Time to Check In & Be Accountable + Misc Stuff

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001
Time to Check In & Be Accountable + Misc Stuff
1
Tue, 07-24-2012 - 5:10pm

Oye!  It's been a quick and expensive few months for me.

My H's company likes to help coordinate some teen/young adult international exchanges - no money is put toward it, but they encourage bringing the children of international employees to visit other employees families in other countries and offer some internships to college age people.  We found out about a 17 year old girl that was coming to visit the US for a month, and since we've actually met her father a few times (in France when I accompanied my H to some work related dinners), I thought it would be fun to host her for a week.  We were turned down, however, because apparently they had already lined up four host families prior to even sending out the email about the opportunity to host her.  Oh well . . . I thought it would have been fun (we've hosted several exchange students over the years) . . . but it would also require a lot of planning and saving to make the exchange week any fun for her.  So no real loss.

THEN, I get a call asking if I was still interested in hosting.  I'm a bit thrown off.  "Hum, perhaps . . . let me think . . . when?"

"We'd like to drop her off at your house tomorrow if that's all right"

"Whatttttt?  Seriously?? "

"Yep, two of the four host families dropped out just as she arrived to the States".

"Well, yeah, then of course."

Geezzeee . . . 

So we hosted her for two weeks, and H rearranged his work schedule to take a week off and we did some last minute vacation planning.  It was such short notice, but we rearranged out budget and did our best.  We ended up going over budget despite our quickly arranged plans. 

But today, I finally sat down and crunched all the numbers and we will be caught up and back on schedule by mid-Aug.  And we won't be able to take another vacation that I was planning on in mid-Sept.  

All in all, it going to be fine . . . still . . . doing things like this while you are trying your best to be financially accountable and responsible is a bit tricky.  I'm glad we did it, and I think we all (H, me and the cute little French girl) enjoyed our time together.

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Now on to my quarterly accountability check in . . .

Since starting this journey in Oct, we have paid down $25,460.00 in debt.

We have also paid approximately $13,500 toward retirement savings.

Our remaining consumer debt is approximately $6,250.  This is about half a bank line of credit and half cc debt that is now on a zero interest card.

Even though I was only able to make a fraction of principle debt repayment this month (due to hosting the two week exchange), it looks like we remain on track to have this debt paid off before the end of this calendar year (sooner, actually).

This continues to remain a very tight budget for us.  More "rice and beans", etc . . .  I do have some leeway in the budget for things like new tires in the fall, etc . . .  I don't have any Xmas fund though.  I'll have to start squeezing that in without missing any debt repayment plans.

In May, I had reported that I was hoping to put the money from the sale of an extra car along with a payout from an old profit sharing plan into retirement.  The car didn't sell for what I was hoping and I ended up just using the funds toward my consumer debt repayment.  The profit sharing remains impossible to get to.  It's so frustrating.  It appears to be growing at a decent rate, but if I can't get my hands on it, what does that matter?  H must have sent a dozen emails to the company to get info on how to withdrawal it, but always gets the response "We'll get back to you".  Ugh!

My house remains on the market for the time being.  No real interest.  There is just no real estate movement in our community AT ALL.  I'll likely cancel my contract with the realitor and refinance soon.

And then there is the remaining matter of my dd's student loans (that H's cosigned on).  Dd recently ended up back in the hospital, and now has more bills to pay (she doesn't have health insurance -  don't even get me started - she doesn't qualify for any type of coverage, and only recently got some help for her out of pocket med costs from the maker of the meds.)

As most of you already know, this continues to weigh heavily on my mind.  Again, I know it's difficult for her to pay (especially given her medical issues) yet she is not being fully financially responsible in general.  Ugh!  So I decided to get some advice . . . I called the Dave Ramsey show!  Yep, that's what I did.  And he said firmly that I should consider her loans OUR fully responsibility.

So when I get the remaining $6250 consumer debt paid off, I will need to revamp my plans to figure out how to pay off the $26,000 of student loan debt. 

I can do this . ..  I can do this. . . I can do this!

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2001

Thanks for the feedback guys!

Dee - I think Dave's advice was based mainly on our ability to pay (income to debt ratio).  I'm looking forward to hearing more about what you have coming up as far at these new "moves"!

Serenity - Nope, she truly does not qualify for any sort of help.  I suspect she may finally get some help with her current bills, but there just isn't any kind of program out there to help her.

Karen - thanks so much for replying.  You've been such an inspiration to me and I really appreciate your ongoing support and advice. Thanks!

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More about dd's student loans.  

I really did know going into this many years ago, that co-signing came with a very real liability.  I think I was pretty carefull to keep the amount at a level we could afford if something were to happen that would prevent dd's ability to pay.  My H and I paid for most of her schooling out of pocket.  So, I'm really now facing my "worse case senerio".  Obviously things could be so much worse.

These loans were also for a pretty ambitious degree - a five year chemical engineering program.  Dd completely four years before the onset of her medical issues.  Unfortunately, her memory has been pretty much wiped out so if she were to return to school she would be starting completely over (plus there isn't any in state university that offers chemical engineering).

Obviously with 20/20 hindsight, it seems like a bad decision to co-sign, but I can confindently say I don't think it was a bad decision at the time.  It was for a bright girl, in an ambitious degree program, with a bright future ahead of her.

Her friends in the same program took out substancially more in loans, and have all landed good paying jobs that makes their loan repayments easy.  Honestly, I'm so glad I was a bit cautious from the begining.

You know what I mean?

And, Karen, you are absolutely right, when I do make her payments for her, I absolutely think of it as a gift to her.  I'm certainly not also buying her bday presents and xmas presents.  She is very appreciative of our help.  She certainly does regard these loans as her responsibility.  We have another dd also, who never needed our help with her schooling costs.  I want to be fair to her too.