Tag Archives: Calculators

Snowball – What’s your method?

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I’ve had this Vertex42.com link on my blog before without actually ever trying it out. And now that it is a holiday weekend, I have time to try it out (and I linked it back onto my blog).

It is very easy to download and use. Just plug in the numbers and sort as you will… Wha-la!

For approx $79,643.15 of debt, here is what will happen if I payoff by:

  • highest to lowest monthly payment: $11,416.24 interest paid
  • snowball (Dave Ramsey Method): $12,972.89 interest paid
  • Highest to Lowest APR: $11,116.36 interest paid

Either of the 3 methods will be PIF in March 2013.

  • 3 Major CC/Auto Loan paid off the end of 2010 (car target date April 2010).
  • 1 HELOC PIF end of 2011
  • 2 School Loans PIF June 2012 & March 2013

Interesting configurations. My take: I am going with paying the highest payments first. I like the fact that my Auto Loan will be knocked down as one of the first. Especially considering cars depreciated so fast! I am at 65,000 miles on an upside down car loan. It is important to me to knock down that loan in case of the need to sell the car.

Have fun with the spreadsheet! I’d love to hear what order you are paying your debts and why you chose to go that way. πŸ™‚

Happy Weekend!

Small Changes, Big Savings

My household recently took part in a small change that will incur big savings (and help the environment, too)! Yup, we switched from using many 16.9 oz water bottles to one 5 gallon bottle with sporty spout & stand. It fits nicely in my kitchen, too.

So, this morning I wanted to figure the savings to see if its really worth it. I will show you the savings difference between Arrowhead vs. 5 gallon refillable bottle. Then, I will show the saving difference between our grocer’s brand water bottles vs. 5 gallon refillable bottle.

5 gallon bottle = 640 ounces
640 ounces / 20 ounce Arrowhead bottles = 32 20oz-bottles
$0.29 cost per bottle * 32 20oz-bottles = $9.28

I got the 0.29 cost per bottle by dividing the cost 1 case (24 bottles per case)$6.99 by 24 = 0.29125 costs per bottle

Grocer’s Brand:
5 gallon bottle = 640 ounces
640 ounces / 16.9 ounce grocer’s brand bottles = 38 16.9 oz-bottles
$0.125 cost per bottle * 38 16.9oz- bottles = 4.75

I got 0.125 cost per bottle by dividing the cost 1 case (24 bottles per case) $3 by 24 = 0.125 costs per bottle

We buy anywhere between 1-3 cases (24 bottles per case) biweekly – depending how hot the weather is outside. So, we will assume 32 20oz-bottles being consumed biweekly by my family (my son is a water bottle addict).

Potential savings (Arrowhead):
Costs $9.32 for 32 20oz-bottles biweekly. It only costs $1.00 to fill my 5-gallon bottle.
9.32-1.00 = 8.32
8.32 * 26 weeks per year (biweekly) = $216.32 savings per year

Potential saving (grocer’s brand):
Costs $4.75 for 38 16.9oz-bottles biweekly. It only costs $1.00 to fill my 5-gallon bottle.
4.75 – 1.00 = 3.75
3.75 * 26 weeks per year (biweekly) = $97.50 savings per year

So, you decide if its worth it. What are your thoughts on it?

My thoughts: I agree with my change. We were consuming the grocer’s brand of bottled water. It actually tasted better than any of the named brand water. Funny, huh?
But, I believe that I am also installing in my kids the importance of helping the environment. Perhaps, they will not realize the importance right now, but will be helpful in their future.
Plus, I am one finding small ways to help the environment. Sometimes, I think about all the small products that are making mass waste in the world. It drives me crazy! Like dental floss pics, plastic cups, kid’s super meal toys, food packaging, water bottles, etc… I constantly think of how I could do without all of consumer America’s products. How can I cut back. Are their companies who purposely reduce their packaging to be eco-friendly? Well, I am getting into a different subject. Another time. πŸ˜‰

$97 per year savings may not be much.

But, let me tell you why this is a big savings. If I take this $100 and invest in with a return of 8%. Then, continually add $100 to it annually. In 25 years, I will have $8,580.29! Now tell me if it’s worth it? πŸ˜‰

ps – or that is $18, 560.88 dollars if you drink Arrowhead!

You can calculate your own compounding interest at http://www.moneychimp.com/calculator/compound_interest_calculator.htm

Is my family adapting: Yup, they each got to splurge on their own spiffy water bottle. 1 bottle and lots of water!

Fellow bloggers, have a wonderful weekend!

Millionaire Next Door? I think Not! (yet)…Long Way to Go…someday.

So, I was pondering while I was at work and it HIT me that I will be turning 36 in just short of 2 months.

Made me think… what should my net worth be at this age? I have no property. A $10K 403(b). Nada. How far am I from being ‘wealthy’? Found a calculator based on the Millionaire’s Next Door algorithm. I am definitely not an Accumulator of Wealth (yet).

In fact I am in the pit of doom. Okay, perhaps a bit melodramatic. But see for yourself. It made me kind of depressed. See:

There is 1 of 3 catagories you will fall in:
UAW: Under Accumulator of Wealth
AAW: Average Accumulator of Wealth
PAW: Prodigious Accumulator of Wealth

I am clearly a UAW to the max!
Actually, if I bought a house, I wouldn’t be so far off. And that is where my financial realizations bum me out. With California’s skyrocketing foreclosure rates, this makes it prime time for me to buy. Decent houses in my neighborhood: during the house buying boom the houses were worth: $400K. But now, they are only worth $159K! If my finances were in order and I had at least $5K saved up – I WOULD BE ABLE TO BUY MYSELF A HOUSE! And I would be $58K short to being a AAW.

But, “to every downfall there is opportunity waiting”. What is my opportunity? My opportunity is now realizing what goals I need to set for myself. Pay off the debt. Save, save, save. And eventually, buy that house.

That is the whole reason I am writing this blog. To prove to myself that I can work with my family to get out of debt; to build a financially stable life; to take a vacation; to retire comfortably; to teach my kids about money and give them the proper tools/knowledge to not make the same money mistakes I made, etc…

I remind myself that I have come a LONG way from my roots: being raised on the Welfare system, raised around drugs, having no financial knowledge, being raised in foster home(s), being victim to abusive relationships, being unstable, being flighty, irresponsible, etc…

I played victim & woke up realizing ‘playing victim’ is not the answer. “Take hold, Christine. You are responsible for your own actions, your own future.” I did. I am taking hold tight with the reigns. If we’re going to do this, lets do it right!

Within these past 5 years I have:

Obtained my Associate Degree in Biology
Obtained a fantastic job in a Research Cancer Hospital
Held down this job for 5 years
Increased my salary from $13K to $65K
My children are stable
1 year until my Bachelor’s Degee is finished

I have done a hell of a lot in 5 years! So, I want to do a hell of alot in the next 5 years.

Bow to the calculator of wisdom. What category do you fall in? And what is your realized goal?