Tag Archives: no spend week

January 2014 – At a glance debt and savings stats

During 2014, I will be posting a monthly ‘at a glance’ update on my Debt and Savings balances.

At the end of January, things were looking like this:

Debt

Credit card 1 – $0.00

Credit card 2 – $0.00

Personal loan: $5925.05

Savings

$140.54

Things are going to be fairly quiet and unexciting around the savings corner until March!

Later alligators 🙂

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Week 18 – Run your own Debt Race

I am running my own debt race. The last few months I have realised that the pace that I set can change from time to time, but as long as I am moving forward, I will cross the finish line. It may be later than I planned, but I will finish regardless.

In an earlier post, I compared paying off significant debt to running a marathon. I actually ran my first marathon at the start of June, and let me tell you, now I know what it feels like to run a marathon, the analogy could not be more true!

Where have I been these last few months? Ive been here, plugging away at debt, but Ive relaxed my grip on the expectations I placed on myself to meet my targets every week, and every month. If I didn’t relax, I would have given up all together.

I came out at the start of this debt breakup totally focused on clearing this debt in 8 months. I stood at the starting line of the marathon, believing I could finish by 4 hours and 40 mins. I had this time set in my head, just like I had an 8 month deadline to be debt free.

And they both started so well. But like many marathon rookies – EVEN THOUGH I KNEW THIS – I ran to fast at the start. I was excited to be there, all that training, and I just wanted to run.

When I paid my first debt repayment in February, I was champing at the bit to get this thing rolling, budgeting my way to what appears now, to be a fairly unrealistic timeframe.

And don’t we always start with a bang on any new endeavour. But where does the hard work come in? Not at the start when it’s all new and fresh and ‘Yeh baby, I can DO this!!” *high fives self*

The hard part comes in when you are in the thick of it, on the longest stretch, where it just seems there is no fcking end in sight. During the marathon, that was the 26km – 35km stretch. I’d lost sight of the 4 hour 30 min pacer – he smashed past me about 22kms. I knew then, that I wasn’t going to finish in the time I wanted. Although I felt no different physically, mentally, that realisation almost shut me down. I wanted to give up. I just told myself to let it go – run your own race.  I slowed down at that point, if I didn’t, I would have burnt out at the pace I was running and wouldn’t have been able to finish. Mid race, I adjusted my mental expectations, set a new pace and kept going.

Run your own race.

I am at that same stage with debt. I’m deep into the second card repayments – and it’s once step forward, 2 steps back. I wasn’t where I had planned to be at this stage and it was doing my head in.I wanted to give up and say fck it, everyone is in debt – why bother? Then head to the nearest mall and drop 1k on a new wardrobe 😉

But instead, I have just adjusted my expectations of myself and what I can afford to pay off, and what I do want to spend my money on. I don’t want to miss out on living my life. I don’t want to not buy a coffee everyday – yes peoples, you will hear no more griping about coffee on this blog. Ive come to peace with the fact that coffee is my little burst of morning happiness, and for $3.90 a day – I’m buying that happiness 😉

I finished the marathon in 4 hours 56mins. Longer than I expected. But I FINISHED.

I will break up with all my debt. It will take longer than I thought. But I will FINISH.

Don’t give up. Change your pace if you need to. And keep moving forward.

So peeps, here is my debt summary at 18 weeks:

Credit card #1: 0.00

Credit cards #2: $2140.00

Personal loan: $6977.00

Total debt: $9117.00

Total starting debt: $14,744.12

Debt reduced by week 18: $5627.12

Ps – I cracked the under $10,000 mark and didn’t even realise until I did the sums just now!

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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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Week 5 – Spend and Debt Update and No Spend Challenge

nospend

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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