A Week Of Lists: Friday – Things I’d like to accomplish within the next 12 months

These are some of the things I’d like to have achieved by the end of 2010. Most of these are material items, but some are also potential social tools rather than silly status symbols.

This list has some in-order, and then misc “Whenever money is available” items.

  1. Get a job. Definitely, number one priority.
  2. Purchase a second car for us, very close second. This will allow us to be independent in terms of transport, at least after number 3 has been achieved.
  3. The Subaru needs to be inspected by a mechanic, probably by the Subaru dealer, and investigate several small faults and see if there are any major or minor problems that will need to be worked on, determining whether we need to have the car repaired or whether we replace it.
  4. Pay off some of our higher-interest loans and the outstanding credit card, and pay down some of the other larger loans. I plan on using the credit card as I would my normal debit card (and nothing more!), paying it off every month for around 12 months before canceling, in hopes of improving my credit score.
  5. Move out!
  • Buy an XBox 360 and a Nintendo Wii. I have no interest in a PS3..
  • Replace, repurpose and/or otherwise upgrade my computer systems. If possible I’d like to start work on my rack-mounted wishlist.
  • At least begin saving for NZ trip, ideally save enough for Christmas 2010, or early-mid 2011.
  • Repair/replace my camera. I’d like another 2 cameras – a little point-and-shoot and a DSLR, not expecting both this year.
  • Acquire some equipment towards a home studio (small mixer, firewire in, etc..)

Get-Out-Of-Debt Quick Plan

My apologies to all who find this to be boring crap, obvious crap, useless crap, or otherwise crap.

For the last 12+ months my wife and I have been in rather large debt, primarily owing to her student loans, but also loans to pay for immigration forms and some credit-card stuff, and now our new car is on that list too.

It got so bad we moved back in with her parents, where we’ve been since November last year.

But, things are looking up again. She now has a full time job, I have the promise of casual work and possibly a permanent part-time job at an after-school program (will hear from them tomorrow, hopefully). We have a budget surplus of around $300/mo after all the income and most of our outgoings are paid for. If I get the part-time job then our outgoings increase slightly (gas, mostly), but our surplus will increase to around $800/mo. Now, we need to save something, in case of emergencies etc, and $800/mo isn’t really enough to comfortably move out again. My plan for us to change our circumstances doesn’t come from moving out and then paying off debt, it comes from paying off debt and then moving out.

See, right now we have two credit cards, one of which is more than twice it’s limit, the other we are trying very hard to keep below the limit, and as close to $0 as possible (so far we are succeeding). We also have a couple of loans that are either small or rather annoying which we can get rid of fairly quickly. My solution is to take about $400 of our surplus per month and put it towards a single loan.

For example, the over-limit credit card charges us about $50/mo. If we add $400 to that, we can pay $450/mo until it is paid off. That will take roughly 3 months. Then we can take that $450 and put it towards something else, like one of our smaller loans that is $65/mo, so we’ll be paying $450 + $65 = $515/mo until that is paid off. A third smaller loan is about $75-80/mo, so we can take the $515 from our two previously paid off loans, and add it to the $80/mo, and be paying $595 on an $80 loan payment – how fast do you think that loan will go away? I think fairly quickly. And all it costs us extra per month is the $400 we put in to begin with. Once those three payments are knocked out, we could take our $400 back out again, and we’ve just found an extra $195 a month, bringing our budget surplus up to nearly $1000 – we’re getting closer to being self-sufficient now. The other two loans we have are $138 and $159, and I haven’t done the calculations based on how quickly these would have an effect on our current loan balances, but I envisage we could be fairly debt free (one loan has a huge balance) within 24 months.