Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the OCD

It's only the 16th day of the month but it's already been a roller coaster. Let's examine things, shall we:

The Bad:
I did indeed finally get my haircut. And it was about what I had budgeted (an amount I'm taking to the grave). But in the end? It wasn't worth it. While I desperately needed it cut, neither the experience nor the cut was what I expected or hoped for. I've been disappointed since Saturday evening, and though that disappointment is finally starting to ebb, it was one of the most irresponsible financial moves I've made.

To make myself feel better, I've reminded myself often that I haven't had my hair done by a professional in about six and a half years. Had I gone regularly, I'd have spent several times more than what I spent Saturday over that period. Still, it's painful to think on the amount I dropped in that salon.

But it's done, and it's pointless to dwell on it any further.

The Good:
Last night I scheduled the final payment for the Little Beast! It's scheduled for July 30, so by the next monthly update, that bill will be a thing of the past. I've also set up an automatic payment plan to pay off the Big Beast. (Which will very soon be the only beast.) The snowball payment amount is scheduled to be made as soon as possible after the e-bill is received. Of course, extra payments will be made as necessary and when possible.

Also, though I am disappointed about the haircut situation, I can say at least that I've already planned for the payoff. The amount had been budgeted, and it will be paid for with my freelance check when it comes in. The balance due on the Big Beast from the vacation expenses is also scheduled. So though there has been a lot of activity on that card over the last month, it is scheduled to be paid off by the end of July.

The OCD:
The OCD is slowly creeping back in. I've been obsessively checking balances, budgeting amounts, doing random calculations. Payments have been scheduled, so I have only to sit back and relax. Obsessing isn't going to make things any better or pay things off any sooner.

So that's where we are in mid-July. See you August 1!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The (Pen)Ultimate in Satisfaction

Not quite 10 minutes ago I scheduled the penultimate payment on the Little Beast.

That's right: I have one payment left. A month from now, I'll schedule the very last payment on that card.

I can't tell you how good it feels. The only thing that could top what I'm feeling now is paying off the Big Beast. But for now, I'm going to enjoy the present moment.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

All About Vacation

As promised, I'm back to detail my spending during my recent vacation. I'm proud to say that I did pretty well. In fact, I came in under budget. These are the particulars:

Budgeted spending cash: $300
Budgeted credit card: $200
Budgeted boarding for the family pet: $100

Actual spending money spent: $268.83
Actual boarding for the family pet: $132.50

The change in the amount for the kennel is attributed to the provision of Daisy's eye drops and for the grooming we had them do before we picked her up. But for five days, $132.50 isn't bad at all. And she was fat and happy when we saw her -- even said goodbye to one of the ladies at the vet -- so I know they took good care of her.

But what was especially helpful is that my father surprised me and my mom by giving us each some cash to spend during the trip. My take was $150 (hers was more, of course). I was thrilled! So of course this cushioned the budget.

Still, all but $80 I spent during vacation was with one of the credit cards. But never fear: I've already set up an extra payment to pay half of the amount and plan to pay the other half either at the end of this month or the beginning of next month.

Also on the horizon is my freelance check, which should be arriving in the next week or so. It's for $500. This will come in handy for my extravagant haircut that's coming up.

Finally, this month we get three paychecks. As I mentioned at the beginning of the year, typically we get two checks during the month. I use one for bills and general items; the other for rent. But two months out of the year, because of the way payday falls, we get the much-appreciated "extra" check. My goal is to deposit $1,000 at the end of the month into savings. Yeah, yeah, I know I could (or should) pay off the Little Beast with that extra check, but that's already on track to be paid off in a few short weeks.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

July 2008 Update

This will be short because I have to go to work, but I want to update the numbers for July.

The Debt:
Little Beast: $511.46
Big Beast: $15,880.53

The savings balance is over in its usual place.

I'll expand on things later, but suffice it to say that I survived vacation and even stayed under budget.