I’m Debt Free! – Car Paid Off and Reflecting on Blogging 8 Years Later

For all intents and purposes I’m now essentially Debt Free! I made the final payment of my 2016 Nissan Maxima on April 27, 2020. The original amount financed was $31,107.45 on March 28, 2016. The Maturity fate would have been 5/12/2021. It hasn’t truly hit me yet since I dropped some serious coin on the last payment.

A Paid Off Car Really Does Drive Better

In a funny bit of irony, right after I finished shopping at my local Tom Thumb I noticed a $165k Bently Bentayga SUV parked just two spots away from my newly paid off gray chariot. I did not get to see the owner, but I’m guessing it was an older woman who just wanted to buy some groceries during the pandemic. Heck rich people have to eat too.

Has it hit me yet? Not really. I still need to build my emegency fund back up. There’s still uncertainty about the future of my company. In the event of layoffs I would qualify for the Texas state $521 unemployment maximum and likely the coronavirus $600 extra payout for up to 13 weeks. It still would be a significant reduction especially once you factor in any type of Cobra coverage. Hopefully I won’t have to think about that anytime soon.

My first posting to this blog happened on April 7, 2012 – Ground Zero – My Challenge. I wasn’t even 30 yet, I did happen to have paid off my car at the time which was almost 4 years old at the time. I also still had $45k of student loans to pay off. My income was way lower than it is now. It seemed like an insurmountable obstacle, but I did it. I was inspired by Nomoreharvarddebt.com, MrMoneyMustache, Nathanbw, Double Debt Single Woman and a few others.

While I didn’t link to this blog or my YouTube channel on my social media accounts, I did receive a lot of positive feedback from my peers. It’s a celebration for me, I haven’t been debt free since my first college course in Fall 2001. To put things in perspective I took those loans out right before 9/11/2001. Took me 19 years to get to this point, I’ve made missteps. I spent money maybe I shouldn’t have on things I convinced myself I needed at the time.

What’s Next?
1. Rebuild heavy emergency fund
2. Increase 401k / Roth IRA contributions
3. Stay healthy + lose fat + avoid getting coronavirus
4. Relax more
5. Find a guy to date and fall in love with
6. Grow my hair back… Balding sucks lol

Looking forward to the next new chapter in my life. The last one wasn’t bad but I need a vacation… 😛 Still plan to post here occasionally. Much love.

Debt Free at 36 Video

Bye Bye Credit Card Balance & April 2020 Financial Update

Happy 4/20 – I don’t smoke, but those two do tend to go a little extreme this time of year.. 😀

My credit card balances hit zero again, across all cards as of 4/10. Just in time for the coronavirus pandemic. It feels quite liberating. No longer do I have the burden of paying near $1000 every two weeks in a rush to get the balance down to zero. I hope to continue having blessings in my life that allow me to pay the credit cards in full before they are due.

I know a few people with credit card balances in excess of $10k. For me I know I sometimes have a spending problem. Usually I’ll save money on my purchases but at the same time spending say $2800 on a computer, $1k+ on a phone, $2-300 on clothes every season, eating and dining out, it all adds up. My advice if you still have a job is to cut back your spending, put some extra cash aside and look at ways to generate more income.

On to an April 2020 financial update…
401k: $65,425.33
Roth IRA: $3921.22
HSA: $655.38
Total Retirement: $70,001.93

Car Loan: $3,761.16
Car Warranty: $0
iPhone 11 Pro: $954.88
Credit Card: $0
Total Debt: $4,716.04

Short and Long-Term: $3,423

There is a lot of uncertainty right now in my world. Not sure about the future of a lot of things including my income. I still have a job, but many people I know have either been layed off, partially furloughed, or put on full furlough. I am going to keep grinding away in hopes that my postition stays secure along with my income. I did take a pay cut but nothing that would really impact my life all that much.

This $1200 stimulus check that everyone has been talking about it sitting right in my account. It brought my emergency fund up from $195 literally overnight. There are talks about an additional stimulus of $2,000/mo for most Americans over the age of 16.

Also another law proposed that would make it so renters wouldn’t have to pay rent for several consecutive months via a FEMA emergency declaration It sounds great on paper but also could lead to some pretty rapid inflation. Not to mention the national debt that we still aren’t paying off anytime soon. I’m sort of at a point if the government is giving out money or allowing us to pay it forward, why not do what everyone else is doing.

I really hope you my viewers are happy and healthy. Just today I found out one of my mom’s old bosses recently passed away from covid-19 related complications. The woman in question was in New York and she may have worked with the elderly but I don’t know all the details. I’ve heard story after story of people who came down with coronavirus, many didnt’ make it.

Keeping myself upbeat these times has been a struggle. I keep trying to remember certain things are outside of my control and many of them are temporary. I’m still upright, making progress toward my goals, and I’ve gone through way more challenging times in life.

More Debt Free Alpha videos on YouTube

I posted 10, yes 10 videos on YouTube since December. Linking to them below. My most popular video has 53 views, channel has 8 subscribers and my channel isn’t monetized so there is that. I’m mindful of what drives the highest ROI on my time and so far YouTube isn’t it. Planning to write another blog post update soon.