Okay folks, this one is going to be a bit painful to write, which is part of why I’ve been putting it off for so long. And honestly, I’ve kind of been sticking my head in the sand and not really been dealing with the financial situation. A couple of days ago, though, I ran across the starting numbers… from February 2008. I decided it was time to stop hiding, total everything up and figure out how to move forward.
Since the last financial update I posted with numbers was in November of 2009, I used those numbers, and the numbers from today I pulled from all of my online account balances about 20 minutes ago. I did have to add the Amazon Chase card in to the totals because apparently in November of last year I was trying to pretend like I hadn’t opened another credit card to buy a laptop. I also removed the WaMu/Chase card that I paid off in August 09 from the chart. So anyways, without further ado, let’s rip off the bandaid.
||November 29, 2009
||November 17, 2010
Ouch, right? I mean, I should be able to make more than a $280 dent in my total debt in a year. (Suffice it to say, I won’t be planning any Branson vacation any time soon.) Granted, everything on this list is showing a downward trend, outside of the Discover card which went up more than a thousand dollars (!!!!) but that’s not really the big picture. In April of this year, that Capital One card was around $2700, the Discover Card was just under $5000, and that Amazon Chase card was about $500 away from being paid off. In other words, the only debts I made real progress on were my student loans– also the only ones that don’t allow me to add to them! *sigh*
So what happened? A combination of a lot of things really. First and foremost, the lack of an emergency fund. In June or July, I had finally had enough of my car troubles as my dashboard had been completely dark for months… since I didn’t have any money in savings (outside of about $30), that went on my Discover Card to the tune of about $760. The rest of that $1222 is the result of overdrawing my bank account and still needing to buy groceries and the like. When you are living paycheck to paycheck, running out of money before the week is up will set you back for a month or two. In the end, I didn’t get back on track until I finally managed to buy back some vacation time from the company. Not how I really wanted to use it, but I had to do something.
The Amazon card… that’s derby. And Weight Watchers. Both were things that I felt couldn’t wait. And roller derby can be very expensive to get started in! I needed skates, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, a helmet and a mouthguard. Later I added new wheels, bearings, and crash pads to protect my hips and tailbone. Ideally, I would have liked to have had the cash to finance this venture, but I can’t say I have any real regrets about this one.
The Capital One… I have to admit, that one is just buying things I probably shouldn’t have and didn’t have the cash for.
So, that’s where I’m at. What am I going to do about it? Well, I’m not really sure. I need to revisit the budget AND START FOLLOWING it, that’s for sure. Ever since I lost all the overtime in March though, the paychecks are budgeted pretty tightly. It gets tiring to deny myself of absolutely everything all of the time. That’s pretty much what happened with those accounts on this list that are down from this time last year, but up from where they were this spring. I don’t have much money to pay on top of minimum payments, but for right now, I’m just going to try and get through Christmas and then it will be time to really refocus and see what can be done to try and bring those balances back down.