Friday, October 17, 2008

Surprise!

It's been less than a month since my last update! I know you're amazed and excited.

I've actually just been lazy because I had updated my mom in an email and she's usually the only person who reads my blog (although some of my WIR friends might come read it now - hi, friends!). But I suppose I should be thorough. Plus it gives me another excuse to brag and I love doing that.

Payday finally arrived *angelic choir* and I was able to resume breathing. I knew I wasn't spending money and my little meager balance was sitting safely in the bank but ... I don't know, it was still just stressful. I suppose I'm just paranoid that some random charge I forgot about will be pulled out and the little tiny balance won't be able to survive on its own. But ya know just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you.

Anyway, the balance is up in a safer area now, and I was still able to make a nice chunk payment on that last cc (as well as the monthly payment to mom). I've got a bit of a cushion, but I'm going to try and hang onto it and throw whatever's left at the cc when I get paid again at the end of the month. Hopefully that will let me pay off the credit card completely on my very next paycheck, which is in only T-14 days...and counting!

It's hard for me to believe. I don't think I'll be able to pay off ALL my debt (including the Mom account) by November 16, the 1-year anniversary of my Debt Resolution (or maybe it should be reVolution!), but all my consumer debt will be gone, and then I get to start snowballing huge debt payments to my mom. As I've said before the idea of doing that doesn't bother me too much...the interest rate can't be beat, and she's a nice lady, so writing her big fat checks will actually be kind of fun. :)

I can't actually think about it too much (that upcoming(!!) debt-freedom) or I start getting all over-emotional. I can't wait til the day I make my last payment and I can just sit down somewhere quiet and let it hit me that I have finally dug myself out of the hole. I'll probably cry my idiot head off. My monthly obligations will be down to less than one paycheck, which makes things possible that never would have been possible before. I could go down to half time. I could work somewhere for half what I make. I could actually quit entirely and live off Airbear (ha ha). While I don't plan on doing any of those things (although the last one sounds like a winner), it is incredibly empowering to know that my actions and hard work have opened up these doors for me. They're also safeguards, too. If I lost my job, we'd survive. We'd have to eat dinner at home, but that's about the only change we'd need to make. And in uncertain times that's an amazing thing to know.

Instead, my plan is to keep working and apply that entire second paycheck (and whatever's left of the first) to a series of savings funds. I have already spent time thinking about what these goals will be, since I was so broke that I couldn't afford to go out and do anything and had to entertain myself with excel spreadsheets. Ha ha. Anyway, check out the results, because the exercise was super fun. Once I am debt free, (imagine three thousand !'s) my goals are:

Savings Funds:
Little Emergency Fund/Short Term Savings - $1,000
Big Emergency Fund (Job loss, etc.) - $5,000 [1]
Car Replacement Fund (for "eventually") - $5,000
Laptop Replacement Fund (ditto) - $1,500
"Special Occasion" Fund - $3,000[2]
Laser Eye Surgery Fund - $2,000[3]
House Fund - $10,000[4]

Annual Contribution Goals:
Roth Contributions for 2009 - $5,000
Gift Money for 2009 - $800 (*blush* shut up, it's my money!)
Vacation Fund for 2009 - $1,500[5]
Tuition Account Contributions for 3 nephews for 2009- $180 ($5/month/kid)

I've looked ahead to what my budget/bill breakdown will be as well, and while I obviously cannot fund these accounts all immediately at the start of 2009, I could do monthly payments which will meet the tuition, gift, vacation, and Roth goals (yes, completely funding my Roth!) with the money that used to go to credit card debt payments. I will have to pick a few of the savings funds to focus on at a time so that I can snowball them and get them filled up fast and feel rewarded. Plus once they're full they just get to sit around and make interest and make me feel rich. The annual funds I'll have to keep replenishing all the time, because they'll get used, but still... do you know how amazing it is going to feel to be able to be saving ahead for those kinds of things? To know that I have the power to grow money to buy presents? To be able to snowball toward GOOD things instead of toward debt?

I can't imagine how you could feel any richer than that :)


[1] Believe it or not, this is more than six months worth of expenses for me. I'm making Airbear start one too. His should obviously be bigger, since he farts money.
[2] I'm not going to tell you what the occasion is, for jinx purposes. I think you can probably get creative and guess. It might take more than this, if a trip to Rio is involved. But this is a good start.
[3] Actually, (aaaaactually), Airbear can contribute to a pre-tax health account that we can use to spend on my eyeball surgery, once I figure out all the details, and that will help him out on taxes a bit and I can pay him back. Best part is he said he would like to pay for half of it :O :O :O !
[4] This one is kind of weird, I know. But nitza, you say, you already have a house! Well, I don't, Airbear does. And since we are not yet teh married, it's better this way. But I'd like to start tucking some money away for later. This fund takes a backseat to the others, but it's just been at the back of my mind. I might be able to contribute it to a down payment when we buy house #2 together, or something. Anyway, like I said... it's about options, now :)
[5] It probably won't get up that high during 2009, but then we'll just do the standard little vacations to mom's house, etc. one year, and leftovers can roll over each year so that we can do a Big, Fabulous Vacation from time to time. WITHOUT CREDIT CARDS!! (See how serious I was about that?) ;)

2 comments:

Erin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erin said...

i read your blog!!