Saturday, January 15, 2011

Confession Time ~ Debt Edition

Ok confession time....I'm in debt.  I'm about $8000 in debt.  All most all of this debt is credit card debt.  I'm not proud of this.  I wish I knew then what I know now....Plastic shopping is THE DEVIL!

For Christmas this year I received a copy of Quicken Starter Edition for my computer.  So far I'm really happy with the program.  It's helping me track my spending and helping me set up spending goals for each month.  It also sends me reminders of upcoming bills that need to be paid! I'm pretty amazed at how out of this world my spending has been.  CRAZINESS!

Now that my vehicle is paid off (YIPPEE SKIPPY!!!!) I have more money to devote to getting my debts paid off and putting more money into my savings account.  My goal for this year is to pay off 1 or maybe 2 credit cards and make a dent in paying back my dad the money I owe him from when my A/C belt in my car broke and cost me $1200 to get fixed.

So far, with the help of my handy dandy Quicken program, I've been able to see different areas in which I can save money and cut spending.  Like for example, one month I spent close to $100 on just books. $100 is a HUGE chunk of money when you're already living paycheck to paycheck.  So for now, I've found that most of the books that I have on my wish list are available in the library system.  My plan is to check the book out of the library first and decide if it's worth spending the money on.  I mean minus any library fine's using the library is FREE.  Sure they may not have ALL the newer books but in the last month I've been compiling a list of books I want to read and only a VERY small handful were NOT available in the library system.  And this is just one example of where I've been able to cut in order to save.

I've also taken to trying to use cash more.  I've found in the past that if I pay with cash, I'm less likely to spend my money willy nilly.  Also, by paying with cash you sometimes get change back. Change that I am adding to my whale bank until it's full and then I'm going to add the totaled amount to my savings account.

Another area in which I've been trying to implement at our house to save about $8 every few days is making our own bread.  Between my dad and I (yes, I'm still living at home.   Debt will do that to you.) we go through 2 loaves of bread in a matter of days.  The bread that we usually by is any where from $3-$4 a loaf depending upon where you buy it.  This week alone I've had the bread machine out 2 times and my mom has had it out once.  We've still got bread left over!

In addition to my handy dandy Quicken program I've been doing a lot of studying on Dave Ramsey's web page.  There seems to be a lot of helpful information on there as well as motivation from other's who are or were in debt to keep on the straight and narrow.

So there it is.  My confession for the day.  Anyone else out there reading have any idea's or tips that I can implement to help aid in my quest to be debt free?  I've shared mine...please feel free to share yours.

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