Friday, February 25, 2011

Birthday Money

My mother in law handed me a birthday card with a check for a $100 in it, gave me one of her forceful overbearing hugs, and half whispered to me, "you spend that money on yourself now!" I sort of nodded in compliance but felt quite devious in my heart. I was already planning on putting her birthday gift towards the Chase card.

The past few weeks I've been struggling anytime we've gotten any extra money, ie; taxes, extra hours worked, birthday. "Ok, do I put it towards saving... credit card payoff, items around here we truly need, repairs, large future purchases that are rapidly drawing near??? UGG!" I hate the questioning and debating and pondering money game. A few days ago I decided that my number one priority is the Chase card. I'm paying that stupid thing off asap. ANY extra money we get that isn't desperately need someplace else is going to that card. No more debating. No more deciding. It's decided. The Chase card has to go! I knew that I'd be putting my birthday money towards that card way before I ever got it.

Sadly no one really understands. I want to be out of debt. Paying down a credit card is SOOO much more important to me than new shoes or better fitting clothes or even a really great dinner out (and that one is hard to believe myself). I want to be OUT OF DEBT! I want to be free! I want to the weight of bondage gone from my life! Sometimes I start dreaming about saving for a vacation, or saving for some new stuff. We really need new front steps (they're literally crumbling) and front porch lights because they've been broken for at least 3 years. We really need to fix our garage that's tipping over (ok, it's a little bit neat to have a leaning garage, I kind of like it and no one could rob us cause they wouldn't be able to figure out how to get the door open). The basement could use some fixing up. I'd love to paint around here (although that's in no way needed, just would be fun). But the debt is what matters. The debt is what's holding us back from having children. Interest on those darn credit cards is robbing us blind. We can not afford to be in debt any longer and all that other stuff can wait.

The budget for the first two months of 2011 is balanced (a little preemptive but I'm NOT spending money tomorrow) AND I've paid almost 5 percent of our total credit card debt!!!

1 comment:

  1. Don't feel guilty about the birthday dilema. The truth is, we are kind of cheapskates, and my birthday is in October - I usually squirrel away the money for kids Christmas gifts and something nicer than expected for my husband around the holidays. But I AM truly getting something for myself - it is what I want to be able to do. I don't force myself - if I wanted shoes, I would buy them. If I wanted clothes, I would buy them. But when I sit down with $100 and think what is the best thing I could get with it, that just isn't what wins out.

    One thing I have done too, I don't even know if you do this, but I am thinking since you work in a grocery store it is a possibility? I used to read "Real Simple" pretty regularly and also a few similar house type magazines. I had long ago noticed that when I stopped reading "seventeen" I stopped "needing" certain make up items. I put a stop to reading Real Simple as well. I loved it for organizing tips, but found myself creating a lot of needs for projects and ideas that cost too much and weren't realistic for my needs and funds. We just bought a house about two years ago, so anything that whips up that desire to create the "perfect home" is dangerous for me. Avoiding the eye candy helps me keep a realistic view of which things have to be done to the house and which things are just cosmetic things that make me feel happy. And I feel happier in my home too because I am somewhat oblivious to what is dated. Our front step is sunken too, and will be a pretty big project to replace. We always have to warn people as they exit:)