I was off to a slow start, but I kept putting $1,000+ towards the credit cards each month, but I was also still spending so my balances weren't decreasing as quickly as it should have been.
In April I started a new job and spoke to a financial advisor who confirmed my plan was a good one.
But in late April, my laptop died. I did not backup my quicken data. The 5 months of financial data I spent hours on, all gone. Because of this I felt so out of the loop. There was a month I couldn't remember if I paid my bills, so I double paid, which would be good, if it didn't leave me in a bad situation the next month when I was short on cash. I went to staples and purchased a budget ledger so I could hand write all my expenses - but this proved more difficult for me because I would forget to record charges, I had piles of receipts to enter...I missed Quicken.
When my laptop was rebuild in late August one of the first things I did was to install Quicken and try to get back on track. Unfortunately it only synced with up to 3 months for some accounts...but at least I can see my balances again.
So here it is:
- One credit card I paid off in August
- The second card is about $1,500 away, but I keep using it, and will soon be registering for some continuing education classes, which will run about $800 each...so back up to $3,000+
- I've only been paying the minimum amounts for the student loan and the mortgage
- The mortgage - I haven't refinanced still...not knowing what I am going to do with my apartment: continuing to rent, sell, move back in? I didn't want to waste the closing costs on something that wouldn't pay off.
- Savings: I increased my automatic deduction by $40 per paycheck, not enough since I am still a LONG way away from having a minimum of 3-5 months expenses saved up. Now that my credit card balances are much lower, I will increase the savings a little more and put some of that 'extra' money from credit card 1 towards the mortgage/student loans.
- My car is old. Although it has a lot of problems (windows and doors get stuck, can only open the doors from the drivers side front door, etc) it gets me where I need to go and I don't use it a ton during the week. I am glad I haven't purchased/leased another car yet. However, I had to buy a battery a few months ago, then the car was leaking from a clogged up pipe- easy, cheap fix....but it took me 2 months to get it repaired and the car smelled for a while. Then just this morning, my car doesn't start again...another dead battery. I hope it keeps running for a few more months, I don't want to waste money on something else yet.
- I have also been more social in the last few months, so I've spent some money on "fun"...dinners, drinks, Broadway shows, ziplining, etc. I justify this because we all need a little fun. I can't sit at home all day, every day, even if I am a bit of a homebody.
- I have spent a bit of money on a nutritionist too...not the wisest choice, but in the long run, health is more important, right? I've been meaning to blog about this experience.
- Job: the commute is the same, the standard increases every few years. However, I have revamped my wardrobe a bit in the last several months.
- I have been trying to be better about using cash/debit card more. I haven't charged groceries/gas in a long time. If I go out to eat, I try to debit card it, provided I know there is money in my checking account.