Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like a Gift-less Christmas...

Another year has passed and again we are not giving gifts for Christmas. Hell, we aren't even sending cards this year. Even without listening to the media drone on and on about the economy, we are feeling the pressure to quit spending like never before. I'm even going for a job interview next week to take on a second job to help us build up some savings. Unfortunately right now we are saving every spare penny we have to put towards a decent used car so that I will have something to drive to work once my job moves to the 'burbs. As much as I love Christmas and giving gifts, it just doesn't seem practical this year. Not to mention, I really feel as though I have turned over a new leaf and there isn't anything that I actually even want! That is a very liberating feeling let me tell you! I've also decided that I need to quit being so extreme in what I do. When budgeting in the past, I was unrealistic. I budgeted practically every dime we made to pay off debt or I would say "to hell with it" and blow all the money on stupid things. When I finally let go of that mindset, budgeting became my friend. I'm a firm believer in adding some money to your savings while/before you pay down your debt. My reasoning is pretty simplistic: If we have money set aside, we don't continue spending on the credit cards while we pay them down because we actually have a little cash set aside for things that crop up. It may take a little longer to pay down our cards, but it keeps us from diving further into the black hole that is credit card debt. So this year, I guess we are giving gifts to each other: peace of mind. Merry Christmas Baby!

Monthly Bills/Balances-December 2009

Rent: $1524-We are going to stay in our apartment until the end of the lease as we have no idea when my job may be moving.
Discover Balance: $4897-This went up for a couple of reasons...eating out (somedays job stress is too much to bear and I can't bring myself to slave over the stove when I get home) and I purchased some replacement boots.
Chase Balance: $5628-This also went up for a few different reasons...eating out of course, but my husband needed new work shoes as well, and I needed minutes for my prepaid phone. Thankfully I only buy minutes about once a year and they are $100.
MB Balance: $0.00-We never seem to use this card, which I might add is a good thing!
GMAC Balance: $0.00!!!-They are paid in full! It took every dollar we had, but they are done!
Electric: $40-still around the same bill since the temperature has dropped into the 30's.
Groceries: $25/week-still eating some high-carb processed food, but only for another week
Transportation: $86/mnth-train pass
Savings: $1500-car fund
Fun Money:-$400-This should help us to keep from using the credit cards!