Friday, March 31, 2006

Always Something...

Why is it that now matter how much you budget and try to anticipate expenses, it never seems to work out? That is how I felt this morning as I was writing out a $200 check to reserve my condo complex’s clubhouse. I am the maid of honor in my Best Friend’s wedding in August and I am throwing her a Bridal Shower.

I think that I am going to set aside $1,000 of my savings for any and all upcoming wedding expenses related to throwing the Shower and Bachelorette Party. Then any remaining proceeds will go to pay down my home equity line. I sure hope the rest of the Bridal Party comes through with their financial contribution because otherwise, Chitowngirl is up the creek without a paddle.

No More Excuses...

Well my plan this month was to use my savings to pay off my car and free up some cash so that I can work out a solid budgeting plan where No Additional Debt is required.

So why haven’t I done this already?

I feel like I am having a mental block. I love having cash in my account and I hate to see it depleted. At the same time, I know that it’s dangerous to have that much money sitting in my checking account. I need to go to the bank tomorrow and pay off this car loan debt.

No more excuses Chitowngirl…Get down to business!!!

My Story...

I am a 20-something (almost 30-something) woman who graduated from undergrad almost 6 years ago with just $4,000 in credit card debt and no student loans. I know people are probably wondering -- How in the heck is your net worth almost -$70,000?

It’s simple…I am a spendaholic and I made some very poor decisions.

Following graduation, I moved home to live with Mom and Dad. My mom offered to take rent from me and place it into a savings account for my future downpayment but I refused. I was after all, a financial analyst. Yeah right! I basically lived it up beyond belief…vacations to Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Cancun. I won’t even mention my frequent stops to Ann Taylor. Since I never traveled before, I couldn’t get enough of it, and my credit card got a serious workout.

2 years later, I bought a new car and by the time I went to purchase my Condo 3 years later, I amassed approximately $10,000 in credit debt, $26,000 in car loan debt, and had minimal savings for the downpayment. On top of that, I was beginning law school a month later. Wowsa!!!

In the end, I bought a condo in the Chicagoland area which turned out to be way more than my measly salary could afford. I ended up doing an 80/20 so the only cash I had to come up with was really closing costs. I can’t say the condo purchase was a bad decision since it has appreciated about $20,000. The problem came when my monthly take home pay only covered my monthly bills and then I turned to my student loans to not only pay for tuition but also any and all personal expenses.

Today, after my bills are paid, I have $200 left. I plan to pay off my car loan this month with my savings so that I can free up an additional $500/month and therefore have no future need to amass unnecessary debt. I am working on a budget now and I hope that good things are to come.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

It's Blogging Time

First Post

Welcome to Chitowngirl’s blog!

I will use this blog to track my goals of becoming debt free and financially secure. I am somewhat obsessed about finances and have been for years. I currently track my finances with various excel spreadsheets but this blog will be another way for me to document my progress to “Financial Freedom.” Boy do I have a long way to go.

A little about me:

I am a 20-something female that currently resides in Chicago.
I am a full-time worker in the banking industry and part-time law student.
I work every single day to curb unnecessary spending.
I have a very negative net worth but a positive outlook on the future.

I’ve been reading personal financial blogs for a few months and decided to start my own. I was hesitant at first to begin this blog because I thought it might be too premature. I stand to incur additional debt as I complete my final year of school. But on second thought, I believe that this blog will help me to improve my spending habits as I try to stabilize and enhance my net worth.

I will post my financial breakdown soon and/or try to link up to NetworthIQ. I appreciate any and all comments. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read about my financial mess.