Monday, February 7, 2011
One thing that has happened to me over the last few years of getting out of debt, is that I have become a total budget nerd. I adore my spread sheets, and e check book registers more than I enjoy eating cake (no exaggeration). My snowball has been at a stand still since around April of Last year (when I brought my car) which means I haven't really paid much, but I still know exactly where every dime went. Some people don't understand the power of knowing but I do. I honestly believe had it not been for my spread sheets I would have given up long time ago. You see my budget sheet allows me to see where I have been and where I still have the potential to go. Knowing the possibilities is a great motivation.
So while at the end of the year it may seem like NOTHING has changed, a hard look at the budget speaks to the real truth. Last year, I purchased a new used car, took SEEEEEVERAL TRIPS to visit friends and family, went on a healthy binge which caused me to spend lots of food money, and gave more freely than I ever have in the past. Am I happy Im still in debt?? Not exactly, but at least I can say I KNOW where my money went, because as they say its half the battle.
I have been thinking of how I could get out of debt by June a LOT. Its nothing quite nice about half the year sneaking up on you and being in the same place you started regarding debt. This pesky student loan has been lingering HARD, and I swear its like every time I look at the balance it has gone up! Matter of fact I KNOW its gone up because my statement reveals I paid $1,150 in interest alone! Anyway, I don't want the year to go by this time without me being able to scream I'M DEBTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
Now that I don't have a home hanging around my neck, I really don't have any reason NOT to get it done. Yesterday I got a refund from my insurance company for $700 plus dollars and man was I stoked because I had no idea it was coming! I was originally going to buy a new t.v and xbox 360 (yea i know) but having this new money makes me want to really put it towards something useful. Between that, a small refund, and some savings I should be able to pay off half of my $10,000 student loan balance by the end of March.
One of the things I did with my spread sheet (yep back to that) was separate my e checkbook into months instead of having it all on one sheet. I needed to see a better view of how much I was using my debt card in a months time. Last year was nuts, because I had over 800 debt transactions for the year. To me thats totally crazy but imagine that debt being a credit card?? YIKES!!! Anyways, seeing each month broken down will help me curb my spending, because I certainly don't want to see 800 ever again in life!
In January I had 50 total transactions. If I stayed at that pace I would still be on track to having over 600 debt transactions and I don't like that either. I'm not going to give myself a limit but I am going to try to use cash more which will force me to pay attention.
1 second later........................ Ok so I really am a nerd so I HAVE to give myself a number!!!! 15 will be the magic number for the month of Feb if I miss the mark, I will put myself on amazon punishment lol.
What are you doing to make sure you stick to the budget??