Major changes/starting over fresh in 2012

January 18, 2012 at 10:59 am (Improving Financial Health, mr. maven)

It’s been some time since my last post. my life has totally changed in the last month, so I’ll bring you (briefly) up to date.

Mr. maven has been unemployed since March 2010. He has never fully paid his full share of bills or rent (sometimes rent, but never on bills). Last few months he stopped even paying rent. Immediately after christmas, he told me he was moving to North Dakota to pursue work (and stay with his family). So the maven household is now a single Ms. Maven. There’s a lot of emotional upset of course. He took my kittens with him, which leave me totally devestated. We are still friends, just no longer cohabitating or sharing our lives so intimately.

What this means financially is that I am now the one and only breadwinner, ie, rent payer. I have no backup to rely on helping out with bills, but it also means that any expense are mine and mine alone. I don’t have to worry about buying alcohol and having it drunk before I have a chance to have any of it. I don’t have to worry if there is inequity when buying groceries or eating out. But it means no sharing, either.

I’ve been single one week and 2 days so far. I’ve been discussing with my BFF/girlfriend getting a house together in a few months and splitting rent/expenses. She’s a professional working woman so she is fianacially stable, and we have been roommates before (it’s how we met after all!), so I know we will be compatible. The problem is now finding a place she will live that we can move into together (the market for 2 bedroom places in the $1200-$1300 range in a nice neighborhood in Seattle is very slim!). So That may change. Until then, I’m solo and living in  my house all by my lonesome (there is both good and bad in that!).

I’ve been updating my debt totals periodically, even without posting. Currently, I have 2 debts:
SBA loan – $16073
BECU Car loan – $8447

At the minimum, I am paying $253/month on the car loan, but nothing extra. For the SBA, which is at a higher rate of 5%, I have an automated $100 every second paycheck. I put a debt payment calculation together for myself, and if I can pay an extra $300/month towards the SBA, I will be debt free by December, 2013. That is if I remain frugal, have no major expenses, don’t travel, don’t move to a cheaper place/get a roommate, and don’t get a part-time job. I think it’s doable, but it will take vigilence and dedication. This also assumes that my full tax refunds for the next 2 years (about $700 or so) are fully paid towards debt, which again, shouldn’t be a problem – it’s what I’ve done the past 2 years.

So. Here I am. Still focused, chugging along, head down. There have been ups and downs, mostly downs, in the last year, and even more recently, but no actual derailments. I’m going at it slower than I wanted to 6 months ago, but that’s my new reality. Until I move/get a roommate, this is the pace I can maintain.

I’m glad I got my used car in April 2011 – it added an extra $10K of debt to my total, but it’s a much better and more reliable car than the truck I had before (and with 100K less miles on it!!!). I recently purchased a few pieces of furniture, which I may not have done if I knew I was about to be single, but they are nice pieces and work better in my house. That temporarily stopped debt payments for 2 months. I had to buy some additional items when mr. maven left – a new rug, lamp, and kitchen gear, to the tune of $500, but that is ok, I needed them, and having a gorgeous 8×10′ rug for $200 is pretty awesome. I’m also in the process of downsizing some of my stuff, and selling it on craigslist. That should give me some extra snowball payments, which are fully going towards debt. I’m also pursuing personal friendships more than I have before. Being single/alone makes it really obvious that you have to work at extablishing and nurturing external relationships, when you don’t have a default one to fall back on at home. So, again, lots changing, but actually, it’s kinda the same as always.

Here’s to 2012 – it’s all uphill for me from here!

Best wishes,
debtmaven

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2 Comments

  1. leanne said,

    WOW! You’ve been going through so much, but I love that you continue to have such a positive outlook. That will really help you get through this and you will triumph! Since you’ve been paying all the bills for awhile now, you will probably notice a reduction in your expenses when you aren’t buying groceries for 2 and maybe even a little bit in your utilities as you will use less than the 2 of you did. Keep your chin up and be thankful for what you have and that you can continue to make progress in your debt reduction. This little hiccup will soon be a distant memory.

  2. debtmaven said,

    Thanks Leanne. Reaching out, having friends check in with me, and establishing a routine have all helped immensely. I know in the long run it’s the best thing, but it’s hard emotionally right now. I’m getting so close to my goal, that it’s exciting to just chug along a little further every month. Thanks for your kind words. Best, dm

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