Sunday, June 6, 2010

JUNE TALLY $22,474.70

I cannot overstate what an accomplishment this is for me. I have been tracking my cumulative credit card debt monthly since January of 2009. That means I have been trying to do something about it for at least that long. Longer, really. But I got serious then.

When I started tracking, my debt was at $28,590.82. And in all those months, the number in the thousands place did not budge except when I got my annual tax refund. My income correlates so neatly to my expenses (outgo?) that no matter how much effort I put in that number just would not budge.

And now it has! In fact, it dropped from $24,283.60 when I started this blog to $22,474.70 today. A change of not one but two digits in the thousand's place!

I am so excited! I find this highly motivating. It can be done! I just need to keep plugging away at it.

And I find myself more motivated to trim the fat from my budget in other ways. I've long since switched from buying DVDs to Netflix. I've switched from buying books to just keeping a list of the books I want and occasionally getting one from the library. (Who has time to read, books, anyway, given the magazines??) Okay, okay. I still buy the occasional book. Like Anthill. But I have cut way down.

I took advantage of an offer from the phone company two months ago and cut down my bill to $20 per month, limited to 600 long distance minutes. That's worked out. I pay for minutes (not monthly) on my cell phone. I refinanced my house (for free!) and my monthly payment dropped around $200.

When my yard workers told me that new wood chips (mandatory in my community) would cost me $7 a bag for 30 bags, I declined. Instead, I bought 10 bags (I'm sorry, my property just isn't that big!) for a total of less than $30 at Home

When my insurance company overcharged me $35 on a medication refill, I made the call, dealt with the annoying phone tree, and got the credit back. (Don't you just hate it when the mail brings you more work to do?)

I don't give myself credit for any of the things I don't spend money on, like getting a credit back or buying my own darn wood chips. They don't count in my $100 x 200 scheme.

And for those of you keeping track, the reason that my numbers don't work out precisely is because I always manage to squeeze a little something out of my monthly budget to throw at my credit card debt. So that's where the extra money is coming from. Of course, in a typical month, the extra I manage to come up with is offset by the extra I spent. Well, not this month!

I am on my way!!

Today's Goal: Write up a recipe I plan to enter in a vegetarian recipe contest for Better Homes and Gardens. Maryanne forwarded me the link. The prize is $500. You never know.