First and foremost – THANK YOU for all of the kind comments that were left on my last post. As you can imagine, being bad debt free is a reward in and of itself, but to hear your kind words … it’s just amazing.
So yeah – this is the second weekend of my life being debt free. Before you think that I’m totally living it up in some swank location, I’m at the cab company pulling a 12 hour shift. But that’s OK – as some of my long-time readers know, it’s during this time at the company where I catch up on email and try to write blog posts. Twelve hours just gives me four more hours to be productive. 🙂 Plus I’ve been pulling down some sweet paychecks from the cab company and since that money is no longer going towards my credit card debt or my car payment, it’s time to get my financial house in order.
Here’s what I’ve been doing:
– Banking. Yesterday I went to the bank with the intention of depositing a couple of checks from my full-time job. (Yes, I have Direct Deposit for everything else – these checks were from some expenses and for some money orders I need to procure … long story.) While I was at the bank, they pitched me on a new savings account that yields a 3% interest rate until your account hits $500 (then it converts to regular savings rates). Considering I haven’t hit $500 in my savings account since … ever, this is a pretty sweet deal to help me get my savings on track. I’m saving $50 from each of my full-time paychecks (so $50 every other week) and I’m just socking savings away after I’m done attending to my expenses – groceries, school loan, gasoline, extras, etc. My immediate goal is right from the pages of Dave Ramsey – get a $1,000 emergency fund set up pronto. I’m relatively lucky, my husband has a healthy emergency fund, but now it’s my turn to get this in order for my portion of the household. Obviously $1,000 is just a starting point, but it’s as good of a goal as any.
– Budgeting. My husband is the budget person in the family – he’s the guy with the spreadsheets that have tracked our expenses since we moved in together. But with our focus trained on getting my credit cards paid off, he’s strayed and now it’s my turn to get on track with him as well. Today during my 12 hour shift, I’ve been going through my online spending report through my bank to see where my money goes. Let me tell you – it’s not very pretty – but I’ll share more about that in a future post.
– Investing. There’s no getting around it. I need to start investing in my future. That’s part of this weekend’s research.
– Catching up. Case in point: My friend Ben got married this June. Right before my nuptuals, he sent my husband and I an AWESOME grill pan from Kohl’s. It was one of my favorite wedding gifts and I just love it.
I have yet to send Ben a wedding gift. His gift card to Target is in my wallet right now – it was one of the first things I bought after I had some money post-credit card payoff. Same thing with my friend Kelly who had her first son this summer. I don’t have to send gifts to these people, but it is something I really want to do. They don’t have to be extravagant, but it’s something that I’ve been meaning to catch up on.
I won’t even tell you about replacing underwear (oh wait – just wrote it) or the new tennis shoes I bought (that feel a bit too big – they might be going to one of my nephews or my father … I have big feet and buy men’s tennis shoes.)
– Rewarding myself … just a little bit. May I be honest with you? This is probably the scariest part of my journey. While I don’t think I’ll ever have a credit card again, I’m very mindful of my spendthrift ways. So when I bought a couple of books the other night (one of which that is rather crappy – going to resell that one), I felt a bit of a twinge. Sure – I had the money in hand to buy it, but I did not need it. I just wanted it and I treated myself. I really needed new underwear and still need to buy new socks. But did I need to buy those two t-shirts, even though they were on sale for $5 a piece and are my new favorite pieces of clothing?
I wonder sometimes when I’ll ever feel comfortable again – if I’ll ever feel comfortable again. But I’m happy to have that little pit in my stomach … I think as long as I’m mindful, I’m going to be OK.