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Archive for June, 2022

Credit Card Debt

June 17th, 2022 at 03:31 pm


Two months ago, our credit card debt was the highest it has ever been! In fact, we were over $1100 over our credit limit! We had NEVER gone over our credit limit before. We'd gotten close to it, but never over, and certainly not by more than $1000. 

It was a much needed wake up call for us. Since then, we have topped off our emergency fund savings account (2 months of bare bones expenses), rejigged our budget to send more money to debt, and decreased our debt by $3278.26. I don't know what took us so long!

In our first month of serious debt payoff, we decreased our debt by $640.55, after interest, and were still over our credit limit. But it was a decrease. The first time our debt had decreased in months. In our second month of serious debt payoff, we decreased our debt by $2637.71. (This was an abnormal, but exceptional month!) We are firmly below our credit limit and still making progress.

Our goal is to decrease our debt by $1000, after interest, every month. In order to do that, we have to send at least $1300 towards our credit card debt every month and account for any charges we may make on our credit card in our budget. I think this is doable. It will just take planning and discipline. We have to pay attention to our "extra" expenses every month and actually account for them in our budget. It would be better to send less money towards debt and pay cash for all of our expenses than to forget and charge expenses on the credit card.

Every month has irregular expenses; those expenses that crop up once in while but aren't monthly deals. We need to pay attention to what they will be each month and make sure we set aside money for them in our budget spread sheet.

I’m very happy to be under our credit limit again and to be making some progress on our debt. $3200 is a great decrease and a great start! Now we just need to keep it going!



Starbucks Habit

June 8th, 2022 at 06:30 pm

One good thing that came out of the pandemic for me was kicking the Starbucks habit.

Before the pandemic, I only had Starbucks as a treat.

At least that is what I told myself and anybody else who asked.

However, after 2+ years of Covid, I see that in reality, Starbucks had become part of my routine. I went every Monday and every Friday and the occasional weekend trip when we would walk there or head there on our way out of town somewhere.

I routinely added $100 a month to my Starbucks gift card. That wasn't a treat. I can also see now that I didn't really appreciate the times I did go to Starbucks because it was no longer "special".

I don't drink cofee. I order chai tea lattes, which they make from a syrup that you can add milk to. They sell the same syrup at the grocery store. With the onset of the pandemic, I started buying it from the grocery store and making my own at home. For LESS than the price of one drink at Starbucks, I was able to make 4 for myself at home.

Now I rarely add money to my Starbucks card and I really only do have Starbucks as a treat. I can't even remember the last time I had to add my own money to my card. I get a small gift card here or there and we add those to the balance, so I don't hardly ever have to spend my own money.

This has saved me money and time. I no longer need to detour on my way to work or anywhere else, not to mention my drink was rarely ready when the app said it would be so I had to wait around for it. Now I have chai tea lattes whenever I want for a fraction of the cost I was paying.

I'm so glad I am not spending my money on Starbucks anymore! (That's not so say it was a waste, but the value for money was no longer there for me. If you value spending money that way, it's just another example of personal finance being personal!)

May was Expensive

June 7th, 2022 at 02:43 pm

May is always a very expensive month for us and this year was no exception.

In a normal year, we have two birthdays, mother's day, an anniversary, and the end of the school year. This year we added an out-of-state wedding that included an out-of-state bridal shower the week before, and a high school graduation.

This month showed me more than anything else how we have been living outside of our means! Even with all the added expenses, we were able to decrease our debt and cash flow all of our extra expenses, which were many!

Our billing cycle on our credit card doesn't close until closer to mid-month, but so far we have decreased our debt by $1400 (before interest) this month and still have one paycheck left to go that has money budgeted towards debt. In addition to that, we cash flowed two hotel stays ($520) and food for 70 people and decorations for The Son's graduation party ($500). To be fair, The Husband did have some overtime on his last paycheck that helped us from having to dip into savings, but it was only about $300.

The Husband's next paycheck will actually have a lot of overtime. Almost all of it is allocated to go towards debt. I should be getting a small "extra services" paycheck in a few days. So far, the money is unallocated because I have no idea how much it will be. We are thinking of splitting it 50/50 between debt and savings.

I am very excited we were able to pay all of our bills, cash flow all our extra expenses, and decrease our debt. Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going!