Tag Archives: credit card debt

Needs Vs. Wants

Happy Monday everyone! 🙂

As a recap, I will be on a Spending Fast for the next six months.

In short, that means my money will only be going to absolute necessities. This means I really had to reflect on what my needs are versus my wants. This is what I came up with:

Needs – Things I Will Spend Money On
  • Mortgage
  • All other house bills – this includes electricity, gas, trash, utilities, HOA, etc.
  • Groceries – in an attempt to lose weight and be healthier, I have reached out to my friend who is a personal trainer who has put me on a specific diet. Although I’m pretty much stuck to the meal plans, I will be actively looking for ways to save on my monthly grocery bill (i.e., coupons, buying in bulk, etc.)
  • Commuter costs – A.K.A my Clipper Card.
  • Medical co-pays/expenses – includes doctor visits, new contacts, medicines, etc.
Wants – Things I Won’t Be Spending Money On
  • Eating out – I will attend social events at restaurants, but will only have a water (with extra lemons) 🙂
  • Alcohol – no more beer, wine, hard liquor unless I already own it. I have some bottles of wine and liquour that my friends have given to me as birthday presents. Plus I don’t really drink a lot to begin with, so I think this category won’t be so bad.
  • Shoes – *sigh*
  • Clothes – *see Shoes category*
  • Sporting events – my boyfriend and I are HUGE Golden State Warriors fans, so this one is gonna be hard. Good thing the season is almost over? However, I will be trying my hardest to win playoff tickets for free! Also, baseball season just started up and football season is right around the corner. *sigh* Sacrifices must be made. Again, if we were to win tickets for free, we would go!
  • Massages/Spas – no more mani-pedis, no more swedish massages. I’m going to have to do my own nails/eyebrows, and hope that I can live without a massage every few months.

Obviously, there are many other purchases that I can categorize under “wants”, but if I were to list them all, I’d be here all day! 😉

Without all this spending, where is all my extra money going? Three places: debt, savings, and tithing.

  • Debt Payment – I have a car loan and two student loans I am trying to pay off aggressively. I also have a mortgage, but since my interest rate is pretty low on it, I will continue to only pay the minimum monthly payment for that.
  • Savings – My savings are practically non-existent. I always preach the importance of having an emergency fund and maintaining it, but I don’t even have one! It’s pretty embarrassing, to be honest. By the end of this fast, I hope to have at least an emergency fund of $1,000. If all goes well, I’d like to have one that’s the size of approximately 6 months worth of expenses.
  • Tithing – Lately, my tithing has fallen down to $0/month. To think that I have no money to give is to be selfish and ignorant – I am so blessed and I am called to share it! By cutting out these unnecessary expenses, I will have no excuse but to give to Him and His Kingdom. I’ve been meaning to do a post on tithing for a while, so keep a look out!

I can’t wait to see what my financial standing will be once I finish with this fast! I know it’s going to be hard, but putting together a list of what I can and can’t spend on has already helped me tremendously.Well, that’s all for now, folks! 🙂

AMDG,
Lisa

A Change of Pace

Helloooooo everyone!

I apologize for my lack of posts.

To be honest, I almost didn’t want to come back to this blog. Well okay, I take that back, I’ve always wanted to come back, but I also found many excuses not to.

Many things have changed in my life and I can’t wait to share. However, one thing I will share with you guys today is that starting this Sunday (April 14, 2013), I will be going on a Spending Fast!!!

What’s a Spending Fast?
I got the idea from Anna at And Then We Saved. She does a great job at explaining what exactly is a Spending Fast.

Long story short – I will spend money on necessities only. Although Anna suggests fasting for one whole year, I’m planning on fasting for 6 months. After 6 months, depending on where I am with everything, I will either continue the Spending Fast or move on to the Spending Diet.

All extra money will be thrown at my credit card debt, student loans, savings goals, and/or my car loan.

Well, that’s all for now folks. Expect to see me post more often with my progress, challenges, triumphs, etc.

Happy Friday everyone!!!

AMDG,
Lisa

And So It Begins…

I made a lot of stupid decisions in college.

One of those decisions was to apply for five credit cards in the span of one semester (seriously, what the hell was I thinking?! Shoes. Shoes was what I was thinking). I was terrible at handling my credit and by graduation, I had a lot of credit debt to pay off.

As soon as I graduated from the University of San Francisco in December 2010, I vowed to myself to pay off my credit. I landed a job in the financial district of SF and started a debt snowball on all five of my credit cards. I made plenty of mistakes along the way but in January 2012, I paid off my last credit card!!! I now have a pretty good idea of how to handle all my credit and now have a credit score in the top range!

That’s not all, folks! Paying off all that debt was such a rush that now – I’m addicted! I’ve decided that starting in June 2012, I will aggressively pay off my student loans! The goal is to have them all paid off by December 2015 – exactly 5 years from when I graduated from USF. Many payment plans nowadays allows students to pay off their loans in 10 years, even all the way up to 30 years, so this will definitely be a challenge.

I have my reasons for doing this, and I’ll post on those in the future. But for now, here’s a look at what I’m dealing with:

05.24.2012

According to CNN, the student loan debt for the class of 2011 (the year I was supposed to graduate, but more on that later) topped $25,000. As you can see, I’m about $5,000 shy of the average. However, my financial aid package also included a work-study program, so I guess you could say that I was given about the average throughout my 3.5 years at USF.

Over the past year (I didn’t start paying these loans until May 2011), I’ve made a very modest dent at this debt: about $1,500. Yet, I’ve only knocked off $889.65 of the principal (damn you, interest!). Moving forward, I hope to throw about $6,000/year at these loans – about $500/month – a 300% increase in contribution. On top of that, I still plan on fully funding my Roth IRA and I’ll continue saving for emergencies, a car, and my future life in New York (but more on that later). And no, I’m not rich. Although I will not discuss my exact income, I will say that I make less than the median income in my counties (San Francisco and Solano) as of 2011 (source).

Anyways, the beginning is always the most exciting part! This blog was made mostly to keep myself accountable, but hopefully you can learn a thing or two by reading about my journey, and in turn you’ll be inspired to pay off your own debts!

[Bear with me, I’m not exactly the best writer, either :)]

AMDG,
Lisa