Sunday, February 16, 2014

Budgeting... works like a charm

Yesterday I mentioned a check that I received for an incident that happened so long ago.
That check seriously brought me closer to completing one of my goals for the year.

Let's recap.

My New Years Resolutions for 2014 are:

+ Read 36 books in 2014
I am way ahead of schedule for my reading goal! Which is extremely exciting. I actually have an update coming soon. 

+ Blog at least once a week
I was so close to failing this. I have been great in the month of February but in January... ughh... I almost missed a week by a day. Here's to keeping up with my blogging. At least I am blogging ONLY when I feel like it. I promise I won't make this blog a CHORE!
...and I am not one to prepare posts in advance unless I am out of town. 

+ Make sure to do NaBloPoMo
Bah... I cannot worry about this until November :) so I can procrastinate in a sense. 

+ Keep in touch with family. 
This is the only thing that I have been sucking at. Get it together Lourdes. I have to come up with a better game plan!

+ Pay off credit cards
(This one will be long! You can skip if you want...just click
here )

This is a biggie for me. Yet it's the hardest for me to talk about. 

I have been obsessed with doing this since last year. Last year I made some strides towards being credit card debt free. I have been budgeting heavily and even have several spreadsheets where I budget my paycheck and monitor my credit card spending. 

At the end of last year, I had two credit cards. I was not the most responsible credit card owner in college. I always made my payments, but I had the mentality of "I will pay it back in full later". I was stupid. Not paying attention to interest rates and letting my cards get to the max. 

I got my first credit card from Bank of America when I was 18. I started off being extremely responsible. My parents taught me how to use it. But that lasted for 6 months? Maybe 7. During grad school I got a CASH BACK card from Chase. I loved that card. Why not make money while spending? Great idea if I would have used it correctly. 

Anyways... that leads me to mid year 2013. I hated looking at my credit card statements and I knew I had to make a plan to get rid of it. My first decision? Stop using my BOA card. It did not have rewards and I should make the most of my Chase card. So, I stopped using the BOA card. I only made payments towards it.

I started using my Chase card for EVERYTHING. I mean, I had my paycheck divied up into categories on my spreadsheet and I was going to use my debit card anyways. Why not use my Chase card for the rewards and pay each use off RIGHT AWAY! Thus, I was still budgeting (because everytime I used my card I recorded it on my spreadsheet. Tedious... I know. But it works!) I was also making huge payments every paycheck to pay off that card. Once I paid off Chase I would allot the same amount from each paycheck towards BOA. 

It took me a few months but Chase was paid off in January of this year! It feels great. 

Now I had to tackle the BOA card. Since I work in the financial/ banking industry, I decided to get a rewards card from Wells Fargo and transfer my balance. I did this because I could pay a small fee for the balance transfer and I got 0% interest on my balance transfer for 12 months. THUS I would pay no interest on the balance if I pay my balance off in a year. PLUS I got rewards. 

SO, I can say I have paid off one card (Chase) and I am not going to use it. Same for the BOA card. No more using these cards. They are sitting in a safe place for emergencies. 

I have 4 more months of payments for my Wells Fargo card and I will have achieved my goal. I ahve everything budgeted out in my spreadsheet! :)

Pheww... that was freaking long.

So, you see... my spreadsheet has been so helpful with my budgeting. It has even helped me to put money into my savings.

After January, I started to realize how much emphasis I was putting on increasing my savings.I have always wanted to have enough in savings to live on for 6 months just in case Colon or I are ever in the unfortunate situation of unemployment. 

So, I have decided to add one more resolution/ goal.

+  Increase savings account balance by $2000
It's not much but it's a start! 

...and it's going to happen!

What do you think?

How are your resolutions panning out?


Sorry I wrote so much.
Also, You can see my resolutions on 43 Things!

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