Post # 17
It sounds like you have 2 issues..
1) Paying down your credit card balance. With the extra $800 a month your balance could be paid off in 9-10 months (I figured this a little higher without knowing your interest rate). Think about how good it will feel to be free of the burden of debt. Being debt free feels better than a new handbag.
2) Learn to the difference between wants and needs. I know it’s hard to pass up a great deal on a cute pair of pumps but those $50 pumps charged on your credit card with say 28% interest could cost a minimum of $64. When you add the interest those cute shoes on sale doesn’t seem to be such a good deal. A new tire for your car or an unexpected emergency is a definate want and NO, new shoes is not a want 🙁
If you’re tempted to use the card I second and third the idea of putting it in a plastic bowl, fill with water and freezing it. If there IS an emergency take it out and run it under warm water to defrost it. Don’t use the microwave to speed the process up, it will demagnetize the strip on the back. By defrosting it under water it will take some time, use the time to think if this is really is a need or just a want.
The amount you have left over, $200 a week sounds pretty reasonable to use for your wants. If there’s something special you have your eye on, save up a few weeks and treat yourself. There are many ways to stretch a dollar and make your money go farther. I wish you the best.
Post # 18
It may be time to get Radical with Rationing
One night out with friends a week, no more, the rest of the time is nights in doing things that don’t cost anything.
Shop once a week for groceries and keep it cheap.
Also make one night a week “Why did I buy this?” night (where you go through your pantry/freezer and cook something up from there…you’ll be amazed at how many bizzare things are in there that are totally good).
No eating lunch you did not bring. It takes 5 minutes to make a PPJ, grab an apple and yogurt, totally healthy meal. If you don’t pack, you don’t eat (if you are hypoglycemic or diabetic or anything like that, obviously, ignore this)…one missed meal will not kill you and you will be incentivized to actually make food the next day.
Obviously, this is no way to live long term, but maybe do it for a month. You can probably make a nice dent in the CC bill beyond your other savings.
You also should visit the library (or surf the internet) and learn more about creating a workable budget…one where your debt isn’t driving you into Radical Rationing mode, so you can enjoy spending money and not worrying if it is there or not.
Post # 19
I actually put a copy of my CC statement that shows my highest balance on my desk as a constant reminder of not adding more to it.
I know it’s hard to stick to a budget, but you can always start baby steps. For instance, you can try bringing your own lunch 1 extra day per week instead of always going out for lunch.
Last, what works for me is paying the minimum per month (well, mine was more than the minimum) so it frees up more cash flow. Put the extra cash flow in a savings account and once your savings equals your CC debt… BAM! Pay the CC balance. My friend told me it’s supposedly the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” mentality. I never read the book. Good luck!