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Archive for May, 2007

One day at a time...

May 30th, 2007 at 12:47 pm

is the only way I am going to get on top of this latest challenge.

Have had some time now to think about my plan of action and my thoughts so far are:

The funds in EMF - I am going to allocate $8000 to the tax liability.

I got a final payment on the sale of my house the other day from the bank of $ 14 286

So already I have $22 286 towards the $55 600

There are other amounts outstanding still from my house sale:
The closing attorneys still owe me $5714
The utilities company owe me a refund of $1158
Total outstanding $6872

Company expenses refund $347

NOW if I add $22286 plus $7219 = $29505 I would have been debt free without this additional tax liability - HOW DISAPPOINTING!!!!!!!!!

Oh well, as I said one day at a time.

I needed to go to the store today and only had $15.70 in my wallet (remember I took the ATM cards out and don't have CC)
Bought laundry detergent, bread, tuna, gum = $12.84 (bought large sizes and bread for the week to freeze).

Ha got that spot on and I still have a couple of dollars in my purse. Smile Smile

Okay so not a No Spend Day but great economy.

BTW I have managed 7 out 10 No Spend Days and will get tomorrow down as a no spend day too. 8/10 not too bad.

I have a huge headache today (not really surprised) and fortunately have finished my client calls for the day so I am going to have a nap before I fetch my DD and start supper.

Need to get into my sewing room tonight - when I am feeling so stressed and pressured (one of my triggers to gamble) I have to be especially careful. Sewing and getting busy making something out of nothing, helps me to reduce my stress and makes me feel like I have accomplished something.

Also, this weekend I need to rework our monthly budget and look for ways to cut our expenses again so that I can increase the savings amount to the Tax Fund. Don't really know how much more I can cut but will try anyway OR time to start taking in mending, sewing etc again to boost the income.

Wow another long long entry - but it helps so

Enjoy your day and see ya tomorrow Smile

Another day like yesterday...just more challenging...

May 29th, 2007 at 01:47 pm

except with tears of frustration and embarrassment.

I went to the auditors today, to drop off those documents to complete the audit for my company and found out that I have an outstanding amount due to our Tax Dept (equivalent to your IRS) of approximately $55 600 Frown Frown.

The reason - I was so busy feeding my gambling addiction that I neglected the real things in life like paying taxes in 2005.

Some of you at this point are wondering how on earth a person gets to this stage in the first place and secondly, how can a person even admit it publicly?

Well, as with any addiction, the first step you take is that you admit that you are powerless over the activity - so when I was in the height my compulsive gambling, money had no true meaning and value other than how long I could gamble for.

The public part - well, I found this journal extremely therapeutic and supportive in my journey to recover that not mentioning this update would only be lying to ME. Again, part of the recovery process, is complete and utter honesty at all times because when you are in the throes of the addiction, dishonesty, lying and deceitfulness are all part of the behaviour i.e. where you have been, what the money was used for, why you need to borrow more etc. etc. etc.

So here I am with another debt but this too shall be tackled and it too shall be dealt with one day at a time.

Grace and Blessings got me this far so they will keep me going.

I have a grace period before I have to start paying off the taxes which fortunately will give the time I need to earn commission.

I am so Blessed that I have a Sales Position that enables me to earn the kind of money I am going to need. I have to get it together by May 2008. I can't pay it off in small amounts - I have to save it and then make the full payment by the 31 May 2008.

So there will be a new category in my Control Panel called: Tax Liability which will in effect be a savings account to settle the $55 600. (OMG I am so overwhelmed at this stage and fighting to keep the tears at bay - what the hell was I thinking or rather NOT thinking).

I think I will now sleep on this and then tomorrow I'll get busy putting together a plan and strategy to get the money together.








Oh boy what a yucky ucky day...

May 28th, 2007 at 07:38 pm

It started with me oversleeping today and then to really put a spanner in the works, I remembered that I had to go to the office. (Usually I only go in 2 days a week and work from home for the rest of the week). Somehow managed to get myself dressed and help DD to dress (she hurt her hand) pack school bags, grab my briefcase and computer in 30 minutes. DD was on time for school but I was late. My commute is about 50 miles - 25 each way and the traffic was horrible today - it took me 65 mins to get to work.

I started with a really bad headache at about 09:30 and thought it may be because I hadn't had breakfast. So had some cereal but nothing happened so I took some painkillers.

Then just as I was getting through some of my backlog of admin, the IT technician arrived to configure my computer to link with the office network. A good thing when I am there because then I am not using my 3G card BUT...

I lost the document I was working on - I forgot to save it.

When I was about to start again, I sat down at my desk, picked up my tea and ... you guessed it - I dropped the whole mug of tea on myself. Fortunately, it wasn't boiling hot but my clothes, undies and everything were soaked through.

Packed up and headed home to dry clothes and hit a traffic backup because some idiot rolled his car on the freeway. Jeez I was so irritated...

Took me nearly 2.5 hours to get home and had to arrange for DD to be picked up from school by a friend.

I finally got home at 6:40pm

Bathed DD and put her to bed at 7:45pm (she had supper at her friends) and I decided the day was OVER OH SO OVER!!!!

So here I am safe in bed with my computer and journal and already feeling a lot better...

Here's to a great day tomorrow... Smile

Ah the weekend is over...

May 27th, 2007 at 10:41 pm

Why does the weekend go so fast - I love my weekends and when Sunday night comes I wish it were Friday again.

Oh well...

I managed to get a ton of stuff done:
- help DD with school project DONE
- laundry DONE
- tidy and organise my work area HALF DONE
- catchup on work that I have been putting off for ages DONE
- return clothes that I bought for DD that don't fit (and put some money into my wallet ) DONE
- return/renew library books NOPE
- do my expenses claim for work so that I can boost my debt payoff at the end of June NOPE
- take a box of goods to a charity shop DONE
- fetch my credit card (with my EMF in) from the bank and then freeze it in a bowl of water. Hope this will work. NOPE
- general mending DONE
- collect mail from Post Office box DONE

8/11 things done - not too bad.

Managed another no spend day today - Number 7 of 10. Only 3 to go now but I have found some things that I need already. Ran out of laundry detergent today so the last load of laundry didn't get done.

Found some loose change in my drawer $0.40 so added it to my $20 challenge.
Also, managed to bake today - so we have cookies for the week and that saved about $3. I sold my DD's old sports kit last week = $14.28 (the odd amount because of converting local currency to US $)= $17.68
Total: $189.53

Goals for the week ahead:
1. Finish tidying and organise my work area
2. return/renew library books
3. do my expenses claim for work so that I can boost my debt payoff at the end of June
4. fetch my credit card (with my EMF in) from the bank and then freeze it in a bowl of water. Hope this will work.
5. make a birthday gift for DD's best friend
6. return electric blanket that we bought on Saturday for a refund - it really is totally pathetic.
7. get 8 new client meetings setup
8. finish my training on a new product
9. make DD a tennis skirt/skorts
10. get the thermostat in the stove fixed
11. sort out a query I have on my telephone/ADSL account from my old house
12. finalise the liquidation of my business - I need to hand in some documents to the auditors.
13. return tights that I bought for myself - somehow managed to take the wrong size
14. get in another 3 no spend days by 31 May
15. finish painting the bathroom tile (do you remember this one from Feb 07 - well it still isn't finished)
16. exercise 3 - 4 times this week for a minimum of 20 mins each time
17. finish a shoe holder (the one you hang on the inside of the cuphoard door) - we are going to use this to hold bathroom lotions and potions etc.

Okay that's it - just typing the To Do list is making me feel weary.

Have a great week everyone... will check in again tomorrow Smile



New Debt Balances...

May 26th, 2007 at 03:36 pm

Have just finished paying all bills for the end of May and the debt balances are:

Start Debt: 7/12/06 Today: 5/26/2007
Home Remodeling: $345 PAID
CC1: $715 PAID
Timeshare Levy: $730 PAID AND SOLD
Bank Overdraft: $929 PAID
Loan from Dad: $857 PAID
Swimming Pool Renovation: $1429 PAID
Private School Fees for 2007: $3000 PAID IN FULL
Car Loan: $11073 Now $ 7103 (Miscalculated last time)
Bank Overdraft 2: $7000 PAID
CC2: $ 13716 Now $ 8603
CC3: $ 15918 Now 13439
HEL & Mortgage: $171 429 PAID AND SOLD

TOTAL DEBT: $236 978 Now: $29150

Paid $207 828

Geez at this rate of $1109 per month reduction in debt I still have another 26 months to go.

No way - this is way too slow. I have to find other ways to increase my debt payments.

I miscalculated the outstanding amount on my car so that is higher than the last report.

Also called to check all the interest rates on my outstanding loans and here it is:
Car Loan 12.8%
CC2: 19%
CC3: 20%

So I changed my priorities and paid extra into CC3 - no way are they going to get more money. I know this is not Dave Ramsey's way but when I saw just how much the interest was I was horrified.

$20 Challenge Account:
Added $16.86 to it = $171.85. I got this extra from a return today and emptied the change into my challenge wallet. I think I am going to need a new Washing Machine soon so this will go towards that.

DD and I have started a savings account for our holiday in October 2007. I just checked to see how we were doing: $146 and we need: $985. We have saved this in the past 6 weeks by putting her allowance in there and everytime we DON'T do take out/fast food we contribute. Oh and if I can make a gift we add another $7 instead of buying a gift.

One step at a time and no short cuts. I have to keep reminding myself that I didn't get into this mess overnight and I am not going to get out of it overnight.

I have to earn commission ++++++ Smile

Will check in again tomorrow.

Oh BTW - didn't manage a no spend day today - spent $40 on a new electric blanket for DD, a hot water bottle, hair gel, sodas.

Yippee another No Spend Day...

May 25th, 2007 at 05:49 pm

Have managed 6 No Spend Days - Goal 10 so only 4 more to go. Smile

This journal really really helps. I could have spent money yesterday when I went to fetch the balance of my meds (already paid for last week), but I thought no way - I want another no spend day.

Spent the day in bed today with a migraine and just slept and slept until DD was dropped off from school. That ended the recuperation - supper to be made, laundry to be started for the week and the kitchen to be cleaned. Now I am ready for bed again and hoping that my headache will be completely gone in the morning.

I have so much to do this weekend and want to do it without spending anything:
- help DD with school project
- laundry
- tidy and organise my work area
- catchup on work that I have been putting off for ages
- return clothes that I bought for DD that don't fit (and put some money into my wallet Smile )
- return/renew library books
- do my expenses claim for work so that I can boost my debt payoff at the end of June
- take a box of goods to a charity shop
- fetch my credit card (with my EMF in) from the bank and then freeze it in a bowl of water. Hope this will work.
- general mending
- collect mail from Post Office box

A busy busy weekend ahead - hopefully I will feel a lot better tomorrow and be able to breeze through everything.

Still waiting for my salary - it always seems to be delayed when I want to pay off extra debt. But I got a refund of $83 unexpectedly so my bank balance is still in credit at $167 - this hasn't happened in years.

Will apply this extra money to my car payment - I really want to get rid of another debt.

Well I am off to bed now and will check in again on Sunday to let you know if I managed to clear my To Do List.

Take care everyone and stay focused...

I can do this...

May 23rd, 2007 at 06:53 am

I know I can, I know I can etc etc etc.

Maybe if I say this often enough the blah days will be seen as merely part of the journey to Debt Freedom.

Managed another No Spend Day = 3 for the month. Goal: 10 before the end of the month and there are only 7 days to go. Hmmm this is going to be challenge.

Had a good day yesterday - got through more work than usual and managed to get some appts with Senior Execs in my client base.

Worked out that I can pay off my debt if I just close a couple of big deals.

Realised that I forgot to submit my expense claims for April/May which is also why the bank balances are a bit low BUT still in credit. Don't know how much I am owed but it will make a difference to the debt balances - will work it out later and let you know.

The electrician didn't come yesterday but not for lack of trying. His car broke down and he called several times to let me know that he was trying but not getting anywhere. I felt so bad for him.

It is freezing here at the moment - literally. It was 33F = 0c yesterday when I dropped off DD at school. We are so ill equipped for low temps in SA - our homes are not centrally heated so the best place to be in winter is in bed. Wish that was possible but life's demands continue regardless of the weather.

Amazing in summer we die of heat because again we don't have airconditioned homes - from one extreme to the other.

Well back to work - I have some commission to earn Smile

I am so demotivated and disappointed ...

May 21st, 2007 at 06:46 pm

Even though I have made huge progress on my debt repayments, I feel so blah...

Just checked my spending for May and it is so disappointing - I really went overboard. Spent $995 on:
Clothes - stupid when I can make them AND I bought a new sewing machine
Groceries - so many treats and although it has been nice it is such a waste and adds up so quickly
School Uniforms - DD really needed them but $250 is ridiculous
Take Out - $45 or more. I think there are some receipts that are missing.
Gas - geez this just gets more and more expensive
Medicines - still haven't sorted out medical insurance so I am paying cash for all our scripts.

Fetched DD from school/aftercare today and suddenly realised that winter has arrived with avengence and that she needed a warm jacket. So off to the mall Frown. Fortunately though I had a return so we got a credit for $7 and the jacket was on special for $10 - so I only spent $3.

Also needed to fetch my monthly meds and get some new makeup (haven't bought makeup for at least a year) so $54 later, we left the mall.

I have now decided that's it!!! When we got home, I took all the money out of my wallet except for $10 and put away the Bank ATM cards (we don't have CC anymore - they were cut up last year).

I have also been so irritated - the stove/oven in the apartment we are renting hasn't been working properly so everything I have baked, either burned at the bottom or was raw on the inside. Think this hasn't helped my frame of mind, as I am used to cooking and baking in bulk and lately, we have had to cook everyday and cookies have been store bought.

This frugal way of life is definitely a mindset - I have found that when I am not doing EVERYTHING frugally, I get lazy in every other area.

Anyway, the electrician is coming to fix the thermostat tomorrow so hopefully this time tomorrow night, I will be back to baking and bulk cooking.

I managed a second "no-spend" day yesterday for May - but only because I was too lazy to go out and it was warmer inside.

We get paid on the 25 of the month in South Africa so I really need to get working on my budget and see how much debt we can pay.

My DB1 is still having a tough time so I am contributing to his rent (cannot live knowing that he might be living on the streets) which means another budget item of $120 but at least he is warm and safe.

Work wise - I just don't seem to be able to get going. The joys of being in sales - the highs are high and the lows are low. I sit down at my desk and just can't seem to get much done so at the end of the day although I have been "working" I have not done anything productive.

Sorry for the blahs - but I really needed to wade through and capture my thoughts.

Maybe I am just tired and need to stop being so tough on myself.

Hope you are all well Smile


Spending according to plan but...

May 17th, 2007 at 04:14 pm

now that I have resurrected this journal, I don't want to spend.

Fetched car today - it is nearly 7 months since I had an oil change done and a proper service and tune up. Ended up paying $250 but it was budgeted and it had to happen.

Also, needed to have my hair cut - it has been 9 months since my last cut and I was not happy with the shaggy untidy look. Spent $36 but also budgeted.

Was asked by DD's friends mother to embroider some T-shirts for a special occasion - thought to myself "here we go with the $20 Challenge" Smile

Bought 8 Tshirts for $23, will embroider them and get $40 back - so will have another $17 to the challenge account and deduct $17 off the price of my sewing machine.

This blogging/journal really makes you think differently and be aware of every cent you spend.

Didn't even buy water today while I was out on errands.

Hung my new bathroom curtains today (the ones I made from old curtains) and considering they cost nothing - they are beauuuuuuutiful. Smile

While I was at the shops today getting the T-shirts I noticed yet again "all the stuff that is available for us consumers to buy". It is no wonder that we all get into debt - it always looks so great in the store and then when you get it home, you wonder Frown

When we moved, I couldn't believe the amount of useless stuff I had collected over the 5 years in the house. I gave so much away and found myself wondering what on earth had possessed me to buy it all in the first place.

Oh well we live and learn...

Would really like to get some no spend days in before the end of the month. Think I can still manage 10 if I am really disciplined. Will have to plan an errands day to make sure that we don't run out of anything. Need to put gas in the car - should be about $50 but will last until the end of the month. Also, need to stock up on some fruit and fresh vegies.

I am off to a parents evening at the school now, the Education Department has introduced yet another teaching system and school has to update the parents. Geez I hate these things - would rather be home getting stuff done.

See ya tomorrow...

Updated Debt Balances & ramblings

May 16th, 2007 at 12:36 pm

Why does time go so fast - it seems just the other day that I unretired my blog and now it is already a week later.

Okay here are my debt balances:
Start Debt: 7/12/06 Today: 5/16/2007
Home Remodeling: $345 PAID
CC1: $715 PAID
Timeshare Levy: $730 PAID AND SOLD
Bank Overdraft: $929 PAID
Loan from Dad: $857 PAID
Swimming Pool Renovation: $1429 PAID
Private School Fees for 2007: $3000 PAID IN FULL
Car Loan: $11073 Now $ 6997
Bank Overdraft 2: $7000 PAID
CC2: $ 13716 Now $ 9203
CC3: $ 15918 Now 14 059
HEL & Mortgage: $171 429 PAID AND SOLD

TOTAL DEBT: $236 978 Now: $30 259

Paid $206 719

Hahahahaha - Can you believe it Smile Wink :0

I can't!!!!

But here is the downside - I no longer own a property so don't have a property which is appreciating in value.

I have decided ala Dave Ramsey that I am going to finish paying off my debt and then save like crazy so that I can either pay cash for a new home (don't want a big house again, an apartment is fine by me) or put 50% down and get a mortgage for the balance.

My EMF is established - I kept some of the money from the house and have $9425 saved.

Also, bought a new sewing machine - just decided that we have made so many sacrifices to get this far that I could treat myself. (I know a good excuse Smile )
Spent $ 3425 for a new machine and embroidery unit.

When I buy a sewing machine, I keep a log of everything that I make and the savings and make sure that the machine pays for itself. My old machine paid for itself 3.2 times.

Have already saved $68 by making curtains, altering clothes for DD and making a new bathroom set.

Will keep a log here and show how it works.

BTW my banking accounts actually have a credit balance for the first time since I don't know when - $142 in Acc 1 and $214 in Acc 2.

Am really enjoying my life again - it is so nice not to have worry about maintaining a huge property, pay an enormous mortgage and all the taxes that go with it.

Have also managed to buy DD new school uniforms, replace school bags and new sports uniforms.

The way I figure it now, is that we can now get back to being really frugal and get rid of the last debt and then go crazy with our savings account.

The $20 Challenge - will make this a real account now and save leftover amounts from our monthly budget and any refunds etc.

Working full time now and back in corporate life has its own challenges and has demanded more adjustments. At least I earn a regular salary now and have a high earning potential through commission. My business expenses are covered which is also great incl cell phone, internet connection, gas for car and a contribution for car servicing.

I am a happy happy camper - I love my life and am really pleased that we made all the changes.

Will end off now - have really had a long ramble...

Almost 2 months to the day...

May 8th, 2007 at 03:03 pm

Took a while to find my blog - it was in the "Retired Blogs" but here I am almost 2 months to the day of our move and my last entry.

So much has changed... for the better Smile I love living in an apartment - it is so easy. No garden, pets, swimming pool, security costs etc.

My goal was to get our monthly living budget to $1800 per month and I haven't managed it yet. Still paying off debt but making huge progress now that my house in sold and I have been paid.

My recovery hit a bump - I know, I was weak and silly but I am back on track again and not too much damage done. This journal makes such a difference to keeping me focused and sticking to my gambling free days. So here I go again - Day 2.

Finally got my sewing room sorted out 2 weeks ago and was able to spend some time in there yesterday evening. What I have realised is that importance of having goals, hobbies etc is vital when on the road to recovery from an addiction. Oh well...

I have to fetch my daughter from aftercare now so I will update my debt balances later or tomorrow

But it is great to be back and I look forward to reading everyone's blogs.

Have a good day