Tag Archives: coffee

Week 21- Debt stats update

Happy Sunday guys!

Here are my debt stats for the week:

Spending summary

Monday: $4.20 coffee, $45 groceries, $50 groceries,

Tuesday: $8.90 coffee, $11.70 groceries + haircare,

Wednesday: $4.90 coffee, $4.95 breakfast, $97.00 flowers for a gift, $23.90 gym fees, $29.00 loan insurance, $80 travel, $140 board

Thursday: $8.00 postage + packaging,

 Friday: $5.00 coffee, $12.95 postage, $20 groceries, $25 bottle of wine, $22.00 drinks

Saturday: $7.00 coffees, $30.00 dinner and drinks

Sunday :$20 groceries, $6.00 groceries, $7.00 coffees

Total $662.50

Debt summary

Credit card #1 – $0.00

Credit card #2 – $1344.88

Personal loan: $6893.69

Total debt remaining: $8,238.57

Total starting debt: $14,744.12

Debt reduced by week 21: $6,505.55

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Contracts suck

So I realized that over the last 2 years I have slowly freed myself from the grip of contracts. Even before starting my debt smashing mission this year, I made it my aim to see out current contracts I was in and not resign, or ‘upgrade’.

Contracts essentially are debt. You are committed to a monthly, weekly or fortnightly payment. People will harass you if you don’t make the payments. It’s the ‘I want  it now. Like ,RIGHT now dammit!’ *stamps foot* mentality that gets you sucked in.

I was in a phone contract, laptop contract and white good / furniture contract. All of those are now done and dusted. I have the shitty old laptop I’ve had for years (and spent 2 years in a contract for) and a *gasp*an Iphone 3. 

How RETRO is that!

I was in a contract for the phone for 2 years too. It was all shiny and new and ooohhh check out my iPhone 3 peoples!!! at the start.

And then very quickly the word iPhone was followed by escalating numbers (what are we at, like iPhone 5000 now??) and my phone did indeed become relegated to the crusty ‘has been’ part of phone stocking stores and they stopped making covers for them. I actually found the cover thing the most frustrating.

I remember going into a store and asking for the iPhone 3 covers. The guy looked at me with what I suspect was a mix of sympathy (perhaps she can’t afford a better phone) and amusement (um, doesn’t she know iphone 3’s are sooooooooo 2010) and shook his head.

Fortunately, I am not in the slightest bit gadgety or cool. So I have no use for newer / better / shiner versions every time they come out. Which is good, because, in case you haven’t noticed, newer / shiner and better things come out every freaking week.

So, my laptop my be slow and cumbersome – but hey, its working. I’m writing this post aren’t I? And my phone might be totes uncool, but oh well. I’m not paying some provider $90+ a month.

These days I pay my internet – $25 a month (can cancel with 30 days notice) and no contract pre-paid phone recharge vouchers – $30 a month gets me by just fine!

When these things do eventually come to the end of their lives I will purchase replacements IN CASH.

Aside from my credit card and personal loan, my biggest ‘must pay’ commitment is my furniture storage cost per month, which is $183.00. I have arranged for this to come out of store and be delivered to my folks place in  the next month. The delivery is a huge $1870 because I now live interstate. But Im using money I received from my tax return to pay this cost, and get this monkey off my back.

Slowly, slowly I am getting out of financial commitments. Patience is a virtue in this game! And it’s also the way to stay out of those contracts in the first place – be old school and save for what you need.




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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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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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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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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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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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