Friday, January 28, 2011

Winter blahs....

I seem to have the winter blahs right now. It's cold and grey and rainy, what do I expect, I live in Seattle! Oh well, we had a day or 2 this week that were brighter than normal, but today it's back to grey. Last weekend I painted an accent wall in my bedroom and it came out really great. This weekend I am planning on painting my bedroom. This isn't as inexpensive a project as I had hoped it would be, but it's also making a big difference in my place without shelling out a lot of money, so I guess I should be happy. I've lived in my condo for 4 years now and hadn't painted anything until last week. My Grandma gave me a Visa gift card for Christmas for the purpose of painting and I'm happy to say that the gift card helped out a lot on the last purchase. I'm also able to use the remaining half gallon of paint in the bathroom, so I will only have to go buy the top coat that will go over this. The bathroom paint is going to have a metallic finish to it and I'm really excited to see what it's going to look like. Next up is going to be the wall in my living room that my fireplace is on. After that, I think I'll hold off on painting anything else for awhile. I need to get some living room furniture, so that will be the next major purchase after the divorce debt is paid off.

I'm kind of enjoying the simple life right now and not spending much money. So far this month I have only spent $32.46 on groceries and I've been cooking a lot more than normal. I haven't eaten out in a restaurant at all, huge savings there and I have no new clothes. The next few months have a couple of big expenditures, so I will do my best to keep the spending in control so that I won't be adding to my debt. Usually in February I have my college football season ticket renewal and I always get 2 tickets along with my brother who buys 4 for his family. This year I told him I am only going to get 1 for me, I'm not going to buy the 2nd one as I just don't have the money for it and it'll be nice to not have to scurry around trying to find someone who wants to go or being disappointed about a ticket going to waste. I also have to make my annual loan repayment to my parents in April. After that, it should be a fairly inexpensive couple of months through the summer. I'm still plugging along paying off this debt, I just wish it would go down quicker.

I'm doing a great job, I think, in tracking all of my spending and seeing every place I can cut back. I look forward to more savings as I continue on and hopefully I will keep this in place even after all the debt is paid off.

Happy end of January weekend....

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It doesn't hurt to ask...

The worst they will say is no. I called Comcast today to find out about what a charge was on my bill that I was unfamiliar with. Turns out it was something that I definitely needed, so I couldn't remove it, but while I was chatting with the rep, I asked if there was anything I could do to reduce my bill. He took a few moments to look and came back with a $10/month reduction in a promotional rate I was already getting. He said because I had a perfect payment record, they could give me an additional $10 off per month, so because I have shown myself to be a good standing customer with a great payment track record, I was able to get my cable TV service for $24.95/month instead of the regular price of $60.99/month!!!! Wow! I was getting it for $34.95/month for the promotion I was on, but this is even better!!! Next is to try tackling Chase bank and the interest rate. I am currently paying 13.24% with them, but I have a card I can transfer the balance to which is at 8.24%, of course there is only a balance of $1387 left on this card, it might be best just to buckle down and pay this one off ASAP and then focus on the other one, this way I can avoid the balance transfer fees. Decisions, decisions....I'm looking for ways to cut all of my expenses as much as possible and hoping to use the extra to pay off this debt quicker than ever! Wish me luck!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Just chuggin' along...

I'm doing really well so far at getting this divorce debt paid down. I've thought twice every time I've been about to spend money and it's really helped. Just giving it that extra thought has me curbing my spending in so many ways. I'm challenging myself to have as many "No Spend Days" as possible and as of right now, I've only had 3 days where any money has left my wallet this year. Still doing everything I can think of to cut back on my spending and saving everywhere I possibly can. I'm feeling pretty optimistic that I will be able to pay this entire debt off by the end of the year, then I can get back to building up the savings and working toward other goals. It will be so nice to have the divorce debt paid off and I can finally close that chapter of my life for good.

How are you all doing on your goals and resolutions???

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mint.com

So, I decided to give www.mint.com a try for tracking my spending and helping me attain my goals this year. I just joined yesterday and so far I love, love, love it! It's great how you can set the parameters to your exact needs and it updates in real time to show you a clear picture of your finances whenever you log in. I'm really excited to be using the goals section of it to help me keep track of paying off my debt. It'll be fun tomorrow to log in and see my paycheck in there and again next week when I have several payments set to be made against my debt. Looking forward to seeing the balances go down and my financial picture look rosier all the time. :) Does anyone else use Mint? I'd love any feedback you may be able to give me. Thanks!

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011...The Year of Frugality

at least for me it is! My goal this year is to get this divorce debt paid off 100% and to live as simply as possible for the next 12 months. I'm going to be putting every last nickel I can toward reducing this debt load and I know it's going to be tough and I'm going to have to forgo a lot of things, but I am ready to do it! I made a soup in my crock pot over the weekend that I love and can feed me several meals at a minimum cost. I froze half of it so I'll have meals for later and will eat it now for a couple of days. I'm going to try to learn how to make bread and I'm working really hard on cutting down my diet Coke habit. I use to drink 6 a day, now I am down to 1-2 a day and drinking a lot more water. I'm cutting meat WAY down out of my diet and am bringing my lunch to work every day. I've turned down the heat in my condo and am throwing on a sweater or a blanket over my lap. I'll be house sitting for my parents for almost the entire month of February, so that will help with both my food expenses and the utilities. I'm cutting the entertainment budget to almost nothing. I received a lot of clothes for Christmas, so I won't have to buy anything for quite some time which is nice and I stocked up on a lot of groceries in the past month as things were on sale. Feeling pretty good about the year ahead and although things are going to be tight in the budget, I know the feeling of success from paying off the debt will make this all worthwhile.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2011!