Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wrapping up Month Two in Pretty (Imaginary) Paper

Had another "conversation" with my husband about the budget today. This time I tried it from the "we have different priorities" lets help each other out method. It wasn't completely successful but he said that he's going to spend less. He still wants NOTHING to do with the budget but we agreed that I'll give him some cash at the beginning of each week (whatever amount he asks for) and that's all he's going to spend. I'm hopeful.

So far I've paid down almost 5% of the credit card debt in just two months. 5% isn't that much but for some reason it sounds absolutely wonderful to me.

It's almost been one entire month since I used the overdraft. That doesn't sound like much but I'll tell you what it's a HUGE accomplishment for me. GO ME!

I'm not going to start goal number six: building up a tiny emergency fund, until that darn Chase card is paid off. That right now is thee priority. I've got it down to $1600 and I haven't bought a single cup of coffee for over a week. I can do this.

In other good news I just received 0% balance transfer checks from one of our cards. I haven't seen a 0% rate in years! The 0% is good for a year and after it expires the interest rate won't be any higher than any of our cards currently are. I've applied the 0% to one of our credit cards and I can proudly say that after starting this year with 8 credit cards, 9 if you include the overdraft visa we're now down to 6. I could not be happier! We're going to save SOOOO much on interest with that one move alone. It's moments like these that I can honestly say this debt elimination thing is kind of fun.

The budget for months one and two is officially BALANCED! I've decided that I'm going to go all out cash envelope from now on. Scary, I know. I'm going to take out my $84 at the beginning of the week, put $14 in the future purchases envelope (or directly towards a bigish purchase like the dog food we need this week) and the rest goes towards spending.

The only downer I have to report is that I've been racking my brain on ways to save money and earn extra money and I am not coming up with anything. I'd honestly like to pay off $10,000 in credit card debt this year. That is my goal. It's a VERY ambitious goal and it's going to take a lot extra effort but the creative juices aren't flowing. Just reigning in our spending isn't going to get us there. The only thing I can think of is getting a Saturday morning job but I haven't the slightest idea who'd hire me just to work Saturday mornings???

All things considered I'm very happy with months one and two and I'm pretty sure it's nothing but up hill from here. Again, thanks for reading!!!

P.S. if you're a praying individual could you join me in praying for good steady gas prices. They've been predicting $11 a gal. average by spring because of the middle east turmoil and unfortunately prices like that will shut down this country. $11 a gal or even $6 or $7 means death to debt elimination and so much more.


  1. $10,000 in one year is an ambitious goal...maybe take it down to $5,000 - if you could do an extra $5,000 per year over two years you would still be knocking out a lot but the pace might be more maintainable. Like most marathoners run the marathon a little below their breakneck pace...

    Good jobs where you can only work on a Saturday: wineries in your area? Sounds like a snobby job I know, but lots of wineries (small ones) just need someone to pour on the weekends. Gyms are famous for needing folks on the evenings and weekends, and sometimes you can score free workouts out of the deal as well. You don't even have to be super in shape, just able to be friendly, answer phones, scan a keytag or something. I LOVE waiting tables - best fall back job EVER. But you have to be pretty special to get a Saturday-only shift because that is where the big $$$ is. Waitstaff ALL want to work on Friday and Saturday night. If you have the experience though, you can definately weasel your way into it, just be super-nice so the high schoolers won't hate you too much ;) There are other good jobs that may have value-add benefits. For example, if you can find a grocery store that offers an employee discount, or a pet store that offers a pet food discount, or a gas station that offers an employee gas discount, then you can consider a lower paying entry level job based on the discount.

    Good places to "find" money: Are you paying too much for car insurance? Home insurance? Are you over insured? We put in these little bags in our toilet that knocked our water bill way down - and if you have a leaky toilet or faucet your water bill is WAYYYYY too high - those are $10 fixes that easily pay off in a month. Set your thermostat higher/lower than is comfortable, unplug can kind of go crazy on the conservation angle to help with electric/water bills and that is a pretty easy way to save money. Hard could choose to not take as good of care of your pets. You are making sacrifices, they can too. Less expensive pet food, agreeing that you will only spend a set amount on a vet bill - that would be a personal choice, but I am just saying it is a choice that can be made. Get crazy about leftovers. If a carrot looks like it is even thinking about going bad in the fridge dice that sucker up and throw it in the freezer for soup later. Allow nothing to go to waste. Save bones for broth, bad bananas for bread, turn those tomatoes into sauce before they get smushy, etc. If leftovers sit more than a night or two, tidy them up and freeeze them. In a month or two they can reappear pleasantly enough.

  2. well done on getting down to 5%!! I think you're doing great and I would stick to your goal of $10,000 this year, you are in the right frame of mind to do it. It's really inspiring reading how your going!

    I've earned extra money by writing online, places like elance are good, also I earn some extra with survey sites (Aussie ones though) and selling stuff we no longer need.

  3. I second the idea of working as a cashier in a grocery store. Lots of people like their weekends to themselves and maybe there's an employee discount?