The Spending Fast Begins

This month is about goals and initiatives to achieve measurable results. I’ve got $583 in my checking account, and this month I expect over $4,500 to be coming my way from paychecks, freelance, and a deposit refund. In June, I rented a party space in Bushwick, Brooklyn to have a second wedding reception with food, drinks, and dancing for our friends who couldn’t make it to the wedding in May. I convinced myself that I would be able to balance paying for it and maintaining my $200/credit card monthly payments, but when I looked at the numbers and started to panic over how close I’d be cutting it, I decided that spending all of the money on my debt instead would feel much better than throwing a party. I cancelled far enough in advance that I get a full refund minus a 4% handling fee. Now, I’m so proud of all my planning for this month and my mission to get this done, that I will have full disclosure about my situation in order to hold myself accountable for whatever outcome (good or bad) this month holds. 

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 12.46.46 PM

September Goals:

  • Primary goal – pay off $1,400 of credit card debt
  • Eat healthy & cheap under $200 (beans, rice, lots of veggies!)
  • Exercise to feel strong 20 days this month
  • Schedule a date to take the GRE

If you’re reading this blog, I challenge you to go one day, two days, or even one week without spending money on anything but what you can’t live without. My current total for credit card debt is $10,176.33. By the end of the month, I will feel successful if I can get that balance below $9,000. 

Here are my expenses for the month of September:

  • Rent: $1,000 
  • Student Loans: $336.26 
  • Personal Loan: $139 
  • Cell Phone: $50
  • Gym Membership: $69.99
  • Netflix: $7.99
  • Transfer to Betterment (Retirement, House, Emergency, Vacation funds): $100
  • Total Scheduled Credit Card Payments: $1,000

Total: $2,703.25

I used money from my last August paycheck to load $200 onto a Reloadable prepaid American Express Card. I’m really glad that I decided to make this move instead of trusting myself to stay within budget using my debit card and cash on my own. This is basically the envelope method.

Credit Card Balances as of September 1st, 2014

Each credit card will receive a minimum payment of $200.

  • Credit Card 1 Balance: $865
  • APR: 22.99%
  • Minimum payment: $72
  • Credit Card 2 Balance: $864
  • APR: 17.24%
  • Minimum Payment: $35
  • Credit Card 3 Balance: $1,599
  • APR: 13.24%
  • Minimum Payment: $33
  • Credit Card 4 Balance: $1,897
  • APR: 0.00%
  • Minimum Payment: $29
  • Credit Card 5 Balance: $4,949
  • APR: 18.99% on purchases and 0.00% on Balance transfer
  • Minimum Payment: $99

If I do actually receive the $4,500 that I’m forecasting, that means I would have a surplus of $1,796.75 by October 1st. If that is the case, I would use $1,000 for credit card payments and the rest for upcoming expenses. Having $1,000 to put towards payments means that I would exceed the additional $400 payment goal by $600 and be able to eliminate the balance on Credit Card 1 and use what’s left to apply to credit Card 2. I would use the remaining $796.75 to put towards upcoming holiday expenses which include the following:

  • Roundtrip ticket to New York for Thanksgiving
  • Spending money to see our friends in Brooklyn over Thanksgiving weekend
  • Christmas presents for 7 nieces and nephews ($20 cap for each kid – sorry grown-ups, the only gift you’ll be getting this year is my presence)
  • Plane ticket from Boston to Buffalo to spend Christmas with my family and Buffalo friends
  • Spending money to go out with friends in Buffalo
  • Plane ticket from Buffalo to New York to spend time with my husband’s family in New Jersey and our friends in Brooklyn
  • Spending money for New Years Eve and transportation
  • Plane ticket from New York to Boston to get back to reality

I’ll keep you up to date on my success and failures this month. PLEASE share your own stories about getting out of debt or any advice you have for cutting back on spending but still enjoying life. 🙂

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