Thursday, January 16, 2014

Money Update

You guys have been with me through a lot on here. Paying down thousands of dollars of credit card debt, living below my means to make it happen, finally upgrading my life, then months later being whisked away to my east coast adventures in Pittsburgh where the cost of living is cheaper, but goods and services are more expensive.

As I sat down to think about what my year is going to look like financially, I thought about all the years I spent making significantly less than I do now and STILL sacrificing to meet a financial goal. I thought about the mindset it took to do that and it was all about discipline and sacrifice. It sucked a lot saying no to things I wanted to do, but at the end of the day,  I was happy with the outcome: being credit card debt free, Amen!

So my rent went up this year by $50. That's $600 a year. When they wouldn't budge on it (you know I asked), I took a look at my budget and realized that it really didn't affect my budget to pay $50 more per month. Wayment.

I then took ANOTHER look at my budget and decided since I have a sufficient amount of emergency fund in the bank that I can afford to pay about 20% of my net pay each month to put a dent in my student loans. If I do this, get a raise every year, and use my tax refund as my vacation fund, I can pay down all of my student debt in 2 years.

Don't let me mess around and make my side hustle profitable.

What does this mean, though? This means no Netflix, no impromptu trips and no shopping. I can still dine out, but that must be kept to a minimum as well. This means acting like I don't have it when I have it. This is a bit of a mind shift.

When I got the job in Pittsburgh, I think I was off work for about two weeks before I started. And then it was likely another two weeks before I got paid, etc.,, etc. Well, I lived off of my savings/emergency fund during that time and the funny thing about an emergency fund is I don't budget with it the way I budget a fixed income. So I pretty much did what I wanted with the money. Fast forward, a month after that, I make more and spend less in Pittsburgh. Again, it's like give me all the things. Further, I didn't know anyone and I was lonely. So it was like I want premium cable, give me a 2013 vehicle, let me buy what I want because I'm not going to be bored and a bum. That was my thinking.

Well, now that I have friends in Pittsburgh, I need to find my way back to a sacrificial mindset AND gently remind myself that for YEARS I lived a life of saying no to meet financial goals.

I'm writing all of this to help me be accountable. Yesterday was the best day of the year and I really did spend 20% of my take home pay on student loans. I wanted shoes. I really wanted shoes.

If you want to share any financial goals with me, please do. If not, I ain't trying to be all in your business like that. Thanks for reading and helping me to stay accountable.


Ishea said...

I always appreciate your financial transparency. My goal this year is to save about 1k a month, which for me is huge! I used to never believe in having a true savings... but I'd like to be able to stack away some dough to be able to vacation the way I like. Ideally I'll keep maybe 2-3k for a true emergency. Otherwise, I consider the rest fair game to invest in memories... not things.

When I first moved to Seattle and got my job downtown, I was so thrilled to be back in the city working and across the street from Nordstrom and F21, H&M... Urban Outfitters. I've been going shopping everyday on my lunch lol. I don't always buy things, but it's so nice to bury my loneliness in stuff. Well, it WAS nice lol. Anyways, I'm getting into a nice groove and don't really need anything else.

I need to put on paper what I plan on sacrificing.

Luvvie said...

Shopping is my true vice and I don't say no to myself often. I don't have any student loans so any debt I have is in credit cards. I could pay it ALL off today w/ my savings but I'm like "Noooooooooo. I wanna have cash" I will be debt free by end of 2014 though, because this year will be the most money I've ever made.

Meghan Payne said...

Anyone who is trying to attain a debt-free lifestyle will have to make drastic changes to achieve it. Although being frugal is the quickest way to achieve it, it's best to be reminded that we are still at liberty to have the things that we deserve. I mean, don't forget to treat yourself to a well-deserved dinner out or to something rewarding, every once in a while, and make sure to use cash. Hahaha! You're doing your best, and you should keep that in mind. All the best to you! :)

Meghan Payne @ B2 Accounting and Bookkeeping