Exactly 465 days from my first blog post here about how I was going to whip myself into shape and start paying off debts – I have completed my original goal. I have to admit that I haven’t given an update to the budget on purpose for quite some time (June 3rd, 2010 I believe was the last one) and at that time I had 82% paid off my consumer debt. The reason that I didn’t give an update was simply that I wanted to post one with a final update since I was so close!
I would like to now show you a screenshot I’m very proud of:
No, in case you’re thinking it.. I do not have any other credit cards What you’re seeing is the result of some very disciplined spending and a lot of hard work. I’m going to have a few extra drinks this weekend in Mill River to celebrate it this weekend! I don’t think I ever mentioned exactly how much money I was in debt, but it was a VERY large amount of money.
With this goal accomplished, I am now starting another goal. That goal is to set up an Emergency Fund. Obviously the pressure is off as I’m no longer paying interest on lines of credit or credit cards – but if something were to happen and I needed some money, I would be back in debt. To me that’s not a great idea. My plan is actually stolen from Gail’s book “Debt Free Forever”. I plan on saving up 6 months worth of my crucial “need to live” items – and I plan on having a checkbox system to accomplish this. For example: I need food during an emergency. I have proven that myself and Liz can live off of $200 worth of food a month (a lot less last month) – so I setup a list with 6 checkboxes. As I save up money (going to be putting it into a TFSA) – I will check off a box once I reach that plateau. So after I have $200 saved up, well I only have to do that 5 more times to cross the food box off the list. Now this may seem excessive, and I likely will stop perhaps at 4 months or even 3 – but the main idea is that it’s important to have an emergency fund setup that you can get money from fairly easily.
In the meantime, I plan on calling my bank and getting them to lower my credit limit on my line of credit to $2000 as well. If you recall I did this for my credit card where somehow my first (and only) credit card that I owned which started at a limit of $500 (student) had increased automatically to $16,000. I had them reduce that to $2000 a few months ago. The reasoning is two-fold. One, I don’t want to ever over the amount that I did ever again, and two – it helps the credit score if I ever did want to get a loan or something else of that nature. If you have a credit limit of $10,000 – when you apply for a loan, the see that 10,000 as money spent (even if you have no balance!).. reason being? Simple.. you could just as easily walk out of that loan application office and go get a cash advance for the full $10,000. I wonder if anyone has ever done that?
Unfortunately for me, I’m REALLY fighting the urge not to buy the iPad. I’ve already told you how much I love my iPhone and once I get some more free time on my hands I’d love to sit down and read some of the great magazines that I’ve downloaded and books in pdf format. Plus it’s REALLY cool Items like this don’t go on sale at all so I’d have to pony up the full $549 for the one I wanted.. *sigh*. Then of course there’s the fact that I bought this really kick ass computer at home which can run Mac software, Windows 7 and Windows XP all at the same time, but I only have one monitor! Time for an upgrade perhaps?? Maybe!! Buy.com has a great looking Samsung BX2440X LCD Monitor – 24″ – LED one on for $279.99 so I could get one of those eventually..
Ok ok, I have to stick to my guns.. if I want something, I’m going to have to save up for it.. end of story.