Monday, June 11, 2012

Becoming Debt Free

So, I finally decided that it was time to do something about my spending habits and living paycheck to paycheck every month.  

I found the website, And Then She Saved and was inspired by Anna.  I signed her Debt Free Life Pledge and have been working at it for the past month.  

It hasn't been easy.  At all.  

I had certain routines.  Dinner and shopping with my mom on Saturday.  Lunch with different groups of friends throughout the week.  Spending, spending, spending.  

I am tired of seeing the numbers on my budget creep up and the total of my credit cards was my undoing.  It was too much and it needs to be taken care of!

I have been doing better since I signed the pledge and I have been thinking more before spending money.  I tend to go a bit overboard with gift-giving.  With Russ' birthday, Father's Day and our anniversary quickly approaching this month, I knew I wouldn't be able to afford elaborate or expensive gifts like I have before.  Especially not if I want to get that first credit card paid off so I can start on the next!

I've done a few things to try to cut back.  Although the immediate result hasn't diminished the amount due on that credit card, I can see a difference already.  A few things I have started doing:
  • Trying not to drive as much.  My car does not get great gas mileage so the less I drive, the more I save with gas being over $3.00.
  • Put my car on Craigslist.  I really don't need a sedan.  I would be happier in a 5-speed compact car and I'm ready to make the switch.  Unfortunately, I was upside down on my car so no one has bitten yet on our lowest ticketed price.  I keep thinking of the money I could save in both a car payment and in gas each month if we can sell my car.
  • Cut back on lunches out.  I've been eating at work more often and limiting lunch out to once a week.  Even then I'm trying to not spend so much.  No dessert...
  • Avoiding shopping.  Kohls is an addiction and I've only been there once since this began to start Father's Day shopping.  It helps not to be tempted.  
  • Resell items.  I took about 20 DVDs that were sitting around our house collecting dust to the local Half Priced Books store this weekend and walked out with $30.  Better than trying to yard sell them or list them on eBay.  
  • Cut our hair myself.  I have to say, Roxy's turned out so much better than mine.  I can feel the unevenness of the back, but I can't bring myself to cut it any shorter.  (I may have to seek professional help after all!)  Roxy's is super cute because it curls so much, no one would ever notice if it is uneven, which I don't believe it is.  

Right now, I've put $35.00 toward paying off that first credit card and I'm looking forward to making more payments this month.

Do you have any tips for being frugal?  What do you do to save money?

Wish me luck!

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