Hmmm, the level of consistency that it takes to ACTUALLY blog is more challenging than I expected…BUT, lets celebrate the small victories…right?
So…..where do I even start? I started off 2018 super-energized, and with a BANG! One of my goals for 2018?
To get a grip of my finances: pay off debt, build my depleted savings (read: $0.00), and LEARN HOW TO LIVE ABUNDANTLY WITHIN MY MEANS!
Full disclosure: A part of me didn’t want to write this post because of shame, but i clapped back real quick, and told myself that there’s no shame in trying to BE BETTER! Moving along…
Facts, I have been absolutely clueless on how to manage my finances, and just grew SICK AND TIRED of the daily…self-imposed struggle.
So I decided that it was time for some drastic changes. Since locking myself up in my tiny home of a studio for the rest of the year, though preferable, wasn’t an option, I began looking for ways to start my journey towards improving my finances and building wealth
To be clear, I’ve been extremely blessed to not have any student loans, but I’d accumulated some pesky credit card debt by just making TERRIBLE decisions…that mostly involved eating out at restaurants, eating out at restaurants, food, more food, and some other obscure and unnecessary purchases.
Just as I was reeling into the debt spiral of no return (I seriously had no idea how I was going to dig myself out of $5,000.00 worth of debt I had accumulated in less than 2 months), Roe, one half of @brownkids came to the rescue, and saved the day.
First of all, Roe and her other half, “E,” are #lifegoals, but THEN she put together the most bombtastic 10-day debt diary where you could take a casual stroll with her as she holds your hand through each day of the diary—see her IG story highlights for all the gems.
Walk RUN on over to her page right now, and you if you don’t fall in love with her by the end of the diary….you’re simply not human.
What I loved about the debt diary? Roe took it beyond the rigidness of generic budget building, and constructed a wholly human experience that reached into our hearts and souls while gently sparking radical transformations.
I entered the year with nearly $5,000.00 worth of credit card debt (amassed in about 2 months, btw).
It may be chump change for some, but at the rate that I was going, I don’t even want to think about where I would’ve ended up had I continued living the YOLO life.
Can we also talk about the fact that my card has an interest rate of 29.99%!!!! How, Sway???? WHO DOES THAT!—working to see if I can get that lowered, because I honestly don’t even know how that happened.
But if I made a little more money, all of my money woes will just magically disappear? Right?? Right???
Newsflash, Michel: If you can’t manage the money you already have, how in the world do you expect to magically become financially savvy once you have more money???
These are all questions I had to ask myself….
I had no idea how to even approach my debt, but can we just take a moment to relish in the amazingness that is Roe’s debt diary?
Once I got through the debt diary, and all the wonderfulness that came along with it…I was able to build a sustainable budget (on google docs, no less) that has helped me stay on track(ish) since completing the diary.
[We’ll talk about the emotional roller coaster of a ride that caused me to live…recklessly…without financial boundaries for the last two weeks of February at a later date…maybe a post on emotional spending? We’ll see].
FEBRUARY 2018 FINANCIAL RECAP
Mkay, It’s only been about a month since I truly got serious about my finances, and here’s all the magic that has happened so far.
- I was able to build up my emergency savings to $1,000.00 – It’s just a start, and my goal is to be able to have savings that will cover 4 months worth of expenses by the end of the year.
- I paid off a total of about $2,336.00 towards my credit card debt, bringing my total down from about $5000.00 to $2664.00…YAY!!!!!!!– the 29.99% APR rate is hurting my feelings something awful, so I plan on giving the AMEX a call to see what we can negotiate, cuz that rate is for the birds. All tips and suggestions are welcome! My goal is to pay everything off by May!
- I created a realistic budget that allowed me to track every single dollar that went in and out of my account…and guess what? I found that I had enough money to pay all of my fixed and variable expenses without a hitch, AND that I had enough money to throw a good chunk of my income towards my credit card debt.
- The real MVP this month was my tax refund of $2,000.00; I was able to throw it my credit card debt, and make some significant progress. To be honest, I probably would’ve squandered my refund had I not buckled down and gotten serious about my finances.
NOT SO HOT MOMENTS
- I spent about $250.00+ in the last two weeks of February, in which ALL purchases were motivated by my emotions. Yep, I hadn’t realized how much my emotions dictated my financial decisions until I decided to create a budget.
- What feel-good things did I purchase?
- $56.00 of food and restaurants
- $50.00 pedicure
- $94.00 worth of cleaning supplies and a hand-held vacuum from Target
- $15.00 candles at Ross
- $35.00 shoes at the thrift store (I actually don’t regret this purchase, but it was still outside my budget)
I couldn’t even return the purchases because I lost the receipts!
It was just emotions taking me over…caught up in sorrow…lost in the soooong…LOL. Enough of that…I’d love to bury my head in the sand and not have to think about these here finances, but the way my goals are set up…I just simply don’t have that option.
So, I had a bit of a mishap, but it definitely didn’t throw me off target too much. Just think, those could’ve been $250.00 that went towards my credit card debt! Nex
My goal? to provide a recap of my progress, or lack thereof every month. Hoping it will keep me accountable, and keep ya’ll from making the same mistakes
There you have it! The good, the bad, and the ugly of my pursuit towards a Boss + Simple Life.
What are some blogs, Instagram accounts, etc. that have helped you get on the right track?
I’d love to hear about it!