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Category Archives: budget

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? 

The Numbers

Now that you know where I’m coming from debt wise, here’s the current budget we’re working with:

expenses excel jpg

As you can see, we have over $1,000 a month that we can throw at debt. If we stick to our budget, we could be done with credit card debt within 14 months! Isn’t that crazy?

But just like anything that’s worth having, it’s not that easy. We’re having a hard time sticking to our budget. And by we, I mean “me”.

What can I say?? Superhero costumes ain’t cheap!

Seriously, though, I’m an emotional spender. And during the period where Hubs was unemployed, we couldn’t spend anything outside of the basics, which meant a whole year of eating cheap processed food (ramen anyone?), wearing clothes until the holes were too big to patch and being wary every time we wanted to go out and have some fun. “Fun Money” was $20 for the MONTH. For two people in LOS ANGELES. Not too fun at all.

So my hope is documenting my journey on Adventures will help me hone my moo-lah saving super powers and get to my zero credit debt goal by 2014.

Any emotional spenders out there in the peanut gallery? How do you cope?