jamethiel: Money! (Money)
[personal profile] jamethiel
I just paid of one of my credit cards entirely. The balance is now $0. I'm expecting less than $2 in interest, which I can clear as soon as they add it to my card.

\o/

If things go according to plan, I should have cleared the other credit card by the end of March.

I opened up a separate "bucket" or account for living expenses as opposed to bills. I'm only in my second paycheck of using this system, but the amount in bills is accruing quite satisfactorily and I have a little bit left over in living expenses.

Come and tell me the awesome things you've done for your finances and give yourselves a pat on the back!
red_trillium: cartoon cat that says "I love cats but can't eat a whole one" (Default)
[personal profile] red_trillium
It's been awhile since I've checked into this comm and my life has taken a roller coaster ride since then.

Besides a couple deaths in 2011, I had a very very stressful year at work from about March to July/August. It isn't completely over (not that I ever expect to be stress-free at work) but it isn't at the level of impacting my mental and physical health like it was. This had led to a lot of impulse buying, often in the name of "pamper myself" in trying to find ways to de-stress. While I was supposed to be saving for a trip back to the US next year, I'd also slip and spend $ where I should have been saving it.

I got through that and started making in-roads to pay my cards down a bit in preparation of the trip, but knew I was no where near where I should have been. I figured we'd have to get a personal loan to pay for the majority of the trip and planned to use my bonus from work towards the trip.

In mid-November my wife got the shocking news that her area at work was being restructured & after 31 years, she was made redundant. They were only given a 2 week redeployment period so didn't have enough time to find another role in the company.

As hard as that has been on us both emotionally, it's allowed us to seriously look at our financial situation. We started looking at what bills we had, our household situation & finances & what she'd get paid out (the pay-out capped at 25 years).

We've paid our debts off. We traded our old car in for a slightly newer used one that won't need major repairs the old one was due for. We've set money aside for the trip next year. I am in the process of transferring the rest of the funds to our savings and may look at options for putting funds on a small deposit to earn a bit of interest.

It is odd. I am debt-free for the first time since I graduated from high school (and that was in the late 1980s). The circumstances are sad but it does feel liberating. And odd. That is an interesting (and slightly sad) comment on me and the mentality in the US (where I lived most of my life).

We are both serious about staying debt-free. We just can't afford it. Her health issues mean we won't be able to have the same income again. It won't be easy to survive on a much-reduced income but I think we can do it if we try. We will keep our cards; we need them to book flights, hotels and car rentals (even if we pay cash for the hotels & car they still insist on a card they can 'hold' money on for damages) but will reduce the limits after our holiday.

We've also used some of the funds to set up a booth at a local craft business. December brought a little bit of money in from that and we can build on it. Every little bit extra will help.

It's a new world, one I have no clue how to navigate in. We still have bills, the daily things we can't just get rid of like rent, electricity, the internet/phone bill and stuff like that. I'll keep a small payment to the savings and a token amount to our respective discretionary accounts so we aren't tempted to just blow the budget. I'm scared, worried my income won't be enough or I'll loose my job through a mistake or a restructure (constant at my company the past few years it seems). But it's made for an interesting start to 2012.
jamethiel: Money! (Money)
[personal profile] jamethiel
Comment on this post with what you've achieved over the past week! Let us know what you're going to do over the next week!

My achievement )

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