Tag Archives: bill pay

Spare Change

5 Oct

After all the misery that was the end of last weeks work week, I started to look around my apartment and wonder where exactly all my debt was sitting. I know a big chunk is sitting in my closet – with bows on their toes and leather straps with gold buckles – the non-negotiables – but realistically – where does my budget go?

It’s almost the end of the year and I am still staring at a huge portion of debt; $2500 to be exact. Well, ok, $2494.13 to really be exact. But the scary thing is that money is the credit hindering debt I wanted most to be gone once December got here. And I really am no closer on that portion. What’s worse is the list of things that I wanted to purchase but would only do so once the number was lower, much lower, is no where closer. The iPhone for my 27th birthday … didn’t happen. No camera. Certainly no Dyson (I know. Getting older makes you reevaluate things. Like a Dyson vs. Hoover. Seriously. Wackadoodle.) Some sort of vacation. Ahhhhh!

Even with all my curtailed spending and resistance of coupons and free $10 gift cards, I seem to be not as far ahead as I wanted by this time. And, as such, am no closer to getting the things I want in my life.

After reading each others posts and realizing I’m not the only one who looks to buy these finer things (And Adaena’s very solid query: Is asking for this camera (and a Vespa scooter and a weekend in Paris) really too much? What’s a girl to do?) I couldn’t help but wonder …

How did I get to this point?

I’ve fudged my budget more than I should.

With all the things I have bought – accruing debt or not – I have too much. I have 2 almost identical skirts and 2 almost identical jackets and around 10 almost identical summer dresses. (Need a summer dress with a blue geometric pattern?) With that being said … I think I have found a strong contributor to my debt: procrastination and laziness. If I actually bothered to keep track of and care for everything I had in the way I truly would like to, I might not be out and about so much and could better evaluate what I actually need. $30 is a great deal for a dress and $5.00 is even better, but they still add up!

Late last night I got that burst of energy that only comes between 2 and 5 in the morning and started to go through my apartment – A vein attempt at getting organized, which I now see is key to this whole thing continuing to work out. But I have kept so many things I don’t need simply because they’re not “worn out”. Jeans from college I never have a prayer of fitting into again (I will never be a 26 again. Nor do I want to be); Shirts that would be better off in someone else’s ragpile; skirts that I never looked good in, but didn’t get rid of for god knows why. All stuff. All things. All impeding me from really being totally happy.

It’s a weight on my shoulders to go home sometimes because my apartment can get away from me quickly. Full time job, 3 or 4 freelance works, a night or two out on the town and I’m spent. The last thing I want to do is vacuum and dust. Fold laundry. Do dishes. When in reality, if I did those things more frequently than I currently do, I might have seen better results toward my overall yearly goal.

I always say I’m an organized mess, but sometimes, I’m just a mess. I need to get organized. I found a desk at St. V d P a few weeks ago and at $15 it was a steal. It has drawers for organizing my bills, my doodles, my odds and ends. And it’s helping out in my living room immensely. I’m working on getting a table at which I can eat – bar height if you’re looking out for me – and I’ve noticed that it’s all helping.

With “keeping up with my apartment” in place, I’ve seen more effort on my part to not use the credit card at all (even though it racks up serious points for paying my cell and cable bills) and am working gradually at whittling down my closet. I don’t need all that I’ve got, so I’m going to start thinking of it as depriving others of my deal hunting prowess. Tomorrow morning all those college jeans go to St. V d P and I reclaim 3 shelves – it’s a big step, even though they’re small shelves.

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They say our love won’t pay the rent

20 Jul

So pay the bills before you accrue debt … groundhog day

Repeating things in life begins to feel like the ultimate deja vu – groundhog day. And then there is repeating things multiple times within a short time span making it feel even more so.

Joe and I had another wedding this weekend and I think the thing that kept it from feeling like all the rest was the devotion that the bride’s father put into their wedding favors. He’s an avid wine connoisseur and made bottles of wine for each guest to take home with them. I didn’t get a chance to try it – yet – because it’s a little difficult to hold a flash steady when you’re not.

But some of the repetitiveness of weddings is getting to me a bit and I’m starting to notice only those parts of the day which set them apart from other weddings – the things on which they’ve spent thoughtful time – not money they didn’t have. Each one is nice in it’s own right, but I’ve come to realize that, at a wedding, guests care about very few things: Food, booze and music. Oh, and Cake.

Yes, it’s your family and friends there to support you on one of the biggest days of your life, but really, it’s more about the two of you and the commitment you’re making than the money you spend or anyone else in attendance – how else do explain some guests skipping the ceremony and heading straight for the reception venue?

Being on a plastic fast – which is still going very well by the way, more in a minute – is making me notice the things you should and shouldn’t spend money on – even for a once in a lifetime event such as a wedding. My mother went to my cousins wedding almost 8 years ago and to this day, the only thing she can remember – and raves about – was how fantastic the food was.

It’s the parts of the wedding that people participate in that they remember most.

I guess what I’m saying is don’t buy the expensive dress, no one will really notice, but go for the prime rib carving station – guests will cheer. And throw your bouquet. Not a similar, smaller “tossing” bouquet. What else are you going to do with it? Dry it out and let it collect dust for 15 years while it slowly breaks apart and you have to throw it away anyway?

These are the kinds of things I think about while waiting in line to pay for items in retail stores anyway. And yesterday I actually thought so long and hard about what I was waiting – forever – to pay for, that I actually talked myself out of everything because, even though the items were a good deal, $40 towards the fast vs. two gorgeous leather belts just sounded even better! I did buy a shirt, but that was because a staple item – such as the white button up in question – can very rarely be bought for $6.99 on sale.

A girl has to have at least something to wear to the wedding …

I’m making slow but steady process on the debt and have paid off roughly $1500 since I started this in March, which is pretty good considering I haven’t really cut down on eating in restaurants or nights out. It’s simply cash only.

If I don’t have the cash to pay for it, I don’t buy it – but the key to method is remembering to pay all the bills first so I don’t suddenly think I have cash. And then have no cell phone service.

Day 10

9 Mar

jokerburnsmoney

Yup. Time to pay the bills.

And I really do feel like I’m just burning it, even though I haven’t spent one cent in excess this entire time.

Rent. Charge Card. Electric. Cell phone. And 5 Doctor bills. Ugh.

The first half of the month is always a bit more fiscally responsible than the back half. Here’s why.

I painstakingly balance that little leather book at the first paycheck of every month and dutifully pay every bill between that day and the second paycheck. I’m usually left with about $100 to survive on for 14 days – including 4 weekend nights – which is why I try to go grocery shopping that payday so as not to only have liquid groceries… sorry Mom.

But inevitably I end up – erm – cruising through the hundy a bit quicker than 14 days. I average about 11 and then I pull out the credit card. This is where it gets fuzzy. If I’m using the card, what’s the difference if I use it for $8.93 or $28.93? Right? I said, Am I right?

So the second paycheck of the month is spent on the back half bills and whatever extra I have is spent on the shopping and fun a girl needs to have, as well as a bit extra tossed to the credit card to cover the extra I spent. But if you’ll notice, none was held over for the tight first paycheck – again.

It’s no wonder I feel the Joker has a more sound financial plan – you can’t rack up debt if you have nothing to start a spending spree!

I mean, clearly he’s not out there spending it on Choo’s.

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