It’s been 11 weeks since blog post #1 and the beginning of my journey to squash my remaining non-student-loan-debt (I paid that bad boy off last month 🙌). I’ve already reduced all of my fixed costs as much as I can, so I’m really relying on keeping my disposable income budget under control and making more money through a side hustle.
So far, I’ve only been successful at hitting my disposable budget goal once. I’ll give you $5 if you can guess how I made out this time… 😞
Where my money went August 30th-September 6th:
- $100: cash that went to a ladies night out and a sushi date later in the week.
- $57.36: Gifts.
- $109: Gas. Lots of travel for (more) camping- I basically live outside in the summer.
- $138.23: Groceries.
- $43.63: Booze.
For a total of $448.22 which is $78.22 over budget. Again.
Somethin’ ain’t workin’
Now, before I beat myself up too much, I have successfully cut my spending in half (based on my 10-year spending pattern). That said, I know I can do better.
I really do treat my disposable income disposable-y. 🗑️
I still have not been planning where this money is going. I know I’ll use it to purchase gas, groceries and to finance miscellaneous activities, but for the most part I don’t have much of the details figured out. This results in me doing quite well with the budget week 1, but inevitably something comes up in week 2 that puts me over – and I let it happen.
Going with the flow is for the fishes
Picking a ballpark budget number with no plan is like filling the car with gas and randomly selecting a destination on the map- maybe I’ll make it, but likely not. I know better, so I really need to do better. Specifically, I need to plan better. This can be a bit difficult for me as I like to keep my options open. That said, I think it is possible to have a plan and to maintain some flexibility.
Where my money is going September 6th -20th:
- $125: Emergency Fund
- $330 debt repayment
- Other fixed costs
- Emergency Fund: $525.32 (that extra $0.32 was an interest payment- jackpot!)
- Debt: –$33,560 which is a total of $2,591 down since my first blog post in June, and over $5,925 paid off (and kept off) since January.
Plan for disposable income Week 1:
- Groceries: $100
- Lunch out: $20 for a co-worker’s going away.
- Medical cost: $60 not covered by insurance.
- Hair trim: $40
- Entertainment: A quiet weekend (finally) at home should keep these costs at @ $0.
Plan for disposable income Week 2:
- Gas: $40
- Gift: $50.
- Concert weekend: $235. Tickets were purchased and paid for in the Spring, so these dollars cover my portion of hotel and spending money.
For a total of $545/2 weeks.
Could I budget less? Yes. Do I want to? No.
Honestly, when I started to write this plan, I had full intention to budget $370 again… but when I look at what I have on the go over the next 2-weeks, it’s not doable (without cancelling plans).
I know I could cut costs further, but the whole idea behind paying off debt and building wealth is to gain freedom to do what I want with my time and money. Am I willing to sacrifice my current freedom for future freedom? Somewhat, but not enough to cancel a hair cut or concert plans that have been in the works for 5 months.
I’m confident that I can still hit my debt repayment goals. The proof will be in the balance sheet I guess.
See you on September 20th for my next check-in!