Slow and steady wins the race

September 3, 2010 at 8:04 am (debt stats, things I bought, truck, unexpected expenses)

Regardless of how quiet I’ve been on this blog, I continue to chip away at my debt. My disposable income seems to have shrunk a little in the last few months, what with the boyfriend still paying a reduced rent due to his unemployment, and my increase in REI purchases the last few months. But I’ve refocused on paying down debt and am trying to slow down on buying. If nothing else, I continue to pay debt and update my debt stats on the right.

Made a pact with a friend to get out and go hiking every weekend in spring, so had to buy a bunch of new equipment that will last me for years to come. New boots, new hiking pants (and all those fancy new non-cotton fabrics) and shirts, and all the camping supplies that I once owned but seemed to go on their own walk-about (I think they did on my last relationship breakup). I think I’ve spent like $800 this summer!!! But it’s mostly over now. At least I already had the tent, sleeping bag, cookware and stove. Not to mention all the extra gas! It’s about a full tank of gas every time I go, so $30-$40 every other week. But it’s been worth it to get out in the woods for a serious dose of triple oxygen for 6+ hours one day a week.

My car broke…again. Some really expensive Nissan part, diagnostic, and labor. $788. That was way more than I had in my car fund, so half of it came out of debt payments (I didn’t need to hit the emergency fund). This is the third time my truck has broken since Thanksgiving. I wonder if it will continue being so expensive? I do a lot of driving with it, luckily it’s all been when I was close to home, and not 2 hours from Seattle on a forest service road with no cell reception in the middle of the mountains, which is definitely a concern! I don’t want to, but I think I have to increase my vehicle fund savings from $100 to $150 for a while.

I finally managed to have a yard sale. Made $350 and promptly put it in the bank and paid down debt. We’re planning on having another one in a few weeks, now that we’re finally clearing through all the piles of stuff in our basement storage disaster. I also have a bunch of higher ticket items that I need to sell on craigslist/ebay, since they will all sell between $50-$500. That’s definitely too rich for a garage sale, plus many of the items are pretty specialized.

I did a photo gig about 3 months ago for a company that wanted photos of their staff and office shots to redesign their website (which replaced really bad stock photos). Finally got paid $500 for that, and of course, it went straight towards debt. Not something I have done before – a good friend talked me up to her friend (who eventually hired me), since I do photography and well. But I had never done people or any type of photo shoot like this (I do fine art that does not include people!). This seriously pushed me out of my comfort zone, but the results were quite nice, and I got paid a bunch, so bonus!

My computer broke last week – the port where the power cord plus into the laptop broke off inside and I couldn’t charge it. Ugh. $208. Not expecting that. 1.5 years old, too. It’s annoying when all these things happen when it would be so much better if they didn’t! To think of how much debt I could have paid off instead?!

Either way, I’m sticking to my slowed-down schedule of debt payoffs. Hard as it is! It’s a process, a long one, but I’m getting there. I don’t think it will happen, but I’m pretty close to only havine one debt left (by February/March next year) and be under $30,000. I think when I make it into the 20Ks, I’ll really feel like it’s manageable. I’m definitely on track to meet my deadline, and who knows what will happen in the future?

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