Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Total Money Makeover March Update

I'm continuing to TRY to plug away at my debt. I say try because I see that there are set backs at times. This month brought about some surprises that took away my emergency fund completely. My battery died in my car and then I had to get an MRI. Seeing as I went up to the $1000 deductible plan this year, I had to pay for the whole thing out of pocket :/ So basically, my whole $1000 went goodbye. But the GOOD news is, I built it back up again already. The bad news is, there's not all that much change in anything else as far as my debt goes.

There are a few things that I've noticed still need to change. I have a few things that automatically bill to my credit card that I have to figure out what I'm going to do with. My massages go on there. I know massages sound like a luxury, but for me they're really not. They're a medical necessity for my migraines and the massages I get are actually painful. It's trigger point therapy. I also have my netflix billed there, my XM radio billed there, and my itunes account is connected to it. So I either need to drop all of that stuff or have it put onto my checking account. I just HATE having stuff automatically debited out of my checking account. I have to remember Ramsey's main slogan though! "Live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later." So maybe I'll have to get rid of netflix and xm and new music. God that sounds

Anyway, this is what the finances look like from the starting point and what they look like now:

Checking account: Starting Point (1/20/12) $531.71   March 2012: $32.04 (Once again, this is a GOOD thing as the goal is to equal out to zero at the end of things. You're using an envelope system and the rest is going to debt so there should be nothing in your checking account really.)

Savings Account: Starting Point (1/2012): $25.80   March 2012: $1,000.96 (totally funded emergency fund refunded in just one month!

401K: Starting Point (1/2012): $13,289.75  March 2012: $15,119.19

Credit Card Debt: Starting Point (1/2012) $7,154.34   March 2012: $5,785.56 (sadly, this number actually went up about $100 this month :( I'm not beating myself up TOO bad though because I did put $1000 in savings this month. The money that was charges was those automatic charges I was talking about earlier.

Student Loans: Starting Point (1/2012): $13,318.94   March 2012: $13,064.86 (I can't WAIT to get my credit card debt paid off so I can really start tackling this debt. It's so sad to see how slowly it goes down because of the fucking ridiculous interest they charge!!!!)

So overally, the picture is getting better and better, though it's slow progress. But I'm going to keep sticking with it because it's making me smile so much to see my debt going away and my savings grow as far as my actual savings and my retirement fund :) As I've said before, I can't recommend Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover plan enough!!!!!


DesLily said...

"mama" remains proud of what you've done and what you are doing! It's not easy..but it will be rewarding!

Kailana said...

See, the way I see it using Netflix and such is actually saving money. Just imagine if you bought everything that you watched/listened to. What I do is just pay it off right away, so it is like it goes through my checking account... I hate paying directly through my checking account, too, so this is my method...

Debi said...

You're really kicking butt, my friend! Yes, the loss of your emergency fund sucked...but that's what it's there for, right? Think how much worse it would have been if you'd had to put all those expenses on your credit card! And you've refunded it already--that's just so awesome! Hopefully life will cut you a break now, so that money can start hacking away at that credit card debt big time. You should be proud of yourself, my dear!

Bookfool said...

Wow, you're doing fantastic, Chris!

I am so un-modern. I don't have any of the three things you're thinking about getting rid of. My phone is old (no texting; it's a stupid phone), my iPad is not the 3G version, we don't have cable or satellite. Our one concession to modern life is Amazon Prime, which we got for the streaming. It hasn't completely stopped me from buying DVDs (I need subtitles!!!) but I think it helps. Kelly makes a good point -- it can be a bit of a trade-off, but that's something you have to decide for yourself whether or not you can do without.

I'm glad to hear that you're getting massage for your migraines. My PT hurts, too, but I think it makes a huge difference.

I have several other things I want to talk to you about, so I'm going to dash off an email to you, in a bit. Hope your dad's surgery goes well (or went well). Love you bunches!!!

Heather said...

I am SO PROUD OF YOU Chris!! Holy cow, you're doing great!

I don't know much about anything, but I do know that if you cut out all three (netflix, xm and iTunes) you will make yourself miserable and it won't help you stick to your goals. You should pick one to keep. I leave to you to decide, but I really do think you should keep one. Maybe the cheapest one? But do keep one. You need small luxuries!

Good luck this month! You are really kicking some ass!

Little Girl Lost said...

Thank you! Please become a follower.

Chris said...

Mama, Thanks!!! I just have to keep the end goal in mind ;)

Kells, I'm very much like you...I see myself paying everything off the credit card each month once it's all paid down, but right now I hate seeing anything going on that card...I'll probably just keep it all for now though :p

Debs, I'm HOPING that this month will really let me start wacking away at my credit card debt!!! Assuming I don't have to pay tons for all of these recent doctor visits!!

Nancy, I've got Amazon prime too :p I'm such a sucker for subscription services :/ I'm really a member of way too many things, lol. And I just love gadgets and technology WAY too much lol. Sorry to hear your PT hurts you :( But I AM glad to hear that it helps you at least!!I'll write you back sooner than later! I promise :)

Heather, Thanks :D I would be miserable if I cut everything off :p I think for now I'm just going to keep it all and watch how much I spend on iTunes..just buy LESS music. I won't buy something unless it's by like a favorite artist!

Carl V. said...

Don't underestimate the fact that by having an emergency fund you actually DID make progress. Wasn't it a relief to not have to go into debt to deal with those things? I know it is hard to look at that way (my wife had to remind me when those things happened to us) but once you begin to change your mindset that way you realize that it is really freeing to have money to meet life's hiccups. And the goal isn't to hoard endless amounts of money anyway, but to get out of debt and to have money to meet your needs.

I congratulate you on your continued success my friend and look forward to even more amazing news as you continue to chip away at this debt.