Saturday, November 17, 2012

Are you ready for the holidays???

It's hard for me to believe it's already this time of year again, where has 2012 gone?  I'm spending a quiet day at home today, not venturing out in to the chaos.  This will probably be the last weekend like this for me until the new year.  I'm enjoying watching football and baking some cookies for my lunch this weekend.  Working on my shopping list for gifts and what I'll need this week for my contribution for Thanksgiving dinner.  I took advantage of the great coupons and loss leaders at my local grocery stores and was able to get a large bag full of groceries for little to no money to donate at the food drive at work.  I've listed a bunch more things on eBay for a friend and she's going to pay me a commission for helping her, currently her items are selling for over $500! 

Dear friends were supposed to be in town this weekend, but they had to postpone the trip, probably not until after the new year now.  :(  They made the decision to postpone due to some expenses related to the trip and while I'm disappointed they aren't here, I am proud of them for making the financially smart decision to wait until the trip was more manageable for them. 

So, while there's not much to report from here, I'm enjoying the day and looking forward to a holiday season that is not as stressful as they usually are.  I feel really organized and ready for the season. 

Current debt:  $233,351 (stayed the same since last time, at least it's not going up!)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Reducing expenses...

I've been taking a look at a lot of what I thought were my "fixed" expenses and am finding that I can reduce these as well.  It had been awhile since I'd looked at my insurance rates, so I ran some quotes with different companies today and found that I could go back to Progressive which I'd had in the past and save over $500/year.  That's HUGE!!  My homeowners policy is also going to be just under $100 less per year by switching.  I had Progressive insurance years ago when my car was stolen and they were great to work with, so I'm excited about the savings and not worried about the coverage.  That $600 savings alone would put me under $1,000 left to go on my credit card debt! 

I finally turned my heat on this past Saturday night, but it didn't take much to take the chill off and I think if I'm diligent about it this year I can reduce the costs from what I paid last year. 

I took a full inventory of my pantry and have made a meal plan for the next 2 weeks.  I should only have to buy a few minimal items between now and Thanksgiving.  I know my mom will send me home with LOTS of leftovers and I won't balk at that.  Apparently she thinks I eat a lot as a single person because she always sends me home with enough food for almost a week. 

I cut my cable back somewhat too, not to just basic, but close.  I watch TV maybe a couple times a week, so it just doesn't make sense for me to have extended cable and all the extras, I don't watch enough TV to get my money's worth.  This change will save me $16/month and will really add up. 

A good friend was supposed to be coming in to town this coming weekend which I was really looking forward to, except I knew I would spend WAY too much money.  Since I put the money aside to spend while she was here, I'm going to go ahead and put it toward reducing my credit card instead.  I think I may actually get that final $1,550 paid off before New Year's Eve.  OMG, that would be the BEST way to start 2013.  Then I can plow full steam ahead in paying off the car. 

Well, that's about it for now, hope all is well with you.

Current debt:  $233,351

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 5 of the month...

and I've only spent $10.87 all month so far.  I had a super relaxing weekend at home, didn't go anywhere, in fact I never even got out of my PJ's yesterday.  It was WONDERFUL!!!  I made a delicious casserole from things I had on hand that I can eat for a couple of days.  I took some for lunch today, then saw on my calendar that I had a lunch meeting with one of our vendors and they always treat.  Even better, lunch out and my lunch brought from home saved for tomorrow.  I think I will have one more no spending day, possibly 2 before I have to go to the grocery store.  I perused the grocery ads and the coupons in yesterday's paper, I've done an inventory of what I have on hand and for the first time in a long time, I've made a meal plan.  I should be able to get through the next week to 10 days on less than $50 for groceries.  I'm kicking it in to high gear to get this credit card debt paid off by the end of the year.  I'm refusing to activate the replacement credit card that came in the mail and hoping that I can do all of my holiday shopping without needing to use it.  I'm pretty sure I can make it, I don't have much shopping to do and if I plan right and shop smart, I should be able to get it done quickly and for little money out of pocket.  Tomorrow I will know what this Friday's payday will look like and I'm hoping that will give me a better idea of where I stand on making further debt reduction process.  Other than that, not too much to report from here.  Hope you all had a great Monday and if you haven't already done so, get out and vote tomorrow. 

Current debt:  $234,184

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Progress is continuing...

Not as quickly as I'd like, but at least I'm continuing to make progress and the debt total is going down and not up.  I'm SO close to having the credit card paid off and should have it at a ZERO balance by the end of the year.  My credit card was compromised online and used all over the Internet, thankfully I wasn't responsible for those new charges and my account number has changed.  I received the new card and haven't activated it yet or put it in my wallet, less temptation that way.  I've been out and about often lately when if the card had been in my wallet, I knew I would have used it. This is something I've learned about myself and it's been great to know that by not having the card and not being able to make some purchases, I've not felt the least bit deprived.  I can't even remember what some of those things are that I would have wanted to buy, so I guess that means I didn't really want them to begin with. 

I'm having a bit of an internal dilemma as to what to do about my car.  While I really do like my Volvo XC90, it's WAY more car than I need and I resent it every time I have to fill the gas tank.  I've had the car for just over a year now and I'm trying to decide if I want to keep it, or trade it in for something smaller and more economical.  I'm afraid that for a short time I'll be upping my debt in order make this change, so I'm torn as to what to do.  I've decided to make myself wait at least 6 months thinking on this and not to make any quick decisions.  Quick decisions usually spell financial mistakes for me. 

As the holidays are approaching, I'm looking at the gift shopping I am doing and there will really be very little spending.  I typically only buy for my niece and nephew along with both of my Grandma's.  My parents I always go in on something with my brother and that's about it, I don't buy gifts for friends.  I bake a lot and usually give that away to many of my friends. 

Still really busy at work and putting in a lot of overtime, that's really what's helping me get this credit card off my back.  I'll let you know when the debt is gone 100%.  Hope you are all having a fabulous fall. 

Take care!

Current debt:  $234,202