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Home > CUTTING back ..... yep, it hurts!!!
 

CUTTING back ..... yep, it hurts!!!

June 25th, 2008 at 02:06 am

Man oh man, this is the first month I've gotten the new (reduced) child support, and I can sure feel it! I got myself in a funk this past weekend, just poring over the budget numbers again and again, trying to figure out more places to cut ... while still trying to pay down my debt and save too. It is hard, and that word "cutting" describes how it feels, LOL!! But then I reminded myself that I am in a much better place today than I was a year ago:

1. My current salary is significantly higher than it was at my previous job, and I am able to contribute 6% of that to a 401K (with a 3% match). Before, I didn't have a 401K. Oh, and I also contribute to a health spending plan, and my health insurance is great.

2. A year ago I had NO savings at all. Today I have almost $2,000 in various accounts (see sidebar), to which I have been able to contribute regularly.

3. A year ago I had to use my credit cards every month to make ends meet. Today they are in a block of ice in my freezer, and I have not touched them in months. (Granted, most of them are maxed out because of all the charging I did until I froze them, LOL!) Not only am I not adding to my CC debt, I am able to pay the minimums on all the cards ON TIME, which is slowly but surely whittling down the debt. As soon as the dust settles on this latest financial change, I hope to start snowflaking, too!

So I can see that I am making tiny steps now, and as long as I can continue to keep moving forward, no matter how tiny the steps, eventually this process will get a little easier. I should get a salary increase (as well as some sort of bonus) early next year, too. So I just have to be patient, and this will gradually get easier. As long as Murphy stays away and I can avoid touching my EF, I'll be okay. Looking at things that way, it seems like where I am right now is probably the most challenging (painful) point ... at least, I hope so!

There was a comment made to my last entry about starting a savings account for the purpose of Christmas shopping this year, and I think I've about decided that's what I'm going to use my Smarty Pig account for. The $25/month automatic deposits won't add up to the amount I'll need by year-end, but it will give me a start. I also just remembered that I will get the $100 bonus in my "Save Yourself" account in October/November, so maybe I will earmark that $100 to add to my Christmas fund in Smarty Pig.

So now I feel somewhat better ... actually, I feel immensely better than I did this past weekend! Now I just have to figure out where the money is going to come from to buy my son the things he needs to go off to college and live in the dorm come the fall semester (which will be here in the blink of an eye)! Well, his dad will definitely have to help out ... especially since his monthly income has gone up by the same amount mine has gone down!! Big Grin

7 Responses to “CUTTING back ..... yep, it hurts!!!”

  1. managinglife Says:

    You are doing great! I love that your tiny steps is giving you better financial stability.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Ditto...you are doing great. Start watching sales and garage sales for your son. Not everything has to be bought at once...just the minimums. Can your son contribute as well?

  3. Koppur Says:

    Tiny seps add up quickly...keep at it, you're doing great. Check out palces like Building 19, Job Lots, TJ Maxx and other Outlet stores for items for the dorm. It's cheaper than regular stores and the quality is just as good. Good luck!

  4. momcents Says:

    Well, you have made great progress from where you were! concentrate on the successes. I constantly undermine my own success by not saying to myself "good job" - rather I think about the things that I "should have done" to be further along. Look, your debt is coming down! Your savings is up! Tell Dear Old Dad to take Son shopping!

  5. klbb90 Says:

    I used your link about snowflaking. What a great idea. With your determination, I know you will suceeed quicker than even you have planned.

  6. scfr Says:

    It's great that you were able to put it in perspective and see how far you have come.

    I concur with the idea of buying son's dorm supplies at garage sales ... towels, sheets, etc ... They are just going to get trashed, so no need to buy fancy things.

  7. Jane Doe Says:

    A little unsolicited advice from a dorm living veteran- The mistake a lot of us make freshman year is overestimating how much stuff you will actually use. I totally agree with creditcardfree about the garage sales, they are full of dorm staples for almost nothing. I would recommend getting some silverware and some plasic dishes at yard sales- cups, bowl, plate, etc. You can also pick up a cheap but functional microwave, and with all the moving in and out it will do there is no reason to spring for the fancier versions! Yard sale fans are great if he won't have AC, and iron if you think he will actually use it, etc.
    A lot of things can be painlessly taken from home- hangers, a pot or two if there is a kitchen, towels if you have an extra set. One major expense is buying a bedset, but I've seen tons of people get around that by just using a regular comforter from home over some solid colored sheets. I can't tell you how many of the "xtra long" college bedsets shred in the wash after one year- not worth the money, and with roommates involved dorm decor is rarely ends up very matchy-matchy anyway. The dollar store is also a great first stop for cleaning products, dishes, laundry detergent, etc. Good luck to your son!

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