Payday – Time to Budget

I’m working harder on my budgeting as part of my 2% debt reduction goal. I get paid mid-month and at the end of the month, so it’s time to pay my bills that are due between now and 15 March, budget for my expenses for the next two weeks, pay any current credit card charges and hopefully have some left over to pay down some debt.

Not Better or Less Than. Just Different.

I joined a discussion group at the beginning of the year. After attending a couple of sessions I realized it wasn’t for me. It wasn’t a matter of me being better than the rest of the group or vice versa. It just wasn’t a fit – and that’s okay.

Goals Progress: Week 1 / Day 3

Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Goal 1: Complete The Artist’s Way Program
Steps I took today to achieve Goal 1: I wrote my morning pages and worked on some of the Week 1 tasks.
Is this enough? Yes.
Goal 2: Reduce debt by 2%
Steps I took today to achieve Goal 2: I reviewed and updated my February budget.
Is this enough? Yes
Goal 3: Create a side business
Steps I took today to achieve Goal 3: I reread the book Side Hustle through Week 1 Day 3 and did the exercises for that day.
Is this enough? Yes.
Goal 4: Transform Phase 1 Goals into habits – 75% success rate
Steps I took today to achieve Goal 4: I ate healthy (69%). I exercised (59%). I didn’t meditate (53%). I posted to my blog (100%). Total success rate is 70%.
Is this enough? No.

Setbacks Happen. Keep Moving.

Tuesday is my weigh in day. Since I started eating healthy and exercising I’ve lost 1-2 pounds a week. Today I gained 2 pounds since last week.

I wasn’t surprised. Last week was difficult. I was dealing with some hypoglycemia, which disrupted my routine.

This week I’m better. I’m back to my routine. A slight weight gain won’t keep me from going forward.

Goals Progress: Week 1 / Day 2

Monday, February 25, 2019
Goal 1: Complete The Artist’s Way Program
Steps I took today to achieve Goal 1: I wrote my morning pages and worked on some of the Week 1 tasks.
Is this enough? Yes.
Goal 2: Reduce debt by 2%
Steps I took today to achieve Goal 2: I reviewed and updated my February budget.
Is this enough? Yes
Goal 3: Create a side business
Steps I took today to achieve Goal 3: I reread the book Side Hustle through Week 1 Day 2 and did the exercises for that day.
Is this enough? Yes.
Goal 4: Transform Phase 1 Goals into habits – 75% success rate
Steps I took today to achieve Goal 4: I ate healthy (69%). I exercised (58%). I meditated (53%). I posted to my blog (100%). Total success rate is 70%.
Is this enough? Yes.

Goals Progress: Week 1 / Day 1

Sunday, February 24, 2019
Goal 1: Complete The Artist’s Way Program
Steps I took today to achieve Goal 1: I wrote my morning pages and reviewed the Week 1 tasks.
Is this enough? Yes.
Goal 2: Reduce debt by 2%
Steps I took today to achieve Goal 2: I calculated my total debt. I calculated how much I need to pay off to reduce it by 2%. I started estimating how much I’ll pay (minimum payment) on each debt. I identified my next debt to pay off using the snowball method. I calculated my new charges this month so far and committed to paying them off.
Is this enough? Yes
Goal 3: Create a side business
Steps I took today to achieve Goal 3: I reread the book Side Hustle through Week 1 Day 1 and did the exercises for that day.
Is this enough? Yes.
Goal 4: Transform Phase 1 Goals into habits – 75% success rate
Steps I took today to achieve Goal 4: I didn’t eat healthy (69%). I exercised (59%). I didn’t meditate (54%). I posted to my blog (100%). Total success rate is 71%.
Is this enough? No.

Snowballing My Debt

You may be familiar with the debt-snowball method. If not, check the link. In summary, every month you pay as much as you can against the smallest debt you have and pay the minimum on your other debts. Once you pay off the smallest debt you repeat the process with the next smallest, and so on. As you eliminate debts you should be able to allocate more money to your remaining debts.

I got my tax return checks a couple of weeks ago and used them to pay off my smallest debt; a personal loan I took out last year to buy a car for my younger daughter to drive. Next on the list is one of my older daughter’s student loans.

The alternative to the snowball method is the avalanche method, where you pay as much as you can against the debt with the highest interest rate first. The avalanche method will almost always be less costly than the snowball method, but that assumes you stick with it. The snowball method provides a significant potential psychological advantage: you get a debt completely off your books sooner, giving you a sense of accomplishment and increased confidence to take on the next debt. I can attest to that. It felt good to pay off that loan, despite the fact that I could have paid down a higher interest rate debt instead. And I was a Finance major in college, so you’d think I’d be able to look beyond the emotional part of the decision and focus on the fiscal approach.

Nope. Never discount emotions. Fortunes have been made and lost because of them, and for me, debt will be eliminated because of them.