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Category Archives: monthly recap

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? 

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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!

 

 

 

 

March Budget Recap

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Recap:

Okay, March was a rough month. I technically got paid three times this month, which was something I totally forgot about and didn’t plan for. The month flew by and we made a lot of decisions that affected our spending.

Here we go:

march recap 1

march recap 2

Where things went right:  Pet food, Gas, Utilities, House Stuff, Cell Phones.

The easiest categories to stay under budget for are of course the fixed expenses. We’re pretty frugal with the basics (don’t use a lot of energy; cats don’t eat gourmet cat food, etc.). And gas is always the same amount every month unless we take a road trip. These types of expenses happen once or twice a month.

Where things went wrong:  Food, Clothes, Personal Care, Entertainment, Fun Money, Side Hustle, Misc., Parking, Fees.

Boy, oh boy. Our biggest area that needs improvement is Entertainment. That’s what living in the big city does to you, folks. When you live up the street from authentic Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, Korean AND Soul food, good decision-making seems to get thrown out of the window! What can I say? Eel sushi rolls are my Kryptonite!

Another big expense was our grocery budget. The jury’s still out on this one because $160 a month for 2 people might be too low. I do think we need to plan our meals more instead of buying as needed. And we could totally utilize the crock pot more.

Fun money is supposed to be $100 a month. This is something we can do better in. Even though we love going out with friends, eating out at lunch and drinking beer on the weekends, all of this stuff is not important. If we want to get out of debt in a reasonable time frame, we MUST say NO to some extracurricular activities. And the great thing about living in LA is the weather, which allows us the opportunity to get outside for fun. A trip to the beach or a hike in the mountains is free!

If Wonder Woman can wear heels and save the day, so can I!!

Clothes- Totally unexpected expense. After noticing that my superhero costume was a little snug, I decided it was time to stop looking like a bum and get myself some new threads. As much as I hate to admit it, folks tend to judge you by your appearance. And my jeans were starting to develop holes that couldn’t be fixed, PLUS most of my shirts didn’t fit anymore. So even though the expense was unexpected, it was definitely worth it.

If Wonder Woman can wear heels and save the day, so can I!!

Side hustle– Like most 20 something year old Wonder Women, I’ve got a side hustle. I am a freelance writer and am starting to do a bit of consulting. The Hubs and I decided that if I was going to be serious about my biz, I would need to upgrade a few things. We got a new printer (the one we had been four years old and stuttered when we printed something), a new desk (so that I wasn’t typing in my lap) and got a domain name. I think it was worth the investment, but it wasn’t planned. Going forward, I’m going to keep add “Side Hustle” in our monthly budget.

Misc– I joined Weight Watchers this month (have lost four pounds!), checked my credit score (was $30 bucks for all three agencies) and had to get my maid of honor a gift. All of these things were not planned.

Debt repayment!! I really wanted to put at least $500 on my credit card, but it didn’t happen thanks to our spending.

So what now, Debt Girl???

As we say in my mama’s house, KEEP ON KEEPIN ON! I haven’t done a line by line budget in a long time, so it was good to confirm what our biggest money pits are. And I really do have high hopes for the month of April for adding some additional moo-lah on my credit card…

tbc