Monthly Archives: May 2013

Week 12 – Expense and Debt Update

This week, I set myself a $15.00 limit on coffees. Pleased to say that I did stick within that limit – exactly $15 – and it reduced the inner angst of coffee purchasing! (I found a cafe  that does ‘happy hour’ coffee for $2.50 between 10 -11am )

Here are my week 12 stats:

Total Income 

  •  $0.00 (this was not my pay week)

Spending / Expenses:

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

  • Monday: $8.20 card and postage
  • Tuesday: $15.00 vitamins, $38.85  facewash, $4.30 coffee, $6.95 moisturiser, $2.00 chocolate, $30.00 phone recharge credit
  •  Wednesday: $3.30 coffee, $29.00 loan insurance
  • Thursday: $2.50 coffee, $8.95 takeaway dinner
  • Friday:  $50.00 travel, $4.90 coffee, $4.20 celebrity magazine (these mags are SUCH a waste of money. I really need to stop!)
  • Saturday: $20.50 breakfast for me and mum, $31.57 face cream, shampoo and conditioner
  • Sunday: $178.00 loan repayment

Total Expenses / spend: $438.22

Week 12 Summary

Income $0.00 + bank balance $640.75  – expenses $438.22

$202.53   in bank account

Week 12 debt status

Credit card #1 – $0.00!!!! (Goal to pay off in total by 2nd May 2013COMPLETED ON TIME!!!!!!!!!!)

Credit card #2 – $4318.05   (Goal to pay off in total by 8th August 2013)

Personal loan – $7,145.80  (Goal to pay off in total by 31st October 2013)

Total Debt : $11,463.85

Initial Debt: $14, 744.12

Debt reduced by week 12:  $ 3280.27

86 days has past since I started my Debt Smashing Mission – on average, I’m paying off $38.14 of debt per day. That doesn’t really seem like much, considering I earn $159.50 per day? It certainly FEELS like Im paying more than that for all the effort ha. Interesting…

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Letter to my future Debt Free self

Sometimes this debt repaying thing is so hard and so boring. But I know it will be so worth it. I caught myself in a moment of ‘woe is me’ earlier this week which lead me to fervently tell myself I AM NEVER GOING TO GET MYSELF INTO DEBT AGAIN. 

Ah, but the best laid plans. The biggest promises. The ‘in the moment, hand on heart swearing black and blue’ oaths, sworn in times of frustration/ anger/ inability to buy new shoes.

Sometimes, down the track, when you are out of the black (or red) hole – all those feelings have faded. And temptation may find itself knocking on your 0.00 credit card balance door.

So, I have decided to write future self a letter. Should that temptation come knocking. A letter written in the moment of the debt nightmare (NOW!)

Dear Future Debt Free Self,

So you want to take a trip huh? You’ve saved hard. But your still a few thousand short of making it a fabulous trip. And you are impatient. You want to go NOW. Your thinking about a loan huh….yes, yes, you are. Ive seen that look before. That’s how we got in that debt debacle a few years back – helloooooo, remember?!! 

Remember  how embarrassed you were to tell anyone how much debt you were in? Remember worrying all those night about that increasing card debt. It kept you awake at night. It stressed you out. It made you feel like you were a big fat financial loser. Like you would never get ahead. Worried if something happened, and you were out of work with no ability to pay. Remember when you WERE out of work. Then remember PAYING OFF that debt. That was HARD WORK right. It was boring and tedious. You never wanted to be there again. You swore to me (to you) that you would never buy something you couldn’t afford. It’s not worth it. SAVE that extra 2 thousand. Make some sacrifices now, so you never have to make those annoying Debt Be Gone sacrifices AGAIN. Sacrificing for savings is sooooo much more awesome than sacrificing for debt. Then kick back on your holiday – knowing you earned it. You didn’t charge it.

Regards

In Debt Self of 2013

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Week 11 – Expense and Debt update

Week 11!  Wow, can’t believe ‘been capturing and posting all my expenses for almost 3 months. I must say this blog has been a highly useful tool when it comes to keeping oneself accountable.

So a few points about my expenses this week. Yes, I won $105.00 from playing the pokies. NO I am not a gambler and I hardly EVER put money in the pokies as it is such a waste. However, I had a few drinks with just my youngest brother on Friday eve, which was nice but he does like to play the pokies, so I put some money in too, and, surprisingly, won. Anyhoos debt busting friends, that was a rarity and I certainly do not endorse gambling as a viable way to ‘earn’ money!

Secondly, I also spent quite a bit on vitamins and protein drinks this week. I am closing in on the last 1.5 months of training for the marathon and must ensure, at whatever cost, my body is healthy and receiving all the stuff it needs to stay energized and complete the training required so I can run my best race on the day.

Lastly, I will be following the advice of my fellow blogger Healthful Saver and giving myself $15 per week for coffees, which equates roughly to 3 coffees. Ive had my 3 for this week 😉  Im sick of fighting myself for something that I do really enjoy – if you haven’t noticed that already! – so a coffee  ‘pocket money’ allowance has been given.

oh – and this week I paid off my first ‘over and above the minimum repayment’ for my 2nd credit card. Felt great to whack that balance with a nice big $500 😉

So here are my week 11 stats:

Total Income 

  •  $1595.00 + $105.00 won

Spending / Expenses:

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

  • Monday: $10.00 travel
  • Tuesday: $40.00 travel, $4.90 coffee, $20.00 groceries
  •  Wednesday: $2.00 sausage roll, $240.00 board / electricity, $80.00 donation, $500 debt repayment to credit card 2, $120.00 entry fee for marathon, $190.00 flights
  • Thursday: $4.20 coffee, $15.00 notepads, $100.00 travel
  • Friday:  $3.90 coffee, $5.95 maccas, $20.00 pokies, $45.00 drinks
  • Saturday: $4.00 coffee, $51.65 vitamins / protein drinks
  • Sunday: $0.00

Total Expenses / spend: $1456.60

Week 11 Summary

Income $1595.00 + bank balance $397.35 + won $105.00 = $2097.35 – expenses $1456.60

$640.75   in bank account

Week 11 debt status

Credit card #1 – $0.00!!!! (Goal to pay off in total by 2nd May 2013 COMPLETED ON TIME!!!!!!!!!!)

Credit card #2 – $4318.05   (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 : $11,547.77

Initial Debt: $14, 744.12

Debt reduced by week 11:  $ 3,196.35

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Spending time thinking about spending

When you are trying to get out from under a mountain of dent, your expenses – understandably – come under scrutiny. Paying off this debt can be such a battle – fighting against unnecessary spending – that sometimes things get a little out of control.

For example, this is the thought process I went through last week when I REEEEAAALLY wanted a coffee. One of the ‘little’ expenses that I find it so hard to curb.

“I really feel like a coffee……. I wasn’t going to buy coffee this week…………maybe I can get one from that cheaper place, I think a small latte is only $3.00 there…….hmmm yeh but the coffee is pretty crap,,,,,,no, I won’t get one…..I REALLY want one though, I got up early this morning, I deserve it…..ok, if Ive got $4.90 in change in my purse I’ll get one….(looks in purse, no money)…right that means I shouldn’t get one!!!!…..well I need to get $20.00 out to buy facewash anyways…I’ll just get $20.00 out and buy from that….I’ll go to the good place though, because if Im going to get one it may as well be good….uurrgghh paying of debt SUCKS!”

I’ll have a large latte thanks

This whole process took about 10 minutes, Previously I would have not even spent 10 seconds  considering buying a coffee.

At least Im paying more attention now.

But seriously? For $4.90? Just buy the damn coffee 😉

Week 10 – Expense and Debt update

Pretty boring week in terms of Debt Busting. No change to debt stats since last week. I get paid on Wednesday and plan to whack Credit Card #2 with a big fat $500 repayment! That will be my first big repayment from that card. Looking forward to it *rubs hands together with glee*

 

Total Income 

  •  $0.00

Spending / Expenses:

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

  • Monday: $29.30 vitamins / protein shakes, $30.00 phone
  • Tuesday: $0.00
  •  Wednesday: $4.90 coffee, $5.95 card
  • Thursday: $0.00
  • Friday:  $4.20 coffee, $2.00 burger, $10.00 travel
  • Saturday: $25.00 gift, $52.50 groceries for mothers day BBQ
  • Sunday: $0.00

Total Expenses / spend: $163.85

 

Week 10 Summary

Income $0.00 + bank balance $561.20  = $561.20  – expenses $163.85

$397.35   in bank account

 

Week 10 debt status

Credit card #1 – $0.00!!!! (Goal to pay off in total by 2nd May 2013 COMPLETED ON TIME!!!!!!!!!!)

Credit card #2 – $4818.05  – includes interest charged for April $82.65 (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 : $12,047.77

Initial Debt: $14, 744.12

Debt reduced by week 10:  $ 2696.35 (no change from week 9)

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Does budgeting equal the death of spontaneity?

Budgeting certainly does put a dampener on spontaneous activity if that spontaneous activity relates to spending. And most of my spontaneous decisions do involve spending. I can’t ever recall saying (as a spontaneous suggestion):

‘hey, lets stay in tonight and watch a dvd we have already seen a million times and cook that 89 cent packet of popcorn!!!  wooo hoooo!!!”

This is often the suggestion of ‘cheap things to do’ when you are budgeting. And true, it is cheap, and a good idea. But my spontaneous activities / impulses generally follow along these lines:

‘Ive had a shit day at work, let’s go and drink cocktails’ – leads to…..5 cocktails and $100 from my back pocket

‘I know we are saving, but let’s just check out that awesome new restaurant that getting all the good reviews on Urban Spoon’ – leads to….very small portion sizes for a ridiculous amount of money

‘Just this once, I want to buy really ‘good’ (read: expensive) face cream and see if it does actually do anything better than normal face cream’- leads to $80 on cream that doesn’t do anything better.

The thing is, a lot of my financial blowouts have been results of spontaneity. And Im not saying that the above example, on their own, will break your budget…but when this happens frequently, it will derail your best efforts at budgeting.

A lot of people who budget, ‘plan’ for ‘spontaneity’ with a little fund of cash they can dip into should the moment call for some awesome unexpected adventures or purchases. I think this is a great idea.

In the end, it’s all very well to moan about budgeting killing spontaneity, but it just comes down to bigger picture stuff. Do you want that face cream now (which, ps, won’t work) or do you want reach your goal on travelling around the world sooner?

No brainer.

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Week 9 – Expense and Debt Update

The exciting thing about this week was paying off my first Credit Card! I feel much more motivated than I did this time last week 🙂

Given that my next credit card is almost 5k, I think my next milestone will be paying debt down to get under 10k.

Here are my week 9 stats:

Total Income 

  •  $1595.00

Spending / Expenses:

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

  • Monday: $2.00
  • Tuesday: $35.00 travel
  •  Wednesday: $35.00 deposit for festival accom, $300.00  debt payment on Credit Card #1, $140.00 board, $186.25 electricity, $183.00 storage
  • Thursday: $100.00 travel, $25.00 internet
  • Friday:  $3.50 soap, $5.00 coffee, $3.95 lunch, $12.95 movie rental
  • Saturday: $7.00 coffee (me and dad)
  • Sunday: $55.00 buffet breakfast for me, mum and dad (to say thank you for driving me to the airport so much in the last month!

Total Expenses / spend: $1093.67

Week 9 Summary

Income $1595.00 + bank balance $59.87  = $1654.87  – expenses $1093.67

$561.20  in bank account

Week 9 debt status

Credit card #1 – $0.00!!!! (Goal to pay off in total by 2nd May 2013 COMPLETED ON TIME!!!!!!!!!!)

Credit card #2 – $4818.05  – includes interest charged for April $82.65 (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 : $12,047.77

Initial Debt: $14, 744.12

Debt reduced by week 9:  $ 2696.35

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Credit Card #1 and I have officially broken up!!!!!!!!

Yeh baby!

I just paid the last balance owing on Credit Card #1! It’s official – things are over between us.

In the 9th week of my debt smashing mission the balance  of Credit Card #1 has gone from  $2377.12 to $0.00

And it feels great!! I’d love to say I will miss his relentless interest and sneaky fees, but I absolutely will not!

The last time I saw his balance as $0.00 was at the start of our relationship. Everything always seems so great in the beginning right?

Anyways, its a WIN on my path to Debt Free!

I’m now onto Credit Card #2. Staring down the  barrel of that $4700 debt feels a bit draining (geez, it seemed like such a battle to knock out Credit Card #1!) BUT it can (and will!) be done.

To debt free, and beyond!!

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