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Blog/Page Changes, Prioritizing.

June 19th, 2008 at 10:01 pm

If you've ever paid close attention to my blog, you might notice that I made a few changes today:

=Updated Debt & Savings Tracker Pages
I finally got around to updating the running totals with our COMBINED debts & savings. (Although the savings didn't really change, lol.) BF hasn't called to get the exact pay-off on his car, so the debt for the car loan is estimated based on the # of payments we have left.

=Updated 2008 Goals In Sidebar
With BF moving in and having to find a new job, my job taking us to God-Knows-Where within the next year, and our pup needing expensive surgery, I felt like it was time to update "my" goals to "our" goals, realistically. I don't want the goal for debt reduction to be so drastic that one little set-back will make it impossible and disheartening. So I set our goal for debt at $14,000 by the end of 2008. The reason? I think it will challenge us to pay off debt and not become complacent, especially through the holidays. Also, with the pup needing surgery around that time (or January), I want to have as much of our other debt paid down before we have to arrange the financing for that. The surgery/rehab is expected to cost $5,000-$6,000, so if we can get our debt down to $14,000 before this, our total debt will not go over $20,000. I would really like to keep it under the $20K mark if we can.

=Changed Monthly Budget Page
I actually just deleted what I had on there for right now, because we've been working off another version that I made in Excel. I plan to revisit the budget itself tomorrow, and then post the latest edition to the "Our Monthly Budget" page.

=Deleted "Wedding Fund" Ticker
One of the goals that I took out for 2008 was to get our Wedding Fund to $1,500. I will explain reasoning later, but since it was no longer a goal, I didn't see the need for the ticker.

=Re-Purposed "Extra Income" Page
I basically just deleted the amounts I had added to my "$20 Challenge", so the slate is wiped clean as of 6/19/08. Now I will keep track of any extra income we collect, but it will not be going to any specific account. I figured we can use it as we see fit, but I do want to keep track of how much money we're bringing in that we wouldn't have before.


I think that may be it! If you're wondering what sparked such updates, I really have no definite answer.

I did attend my first manager's meeting today, and I suppose all the talk about budgets and sales goals and margin dollars might have triggered my financial button again.

And so I have come away from this re-working with a new strategy. Like alot of people, I have struggled immensely with the idea of saving all I can versus paying down debt. For a while I have tried to do both, but I know that with credit card interest, this does not make logical sense.

A big reason for this (I think) is that I wanted to have some money saved for our wedding. I thought I would be more frugal and less likely to go overboard if I was using my hard-earned savings, rather than taking out a personal loan or using the credit card to supplement. But now, I have realized that there are too many variables to try and do all of this. For every $10 that I put in savings rather than paying on my credit card debt, that is more interest I am paying out the back door. So for the big picture, we will be better off financially to try and reduce our debt as much as possible before trying to save for anything.

Now, the big expense on the horizon is our pup's surgery in December or January. We still haven't mailed off the x-rays for the surgeon to look at (doing that tomorrow), but if everything goes as expected, we will be keeping him on joint supplements and pain medication until he is done growing in Dec/Jan and can have the surgery. At this point we'll need $5,000-$6,000. I feel a little more confident now that I have been approved for a personal loan through two different banks. If we end up being able to finance through CareFirst at 0% interest, that will be even better. But preparing for the worst case scenario, our debt will be reduced as much as possible (hopefully to $14,000) and then we'll go apply for the loan in December.

And the expense that will someday be on the horizon (hopefully not too long, lol)... a wedding. I have accepted that there is no way I can save a substantial amount of money in our current situation, and still be able to pay expenses and reduce debt. And so realistically, we are paying down debt as much as possible. And when it comes time to plan/pay for a wedding, we will probably have to take on some kind of debt to pay for it. At that point, I will just have to be very disciplined and responsible in what I spend. It's a hard decision to make, but hey, we've all got to grow up sometime!

So that this blog isn't all depressing, I will say that there could be some rays of sunlight. For one, if everything goes as planned with my job training, we will be moving around February of next year. I have been told that this will include a raise of about 10% in my salary, which will help. Also, I am hoping to get placed somewhere closer to our home state, and that would mean a much lower cost of living. Even making what I do now, if we lived in our home state, we would be MUCH better off with disposable income. And whenever BF finds a job, we might see that he is able to make a little more than we budgeted. But, none of this is guaranteed of course, and so I want to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Because I had to attend that meeting today, which is typically my day off, I am off tomorrow instead. And so tomorrow will be catch-up day for expense tracking & balancing the checkbooks, as well as updating my budget on this blog when it's completed.

Stay tuned!

1 Responses to “Blog/Page Changes, Prioritizing.”

  1. cptacek Says:

    Wow! You are going to spend $6000 on a puppy?

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