Outside of a little disappointment, this has been an amazing weekend.
First, I spent time with my sorority sisters, whom I love and adore. Then today, I had the opportunity to walk for an amazing cause MS. It was so special, a good friend, finally embraced his illness, I wanted to cry but held back for him.
This reminds me that life is short, and even though I’m on this journey to debt freedom, I do much to be thankful for.
Archive for February, 2020
Outside of a little disappointment, this has been an amazing weekend.
I made a commitment to an organization to donate $500 last year, in honor of my dad for 2020.
I wanted the reward to be offered in his name. I’ve been speaking with the committee member and expressed my wishes, multiple times. Well I spoke with a member and reminded her this was what I wanted, last week. Today I get a call that it can’t be done, will I be wrong to ask for my money back?
Please no judgement on why the $500 wasn’t paid towards debt. I love my dad, and really wanted to do something in honor of him.
Made the adjustments on my W4, and added the $50 per pay date to my 401(k) vs my IRA. Once CC10 is gone, I’ll bump the dollar amount to a $100 contribution per pay check.
Today is pay day, I paid an extra $200 to CC10. Finally, this card is under the $5,000 mark. Next month, I’ll be able to drop an extra $1,000 on it.
This weekend, I’ll be finishing up my taxes, my refund is about $600, I’m okay with that. I was hoping to break even but hey it’s better than owing.
I did splurge a little on eating out this month, for some reason I just didn’t feel like cooking. It happens from time to time
Made some adjustments, I revised my W4 form and decided to have the contribution to my retirement, $100 a month, be pre-taxed and go to my 401(k) at work. This will reduce my taxable income. Hopefully, I’ll see the bump again in my take home pay. I’m scheduling a time to meet with the accountant.
I also decided with the extra $700 a month from the consulting gig, $100 will go towards the mortgage principal and $600 to the credit card. I really think in about 5-7 years I can be debt free, with everything, credit card, student loans, and home.
The money I save during the months, completing saving challenges will go towards my 50th birthday celebration, that way I’m still budgeting for paying off the student loans, credit cards, and they’ll be no new plan to save to another sinking fund, taking away from my debt reduction payment plan.
I’m part of a Facebook group that challenges you to reduce your spending each month. This month’s challenge is debt pay down. Anyone who pays down $200 in debt, will be entered into a drawing for a gift card of their choice. I’m on my way to about a $600 pay down.
The group also has a weather challenge for February. Basically each Wednesday you record your high and low, add the two together and save that amount. I move the decimal since 115 wouldn’t be doable, so I save $11.50. The cash comes from my cash envelopes. This challenge helps me to manage my cash envelopes, it’s my attempt to come in under budget in my envelopes.
Next week is pay day, I’ll be making an extra payment to the credit card, that will bring me under the $5,000 mark, I’m so excited. Fingers crossed that this card will be paid off by June and then it’s the student loans. I’m so excited
On a different note, my profession is HR. I’ve been slacking in the area of advancing my career. This year, I set a goal of attending one networking event, or training and to read one article a week, regarding the industry. Well last month’s event was great but this month’s was absolutely fabulous. I got to hear challenges that others are facing, and I realized I’m not alone. The round table was amazing. I’ve learned I’ve been settling, and I decided not anymore. I’m worth more, I will no longer let anyone tell me what I’m worth.
Financial literacy is an ongoing process for me.
I use to consider myself a saver and a spender, I’ve gotten to the point where I am now more of a saver. I’ve always hated giving the government my money; however, I do understand that there are resources in that those funds could, well should, be used for. But to be hit with $200 less in my check, I am not happy. This really burns me. I’m not trying to make this post political by any means; however, those new tax laws are not beneficial to me, and I’m ticked off about it. Home interest deductions for some is no longer, and I’m one of them. Yes, I know pay the house off but I’m still ticked off. I can go through the list but won’t.
I’m still learning, so even though there isn’t a match with my employer, I’ll adjust my deductions to include 401(k) contributions, this should help, I think with my taxable income(reduction) vs transferring the money to the IRA.
I’m just annoyed, I feel like I work so hard and yet I’m still not educated enough. I want to scream, wages are at an all time low, though there’s jobs, and you’re taking my money.
Getting off my soapbox
Great week this week.
I received a really nice compliment at work, and I so needed it.
Yesterday was pay day, I saved $375 in sinking funds, this include the IRA contribution, paid an extra $200 on CC10, came in under budget in my cash envelopes of $53 and saved $82 for my challenges. Not bad.
Things are really working out well, financially. Saving and knocking out my debt is my focus.
Other news. In four years, I will be 50. I’ve always wanted to visit Monaco 🇲🇨, since I was a kid. Though I have debt 🙄🤦🏽♀️ would it be wrong for me to start saving for this trip for my 50th birthday? I know Monaco is super expensive and I figured as a treat to paying off debt, this would be it. By then, I would have all credit. Add debt paid off as well as one student loan.
Today I found two of my great nephews birthday gifts at Walmart for $5. I’d budgeted about $25 each, I’m feeling so excited. Though one’s birthday is the end of February and the other is in May, I just feel really great that I was able to score such a great gift at a low rate. It’s a Discovery STEM kit.
I also polished my nails, something I missed doing. They came out great and I saved about $15 doing it myself. 💅🏾
Cashed out my points, $52, and added it to CC10. I like the idea of using the credit card for bills (e.g. internet, cell, car insurance) and earning points that translate into cash that I use towards my debt.
So long as I manage it, only use for bills, this is a great way to earn a little extra cash. I keep a zero balance in the card, CC9. The points add up quickly.
Ended the month with a bang.
For 31 days I challenge myself not to eat out and did just that. It was tough but I did it. So I transferred $31 from my cash envelopes to a saving challenge envelopes.
My word of the year is Fearless, the challenge was to save the amount corresponding with each letter (number) of the alphabet. For example A is the first letter so $1, F is the 6th so $6. Doing this I saved $61 and to my challenge envelope.
Next I started the 52 week challenge and socked away five weeks. I’m trying to figure out how I can go backwards.
Total for January’s challenges $107, not bad.
I’m pretty sure for January I came in under budget in most categories, knocked out about $800 in debt, and saved at least 20% of my income. I’ll be reviewing my budget today but I’m sure my numbers are pretty accurate.
These little challenges help me to prepare my meals at home and to come in under budget with my cash envelopes. I plan on challenging myself each month socking away the challenge money in an envelope. I can’t wait to see how much I save just from challenging myself. I think I’ve regained my motivation.
In my head, I say take the money saved at the end of the year and have fun, but my heart says, throw it at debt. Debt sucks