This time last year I'm sure a lot of people made New Years Resolutions. I accomplished some of my goals (I got caught up the bills that I was behind on, I wore everything in my closet at least once), and failed at others (I didn't lose any weight, I didn't start my own business). The Resolutions I made for this year (see goals in side bar) have to be met or I will have a very dismal future. I am feeling very optimistic about my Resolutions for this year and I am glad I started this blog so that I could have a record of my progress.
So, Happy New Year every one. What are some of your New Years Resolutions? How did you do last year?
If you have seen the movie "The Princess Bride" you should recognize that line. If not, borrow the movie from the library (free). I mention it because Inigo spends 20 years of his life seeking revenge for his fathers murder. Once he does, he realizes that he does not know what to do with the rest of his life. So the question is.........
Once you are out of debt, what will you do?
1. Buy a new car (my current car is almost 10 years old and is starting to become to expensive to keep)
2. Fully fund my retirement
3. Move out of my mom's house and buy a townhouse
I think that's it. With the student loan I'm carrying I don't think I'll ever be out of debt.
It's nice to know that I'm not writing to myself anymore. Thank you for the comment and addition to your blog roll Momthing1.
With the new year I plan on adding new things to my blog, such as book reviews. I am in the process of re-reading The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman. She has some great tips on how to prioritize your financial life.
I also plan to start a feature called "From the Mouths of Babes" You would be suprised how much financial wisdom can be found in cartoons (I learned this over the holidays while hanging out with my friend and her daughter).
To start off here is a clip from the show "Recess" (if you are between the ages of 25 - 30 you may remember this show)
(I don't know how to make this a working link)
It shows that with determination and intelligence you can go from nothing to something. It also shows that money can change people.
Let me know what you think of this? Is it a dumb idea?
Congratulate me, I have made two steps toward my goals. I opened an ingDirect savings account AND deposited $50. I have decided to try to deposit $50 every pay period. I also wrote a check to my Ex for $50 and plan to mail him $50 a month for the next 6 pay periods (3 months). It may not be much but it is a step in the right direction. I got a lot of pleasure out of updating my progress bars.
Student Loan 2 $181 Amex $211 Visa 1 $70 Visa 2 $75 Internet/Phone/Cable $200 Cell $70 Electric $120 Stupid $34 Ex Boyfriend $50
Me Money $83
The student loan speaks for itself. I am snowballing my credit card payments, that is why the Amex gets $211 while the rest get a little over the minimum payment. As I stated before I live with my mother, I don't have to pay rent but I do have to pay Internet/Phone/Cable and electric. Not a bad deal. The $200 Internet/Phone/Cable bill can only be altered so much. It is a bundle and I think it is a pretty good deal. We keep a land line because cell phones don't always work (as I found out on September 11th.), I don't have a life outside of work so cable is a necessity, and I use the Internet for research and communication purposes. This bill can be lowered if I stop ordering movies. I plan on looking into getting a cheaper cell phone plan, I don't talk on my phone much, but I do send a lot of text messages. I am researching ways to lower the electric bill, but with a retired mother who is home all day I don't know how much lower it can go. Stupid is something I signed up for that I don't use anymore but I have to finish paying for it. I think I have 2 more payments to go. Finally the $50 to the ex is something I cant wait to be done with. It's a long story but the moral of it is NEVER BORROW MONEY FROM A BOYFRIEND.
The above figures are not my budget as the holidays have messed with my money and I spent more than I should have. I am in the process of working out a new budget that will allow me to have more money to pay off the Amex.
I set the goal of paying off two of my credit cards by December 31, 2009. Then I got to thinking, with a new (higher) interest rate how long will it take me to pay them off. According to the yahoo.com financial calculator it will take me 1.8 years to pay off my Amex and 9 months to pay off my Master Card. Not acceptable. But I have a plan.
I get paid every other week (as apposed to twice a month), because of this twice a year a get a check that I don't have to pay bills with. This check will come on January 30, 2009. Yeah!!!!! I am going to take that money and pay off my Master Card. And as we all know, January is when you can file you taxes. Thanks to the insane interest on my student loans I should get a decent refund. If I get what I got last year and use it toward my Amex along with my second "free check" that will take me from 1.8 years to pay the card off to 7 months. If nothing bad happens I can reach 1 of my goals by July 2009.
After 2 years I decided I hated my job and to go back to school. That is where the second student loan comes in. During this time I am still paying just the minimums on the 4 credit cards I had left. I graduated from school, got a job I love but that does not pay as well as I would like (or need). Then the student loan bills start coming in. The payments were as much as I was paying in rent. So, I transferred to a new city where my mother lived, moved in with her and worked on catching up on the bills I could not pay.
It took me a year of living with my mother to catch up on all of my bills. And I will admit, I've managed to pay some of the credit cards off, just to fill them up again. But this time I am going to pay them off for good. If I don't, I will have to work for the rest of my life and still be in debt.
So how did I get myself into this financial pit? It all started a long time ago (1997) in a galaxy far, far, away (Tallahassee, Fl).
In 1997 I was a freshman in college. I was foot loose and debt free (not completely, I had a student loan). It was the week before class started and I was walking through the campus. I remember there were tables set up and you could get a "free" t-shirt if you signed up for a credit card. Like a fool I signed up for 6, not thinking that I would actually get approved. So you can imagine my surprise when the cards started showing up in the mail. Before I knew it I was the proud owner of a Discover card, Master Card, and 4 Visa's.
Hearing the horror stories of college kids and credit cards I did not use the cards for months. Then it happened, I needed books for class and my voucher would not cover the cost. So I charged them. It was down hill from there. A small part of me is proud to say I did not necessarily max out my cards on stuff like trips, eating out, and other college kid crap. I used my cards to live, groceries, gas, text books, sometimes even other bills all went on the credit cards. Of course I bought clothes too, but the majority went to survival.
Fast forward 4 years, I graduate and get a job making decent money considering what I majored in. I thought I would be able to pay off the cards, but between rent, car payments, utility bills, student loan payments, and food I barley had enough money left over to cover the minimum payments. Eventually I defaulted on two out of the four cards. I made payment arrangements with one and my mother lent me the money to pay off the other.
Hi everyone, my name is Sam (name changed to protect the poor) and I am broke.
I am so broke that if the world was selling for a penny I would have to charge it. I have been living pay check to pay check for the past 7 years (since graduating college) and I am tired of it. I hate not having money to go on trips (like my sister), get my car repaired (it's 9 years old, but it's paid off), or live on my own (I live with my mother. I am not a looser, this is due to student loan debt). So I have decided to save myself before it is to late.
I was planning to start on this new path on January 1st as a New Years Resolution, but then I decided that there is no time like the present. Also, I figured that there would be a lot of new blogs out about the same thing and if I wanted some readers I better start early.
So, this year I have two New Years Resolutions.........
1. To pay down my debt ( I have 4 credit cards and 2 student loans) 2. To save money (I don't have a savings account, a 401k, or an IRA)
I am 30 and don't have a dime to my name. It is a sad thing to not be able to take trips, go shopping, have fun of any kind due to having no extra money. This blog will aid me in my journey to financial freedom.