The journey continues…

November 20, 2010 at 10:17 am (spending habits)

While I haven’t been posting regularly to this blog, I am still fully committed to my debt reduction journey. If you visit regularly, you will notice that I continue to update my stats monthly and keep trying to pay $500-$700 beyond the basic interest charges.

I had been hoping to just magically pull out enough money (from somewhere, I don’t know where) to pay off all my non-SBA debts by the end of the year, but that was not based in reality, it just seemed nice and neat – only one debt left at the start of the new year. Since last summer, I have plotted payoff of all my BECU debts by February 2011, and I am on track to do that. (You’ll note that my BECU debts are only from rolling over debts from my higher rate debts to zero-interest cards, which then ended, so I opened even lower normal loands/cards at my new bank). All of these fussy “shuffle-debts” as I think of them, will be eliminated in just 2-3 months!

I haven’t consciously been doing my budget in a spreadsheet, but I still stick to it. I get paid bi-monthly. The first paycheck goes to rent, and my mini-fund savings (car expenses, pet expenses), and a few bills. The second paycheck I immediately make a several hundred dollar payment towards whatever highest interest rate debt I currently have, and pay a bunch of bills due at the end of the month (internet, netflix, gas, cell phone). If there is extra money left over at the end of the month, I may pay additional towards debt. I still avoid buying big ticket items (which are ones in the $100-$200 range) if I can help it, or at least spread them out so they are not all in the same month, and try to limit my “art” buying to $100-$150/month. I haven’t travelled anywhere, nor made vacation plans.

What I have bought continues to be part of my budget. I have been buying more clothes in the last 3-4 months than I have in a long while, but I typically go to Macy’s and get items ONLY if they are heavily discounted or on sale, or wait to use an in-store discount card. I have also made the rounds of thrift-stores lately, supplementing my wardrobe as needed. I even found an amazing consignment store that has items that fit me (I am just slightly larger than the “normal” sizes, so getting good quality items that fit my style and size can be a most difficult challenge, when not shopping new). I don’t feel like I have been shopping extravegantly. I finally have enough clothes to wear more than the same 5 outfits every week at work before having to do laundry, which *feels* extravegant, but is simply wonderful and reduces a basic stress.

I am an avid and heavy reader and I continue to not buy new books (I do occasionally break down and get one if I’m going on a trip and need something to keep me company), but not very often. And as always, food is my biggest downfall. I eat out more than I should. I don’t scrimp when it comes to shopping – I get quality ingredients, often natural meats and sometimes organic produce. I rarely get packaged food.

So. What I’m trying to explain is that while I may not be visible on this blog as much as I used to be, I still follow the spirit of my journey. I feel like the cost-saving daily acitivities are more instinct now and don’t need as much conscious thought. I may be spending a little more than I should in some areas, but I feel comfortable with my progress and when I’ll get to the end of the road, being debt free!!!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: