Wisedebther Weekly Spending 11/5/17-11/11/17

It seems I have developed the nasty habit of moving this weekly spending to Monday instead of Sunday as originally intended! In my defense, I ended up working most of Saturday, which meant Sunday was my day for errands, cleaning, and of course chilling. Below is my spending for last week. Don’t mind my horrid handwriting. Normally I would input a neat and orderly table, but I just thought the way the colors lined up was cool—like a rainbow! Maybe that rainbow extends to a debt free land?!

 

I’m proud of last week’s spending—ESPECIALLY where it comes to food. I kept it under $100!!! Little bitty baby steps ! I’ve got a new system down that I’m excited to share in another post entirely.

I did however make 2 money mistakes. The first being that I neglected to follow-up with my 6-month bootcamp class membership. I assumed when the 6 months I was up, Poof! there goes my membership. I was wrong. I was slightly dismayed to see a charge for $144.95 on my credit card. Apparently, if you don’t cancel they start charging you month to month until you give 30 days notice of cancellation—tsk, tsk. I really like the classes though and they are only 2 miles from my house, so hey I gotta make the most of it. I wouldn’t consider the situation ideal by any means, but I’ve been so on top of my spending that I was able to address the issue right away. So, money win? Money lose? Probably something in the middle…

Audible membership ($14.95) was money mistake #2. I put it on “pause” a few months prior as my obsession with podcasts, grew, and GRew, and GREW! However, I forgot about said “pause” and the membership resumed on Saturday…womp womp. I was initially bummed, but seeing that I’m on the waiting list for several podcasts/books at the library, I’m going to take it as another money mishap gone Right!

With the holidays around the corner, I expect it may be difficult to find low spending weeks like these in the near future. This isn’t because I plan to go on a wild holiday spending spree, but I won’t skimp on holiday dinners, nor donations. Also, I still have about $2-3K I hope to pay off by years end. We are hosting both Thanksgiving (my brother + our friend) and Christmas (fiance’s mom and aunt) this year, so boat loads of fun (and $$ stories) to come.

‘Til nex time… Wisedebther to live better xo

Total Money Makeover?

I finally read Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and my oh my was it inspiring! Love him or hate him, I have to say I was impressed by Dave Ramsey’s Baby steps and the amazing success stories featured in the book. When I realized that I in fact already had enough for Baby Step #1 $1,000 emergency fund + Baby Step #2 Pay off all debt using snowball approach (except house), I was almost ready to make a huge leap and just get it over with. But, I hesitated. Ultimately, here’s what stopped me from going all in and pursuing my own Total Money Makeover:

Very little buffer room : I do think I have “gazelle-like intensity” as Ramsey describes it in pursuing destination debt free. However, if I get to 0 balance today, I’ll be left with a little less than $5 K in my emergency savings. That’s doable, but it makes me antsy and nervous. Again, this is all relative and for others I understand if I sound foolish. Rather, I feel more comfortable chipping a way at it bit by bit every month or so. In fact, I should be achieving or even exceeding the goal I made in the Summer to pay off $7-8K by year’s end. I’m even proud to be at the point that I will far exceed my goal of end of 2018. I’d say by the time I get my tax return, I’ll be done for good!

Finally, once I get to Debt Free Day I want to celebrate! With Champagne and strawberries and friends and I definitely don’t want to be thinking about what little I have left in my bank account…

Experiences > Debt/Money: 2017 has been a year of experiences by far! More about my summer adventures here . I’ll be rounding out the year with a trip to Orlando for a friend’s bday celebration at Epcot + a work party at Universal. Theme parks are always a grand time, but they pack a punch to the wallet. Since I don’t go very often and have the luxury of driving as opposed to flying, I can make it well worth the admission fee. Paying off all my debt now, could mean sacrificing some of these experiences. Now, I don’t mean to sound like an entitled snowflake, but I do think as a young professional sans kids I have the personal choice to relegate some of my money towards fun experiences (AKA “Funtivities” as we call them in my house).

Partner’s job: Currently, my fiancé works at a commission based job. Although this stuff tends to balance out in the end, it makes most sense for me to keep my emergency savings a bit more padded should a “rainy day” occur.

Fear of the unknown: This one is the hardest to admit. Clearly, I’m just not ready to take the dive. What will I do with my money once this is done? How will I invest my money? What the hell is a Roth IRA? This and many questions like this tumble through my little head.

Paying off debt has become rhythmic. It’s easy. It doesn’t require much thinking, honestly and truly. I’ve scrimped and sacrificed (again a very relative experience!), but I still feel SO SO behind in my money knowledge. I’ll always remember this quote from Breaking Bad in which Gus is speaking to Walt, “You are a wealthy man now, one must learn to be rich, to be poor, anyone can manage”. Now, I should have prefaced this by saying the context of this does not apply for me. I’m not a meth drug dealer, nor would I consider myself “wealthy” or “poor”. But, it struck a nerve. We are always comfortable with what we know. And to scrape by becomes natural and normal. Debt becomes the norm.

Now, I’m not silly enough to stay in debt just because I’m accustomed to it. That would be the antipathy of everything I’m currently striving for. But, I am a bit relieved that I have a little time on my side. Time to learn to budget my spending better-a HUGE work in progress, especially when it comes to food! Time to research the best options for retirement. Time to dream a bit on how I will achieve my goals AFTER debt.

The funny part is that I thought this blog would be a time bound project—documenting my journey from in debt to debt free. However, since so much of my financial development was stunted by my imaginary shackles of debt, this journey, I am now convinced will extend far past my date of debt free.

I may lack the guts to get my “Total Money Makeover” the Dave Ramsey way. I will get there though and it will be on my terms. I can’t wait to look that girl in the mirror!

Wisedebther Weekly Spending 10/29/17 – 11/4/17

Better late than never ! I returned from Chicago Saturday evening after a work trip and always find I’m playing a bit of catch up after travelling. I find work travel to be equal parts exhilarating and exhausting. Returning home on the night of “Fall back” created the perfect scenario for sleeping and still having the most of Sunday available. I made it to tallying up my expenses yesterday, but not writing this post. Here was my weekly spending:

No major surprises here, but my goodness quite pricey. The beginning of the month signals RENT!!, by far my biggest current expense. My food expenses, while much cheaper than previous weeks were still a bit steep—but for real good news coming for the next week! I swear this isn’t a girl who cried wolf situation. The travel expenses should ultimately be reimbursed, but I’m trying to treat it as ‘true’ spending and then I’ll just add the reimbursement to my monthly income. In the past, these travel weeks are where I would go off track BIG time. This trip I really gave it my best effort to track where/when/what I spent/bought. Part of the issue is when I travel I often use cash, which is contrary to my “normal” at-home life. In most cases, I had a receipt; however, where I did not have one I was pretty well able to approximate the spending. I’d say I’m off by a few dollars at MOST, which is pretty impressive for me!

Self-maintenance was also travel related: Nail appointment, new mascara, and dress socks so my feet didn’t freeze to death in Chicago. It.was.so.cold.

Finally, our “Funtivity” was going out for apps and beer on Saturday night after I returned to Tampa; honestly, it was not my best $$ decision. Sort of poor service, plus one tired couple, equates to money that could have been better spent—yet, c’est la vie.

Since the spending this week was steep (RE:Rent), I’m going to try to lay low next week, BUT it’s also the perfect weekend for me to do a bit of personal wardrobe shopping. I had originally set a limit of $1000, which I now scoff at because that is way too high. However, I know even a few hundred dollar update for the winter will do my soul some good. I have been closet purging, so I’m ready to add more, within reason of course… Ok, so $500 limit it is! Considering I don’t need much in the form of winter clothes, it is fine by me.

Sending positive vibes for the week ahead and hope you can Wisedebther to live better xo !!