Pay Day (ep. 11) – the one where holidays are adding ($$!!) up

Don’t worry, we’re still making progress. But with the hot months, day camps, boats in the water and working to make the most of it all, my July expenses were DOUBLE March…and April, and May!

I get that we do more ‘low cost’ stuff during the winter. In our house, in this part of the world, we hibernate, work on projects on the house, train for races coming in better weather, entertain at home and read more during the winter. And my spending reflects that.

Summer? It’s like we drop all common sense and, because our summer season is a short 10 weeks or so, just figure ‘eh, go for it!!’. After looking at July, we went for it A LOT.

We’ve already coined this winter as the ‘winter of discontent’, also known as the winter of ‘NO’. Till then, we’ll make hay while the sun shines and the weather is hot, hot, hot.

The numbers, although showing progress, indicate that I’m a little behind plan. Meaning final pay off may not be till October, not September as hoped. C’est la vie, I’ve got to little a little too, right?!!

Total applied to LOC:        $1245

Current LOC Balance:       $5999.23  -see what I did there? Just couldn’t resist pushing the budget a bit to get it below $6k🙂

Progress on LOC to date:  $8,5778 – man, that feels chunky. That’s a needle move!

Car Loan:                               $15,662.64 -ugh, I want this to MOVE. I’ll update the balance on the day I make the last payment on the LOC.

Pay Day (ep. 10) – double digits , baby!

Does it count as a celebration when I reach 10 pay day updates? I feel like it should. 10 Pay Day updates is 10 very deliberate steps towards paying off the dumb debt, 10 very deliberate days of planning for the future, 10 very intentional moves towards being in control of my finances.

10!!

I’m excited, can you tell? I think I can see the faint glimmer of light at the end of this particular dark tunnel. And while the light will be brief, as I dive into paying of the car next, even just a little sunshine can keep me going.

Total applied to LOC:        $750

Current LOC Balance:       $7,206.69  -totally flew by the $8000 numbers and dove into $7K(and change). I don’t know why, but this feels like a milestone to me.

Progress on LOC to date:  $7,333 – over half-way!

Car Loan:                               $15,662.64 -your turn is coming, car, don’t get comfy.

 

Pay Day (ep. 9)

Two days late, but not because of a lack of focus. With Canada Day on July 1st, both income and automated expenses were a little delayed – and I didn’t want to report on payments that weren’t yet showing in my bank account. I’m very wary of karma coming to bite me in the butt if I report on numbers not yet showing!

Total applied to LOC:        $1300

Current LOC Balance:       $7,956.69  -totally flew by the $8000 numbers and dove into $7K(and change). I don’t know why, but this feels like a milestone to me.

Progress on LOC to date:  $6583 – guys, I am THIS close to hitting the halfway mark on this stupid debt!!

Car Loan:                               $15,662.64 -I am so itching to change this number!

I’ll admit that my original plan was to throw $1500 at the line of credit. But, with a vacation planned this coming weekend (a relatively frugal weekend on the boat – camping, with water), I wanted a little more cushion just in case. The aim is to spend very little of the $200 cushion, and whatever remains on Tuesday morning when we get back will head directly to the LOC.

Sometimes, ice cream on holiday just has to become the major priority.

Pay Day (ep. 8)

Whew, it’s getting hot out there! Grab a cold one, let’s look at the digits:

Total applied to LOC:        $750

Current LOC Balance:       $9,204.44

Progress on LOC to date:  $5,283

Car Loan:                               $15,662.64 -it’ll sit that way until September or until I reach the end of the LOC debt and start to attack the car debt…whatever comes first! (oh man, I gotta push for the latter scenario!). There’s only 5 pay days until September (bummer – why am I already counting to the end of summer?). So it’ll be a focused effort to make the milestone.

It’s a 3-pay cheque month next month (yahoo!), so I’m already planning to see more significant movement of the debt needle. Also, we’ll be on vacation for a portion of the month which, weirdly, means spending less.

With a floating cottage and no commute to work, we live a simple fun life on our summer holidays. Think: swimming in the lake, bbq’s on the beach, drinks on the back of the boat looking into the sunset. It’s a great life, and pretty easy to do without breaking the bank.

As summer becomes a welcome reality, and schedules get more loosey-goosey than ever, I promise to keep the updates coming. They may be small, like this one, but will keep me accountable to myself. If I slip up and buy too much ice cream, it’ll show in the numbers – both financially and on the scale!

So here’s to rolling down the windows, turning up the tunes, sandy feet, sun-kissed shoulders and enjoying life for what it is without breaking the bank to do it.

What does your summer hold for you?

Pay Day (ep. 7)

I love it when a plan comes together. A couple of months ago, I had predicted that I’d hit my $100k net worth in June. I purposely left it a big vague, I think I was scared of telling you guys the date and then not hitting it.

That didn’t happen.

I was actually excited to call the bank on June 1st and get an update on the car loan balance. Excited, but then quickly disappointed at the lack of progress those minimum payments make – ouch! If that’s not a kick-in-the-ass to get one debt out of the way so I can attack another, I don’t know what is.

So, the numbers as they stand today:

Total applied to LOC:        $1100

Current LOC Balance:       $9,954.44 (Under $10k baby!!)

Progress on LOC to date:  $4,533

Car Loan:                               $15,662.64 -yikes, that didn’t move as fast as I would like!

And here’s the best part:

Net worth = $100,237.84

YESSSSS!

Big thanks to J. Money , Josh Overmyer and the gang on Twitter for celebrating with me on Friday (I couldn’t hold back on the news!). Join us on there if you haven’t already, you can find me @runoutofdebt

You know what this did? It motivated me to be more focused this week. It’s been a slow couple of weeks without much progress, or at least that’s how I’ve been feeling. Sometimes you need a nudge/nod that you are headed in the right direction. This is my nudge, my confirmation.

I’ve noticed that I’m consistently struggling to make sure I stay within my spending limit on day -to-day items like groceries, gas etc. So this week, I’m writing down every purchase I make, every cash withdrawal, and logging it against my total allowed spending for the 2 weeks until my next paycheque. Yes, I’m using pen paper. The pain of writing it down has already led to less spending.

What’s your success been this week? What are you doing to stay on track?

 

Pay Day (ep.6)

Hey! So…how ya been? It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve checked in with you guys, but fear not, I have not fallen off the debt-free wagon! I’ll get to what’s been happening in a minute, but first let’s check in with the numbers .

Total applied to LOC:        $677

Current LOC Balance:       $11,054.44 (Was under $10,999…then interest happened- boo!)

Progress on LOC to date:  $3,433

Car Loan:                               $16,424.01 -no change, but June is around the corner and the update is coming!

So, some progress for sure but certainly not as significant in weeks past. I won’t lie, it’s been a tough couple of weeks. I think I had a mini-melt down a couple of weeks ago and just felt like a couldn’t do it all and what I was doing was pretty crappy. Ever had one of those weeks?

While there was a couple of occurrences that were hard (a family medical emergency, a run-in with a colleague I admire) in isolation neither one were so bad that I wouldn’t be able to overcome them on any particular day.

Couple that with feeling tired and overwhelmed by my daily commute, early morning runs, wanting to write and struggling with identifying my role in my new home (and new family!), I had just had enough.

I snapped at someone who really didn’t deserve it, and I really should have known better. The resulting disappointment in myself was dreadful. I had that awful pit-of-the-stomach feeling you get when you know you were in the wrong.

I took a deep breath, faced my demons and stepped up to apologize and make things right. I think were on the other side of it, but it’s up to me to repair and figure out how not to get in that state again.

Seems like I’m not the only one dealing with some hiccups, and thanks to J. Money I’m ok telling you about mine.

I’m not quitting anything, but when I originally started this blog I had planned to write twice a week – Mondays and Wednesdays. It was going ok for a while, but then it got to be too much and I was getting stressed out over not writing. And that wasn’t the point in the first place.

For now, I’ll continue to use it as a place to keep myself accountable. That might just be the pay-day updates for a while, and maybe a few other posts when I have the time and feel inspired to write. This is supposed to be fun, not extra work, and I’m going to have to remind myself of that every now and then.

So, goals for the next pay-day update in two weeks:

  1. Get the LOC under $10k
  2. Update the car loan balance
  3. Keep calm and remain on budget

See you then! (or before, but definitely then. Keeping it light, people!)

 

Pay Day! (ep 5)

Hey fellow penny-pinchers, followers of frugalness, disciples of debt-reduction! Welcome to this weeks episode of “Show me the MONEY (that I have paid against debt)!”

Total applied to LOC:        $1250

Current LOC Balance:       $11,676.43 (Down under $12k!)

Progress on LOC to date:  $2,756

Car Loan:                                $16,424.01 -no change, and I haven’t checked the balance again. Roll on June, I’ll check in with the lender then.

A short list of things I have done to move my financial needle during the last 2 weeks:

  1. Called the UK government to get an statement regarding the amount I would need to pay into the government pension this year in order to keep me current (I can pay into this pension since I am a UK citizen, spent 5 years in the UK working, and just might end up retiring there).
  2. Stuck to my budget plan…even if it was a little (VERY) tight towards the end of the week!
  3. Reconciled my bank account after a weekend of spending (on a very important person – my Mom!)

I had budgeted for new running shoes ($150), and instead have spent $60 on new work shoes and $45 on new work clothes. WHOOPS. Guess that means I’ll either be waiting for new shoes, or will be pulling back on other budget items and scouring the internet for a great deal on my preferred brand. I just can’t bring myself to pay retail!

I ended up very close to the bone at the end of the last 2-week period- too many coffees on the go etc. Those $3/day really do add up! So I’m aiming to be a little more cautious this week so that next week doesn’t produce unnecessary anxiety.

Pitter-patter, let’s get at ‘er!