I used to use Mint to track where my money was going each month. For the most part I really liked it, but when I started using my PayPal debit rewards card, Mint was no longer relevant to me. All the transactions showed up only as "PayPal" on my checking account, so then would show up that same way in Mint and could not categorize.
I recently noticed that the transactions are now showing up in my checking with the name of the merchant. I logged into Mint to see if transactions were now being categorized again and they are! I am happy about this, as I had found Mint to be a useful tool in tracking spending - especially when trying to track grocery and miscellaneous purchases.
The bank that holds my home equity loan was finally able to give me the detailed info on my loan terms. The woman that helped me was able to email me copies of the documents that I remembered signing back in August 2010. (whew! now I don't have to find it in storage boxes up in our garage attic space). The terms are not quite what I had remembered, but that is kind of no surprise when I think back. That was probably the most stressful time of my life, as we were just about to file for bankruptcy and the new terms offered by this take-over bank was a welcome relief at the time. I think I just took the offer and put it out of my mind for the most part.
So, for the past 5 years we have had interest only payments (though I have started paying a little extra each month, this year). Now, for the next 5 years it will be a payment of 1.5% of the outstanding balance. That is going to sting. But, I'm trying to look at it as a positive. It's all money that will be going to the principal balance and thus increasing our equity in our home that much quicker. (ie - we'll be able to sell and get out of here sooner, rather than later). I will have to watch our budget extremely careful now (so I am happy Mint is working for me again), with no frivolous spending. After this next 5 year period it converts to a fully amortized monthly principal and interest payments for 15 years. While I had longer terms remembered in my mind, this is better in the long run. We will have all paid off sooner.
We have about 11 years left on our main mortgage. At that point all that monthly payment can start going toward the balance left on the heloc and it will be paid off quickly, in less than 2 years after that (I will have to do up an amortization schedule to work this all out). So, rather than 5 more years and then another 15years on top of that, I expect this heloc loan to be paid in about 13 years.
I think it will be tightest on the budget for about the next 10 months. Hopefully next January, at our annual work review time, I can get a raise. Whatever (if) that might be can go towards that extra monthly heloc payment. Come June, DD will graduate college. She will most likely have a job lined up, as well as she and her BF have plans to move in together. At that point my monthly expenses will go down quite a bit. $200 a month saved in health insurance. I will be able to drop her off our auto insurance, probably about $60 a month saved. I won't be giving her $100 a month for college living expenses, as well as less food, less electricity, etc, when she is home. Also, apparently in April or May DH's Crestor medicine is supposed to go generic, so I'm sure it will be much cheaper than the $162 a month I am currently paying. All that should about cover the extra heloc payment I will be making.
Time to really watch the food spending (where most of our waste is). So, when I head out this morning for grocery shopping, I am first stopping at a different nearby grocery store before I head to Walmart. They have their store brand of shredded cheeses on sale for $1.66 each. I can stock up and freeze. Also, strawberries for .99. I will buy several and slice up and freeze, too. I'll be busy today!