Sunday, November 2, 2014

Spending Challenge: October Totals

October 1st Balances
Amex: $1,545.79 $0
Mastercard: $5,714.27
Sallie Mae: $14,123.57 $11,472
Chase: $19,907.33
Sallie Mae: $24,754.52

November 1st Balances
Amex: $1,545.79 $0
Mastercard: $5,714.27 $3,760.59
Sallie Mae: $14,123.57 $11,472
Chase: $19,907.33
Sallie Mae: $24,754.52

That's a total of $2,088 this month!
I babysat (a lot!), wrote resumes, earned a bigger bonus at work, worked on, dog sat, and stuck to the spending challenge rules to make this possible. It takes some pretty serious effort to always prepare your meals or to pick up side jobs after a long work day but numbers like that are worth it.

The hardest part about the challenge this month was: 
I got pretty overwhelmed one night thinking about how much debt I'm in. I got frustrated that I have been working at this goal for years and if I had done things differently, I could have been out of debt by now or at least much closer. I was annoyed that even with an entire year of this spending challenge, I will probably still have $40,000 in debt based on really rough estimates. It would take another 2 years of a spending challenge to be debt free. That really sucks.

Another challenge was having some serious car troubles. An entire post will be coming on this soon but long story short, I'll be buying a new (to me) car next week. Adding on a car loan was a big blow to my motivation and I ended up spending outside of my challenge as a result. However, it's a new month and I'm not giving up!

What I learned from the challenge this month was:
I had to change my perspective in order to be ok with this mountain I'm climbing. With this challenge, plus efforts down the road, I will still probably be debt free before 30. There's nothing I can do to fix the errors of my past but I can be proud that I am fixing issues that caused this debt and I'm working every day to get out of it. I am making some pretty big dents and if I take it one day at a time, I'll enjoy the little victories. After all, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

I also found that I was way to relaxed on my spending in October. I was so strict in September that I had plenty of money left over. As a result, I gave myself more freedom and it turned into too much. It feels a lot like the 3 bears - one month was too little, one month was too much, now this month will be juuuusst right, right?? 

The best part about the challenge this month was:
Looking at my finances when I realized I would need to factor in a car payment and seeing that I can make it work, thanks to the spending challenge. It will slow down my debt repayment but it doesn't completely ruin everything. If I were to have needed a car payment even 6 months ago, I would have been in big trouble!

2 months down, 10 to go!

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear about the setbacks but look at that progress! And although it sucks to add a car loan (we'll be doing that in 6 months or so too) - it's feels good to know you can make it work, even if you don't want to :)