Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Hangover

So here is the deal. This year I put aside the constant goals of eating healthier and working out more as I sat down to confront my new year. This year I am confronting my finances. It's not that I haven't wanted to do this in the past or dreamed of it I just hadn't made that conscious click in my head that I am going to do this.......until now.

It's funny while reading different blogs I am always amazed at people who list their weight or post pictures of their before weight loss photos. I can't imagine how those biggest losers get on the scale (on tv, no less) in a sports bra. I am always in wow. Then I came across some different blogs as I was delving in the my new years plan: conquer my debt, start living my life and not my i.dle one where I scrape by paycheck to paycheck making my monthly minimums but ultimately digging myself deeper and deeper. My wow factor went up a notch, these people had too set goals to battle their debt but they took being brave to a whole new level. There it was in black and white for anyone to stumble across just as I had.......their total debt! Talk about facing reality. So at the beginning of this month I collected all my bills and accounts and made a list and totaled it up (insert vomit and week of hibernation sulking here). After hours of research, reading, hyperventilating, a few tears shed I had a plan in place.

Short term goals:

Save up an emergency fund of $500
Cut my monthly expenses
Create no more new debt
Start paying off my accounts using the snowball method

Mid term goals:

Continue paying off my accounts using the snowball method
Increase my emergency fund to $1,000

Long term goals:

Finish paying off my accounts (all debt except for my mortgage)
Increase my emergency fund to cover 6 months living expenses
Maximize my retirement savings

Things that I have accomplished over this past month:

-Cut my monthly phone bill by taking advantage of work discount program (took all of 5 minutes)
-Increased my emergency fund to $446 through selling some stuff I didn't need, setting aside some birthday money, cashing in my reward points (again took like 5-10 minutes online)
-Planned and stuck to menu and grocery lists only going to store once a week
-Just paid off one of my accounts today the 1st of many
-Stopped going to my trainer (saving me a huge chunk of money each month to apply to my bills)

Goals for next month:

-Continue to find ways to save money
-Sell a few more items that just waste space in my house
-Get my taxes done and hopefully finally put an end to my taxxacre from last year

This month has been less than happy for me. First, after stopping the luxury of going to my trainer twice a week I have been less than motivated to workout. (combine that with two weeks of gray skies, rain, and working extra nightshifts) UGHHH! Second, I have been daily stressing about this whole situation. Waiting for the mail to come to see what other bills I have...counting down the days in between paychecks so I can see some headway...and just facing the reality that is. On the other hand all this stress and reality has deepened my desire to be debt free, to break free from the month to month, and finally work for money that I can spend and not work for money that has already been spent. As I make this journey I feel very alone. I am not comfortable or brave enough yet to post my total debt. Maybe next month.