Oh what a slippery slope…

I wasn’t always a spendy person.  First, we didn’t have much money growing up so I couldn’t very well spend money we didn’t have right? And second, I knew what the value of a savings account was and I knew I wanted one really badly! In fact my first ever time I received a savings account and I got to write “deposit $200 date” and have the bank teller sign it, I was so excited I was practically dancing. I put more money in as fast as I could. I received the left over from my first year in college and part went to savings, part went to checking (and yes, it shouldn’t have gone either of those places but at least I was putting some into savings right?).  I got a job at McDonalds that I HATED but every other week, I loved stopping at the bank and putting money into savings and then some into checking.  I paid myself first!

So what happened to that girl?  Life—first I left a family member borrow money to pay her bills.  She was always going to pay me back and I never really said anything.  And then I started to notice her being able to buy some odds and ends but she still had to come to me for money.  And I put up with it for a few more weeks as I was able to explain it away rather well.  Then I was asked to pay for my brother’s very expensive going away plus his birthday party and I’d be paid back.  A few weeks before I was to go back to college, I asked for something back.  Turns out that on a few shopping trips I went with that family member, I WAS being paid back but I didn’t know it.  She never bought me anything and always asked if I wanted to go to keep her company in the first place but I when I said yes, that meant I was being paid back.  I still can’t find where the logic in that is.  But I didn’t push it as I didn’t want to start an issue. I did stop going on those trips though.

Oh and those shopping trips? Every time I went I came back with something.  When I started to say I didn’t have enough money in my checking account, I was told to pull it from savings—that was it was there for right? I could always pay it back, I reasoned.  Sadly, I didn’t. Oh and that party I helped fund? That came all from my savings.  My savings account went down to $5 really soon.  That was the bare minimum need to keep my savings account open.  My checking account had less than $20 in it.  That’s what I went back to college with and the idea that a savings account was there to help fund my shopping urges.

I’m not saying that my spendthrift ways were anything but my own fault.  It was—I let myself be talked into “loaning” the money, didn’t follow up on payment and then allowed myself to pull money from savings. From there, it just spiraled out of control—well, I did.

Did you go from being a saver to a spender?  Is it just me? And yes, my saving tendencies only lasted a few months but I know that if I would have just followed those instincts I would be in a much better financial state.


Some Things I Want

I am putting this in writing to motivate me even more.   My personal money is normally not all spent at once.  I tend to buy one or two things and put the rest away.  And then enter in yesterday and I spent a lot of what I had saved.  I meant to clean out my wallet before leaving but it was one of those things I didn’t even think about.  I thought: “Yay, niece is here! Feed the cat, grab mp3 player for long car ride, pack water so I don’t buy it on the way and change into nice looking clothes (because  a newborn will really care right?).”  Nothing about spending money (okay the water thing was a good idea though) or leaving money at home.

                 Source (Next time take that stuff out of my wallet!)

And that was a mistake.  One of my biggest weaknesses is buying gifts for people.  I know this.  I’ve talked to myself about this but when I looked at my brand new niece I forgot.  We went to the nearest mall originally to eat as it was one of the closest places.  And we bought the baby a gift and the new parents a gift.  Over all I can’t complain or even find it very wrong of me.   I enjoyed doing it.

But while we were waiting for our gift to be engraved (FYI: all things remembered is one of my favorite stores for gifts EVER), we walked the mall.  I ended up spending most of my money I had been saving on some random things like clothes for work.  Ugh.  Okay not ugh as they are really pretty and I enjoy them but grr!

What is wrong with that? It’s my personal money right? Well…here’s the kicker: I’m saving up to hire the awesome Andrea to redo my site and move over to self hosted.  I need that money to not be spent.  So, I’m saying it out loud (well, writing it on my blog for you all to see) what I want to do with my personal money.

1)      Hire the amazing Andrea

2)      Hair Straightener

3)      Hair cut

4)      Dye my own hair again

5)      Waterproof camera for honeymoon

There are five things I want and mostly in that order.  Now, I am still doing the thing where I buy one thing and then save the rest so the hair cut and dye could come sooner.  That’s fine with me—I might (har har) spend it in a fit of shopaholicness otherwise.  But I want these things so I need to plan for them.  Otherwise things like yesterday happen.  And as they are things I want, they need to come out of my fun money.  (Okay, not just me on the camera but we will split the cost of it or it will come out of our wedding fund.)

PF Confession: No retirement fund (kind of)

Okay guys, I’m going to be honest again.  And I really hate being honest sometimes.  I don’t have a 401k fund or any other “real” type of retirement fund.  Okay, pelt away with (virtual) stones….and now I will explain.

                In the past, I was narrow minded and didn’t focus on savings or anything really besides getting what I wanted right then and there. (Big fan of instant gratification) I did hold jobs but most of them didn’t offer a 401k unless you were considered full time.  And I always was a few hours under full time—according to their standards anyways.  And I never gave retirement much of a thought as that was SOOO far away.  Hello stupidity.  And I still don’t have a retirement fund going.

                But!  I do have a little saving grace.  A very little one, some might even say miniscule.  The company I work at (without going into too much detail) gives back what you put in.  And it’s not even that hard to put in funds—it’s basically my taxes.  (Wow this is hard to explain without giving away details)  And I’m not eligible to fund a 401k until after my first year of employment here.  That hasn’t started yet—and it won’t until July 5th(Yup I started 2 days before my 27th birthday—I felt like it was the most amazing birthday present ever)  So I’ve been doing my research and trying to figure out how I want to do this.  Still haven’t made any decisions but I figure I need to start sometime.  I should have already started and I know that I could have done a few other things this past year instead of waiting to fund the 401k.  But I didn’t.  I can’t really go and change anything in the past even if it would be way awesome if I could. 

                Why is this getting brought up? I’m going to be calculating net worth for us pretty soon.  And that won’t be included on my net worth as I don’t really know exactly what I will be getting back from work.  (The whole vested thing and all that and more details that I don’t want to go into) And yes, I will be doing net worth for us as we have everything joint as of right now and it would be too difficult and time consuming I don’t want to separate it.  

                Now question for my readers: anything you would like to see me blog about?  And anyone interested in guest posting middle of May area? I have a business trip and I figure it would give people a break from reading my stuff!

Confession Time

While I was planning on doing my April goals and going over my March goals, I have a confession to make.  I was incredibly stupid when I was younger (not really a surprise) and even though I’m trying to get on top of things I made a mistake a few months ago.  I forgot about a loan company I was working with to come up with a reasonable payment plan.  I had sent in the application so I could try to get my loan out of default status but at the same time I was working with another company to get another loan under control.  I was also looking for a place in town that we could move too.  

Long story short, after sending in the application I forgot to follow through.  I had come to an agreement with the second company and have been faithfully paying them every month.  I’ve had a few issues with them where they don’t get the paperwork I send in until the third or fourth time but when they have an issue they leave me a message on the phone number I’ve given them and they do it after 5pm.  And I get back to them.  Well, I’ve had a few messages that are just hang ups—like we are getting the tail end of a message with no substance.  And the phone numbers are always blocked or restricted so I can’t even call the number to find out who it is.

Then last Friday I received a call at work (and that bothered me too) that they were going to be garnishing my wages.  I almost started crying in the middle of my office cubicle.  I was frustrated enough dealing with a report at work and then I got that call.  I had forgotten about it but I knew I had been waiting on the company to contact me—I just hadn’t put things together.  I was able to get them to give me until Monday to send in my pay check stubs before they put in the letter to my payroll department to start the garnishment. Needless to say I wasn’t really happy this weekend—I was busy trying to figure out what I could do. 

Turns out that I can’t build a time machine and go back to make better decisions—though, that would be extremely helpful, right?  And there is no reset button to remake my choices.  So I sent in my pay stubs and worried over everything until I heard back from my contact at the company.  Turns out that I didn’t get my paychecks garnished but I do have to pay $250 a month.  This is not that bad as long as I take out half from one check and half from the other check.  It’s not that great either but I will still be able to save money for the wedding and a few other things.  Now saving for my e-fund will be a bit harder—we are not going to have that much money left over after every pay check.  But we are going to cut back where we can and just push onward.

The good part about doing this is that after 9 months I will have wiped out the bad charges I let rack up and the debt will be in good standing again.  So that will be nothing but helpful for us.   I just wish that I had remembered about this earlier and followed up with the company.  It would have saved me a weekend of worrying and of course, I would have been partially through the 9 months to get that loan in good standing.

I had to confess to you guys though.  I feel so guilty for even letting my debt get this bad and then forgetting about following through.