Personal Finance Addict

Personal Finance Addict: June 2015

Jun 7, 2015

June Personal Finance & Net Worth Update

This will be the first of my monthly personal finance updates.  I decided to do this as a way for me to keep track of our progress and to allow others to see the progress we make and how we do it in hopes to motivate and educate others on their own personal financial journeys.  I'm also betting this will help motivate me more to make a big impact from month to month.

If you have been following my blog, you probably already know that my husband was unemployed for over a year, which has prevented us from being able to make much progress.  However, he just started a new job about a month ago and we are hoping we will be back on track to paying down our debt in the next month or two.  Even with him being unemployed, we were actually able to pay down $2,000 in debt in the last year.  I know this isn't much, but considering we were not at all prepared for his job loss and we still managed to pay some debt and not take on new debt is a win in my book.  Our future goals include (in this order):

  1. Get completely caught up on our monthly bills (currently only behind on our electric bill).  
  2. Build our buffer back up in our budget.  If you're not familiar with this, see my post here.  
  3. Start saving for necessary emergency funds (car repairs, emergency fund, etc.)
  4. Pay down our debt.
  5. Increase 401k contributions and look into other investment options. 
  6. Retire early, buy an RV and travel the country.  Our goal for this is 3 years from now, but I realize this is probably unrealistic unless we fall into a lot of money between now and then.  
One thing I can't decide on is whether to buy a house at some point.  I know from lots of research that we could buy a house or condo and our monthly payments including tax, insurance, and hoa fees would be less than we pay in rent.  But I also know that our ultimate goal is to sell most of our belongings and live in an RV travelling the country.  With our current credit rating, we wouldn't be able to qualify for a mortgage now, so we can't buy a house anytime soon.  I'm thinking when we get to the point where we are credit worthy, I will then look at our overall finances and figured out how far we are from our retirement goal.  If it's still several years out, then we could go ahead and buy a house because we will have enough time to build up equity in it before selling.  

So here is where we stand as of today, our starting point (it's not pretty):

Right now, we're just working towards a $0 net worth and that's just sad.  By the way, this was taken right from from my YNAB budgeting software.  You can learn more about it here.  


Jun 6, 2015

How to Throw a Party on a Budget

My daughter recently graduated high school and I couldn't not throw her a graduation party.  Our apartment is too small so I decided to rent a lodge.  This rental cost $75 and it was a really nice and big place.  Her father said he would take care of the food and cake, so that left me with decorations, drinks, plates, eating utensils, and napkins.  I budgeted $100 for this and I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to find almost everything at the Dollar Tree, where everything in the store is $1.  I purchased the rest of the items at the grocery store and a party supply store and I only spent a grand total of around $60, well under my $100 budget!  The Dollar Tree had a ton of party supplies and graduation decorations and I even got a little carried away with the decorations.  Throwing her this party that she so greatly deserved only cost me $135.  Granted, I was lucky that I didn't have to provide the food, but if I had, I would have made it all myself and not had it catered.

Now I could have probably spent less had I made my own decorations, but from my past experience with DIY projects, I usually end up spending more money because I buy so many things to make the projects.  I never have the right things at home and I'm not always creative enough to make other things work.  I spend so much time looking at different stores for the right supplies it just isn't worth it to me.  I had enough going on anyway that I really didn't have the time for all this.  I love saving money and I am known to go out of my way to do so, but I limit myself to how much time I spend just to save a couple bucks.    It seems everyone is on these DIY Pinterest project kicks nowadays, but I value my time too much to be wasting on something that is only going to be used for a few hours.

photo credit: personalized glass mason treat jar and foil wrapped chocolate peanut butter cup snack treats via photopin (license)