Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Big changes

I've been a bit absent, but with good reasons.

I've moved house - which was a very long, painful and expensive exercise.

But the house that I'm not in is lovely and there has been discussions with the owners about us potentially buying it when the time comes. So that is a positive.

The new house has solar panels, so I'm expecting that with a little careful management that I'll have no net increase in my expenses here, with the electricity windfall making up for the slight increase in rent.

I am behind the point that I last left you though, having had to redraw on some of the funds I was ahead in my loan in order to make the move happen. I've also put a bit back onto my credit card.

In response, last night I sat down and redid my budget. We're down to brass tacks here for the foreseeable future until I can right the damage that I've done to my progress.

First step is to put the credit card back to zero.

I've allocated $450 per fortnight to that.

Second is to knock my loan back down. So as soon as I've moved that credit card to zero (I cringe to say that it will be 4 fortnights until the magic $0 appears)... the loan repayments will be going from the current $300 to $750.

My medical debt is fully cleared now, so that is a massive help.

I've also gone through how I manage all my annual payments and allocated them all to my "bills" account, which is separate to my daily account. By transferring out all of the payments and future allocations the day that my pay goes in, I will only be left with a very small amount in my account which is to cover groceries, date night and $50 discretionary spending each fortnight. That discretionary spending is to cover any small incidentals - school excursions that come in last minute and so on.

All payments for this fortnight have now gone out, so I'm starting May with this renewed approach to getting my house back in order.

I suspect that anyone who is like me, not terribly great with money, has these setbacks when they start off on a debt journey. It certainly seems to be the case for most of the debt reduction blogs that I've read - even though most of them are American. I know that it is far from ideal to be having big expenditures like a move when I'm trying to pay down my debt, and worse that I've actually gone backwards as a result of it. BUT, I'm determined to pick myself up and get back to that lovely feeling of $0 on the credit card and thousands in front on my loan. It felt so good the first time and I know that I can do it quickly if I am careful with my money.

So, onwards and upwards as I keep chasing zero.

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