As the title suggests I am taking a trip. I don’t call it a vacation because I am taking my children with me and ANYONE who has ever traveled with kids knows it is NOT a vacation.
We are driving down to Washington, DC. It’s about a 10 hour drive give or take. We have made this trip before. We have driven to Maryland 3 times before and it’s all in the same neighbourhood as far as I am concerned. We were supposed to be going back to MD but all the family I usually stay with are unable to put us up. So we going to visit different family. New family. Hopefully it will all go well.
I was planning to leave on Tuesday, but you know what happens when you make a plan … LOL So today I am rushing around like chicken with its head cut off in order to be able to leave tomorrow. So much to do so little time to do it. I need to get some US $. Thankfully my local TD bank is open on Sundays. I always thought it was not necessary to have a branch open on a Sunday. Today I am eating my words. :)
While away from home, my financial tracking is minimal to none. I go in full vacation mode when it comes to spending. I see, I want it, it goes in the cart. I am hoping that since I have learned about my July 2015 debt free date it will have some impact on what goes in the cart.
I will keep all my receipts and write down what I spend so I can give a full accounting when I return.
Until then, keep safe and spend less. Take care.
Sometimes life aligns you with certain people who you need to meet.
I have had this rough idea of how long it would take me to rid myself of the mountain of debt I have acquired. I started reading PF blogs and got inspired to slay the debt dragon. It was a vague plan.
We all know the fundamentals of how to get out of debt. We have read the books, talk to the experts and watched Gail Vaz-Oxlade (the nicer Canadian version of Suze Orman). Yet there are a lot of us who are still in debt. What are we doing wrong??
I can’t speak for anyone else but myself and I know where I went wrong. I created a budget that was too strict and then failed to follow it. I then renewed my commitment to becoming debt free and started to follow a revised budget more closely. While I have yet to get to the jars I am following the debt repayment and savings part of my budget with greater care. Then recently I put away the credit card. And presto change-o, less debt acquired! Funny how that happens. But this living life as a pauper sucks royally. Especially when I have a few friends that are living it up.
Logically I know it took a while for me to create this mess so it will take some time (and then some) to get out of it. But man, I don’t wanna wait. *insert whiney voice here* Oh this world of instant gratification. :(
Anyhoo back to the certain people. My path has crossed with Lane (my new secret PF crush and bestest friend ever!) from In Mint Condition who recently wrote this fabulous article about calculating debt reduction using this handy-dandy calculator spreadsheet. I now have A PLAN that’s S.M.A.R.T.!! And according to this calculator I will be debt free in July 2015!?!
I figured it would take about 4 years to pay off my debt. I am surprised by the fact that I am dead on. Who knew?
P.S. Thanks Lane, you are one smart resourceful tamale!! I look forward to reading what you write next.
I don’t know if it’s because the week-end was busy or just I am getting old (please say this isn’t it) but this week is DRAGGING. It’s only 8 pm and I am ready to go to bed.
The week so far:
Saturday – Went to visit with a friend. She lives about 20 minutes drive North of my house. At 8 pm, I picked my sister up from her soccer game, 45 minutes North of my house. We then went back to my friend’s house and hung out until 10 pm.
Sunday – I took my sister back to the same soccer field. She had a game at 1 pm. We arrived at noon. The outcome of this game would determine if they would play in the finals that evening. They won the 1 pm game but lost the finals in a shoot out. All and all it was a good game. But all that fresh air made for a tired girl (me, not my sister).
Monday – Went to work 2 hours early and stayed until my regular end time. What a long day. 10 hours at work is not fun.
Tuesday – Took my Princess to the dentist to get her braces adjusted. Then to my Dad’s to celebrate my brother’s birthday. Left my Dad’s around 10 pm.
Wednesday – Diva had to go to camp early as they were going on a trip. So late night coupled with an earlier than usual morning made for an ugly day.
There seems to be no rest for the wicked. And I have been VERY wicked. I am ready for bed and my Mother has just arrived at my doorstep. There is no end in sight.
It’s time to do another weekly spending report. Where does the time go?
-$19.20 eating out
-$52.00 hardware store (programmable thermostat!!)
-$2.09 eating out
-$11.63 drug store
-$6.00(?) eating out
-$24.23 eating out
-$8.10 eating out
-$44.84 eating out
I’m sensing a theme!?! Somebody needs to tell me to start eating in my own house again. 6 days out of 7 had some time in a restaurant … almost $100 … time to be a little less lazy.
**The above does not include my housing costs, debt repayment or retirement savings.
So yesterday morning I got a frantic phone call from my friend. Turns out she has managed to cut herself on a piece of glass and needed to go to the hospital. So off I went to pick her up. On the way I started to tell her that I can’t help her with the car repairs. She cut me off and told me it’s okay her might-be-ex hubby (they are currently separated) is willing to pay for the repairs. I breathe a HUGE sigh of relief for her … and myself! Crisis averted.
Hopefully this experience reinforces in her the need to have an emergency fund. I don’t think so though.
I don’t think he is doing her any favours but it’s not my call. And when all is said and done he still wants to remain married so I guess he will be there for her in hopes that these events will sway her to put the marriage back together.
Life can be more complicated than it needs to be sometimes. But as long as it’s not my life …
So after reading the wise comments left by fellow bloggers I have decided to CMA (Cover My Ass) and decline the opportunity to
bail help my friend out. As pointed out, I don’t have the cash and putting it on my credit card when I myself am on the journey to be debt free is just a stupid bad idea.
As much as it doesn’t feel good to be the
bearer barer deliverer of bad news it feels much better than watching my debt rise.
Thanks again to Where’s Mom’s Money, Harmony Tactics, Work in Progress and Lane for much-needed reality wake up advice. You guys rock!!
I need some advice. I am hoping someone can assist me with the predicament I am in.
This morning I call one of my oldest friends who tells me that she was just sending me an email and would prefer that I read it instead of her telling me what it is about.
I get to work, log into my email and read what she sent. In the email she asks me to loan her nearly $2000.00. She needs this money in order to get some car repairs done. I am in a state of shock. I have been preaching to this girl to save money and to create an emergency fund and these talks have fallen on deaf ears. I feel
angry annoyed as I have been diligently (and grudgingly at times) trying to live within my means and she has been going out and spending $ frivolously. And now that the sh!t has hit the fan she is looking to me to save help her. She has been horrible with money for as long as I have known her which is a very long time. I am conflicted.
First things first, I do not have that kind of money lying around so it would have to go on credit card. She has outlined a repayment plan which would have the debt paid off by the middle of September. Did I mention this would have to go on my credit card!?! I am so not happy about being put in this position.
On the one hand, I want to help her because we are long time friends and I know if the situation was reversed she would help me. On the other hand, I think at some point in life we have to face the consequences for the decisions we have made. And on the other other hand I don’t want to lend her money and then start the precedence that I will be the ant to her grasshopper.
Which hand do I go with?
What have we done to offend you so? I know we take you for granted, do awful things like driving to the corner store instead of walking or biking. Fill up landfills because we are too lazy or stupid to try to pawn off usable items on strangers and the less fortunate. Pollute your waters by the various methods. We don’t reduce, reuse or recycle as much as we could. But IF I could get
10 100 lots and lots of people to vow to live simply and take better care of you will you stop trying to burn up the planet?
Every time I turn on the news all I seem to hear about is this record-breaking heat wave my part of North America seems to be under. I feel for the homeless and those without A/C. Right now at 10:30 pm, the temperature is 30° C (86°F) but with all the lovely humidity it feels like … 38°C (100°F). Not to state the OBVIOUS but there is no sun outside and it is hot like I would expect it to be at midday in July. This is not right. I know there are global warming nay sayers and maybe this increase in temperature is not that but when you take a step back and look at the big picture something just ain’t right. Call it whatever you want but the planet is protesting loudly. We should take big steps to get back in Mother Nature’s good graces before it’s too late.
I for one am
sad ashamed to admit I used to be a drive to the corner store kinda gal, until my little Diva brought it to my attention that I was killing the polar bears. So now we walk or at least try to combine activities while we are already out. I’m trying to set a better example. There is still plenty more for me to do. It’s a slow process but one that is well worth while.
FWIW I am not complaining just merely stating my observations and bargaining with the lovely Mother Nature!!
BTW Mother Nature, I did not turn on my A/C until I had installed a programmable thermostat. Surely that should earn some brownie points, no?
Ever since the Fiscal Fast ended it’s been a flow of money running out of my wallet.
-$20.05 drug store
-$3.28 hardware store
-$11 kid’s bus fare
+$75.00 focus group
-$10 pizza lunch for kids
-$6 stupid tax (library late fees)
-$38 personal grooming
Goodness, this needs to end.
The above does not include my housing costs, debt repayment or retirement savings.
“The real measure of our wealth is how much we’d be worth if we lost all our money.”