Ever since I graduated from college and started working in the school district things have gotten a little crazy... (Pouka's "yo' crazy" face)...
It got so crazy that my room started to look like this everyday and I considered it to be "clean." Holy crap.
I've decided that something needs to change. Stat. I can't keep living in a mess. Another thing that I did was have some honest time with myself. Since I've graduated from college the harsh reality that I won't be getting $1,000.00 every four months in student loan payouts has finally hit. I realize now that I have to be more financially responsible. I've been reading a lot about the Dave Ramsey debt get-rid-of program. Most of it is geared towards families so I'm trying to adapt it to work for single lady life.
First step is that I created a binder to keep track of bills, register all spending, keep Sebastian's documents, and roommate agreements all together.
I'll give you more details on that in a minute. The first thing that I did in my honest moment time was to add up all of the debt that I have accumulated. Ouch. At 22 (23 next month! Woot!) I have $28,500 in student loans, $110,000 in home debt, $9,000 on my Civic, and about $5,500 in credit card debt. That's a total of about $153,000.00. Ahhhh geessshhh. I'm a little embarrassed to even be blogging about this, but I think it will help me keep on track.
So I've decided to set up a three year budget plan spread. (Excel would be prettier to use but my computer is dumbdumb so I just wrote it out.) The whole premise is to set up tangible goals that would motivate me. A big one? No roommates. I've had roommates for 5 years and I am totally over it. I want to have a guest room and an office and space.
**All this is contingent on that fact that I will unmarried in three years, which is extremely likely.lol.**
Another thing that I added in is my budget for each month. Subbing is a day by day thing and I tend to work most days but sometimes there are months (like this month where there is a week off for Spring break) that I won't be able to make as much. Also working for the school has my paydays once a month instead of biweekly like I was used to.
I put my expenses into a very specific order starting with housing, car, cell phone and car insurance, credit cards, grocery money for the month, savings, and finally flex money that I can spend on shoes or whatever else I feel so inclined.
I've grown up in the generation of debit cards and I have been trying to switch over to a cash only budget. Ouch. In order to keep myself accountable I have my bank account app on my phone as well as keeping an actual register. Something about writing down what I've spent is a bit of a reality check.
I added tabs to keep it all organized.
I keep track of all the house hold bills so I can monitor usage (especially with the electric bill). Plus when tax season comes I can send all of these bills to my Dad, we process the house as a rental which means that these can be written off. Or something like that.
Another PDF (source at the bottom of the post) allows you to make a list of home costs. Which obviously I love. Allows me to prioritize projects and household things I need to save for.
Sorry these next pictures are sideways, it wouldn't let me flip them over. So just bear with me. lol. The folders have all the roommate rental agreements and other documents inside, which are crucial to keep track of.
Sebastian is a purebred so I have his AKC certificate and his shot records. That way if I do decide to breed him I can prove he's got his shots.
I've also been keeping my receipts together and putting them into an envelope so I can really hold myself accountable, plus a lot of receipts have coupons on the bottom. Which I appreciate.
I've also been keeping a book for coupons and my rewards cards so that I can start saving money, even the littlest bit helps.
In order to keep on track I've resisted the urge to not replace my roommate that's moving at the end of this month. I absolutely hate going through the process of finding a decent roommate but I know that if I don't have that extra income my debt situation will only be worse. My parents did the Dave Ramsey plan when I was a kid and I've seen it work, I just hope I have the self control necessary to keep on track myself. I'm also looking for a second job that I can work until I get a full time teaching position which would start in August of this year.
Following my budget plan will allow me to:
- be down one roommate by the end of this year, 9 beautiful months from now, and then no roommates by the end of 2014.
- pay off credit card debt by the end of 2013
- have my car paid off by the end of 2014 or middle of 2015.
- have adequate savings
- be able to travel in the summers instead of getting a second job.
These things excite me! I could have the freedom to decide whether or not I want to have a roommate. Plus I would still be able to keep upgrading my furniture and doing home projects. If I don't have cash to buy something than I can't have it. Which is why I'm going to sell my dining set in order to make the money to buy the new furniture I want rather than putting it onto a credit card or something like that.
Wish me luck! If you have any success stories/advice on how to make this work even better please please let me know!
You can find all the amazing PDFs for print out here.