I have to admit, I have fallen off the bandwagon a bit this month. Remember my post about the pedicure and how I spent too much? Well I had to ‘borrow’ some money from the money jar because of that. Then my next week’s paycheck was lower than I expected it to be and I wasn’t able to add money to the jar. You may be thinking ‘What’s a few dollars?Why couldn’t it be added?’ and I will tell you why. Because I am up to my eyeballs in student loan debt. There. I said it.
I work anywhere between 30 and 36 hrs per week (not like the 40 I was used to in Alaska) and honestly, most of my paycheck goes to the loans, our phone bill, gas and my half of the car insurance. What does this leave me?If I am lucky, I am able to put $50 into one of my savings accounts and I might have an extra $20-$30 per month to use as ‘fun money’: getting card making supplies or a Starbucks one morning. So I haven’t had any extra money to put into the jar.
I will work on that. I realized this week that I need to make it a priority, the first thing I do once I get paid in order to make this challenge a reality – and believe me, it is proving to be a challenge.
Speaking of challenges, another way I have failed to live intentionally this month: I haven’t taken out any cash. So the macchiato I got on Monday morning? It went on my debit card. The smoothie and sandwich I bought on base on Friday? Onto the card. Yeah…. this is definitely ties into what I just wrote about in the top of the post.
So I have a confession. I currently have enough $ in the bank to take out $20 for the next couple weeks. But I am scared. Nervous. I am afraid that if I take out the money, something will come up and I won’t have enough money to cover it and I will have to resort to my credit card.
Here is an example of this for you: My car’s oil light keeps coming on. So yesterday I took it to Aspen Auto Clinic, located just down the road from us. The oil change was about as much as I expected, but I also made the decision to have them do a deeper wellness check on the car. I already knew about the struts but I wanted to make sure there wasn’t anything else wrong (the struts have been going since we bought the car in 2011/early 2012 but we never have replaced them because a.they are expensive – all four will cost $1500 and b. no one ever sits in the backseat). I had enough in the bank to just barely cover the oil change and my gas for the next two weeks. Not enough for the wellness check however. So it went onto my credit card. Not something I am proud of.
The car maintenance is the only consumer debt I have but it still makes me feel uneasy that I have this, another thing to pay, looming over my head. I should just cut it up or something.
Am I doing ANYTHING right this month? I am so glad you/I asked!
YES! YES! YES!
The wonderful thing about using and paying off my credit card every month is that I collect points. I had racked up about 10,000 points from the past few years and in the end of January I decided to ‘cash in’ on some of those points. I used some to receive a retail options card, which basically means you can use the gift card at a variety of retail shopping stores, as listed on the front. The card I purchased with my points had Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta and Piperlime. This was awesome when I got it in the mail a few weeks ago because I desperately needed a new pair of jeans. So yesterday I went to Old Navy and scored a pair of jeans (after a sale and a 10% discount) for $18!! AND I still have $ left on the card. Win for me!
I also was able to use a little bit of leftover graduation money to get a bouquet of flowers and a card at the local grocery store. My neighbor’s dog had major complications after surgery and passed away less than 12 hours after waking up. She told us last Sunday on our way to our apartment (we had just the night before, helped her and another neighbor move Zelda into the house from the sidewalk after surgery). I wanted to cheer her up and let her know we supported her in her loss. She LOVED the flowers and we got to chat for over 2 hours and get to know each other more. Another WIN for me.
If you made it to the end of this post, YOU ROCK! I had no intention of making this post so long but I guess it all needed to be written.
How are you living intentionally this month? Any challenges? Failures?