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.
Viewing the 'Goals' Category
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.
Freezing. Tuesday we were told to buckle up and watch out for falling iguanas. Well yesterday it was in the 40s 🥶 and the iguanas 🦎 were everywhere 🙄🤦🏽♀️
Having been born in Florida and lived here my entire life, 40s is like below zero for me. However, I put my PJs on, loaded my bed 🛌 with blankets and guess what? I was okay. I thought I’d wake up freezing and too nervous to get out of bed to turn the heat 🔥 on, but I didn’t.
The blankets definitely kept me warm. If I can keep this up, my electric bill should be really low, like $40 bucks.
It’s been a game for me to keep my electric bill down, I love the challenge of getting it lower, I average about $10 less each month.
Other news, day 23 and I did not eat out, not even a soda 🥤. I’ve been doing very well, I’m striving for 31 days.
I’ve also had about 21 days of not spending money as well.
Today I received my reimbursement of $160 for my professional certification, I’m so exited. I can officially stop this sinking fund now, I’ve met my goal of $500. The $25 I was throwing at this account will go to the car fund since I literally cleaned it out last month with close to a $800 repair.
Tomorrow is pay day and I came in under budget by $87 with my cash envelopes. I transferred $41 to my challenge envelope for January, brining my total cash saving for the month so far to $94.
Oops lastly, I decided to create a few charts to track my payoffs, thanks for the tip everyone. I’ve also decided to use undebit, I’m feeling excited about it.
So far this month I’ve paid off $664 on CC10, things are really moving along in the credit card 💳 front.
I’m also participating in a few saving challenges, word of the month, no dining out and, 52 Week Challenge.
Basically the word of the month, you select a word and the corresponding letter of the word in the alphabet you save. For example your word is save. S is the 19th letter, A is the first, so I’d save $19, and $1.
For each day I do not dine out, I add $1. I’m taking the funds from my cash envelopes ✉️ , forcing me to try and come in under budget.
I’ll admit, it’s been tough but I’m liking it, the challenges that is.
However; I have a question, how do you all stay motivated? I’m so tired at times. Though I’m paying off debt, my student loans continue to grow, and on paper the debt seems to not decrease. Last year was the year I was to begin to tackle the student loans, then I got hit with the lawsuit. At times I feel defeated. I know I can do it, but lately I’m just bummed about it.
Well it’s been a pretty good week. Tomorrow I turn 46, wow.
I feel somewhat down because I feel like I haven’t gotten myself together financially; however, I’ve made some progress.
Rather than focusing on the negative, I’ll focus on the positive.
Today, I paid an extra $453.78 on CC10 knocking the balance down to $5,500. Tomorrow’s billing cycle ends, so I’ll be hit with interest 🙄🤦🏽♀️. I did look at transferring the balance to a zero interest card but the fees to transfer wasn’t worth it. I’ll have the card paid off in a about four to five months.
I also added $50 to the EF, $50 to the IRA account.
This month I have not eaten out, 16 days. Wow. I almost gave in yesterday, it was the sorority’s Founders’ Day and I really wanted to hang out with my girls but paying the credit card 💳 debt was the best decision. I’ve saved a ton by not eating out.
Tomorrow I’ll head to Sweet Tomatoes for my free birthday dinner.
Lastly, I decided to get the quote on the hurricane shutters before the season rolls around. It’s so difficult for me to find some one to come and put the plywood up. I wish I could find a decent handyman. I’ll apply for the city grant for reimbursement
I realized that I completely over budgeted/saved for my professional certification renewal. The fee to renew is $160 vs the $400+ I was thinking. $400 was the actual exam 🤦🏽♀️🙄.
I try to attend free events and listen to webinars for certification credits, but would really like to attend a convention. However; $2000+ for a convention is just not in my budget. My employer would reimburse me but my boss gives us such a hard time in that you feel so uncomfortable asking, it’s not worth the hassle.
Given that I over saved and also have the funds for my second renewal that’s due next year (I have two professional certifications), I’m going to change the saving amount from $25 to $10, per pay period. I’d still like to keep the cash on hand in case an event/training comes up that I’d like to attend and I’m not reimbursed by my employer. The good thing is, if I’m not reimbursed, I can use this has a business expense, since I have the consulting gig.
The goal was to hit $500 for the professional sinking fund and stop. Hopefully I’ll be reimbursed for the renewal and with the first pay check in January, I can stop outright, I’d hit my goal.
Meanwhile the extra $15 I’ll throw at the car sinking fund, since I’ve cleaned that baby out. But if I’m reimbursed the $169 and hit the $500 mark with the first paycheck in January, I can stop funding and add the extra $25 vs $15 to the car fund, to get that back up.
I’m so thankful that I found out about sinking funds. It actually, well for me, make saving so much easier. I prefer this method, rather than having one account for everything.
Though I didn’t meet my debt repayment goal for 2019, I’m still somewhat in the dumps about this, I’m also thankful for the sinking fund and the ability to pay cash for things, such as the legal bill, car repair, electrical repair etc. Who would have known I’d be back on my way to financial freedom.
Well final cost to repair my car $776.26
The funds actually came out of the sinking fund that I save for car repair and a new car. I sort of feel defeated but I am thankful for being able to pay cash for the repair. I literally knocked my car sinking fund down to zero. I went ahead and got my headlights cleaned, cost was $80. It had become increasingly difficult to see at night. I’d tried the toothpaste remedy and other stuff but nothing cleaned them. Pray fully I can the get the sinking fund back up.
Today was pay day, and I wasn’t able to add extra to the CC 😢. So I’m feeling really down.
Needless to say, I socked away about $344 to sinking and emergency fund.
Added to my IRA. I almost changed the amount by $25 less, but opted not to. I need to stick with the plan, of bumping my IRA contributions every year.
I paid a few miscellaneous bills, and tithed. Today I’ll be stuffing my cash envelopes.
Next month is a better month. I should be able to throw about an extra $300 to the CC, and $400 to my car fund.
I set the bar high for 2020, the goal is to pay off $20k in debt. I know it’s going to be tough but if I keep a lean budget, blog so that I’m held accountable, I think, no, I know I can do it.
I’ve got to stay focus and determine as it pertains to paying down debt and saving. Though this year wasn’t too bad, I just feel like I should be further along
I’m so glad I followed my first mind.
I was having issues with the dryer. I called the repair guy because the SO never picked up the free one for me. Well I found out it’s not the dryer but the socket, there’s an electrical issue.
Cost to have the appliance repair guy out, $65 but at least I found out it was electrical and avoided a potential fire 🔥. I’m on the fence with this though, because the dryer isn’t getting hot. I’ll see what the electrician says, I’m nervous
The repair guy’s exact words to me as he showed me the plug 🔌 on the dryer was, “ I’m glad you had this unplugged, you could have had a serious issue.” The plug was burned and so hot he couldn’t even touch it.
I have an electrician, I’ll see if he can come out Friday, since I’m off. I’m also thankful, that I had the sinking fund for household repairs, though this is an inconvenience, I’m not frantic over how I’m going to pay for it.
Talk about scary.
Financial news, I’ve been so stressed at work that I’ve been dining out. Well I decided enough, buying breakfast is costly. Not sure why I allow these things to get to me, work that is.
I sold an item on Poshmark, making $7.05, can’t wait for this to hit my account.
I spent the afternoon getting my planner ready for 2020. The goal is to pay off CC10 by the first quarter of the year. Once that’s done, I’ll be tackling the student loans.
For me it’s peace of mind but I know most of you won’t agree but once CC10 is gone, the goal is the following
* $100 monthly to EF
* $100 monthly to IRA
* $100 extra monthly to mortgage
* $500 extra to student loan
After calculating everything, savings, expenses, I could actually add an extra $1000 a month to the student loans once the CC is gone. I’m feeling excited for 2020, we will see.
Took a look at the budget and I’m now able to bump my IRA contribution by an additional $25, it’s not much but hey it’s better than were I was, $0. This will bring the monthly contributions to $100.
I’ve also decided that any additional income, such as the consulting gig, I’ll take 10% of that earnings and add it to the IRA. The remaining will still go to the goal of savings six months of expenses for emergencies, once completed I’ll then tackling the CC and student loans. So long as I stay focus on this plan, I think everything will be good.
Next month I’m anticipating about $910 for the consulting. We’re adding a training so that’s the extra income.
Lastly, I sold an item on Poshmark, the buyer gave me five stars ⭐️, and I was able to cash out my $4.05. Selling on Poshmark is a very slow process but at least it’s extra cash for things I don’t want.
My ending EF balance December of 2018 was $8197.69 my goal is to not only get back to this balance but surpass it.
As you all know, I had the emergency legal fee of $5,000. I was so close to hitting the 6 month savings goal and then boom 💥. I am thankful that I had the money to pay 💰 the lawyer.
I checked the EF and my balance is $5,559.87, I’m estimating by the end of December 2019 my ending balance would be about $6900. 🤞🏾
There’s so many things I want, and to do but I realize, I need to stay focus. Focus on one thing at a time is a must. First thing is, I need to keep socking money into the EF, the goal is to have 6 months of living expenses, that’s 12k. Plus a little extra, for legal fees, until this issue with my brother is resolved. I’ve been laid off 3xs and thankfully I had money saved. Right now the average time to find a job is about 6-8 months.
I’m still throwing extra at the CC, about $300-$400 a month, hopefully by March/April this baby will be gone.
Next, I know my car will need to be replaced, she has 259,000 miles on her. I love that car (Camry) and I pray she hangs around at least two more years but at so many miles I don’t know. The goal is to have about $5,000 saved, so that I can buy a car cash.
Lastly, it’s the student loans and the mortgage. If all goes well, and I hit my EF savings goals by February, pay off CC10 by March/April, I can pay an extra $400-$500 a month on the student loans , an extra $100 a month on the mortgage, and bump my retirement contributions. That’s the plan.
In other news. SO has been extremely sick. I personally think he didn’t go to the doctor because he has no insurance or the money. He finally broke down and went to the hospital 🏥 yesterday. I told him, if what he was experiencing wasn’t life threatening, that they would stabilize him and send him home 🏡. And that’s exactly what happened. The ER doctor 👨🏽⚕️believes he has an ulcer. I told him that as well. The stress he’s experiencing is off the charts.
Any way they gave him two prescriptions and told him to follow up with a gastroenterologist. The prescription was $200, I offered to pay. It’s the helping others in me. He opted against it. I went online and found a prescription discount drug card, with the card, the prescription dropped to $29.
I’m praying for his sake, he gets his life together.