Friday, January 15, 2010

it's a monetary matter and it's time to get real

I got paid today and after paying all my bills I am left with $12. That $12 will need to be used for groceries and gas. Seriously. I'm not even joking. I think when I looked at that number I cried a little.

I'm not even sure how it's possible that I could have so little left. It's not like I have a low paying job. I make good money. Not a huge amount of money but enough that I should be able to live fairly comfortably if I shared a place with a roommate. You know what the main issue is? Debt. Yep that's right, I have debt. A freakishly large amount of debt that I try not to think about all while trying somehow to pay it off. Let's break it down cuz heaven knows that I need to get real with myself, pronto.

1. I currently have ... *whimpers* roughly $13,340 worth of debt from credit cards and my car loan. Please excuse my language but holy friggin' shit! Yeah, no wonder I have no money.

2. I pay $750 a month just towards these bills. This doesn't include car insurance or any of the other bills I have.

3. I think it's safe to say that I have a problem. I know I'm not good with money. I've never been good with it, even when I was a kid. I always spent my allowance on the weirdest, stupidest non-essential things and then would wonder where all my money went.

A lot of this debt came from when I was 18 and 19. As everyone knows, when you're 18 all the credit card companies start sending you offers. The smart thing to do is to not accept any of them or if you do (to build credit) you make sure that your spending does not exceed your ability to pay off your card each month. I, being the lame person I was/am, decided to accept all of the offers. I then used said cards for everything, especially treating my friends to stuff. I was the oldest of the group, we were all still in high school. No one had any money so I paid for everything. It was easy. I then paid for a couple of semester of college, a laptop and a whole bunch of other things that I don't recall. I also accepted and used every credit limit increase I was offered.

The next part of the debt came when I got my car. One thing for which I am not ashamed of. I love my car and it offers me freedom that I wouldn't otherwise have. However, I did spend a butt load of money on vacations this year, especially in San Francisco. I think it was somewhere around $1,500. Don't bother asking where it went because I have no idea.

3. I am actively working on getting it paid off. Of the five bills that I pay that make up that my debt I do double the required payments for three of them. So, lets take my AMEX bill. The monthly payment is $45 but instead I pay $100. Why? Because you will never get out of debt if you only pay the monthly fee. I can thank Suze Orman for that lovely little tidbit.

Hopefully, by doing this I will be able to pay most if not everything off within 18 months. I know I am being very optimistic here, especially since I have not included interest in any of my "calculations", but one of the larger payments will be paid off in November of this year (I know this for a fact) and so I am planning on taking that extra money and putting it towards paying the other bills faster.

4. The only way I could even remotely be able to pay this amount towards my bills is because of my mom. She let me move back in a couple years ago for several reasons, one of which was so that I could pay off my debt. I am seriously grateful to her for letting me live here rent free while I get my finances in order. She is awesome like unto a blossom.

5. Why even try to pay it off especially when it leaves so little money for other things? Well, I'm doing it for many reasons really. Mainly, I don't want to be enslaved to someone else. I don't want all of my hard work to end up in someone else's pocket, especially when that's someone else needs my money a lot less than I do. I also want to get married at some point in my life and with all of the baggage I already come with I don't want to bring my debt into my marriage. Marriage is hard enough as it is without adding money issues to it as well. Lastly, this debt is my problem. I am the one who got myself into this situation and I need to be responsible and get myself out of it.

Another reason as to why I have so little left in my checking account is because I paid tithing. You seriously have no idea how big of a thing this is for me. I honestly don't remember the last time I paid my tithing. I always felt that there was no way I could ever give up that money because I needed it to much. Certainly more than Heavenly Father or the church would need it. But, when I was thinking back on 2009 when I was setting my 2010 goals I remembered all of the lessons in Sunday school and sacrament meeting (when I went) about how much people were blessed just by paying their tithing. I remember one Sister said that she sat down one month and wrote out all of her bills that she had to pay including her tithing. She said that there was no way she should have been able to pay for everything with what she was making but that somehow she was able to. Somehow the small amount of money she got each pay period was able to pay everything in full and still have some left over. It was a miracle. A work of God.

I hope and believe that if I do as I am supposed to, Heavenly Father will help me. I decided that even though paying my tithing makes it so that I only have $12 in my checking account, whatever blessings that come from that sacrifice will be worth all the money in the world.

That is how awesome this gospel is. That is how unbelievably awesome God is.

Oh, so if any of you have good ideas on how I can improve my financial situation please do advise. I need all the help I can get!



Natalie Rausch

I think living at home is a great way to save money. It's why I refuse to move out right now. lol. But, whenever I'm tight with money I'll cut something I don't need that I'll spend on once in a while. Like buying lunch or movies. I never buy lunch now. I pack one from home that's extremely cheaper for me. It takes more time, but it's worth it especially since it's normally healthier too. That's what I do at least. Oh, and keep up the tithing!! That's number one right there. :)