Last night I sat down and plugged all of my actual expenditure into a spreadsheet. What an eyeopener.
I had a budget - which I thought I was following quite well. In some areas, absolutely I was, but in others... not so much.
So this month I'm going to change it up a bit. Along with carefully tracking my expenses as they happen on my newly minted spreadsheet, I'm also going to try the envelope system. So any money for groceries, spending money ($25 / fortnight) and takeaways / eating out ($25/ fortnight) will be in envelopes in my purse. That way, when the cash is gone, its gone.
I am working to a $0 balance monthly budget, but at the end of January I had around $65 left in my account. So I've transferred that to savings, and I think what I'll do if I happen to underspend this month (which I'm projected to do at just under $500 if I follow my budget) I'll put that into savings too. That will give me the emergency fund I've been considering without having to actually take anything away from my loan repayments - it money that I've just been losing due to poor budgeting in these past months. I also send $50 a fortnight to savings anyway, just as a drip feed, so that will keep the account ticking over.
Today my pay came through from my second job, $310. I have now transferred that into my loan, bringing the total for the loan to under $31K! Woohoo!!
Even better, with that little kick along I'm right on course to bring the loan back under $30K this month!!
I'm thrilled that I've been able to throw so much at this already - even before my first interest payment hits the account (which I think must be due around the 15th). I expect interest will be around $300 but it will be interesting to see exactly what the impact is.
(Note that I'm not paying more towards the medical as its at 0% interest, and is due to be paid off in 6 more payments anyway)
New balances for today
$30,835 - personal loan
$0 - credit card (woohoo!)
$960 - medical
$31,795 - total