DEBT UPDATE-OCT 1ST: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Oct 1st

Good morning everyone! Here’s the October update, as promised. Again, sorry for the delay as I explained here, but I finally have time to breathe a little bit! πŸ™‚ My computer crashed, (another wonderful casualty of last week, and more money down the drain!) and is currently being fixed, so I do not have my excel documents as of the moment – so I just checked all my accounts and past posts and made this little picture for you.

We currently have $32,325.21 in debt – which is down $304.88 from last month, BUT…

The Bad: Still up a whopping $2,367.29 from the lowest we have ever been.

The good: We are down from last month, and have a large cash amount in hand/savings. If we put all of this onto debt, we could be down to $28,688.21 – which would be phenomenal and the NEW personal lowest! I’m all for this, however Cody isn’t.

Bad Again: My car broke down, which I’m fine with. There’s the bus, walking, biking before snow, taxis (probably not money sufficient though), among other ways to get around. Cody, being the protective man that he is, wants to see me in something safe since my last car could have killed me if I was driving down the highway in it. I am refusing, since I don’t even have an out-of-the-house job to drive to. What the heck do I actually NEED a car for right this moment anyhow? I seemed to calm him down on this situation for the moment, so that’s good.

Cody is now talking about saving the cash to live off of, but to also compile for a down-payment for a house in the near future. He really wants to move back up to around the Traverse City area, where both our families live, before we start one of our own. I want to move too, but think we should conquer one thing at at time. Let’s get out of debt first, then save to move. Or move in with one of our parents (they both have ‘offered’) to save money until we can afford to live on our own again up there. But he has different feelings about it, and I’m scared he is wobbling off on his debt journey. It’s hard, because we are not married, and the majority of it is HIS money – so I try not to be controlling, I have no right to be. We are partners and he respects my feelings and I do his, but he has so many dreams and plans it’s hard for him to focus on one at a time. Maybe there’s a way to compromise. Half & half? 80 to debt 20 to savings? Hopefully we can figure this out gracefully and be on the same solid page!

Good Again: Another good thing is the savings on insurance this month since my car did break! Not having the car on will save us about $46 on our next bill. Score! Verizon also lowered our bill $21. Extra Score!

We lived on cash this month with only the business card being the exception – but that’s another good: even after having to buy more parts and supplies, we got that sucker down to $448! Hopefully we can get that paid off this month so that we can make profits during the holiday season. *Knock on wood* (pun intended).

The final good thing is the amount of side work we both got to do this month. I don’t have an exact dollar amount (on other, crashed computer) but our hustle helped TREMENDOUSLY for us to be where we are this month considering how many things went wrong and where we could have been.

The ugly:

SPENDING ON FOOD/GROCERIES – I wanted to know how much we truthfully and normally spend for food/groceries between the two of us (and two cats + 1 dog), without our behavior being affected by keeping a running total. We have failed thus far at keeping track or REALLY changing our lifestyle – and I knew that it’s because no one ever reality-slapped us in the face with the FINAL TRUTH. We just shrug it off and say ‘We did good” or “Better than last month.” (lies, excuses, failure!) So this month, we lived how we normally do, and I made sure to simply keep every grocery, fast food/dinner receipt in a box. We didn’t look at them or add anything up. Just slipped it into the box. Sept 30th came, and I opened the box and added the receipts.

$1, 064.74.

That number absolutely shocked me. In ONE MONTH, we spend that much SOLELY on food and groceries. That is absolutely insane. For two people, trying to be minimal, trying to save money – this was how we lived!?!?! That number should be AT LEAST half. I know that wasn’t the smartest way to save money or reduce debt this month, but it was needed. It was what I needed and what Cody needed to realize where our money was going. We didn’t even realize it while LIVING OFF CASH! We realized the importance of creating and sticking to a budget, the importance of keeping up on spending records every day. It was the cold-hard slap in the face we both needed. And I wanted to be honest with you guys, too – it’s so easy to think the way you’re living is okay, that the amount you’re spending isn’t that far off track.

Here’s to October. A great month. A month where our debt will be scared of us because of what we throw at it. To slashing that food/grocery amount and paying off the business card.

There are 17 comments

  1. 29andbr0ke

    I love reading your updates! Good job! You should really get on the Dave Ramsey plan. The first thing he has you do is track every dollar of your expenses. Maybe going to an FPU class with your boyfriend would help him come around on the house thing. One of Dave’s rules is NEVER buy a house when you’re in debt! Imagine trying to dig yourself out of 30K but also having a $1500 mortgage payment! I’m sure he could convince your bf, but you have to be careful and let him figure out for himself that it’s a bad idea. If it isn’t his idea, he’s not doing it πŸ˜‰ The power of subtle persuasion… lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Renee

      Absolutely! The last thing I want him to do is resent me – he has to believe he is doing this out of his own free will hahaha πŸ™‚

      And I agree! I couldn’t imagine paying for a mortgage right now AND trying to reduce debt. Insanity!


  2. 29andbr0ke

    PPS One more thing! Don’t feel bad about food. I am one person (I live alone), and I was spending $700 between eating out and “food shopping.” And I put that in quotes because half the time I was buying stuff, not using it, and letting it go bad. What worked for me was $200 groceries with a meal plan, and $200 for eating out. If you can go cash-only into the store and the restaurant it will work for you! You could maybe do $400 groceries and $400 eating out? And divide the eating out into $200 cash for you, $200 cash for him? Good luck!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Renee

      That’s a good idea! It was just shocking to see those numbers!!! Put it into perspective for us for sure! We are going to try to shop in cash and then cook, meal plan, and freeze so things don’t go bad!!


  3. 2015chronicles

    Good job pretty lady. I know what you mean about the food bill. It’s just the two of us, and our bill is double that a month. The reality is that food costs have skyrocketed. It’s been on the news, but they don’t tell you why. I kept all my food receipts one month and was stunned at what we spent.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Renee

      Yes! It was shocking. We had ourselves fooled that we were doing ‘well’ and only spending around $400-600 after I lost track of spending.. but to find out it was more than double…woah! Food prices have skyrocketed for sure, and we have to find new ways to make our food last longer.. reduce our throw away/waste, and freeze! Thank you so much for your support!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. 2015chronicles

        Part of the bigger problem is that the stores are packaging food in smaller quantities and we’re still paying the same price. I buy my supplies at about five different stores to save money. Paper goods at one store, produce at another store, meat, chicken and fish at another store, and then I don’t buy a lot of extra’s like chips and sweets. When you have a house, it just gets worse. Take your time getting a house. It’s a friggin money pit.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Renee

        I hear you there! I run back and forth from Meijer to Family fare to save some money… but then factor in time, gas.. sanity. haha. I 100% agree with same/increased prices and decreased quantity!!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Renee

      I agree with an emergency fund! Especially after all the ’emergencies’ that have happened to us these past few months. What’s a good amount?- that’s what we are struggling with? As much as possible? 50% to debt and 50% to fund? 80/20? Finding that balance while wanting to reduce debt is hard!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. 29andbr0ke

      I agree with John. You only need $1000 savings for emergencies. Anything else you save is just you keeping cash around for the heck of it. And if something happens beyond that $1000 (car repairs, medical emergencies, etc), you just hit the pause button on your debt and cash flow it until the bill is paid and then hack away at the debt again. You can refill that $1,000 as many times as you need.

      You can also “sink fund” emergencies. For example, put $25 in a “car” envelope every month. And in 8 months when your brakes need replacing or your battery dies, you’ll already have $200 in there to take the edge off of draining your emergency fund. I “sink fund” all long-term things like Christmas presents, car emergencies, doctor’s bills, etc.

      You estimate how much you’ll spend that year on it, and then divide by 12. So, for example, if you tend to throw $600 at your car every year, try and put $50 / month in a “car” fund. If you know you spend $240 a year on doctor’s copays, then put $20 / month in a doctor fund. That will keep you from touching the emergency fund.

      Sometimes I throw $10 in, because I’m running low in a particular month, and sometimes I have lots of free cash so I’ll throw $50 in. There have been times where I’ve thrown out ALL of my sink fund envelopes because I had literally no cash left for them and it was depressing. But you’ll always have a better month somewhere else down the line.


  4. George H Puck

    Can I be a stranger who gives you the blunt advice that Dave Ramsey would give you (in his style)? I am asking ahead of time because I dont want to come to someones financial blog and come off being rude, but I have some suggestions that I think would help.


  5. George H Puck

    A couple of suggestions.
    1) Dave Ramsey would say unequivocally that you should keep finances separated until you are married.
    2) I highly recommend that you and your BF do separate budgets, and if you are having troubles with it, try using Everydollar. The great thing about it, is you can set up your budget from your computer and can update real time from your smartphone. that way you can see the cash going out and what balances you have.
    3) DR would say step one is a thousand dollar emergency fund., then pay off debt.

    Liked by 1 person

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