Credit Card Debt Paydown

I knew my credit cards were a bit high, but yikes, I’m at about ~$50k which is just mind boggling really.

Since I don’t have a car payment anymore, I’m going to keep my checking account around $5k (as my safety net), and pour as much as I can into my credit cards. I have two cards with around ~$25k each so I’ll work on the card that doesn’t have the 0% interest.

It’s discouraging to think about how I got here, but pouting and being sad does nothing for my credit card debt so I’m trying to stay positive and to just keep making progress each day by not eating out when I can and trying to find ways to cut costs.

Yesterday’s Daily Expenditures:

$40 (gas – my new car requires Premium gas which I was a little disappointed in, but through groceries points, I was able to get 10cents off each gallon. Note to self to do more research before I just jump into purchasing a car – but really, car research is the death of me)

$40 (childcare)

$62.87 (for a goal planner – I know, pricey! I’ll have to consider whether I want to buy this next year, but I do this monthly planner with a friend and I really like how it keeps me propelling forward through each months so I think benefit exceeds cost on this one, at least for this year)

Daydreams Are Good

I bit the bullet today and bought 3 lottery tickets. It was just too fun not to try! And the daydreaming was all part of the fun. I had a good laugh with my coworkers today dreaming about what we would buy and the first few things we would do.

The daydreaming must be what people buy into. The thought that possibly it could be me or you.

Of course we all know the odds are so bad, but I don’t believe it’s a bad thing to daydream. I think daydreaming is actually what keeps us going and motivated. Now, I am not saying you should just daydream, but I do believe that:

Daydreaming + Action = Magic

If we didn’t use our imagination to think about our wildest dreams, I don’t know if many of us would pursue our crazy ideas. I dream really big. When I have a vision, I don’t see A ¬†and then B, I usually see A and then Z+! I go from 1 to 100, even if really I am at Step -100. I just like to really dream big, and then slowly figure out a way to get there.

I don’t know if many people believe this, but I actually do believe that I was meant to do more, and I will always work to do more and achieve more. It’s just in my nature to daydream and try to reach my fullest potential. I still have a lot of room to grow and to learn, and that’s my favorite part of living: the learning and the journey.

May we all continue to daydream and to work to make those daydreams into reality!

Daily Expenditures:

$5 (lottery tickets – 2 for Mega Millions and 1 for Powerball)

Starting a New Business

I went to the Post Office today to finish up the process of getting my PO Box. While standing in line, I was definitely freaking out thinking, why am I getting myself into this? I had to remind myself of my goals, and the long-term game which is quite frankly while I’m on this FI path.

I have always dreamed of owning my own business, and have many different ideas in mind (as I think we all do). And this one is a recent passion of mine that goes deeper than just passion, but my heritage so it is not only a project for myself but one that I hope will be something that will stick around for a long time. It’s an inventory business which I have had one before and it was a pain, but I am hoping this one will give me some resume building components for another business idea that I have stored in the back of my mind.

So how does it work with trying to lead this FI life? Well, I’m setting up a few boundaries for myself. I am still maxing out my 401k, and cutting down all the debt from my personal life. I deposited $6k into my business account, and am going to hopefully not have to personally fund it anymore, and hoping for the sales to help me to get to where I need to be.

I am hoping that when I can quit my job full-time, my side endeavors will be enough to help with normal expenditures while I continue to save and enjoy my life and my businesses.

I’m excited for what’s to come, and excited to continue to share my journey with you all.

Daily Expenditures:

$25.60 (groceries, which includes the recipe for this – hoping it turns out to be a delicious meal and lots of lunches for this whole week)

Admission of Lifestyle Creep

As much as I wished that I had started on this path to FI lifestyle sooner, I realize that I needed all the failures in the money arena of my life to get to this point so I can work harder towards this goal.

Growing up, we were super poor and my parents were always super frugal. I wanted the opposite of this as an adult and I paid for it dearly. My parents wouldn’t be very proud of me, but I’m proud of the fact that I’m admitting right now that my lifestyle has slowly grown to match everything I made, and I’m tired of it.

I’m 32, and I want the next 10 years to make up for all that I have not done for the past 10 years. I believe in redemption. I believe in better late than never. I believe that I can do it, and I’m going to do it.

Daily Expenditures:

$35 (for therapy)

$926 car payment be gone!

I did it folks!

I sold my car to the dealership. It had a $33k balance on the car note, and I ended up having to pay $1k to cover the gap between the note and what they would give me for my car. They said they don’t haggle although I tried a little. But at the end of the day, I decided to just go with it. You see, I have a car payment coming up next week and honestly I didn’t want to deal with it.

So how did I get home? I actually bought a $14k car there. It was $12k but after taxes and the $1k negative equity, my walk out price was $14k. I paid cash which I got through my credit card so I will have to pay my credit card within the next year, but over the long term, I thought I would do better than paying for a car that was $33k.

I am so relieved, and now it’s onto tackling another item that I can cut from my life or lower the cost of so I’m super excited. Learning to live below my means, cutting out debt and saving as much as I can are really my priorities right now.

Daily Expenditures so far:

None although I will probably get some ingredients for this dish so I can make it for lunch next week.

To Keep or Not To Keep

I vacuumed and got a quick drive-thru car wash in the hopes of getting a quote for the buyback of my car. When I got to the dealership, they wanted to know what car I wanted to purchase. I decided to walk out instead.

As I drove home, I justified in my head keeping my car. And I’m just bouncing the ideas around in my head. I love my car but it’s a gas guzzler, and the upkeep is pricey to me. I do feel safe in it. But it’s just too pricey for me.

The idea of doing a bunch of research on the purchase of another car doesn’t appeal to me though, and I think that’s why I keep wanting to justify just keeping my car and working to pay it down. It is a big money suck though, and if I can get a lower car payment, it would really help me to save and also to pay off debt.

I’ll keep pushing ideas around in my head and see where I land.

My daily expenditures look pretty heavy, but I’ve been meaning to pay for my therapy (this is for the intake evaluation). My regular sessions are $35 each. Honestly I feel too broke to go to therapy, but trust me, I really need it right now.

I also made some progress in registering my business, and also dealing with some back-end things with my website and finding some wholesalers. It’s a little scary to keep moving forward, but I listened to great podcast from ChooseFI today and it’s really pushing me to take action. It’s the episode with J.D. Roth from Get Rich Slowly, and I love his mentality on taking action.

Daily Expenditures:

$165 (therapy)

$10 (car wash)

$82 (PO Box for my business)

$180 (Registration for my business)

A Ridiculous Car Payment

I have a confession and it’s such a hard pill to swallow.

I pay $926.20 for my Honda Pilot. It’s outrageous, and makes me incredibly sad. I don’t even know how life got so crazy, and I thought a $926.20 car payment was okay.

Talk about lifestyle creep.

I’m in the process of selling my car back to the dealership, and finding a 4-cylinder vehicle that takes plain ol’ unleaded gas. This V6 and premium gas is killing me, considering that my commute right now is an hour and a half (which is a topic for another day).

The best thing about having made so many crazy money decisions is that it’s really easy to clean up my act!

Well, I wouldn’t say easy. I’m actually quite overwhelmed since it’s such a hassle to buy a car, BUT there are a lot of steps that I can take to cut back on my spending and stash some more cash into savings.

Daily Expenditure:

$60 (for childcare)

$100 (Global Entry Program – Chase will reimburse me $100 for the fee so basically will end up ~free)