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Archive for August, 2006

Looked for Discounts & found them...

August 30th, 2006 at 12:35 pm

Had to take DD to a friend today & stopped at the mall to get a few things:
1. Monthly meds for DD - some on discount saved $4.57 - spent $27
2. Personal things for me - saved on discount price plus I used a gc so saved $4.29

$20 Challenge
$37 now $45.86

Got to keep this momentum up...

BTW Sold some more stuff yesterday and made another $86

EMF Now $239

Amazing how quickly everything adds up...

Looking back - achieved more than I thought...

August 30th, 2006 at 12:26 pm

While making up my Goals for September & paging back through my diary I found debt balances from the 1 April 2006.

Check this out:

Home Remodeling: $345 / PAID
CC1: $715 / $ 714
Timeshare Levy: $746 / PAID
Bank Overdraft: $943 / $754
Loan from Dad: $1714 / $643
Swimming Pool Renovation: $1429 / $1429
Private School Fees: $1900 / $899
Car Loan: $12080 / $10478
Bank Overdraft 2: $11689 / $6857
CC2: $15652 / $13100
CC3: $18336 / $15714
HEL: $57143/ $56643
First Mortgage: $114286/$113714
TOTAL DEBT: $236 978 / $220 945

Paid: $16 033 since the 1 April 2006

I would never have thought that this was possible and looking back I really don’t know how it was done???????

Wait – Prayer & Blessings have a lot to do with this outcome Smile

So much To Do...

August 30th, 2006 at 12:04 pm

I always feel time challenged (nice way of saying out of control) with so much to do and not enough time to do it!!!!

So I am going to use my journal to track some To Do Items for September and lets see what happens

1. Company Audit - prepare, organise and file documents for audit
2. Sewing Order - finish 15 children's chefs jackets (for a Restaurant Chain doing an in house promotion)
3. Garage Sale - go through cubhoards for extra curtains, cushions etc and add to garage sale. Finish this by the end of September and then donate whatever is left to charity
4. Dog's Kennel - clean out and put in new bedding
5. Personal filing - my in tray is FULL and I need to file all my statements, invoices etc
6. Achieve 15 no spend days during September
7. Car inspection for new car insurance
8. Accreditation on new product that I sell
9. Spend 15 minutes everyday sorting out or tidying up around the house
10. Library books - get them back on time so I don't have to pay a fine
11. Vacation - need to confirm our booking for 7 days in October (using Dad's timeshare)
12. Evaluate new business oppportunity - training & development for Hospitality Industry
13. Oil Change on car
14. Wall hanging - finished but not mounted on a rod yet
15. Fetch new Passport & apply for DD's passport
16. TV support in sewing room - move it lower
17. Bedroom curtains - need to shorten (they have been too long since I moved to this house nearly 5 years ago) *sigh*
18. Utilities - refund due from overcharge
19. Make blinds for dressing room
20. Move furniture to make space for Mom's Kist and Great Grandmothers original treadle sewing machine
21. VCR for repair on extended warrantee contract
22. Wall Safe (Lock Box) need to install and fix to the wall
22. Medical Insurance - sort this out once and for all
23. Weightloss - get focused and lose 6.5 - 10 pounds by the 30 September
24. Spending log - make sure everything I spend is logged
25. Look for ways to increase the $20 challenge to $200

*feeling overwhelmed*

but want to see how far I get now that everything is "written" down...

The Con ... Credit Card Loyalty Rewards

August 29th, 2006 at 04:05 pm

I am NOT impressed - CC3 is a Visa CC issued by one of our banks but linked into the biggest store chain in South Africa. They have a list of discounted items every month and credit your card with the savings at the end of every 30 day period.

I decided that since we don't get to do coupons here in SA that I would try out the CC - well they have just credited my card with... wait for it...

TaDa... $1.04

So that's it with this credit card - its gone.

This is one way that is not going to get my debt paid off.

I am going to freeze it in a bowl of water for emergencies only.

I really thought I would save at least some money but really a $1 is beyond comprehension when you consider that I spent $242.71 in the past 30 days.

Will add the $1 to my $20 challenge anyway....

Budget software...

August 29th, 2006 at 01:29 pm

Decided it was time to compare the Dave Ramsay Get out of Debt Plan with the Debt into Wealth Plan.

I paid for the The Debt into Wealth Plan about 4 years ago and used it for a while and then just stopped.

Entered all my debts and setup a monthly budget and...
1. The order to pay off the debts alter significantly from Dave's plan
2. The interest rates and length of loan/debt period are all calculated so that you can see how much you are actually saving i.e. in interest
3. At the end of paying off each debt, you can choose to use your accelerator (snowball) to have some fun and celebrate or just keep going. Hmmm... somewhere in here there has to be a balance. Really like the idea of a treat at the end of each debt payoff - also gives DD something to look forward to.
4. Helps you calculate the payoff date for your mortgage - now that I really liked. These vague numbers i.e. about 4 years drive me insane - I like to know exactly how much by when. Smile
5. Everything is automated so everytime you save on the monthly budgeted amount it carries it straight into the accelerator (snowball).


Paid some more off my CC3 today - feeling good about that.

Waiting for my work expenses to be reimbursed for July (I did them late) and for August (can finalise them on the 31 August) then I can reduce the CC3 balance more Smile

I am feeling kinda weird at the moment all I think about is "how can I earn more money to pay off debt" or "nope, I am not buying that it is a luxury or a want" - I NEVER used to think like this, very different.

Better get back to work...

Saving Money like crazy...

August 28th, 2006 at 06:00 pm

BTW I have started a new pay period - got paid on the 25 August so next pay day is 25 September:

Had a really productive weekend - DD slept over at DB's so I had Saturday and Sunday morning to get some things done:

1. Finished DD's skirt (at last)
2. Altered another of DD's skirts - had to put a zipper in because her tummy is a wee bit larger - too much junk Smile
3. Mended & altered a sweatsuit for DD
4. Made 2 pairs of sweatpants for DD
5. Made a pair of play jeans for DD
Estimated savings: $30
Spent $14 on 2 new patterns and a piece of fabric for her summer wardrobe.

Figured I still saved $16 which I am adding to $20 challenge.

Grocery shopping - done but very basic supplies bought, no snacks, no treats except for a tub of ice cream,just what we needed to make meals from scratch:
$58 spent

Dog Food for 3 dogs: $47 for about 3-4 weeks supply

Garage Sale: Priced everything - sold some stuff to a friend $50 - to go to EMF

Clothes sold: $23 to EMF

EMF New Balance: $153

$20 Challenge Balance: $36

Have paid off some more debt but will only update the balances on the 1 September after all the automatic payments go out of my account.

This journal is really a fun way to keep me on track - everytime I think about spending money I stop and imagine the debt balances - talk about an instant reality check.

Thanks to everyone for their comments and encouragement.

BTW I really enjoyed my Friday afternoon - read my book and snoozed Smile

Cable TV decision made for me...

August 28th, 2006 at 04:32 pm

After all my debating the Cable TV decision was made for me.

We have huge electrical storms here - lots of lightning and thunder - can you see where this is going?

The satellite dish was hit by lightning on Saturday night Frown

To have it fixed will cost about $120 and then who knows how long until the next storm - decided that we could survive without it so I cancelled our subscription today.

Okay so unwilling savings: $60 per month on the subscription - am going to put it into the EMF tomorrow.

New balance on EMF: $80 (I am having a good laugh here)

200 days achieved...

August 24th, 2006 at 11:42 am

I did it, I did it, I did it - 200 days of no gambling.

For those of you who don't think addictions exist, from my heart I can tell you it DOES and it is soul destroying. Addictions eat away at the very essence of you and leave you empty until the next fix.

I am so proud of myself - sorry but this time I am doing the praising Smile

I can't tell you how exciting my life now looks (even with the huge debt balance). Every day I give thanks that I have been Blessed with the opportunity to make things right in my life and for the Grace of forgiveness...

Sorry this is so soppy but honest...

To celebrate I am taking the afternoon off. My reward - I am going to read my book and have a snooze just because I can - oh the simple things that we forget about when we are caught up in the throes of addiction....

Recovered from the blues...

August 24th, 2006 at 11:35 am

Feeling much better today - sorry about the rambling yesterday, very boring for those reading my journal.

THANKS for all the encouragement and comments on my last couple of entries.

I used to have a journal here a couple of years ago but used a login name that was similar to my business name and was concerned that my clients may do a name search and link into the journal. Jeff very kindly deleted all those entries and I was able to start again.

The difference between then and now is that I hadn't accepted that I have/had a gambling addiction so the money saving entries were more a matter of survival than really saving money.

Wow I have come a long way...

Still on track...

August 23rd, 2006 at 08:45 pm

What I did today to save money:
1. Baked while I was cooking dinner:
- Baked muffins for freezing - used ingredients from the pantry
- Made choc-chip cookies for the cookie jar
2. Almost finished DD's second skirt - made from my stash of fabrics

Now I am off to bed...

Why are we so tough on ourselves...

August 23rd, 2006 at 08:38 pm

There is a saying that "there is nothing like the pressure we place on ourselves". Think that is my problem at the moment...

If someone were to ask if I was doing everything possible to get out of debt I would have to admit "nearly everything".

Areas I need to still sort out:
1. Cancel cable TV = $55 savings. Having a tough time with this one - I love cable TV and have the TV on while I am sewing. I don't ever just sit and do nothing in front of the TV. Think I am going to give it one more month and see if I can cover the cost through my sewing orders/income/clothes savings etc.

2. Garage Sale - still need to price things. Money from this is going to my EMF

3. Medical insurance - the cost of the insurance will balance out with what I am currently paying for Dr/Dentist/Meds etc. BUT more importantly I will have the peace of mind that we have it.

4. CC3 - used it again during August just to get through the month for absolute necessities ie groceries, gas.
Need to get my income up to cover this with cash.

Progress I have made:
1. Baking & cooking from scratch - no take outs during August

2. Used up leftovers

3. Selling clothes I no longer wear

4. Sold Timeshare - that is a big one

5. No office supplies bought at all

Sorry I needed to ramble... see you tommorrow

Updated Debt Balances

August 23rd, 2006 at 08:14 pm

Whoopee the money from the timeshare came through - I can't believe it so I have paid some more towards my debt:

Starting Debt on the 12 July 2006:
Home Remodeling: $345 PAID
CC1: $715 : Now $714
Timeshare Levy: $730; PAID
Bank Overdraft: $929; $754
Loan from Dad: $857: Now $643
Swimming Pool Renovation: $1429; Now $1429
Private School Fees: $1219; Now $899
Car Loan: $11073; Now $10 478
Bank Overdraft 2: $7000; Now $6857
CC2: $13716; Now $13100
CC3: $15918; Now $15714
HEL: $57143; $56 643
First Mortgage: $114286; Now $113714

TOTAL DEBT: $225360; Now $220 945

Paid: $4 415 since the 12 July 2006

Decided to track the total amount I have paid off - think it will be more motivating that way but I am going keep a running tally under my bio.

Jeez this is going to take ages Frown

But every step of progress needs to be celebrated I guess.

I am really feeling depressed at the moment don't know if I am going to make sales target so I had to keep some of the timeshare proceeds back for month end expenses.

I so badly wanted to make a huge dent in my debt ...

I want a stable salary...

August 23rd, 2006 at 10:25 am

That was my thought today as I was driving to finalise my timeshare closing.
Sales is wonderful BUT there are times when the thought of a stable salary is sooooooo tempting. I work on commission only, which has great tax advantages but in the slower months it can be a real challenge.

Seems in the past it didn't bug me so much because I wasn't so focused on paying off debt. Now I can only imagine what it would be like to get a definite amount each month and be able to budget with a known income.

Oh well… the joys of being in sales.

Goals for tommorrow:
1. Close 4 deals and send out invoices - only closed one!
2. Follow up on 3 calls done last week - spoke to one client and left messages for the other 2.
3. Price things for Garage sale - not done
4. Finish skirt for daughter - done
5. Follow up on Timeshare payment - done
6. Make 5 new appointments for next week - made 2
7. General office filing - some done

Timeshare documents finalized and now waiting for payment *sigh*

Better day today...

August 22nd, 2006 at 12:54 pm

Yesterday I was really feeling down and demotivated - suppose that is part of the path to recovery. Have 2 more days to go and then I have 200 days of no gambling - whoopee Smile

Had a call from a debt collector last week, if I don't pay them by the 31 August they will sue. This is the first time this has ever happened to me and I felt terrible. I was so embarrassed. Have put that debt at the top of my list of things to pay this month and then it will be gone. It is the balance of the timeshare dues... $244

Have to go and finalise the documents for the timeshare sale tomorrow at 9am and collect payment - yippee!!!!

Managed to sell a few clothes that I no longer wear - another $30 towards debt.

Have finally sorted out all the stuff for the garage sale now all I need to do is price it.

Got an order yesterday - small but a nice contribution to my sales target.

DD went to play with a friend today and I was helping her choose something to wear when I realised (I mean really realised) that she is down to only a few outfits because she has grown so much. I have got to, got to, got to make her some more clothes but somehow I just never seem to catch up with her growth spurts.

Spring has almost arrived thank goodness - I hate winter even though our winters here are mild compared to the US.

Oh BTW I forgot to mention that DD was riding her bike around the pool on Thursday and fell into the pool, bike and all. The water is freezing and she got such a fright but managed to see the funny side of it. I laughed so much I was crying - her bike was abandoned in the deepend and she just stood looking overwhelmed.

We no longer have a net over the pool because DD can now swim - the kids here in SA learn to swim early because of our climate and so many homes have pools. I think that if the net had been on, she would have hurt herself quite badly but either way she helped me fish the bike out of the pool with a huge smile on her face. Last night she told me she would have a story to tell her teacher when she starts school again.

Oh well back to work...