I remember when I was younger, I actually looked forward to sitting down, reviewing my finances and paying bills. I’m serious! I loved it! Nowadays I put it off for as long as I can, and as I sit down to start the process a feeling of dread washes over me. I’d rather do anything than face our personal finances! Wash dishes, scrub toilets, anything!
But I can’t put it off for too long because I’m paid twice a month and we are basically living from paycheck to paycheck. I’m sure that is part of the anxiety, wondering if, when I balance the check register am I going to find enough money to pay bills?
I have been making a bit of money blogging (finally), but after I pay for blogging expenses any left over goes for food and gasoline. I am sick of struggling!
I have not made a report about our debt repayment in quite some time because it is terribly boring making such small gains and by looking at my categories, it appears it has been 18 months since I made a credit card debt report. I guess it’s high time for an update.
In October 2010, we owed $15,537.02.
At that time we owed $7055.75 to our line of credit. That account is now down to $4593.01.
We owed $5256.89 to my credit union card, we now owe $3361.05.
We owed $3224.38 to a Chase card, that card is now at $2122.21.
We have not charged anything on these cards since that time. Each month we are paying $356 (which is obviously more than the minimum) and of that $89 goes to the monthly finance charges.
Our credit card debt on those cards now stands at: $10,076.27. I have to admit this is progress. I have to keep reminding myself at least we’re moving that number down.
In October 2010, I reported that we had paid $5194.83 since April 2010. This is because Mr. A’s business turned a profit in 2010 and nearly every dime was applied to our credit card debt.
Unfortunately 2011 was dreadful and the company now has credit card debt of $6893. We have been unable to make anything more than the minimum payment for this entire year and it has been a struggle to do that. There are no funds for the company to work with and so we have been footing the gasoline costs out of our personal funds. Customers are now being asked to pay up front for materials, and we have even had to buy materials out of our grocery money, and reimburse once the customer has paid.
This has had a positive effect in that there is now an obvious and eye opening cause and effect regarding the costs of business operation for the business owner. When we have no money for groceries and no money for gasoline, are flat broke with no paycheck coming in for five more days, it is dramatically obvious that jobs must be selectively considered and miles driven must be limited. There was a huge disconnect between costs of business operations when there was a credit card available.
I am cautiously holding my breath in hopes that we continue to see this careful attention to business finances, but at the same time wondering when the other shoe will drop. Our sinking funds are down to the bare minimum. I was setting money aside for tires for our vehicles, but we currently cannot afford to do that. I am still saving for AAA, auto insurance, my 50th birthday party (I am saving $20 each month to build a little slush fund so that I can have the first actual birthday party I’ve had in my life), and the money for the higher electricity bills which are right around the corner since it is beginning to get very hot in the desert. My vehicle still sits broken down, and I am paying exorbitant costs to drive to work in a vehicle with no air conditioning. I crunched the numbers and it’s still less expensive than taking on an auto payment and higher insurance costs for a newer car with better gas mileage.
Last but not least, there may be light at the end of the tunnel. It appears that Mr. A’s business is actually turning a profit. I’m hoping for the best, and crossing my fingers that this trend will continue. Sometimes I let my imagination run away with me and fantasize what it would be like for Mr. A to produce enough income that we could pay off our debt by the end of the year. How awesome would that be?