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Archive for April, 2016

Budgets and a look back

April 27th, 2016 at 08:03 pm

Thank you everyone for the kind words. I decided to go ahead and re-plug in numbers to my budget.

It is going to be tight for a bit but it looks like around the start of June the purse strings are going to be able to be loosened a bit so that I can maybe even knock out the last of that crappy revolving credit card debt. Or put more than a few bucks toward retirement.

We decided to tackle one bill early so I will have an extra 440 to throw at that balance between here and there if not more.

I'm just glad that I took the steps I did or I would be in a really not fun situation at the moment.

Aside from re-configuring the budget. I did a look back at last years situation to see how things have improved.

Issues I had 4/15 that I don't have 4/16
- I didn't have a job. I was temping for the company I now work full time for.

- I was iffy about my car even though it was paid off. I have since traded in that car for a lease on a new car which was so low I was able pay it off all at once and continue not having a monthly car payment.

- I was dreading a rent increase and trying to figure out how to save for a house. I have a house now. Smile

- I had an old medical bill in collections. I paid this off early this year.

- I knew I had to get my teeth fixed after years of neglect. I have since gone and taken care of all the issues. This work is also paid off.

- I had a part time job that stressed me out and kept increasing in hours. I was plotting how and when I could dump it. I have since quit. Life is easier now.

Of course I have new issues:

-I have to figure out what to do about the next car

-I have to see the dentist for routine keep-ups to keep my teeth in good shape

-The house still needs some work done which we need to budget for (less than 5K at this point)

-I need to rebuild my emergency fund after it funded so many emergencies.

-The house needs its own fund for routine maintenance things like: Eventual roof replacement, hardwood floor coating for the floor every 5 years, and a plumbing structure that will need to be replaced in 2 years or so.

-Kids will probably be coming into the picture in the next few years in a way truly negating any debt payoff progress.


Either way though, I'm hopeful. It seems things do get crazy but I have been handling them okay. Preparing for them as well as I can and trying to make whatever the best financial decision is that I can. Now I guess I just have to see about possibly increasing my income (without another part-time job) so I can knock out some debt and build up some wealth.

I'm not going to make it

April 25th, 2016 at 10:52 pm

Big Bummer. While I slashed by credit card balance by 80% I'm not going to be able to pay it off in full like I wanted with this upcoming paycheck. I have to put the check toward my quarterly tax bill instead.

I think it's going to be okay but I also think I might have to skip going home to visit my family this year and maybe even a trip I had planned to go to a cousin's wedding unless I get a good deal on the flight or get a raise or something.

It's a real bummer but the thing is unless something changes I know I can't afford it. I didn't think I'd get hit with all these house expenses right off the bat. And the dental work last year whipped out my savings that I'd had for potential house expenses.

It's just putting out fire after fire since about October of last year. I'm tired and I'm broke. So broke that for the first time in years I had to put charges on the credit card for monthly bills not knowing when I'll be able to pay them. Juggling juggling. I'm one disaster away from breaking my back.

I'm hoping that in the coming month having some structure again will really let me know what I'm working with here.

I couldn't get to the bank last week to get the few bucks I have left over for grocery spending money after taking out bills, taxes, gas money and some savings. I started using the grocery card for the 3% cash back and then found myself using it too much. I bought that kitchen stuff, some groceries, household items and charged an insurance bill but then I spent an extra $50 dollars on coffee and snacks.) So that's gone too before $50 turns into $500. I hid it in the house. Don't want to shred it though since I have no emergency fund right now and I'd need something in case of emergency type deal.

While I'm still putting chunks of money toward my cc bill, I am also putting a small amount of money toward my emergency fund each week and when things stabilize it'll go up. I'd like to ideally make it go up a few bucks every month but we'll see how much money I have left over.

Things are going to be tight for a while but at least my expenses are finally somewhat fixed.

I know what the bills are going to be each month and I know I won't have a rent increase now that we have a mortgage. I just need to not get discouraged.

I've been here before and made it, I'll make it by again. I've already started planning meals so we can control food costs and eat much healthier. And that at least is a start.



Getting closer to paying off card but feeling sort of overwhelmed

April 21st, 2016 at 10:22 pm

I am so happy to be closer to getting this credit card paid off but I am having a hard time with this whole money thing right now.

I had a few yearly expense things come up and it feels weird to be scrapping at the bottom of the barrel now that I had had savings for so long.

I shouldn't feel too bad I've done a lot of things right I'm just working with a less money than I used to back when I was paid well.

I just have to try and get some savings back that's all. And figure out where to cut things to get some retirement money put away.

I just try to do too much at one time I guess but I don't usually have the luxury of time.

Not having the part time job has been fantastic for my stress levels and that makes it worth it to me.

Pretty soon here I will start going to the gym again and that should make me feel a lot better as well. Might keep a tracker for weight on the sidebar.

I just feel like things are going to get harder from here out not easier. And that sort of stinks.

Oh well though that's life. Once this debt is gone I will feel a little more like at equilibrium and will be able to see through the fog again. I'm just happy that I had the good sense to recognize the bad behavior before it did some really serious permanent damage.

Here's to a new routine and more savings in 2016!

Had to spend a little but now my kitchen is organized

April 12th, 2016 at 08:16 pm

Well so far so good. I had to spend a little this weekend in order to get shelf liners for the kitchen. The project took all weekend but now my kitchen is organized and I know where everything is which is great for my wallet and my waistline. It cost a little over $100 to line the whole kitchen, get a few cheap organizers and a small trash can, but it really is going to save me a time and money in the long run.

The balance on the card is down to $4000 from the original $5188. I have two paychecks in April but the third falls after the due date which means I will get hit with interest.

If my last paycheck from my part-time job comes in and is half decent or if my tax refund comes in, it'll make it easier to hit the mark. If neither of those things happen I can probably still hit the mark but it is going to be very painful.

After this whole thing is over I am going to focus on saving toward a new car almost exclusively (alongside with building up an emergency fund again). I have until August of next year to come up with a sizable down-payment if I keep this car which I might or if I buy another. I also could do another one-pay lease. I'll have to see what makes more sense financially when I get to that point.

It's just that I know with the new added payment to the 0% interest loan I cannot carry a car payment on top of everything else.

At least this deal worked out where I didn't have to do that. I mean voluntarily yes I am taking out a car payment to myself each month (or at least that was the plan now I will be getting back on track), but if I had to pay that to the bank each month with the other debt I'm carrying I would have very little left at the end of each month. It is nice to not have that over my head and still be in a reliable vehicle.

It is also nice to know the house is in good working order for now as long as we continue to take good care of it. The only other major repairs should be the roof in about 5-10 years and a possible re-model of one of the bathrooms so that it is not just a bath tub without the shower option.

Thanks for listening guys. It really helps to know that I'm not alone and that even if I get in a jam I know how to pull myself up by the bootstraps and keep on marching.