Monday, November 26, 2012

One Year Financial Recovery Recap

I can't believe how fast this past year went.  I just celebrated my one year anniversary of my debt reduction process.

The past year went surprisingly smooth, and while sometimes I think I got nothing out of this and I yearn to move on with  my life...I have to look at where this year has taken me.

I don't believe I mentioned what my credit card debt was at this time last year (credit card #1   ~$8,000 (my online account doesn't go back this far, and my paper statements are in storage so this is just a guess), credit card #2  $4,495.80).  OK, so about $13,000 seems somewhat manageable.  I figured I'd pay off both credit cards by the summer, the latest.

What I didn't factor in is that I have a HUGE spending problem.  I keep buying things.  Sometimes it seems like I can go weeks without making a purchase, but then I soon overspend the following week.  I felt a lot more comfortable this year, and used my debit card a lot too.

My total payments to credit cards totaled $20,411.71 from November 2011 - November 2012.  That is a huge chunk of money.  To do this, I used almost every single 'extra' penny on payments, which included not going out as often (which helps when you don't have a lot of friends and a Man Friend who lost his job twice) and I tried to put a little extra towards my student loan and mortgage..but really it wasn't a lot at all in comparison to the credit cards.  My current balance for credit card #1 is a little less than $3,000, and unfortunately all the great deals this past week caused me to shop for myself.  I am also owed about $800 from a work reimbursement which will go directly towards that, and I may return some of the clothes I purchased.

Other financial things:

  • I never ended up refinancing the apartment
  • I didn't take a vacation or go away other than work trips.
  • But I did spend $ on some 'fun' things like zip-lining, ropes course, fire walking, Broadway shows, archery, new restaurants, clothes, happy hours, laser hair removal, etc.
  • I also spent money on dates & groceries on ManFriend since he lost his job twice this year and had no money.
  • I didn't upgrade my car (although I almost did this past week)
  • I increased my automatic deduction to my savings by $100 per paycheck as of September, but also made about $800 extra over the last few months
  • Still paying the mortgage, condo maintenance, and student loan each month
  • I went to a nutritionist for 3-4 months, that cost me $978.20
  • I also quit the scrapbooking hobby, effective in 4 days, that should save me at least $1,200 a year. But I also have about $2,800 in inventory I need to get rid of.
  • I am still debit carding groceries & gas
You would think, now that I finally did the math, how exciting it is to see that I used $20,411 and if I could save that much money in the next year, I would be in a great state...however, this is coming to an end it is time to start planning my next living step (and car if I am lucky).  

Somehow that $20,411 should also motivate me to stop spending money.  Cut back on my spending...but how do I do that?  I am addicted.  I keep trying to stop, I do.  But sales suck me in or the lack of wearable clothes in my vast closet, and gifts for others.  I am hoping to use it less, after the holidays and when the balance is nice and tiny again.

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