Thursday, September 1, 2016

Paycheck to Paycheck #1

At the start of August, I owed $13619.91 between my three credit cards which was definitely the highest amount I've ever accrued but because I forgot to send an extra payment that month, I am now at my record debt total of $13670.40!

Where I Stand

As I've mentioned before, I do not have student loans or medical bills. This has just been living extravagantly of eating out or partaking in moments (vacations, entertainment and even donating) that I could have lived without.

Plus, I've shared how I sometimes use money to impress people (like I can afford everything) or to get people to like me- a silly financial hang-up, I know.

It took a lot of work and time of going through my financial statements to get a snapshot of where I stood with my money but I knew if I wanted to tackle this problem, it was a necessary step to take.

A couple of my core goals are:
"I will live the most authentic and best life possible that is honest and respectful of myself and others."

"I will be financially secure and independent."

Paycheck to Paycheck- August: Trial Run

I wanted to see how much I could save without depriving myself of too much- there were lots of Ramen noodles and PB & J sandwiches for sure- although I knew some sacrifices had to be made.

I must have saved hundreds of dollars just by not eating out. I'm not kidding. Even inexpensive meals add up especially if you eat out twice a day- maybe three- practically every day. In addition, I saved about another $100 from not going to coffee shops (mostly Starbucks) as often as I used to- which was usually everyday.

Why did I eat out so much? Emotional eating is probably the main culprit. Most of the time, I would be so tired or I'd just be bored or angry which caused me to eat out.

It helped that I left my credit cards and cash at home to avoid impulse spending. Having gift cards for Starbucks and Fred Meyers also helped.

Of course, I experienced the inevitable setbacks that often happens when you're trying to get your life in order. Luckily, these proved to be only minor detours off the main course.

I was a bit bummed and discouraged when my total actually increased despite all the things I was doing to get it down. But after a walk to calm myself down, I decided to focus on the positives and seek out solutions. It's kind of like a game for me right now.

I'm glad I had 16 No Spending Days (NSD). I still did fun stuff and hung out with friends.

I had toyed with the idea of setting a goal of getting my debt under $13000 by the end of 2016 but with my current situation I know I would just set myself up for failure. Instead of giving an arbitrary number, I think I should see how my finances go in September. I'm thinking having my debt under $13500 by the end of the year would be realistic.

Why Paycheck to Paycheck

I know I tend to overshare sometimes but I think it helps others to know they aren't alone in certain problems or situations they may have. Debt is sadly too common nowadays. And hopefully we can learn from another.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed with your transparency! It's the best way to tackle problems. Unfortunately, debt is incredibly common and so difficult to eliminate. You're doing everything right and I believe you will succeed and help others along the way. Thanks for sharing.