September Goals!

Hello friends! So, I’ve been lagging on blogging but that doesn’t mean that I’ve completely given up all together. I will admit that my spending has been looser, but I’m still doing my best not to acquire new debt and pay off what I already owe. It’s also my husband and my birthday week! Here are some goals for this month specifically, and I’ll probably post again on some goals I want to hit in my last year in my early 30s.

  • Get Capital One back to “Bills Only” – I haven’t stopped using my credit cards. I have a cash back rewards card that I designated to automatic payment of bills. I pay it off each month so it doesn’t accrue interest and so that I can maximize the benefits of earning a little bit of cash back. However I did use it a little in the past month for non-bills, and also had some larger ticket bills (our dog got fixed, and our electricity bill for 2 months was over $300!) so this month’s statement did get a little crazy. I want to pay it off, then resume it’s job as a “bills only” card and keep it out of my wallet.
  • Get Discover under $7k – Currently it’s a little under $7500. Getting this debt in the $6k range makes it more possible that I can be done paying this off this year!
  • Earn an extra $400+ from side hustle
  • Donate unwanted stuff to Goodwill
  • Get caught up on training protocol at work – The sooner I finish this, the sooner I can make more money and also start my year commitment. Not that I have immediate intentions on leaving, but it’ll be nice to not have a time commitment.
  • Get weight back down under 130 – I feel like a broken record but my motivation to diet has been really low this year in general. I’d like to get back down under 130 by the end of this month, and work on maintaining that through the holidays and end of year.

That’s it for now! I’ll be back with more goals for my 34th year as well as updates on my progress!

Keeping my Side Hustle a SIDE Hustle

Long time no post! So in an effort to minimize my stuff and also make some extra cash for debt, I started thrifting and reselling! It’s been fun so far, but I have a confession to make: I’ve let my spending get loose in the last month.

The purpose of having a side hustle for me is to make a little extra income on the side, however I’ve been putting my own money into this venture and my goal in September for my side hustle will to use my income from this only to fund this venture. That means using the income I bring in to buy source items to sell, buy shipping supplies and pay for shipping, etc.

I have a second checking account which I designated for “business expenses”. When I withdraw my earnings from paypal, Poshmark or Mercari I’m transferring 20-25% to that account then putting the rest towards debt.

So far this month I’ve made over $700 in sales and profited $350! I can’t wait to keep it going as a fun, income generating hobby and I don’t plan to let it put me further in the hole!

 

First debt PAID OFF!

Ok, I’ve been slacking on the blog component but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped caring about my money. I’ll give an update at the end of August on more of how things are going.. but I got paid yesterday and paid off my first debt since coming back to my money senses in June!

I have one more, bigger CC to handle. I’m hoping to finish paying it off by the end of 2017 so that I can focus on my student loans in 2018! 

Apple CC starting (June 2017)- $1965.14

August – $0!

June Recap/July Goals!

A little late but here is the recap of my month of June:

  • Put at least $700 to my CC debt 
  • Sell ALL unwanted stuff, and toss the rest 
  • Eat out less
  • Get bodyweight back under 130lb

I put $556 towards my CC debt this month! Not exactly at $700, but I did reroute $540 to fully fund my Emergency fund at $1000. I sold a decent amount of things this month and racked up over $400 to put towards my debt! I ate out less during the weeks which was good, and I fell short of getting back under 130lb thanks to some minor injuries that forced me to scale back my training and probably hit me in the motivation department.

My month wasn’t at 100% but when is life ever at 100%? I’m a believer that when you aim for perfection, you set yourself up for failure. Sure my month wasn’t perfect but it was my first month making an attempt at getting my finances back on track so I’m ok with it, and it gives me room to improve in the upcoming months!

Here are my goals for the month of July:

  1. Pay off Credit Card #1 – With budgeting and extra money from selling stuff.. I think this is doable!
  2. Donate unwanted stuff!
  3. Get Postmark closet to 75+ available items
  4. Drink a gallon of water daily
  5. Get better at tracking no-spend days
  6. Get back below 130lb

What are you aiming to achieve in the month of July? Leave me a comment and let me know!

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Is buying a new car the ultimate personal finance sin?

So after jumping back on the personal finance bandwagon, I remembered that owning a car is basically perceived as the worst allocation of your money possible. We all hear it – a new car depreciates the second you drive it off the lot and continues to depreciate with time. Maintenance and gas cost a lot and not to mention insurance. BUT, what about those of us who are so lucky to have a job that requires a decent amount of driving? Is it always a bad thing to want something new and to drive it into the ground?

I have a car that is 7.5 years old and with 147k miles. Yeah you heard me, that’s roughly 20k a year. Between moving to the opposite end of my lovely state, making frequent visits to see my family, dating my then boyfriend/now husband 90 miles away from me, and driving a crap ton for work I’ve accumulated a fair share of miles on this baby. I paid it off 2 years ago and I love not having a car payment, but there are some reasons why I want a new car. Here are some of my reasons why:

  1. Maintenance is coming – Luckily, I haven’t put TOO much into maintenance (thank you Japanese-manufactured cars!) but it’s inevitable with this amount of miles on this car that it’s coming soon.. and if I have to get a new car I kind of figure why not put it towards a new car?
  2. My body hates me – Yeah you heard that right. Since my first car at 19, I’ve only owned cars that are manuals. I love driving a stick, but now that I live in LA and am stuck in traffic 75% of my work day… my body does not love driving a stick as much as I did in my younger day. I work out a decent amount doing sport-specific training, and I have some major imbalances on my left side which I’m sure are partly due to driving a manual for 13 years. This puts me more at risk for injury, and even if I was to STOP training the way I am.. I want to have a fully functioning hip well into my adult life. That being said, I think it’s time to trade in my love for the manual car.
  3. Better Mileage – My car doesn’t get terrible mileage, but any car in traffic is going to suck on gas so I’d really like to switch to a hybrid car.
  4. Comfort/Technology – This might not be such a big reason if I only had to drive from point A to point B and back to point A, but since I spend my days driving from point A to point B, C, maybe back to A, then D.. I think a car with increased comfort and technology (e.g., running iPhone maps on a screen for navigation) would be nice.
  5. Shared Driving – This goes back to #2, but since my car is a manual and my husband doesn’t know how to drive a manual, this means if we take a long road trip I am stuck driving the whole way which sucks. And yes, I’ve tried teaching him and it was mentally frustrating for both of us so needless to say the shared driving with my car doesn’t happen.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my car. I did purchase it brand new, but with 0% financing. I don’t regret the purchase – aside from not negotiating the price too much. I think #2 for me right now would be the biggest reason why I need a new car. I’m doing what I can to get my credit card debt as much as possible, increase my credit score to put me in a good place for borrowing and save for a down payment in case it comes sooner than later. I need a car so it’ll happen, I’m just trying to delay when.

What are your thoughts on purchasing a new car? Have you purchased a new car off the lot and had zero regrets?

 

Disclaimer: When I say “new” I don’t necessarily mean brand new/off the lot.. just a car that is brand new to me. I will look into used cars with low miles when the time comes and weigh out the options with rates on loans and pricing/features.

Mid-Month check in

June just flew by! I’m sipping my first cup of coffee for the day and reflecting on my progress with my goals that I wrote out. So here is where I am as of today:

  • Put at least $700 to my CC debt – So far I’ve put $556 to my CC this month! I’ll get paid one more time before June is over and already have $400 scheduled, so I should be good on this goal!
  • Sell ALL unwanted stuff, and toss the rest – I’ve been listing on Postmark and Mercari and eBay, I’ve sold a few old electronics and a decent amount of high-end makeup. No one is biting on the clothes. I’m going to donate some stuff by next weekend.
  • Use cash system for daily spending – This I haven’t been doing.. mostly because my first paycheck I spent all on rent, paying my CC and paying myself that I didn’t have much cash left over, so I guess that’s a good thing? I took out $20 yesterday and had $6 in my wallet already, so I think this will be good going into the next week!
  • Eat out less – I have been doing a lot better packing lunch! I’d say at least 4/5 days! However, over the weekend our friends were in town and we spent a lot of money on eating out, and we have other friends in town today. We literally never go out on the weekend, so for now I’m sucking it up in an attempt to be social.. since we tend to be pretty anti-social 99% of the time.
  • Get BW back below 130lb – I’m about 132 as of today. Getting back on track with eating packed food and hitting my food targets per day has helped, but I haven’t been working out at my normal volume thanks to a string of small, annoying injuries (sprain here, tweaked my back, sprain there). I’m hoping by the last week I can resume normal workouts, and at least get within 1lb to this goal to be on track for August.

How are you all doing with your goals for the month or the year?

Monday Money Confession: I Don’t Use a Budget

Yikes. You heard me, I don’t use a budget.

First before I get ripped a new one, that’s not to say I have never used a budget. I most certainly have and probably with success. However more recently, I’ve either started to use one and quit halfway through a month, or just haven’t at all. I make enough to sustain my living (obviously) but somewhere down the road in the past few years I’ve found a budget more daunting than useful.

BUT that’s all about to change. I get paid on Friday, and I’m going to start with tracking my expenses again and giving every dollar a job. That means I’ll need to create and use a budget. I’ve checked out a few templates via Budgets are $exy, so I’ll start by checking those out again and maybe using one to start.

I track what I eat on a daily basis, my workouts, and even my progress at work. So why the hell am I not tracking my financial progress other than knowing what’s paid off and what isn’t?

How do you budget? Do you go old school with excel or pen and paper or do you use an online budgeting tool like YNAB, Mint, etc?