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Archive for September, 2007

Big Spender and some bragging

September 29th, 2007 at 11:58 pm

Well, shopping on Thursday went well. I ran all my errands and stayed on budget. Then I went clothes shopping. Let me preface this by saying that in the last 2 years, I've probably spent about maybe $150.00 on clothes, shoes, acessories and coats.

Since I was still gaining weight, I kinda refused to buy new clothes at the larger sizes (which really means that I was still in denial).

With the upcoming winter season, I needed to gear up on some long sleeve tees and some sweaters. The last few 'nicer' shirts that I have have been pretty much ruined by my clumsiness when it comes to eating and drinking. I've been known to ruin a shirt the first day that I've worn it by spilling a soda on it.

So I spent almost $250.00(all paid with cash) and I came home with 3 tank tops (for sleep or summer for $4.00 each), 4 long sleeve shirts, 4 sweaters, and 3 bustier-like tops that I plan on layering up under my button-down work shirts. My office is known to get freezing in the winter and layering is a must.

I'm completely set on pants at home, although I only have 1 pair of wearable jeans. I have some old pairs in the basement that I'll be able to use once I lose about 15 more pounds. I also have a few pairs of khaki's that are waiting too. Here comes the bragging part ---- I've already lost 16 pounds! So I know I'm going to keep losing. And I'll soon have several 'new' pairs of pants Smile

I am set for shoes and coats and sweatshirts. I could use some new socks and underwear, but I'm going to save that til I take a trip to Walmart.

In other news, I've been doing a lot of OT, but slacked this week and took some time off to help my sister care for my nephew while her babysitter (my Mom) was out of town. She took some days off & I did too. I also was able to mail off a $637.00 check to my student loan. Yay!!

I've also slacked on packing all my meals for work. But not too much, I still stayed within my spending budget.

Its finally gotten cool enough that I could turn my air off and throw open the windows. I'm really enjoying this weather!

Electric Bill and some spending

September 27th, 2007 at 02:44 pm

My electric bill was 74.03! Way under the 120/mo that I budget for electric and gas. I probably have another month of low bills before I have to turn on the heat. Possibly two months if the the weather holds.

Today, I'm taking a half day today and am planning on picking up my nephew after school. In the meantime, I plan to do some spending.

I want to find some of those plastic deck chairs to have outdoor seating for my party. Some of my friends/coworkers smoke and I don't want it in the house.

I also want to pick up some party supplies, including disposable plastic shot glasses to make jello shots. Its a tradition with my friends.

I'll also be keeping an eye out for some decorations for my downstairs bathroom. It has absolutely nothing in it, so I want to get a trash can, some guest towels, ect.

I am also going to do a little clothes shopping. I do actually 'need' some long sleeve tops to get me through the winter. I'm also going to look for short-sleeve on sale to stock up for next year Smile

I also am planning to pick up some toiletries at Eckerds with a gift card that I have from a prescription transfer.

And in the midst of all this, I'm goign to be looking for some Christmas presents. I really want to have all my shopping done by the end of October.

So have a good day all & I say Happy Shopping Smile

Thoughts on debt repayment motivation

September 25th, 2007 at 10:27 pm

I bet you guys are excited, this is my 2nd post in one day after a week long absence Smile I've been thinking about debt repayment motivation. I get really excited when I send those large checks to my student loans, but once thats over, waiting 15 days for another payday makes it hard to stay focused. There are quite a few things that I do to combat this.

1. I know its all mental, but I LOVE to plan ahead. My work displays our paychecks online about 4 days prior to payday. As soon as that happens, I 'spend' all the money by putting them into budget categories & pre-documenting any checks or online payments in my checkbook. For example, out of this paycheck, I pay:
-cell phone
-monthly student loan #2 payment
-mortgage
-gas
-groceries
-spending money (entertainment)
-gifts
-car exenses (oil change, ect)
-cat food & litter
-clothing
-weight watchers fee
-electric
-trash

Then I divide up my overtime money, most of which goes to the student loan. Seeing that large amount written down is always exciting!


2. I try to see the 'light at the end of the tunnel'. I like to prepare a futuristic budget that no longer includes my student loans, but instead has bigger retirement categories and other savings goals. Itís a real big motivator to see that instead of paying $335.00 (in just minimum payments) to the student loans, I am putting that money to better use. I also run those numbers using my discretionary and overtime income (putting over 1,335.00 a month towards new goals looks REALLY good!)

3. I keep a post-it on my checkbook with the current balances of both the student loans. Itís a nice little reminder that I have to pay back such a large amount of debt. The note makes me think twice before spending. This post-it actually replaced the little drawing of a house I used to keep on my checkbook, which reminded me of my biggest savings goal, which was buying a house.

4. I get comments ALL the time from friends, family, coworkers, managers, and the head honchos about the amount of overtime that I do. Most are just joking with me. But there is always truth behind their statements. They donít seem to understand how I can do such a large amount of overtime or why I would ever want to. I try to give flip responses, but if someone is genuinely interested, Iíll give my real reasons J

I tell them the why: I want to pay off my student loans
And I tell them the how: In high school, I went to school full-time, played sports AND worked part-time. In college, I went to school full time and either worked full-time or worked multiple part-time jobs. I tell them how in the summer, I would work 6am to 2pm at one job, work in the evenings at another job and then did overnight babysitting for a neighbor. Iíll explain that I just finished working full-time and attending grad school. Iíll explain that Iíve never really done Ďjustí a 40 hour workweek and if Iím comfortable with it, why not do it and meet my goals.


5. Finally, I get motivated thinking that one day I could scream ďIím Debt-Free!Ē I probably wonít be calling Dave Ramseyís show to scream. But I might just have a party in my living room J


Payday coming up

September 25th, 2007 at 08:33 pm

Payday is Friday. My work put the checks up online, so I was able to see that my overtime hours added up to $814.00. I plan on putting $614 towards the student loan. I am saving $100.00 towards a Halloween party that I'm throwing next month. I am also saving $100.00 towards my nephew's birthday gift. I am giving money towards his karate lessons.

I am still doing the OT, although I'm getting burnt out. I'm packing most of my lunches, but I have been lax about getting some snacks here and there. So I'm really going to work on not buying any snacks or drinks.

In other news, we have a work outing on Thursday, which means free lunch! I don't know from where yet though.

I plan on talking a bit about my sister and nephew's financial situation, but I'll save that for another time.

In other news, my parents went to London this week to visit my uncle. I miss them and I am HORRIBLY jealous that I didn't go with them. But I've made myself a goal. Once I'm completely out of student loan debt (both loans), then I'll start saving for a trip to London. I went when I was a teenager and I can't wait to go as an adult Smile

Fly-by post

September 18th, 2007 at 09:58 pm

I've been really busy lately. Not spending a lot, which is always good. I've been spending a lot of family & friend time. I'm still packing lunches, but eating out every once in awhile (out of my entertainment budget).

I was paid on Friday & mailed an extra $500.00 payment to my student loan (right on schedule.

Yesterday, work had a celebration for a company acheivement. I was able to pick up a free soda & tee-shirt. I stayed away from the cake though Smile

Still working lots of overtime, but it is starting to wear on me. I maybe rethinking some of this OT soon. We'll see.

Weight & financial goals for the rest of the year

September 3rd, 2007 at 03:02 pm

I went to my Weight Watchers Meeting yesterday & I've lost another 1.6 pounds! Its real slow going cause I'm fighting several medications, but I'll take every bit of loss that I can get Smile In my enthusiasm for the new eating lifestyle, I've bee SERIOUSLY overspending in groceries.

Plus, this weekend, I did my usual WalMart trip that I do every 2 months or so. I spent $80.00 and not all of the things were necessary items. I really stocked up because there's not another SuperWalmart closer to me & this trip should last me a few months.

At my WW meeting, the leader asked us to make specific, positive goals to accomplish between now & year end. I've come up with 3 of those goals for WW and I decided to do the same for financial goals. So here they are:

WW:
1. Lose 20lbs from now and Dec 31st
2. Exercise consistantly each week
3. Make one new change to eating habits each week

Financial:
1. Bring balance on Student Loan #1 under $5,000.00 by Dec 31st (current balance is $9434.56). I will accomplish this by doing at least 36 hours of overtime per pay cycle).
2. Have an average of 12 no spend days per month
3. Continuously work to keep electric/gas bill under budget each month

These are some agressive, but obtainable goals, but I can do it!