Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pay it off!

Recently, Justin and I have decided that we are going to definitely want to build a house in the next two years or so. We have got to pay down debts and build up a good little piece of savings to cover down payments, furniture expenses, etc.


Now when I first bought my car, I was newly married, 6 months out of college with almost no credit history except for a credit card I maxed out before I even turned 19. As a result, I was able to buy my car, but only with Justin as a cosigner and with a relatively high interest rate.

After having paid faithfully on it for three years, I decided to refinance with my local bank. I was successful in cutting my interest rate nearly in half!

After that big milestone, I have become even more encouraged in paying off debts and getting “Operation: Forever Home” kicked into high gear. I vaguely understand the snowball method to paying off debts. You pay off your smallest bill, use the budgeted amount for that bill and apply it to your second highest bill and so on.

After looking over the Georgia Department of Community Affairs website for helpful tips for first time homeowners (which I will be—not Justin) I discovered Utah State University Extension’s Power Pay program. It is free to use. You just put in your monthly debt accounts, loan balance, and interest rates and it will prioritize your bills, roll over the payment amounts it recommends you pay each month, and even calculates how many months of payments you reduce and how much interest you save.

I have three loans I am paying on besides my regular mortgage. Here are my results:


I save $220 in interest alone and rather than spend the money on frivolous things, it encourages me to pay down my debt and it gives me 8 whole months of savings to sock away for a down payment.

I have never been so excited about paying bills!

Friday, February 3, 2012


Because I grew up with two sisters, I never got terribly excited about the idea of a sister-in-law. I wasn’t that girl with all brothers that wondered what it would be like to get married and finally get a sister-in-law. After all, my sisters and I generally fought like cats and dogs until I moved away to college. I love them so so so so much now and wouldn’t trade them for the world, but there were times when I was little that I would have given them away.

I’ve heard horror stories of evil sisters-in-law and didn’t know what was in store for me when Justin and I started dating. Luckily, his sister Amanda and I get along perfectly. She is one of my best friends now and there isn’t a day that goes by without us texting, emailing, calling or seeing each other. I am so blessed that I have great in-laws and that our families get along.

Want proof? My nephew Ben walked into my office with a box from Belk. This was in it:


This is the softest sweater with perfect ruffly rosettes! I have a turquoise one just like it and Amanda knew I was looking for the orange one.

The best part? This was written on the box. Cue the waterworks. Poor Ben didn’t know what was going on and was nervously looking toward the door to make his escape.