Monthly Archives: April 2013

Week 8 – Expense and Debt update

A HUGE month of travel in April has finally drawn to a close. Travelling interstate for the last 3 weeks has meant my budget has taken a hit. I’m looking forward to refocusing in May – I still do have a few more ‘extras’ to pay for in the next few paydates. But that’s life, and this is what this blog is about, my personal journey with debt – sometimes winning, sometimes not. I’m fairly exhausted after 3 big weeks and not in the best mood – I’m looking forward to paying off my first credit card in 3 days. I think that will be the lift I need.


Week 8 stats are:


Total Income 

  •  $0.00

Spending / Expenses:

(Amounts in italics are included in my regular monthly expense budget as listed in this previous post)

  • Monday: $100.00 travel, $4.30 coffee
  • Tuesday: $0.00
  •  Wednesday: $4.60 coffee, $178.00 loan repayment, $29.00 loan insurance
  • Thursday: $6.50, $11.80 coffee (me and mum), $15.00 drinks and game of 2Up
  • Friday:  $4.60 coffee, $5.00 snacks, $89.95  dress for wedding (on credit card 2), $30.00 accessories for wedding (on credit card 2), $2.00 sushi, $4.00 hairspray, $16.00 cocktail
  • Saturday: $4.80 coffee, $1.70 gum, $2.95 cookie, $10.00 lunch, $20.00 cab, $100.00 wedding gift, $70.00 accommodation, $30.00 cab, $33.30 drinks
  • Sunday: $3.30 coffee, $4.95 magazine, $20 phone credit, $35.00 cab,$3.80 chips


Total Expenses / spend: $840.55


Week 8  Summary

Income $0 + bank balance $780.47  = $780.47  – expenses $720.60  (remember some expenses went on credit)  = $59.87  in bank account


Week 8 debt status

Credit card #1 – $299.00 (Goal to pay off in total by 2nd May 2013)

Credit card #2 – $4735.40 (Goal to pay off in total by 8th August 2013)

Personal loan – $7,229.72 (Goal to pay off in total by 31st October 2013)

Total Debt : $12,264.12

Initial Debt: $14, 744.12

Debt reduced by week 8:  $ 2480.00


Some days, I just want to buy everything.

Sometimes saving money and all this budgeting Is.So.Freakin.Boring

Today I was window shopping (terrible idea when one has no money to spend) and I seriously just wanted to buy about everything I laid eyes on.

Shoes, a dress for the wedding this weekend, new makeup to go with the new dress, new hair products to suit the new makeup style,  travel book on Alaska (? huh…Id never even thought about Alaska), a knitted top with this cute lion on it (even though it hasn’t dipped below 25 degrees in QLD yet), every weekly celebrity magazine (its just more fun seeing Kim Kardasian’s ridiculously unflattering pregnancy outfits in print than online), a gourmet cupcake and a coffee….actually make that 3 coffees thanks.

And I’m not even a big “buying stuff’ kind of person.

But it was just One.Of.Those.Days. The funny thing is, I spend so little on ‘stuff’ at the moment that buying a new $5 notepad gives me the same thrill as buying an $80 pair of shoes used to……hey big spender, check you out with your funky little $5 notepad.

The long and the short of it is, days like this, I just need to suck it up and know that my amazing ability to refrain from a massive spending binge WILL ALL BE WORTH IT when I am  FABULOUSLY DEBT FREE 🙂

Anyhoos – good news is peoples, that after all my inward bitching and moaning about the things I couldn’t buy (puts hand to forehead and sighs dramatically) the only thing I did buy was a delicious vanilla latte.

No surprises there 🙂

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Week 7 – Spend and Debt Update

Another interstate trip this weekend for a good friend’s Hens Night 🙂 As I write this update I am extremely fuzzy headed and hungover from waaaaaaay to many cocktails last night. My liver is taking an absolute beating in April with all these events!

Here are my stats for the week – Im quite excited to say that next pay date I will be able to smash the balance on Credit Card 1 – HECK YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!

Total Income 

  •  $1595.00

Spending / Expenses:

(Amounts in italics are included in my regular monthly expense budget as listed in this previous post)

  • Monday: $0.00
  • Tuesday: $47.50 drinks
  •  Wednesday: $4.50 coffee, $3.70  lunch
  • Thursday: $460.00 debt repayment to credit card 1
  • Friday:  $4.30 coffee, $19.00 gift, $140 board
  • Saturday: $10 breakfast at airport, $10.80 lunch, $2 travel, $17.00 airport shuttle, $50.00 ‘Hen’s night’ payment.
  • Sunday: $33.00 cab to airport, $11.20 breakfast, $10.90 lunch

Total Expenses / spend: $823.90

Week 7  Summary

Income $1595 +  $9.37 = 1604.37 – expenses $823.90 = $780.47

Week 7  debt status

Credit card #1 – $299.00

Credit card #2 – $4615.45

Personal loan – $7309.87

Total Debt : $12, 224.32

Initial Debt: $14, 744.12

Debt reduced by week 7:  $ 2519.68

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Week 6 – Spend and Debt update (I increased my debt ..nooooooo!!)

I’m late on my weekly update – it was a big weekend interstate! I had a great time with friends I hadn’t seen in awhile and celebrating the engagement of 2 very dear friends of mine.

Debt busting wise, it wasn’t such a great week. For the first time since starting my Debt Breakup, I have had to use my credit card. But I have said before that April for me is a huge month (3 trips interstate) so although it is disappointing to have added too, and not reduced, my debt this week, its not surprising.

The main reason I did ‘no spend week’ in week 5 was to keep some coin in my account for the week just gone. So I figure if I hadn’t put in the hard ‘no spending’ yards in week 5, I’d had to have put even more on my credit card – so that is one good thing.

Total Income 

  •  $0.00

Spending / Expenses:

(Amounts in italics are included in my regular monthly expense budget as listed in this previous post)

  • Monday: $0.00
  • Tuesday: $4.40 coffee, $7.10 health and beauty items
  • Wednesday: $91.00 gift ($70 put on credit card), $10 gift cards
  • Thursday: $0.00
  • Friday: , $2.00 donation, $4.30 coffee
  • Saturday: $35.00 taxi (put on Credit card) $4.40 coffee, $15.90 train travel (put on Credit card), $9.00 coffees, $5.00 travel, $30 lunch, $20 taxi, $66.60 taxi
  • Sunday: $32 (put on credit card) $4.95 magazine, $10.oo dinner, $7.50 snacks (put on credit card), $15.90 travel

Total Expenses / spend: $375.05 + credit card interest $16.00 =$391.05

Week 6  Summary

Income $0 +   $208.35 (bank balance at start of the week) – expenses $375.05 = $9.37 in bank  account (not all my expenses were paid with cash, hence still a small balance in my account)

Week 6 debt status

Credit card #1 – $759.00

Credit card #2 – $4615.45

Personal loan – $7309.87

Total Debt : $12, 684.32

Initial Debt: $14, 744.12

Debt reduced by week 6:  $ 2059.80

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The cost in time

Time is the one thing money can’t buy. And everyday we ‘sell’ our time in exchange for money. And then convert that money to possessions and experiences.

So money is just the middle man. What is really purchasing those possessions / experiences / basic necessities – is our time.

Similar to a previous post – when I looked at what it would cost me in time to pay off my debt – here are some figures on the cost of things in time in a job that’s paying, lets say, $20.00 per hour. If I spent:

  • $1000 per year on coffee, that’s: 50 hours
  • $15,6000 (my old rental cost!) a year on rent: 780 hours
  • $2000 a year on takeaway :100 hours
  • $1500 a year on alcohol: 52.5 hours
  • $5000 on a holiday: 250 hours

I find it so interesting to see the cost in terms of time rather than money. I think it really helps me focus on what I should (literally) be spending my time on! What are the things most important to me.

Every minute I live, I can never get back.

My employer pays me for every hour of my time.

I can never go back to my boss and say ‘hey, can I get back the last 5 years of my time cos I’ve just realised I haven’t acquired or experienced with it things that really were important to me’

Spend your time wisely 😉

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Challenge – The Gift of Change (Start Date, 7th April – End Date, 31st October)

I really enjoy giving gifts. As they say, to give is better than to receive.

Living  back at home with my folks has been a huge gift to me financially. It has afforded me the opportunity to really tackle this debt head on by dramatically reducing my living / lifestyle costs. I pay $140 a fortnight to my parents for board, which basically covers food. I have asked them to let me (yes, I had to ask because they were happy for me not to) to chip in on electricity costs to the value (approx $170 – $200) of what I used to pay per quarter when I lived alone. Compared to what I spent on rent alone when I lived out of home, these costs are soooo minimal!

My folks don’t actually know the total amount of my debt. They know I am on a debt smashing mission and I plan to tell them the total amount at the end of October when I am DEBT FREE!!

I also want to give them a gift, to say thank you for the opportunity to pay off my debt and change my life. I know that is what a lot of parents would do, let their kids come back home, but I know not everyone would have this option. There is no way I could be debt free by October without living back at home. And I am very grateful.

I am starting my Gift of Change Challenge. I have a jar. Every $2 coin and $5 note I receive from now on is going into my Gift Jar.

I don’t know why I chose $2 and $5 notes. I just did. I don’t know how much will be there at the end. But it will go towards the Thank You gift I want to give my folks.

I’ll also give an update each week on how my Gift Jar funds are progressing!

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Week 5 – Spend and Debt Update and No Spend Challenge


This week was my No Spend week challenge! And when I say No Spend, I mean aside from the expenses already allocated in my budget aka my  financial commitments, in italics below.

How did I go with my No Spend week?! Pretty good! There were 3 purchases (outside my budgeted expenses) but bear with me while I explain (not excuse!) those after the summary of Week 5:

Total Income 

  •  $1595.00 (pay)  + $20.00 extra income* = $1615.00

Spending / Expenses:

(Amounts in italics are included in my regular monthly expense budget as listed in this previous post)

  • Monday: $0.00
  • Tuesday: $0.00
  • Wednesday: $0.00
  • Thursday: $570 Credit card #1 debt repayment, $130 Credit Card #2 debt repayment, $140 board, $25 internet, $20 Phone, $180 travel,  $60 tithe (my allocated tithe is $40 per fortnight but remember I had $20 towards tithe left from last week so I donated all $60 at once this week) $129.00 flight*, $156.50 flight*, $30.00* market stall fee
  • Friday: $0.00
  • Saturday: $0.00
  • Sunday: $0.00

Total Expenses / spend: $1440.50

Week 5  Summary

Income $1615.00 +   $33.85  (bank balance at start of the week) – expenses $1440.50 = $208.35 in bank  account

Week 5 debt status

Credit card #1 – $632.12

Credit card #2 – $4566.00

Personal loan – $7309.87

Total Debt : $12, 507.99

Initial Debt: $14, 744.12

Debt reduced by week 5:  $2,236.13

*Let me explain my spending on flights and the market stall fee. This month I am travelling a lot interstate for personal reasons (ie, not on works dime 😉 for an engagement, wedding and hens weekend (all separate weekends!). These are some huge life moments for some of my best friends and days I want to participate in regardless of debt status. So I have budgeted accordingly in the lead up to April for these events. I had to buy flights this week or else risk the cost increasing further.

The market stall was my shot at generating some extra income (I’m still trying to figure out ways of increasing income – I hold no particularly valuable talents and my baking isn’t something people would ever pay for 🙂

My mum is an amazing dressmaker and has a stall at monthly craft markets, so this week (last minute) I split the cost of the stall with her to sell some of my handmade cushions. My  half of the stall cost was $30.00. As I hadn’t budgeted for this (and it was my no spend week!) I tried to offset the cost by reducing my monthly phone cost (Im on prepaid, not a plan) from $50 to $20.00 and use that $30.00 for the stall. I only sold $20.00 of stock so I didn’t quite make back the cost of the stall. But it worth a shot!

So, overall I am really pleased with my no spend week!!!  I didn’t buy ANY coffee, any magazines, any snacks….I think I might incorporate a No Spend Week into every month…

Ps – whilst on No Spend Week challenge, I read a blog – And Then We Saved – and the writer was actually on a No Spend challenge for OVER A YEAR. Impressive!!!

And there I was patting myself on the back for forgoing my coffees for 1 week!!!

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No Spend Week Challenge – Update

So, I set myself a little challenge on Sunday not to spend anything for 7 days (other than my required expenses as set out in my budget)

And guess what – Im doing pretty awesomely (*pats self of back)

Although I am MISSING COFFEE!!!!! Yesterday I used up my Get Out Of Coffee Jail Free card – which was the reward card for one of the cafes I go to regularly. Buy 7 coffees, get the 8th one free type of thing. And I was up to my freebie. So I redeemed a huge delicious vanilla latte for free and went along my merry, non spending way. And the world felt a bit brighter. 🙂

It’s Friday morning and I don’t anticipate any issues with wanting to spend today…however the weekend may be a different story! I’ll let you know how I go on my Sunday Expenses and Debt reduction update.

Happy Friday peoples!

Worried about money? Don’t be. Just eat more cookie dough ice-cream.

One day my gorgeous boyfriend who happened to be both filthy rich AND of exotic European back ground turned to me and said (in an extremely sexy accent)

‘Darling, your debt? Forget this! I have paid it all. And I, also being an extremely generous man who loves giving gifts, have deposited enough money into your account so you will never need to work again. We can sail together, for the rest of our days on the Italian coast, running hand in hand along beaches at sunset. Oh, and you will also be able to eat cookie dough ice-cream every day for the rest of your life and NEVER GAIN WEIGHT…

And then, like the story always goes, I woke up.

Still in debt, and not in any way immune to the calorific content of a bowl of cookie dough icecream.


Before I got serious about smashing debt, I always felt worry about my financial situation kicking around in my mind…sometimes is was vague worry, just scratching around back there. Other times it was a big ‘WE NEED TO GET THIS S*^t SORTED ASAP’ worry voice booming out.

I knew the situation was grim, but it seemed so big that I refused (stupidly) to think strategically about the situation. So this nagging worry and anxiety about my finances was always lurking around, and it sucked.

When that booming voice boomed so loud that I could deny it’s boom-i-ness no longer, I finally stopped making excuses to get out of debt. I took ACTION. I created a PLAN to attack my debt and made the LIFESTYLE CHANGES necessary to implement this plan.

And as soon as I made that first payment towards my debt, although it barely made a dent, that anxiety and worry lifted from me. The annoying booming voice disappeared. I was still in debt. But I was in control, and I felt a lot calmer. I had a plan – direction and focus. I was no longer wandering aimlessly around the Big Scary Land Of Personal Finance. I had a map. And I was on my way.

The important thing to note, is the map had always been available to me, and it’s directions to get out of this mess would never change:

Directions – walk straight along A Lot Of Hard Work and Sacrifice Street, turn right at Repayment lane. Then repeat over and over again. Eventually you will come to a gate that says Debt Free. Walk through this gate and NEVER TURN BACK.

Although I am still in a lot of debt, and not a cent of savings to my name (yes, I am freestyling a bit and bucking the Emergency Fund trend for the moment….) I actually feel less financial anxiety than I did when I had savings and debt.

Because I’ve got my directions, I know what I need to do, my mind is set and I am getting the heck out of this place.

And Im taking this bowl of cookie dough ice-cream with me.

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