Budget Talk: Eliminating Debt

My latest obsession is watching YouTube videos of people who are working hard at chipping away their debt. I find these videos extremely inspiring and motivating, so much so that last week I took a good hard look at my own budget and in particular… debt. Of course, I currently pay what’s owing each month on each individual debt that I’ve lumped myself with, but to be honest I never pay much attention to it beyond that. Which is a mistake. I’m not going to include my mortgage in this little eliminating debt challenge that I’m sharing with you all, because honestly I think I’ll be old and grey by the time I’m done with that. However, I do have some lesser amounts, that I’m happy to share in the hope that I will inspire others to start eliminating their debt. I’m using the “debt snowball” method, and currently focusing all of my attention on my smallest debt. My goal is to completely clear that amount before the end of this year. I’m going to keep a running tally of what I pay off of the smallest debt, and bring you all along for the ride. Here’s hoping I can get this debt GONE by the end of 2015!

Paid in August: $175
Currently Owing: $2371.94

November Finance Chat

Fun fact: I was tempted to buy return flights to Bali at the end of November. Am I crazy? Possibly. BUT they were on sale, so I guess I can sort of justify my momentary madness. Also, I have massive wanderlust at the moment and am craving some sort of extended holiday. Alas, money. It’s hard to think of long term goals when short term satisfaction is at hand. Nevertheless I resisted the sale, and have refocused my attention on our the US trip at the end of 2015. Onwards and upwards. Also, I have a new addiction to scratchies.

November Goals
I did a decent job of not dipping into my travel fund (except for travel costs), so that’s a good step forward. I’m hoping to not touch that fund at all over the next few months, and I’m hoping it will GROW GROW GROW into something substantial soon. I’ve also managed to keep our grocery bill way down from what it used to be, although I haven’t quite reached the goal of keeping it under $100 every week. We’ve also not implemented ‘noodle night’ just yet, but I’m hoping we can make an effort to work this into our schedule during December.

December Goals
I think my biggest goal in December, finance wise, is to be reasonable when it comes to buying Christmas presents. I can’t help myself, every year I seem to go a bit over the top when it comes to how much I spend on presents. This year I’ve set a stricter budget, and I’m going to do my absolute best to stick to it. I also want to reduce unnecessary spending (as in, did I really need the two pairs of jeans I just ordered online? no. unnecessary), and stop shopping for myself for a while. I really don’t need anything, so why waste the money on extra STUFF? I also want to cut back on the coffee I’ve been buying on my way in to work in the mornings. This will be exceptionally hard, as I’m acting in a role that requires me to be ALERT (read: caffeinated), all day every day. Green tea don’t fail me now.

October Finance Chat

I’ve had a few requests to write some more posts about money, budgeting, and how I sort out my personal finances. I thought about it a little bit and decided that the easiest way for me to do this is to include a monthly ‘finance chat’, where I’ll give a general overview of where I’m at with my finances and what my goals for the following month are. I recently wrote up a savings plan for our trip the US next year, and it was a bit of an eye-opener for us. We are not the most careful people when it comes to spending money, but it was a wake up call that we need to start taking better care and stop being so frivolous when it comes to our finances.

November Goals
My goals for this month are mostly to assist me in working towards bulking up my travel savings fund. I have a specific savings account set up that accrues more interest than a regular account, and you’re charged for taking money out of the account. Works for me. My first goal is to NOT dip into my travel savings account for money to use elsewhere. This is to be for travel only, and the total should not go down at any point. I also want to try and cut down our weekly grocery shop (excluding fresh fruit and vegetables) to below $100. Currently we fluctuate anywhere between $150-$250 a week, which is just ridiculous. We can definitely do better in this regard. I’ve also implemented a ‘noodle night’ once a week, where we eat something out of the pantry that otherwise wouldn’t be set aside for dinner (ie: noodles). This is an easy way to save money, and also helps us work through the food in the pantry that can sometimes get overlooked and sit there for months on end.

I’ll be sure to check in again at the end of November and let you all know how I’m doing. I’d love to hear any of your goals for the month, and if you decide to include something similar on your blog please let me know!