Tuesday, May 25, 2010


My birthday has come and gone and I couldn't ask for better friends and family who love and support me. I had a blast this weekend and worked yesterday. Today I had the day off and was able to take care of some things, including my credit card!

As I was reading a health magazine today, I came across some interesting financial things, too. It not only inspired me, but allowed me to research some more about paying off credit card debt. I'm a girl who loves a quick fix and thinks that paying off X amount should take no time at all. Ha.

Turns out my giant credit card bill could take longer than I'd anticipated. But, given my research, this is nothing to be discouraged by. I think I needed the reality check to understand that this is actually a bigger undertaking than I thought. Kind of like eating horribly and not exercising means it takes no time to gain weight, spending ridiculously adds up really quickly. The catch is that you can't just drop the pounds immediately and the same goes for your bills. Just because you spend more doesn't mean you magically start making more.

So today marks the beginning of a new journey: responsible spending. This is a new concept for me. I've always felt that if I want something, I'm entitled to have it and should therefore purchase it for myself. My expensive taste has led to purchases I love, but it's time to get real. What can I actually afford?

With budget in hand (aka, easily accessible on my computer for frequent reference), I am ready to go into the world and find affordable things to buy and do. Some ideas I have already:

1. Work. I get a discount and can afford to buy one (maybe two depending on the price) item a month and still have money left to have fun with. I don't really need to buy clothes every week, so this should be reasonable.
2. Target. Great for basics, especially summer clothes that I'll wear for three months and then put away again. No need to feel like I need designer stuff that I can't even wear all the time!
3. Outlets, TJMaxx, Nordstrom Rack, etc. For the designer love in me, these places all offer great items at affordable prices. It may take some rummaging (which I've loathed in the past), but getting a good deal that I can pay cash for comfortably is well worth it.

I can still have a fashion-forward summer wardrobe, I just don't need to into debt to have things I'll wear for three months. A few basic tops, basic dresses, a new pair of sandals and I'm good to go. Of course, after May 31st. (I grounded myself from shopping the rest of the month, remember?)

As I go, I'll probably post my purchases on here to keep myself accountable for what I'm buying. By writing it down for you to see, it will force me to be aware of what I'm spending.

I'm excited to make some real progress!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Year of the Tiger

Those who know me well know I have a birthday coming up. It's my golden birthday (the date is the same as the year I'm turning) and I've always looked forward to my golden birthday. When I was in grade school, I always imagined what I would be like when my golden birthday came. The hope was that I'd be a fabulous adult living in an awesome place downtown with an awesome job, driving a really nice car with life totally figured out. Guess again!

Mind you, I'm happy where I am and enjoy my wheels, but the whole figuring-out-life thing is definitely a life-long process you don't realize when you're in grade school. One thing I still have yet to figure out, and this a biggie: money.

Remember a couple posts ago when I was asking how much is enough? Well according to my budget, I have plenty to live. Living expenses, car expenses, and even some money is thrown into my budget. And guess what else needs to stay in my budget right now? My credit card bill.

My store credits are paid in-full with every bill I get, which is why I rarely put things on store credit. But my major credit card, that's a different story. And it's a sad one at that.

I have a plan. In my budget, I allot for credit card bills. Great! That's a step in the right direction - that means I can pay it off, right? Ideally, yes. For me, probably not.

So here's my birthday gift to myself, to celebrate my golden year: No using the credit card until it's paid off. My living expenses are good and I still have fun money. There's virtually no actual reason to use my credit card. It's time to buckle-down and save like normal people for things. I always like to think I'll pay back my credit card right away, but it's so much easier to forget about it and just pay the minimum payment when it comes. So this year's the year.

Disclaimer - I'm giving myself until my actual birthday to start this challenge for myself. But to be safe, I've grounded myself from shopping for the rest of the month.