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Changes

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If you haven’t noticed from my previous posts, I’m an emotional spender. I don’t spend because it’s necessary…on the contrary, I hate spending on items such as clothing and medication. I spend my money because I’m trying to fill a void and/or soothe an extreme emotion. It’s the same thing as my emotional eating. If I’m happy, I’ll buy fast food. If I’m sad, I’ll buy fast food in large quantities for a week. If I’m bored, it’s junk food until something more interesting comes along.  I know that I should eat healthy, but for what? Because it’s the right thing to do? Because it’s going to come back and haunt me (probably in the form of disease)?

I think with my spending, it’s dealing with perfectionism. I’m definitely in a quarter life crisis (and so is my husband). I wake up every morning with the thought of “Is this it?”. I find myself mourning the fact that I’m getting older, and seemingly not doing anything with my life outside of working for someone else. I miss the freedom of being in college, of waking up every day with no real responsibilities. To cope, I spend mindlessly to keep myself busy. I don’t have the notion to save, because what am I saving for? A rainy day? Not real enough to motivate me. A vacation some far off day that will only serve as a reminder when I return from it that I hate working 9-5 everyday for someone else?

Nah. My history shows that I take the instant gratification road instead.

It’s frustrating, because I know what I should be doing. But if I’m anything, I’m persistent. I began this blog as another attempt to try to change the way I handle my finances. But in order to change my mentality regarding finances, I also have to change my mentality regarding the other areas of my life.

Here are the goals I’d like to work on this month starting today:

–        Work out 15 times before the July 1st (this could be walking, jogging, yoga, anything that keeps me moving)

–        Track and stay within my WW Points for two weeks straight.

–        Write 100 words daily for my 2nd novel (yes, I published one on Amazon last year and am trying to write the second one faster)

–        Bring breakfast and lunch to work every day for two weeks.

 

 

 

 

May 2013 update and June goals

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Hey friends!

It’s been awhile, but things on Debtonia are crazy as usual. Let’s get some updates in this mother—

Finances:

Remember when I casually mentioned I was hit by a car? Yeah, got reimbursed for that ($500 and paid it on my credit card), but we noticed that my car was making some really funky noises. Of course it checked out with the mechanic, but the noises continued despite us not being able to find anything. I commute 20 miles each way every day and was getting nervous about driving through the mountains. So! Hubs and I went to a few dealerships and ended up walking away with some car debt.

Yep. Let it sink in. We now have car debt. I know I whined and complained about getting a new car, but I wasn’t too serious at the time. And I certainly wasn’t planning on taking the amount of debt I now have for it. Nevertheless, I love my new car and I am feeling 1000% safer driving to work every day. When my 40 minute commute increases to an hour and a half each way in August, I’m glad I’ll have something reliable. Not to mention the ride is so much smoother, it makes being in the car that long much easier.

While car shopping, we found out that I need more of a credit history. Back in college, I had racked up credit card debt. When I graduated, I paid off all debt and then closed my cards. Hindsight is a bitch, you know? I should’ve kept some of those cards open. The dealership told me that I had great credit, but not enough. Hubs and I decided to lease for a few years to build up some kind of credit and then just buy the car. At the end of my lease in 2016, I’ll have to pay $13,000. My new car payment is $288 a month.

Housekeeping:

I’ve added some side bar widgets to help my dear readers and myself keep track of paying down our debt. Also, I’ve decided not to post line by line recaps anymore. It’s so tedious and it’s not how I normally review our budget. From now on, I’ll just post how much we’ve paid towards debt. That will help me post more frequently instead of spending hours (and sometimes days) tracking receipts.

June 2013 Goals:

Our goal for this month is to pay $500 towards credit card debt. My student loans are starting to kick in, so that’s going to force us to live more within our means. These last few months have been fun, kind of like us having a vacation from the intense stress of last year (Hubs was unemployed for a year). So we’ve been updating our wardrobe (finally got rid of those jeans with the holes), eating out more, and going to the movies. But now it’s time for us to rein it in and get back to work. Frankly, we’re tired of spending anyway. J

What about you? What are your goals from this month? 

Budgeting Software

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I’m still searching for an easier and quicker way for me to track my spending. Right now, I have a spreadsheet with all the budget items listed and the due dates next to them. Each time I pay a bill, I add a check mark next to the line item. While this is efficient for paying bills, it doesn’t help with managing the everyday expenses we have. I tried using Mint.com, but honestly I don’t have time to spend matching categories to expenses.

Do you have any suggestions? 

Update!

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So a lot has been happening in Debtonia. Hubs and I got a puppy and we’ve been talking A LOT about me finding another job or quitting my current one to work on my fiction writing.

The puppy craziness has slowed down to the point that we’ve fallen back into routine a bit. She’s now 10 weeks old and despite one of our cat’s attempts to assassinate, has managed to become partially potty trained. She also knows how to walk on the leash, ‘shake’ hands and how to sit on command. We’ve been very, very busy running on very limited sleep.

On the work front, I’ve been having a rough patch. I am an Administrative Assistant for an executive at an entertainment company. I’m also the pseudo office manager / therapist / punching bag when things go wrong as most AAs are. It’s certainly not what I wanted to do with my life. Over the last two months, I’ve become very depressed. I hate the 15 mile commute, being tethered to one person and their whims and being the “go to” person for the office. I wanted (and still want) to be somewhere where my projects mean something (sorry, ordering coffee is not one of them) and I have the freedom to come and go as I please. When I found out our office is moving another 7 miles away, I broke down.

I started to cry every day to work (and sometimes at work) because I was in such a funk. I’ve been snapping at my boss, my coworker, my HR person…anyone who happens to get in my path. I felt like I was trapped!

Of course, that’s not true. So I’ve been going on interviews for other entry level, non-glamorous positions that are within 5 miles of my house and discovered that while my current job is far from my dream job, it has more perks than the companies I’ve been interviewing with.

That being said, I decided to bide my time a little longer. My new commute in August will be an hour long each way. We talked about me trading in my car for another more gas efficient used one, but I don’t want a car note for now. I will be investing in Sirius radio to help me pass the time, though.

What about you fellow citizens out there? Do you have your dream job or are you hustling until you get it? Share your story!

 

 

 

 

Debt Girl Gets a Dog…

You know how I’ve gotten into a lot of my debt? Impulse.

It was impulse to move to quit my job and move from hum-drum, low cost of living Midwest to California, it was impulse that made me get my tattoo and nose ring, and it was impulse that now has me saddled with a 6 week old side kick.

Remember when I said the Hubs and I were having puppy fever? Yeah, it didn’t go away after that post. As a matter of fact, over the next few days it ramped up. It’s spring, which means everyone has come out with his or her dogs. It’s like dangling a carrot in front of a rabbit, folks.

After being discouraged by rescues because we live in an apartment (um, it’s L.A. What young professional doesn’t live in an apartment??), I took to Craigslist to see if there were any ‘apartment friendly’ breeds that needed a good home.

You know, just to look.

Kinda the same way ‘window shopping’ goes for those with debt issues.

Google told me Boxers make great apartment pets and are good with cats, so I found a couple of breeders online who were giving pups up for adoption. On impulse, I sent the links to Hubs, who instantly fell in love with them. We made an appointment to see them in two days.

For me, Debt Girl the Impulse Queen, that wasn’t soon enough. So! I found a breeder who told us we could come glance at the pups that very night.

Awesome.

We went, saw this cute little scrunch faced thing and decided on the whim to get her. Peeps, our apartment was not puppy proof, there were no supplies on hand, and we don’t have a clue on how to raise a puppy.

As soon as we drove off, I began to panic. What did we do? How were we going to take care of this precious thing? And after I found out 6 weeks was too young to be rehomed, we both felt incredibly guilty. Why had the breeder let us take her???

That was on a Thursday night. I called in sick on Friday and stayed home with the pup so we could get acquainted. I’ve been in a state of panic ever since.

Hubs tells me that we’ll be fine and my dog owning friends echo that sentiment. It’s not helping though. I’m still in “Oh shit!” mode

Oh, and the financials for my little impulse excursion?

 

Adoption fee: $500

Supplies:  $241.31

 Total: $741.31

 

That’s not to mention shots, spaying, and a new crate once she grows.

Will I ever learn??

Here’s a couple of pics of the new addition:

keke3 keke2 KeKe1

Debt Girl Has Been Hit…By a Car…

I was driving into work today and was rear ended by someone not paying attention to me. So while I had a post all ready and geared up to write, my body is now extremely sore and even typing this sentence is killing me.

Therefore, I’m going to pop a muscle relaxant and go to bed. But fear not, fellow DGnians! I’ll be back in a couple of days. 🙂

 

 

 

I want a dog. And a new car.

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I’ve been having urges. (No, not those types of urges.) Urges to spend. On a few things I totally don’t need right now…

Like a dog. We have two cats already and live in an 1,000 sq 1 bedroom apartment. As a matter of fact, both of our cats are ‘fugitives’ because the landlord didn’t really want us to have pets. Even though our lease said we could have one with a pet deposit, we just decided not to mention it unless one of the critters damaged something (then it’s only right to pay for the damages). But both the Husband and I are definitely feeling the urge to get a doggy. We’re BIG animal lovers (I recently cried in Petsmart because a dog up for adoption looked sad). But everyone is advising us against it. In LA, it’s super, super hard to find apartments that accept pets, and VERY hard to find apartments that will accept three pets. My friends are all over me: What if the landlord found out? What if you got evicted? What if the dog gets sick? Don’t you know how expensive dogs are? Don’t you know dogs can’t live in apartments?? THEY NEED A YARD!!!!!

Oh come on! Tell me that’s not awesome!

Good grief.

The problem is I don’t think they’re right. I grew up with dogs, and outside of boarding them when we were away, they were never too expensive. And if we got a small-medium dog, he could totally live in the apartment. We’d walk him twice a day and Hubs could possibly come home from work to check on him.

But the doggy urge is NOTHING compared to the “want to trade in my car for another used one that’s more gas efficient” one. Folks, I’ve got the itch BAD.

I currently drive a 2005 Ford Taurus. It’s in relatively good condition, only has 73,000 miles on it. And it’s paid for. It’s the frugal superhero’s dream. The problem? I spend about 15 hours a week in the car and about over $300 a month in gas. While the car is in good condition, I fantasize about having a car with better mileage.

Ok, I’ll admit it: I want the shiny new features that some of the newer models come with: Sirius radio, sun roof, GPS. I’ve been salivating over crossover SUVs for about a year now!

Come to Mama!

Come to Mama!

Again, everyone is telling me not to do it. My car runs fine and is PAID OFF. Better not to mess with the Universe on this, they say.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I know they’re right on both things. But a want is a want.

What do you guys think? Am I wrong to want to upgrade my car and have my new doggy addition cruise around town with me?