Monday, December 28, 2009

Au Revoir, 2009

Ah, my last post of 2009. And how different things are from December 2008! Then, I still owed almost $14,000. 365 days later? Less than $6,000. How awesome is that!

I am in a much better place than I've been in in a long time, as far as my finances are concerned. Sure, my savings could be better, but considering the change in debt? Definitely a better place. I'm really looking forward to 2010.

Thanks for sticking with me this year. Having this blog has kept me accountable. Really, without knowing I'd have to post an update here, I'm not sure I'd have stayed the course as well as I have.

See ya on the 1st -- the start of a whole new year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas to Me!

I received a financial blessing today. It was totally out of the blue, which makes it all the sweeter -- and makes me all the more thankful.

The bulk of it will go into savings, but a little bit will go to me. And I might shoot a little bit toward the debt. Really, though, none of that matters. I just wanted to say thank you.

So ... thank you.

Wishing all you PF bloggers (and others) out there a happy and safe Christmas. (And if you don't celebrate Christmas, have a happy and safe December 25. :-) )

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So I'm taking some steps to get ready for what is going to be a busy next 6-7 months. In addition to kicking my debt in the butt, I'll also be buying a place. That's right: I'm speaking it into being. I pulled out my financial calculator last night and started running the numbers. I can get a decent place for what I'm paying in rent now. Totally doable. The hardest part will be finding the place I like.

Oh -- and keeping my anxiety in check. LOL

The first thing is that come January, I'm going to take advantage of a deal for digital cable. For at least six months, I'll have better TV and a lower cable bill. It might not be a huge difference, but it'll be decent enough. And anything that's lower than what I'm paying is a good thing.

More importantly, I will be changing my withholding exemptions. I'm currently claiming zero. I am changing that to 1, so I'll have a little more in the paycheck. I've been claiming zero exemptions because I like getting that refund at the end of the year (in fact, I rely on it), but since I'll be buying a place next year, I'll be able to take advantage of various tax benefits that will result in a refund significantly larger than I'm used to.

And now that grad school is off the table, I don't have to worry about how to pay for all that come next September.

It's going to be a great year. :-)

Late Note: Effective tonight, my debt balance is finally below $6,000. Woohoo!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yay, Me!

I know I just mentioned the extra $1,000 payment I was going to pay toward my debt. It's one thing to mention that I'm going to do it, but it's something else entirely to have done it and to see the amount credited against my balance.

The payment was scheduled for yesterday, but it usually takes a day before it gets processed and I see it online. As much as it pained me to schedule such a large payment, it felt amazing to see that large payment credited on my account this morning. I now owe less than $6,500. How crazy is that! And it's only going to go down more more this month. I don't have any major expenses coming up, and Christmas is pretty much taken care of.

Speaking of Christmas, I had been down to only four gift exchanges -- my parents and two friends from work. But the friends and I aren't exchanging presents this year. Instead, the three of us are going to lunch together.

I like this idea. In fact, I like it so much that I'm going to suggest the same thing for our birthdays.

Well, that's it for me tonight. Just had to share the good news about the new balance. :-)