I find myself intrigued by the personal finance blogs. I actually was feeling depressed by many of them, because the people seem to make so much money and they have retirement funds and 401Ks and a plan for the future that they are working toward. But then I found Mr. DebtBeater and I felt encouraged. He’s actually going in the hole each month!
I used to be SO good at keeping track of my/our money but my life got really busy a few years ago and I started slipping and losing track. From November 2006 to March 2007, our family went through a very traumatic crisis and even my practice of listing every single purchase in my check register went by the wayside. I didn’t figure our finances for several months, just letting the money set in our checking account and using credit cards. I have managed to get back on track enough to look at our money once a month. And of course it takes a long time to go through all the reconciliations, trying to remember what was spent where, etc. Thank goodness for the Internet and access to accounts online.
I am hoping having a personal finance blog will motivate me to crack down on what’s happening with our money. We have plenty of money to cover our bills, and yet it seems we keep spending it willy-nilly. It makes me feel a little bit sick, because that is how I observed the adults as a child. Wasteful and unable to keep track of their money.
In my 30s, I found myself with some credit card debt. I have never liked the idea of being in debt, so decided to stop myself in my tracks and get out of debt. I had purchased an old mobile home and my stepgrandparents financed me. They loaned me $10,000.00 at 3% interest. My payments were $150 per month. I also had incurred $6,000.00 in credit card debt. I participated with Consumer Credit Counseling (not every company using this name is legitimate!) and agreed to cut up all my cards and pay $160 for 52 months. I also decided to stop having a car at that point in my life. I was a divorced stay at home mother with a disabled child. We used evaporative cooling and our electricity bill was low. I did keep up with my plan and paid off all my credit card debt. I continued on paying off the mobile home and by 2000 I was 100% debt free. I began to slowly build my credit scores again. Astonishingly, they were still high, although the credit counseling place told me that I would have slow credit for a while.
In 2000, there were a lot of major changes. I began working, we moved out into the “country”, had to buy a car since my work commute was 100 miles round trip, our new home only had air conditioning (we live in the desert), got dairy goats, chickens, lots of cats and dogs. My ex-husband and I have reconciled and are remarrying in October. We recently added him to my banking account and he now has his own debit card. We incurred close to $10,000 worth of credit card debt in the past year trying to clear up some issues from the past. We are both working and we should have enough money to pay off our debt at about $1000 per month. But that doesn’t seem to be happening, in fact we seem to be going in the other direction. At least when I look at our budget on paper, we should have $1000 per month left over.
I feel it is because I have lost interest and motivation for keeping track of our expenses. As I said, I hope having a blog will motivate me to regain the financial accountability I have had for most of my adult life.
I plan to blog at minimum once per week. I have a wedding to plan and hope to keep the expenses under $2000 with an estimated 100 guests.