Friday, August 15, 2014

When Funding My Emergency Fund Can Wait

It seems as if all PF bloggers and gurus mention building an emergency fund, but when is this a bad idea?

How about when you are in debt up to your eyeballs...like me?

I've been giving this a lot of thought and have decided that instead of building an emergency fund, I'm going to work on paying off my credit cards.  My balances are extremely high right now and I want to pay as much as I can during this no interest period.  It is not likely that I will pay them all off before the interest kicks in but I will do what I can.

If an emergency occurs, I will use my credit cards but with the understanding that I need to pay that amount back immediately, along with my monthly payment.

This might be a bad idea to some, but this is how it is going to be for me for the moment.

Friday, August 8, 2014

End of June Update

At first I was a little depressed looking at the numbers because I spent more than I did last month.  Then I realized that this month included my car payment while last month did not, so I spent a little less during the month of July.  

I did not make the changes that I had hoped to but I did realize that once I get back to school, I will probably last a little more than two weeks on one tank of gas.  That will save at least $100.

As usual, if I can limit eating out I will have a lot more to apply towards debt.  That is my biggest challenge.  

My internship is over and I leave to go back to school on Sunday.  I hate that I have to repeat my first year, but my experience this summer has made me realize that this is definitely the path for me and to not give up.

I did not plan to track my expenses for August, but I think I will for a few more months while I become adjusted to my school budget.



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June Spending Recap and July Goals

I've had several changes in my financial habits lately and have decided to get back on track using methods that I have used before.

What I focused on last month was tracking my spending for an entire month.
At the end of each day, I would write down each purchase.  There were some that I purchased with a gift card, but I wrote it down also.  At the end of each week, I would tally up my totals in each category and put it in a spreadsheet.
Tracking my spending this way was very quick.  I think it's because instead of writing down where I spent the money each day, I wrote the category instead.  

As you can see in the spreadsheet above, my spending was horrible.  I didn't even pay rent or a car payment and still was way over budget.  Of course, dining out was a killer for me...always has been.  Gas and travel were higher because I had to drive out of town to check on my apartment (more on that mess later).  Health and beauty is high due to two $60 pedicures along with other things I did not need.  I usually don't spend on gifts, but that was for Father's Day.


My goals for July are to (1) decrease all variable spending by 50% - based on my current situation this is definitely doable (2) put 10% of each paycheck in savings - I need to build my emergency fund back up and (3) make debt payments an even $150 for the month.

I plan on allocating more towards my debt, but my funds are pretty low this summer.  Once school starts back I plan on working more so I can put more on debt repayment.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

What goes up must come down...

I remember being so excited after seeing my credit score.  Unfortunately, as a result, I applied for and was approved for a Discover and American Express card.  Of course, old habits came back and I am not back in credit card debt.  I am so disappointed in myself.  After working so hard I am back in a rough spot again.  My new goals are to maintain/improve my credit score, pay off my debt, and not fail another semester in pharmacy school.

Yep, this last semester was rough and I earned a D in one of my classes.  We can't make anything lower than a C, so now I am on academic probation and my graduation date is now pushed back a year.  I was going to take a leave of absence in the fall (I have to make up my class in the spring) but after putting some numbers together I do not think I will be able to work enough to make what I need each month.  Full time work is not guaranteed in the area where I attend school.  Therefore, I have decided to take some classes over part time so I can receive federal aid for living expenses, as well as work part time to pay off my credit cards.

I know it sounds silly paying off debt with debt, but I really do feel that this is the best option for me at this point.  With me taking fewer classes this year, I should be able to work much more often and pay off my debt more quickly.  I have a summer internship that starts next week and I plan on saving money for now in case something comes up or I am not able to work as much as I think I'll be able to in the fall.

Until I receive my first check from my internship, I'll still be living off my credit cards.  I barely made my car payment for May and hopefully I'll have enough paychecks in June to cover it.  One good thing about this summer is that with paychecks showing full time work, I should be able to refinance my car loan because the payments are really killing me.

Here are the quick numbers that I put together...I will start with my new variable expenses allotment in June...

Rent...400 (paid through August)
Car...590.26
Car insurance...94
Renter's insurance...15
Cell Phone...86.18
Electric...100
Internet...29.99
Entertainment (Netflix and Hulu)...8.75 + 8.15
Debt (CC Payments)...100
Cancer Insurance...17.90

Total fixed payments (not including gas and food):  1450.23

Food...$150
Gas...$200
Clothes...50
Entertainment...25

1875.23...New total to live!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Credit Karma Update

I know its been a long time and I have much to share, but my first semester of pharmacy school has been kicking my butt.  I'm excited to share this though...

When I started this blog my credit score was around 510.  I've come such a long way.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dreaming of Big Money....Is this a sign?



So I just woke up from the most amazing dream ever.  I dreamed that me and my close friend went to the casino and I won big.  I mean really big.  I went with only $30 and left with $800,000 just from playing blackjack.  Some type of way my friend was dealing, but she had no clue what she was doing.  It was kinda like how you play a video game against a guy and you are just pushing buttons and then all of a sudden you win.  (That's why guys don't like playing video games with girls)

In my dream, I surprisingly stuck with my plan.  I paid off my last 2 credit cards, paid off my car, purchased a home in the city where my school is (paid cash), and saved the rest.  I don't know why I didn't pay off school in the dream but thinking about it I would do that too.

I know I won't be balling like that this summer, but I do plan on cashing out my retirement accounts.  I know this is always the #1 think people tell you NOT to do, but doing so will help me stay afloat during school.  By taking out my retirement, I will be able to pay off my last two credit cards, pay rent for my current apartment (the remainder), survive the summer with my pay slashed in half, and pay for moving expenses.  After all that I may have just a little left over, but I won't be in the red from month to month once school starts.