Monday, November 16, 2009


That is all I need to make by the end of this month in order to pay off one of my smaller debts....

Not the smallest debt, though. That one is 0% interest until March. As long as I make MY minimum payment to that debt, it will be gone before the interest kicks in.

And, I would really rather take the money and use it to pay off an interest charging account, even if it is minimal (9% a month at $880 balance)

I should be able to make this goal while still paying $180 more towards the 0% debt for the month of December.

All while still making Thanksgiving and Christmas happen!

Getting back on the getridofdebt bandwagon feels good. Really good. Seeing that I can make progress even with a tighter pursestring does wonders for my spirit.

For a while there I was thinking that there was again, no way out of the mess. But I am starting to see a twinkling of light at the end of the (very long) road.

Of course, one of the reasons why I will be able to make such progress in December will be because I do not have to withhold any of my income towards tuition. So, before I get ahead of myself, let me state that every month will not be able to have these kinds of results, which I am very well aware of. January starts having to withhold $500 a month for three months towards tuition.

Because I only need 8 credits to graduate, I will not be going to school full time. Which means that I will receive less GI Bill money each month. But it also means that my GI Bill will last until I graduate, instead of ending in March. So, although I will get a couple hundred less each month, I will receive payments until graduation which means I receive funds for a couple more months. (Actually, I come out getting a few hundred more)

I am also estimating about $4,000 back in taxes (hey, don't blame for the tax laws!) which should take care of the next two debts in line.

And then here is the kicker - I am thinking about selling my house. If I can sell it for $60,000 (property values are pretty low in this area - that is a decent estimate of what I could get for it) I will be able to pay off the mortgage, pay realtor fees, the last three debts and still have almost ten grand left over to start the Fully Funded Emergency Fund!

Which would be timely, since the projected date between selling the house and graduating would be right about the same time. So, even if it takes a while to get a job in my field of study, or even if I do get an entry level position (which is NOT going to be a high paying gig!) it really won't matter because I will be debt free!

But, before I get too far ahead of myself in this quest, I need to come up with $430 by the end of this month.

I am pretty sure that I will be able to get it, since I should make $400 just in paychecks alone, not counting tips!

How is that for awesome!?!?!?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A little bit of sunshine....

Well, only halfway through the month and I have a bit of sunshine in the budget!

I currently have $246 left over for the month of December after paying all the bills including the snowball I have built in for my smallest debt!

If I average my low averages from the last 4 months and get full child support, I will be able to get rid of one debt and still have about $700 to budget for food, household products, and Christmas. (I have $450 saved up for Christmas, but with 3 kids, the man, parents, grandparents, etc, I always go over the budget, no matter how hard I try! One year I only went over by $75, I was pretty stoked about that!)

I have started my Christmas shopping and have spent $248 of the $450 so far. Haven't gotten anything big, mainly just some "little" things that I know the kids will love. Starting early may really help me stay on budget because I have more time to browse and decide whether I really want to purchase an item or not. I say "little" meaning not expensive, not because of size.

In anycase, I am quite happy about this progress. Why does it always seem that when I stray from trying to make progress I always feel like I don't have enough money but when I stick to the budget and commit myself to making progress, I always seem to have more?

Even if by the end of this month I don't have the low average or the full child support, I am still ahead for the month and will be able to make more progress in the month that usually means more spending than I have in the last 4 put together.

And that, my friends, is AWESOME!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


My biggest problem right now dealing my finances is not the reduced income that I am still adjusting to, although that is a pretty big problem.

It is fear.

Fear of not being able to pay my bills. Fear of what happens if I make my budget zero balanced and I don't make enough this month to cover everything next month.

The fear is almost paralyzing.

I know that I have some money left over after paying everything. Before I lost my previous job, I would be sending that money straight to a debt, no problem. But now things seem to have taken on a new color which is making me want to just save the little bit I have just in case.

This just in case fear is not without a price. I am paying more in interest because of it. I am keeping debts around longer than I need to because of it. I am awake well past midnight when I don't have to work because of it.

I am not awake stressing about the debts themselves, which is odd. I am awake stressing about whether or not to submit a payment, worrying about whether I need to keep the money on hand - just in case.

Now, I do have a $1,000 Baby Emergency fund. I also have a $1,000 buffer in my checking account, which at one point was my just in case money. Now, it is sitting there because I have to be able to cover the bills that are due before I get the rent check from my house and my GI Bill is deposited. So, my just in case money has become a necessity because of my depositing schedule compared to my due date schedules.

That $200 payment I made? The one towards the debt with only a $36 minimum payment? I almost didn't send it - just in case. Technically, I had written down in the budget to only send $165 towards this debt - written in the budget so I would send the payment regardless of my just in case syndrome. I upped the amount to $200 because of the just in case syndrome, telling myself that I need to calm down and trust not only myself, but in the Lord as well.

I have yet to have a month where I was unable to pay the debts. Which is not only a testament to myself and how my behavior towards budgeting, spending, and overall money management has changed, but also a testament to the fact that He helps those who help themselves.

I have to let go of this fear of not having enough money. Truth be told, with the money that I am earning, even on a lowball estimate with the buffer, I have enough to cover the bills that are due before the other deposits are made. I need to simply decide how I am going to budget the remaining money I have available for the rest of this month and trust in the fact that although life is not easy street right now, I will have enough at the beginning of next month.

I need to budget the money and then follow through on that budget. I have always made pretty good progress when I have had a plan. This is no different, even if the numbers on the spreadsheet are.

November budget...

The November budget is getting underway. I have all the bills paid and I did send extra to one of my debts, which is a zero percent card until March of 2010. The minimum payment is $36 and I sent $200 to the debt. After this payment, the balance of that debt is $628. It is my hope to have it paid off by the end of this year, although that seems a little daunting giving the current financial situation along with the holiday season.

I also went and paid my Fall tuition - $1, 668.66. Ouch. It did hurt to write that check, but at least I was able to save the money up and pay my tuition with cash. Certainly a positive point.

So after, the minimum bills, tuition, and the small snoball that I sent in, I have $337.27 left in my checking account for the rest of the month. (Technically, I have $1, 337.27, but that $1,000 is my buffer which I am not supposed to touch)

The budget is not finished yet because I have yet to decide how I am going to split the remaining funds. I do have some money saved up for Christmas, although not as much as I had originally intended due to the loss of the job. I may take some of it and use it towards Christmas funds. Some of it will undoubtably go towards Thanksgiving dinner. I would like to send a bit more towards the debt, but I am fearful again of not having enough money to last me the entire month.

Ah. Fear. I had just started to come away from that fear when I lost my job.