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Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

July 22nd, 2014 at 12:45 pm

It's payday...which just means it's time for another round of allocating my money to everyone but myself...

I will be so glad when the vast majority of my paycheck is mine and mine alone.

My new 401K enrollment has taken effect, so my consistent paychecks from now on will be about $50 more than I had guessed.

After paying my car, 2 student loans, 2 credit cards (one of which will be completely paid off), and the phone bill, plus funding my various savings accounts, I will have a grand total of $75 in the bank which is my money through next paycheck. I've decided to have a semi-tough conversation with SO about dating on the cheap and as somewhat of a concession, any shows I do from now on (got another this coming Saturday) will go half to fun money, half to debt repayment. I think this will be a good compromise since I don't currently allocate fun money to myself because this way, I won't totally resent not being able to go out, but I'll have to work for it if I want to be able to do more expensive activities.

Sometimes, I get so frustrated with dealing with this whole financial mess, but then I just try to remind myself that I'm setting up future me for success.

Lots of Numbers

April 22nd, 2014 at 04:48 pm

Below is the updated numbers for what I owe at the end of April:

Car: 7876.26
Sallie Mae 1-6: 20786.57
Dept of Ed 1/3: 8220.55
ACS: 10439.37
Wells Fargo: 2480.56
Personal Loan: 3278.15

Slowly but surely making progress. However, I am noticing that I'm spending much more than budgeted in categories outside of debt so here's my planned April spending versus the actual for everything not accounted for above:

Item

Planned
Actual

External Savings
$30
$30

Netflix
$9
$8

Insurance
$85
$85

Credit Card
$110
$330

Gym
$30
$29

Linked Savings
$25
$25

Phone
$205
$205

Kohls CC
$60
$59


Obviously, my problem is the credit card. In order to continue to show utilization, I am trying to only charge my 110 food/gas/catch all budget and pay it in full each month.

I've started analyzing my credit card purchases to figure out where I'm going wrong, so more on that as I pinpoint my problem areas.

Family Values

March 24th, 2014 at 04:34 pm

I think it's time I mentioned the biggest factor potentially holding me back in my debt journey - my family.

My mom grew up in a very traditional Filipino family where everyone does things for the family. It's simply expected that when someone is in trouble or needs help, you help them.

While I've gotten better with this lately, this past weekend was a little bit of a setback. My mom's terrible with money. Because of that, I've been vague about increases and finances, so she's not aware of what I make or what little I have in savings. You can bet if she knew, she'd come calling more often (she is, however, aware of my living situation).

She's been spending what little she has on a lawyer for her sister (told you, they all pay help each other...even at their own expense), and asked me for a loan. While I don't mind giving it, I usually have to put myself in the mindset that that is money I'll just never see again if I agree to give it to her. If it comes back, I just consider it a nice snowflake, but more often than not, it doesn't. Unfortunately, that was money I had intended to put my car well under the 9 grand mark. Now, I have to settle for just getting it to 8 grand and (LOTS OF) change.

Has anyone else experienced this sort of family culture? How do you escape it without losing those you hold dear?

Is financial freedom worth your sanity?

March 21st, 2014 at 05:02 pm

At times, it is. I've alluded to my housing situation. I live in the finished basement of a townhouse owned by the family I nanny for. In exchange for 10 babysitting hrs/wk plus the household's laundry, I live there rent-free.

While it's a great arrangement 90% of the time, there are moments where I question whether it's worth my mental health. Last night, for instance, what was supposed to be a half-hour of getting the boys (8 and 5) to bed turned into an hour and a half battle of wills.

It's nights like that that make me question whether I want to continue the arrangement. Is it worth the occasional so-annoyed-I-could-scream feeling to have a LOT more money to throw at my debt? For me, it's a resounding YES!

Breaking Down the Numbers

March 20th, 2014 at 01:58 pm

I'm floored by the positivity here (in a great way)! Yesterday, I went out to get batteries for our belated company anniversary/St. Patty's Day party (we had light-up shamrock necklaces). The CVS was right next to Chipotle and I really could have gone for some chips and guac (after all, they're running out Wink). Then I remembered that I'd just started this blog and I realized even that 4 bucks means something, so I passed chipotle and went on my way.

Now to the numbers:
Car - 9210.13
Sallie Mae 1 - 2795.17
Sallie Mae 2 - 4812.15
Sallie Mae 3 - 2743.51
Sallie Mae 4 - 2682.50
Sallie Mae 5 - 4737.77
Sallie Mae 6 - 2971.46
Dept of Ed 1 - 6062.53
Dept of Ed 3 - 2156.42
ACS Education Loan - 10568.17
Wells Fargo Loan - 2521.39
Personal Loan - 3438.81
BOA Credit Card - 0
Kohls CC - 0
Target CC - 0

Emergency Fund - ~500

Told you I've been good with the cards Smile

My income comes to 2696/month and my current expenses total 1128 not counting food/gas. I'll go into detail next post about expenses because I know that I can cut back even more.

For 2014, I set 3 goals:
- Pay off my car
- Pay off the Personal Loan
- Bring my emergency fund up to 2000

What are your 2014 financial goals? Are you on track to achieve them?

All About Me :)

March 19th, 2014 at 03:39 pm

Hi Everyone!

I'm new to blogging so be gentle Smile I recently made the decision to buckle down on my finances. After creating the dreaded 'B' word and working up some scenarios, I've given myself the aggressive, but attainable, goal of being debt-free by 30 (gives me almost 3 years). I'm pretty open, so I will be posting full numbers and would appreciate any feedback/help I can get. My blogging goal is 3 posts/week, so feel free to hold me accountable on that too.

I've been working on this aggressively since January (I started in November, but we all know how the holidays can derail things: finances, weight, work, etc...) and am happy to say that I've paid off my credit card (1500) and gotten my car under 10000 (originally 13000). And since no story's complete without failures, I will say they upon discovering my credit score was higher than it's ever been (720ish), I foolishly opened 2 more credit cards and took out a personal loan (more on this later). I've been good with the cards so far and they have low limits.

Next post, I'll lay out all my numbers and my broken down goals for this year.