Saturday, December 25, 2010

Annual Debt

I am ridiculous.  I have this pattern.  It happens every year, every December.  I go into debt. 

It's never a ton of debt.  It's just enough to stress me out a little bit, to set me back a little bit. 

This year I saved about $300 for Christmas gifts. 

I also went on a lot of dates with boys, bought a plane ticket to Denver, bought a sleeping bag and helmet to bring to Denver, new winter clothes, new winter boots, old boot repair, etc, etc.  And a lot of eating out and drinking booze at bars. 

Yeah, totally fun, but not totally awesome financially. 

So, here's the plan:  I go to Denver and enjoy myself without worrying about money.  (Within reason, of course!  I'm not going to go shopping, but I am going to comfortably eat and drink without worry.)

 I have already taken $400 from my emergency fund to cover some of the excess.  I will also be getting a reimbursement check from work, as well as rent money from my brother.  In February I have a very lucrative and fun babysitting job that will help pay off the rest if it isn't done, or help to build my emergency fund back up if needed. 

It has also been a VERY lean month babysitting (everyone is out of town) so hopefully it will pick back up next month.  A lot of people having babies and not going out, as well, so I'll be taking on a couple of new families.

I hope to make a huge improvement next year when it comes to this problem:  save more money.  I just updated my monthly savings plan to $80 a month for Christmas presents and Christmas break crazy spending.  That will help if I do go crazy, and if not, I can put it back in the emergency fund. 

I hope this works.  I hope I don't take it out before then.

This is the fun thing about finances.  I am responsible enough so when I have a little set back like this, it's not the end of the world.  I can find a creative way to remedy it.  This one is just frustrating because it's a pattern and I'm aware of it.  I should've known by now!  Let's hope this time next year will be different. 

How did you do for the holidays?  I'll let you all know when the debt is done and I'm back to regularly scheduled programming. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Shared Living Spaces

One of the biggest pieces of personal finance advice is to take on a roommate. 

I've always hated that one.

I hate living with people.  I hate their dirty dishes, their attitudes, their destructive angry-veganess, their passive agression.  Hate it. 

But, I like money.  Who can blame me?  My mortgage is a bit too high.  A little supplement of that would be great. 

So, I think I found a way around that, for now.  Behold:  the brother moves in. 

This is why it's working for now: 

1.  He's my brother.  I can never actually hate him. 

2.  He doesn't mind living in my tiny sunroom. 

3.  He pays me a reasonable amount

4.  He works so often that I don't see him very much.

5.  It is my roof.  My conditions.  It is temporary, if need be. 

With this extra monthly money, I plan to do the following. 

1.  Get the emegency fund up to the amount of one month's paycheck.  Yes, I know it should be more, but I'm not there yet.  Slow and steady. 

2.  Pay off the $4600 left on the car.  I want this to happen within the next twelve months, but I think it may be sooner. 

3.  Buy a moped, for fun and getting around town. 

4.  Get the amount of two month's paycheck in the emergency fund. 

5.  Hardwood floors. 

This is my general plan of attack lately:  One month of emergency fund.  One fun thing.  Two months of emergency fund.  Another fun thing.  And so on, and so forth.  Once the car is paid off I'll have an extra $300 a month for savings/fun things.  I like that.