February was a bit of a brutal month.
I’ve expressed this sentiment before I believe, but there are times where I’m so overwhelmed with things to do, it paralyzes me. I just can’t seem to get anything done despite having a billion things to do between now and June 1. Wedding, dance recital, HOA treasurer stuff, the list never ends. I no sooner cross things off my list than something else pops up. I’ve become a psycho to-do list keeper- I have ones I write down that have immediate deadlines and ones I keep on my phone that have far-out deadlines. This psycho to-do listing has helped me out in the finance department. How?
Over the past weekend, I’ve started to write down extraneous things I need to buy that aren’t groceries. This has forced me to plan better and smarter when I need to buy those extra things. For example: I needed to buy some liners for my Litter Genie. My usual MO is to just buy it when I see it. This time, I wrote it down on my “To Buy” list, looked for a coupon, price compared online and decided to buy it at Target where I could get an almost two for one deal and use a gift card I had gotten for signing up for an online service. A $15.74 purchase turned into a $4.74 purchase. Also, writing down my “To Buy” purchases forces me to realize I don’t need it immediately. I can shop around until I find the best deal. A lot of the stuff on my list is stuff for the wedding, and while I’m trying to get it all done sooner rather than later (trying to curb that “I AM JUST SO OVERWHELMED!” feeling), I can shop smart. The trickle down effect- less money spent, more money towards paying down debt!
This didn’t come out of no where. February threw a wrench into my pay-down plan.
No sooner than I had written that I’m killing the cosmetic loan debt in March than I took my car in for its safety inspection in mid-February. And failed.
Driver’s side headlight and brakes failed. This means when I take it into my garage, I go ahead and get an oil change and they inspect everything else and find more things.
The rotors, luckily, were still in good shape. But, they found moisture in my brake fluid, so that needed to be flushed and changed. Filters needed to be changed. Valve cover gasket and struts are busted (I’ve known about the struts for a few years actually, I’ve just chosen to ignore them, they aren’t a necessary fix), but I declined those fixes, opting instead for them to lift the rear brakes to help the new front brakes last longer and rotated and balanced the tires as well. Battery is also running low on juice and they wanted to replace it, but I declined that $150 fix- I can do it on my own for $80.
Total damage- $665.45
And I put it on CC1.
I COULD have just used my debit card and pay for it all out of pocket, no damage to my credit cards done. But, I was in an emotional state when they told me, and draining that much money out of my bank account just seemed an unwise choice at the moment. Not to mention paying off the cosmetic loan and putting a chunk of money into savings for the wedding was in the back of my mind.
Today, before I transferred money into savings, I paid some of the new CC1 debt down as well as CC2. I put over $500 into savings, leaving $1000.00 even in the checking account from which I pay my debts. After paying the two credit cards this afternoon, I have an even $4500.00 in credit card debt and $1947.54 left to pay off on the Cosmetic Loan. I expect to make approximately $815 on my next paycheck from the full time job, and approximately $155 from the part time job, which would bring my checking account to ~$1970. Subtract $250 from that for my student loan payment and I’ll have around $1720, just a couple hundred short from paying off the cosmetic loan this month. 😦
I tried posting on Facebook my babysitting services for my friends to make some extra cash, but no bites. Of course, I am still waiting on the offer from my ace-in-the-hole (it feels like it’s taking forever!) and I might get a paid modeling gig soon. I’m also looking forward to a $90 drop in my 6-month car insurance premium in April (but I pay it monthly, so it’ll be about $15 less a month, but still money saved=money toward my debt). So, my hopes aren’t dashed yet. The continuation of my “To Buy” list I feel like is also vital to the pay-down since it’s forcing me to plan better, and the natural trickle down effect of reduced stress which means less impulse buying.
Stay tuned- things could always change in a matter of days (and (I’m hoping they do in a good way)!