We have covered that I live in a townhouse with 4 other people and a dog. We don’t have a ton of in-the-house storage space and for some stupid reason we don’t use the crawlspace. But we should. We really need to. Here’s why:
That’s our basement closet and currently the only place we store any seasonal/large/stuff we can’t think about right now. There are empty boxes, beds, holiday decor, sewing materials, golf clubs, wallpaper rolls and who knows what else in there. I have a bed frame that I just didn’t put back together when I moved in. I know I should just put it together and then my room would look like a semi-adult lives in there instead of a teenage boy. We keep the empty boxes because one day we will move and then we’ll have the box all this crap came in. It’s just our dumping ground.
Ok, that sounds redonk, but I wasn’t the one who decided that. So I’m on a mission to clean it out. So I can put up my Christmas tree. Sometime before Christmas would be nice.
Yeah Soul Train knows what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about money.
Now I’m no Dave Ramsey, but I’ve picked up a few things along the way that help keep me from debt collector’s (mostly) and wage garnishments so I thought I’d share. In lieu of a long and dramatic back story I’m going to hit you up with the cliff notes list version of my mistakes/misfortunes.
- I thought my parents were going to pay for college.
- I worked a lot, and spent that money on things that were not school.
- I used my credit card with a much higher limit than I should have had to pay my school bill.
- Both my parents were laid off. Then they got jobs.
- Then I was laid off. Then I got a different, less lucrative job.
- A year later, I had surgery.
My surgery was in March, but just in case you didn’t know that stuff is expensive. So all in all, I mishandled my money and expected others to take care of it. Naively. In May, I started my current job which pays more than any other job I’ve had and it pays regularly. The same check every week. That’s incredibly convenient. So I’ve devised a plan to pay off my debts and pay my bills and have a semi-normal social life in the process.
The Big Plan
The first thing I do at the beginning of the month is whip up a calendar. All my bills have due dates. Do you see where I’m going with this? The first thing I do is plot those dates. Then I move them back to the corresponding payday. So if a bill is due Friday, I move it back to the payday just before (Tuesday). Then I do a little math. Paycheck – Bills = Money for other things. Money for other things breaks down into Debt Repayment, Fun Times, Lunch, and if I’m really lucky, Savings. Let’s be honest, Fun Times does not get a large budget.
I pay way more than the minimum payment for my credit card. 18 times more to be exact. I also pay a hefty sum weekly to my school so that one day they will let me back and I can be an academic. This doesn’t leave me with a lot left over to do wild 23-year-old things. Hence my frugal posts.
By paying my weekly bills as soon as I get paid, I’m not tempted to spend money on other non-necessities. I figured out that by following my bill paying regimen I can be debt free in 7 months. At least, that’s the plan. I am waiting to find out if my contract at the company I work for will be extended or not. They could even hire me. Whoa. My plan for now is to assume that nothing is going to change because I haven’t heard anything either way.
This might not be the best way to handle finances, or even a great way, but it’s what I found worked for me.
Do you have a strict budget? Do you wing it?