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Posts Tagged ‘paying off debt’

Update on the Goals for 2013

I have heard that most New Year’s resolutions are long forgotten by mid-February so I thought I would take a look and see how I am doing on my 2 main goals for 2013.

Goal Number 1: Lose Weight

I thought I would start with the simplest and most straight forward of the 2 goals, losing weight.  I want to lose 15 pounds by May to get me to about 215 in time for softball season.  I want to still be able to make it down the line quickly and not hurt my knees so much so getting to 215 is a start.

On the day that I hit the heaviest I have ever been, I weighed in at 230.4 pounds.  Since that day, I have managed to weigh in at even or down each week.  Yesterday, I was 224.8 for a total 5.6 pound weight loss in a little over 6 weeks.  A pound per week should be quite sustainable.  Also, I have not lost any strength although my upper body workout has been less than stellar these past 2 weeks due to muscle spasms in my upper back.  It should be better in the next week or two.

Goal Number 2: Lose Debt

This is a little more complicated as technically my liabilities have increased over the past month, but that is because the PLUS loans that are paid out for fall and spring semesters go into repayment starting in February.  So that total has been added to the overall mix.  But the debts that I have wanted to focus on (namely consumer debt) has been decreasing.  In January, I managed to knock about $6000 off the total.

Now I started a new blog to more closely follow and share my progress.  It is called Shredding Debt, which is exactly what I am looking forward to doing to all my credit cards when I get them paid off.  Shred them for good!  Be sure to stop by and check out the blog.  The design and logo is the work of Andrea at Nuts and Bolts Media.  I think she did a fabulous job for a reasonable cost.  All I have to do is log in and start writing.

February will not end up as good.  This is because I am hoarding cash for a possible business purchase or investment.  I have been meeting with bankers and a consultant to see what can be worked out.  I am keeping the cash in case I need to put up some equity into the deal to make it happen.  Once the picture is clearer, I can resume my efforts.

Nevertheless, there will be some debt payoff simply from principal repayments.  At least I am able to track my progress closely.  I have been updating my spreadsheet monthly since October of 2012 working on getting debt paid off and freeing up some monthly cash flow.

Carnivals

Finally,  here are the carnivals that featured my blogs in the past few weeks:

 

Yakezie Carnival  - CFM
Lifestyle Carnival  - PT
Festival of Frugality #373    - PT
Carnival of Money Pros    – GPM
Carnival of Retirement #54   - GPM, CFM
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie #67   – PT
Yakezie Carnival CFM
Carnival of Retirement #55   - CFM
Lifestyle Carnival   – PT, GPM
Carnival of Retirement #56  – CFM
Yakezie Carnival     – CFM
Lifestyle Carnival  - PT
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie #68 - PT
Hope you all have a good weekend.

 

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4 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Cash Flow Mantra - February 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Categories: Basic   Tags: , , ,

4 Steps to Getting Out of Debt

The following is a guest post:
Falling into the downward spiral of debt can be the worst thing in the world, especially if you have to provide for a family. It may seem like the hardest thing in the world, but there are actions you can take to get your finances back on track and secure your future. With a little planning, pro-activity and determination, there is no reason why you can’t dig yourself out of the hole and bask in the sunshine of financial freedom. Here are four steps that you can take to make this a reality:
Downsize your property
The fact is, when you’re in debt you have to try and cut all the costs you can. One of the biggest money drain people have is their property, which can be detrimental to your finances if you’re living outside of your means. Relocating to a cheaper area and moving into a smaller property is a drastic move, but often necessary. Selling your house quickly through a property buyer prevents breaks in the chain and allows you to relocate at your own speed. There are many sites out there that proclaim “we buy your house” so make sure you do your research first.
Escape the credit trap
While credit cards can be a necessary evil for those people who are financially stable, credit cards and debt don’t mix. Giving up on reliance of credit cards is a must if you want to get out of debt, even though those cash-back bonuses can be a temptation. Make sure that you halt all recurring payments: so track down everything that leaves your bank account on a monthly basis and carry out an audit to slash as many costs as possible.
Switch bank accounts
Nowadays, the internet is your friend when it comes to researching the best current accounts. There are many popular bank comparison sites that list interest, overdrafts and fees. Finding the right account to suit your situation won’t help you straight away, but it’s going to be a fantastic asset to your financial freedom in the long run.
Get help from a charity
When you’re being suffocated by the weight of debt and you feel like you’re alone, don’t worry. There are many charities that have been set up to aid people who are struggling and will be more than happy to listen to you and offer a helping hand.
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10 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Cash Flow Mantra - March 14, 2012 at 9:41 am

Categories: Credit/Debt   Tags: , , , , , ,

Working on Improving Monthly Cash Flow

There is no doubt that cash flow is one of the most important aspects to managing personal finances and building long term wealth.  It is only when one spends less than one earns can the excess cash be put to good use and be used to make additional income.  If you are constantly spending more than you make, then it becomes impossible to begin to build wealth.

It took me a while to realize the importance of cash flow, but now that I am trying to focus on this aspect of personal finance, I feel that I am beginning to turn the corner and will see marked improvements over the next several years.  Cash flow is much different than net worth.  It is possible to have many assets that do not yield much cash and to even have a positive net worth and be in danger of bankruptcy if those assets cannot be sold in a timely fashion.

Two Ways to Improve Cash Flow

The concept of improving cash flow is simple and yet can be difficult to implement.  You can either make more money, spend less money, or work on a combination of the two.  I am working on a combination of the two simultaneously.

Saving Money

First, I am saving money by using extra cash flow to pay off debt.  I have managed to pay off a business credit card and a business credit line in the past 6 months.  This freed up almost $200 per month minimum that I no longer am obligated to pay each month.  I am now working on paying off my Discover Card.  My goal is to get it paid off by the end of the year at the latest freeing up another $200 per month out of my spending plan.

Just these small moves make it possible to restructure some of my debt to create a reasonable plan for becoming debt free over the next 6-10 years.  That may seem like a long time, but I do have a lot of debt so I would be pleased to have it done in that time frame.  The net impact to my monthly cash flow will be negligible and easy to manage while relieving a large debt burden off my shoulders.

Earning More Money

I am also trying to pick up extra shifts at work when possible and using my blogging income solely for debt repayment.  There is a limit to how much I can work, but there is plenty of room for income growth from blogging.  The longer I am online, the more traffic and earnings that become possible.  As debt payments are made each month, more goes to principal.  There is a virtuous cycle that is created as I mentioned above.

I have other debts that will be paid off naturally over the next few years which will only continue to improve monthly cash flow.  I have been paying close attention to the debt balances and the minimum monthly payments.  Each month, they are declining leaving more room in the budget although I am committed to paying more than the minimums and creating more and more breathing room.

Looking for More Ways to Improve Cash Flow

There are other places that I could be saving money so I will be constantly reviewing these areas as well.  Looking at costs for insurance, trying to get lower interest rates for debts, eating out less and more frugally when we do are just some of the ways to save money.  I am also doing what I can to grow my online earnings through expansion of blogging opportunities.

I am trying to increase my focus on dividend stocks, but that doesn’t help me in the near term because they are in retirement accounts.  However, the experience and knowledge gained is invaluable for when debts have been retired and cash producing assets could be purchased.

Blogging has provided a great opportunity to focus the mind and to actually accomplish tasks.  The accountability is awesome.  When I started this blog, I had just come to the conclusion that cash flow was one of the most important priorities on which I needed to focus for a while.  Hence, the name of the blog.  Focusing on cash flow has been a great idea, and I will continue to do so documenting my progress as I move forward.

Thanks for reading and joining me on this journey.

 

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10 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Cash Flow Mantra - February 27, 2012 at 9:21 am

Categories: Earning, Spending   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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