<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: November, 2013
 

Archive for November, 2013

After three years I am finally making some goals

November 21st, 2013 at 11:26 am

There are things that I want to do financially, a lot of things. But my debt and infrequent income have not allowed me to hope or dream for much of anything other than ensuring that my bills are paid on time.

Now with a little cushion in the bank, cc debt paid off and being at the tail end of my car loan I think its about time I started making some solid plans. Just strive to make money and focus on paying off debts and increasing savings.

I want to be able to reasonably afford a new car when I'll need one and save up a nice down payment on a house while paying down debts and socking away money in my retirement fund. It may be a lot to ask but at least now it seems within the realm of possibility. My cash system has finally worked correctly and I haven't picked up a credit card to charge anything that I couldn't already afford/had budgeted for with cash.

Even though its coming to the end of my current assignment I feel hopeful. My part time job will cover some expenses unemployment or brief temp assignments will cover the rest. I won't be easy but it never is. And at least this time I have a cash buffer and a plan. I'm so glad I sacrificed to pay off the debt. I feels so much lighter to know cc payments should no longer derail my efforts to pay down my loans.

I'm going to do the best that I can but for once I feel secure and that is really saying something for 3 years of not knowing how the next month will go.

Somewhat upset but hopeful

November 17th, 2013 at 09:52 pm

I did the calcs with the new book I got and while I'm happy I'm in control of finances I realized that I should have been saving more.

But here's the thing.

Since this temp job started:

-I planned a wedding for less than 5K and it is completely paid off.

-I paid off 3200 worth of credit card debt.

-I had 2800 in my emergency fund in September before my medical emergency cut it down to 1200.

-Aside from my emergency fund, as of this week I have money set aside for 3 months worth of expenses.

I'm mad because:

-My temp employment means I can't save as much as I'd like to for retirement.

-My credit card debt has kept me from saving for an emergency fund and retirement for far too long, I am very happy to be rid of it.

-My current debt keeps me from being able to buy myself many things I'd like to buy, which normally doesn't bother me but seeing how far behind I am in my goals and knowing my current employment is running out soon makes me feel like its all going to reset and I'll run out of all the money before someone is willing to hire me again.

-I should have asked my current employer if I was eligible for unemployment. I always have been when I worked at a temp agency but these guys hired me as a no benefits temp employee. I can of course ask HR this but I may want to wait until I'm much closer to the end.

-Knowing that I might not be entitled to unemployment its scary to think I only have 3 months worth of expenses saved up and have to rely on my part-time job only to carry me through once those funds run out.

-I still have less than 1000 in my IRA, I've had this IRA since I was 18. If I had been able to put more money in there I would have much more. The returns on the stocks I invested in almost 10 years ago have been amazing.

Ultimately though I haven't done so bad for myself. I paid for a wedding, didn't touch a penny of my part time job checks except for 4, one for tires for the car, one for medical bills and 2 for the wedding.

-I did save up 3 months worth of expenses and while its scary to think I may have to rely on it, its comforting to know that I have at least that cushion.

-I have done the best I can do to replenish the EF but felt it was more important to get rid of the cc debt since I have no idea what the pay rate will be on my next gig but know that there is no way I can pay it off on my part-time one.

-I also managed to convince my 2 of my credit card companies to convert my cards into rewards so now when I choose to use them I am getting money back to do so.

-I have kept my expenses low and learned to cook more things which means we eat out a lot less than we used to.

-I gave myself a break and I am finally giving myself a few more bucks each week to spend on food etc. This should help from racking up the cards again as well.

All in all the picture isn't bleak but its still not rosy. I'm a lot better off than I was when I graduated from school and doing fine considering that this economy is awful and some people have had no work at all while I still continue to get at least 1 assignment a year.

I am grateful but it does get hard. I start to wonder if my goals are reachable, if a home or children is financially even possible.

I do hope my current position calls me back but I'm going to stay strong and hope for the best. I stand by my work and efforts and just soldier on to the next job. This time though unlike the last time I have a bigger buffer than before, which is good because I might end up needing it!

Discretionary spending is part of the budget too!

November 13th, 2013 at 08:11 am

I just bought a personal finance book that helps me figure out how to save money with my irregular income. Now that my credit card debt is paid off I wasn't quite sure what to do next.

The answer seems to be save. But I have charged some things to the card the past two weeks. I felt like a failure til I read this book and realized. I wasn't setting aside enough money for what I actually spend each month.

So I calculated out that number and its isn't that much in the grand scheme of things but I'd like to lower it. For now while I still have steady cash flow I'm finally going to accurately allocate money toward my spending trends each month (groceries, eating out, entertainment, shopping - as in buying clothes, a kitchen tool etc)

I'm hoping now that I'm not trying to put every penny toward those other credit card payments by giving myself an realistic "allowance" I can now not feel deprived and use everything that is left over to reach my goals while sitting being able to put gas in my car or have one coffee a week if I choose.

I do worry that I will not save enough before my assignment ends but I haven't finished the book yet either.

My goals for this week's paycheck are:
-Pay off the groceries I charged to the credit card because I ran out of money
-Give myself an allowance so that next week's groceries won't end up on the credit card.
-Plug those holes that have left me just short of the 3 month expense goals.
-If anything is left over apply it to your other financial goals.

And for myself I'd like to finish reading that book. A part of me wishes I had come across it before but in reality I'm happy I did enough on my own and got to a positive point where I realized now that my credit card debt is gone I need to come up with a system so that I don't mismanage my new found "extra money."

Looking at the big financial picture I really haven't done too badly for myself. But I can always do better. This whole financial security thing seems to really suit me lol.

Looking at the big picture once again.

November 6th, 2013 at 02:26 pm

Now that the credit card debt really is gone I have started to get some clarity on what I should do next. I started looking into money advice for people with irregular income like myself.

It seems like so far I've done well. I have lived off of way less than my means and saved almost 3 months of expenses plus an emergency fund.

The advice I had never encountered before was to take into account your other expenses which is a good idea. I had never formulated much of a budget on items such as groceries, eating out etc. Just restricted my spending to a certain amount which I never seem to hit.

I have had mint tracking my expenses for quite some time and have a list of bills that I do have to pay throughout the year even if they happen once a year (renter's insurance, excise tax/registration etc etc).

Now I just have to insure I budget for those as well. I have probably have another month of work or so. I'll figure out my numbers once my printer ink arrives and see what else I can be doing to ensure that I stay afloat while I have little to no cash flow.

For the first time in a long time I feel full of possibilities rather than worried about how I am going to make it through. That is encouraging and a very nice place to be indeed.

Reality of short savings goals

November 4th, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Now that my credit card debt is gone I can finally focus again on saving. And I'm short. I'm short on my three months goals. I'm short on my Christmas goal, gift fund goal etc.

It's frustrating. It feels like I cannot get it sorted out before this job ends and like I can't seem to win and have to be stuck of off living off of nothing for a while longer.

But then I think wow my credit card debt really is gone. I really can pay out an extra car payment each month and still save for goals for as long as I am employed.

Today was a pain and so was last week as I had some unexpected expenses. But they are taken care of which feels pretty good. And I am still credit card debt free today. I guess as someone had said on the blog comments. I need to let this accomplishment set in before I freak out about the next.

I've been stuck with that debt for so long most of the years since I turned 18, that I need to relearn things. I'm just so programmed into the payments its become a bad habit. Guess its just time to replace it with a new one like putting that money toward paying off my darn car, or just really breathing easy that as long as I keep my savings high, the credit card nightmare is finally over. Just hoping I can plug those savings gaps.

I have accomplished a lot and I just need to remember to take it one step at a time. It took years to rack up the debt, and years to pay it off. Building up my savings will take a while too. I just need to be patient.

Heck Yea no more cc debt

November 1st, 2013 at 07:17 am

Well its the end of cc debt for me and I could not be happier. My temp work is in its last stages of the project but I will be getting a good amount of overtime. At this point well just see how it goes. I have added a monthly bill to my one of my cc's so that is it still be used for credit score purposes.

I have a gap of about 500 or so dollars from actually hitting my 3 month of expenses goal since I had to take on a new bill but I will plug that hole in the next paycheck. After that I think I will just save the money to hit 6 months worth of expenses if at all possible. And I'd like to make double car payments if at all possible but well see how that all goes since if I do that I will be able to pay off the car in a years time. I will have to reconfigure all my numbers for that. But for now I am going to happily celebrate my accomplishment with a cup of iced coffee. Happy Friday everyone!!