Blogtober 2021 Day 5! I can’t believe the time is flying by this year. Well there is a little less than 90 days before the year 2022 begins and I can’t fathom it. For the past two years, it seems like everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. For example, we are in the midst of a global pandemic, we have been hit with countless natural disasters, we have lost so many human lives, and manufacturing is at an all time low. We could be witnessing another recession in our near future with the way things are going, but who knows? I certainly don’t.
But in the midst of all the bad and negative, there are a lot of good things that are coming out of all this. As most of you who read my blog know, I am a severe problem gambler. I have been sober of gambling since September 14th, 2020. Many of you may wonder where my excess money goes now that I have been sober of gambling. Well, to be honest, I didn’t have a whole lot of money to spend and gamble to begin with. So I went into a lot of credit card debt and loan consolidation debt trying to support my addiction. Now most of my finances go toward covering those costs and it ain’t cheap!
To give you a little insight, I have three loans, one vehicle loan and two personal loans, and eight credit lines and/or credit cards. And two student loans. To pay the minimums of debt each month, I pay about $1,400.00 to debt. And to debt alone. When making around $1,800.00 a month take home, it’s not a whole lot I can do to save. This month after I get paid on the 8th, I am going to work 4 – 12 hour shifts each week to get some overtime and to help reduce my debt. I started getting interested in budgeting through Dave Ramsey. My sister lent me his Money Makeover book and at first, I thought it was dumb and blew it off. At this point I have read about 60% of the book and watched a bunch of his videos on YouTube and got the fire in my heart to become debt free.
Ramsey discusses the baby steps. First off, save a $1,000.00 dollar emergency fund. Not that that is enough money to cover all emergencies, but to get started, that will do in case an emergency arises. Then step 2 is to pay off all debt, except your mortgage. Step 3 is save 3-6 months of expenses. I think there are seven steps total. Well I am stuck on step 1. I have about $125.00 in savings at the moment, but because I only worked about a week in two weeks, my pay on the 8th is gonna suck and I will have to withdrawal that to make ends meet.
I am going to Oregon at the end of the month, but my paycheck on the 22nd with overtime should be well over a thousand dollars which means I can pay almost all my bills for the month and buy what I would like as far as clothes go down in Oregon. Once I get back from my trip, I will save whatever I didn’t spend on bills and clothes and work on baby step one. It is hard because all while you try to save a thousand on the side, you gotta still pay the minimums on your bills so it’s not like I have a whole lot of extra money after those and buying vape juice (I know, it’s a terrible vice. I am however reducing the amount I smoke and will eventually and gradually quit) and for groceries.
With the overtime on the next two paychecks, I will be able to put a lot into my emergency fund and still be able to balance school having three days off a week.
I am thinking of putting my savings on hold and doing the steps in reverse. I have one credit line that I owe about $200 on and I could easily pay that off on the 22nd and use the $37.00 minimum payment as payment on the next smallest credit card bill which is $300.00, in addition to it’s $29.00 minimum payment. That method is called a debt snowball. Although it isn’t the most effective paying off the lowest balance card off first because interest is accruing on the higher balance cards, it gives you the motivation and reward and accomplishment of achieving something. When you pay off and eliminate one credit card it gives you the motivation to eliminate the next one and the next one.
In the year 2022, I want to to do the 52 week challenge which I believe is where you draw 2 envelopes at random, all are labeled 1-100 and whatever numbers you draw, let’s say 27 and 83, you have to put those amounts in cash aside and save it. So for that example, you would save $110.00 in one week. The same would happen for the next week and you would mark off those numbers so you can’t pull those again. With that system, you couldn’t possible save more than $199 in a week, but over the course of a whole year, each number envelope, 1-100 in cash would equate to $5,050.00. But you may say, “Dani! 2 envelopes a week for 100 numbers is 50 weeks and there are 52 weeks in a year.” You would be right. You can either end the challenge right before Christmas or you can save the extra 2 weeks and add whatever number you would like for the extra two numbers. So you could do 101 and 102 so that your total savings are $5,253.00 or larger numbers so that you get a round number. Any way you look at it is this: you’re saving money. It could be a dollar a day for 365 days and that’s still more money than what you had a year ago! So do whatever works for you.
Why am I so passionate about saving money of all things when I am over $40,000.00 in debt myself and don’t have even a penny to my name? Well because if there is any one person who got myself into this wreck of a mess, it’s me. With that logic, the only person who is gonna get myself out of this same mess is also me. My debt isn’t suddenly going to become forgiven. It’s up to me to get my ass into gear, work the overtime and start saving every penny that comes my way.
So how do you save if you only get a surplus of about $200 a month if not working overtime? Well I haven’t successfully saved yet. There have been so many items that have come up the past few months and I have had to swipe my card. But one thing that has helped me is to use cash. It seems old fashioned now, but using cash for every transaction and budgeting for each category of my personal spending habits helps. I over budget so that whatever money I have coming back my way goes straight into my savings. It’s easier to keep track of physical money than virtual and what you see is what you get.
I tend to be a more mindless spender when I swipe a debit or credit card and more contentious when I have $43.00 to last me three days and I gotta figure out how to best utilize my funds. Anyways. Once I get my overtime rolling, I can actively start my emergency fund and my debt snowball so I can one day be debt free.
My goal is to have my car and all of my debt paid off minus student loans by the time I graduate with my Bachelor’s degree which should be in Spring 2025. That means I will have paid off my car a year early and pay at least $10k in debt each year. It’s doable, but it will be hard, but it can be done. At the very least I want to be mainly debt free before 2026. It’s a lofty goal, but I am pretty motivated to complete it.
That’s all I got for this Blogtober post. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment below or email me. I do my best to respond to everyone and I appreciate ya’ll more than you’ll ever know ❤ If you have any suggestions for what you want me to write about this Blogtober, let me know and we will make it happen!