players and asked for his hockey stick (He got hockey sticks from Michael Eyes and Aiden for his Birthday and we have been to two of his cousins hockey games this winter).  I didn’t bring it – it didn’t cross my mind he’d be needing it this soon!  So we used some broom ball sticks…

Next time, we’re bringing his hockey stick!

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We were at the rink for over an hour, and Avery did NOT want to leave, but he was tired and so ready to go, so we played with the crates a lil bit.IMG_5033IMG_5035

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And our adventure ended with a full on tantrum with me carrying Avery to the car because he did NOT want to leave!  We’ll be back out on the ice soon!

Now all we need is some wet snow, sticky snow, so we can build Great Grandma a snow man!

<3 Meghan

 

Holidaze

Brace yourself, this is a long one!  I know I’m super overdue for a post, so here goes the holiday recap…

To start, Avery had some fun school festivities in December. First, he had a Polar Express Day! Everyone dressed up in PJs, brought stuffed friends/toys, watched the movie, and had popcorn!
When we got to school that day, the door was decorated

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And there were train tracks in the hallway….IMG_4579

Avery chose his fire truck PJs, and Simon and his blue blanket to bring with him.IMG_4581

When he came home, he was raving about everyones different PJs, and how he loved the popcorn (one of his favorite snacks!)

Next up, was the holiday party at school.  The kids were so cute, with reindeer hats they made using their handprints.

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They had red pom poms on popsicle sticks for noses too, so cute!!

The preschool & afterschooler’s sang a song:

Avery is on the left, in the green and white striped shirt… you know, the one whose nose won’t stay still… haha.

And the kiddos exchanged gifts (books)
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Avery gave a friend a ‘Frozen’ book, and she gave him a construction pop up book.

And to top it off, the kiddos had some special holiday cake (Well, Avery had frosting, haha)

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Our next holiday celebration was Valyou Family Christmas.  And somehow I fell into the role of planning and prepping for it (not complaining, I just think it’s funny – and so happy with how it turned out!).  So, our big family came together

Thanks to my cousin Danielle, Uncle John, and Brittany, homemade decorations covered the room, making it look so festive!

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This year we had it at the Eagles Club (Thanks Grandma), so with Grampy watching Avery, Mom, Sarah and I got to decorate.

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Mom made some homemade centerpieces too – mason jars filled with candy, wine bottle corks, popouri, and an electric candle.
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I even setup a DIY photobooth that was a hit, especially with the little ones.

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I used leftover streamers, and gathered props from around the house.  We bought 3 mustaches, and mom made a couple beards, but otherwise, it didn’t cost anything to make… and the pictures came out pretty funny…
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Oh and following last years tradition, we wore ugly sweaters, and Avery and Grampy wore shirts from their favorite Christmas Movie, Elf.
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Grampy’s shirt says ‘Son of a Nutcracker’, a quote from the movie.  Avery’s says ‘Grandson of a Nutcracker.’

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Our family members arrived and the yankee swap table quickly filled up…

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We played a 28 person yankee swap, with a twist!  Everyone had a number on their card, and inside was instructions to either keep their gift, swap with anyone, or something silly like swap with the tallest person, the person with the biggest feet, or whoever looked most like Santa.

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Uncle Mike brought his new puppy, Willow.

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And thanks, to my cousin, Amy, we got lots of family pictures- Our little family.Capture

Gram, Gramp, and Dad’s siblings (the parents & their EIGHT kids):

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The ELEVEN grandkids (only 1 of us is missing, Miss you Eric!):Capture4

The NINE great grandkids (2 missing, Benj & Ellery):

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And the whole fam (missing Eric, Lindsay, Benj, & Ellery)

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Next up… Christmas Eve.  We played games, had snackies, and Avery enjoyed his first shirley temple!

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(Toddler Tip: Make a shirley temple with apple juice instead of ginger ale)

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We played Avery’s favorite board game… candy land!

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Aunt Sarah was home from Grad School – Avery was very excited to see her.

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Avery and Grampy got a little gift to wear to bed… matching PJ’s!  (A tradition my sis and I used to do every year as kids, and we are happy to hand it off to them now, haha)

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Avery set out cookies, cheese, and milk for Santa (Yes, he asked to leave santa cheese… the kid loves cheese), and we sprinkled reindeer dust (he made at school) on the back porch and left a carrot for them too.  We read the night before Christmas and said goodbye to the Elf on the Shelf.  Avery was very excited for Santa to come, and fell asleep pretty quickly.

Then the ‘grown ups’ stayed up for some more festivities…

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Dad and Steve had way too much fun, obviously.  A couple drinks and a long golf card game later, we all headed to bed to wait for Santa.

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Christmas morning… Santa had come and Avery was very excited!

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He went right for the firetruck, checked if the cheese and carrot had been eaten, and immediatly wanted to open presents!
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We started with stockings.  Avery got a new toothbrush, socks, jelly beans, and a new loufa for bath time.IMG_4695

He got a new sled – which we still haven’t used.  It’s been below freezing here for a while and we have little snow.

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Aunt Sarah made pancakes, and Avery put out a fire while she was cooking.IMG_4699

After the stockings, we had a yummy breakfast…IMG_4700

Pancakes made with love :)IMG_4701

Then started the gifts… Avery got Chutes and Ladders and Candy Land.IMG_4710

He got food for his kitchen.IMG_4713

And a playmat for his cars and trucks!IMG_4720

I scored a pink headband for running in the cold.

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Aunt Sarah got this little something from me:

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She’s a college student, so I wanted to give her money, but didn’t want to be lame about it.  And we’re big fans of Forest Gump, so I think she liked :)

She got Avery and I a year membership to Echo (the aquarium & science center in Burlington)  We’ve already gone once – they had reindeer during our visit too!

Avery and Grampy got eachother ‘shooting things’ as Avery calls them.IMG_4725

We’ve since had fun making targets with stacking cups.. so much fun for when we’re stuck inside this winter.

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Avery even got a viewfinder.  He looked inside at safari animals, and says, ‘How’d he get in there?!’ haha

And a few hours later, Avery’s loot looked like this!

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I know, it looks overboard, but it wasn’t.  He needed some warm clothes, socks and underwear, and a new lunch box, so Santa brought those.  We were also using our 1985 versions of board games, so he was due for some that didn’t have faded colored cards that we couldn’t tell red from orange.  He got a few travel essentials, like the blue lap table, coloring book, preschool activities book, and three new movies (because honestly, we need a break from watching the same ones we have over and over!! haha).

Then we piled into the car and visited both sets of Grandparents, came home and had a yummy Xmass dinner together.

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Then after Avery was in bed (tired boy!), Steve and I exchanged gifts.  I was spoiled with a massage gift card (which I already used… ahhhh so nice!) and I made him a blanket (cuz he’s always cold!)
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Such a fun holiday.  Avery is at such a fun age that this Christmas was even more fun than the last… just keeps getting better and better. Now if I could only say that for Avery’s sleeping and eating habits!

Did I mention we had fun?  :-P

<3 Meghan

6 Loans in 6 Months

… and now that December is over, it’s become 5 loans in 5 months.  That’s right, I paid off a loan this month!  (insert happy dance – not to be confused with the potty dance)  Capture

This means I’m right on track to pay one loan off each coming month for 5 more months… then they are GONE!  Just over 2 years of scrimping and saving and look at the progress I’ve made:

27 Month Progress

  • Starting Debt: $41,868.53 (Nov  ’12)
  • Debt Today: $10,408.41
  • Total Debt Paid Off: $31,460.12

I have just over 10 grand left… and you may be thinking I’m crazy, expecting to pay off that much in just 5 months… but the plan I made last month, is working, so I’m gonna stick with it.

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Red = goal, Blue = loans remaining to be paid

My original big picture plan was to pay off the highest interest loans first, and of those, pay off the bigger ones.  So, we’re finally getting down to the smaller interest loans (all those pesky 6+% ones are GONE) and I’m not paying oober amounts of $ just on interest now.  Now it’s down to $30 a month, compared to $190 when I first started this.

November Review

  • Starting Balance: $11,917.63
  • End Balance:  $10,408.41
  • Payments Made: $1,538.92
  • Interest Paid: $30.60
  • Principle Paid: $1,508.32

So…. in December, I paid the minimums to all other loans, and paid off Loan 1-01.  I didn’t put my usual $1800/mo into loans, because of Christmas and an upcoming vacation, but I was able to pay the loan off and now I’m just saving up until I can pay the next one off in January.

Loan Pay Off Plan
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  • December: Pay Off Loan 1-01 (usual $1800/mo)
  • January: Pay Off Loan C (usual $1800/mo)
  • February: Pay Off Loan B (usual $1800/mo)
  • March: Pay Off Loan A (Work Bonus & Tax return & usual $1800/mo)
  • April: Pay Off Loan 1-04 (usual $1800/mo)
  • May: Pay off Loan 1-03 (usual $1800/mo)

Oh and side note, Sallie Mae changed their company name to Navient.  Very annoying (mostly because I was looking forward to saying goodbye to Sallie Mae when all this was done), but luckily their website and everything stayed the same so it’s caused no hiccups with me actually paying the loans off, but still… would have really liked to end my relationship with Sallie Mae before she ended it with me!

And for those of you who have been asking about the mystery house I mentioned last month, my great Uncle John (my Dad’s uncle) who lives just down the road (maybe 2/10ths of a mile) offered to sell me his house, without a Realtor so it would be a great deal, and although the house is super big (4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 car garage, bonus room over garage, and full 1 bedroom apartment in the basement on 1.2 acres),  it really makes sense for the future plans Avery and I have in store.  My uncle doesn’t have a deadline when to sell, so we’re working together on a time frame that works for him finding a new place (he’s downsizing) and me getting the downpayment ready – looks like this coming  fall – Octoberish.

Buying a house in my hometown, just down the road from my parents, on a dead end street… kinda perfect.  This would be a forever home too… Avery and I will FINALLY be able to set down roots, and never move again!

And you know me, I already have a budget laid out, to make sure the house is affordable, and after these pesky loans are gone, I have a plan to save for the down payment already in motion.

So much in store for the year to come…Happy New Year’s Eve!

<3 Meghan

Check out my About Meghan page for more posts on finances and paying off my student loans.

It’s Beginning to Look…

A lot like CHRISTMAS!

We put the tree up last weekend, and since then it’s been gathering a few gifts.  Avery’s been super good and hasn’t even tried to open them.  We do find Avery over by the tree sometimes moving ornaments, and stealing candy canes (usually with the help of Grampy because Steve and I put those up high on the tree so ‘someone’ couldn’t reach them…. and by ‘someone’, I meant Grampy).  I’m 90% done Christmas shopping too, so the gifts I have are wrapped and sitting under the tree.  One week away… gotta finish up fast!

Avery is very excited this year.  It’s such a fun age.  We started talking about Christmas the night of Thanksgiving when we read the Elf on the Shelf book.  Since then, Avery’s excited every day to look for the Elf.  He’s been super sneaky this year (he zip lined thru the living room the night after we put up the tree!).  I swear, we have more fun looking for him than Avery does!

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Some mornings I find Grampy wandering around the house and eventually coming to me asking “OK, Where is he?!’

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Avery tells us the Elf flies around because he has magic.  And if Avery isn’t behaving, we remind him that the Elf is watching and 9 out of 10 times, it helps :)

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Now, if you’re familiar with the Elf on the Shelf tradition (we started it last year), you know that the child(ren) get to name the elf.  Well, last year, Avery wouldn’t name him.  The only thing he would name him after I asked him was ‘Bunny’.  This year however, our elf had an identity crisis, and changed names.IMG_4491

Turns out, the elf also visits Avery’s daycare, and at daycare, the elf’s name is Henry.  So, one morning when I was getting Avery dressed in the bathroom, he looked up and saw the elf and pointed saying ‘Ah! It’s Henry!!’  Took me a minute to talk with Avery to figure out where the name had come from, haha.IMG_4543

Oh, bonus points if you can find the object the Elf has carried around with him every day…. ;)

It’s not Christmas without…. SNOW! (seriously, how do you people do it in Cali and Texas and Florida?! And you’re probably thinking we’re crazy with all this white stuff thinking how do we do it?! haha)IMG_4503

We got a big snowstorm last week that lastest DAYS.  First, it was freezing rain, then it snowed a bunch (8 inches-ish) one afternoon-evening.  Then it kept snowing (another few inches) the next few days.  All the schools around here were closed on Wednesday, and the snow finally stopped on Saturday.  Luckily, I work from home so I didn’t have to worry about commuting.  Plus, Avery’s school was open when school was closed (yay!).

Avery loves the snow.  He still loves his shovel the best.  I think we shoveled the front porch 3-4 times last week, haha.  And over the weekend, Grampy snow-blowed and we knocked the giant iscicles and snow off the roof.
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The snow on the edge of the roof curled around and did this… pretty cool!

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Steve took advantage of the snow and surprised me with a snowshoeing trek up the notch Saturday afternoon.
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This is the same place we went hiking in October… look at the difference in scenery.

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Love this state! #ilovermont
We soooo have to get Avery a set of kids snow shoes now that hunting season is over and we can go wandering in the woods around the house.

Tis the season to give gifts, so I sent out cards to our friends and family.

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It took me a couple weeks to take a few minutes here and there to order them, address them, and send them out.  Last year I ordered 50 and ran out, so this year I ordered 75 to be safe and I think I have 4 left.  Phew, close call.  I need to stop making so many friends!

And instead of giving gifts to each of Avery’s teachers, we chose to give the Preschool a gift: Snowman and letter foam sticker kits.
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Avery had played with a fall version of these at the Turkey Trot, so we found them on sale (50% off!) on Black Friday, so we snagged them and the kiddos had fun making snowmen and their names.

Our latest holiday project was thought up by Mimi and Grampy.  We took gingerbread house making to the next level and made a candy log cabin!

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Avery had so much fun putting the candy on….IMG_4562

But I think he liked it so much because he got to EAT the candy too, haha.IMG_4549

We had waffer cookies for roof shingles, gummy bears, gum drops, necco waffers… and marshmellows.  Yum!IMG_4551

Avery was so proud when we were done :)IMG_4560

Grampy even drizzled some chocolate on the roof… looks so yummy!!!IMG_4561

Only 7 days until Christmas, and Avery knows it!  Mimi made a couple advent calendars for him and he never forgets to open his number every day!

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He’s got cars, candy, play doh, and an ornament.  So fun!  (Mimi made the calendar out of a muffin pan – pretty cool!!!)IMG_4280

We have a busy week, and our holidays start this weekend with Valyou Christmas on Sunday!

Happy Wednesday!!!

<3 Meghan

 

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