Friday, February 18, 2011

Money Musings

It's a marathon, not a race.
My mantra this month.
The one lesson I've learned in paying down credit card debt is that it is so much more than just paying the balance.
I throw money at it, and then interest kicks in, then it makes my payment halved, then I throw more at it, and it seems that the balance is getting smaller at less than a snail's pace.
Contrast this to how fast my money grows in savings (adding small amounts on auto-pilot equals a happy squeal when I do check the balance) and it makes me alternately mad at getting myself in debt, mixed with renewed determination to finally get it all paid off.
Add this to the uncertainty of payment from a formerly great source of revenue that has been slowly dying due to bad business decisions on the part of the owner, and the need to be debt free so that I am at no one's mercy (credit card lenders, student loan creditors, banks) is heavy on my mind.
On the upside, just got off the phone with the IRS, and will be getting a small check and a nice credit for overpayment.
I know that I am making progress, if only because I'm not adding debt, and my credit card debt isn't my only debt, as I am making progress on my mortgage, student loans, car loan, etc.
And there's no way around it, four teenagers in a HCOL area equals big expenses.
Just keep swimming.

Credit Card: $15,535.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Food Hoarding

I was personal finance blog hopping, and came across an interesting personal finance blog "The Quest for $85,ooo".
On an older post, she wrote about overspending and food hoarding.
It never occurred to me that there was such a thing, but it really resonated.
There's a real problem in general society with food insecurity, and for those of us who've spent times without enough food, there's nothing like an overflowing pantry, fridge and cupboards filled to bursting with food.
And many personal finance bloggers recommend stockpiling groceries, but that's not in keeping with the way I'm shopping (fresh fruits and veggies).
But, I do end up throwing out a lot of spoiled food.
I always have fruits and veggies on hand, and I want that to continue, but I am definitely over buying.
With my small kitchen (which has a fridge and chest freezer), opening any kitchen door or cabinet pretty much guarantees food will jump out at you.
For the rest of February, I'm going to make a concerted effort to meal plan around what I already have.
Friday accountability:
Health Insurance paid today.
Still need to pay car ins, mortgage, and aiming for the $400.
Waiting for deposits to clear before I can pay the above.
Credit card debt: $15,465.
$100 to E*Trade.
Goal: $100 week for food.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Christmas 2011 Challenge

What can I say?
I love challenges!
Sharon posted that she's joining Penny from The Saved Quarter Challenge in making a goal for Christmas, as well as gifts through the year.
I was a little hesitant to join in, because Penny had a $100 goal, and that would set me up for failure (she has littles, I have older teens).
My goal is $1000 total.
I am hoping to shave my out of pocket cash by utilizing swagbucks, and deals.
And, to pick up gifts through the year, on sale.
This is fun, and so much better than going insane at the end of the year during Christmas madness.