Tuesday, May 24, 2011

$80 between now and 6/2!

I have $80 to live on between now and next payday 6/2/11. I'll probably use $40 of it for gas next week.

I think I unknowingly set myself up for a per paycheck zero-based budget! I don't feel comfortable with just that much in my checking account, but then again I know that every bill has been paid for and nothing will be automatically deducted.

I did have some random expenses that led to it being at $80, a quick trip for fast food, a really nice dinner, contact lenses and dog grooming expenses.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hello $12k!

I'm in the $12k range!

I have 1 credit card left, then I'm tackling my student loans the rest of this year.

The Plan:
I will try to eliminate my last credit card of $1733 in 3 paychecks. That's almost half my take home pay per paycheck but I'm determined!

Now for the numbers:
Total Debt: $15,655

Total Debt: $13,490

STUDENT LOANS $11,258.00
CC $1,733.00
TOTAL: $12,991.00

I found a wonderful blog called Debtspiration (www.debtspiration.com). It's a blog full of money quotes. I come back and read Debtspiration from time to time.

My favorite quote:
"I want you to realize that whether all of this takes a week, a month, or a year, that precious and limited time is going to pass whether you are doing something about your life or not. I promise you that at this precise moment next year, your life will be better or worse than it is right now. It will not be the same; the choice to improve it or let it decay is undeniably yours."
— Phil McGraw, Ph.D., Self Matters

Love it and all it's applications! You'll either be fatter or skinnier, more in debt or less in debt, have more savings or nothing at all at this precise moment next year. I wonder where I will be in May 2012? One day at a time.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Credit Scores.

I've never had too many problems with my credit score except for two extremely dumb things.

During college I lived in a house with roommates. We all were responsible for one bill that we had to open under our name, so I got the cable bill.

We paid on time and all that good stuff. When the school year ended, we went our separate ways and I moved into an apartment. I never bothered to look at my credit score.

Two years out of college I decide to check my score and report and see a cable bill in collections for a measely $52! It was one of those balances that lingered after we assumed we had paid the final bill.

My credit score was in the 600's. I called the collections agency and paid it off right away. Contacted Experian and told him the bill was settled and my score improved.

Another dumb thing that gets me is I applied for a bunch of credit cards in college including a Capital One card with a credit limit of a whopping $300. Yes dumb old me forgot about a small balance or ignored it (shame!) and didn't pay for it for 60 days! So there's a little red on my report.


Well as of this year I started at 712. I closed a few store cards, okay more like 4 of them (Macy's, Target, NY&CO, Kohl's) and it improved my score because I improved my open credit card utilization AND the average age of my credit lines got older! Yes I know. So now I'm at a 762!

I highly recommend Credit Karma for your free credit score (www.creditkarma.com). Yes there are a lot of advertisements, but they're pretty useful if you're shopping for financial products.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

2009 - 2010 - 2011: Where's My Money?

I have been employed with my current company since March 2009.

I was just thinking where the heck did all my money go? I started at the company with a salary of $38,500 and received 2 raises and 2 bonuses since.

2009 is a blur. I really don't know where my money went. All I know is I spent a lot of money that Christmas 2009. It was my first time buying presents on a salary.

2010 I took a bunch of trips. I went on a cruise to Mexico, a mini vacation to Palm Springs, 4-day trip to Washington D.C, planned/paid for a baby shower, went to Las Vegas for my friends bachelorette and planned/paid for a lot of that too. Just lots and lots of random expenses.

2011 is clearer now that I have a plan. I did start off the year by adding on more debt with my trip to Miami and Europe. But I'm also on my way to paying off a total two credit cards! Working on my third soon.

I finally set a date to be debt free as well. I calculated that I should be debt free by February 2012 or sooner if I really push it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Living Situation.

My Living Situation:
I live a pretty simple life as a 25 year old.

- I live with my parents rent-free but pay for gas, electric, water and sewer.
- I work M-F 9am to 5pm. Boring job, but wonderful co-workers and boss.
Go home after work and relax by surfing the internet, watching t.v, running errands, hanging out at home with my parents and dogs. Sometimes I'll hang out at a friends house or apartment.
- Spend time with my boyfriend on the weekends, if there are any get-togethers or parties with friends and were up for it, well go.
- I try to travel once a year.

I live my life daily thankful for my wonderful family, my pets, my friends who I have known for years or grew up with and a great partner/boyfriend who I've been with for 10 years.

My Financial Situation:
- I make $41,241 per year, before taxes and deductions.
It's funny how the only negativity in my life is my debt! Paying for past mistakes in the present time sucks. I'm more determined then ever to get debt out of my life. That way I can save, spend, give and plan for the future the way I want to.

Friday, May 13, 2011


How do you budget?

I keep it pretty simple budgeting paycheck to paycheck and I use post-it notes!

My take home pay after taxes and deductions is $1234.
I pay myself first so a direct deposit goes into my ING savings then I direct deposit my dad my car payment (he bought me a car in 2007).

That leaves me with about $919-$1044 (depends on how much I put in savings) for bills, gas, food and debt.

Let's take this coming 5/19 paycheck.

I get out my handy dandy post-it note and write the following:
- Paycheck date 5/19-6/2 (6/2 will be my next paycheck).
- All bills due between 5/19-6/2 in this case a cell phone, student loan, gas & electric.
- I put a (+) sign next to any debt I'm snowballing. In this case my Best Buy credit card at $435.
- $919 on the bottom left is how much money total I have.
- $322 is how much I have after paying for bills and debt snowball ($919-$597). So that $322 is gas, food and fun money.

I set up my next post-it a few days after payday. Tada!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Debt Update.

4/21 Numbers:
STUDENT LOANS $11,364.00
CC $2,493.00
TOTAL: $13,857.00

5/10 Numbers:
STUDENT LOANS $11,322.00
CC $2,168.00
TOTAL: $13,490.00

Managed to subtract $367 from my debt. Next 5/19 paycheck, I'll be making a final payment of $435 to my Best Buy credit card and that will be done-zo.

Then I can tackle my last credit card (Citi) and focus the rest of the year paying off most, if not all of my student loans.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Little Things.

I'm saving myself $120 per year because I cut down my texting/picture messaging from a $20 plan to a $10 plan.

I happen to have an iPhone, so my bill with data and minutes was $58 a month. Now it's only $48! I don't pay as much monthly because I also get 25% off from my employer.

I also got rid of my gym membership. I just haven't been going. So that's another $30 a month, $360 a year I'll be saving! I think gym memberships are worth it, especially if you take the group classes.

It's the little things!

Monday, May 2, 2011

5/5 Paycheck and The Beach.

We've been having lovely weather here in Southern California, I went to the beach two days in a row over the weekend. Best free thing you can do is get your umbrella and beach towel set-up, get your book out and just soak up some sun.

I've been reading Your Money, Your Life and I think it's an "okay" book so far. Not as motivating as Total Money Makeover.

My 5/5 paycheck will be doing some debt damage, can't wait till Thursday to get those payments in. That includes a big hit to my Best Buy credit card! One more payment after this and my Best Buy credit card is officially paid off.

I'm trying to knock out my last credit card, a Citi card in 3 paychecks. That means throwing $500+ at it three times! I can do this!

I'll update my numbers soon.