I have a picture of my agenda that is waiting to be uploaded. It is where I keep track of how much debt I am taking care of. And also, more importantly at this stage in the game, how my Emergency fund is doing.
Tomorrow is pay day, but since I’m off today I used a bit of time to pre-organize my bill payments at least. After a brief hiatus I decided to start paying into my ING emergency fund – $25 per paycheck. That’s a manageable amount, and brings me to the $900+ mark (Interest doesn’t count but it added $1.32 to the nest!)
I used my line of credit to pay off one of the smaller credit cards. The goal now is to keep it at a zero balance.
The other card is a different story. It holds the saga of our “Summer of Pain” as it were. We need things in life – glasses, eye exams, car insurance, etc., etc., and so on. Life doesn’t stop just because you have a work injury or you want to build up an emergency fund. In fact, sometimes expenses escalate as you buy medications or supplies (Hot water bottles, art pens, extra pillows, more gingerale than I ‘ve bought in the last two years, all in 4 weeks!)
My solution is to stick as best I can to the rules I created in the beginning. This is how it’s working for me:
My phone bill is about $75 per month (Land line and Internet) so I pay $40 per paycheck, and one of these months I’ll have a free month. I can put that extra payment to whatever needs attention at the time. Or I can just have an emergency and skip the payment! I’ve done that when I was on holidays, the last two years. I do the same with the other bills I have. This means that my $888 credit card balance gets hit with a payment of $25 every two weeks, more than double the minimum payment. It also means that my line of credit, which has a higher interest rate gets just over the minimum payment when I pay $75 per pay check. And then…every once in a while… everybody except maybe the phone company, gets an extra payment.
For the next four weeks ING will get $25 per paycheck. That will put me over the $1000 I need to complete step one. The extra $25 will then go towards the $888 card, which will also be diminished by $100, and be fed $50 per pay check. (I’m kind of thinking out loud here)
The line of credit is a different story all together. I have a few expenses coming up that need to be paid. They will go on the line of credit. My ultimate goal is to have the line of credit be the only unsecured debt I have, and to then begin to diminish that!
As you can see, I have managed to get the picture of my agenda off my camera and onto the blog, but I can’t seem to make it sit nicely within the post. This is where I write down the details of my life, and for the past few years I’ve been buying the Academic agendas – they have a whole page for Sunday, and the business ones often don’t.
The top row of circles represent my Emergency Fund, which still needs one and a quarter circles coloured in. I’m not sure I should include the $25 bonus I got for starting the account in the $1000 or not, but I’m leaning towards having it as a bit extra. We’ll see.
The rows of squares represent my debt. It isn’t going down as quickly as I’d like. However, the habit of making those payments and increasing them over time, will make a dent in the pile, I’m sure. And then, when things are sort of back to normal, we can go back to attacking this full steam!
In the meantime – a little at a time, step by step, one day I will have more savings and no debt!
In the meantime, check out the blog called “Get Rich Slowly” . It keeps me inspired to do the basics!
Have a great September,