First, I would focus on reducing my expenses as much as possible so as to free up as much available cash each month as possible.
Second, I would take the $3,000 and put it toward the $9,346.48 loan at 8.5%. Leave the $12,000 you have in the American Express savings account there as your rainy day fund.
Third, I would stop putting the $200 - $300 in the American Express savings account and, instead, take it plus every single penny other than that that you can come up with from extra money from reducing expenses, bonuses, etc. and put it toward that loan until it is gone.
If your after-tax income is $50,000 - $55,000 and you're total monthly expenses are $3,116, that means you should have about $1,000 - $1,500 extra per month to put toward debt, saving for your retirement, saving for a down payment, right? If so, you should have the $9,346.48 loan paid off by at least November 2012.
Assuming you have $1,000 you can put towards whatever you'd like, here's what I'd do after you've paid off the first loan:
Starting in December 2012, I'd open a Roth IRA and put $400 per month in it. This will leave you with $600 per month to extinguish as much debt as you can before you need to start saving for a down payment for your home in 3 - 5 years.
At the very same time, starting in December 2012, I'd put $600 toward the $5,790.25 loan at 6.13%, which should put your payoff date at about September 2013.
Next, I'd pay off the $10,258.07 at 6.8% which, at $600 per month, should put your payoff date at about February 2015.
Pay the $6796.53 at 2.36% off as agreed without paying any extra towards it per month. Take the full amount of time to pay it off. This is cheap money. (Unless this is a private student loan; in which case, you'll want to pay it off next.)
Now, we're at February 2015, and all but one loan is paid off (the $6796.53 at 2.36%). Now, take the $600 per month you've been putting towards paying off these loans and start saving it for the down payment on your house. By March 2017 (five years from now), you should have at least $15,000 - a nice down payment on your first home.
Also, any money that is freed up by paying off any other loans or debts such as your motorcycle loan, can be put towards paying off these loans, thus speeding this whole process up.
If any of these loans are private student loans, keep every monthly statement showing your progress on paying off the loans as well as the paperwork showing you've paid the loan off in full (when that time comes) for the rest of your life. Private student loan companies are slime. If they "forget" you've paid off your loan years down the road and try to come after you for the money, you'll have proof you've paid the loan off.
My car payments are "kinda" covered by work. If I didn't travel ever I would have a $311 monthly payment, it was time for a new car as my 02 vw had so many problems, just bought the new car last week.
I put all my commission checks into the amex savings and am paying minimum right now, I am hoping to get a nice tax return going to get my taxes done this Friday.
Thanks for the reply. I completely misunderstood your line about the $311 car payment. Paid for by work makes sense to just leave. Ignore my comment about that one!
I'd just keep paying the scheduled payments on your 2% student loan. That one is cheap enough that I'd never pay a dime of it early. My point about selling the bike still holds (optional, but speeds up the process), but if you decide you'd prefer to keep it then the same rules go for the loan on it, I wouldn't pay any of it early given how cheap the rate is. I'd dump the tax return into mom's 8% loan and then start directing commission money toward the loans in order of mom's 8% til paid, mom's 6% til paid, your 6% til paid.
Not knowing your average annual salary and housing market in your area, I would think it may not be wise pay off student loans if you want to buy a home in 3-5 years because you need to pay down payment.
Awesome job. We need more kids like you in the world. No offense, I just mean that you are young and actually understand how things work.
You were $32k in the hole with loans, $15k in your pocket. Now you have $0 in loans (not including car payment) with about the same in your pocket. You're going to be so far ahead of your friends in 10 years they will have no idea how you did it.
So I have been reading on this finance forums for a couple months and want to know everyone's opinion, on what I should be doing with my money:
Yearly Salary:59K + 2% Commission will do at least 500K in sales this year
Student Loans under Mothers name:
$9,346.48 at 8.5%
$5,790.25 at 6.13%
Student Loads under my name:
$6796.53 at 2.36%
$10,258.07 at 6.8%
$12k in Amex Savings account
$3k in Checking
Various credit cards, I have and pay them off in full
$311 monthly car loan, just started for 60 months, most of the time paid monthly by work.
$150 monthly motorcycle loan at 3.9%
$825 monthly Rent
Getting about $3k in taxes.
I usually transfer 200-300 bucks into the Amex savings every month
I was planning on taking the tax money and paying off the student loans under my mothers name to get that out of the way. Any ideas? Thanks
My friend, this is just me, BUT...... I would pay off the loans with the highest interest rates first ASAP, then pay off the other loans ASAP. Motorcycle loan....I dunno, I would get rid of the bike and put the $150/mo(plus whatever it costs to insure it) toward getting rid of the debt where you get charged interest. Once you have NO debt, then start saving for a bike( if you want a bike). Any time you have to pay interest it's somebody taking your money for essentially nothing. Once you have no debt then you can save a few months worth of income for emergency fund and then maybe but a few luxuries, a bike etc. Main thing is CLEAR ANY AND ALL INTEREST ACCRUING DEBT. Debt is what gets most people in financial trouble.
I would like to buy a home in 3-5 years, once all my loans are done.
$50 Electric Bill
$311 Car Loan
$150 Bike Loan
$80 Cell Phone
$500 Student Loans
$400 Food + Home Supplies
Should be roughly everything.
That is without credit cards and student loans.
Here I would dump comcast ($1200 per year can go to loans), dump the bike loan( $1800 per year can go to other loans), dump the cell unless you need it for work and get a prepaid cell, or at least something cheaper if you really need it ( $1000 per year can go to loans), fuel....have to buy. Entertainment $300??? Until you are debt free this is way too much I think....cut out entertainment and send $3600 per year to loans)
so, if you cut out what I mentioned, you would send almost $8K in a year toward the loans, so could be debt free quite quickly and stop paying interest altogether. Then once debt free you can alter your spending for entertainment etc to enjoy life a bit more. Kill off the loans first.... that is what I would do.
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