Thursday, August 29, 2013

Computer and Timing Purchases...

I am the Queen of timing purchases! I use my Capital One Rewards card to pay for everyday expenses, for emergencies, monthly household utilities and monthly transportation costs. For over a year, I have successfully used and paid the card off each month.  The billing cycle is pretty much from the 15th to the 15th of the next month. Then I pay it off at the end of the month, two weeks after the closing date. So if I have to incur a large expense or make a large purchase, I try to make sure it's just one thing during that 30-day billing cycle.

Right now, my car repair is sitting on my credit card for payoff at the end of next month. If I am able to get the Condo Association to reimburse me the $420 for the pipe repair soon, I will be in great shape. I just need to watch my spending over the next two weeks. If I am able to keep things tight, I won't have to use much if any of the Emergency Fund money my friend gave me for a rainy day.

I am praying that my phone turns back on in the next couple of days because I definitely need it for the Half Marathon on September 8th. This morning I remembered why I had to get a new phone when I realized after charging my old iPhone 3S that I couldn't turn it off. The power off button at the top doesn't work. My sister has a Go Phone she said I could use that she purchased after she too dropped her phone in the toilet. Her iPhone managed to come back on and so did my BFF's iPhone after she dropped it in pool. There is a good track record of these phones turning on after they finally dry out.

The other thing on my radar is a computer. My Dell laptop has a virus on it and doesn't work. I've had my eye on a new computer but now I am thinking that I will take my Dell over to the Geek Squad to see if they can do anything to get it back up and running. That could save me over $1k right now. I really do need a personal computer especially if I plan to do any side legal work. My iPad is limited in its functionality.

So provided my iPhone turns back on and works properly, I may look to get my computer repaired next month. Again...fingers crossed and prayers going up!

More Fun & Less Stress...

I've decided I need to have more fun in my life. I've been a bundle of stress and I'm boring the heck out of myself! I'm going back to doing the things I enjoy. Hanging with friends after work, eating lunch in the park, reading by the lakefront, seeing plays and spending time with my family. None of that requires a lot of money but puts a smile on my face and peace in my heart. 

My finances are on auto-pilot now. The plan is in place.  Now it's about execution.  The debt will be paid off in 5 years.  I'm saving for retirement and getting the bank match.  My expenses are streamlined.  Now I just need to focus on work, side work, and watching my spending to make sure I follow through on executing the plan. 

Now, I get to have fun and watch it all come to fruition. It will be a journey but I've decided it's going to be a good and fun journey. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Day 9 Finance & Fitness Journey...

Money & Spending:

Today was NOT a good spending day. I didn't pack breakfast or lunch. I didn't cook dinner. I dropped my phone in the toilet by accident. I think it's still alive but I won't know for another 24 hours if I am going to have to bite the bullet and get a new phone. It's sitting in a bag of rice right now trying to dry out.

Health & Fitness:

I put my scale away until after the race. My focus is on getting a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise daily and to get in longer maintenance runs before the Chicago Half Marathon in less than 2 weeks. I am really trying to push water to help my kidneys so that there is some improvement in my kidney function test when I go back in a month.  Lastly, I am going back to not eating after 6/7 pm which is 3/4 hours before bedtime. That would help tremendously and I would probably sleep better. I've been having some crazy dreams.

Work & Side Work:

Work was good today. I moved on to another review but really enjoyed working on my last review and learning about the agriculture dairy industry. The one thing I like about my job at the Bank is that while the actual work is the same, I get to cross and experience different industries, transactions and banking groups.

I got a call from a friend yesterday about working with him on a few matters he has coming up. If it pans out, he would pay me $50/hour for some legal document review which may lead to other opportunities. I like to think the best of people but I was disappointed when he hired on a paralegal a couple of weeks ago after I offered to do work for him. He did say the paralegal was going more administrative type of work for him right now and will start to do more paralegal type duties in the coming weeks. So perhaps he thought that particular work was beneath me. He is offering me a little more per hour than I originally said I would accept. Who knows. The most important thing is that I figure out the best way to get myself back into the legal game and put my degree and skills to work. Once you have something going, it can snowball and gain momentum.

I am moving forward and doing the things I need to do to put myself in the best position to WIN. 

Dropped My iPhone in the Toilet....

I haven't heard from my friend since yesterday afternoon which is very unlike him so in an effort to stay connected, I took my phone with me to the restroom.  As I went to exit the stall, I jumbled my phone and the darn thing flipped right into the toilet. Enough said! It's working right now but we'll see for how long. I just ran over to Walgreens to get some rice. I heard and read online that the best thing to do it to put your phone in a bowl of rice overnight to get the moisture out. I don't have a bowl at work so it's sitting in a tall cup on my desk covered with rice right now. I hope and pray I won't have to get another phone. My BFF and I were just joking about this a couple of weeks ago. I was going to ride it out with my 4S until it died and well...I still will. Please live! Please live!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Annual Health Physical...

I went for my annual physical last week. My doctor gave me a card to call in for my results after the 30th but on a whim I called last night to see if she left a message. Everything was good with two exceptions. My kidney function level was right at borderline so I was instructed to drink more water. There was also one liver enzyme that was slightly elevated. She wants me to come back in a month to test those again. She's moving to a new practice so I'll be making the appointment today at the new location to make sure I get on the schedule. I've never had any issues with my kidneys or liver before.

One thing I do know is stress manifests itself physically and this has been a blessed but stressful year with issues at work, plumbing issues with my condo, financial and liquidity strain and trying to build a new relationship long distance. I've done my best to juggle everything, pay everything, make strategic moves and take care of everything and everyone's needs. I am blessed beyond measure so I want to make that clear. I'm just so tired. Tired of trying so hard, sacrificing and knowing in my heart that it's still not enough. I've got to take better care of myself mentally, physically and spiritually despite the goals and  challenges ahead. 

I came home last night to nothing. An empty house. How many years have I done that now and felt utterly alone? I'll stay in my place through the year. If there is no indication that things in my personal life are changing in the near term, I'll sell my place for a loss or rent it out and move home with my parents. Not ideal but I'd have some company and I would be able to free up cash flow to accelerate debt payments and put myself in a better financial situation.  

Hope you guys have a good day. Thanks for reading. 

Day 8 Finance & Fitness Journey...

Not a terrible spending day. I did bring breakfast and lunch today but I got hungry in the late afternoon.  I ran over to Wendy's before I went home for the day.  So it was an early dinner.  I also purchased an eBook on Amazon.  I am going through the entire JD Robb series by Nora Roberts. There are over 30 books in the series and I may be nearing Book 15. I can get some from the library as well. My card just expired last month so I will renew it over the weekend. There is always a waiting list so I try to check out as many books as possible. 

That's all folks! =)

Returns and Reimbursements...

I got email confirmations that my returns to Victoria Secret were received. The total amount was $212.

Earlier this year, I had a major water leak caused by a broken pipe underground.  I sent an email today to the Condo Association to submit a copy of the $420 invoice to be reimbursed for the pipe repair work. The broken pipe was outside my four walls and underground. Therefore, it is considered part of the common area of the association. Now that the Bank is paying for the empty unit across the hall from me, the Association should have sufficient funds to reimburse me soon.

All good things.

Why Complain...

I was thinking last night and this morning about complaining and negative energy. I've been guilty of it and those around me lately have been as well.  Do you think it's possible to go a day without complaining?  I think we collectively need to be more aware of when we are complaining.  If we stop for a second and think about all we have to be grateful for, we would put out much better positive energy.  We would realize there is so much more to be thankful for than there is to complain about.

We have to turn things around when we start thinking and talking about what we don't want, what we don't wish to happen and what we don't appreciate.  We can pivot and focus our thoughts and words on what we do want, what we wish to happen and what we do appreciate.  There is no need to focus on the negatives when we can take that same energy to focus on the positives in people, circumstances and events.  Then you have a chance (which is all you need) to bring more of what you like and appreciate into your life. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Day 7 Finance and Fitness Journey...

Money & Spending:

Today was a ZERO spend day! I brought breakfast and lunch and a ton of fruit with me to work so I didn't have to spend anything eating out. I am not a big cooker but I came home and made dinner tonight so I have leftovers for tomorrow. I had this funny moment when I knew I was trying to make something I'm not familiar with so I said to myself, you better throw some canned green beans on just in case. lol.

Health & Fitness:

Weighed in at 170 this morning again. Monday and Friday are my off workout days. So, I have to get some exercise in tomorrow and I have to do it either early in the morning or inside because we're expecting high temps in the 90's again.  I wore size 10 pants today.  Although my weight has gone up, I am still fitting in the smaller size pants.  That is a plus for me.  I need to get more consistent with drinking water and getting to bed by 10 o'clock. I will do great one day, so-so another day, and not too great another day. Consistency it key.

Work and Side Work:

I am plugging away at the Bank. We are nearing year end on 9/30 so I am trying to end on a high productivity note before we start doing annual performance evaluations.

I worked a little bit on a basic website for Chitown Law Group last week. I have to get fee agreement letters prepared, order some business cards, work on templates, continue brushing up on the law and explore marking alternatives.  I have a pretty good meeting scheduled next month and I need to develop a pipeline of networking opportunities.  Public speaking is not my thing but I am fairly good in small groups and one on one. Come to think of it, I think there may be a Toastmasters Group here at the Bank. If I join, I may be able to develop my public speaking skills. Note to Chitown to look into Toastmasters!

That's all for me. Since I just started blogging back consistently, I am trying to find out if any of my old pals are out there still blogging and trying to make new friends along the way. =)

21 Random Facts About Chitown...

1 - I love brussel sprouts.
2 - My parents got my real name from the movie The Godfather.
3 - I have a lot of birthmarks in two different colors.
4 - When I was in junior high, I wanted to be an astronaut or a psychologist. 
5 - My number #1 pet peeve is cigarettes. 
6 - I don't like driving because it's boring. 
7 - My favorite color is purple followed closely by green. 
8 - I have a fear of public speaking. 
9 - I've had my ears pierced more than 5 different times. 
10 - I've always had an eerie feeling going downstairs in my parent's basement. 
11 - I don't like floral perfumes. 
12 - I only had two wisdom teeth. 
13 - I graduated 8th in my high school class.
14 - My favorite author is Nora Roberts. 
15 - My favorite movie is Pretty Woman - "I want the fairy tale"
16 - Haagen Dazs butter pecan is my favorite ice cream. 
17 - I once sang the Star Spangled Banner at the opening of a little league game. 
18 - Fall is my favorite season. 
19 - My sports nickname growing up was Magic so I wore the number 32. 
20 - I daydream a lot but I don't remember what I'm dreaming about. 
21 - The three things I want most is a happy marriage, healthy children and to be debt free. 

Jamba Juice...

I love Jamba Juice especially on a hot day like today when there is an expected high of 92 degrees. My co-coworker sent me an IM with just one word..."Jamba?". I knew I was going to get anything but I said, sure I could go for a walk. When we got there he said I'm treating. I found this gift card in my wallet. I was like...YES!!! He didn't know I wasn't going to get anything but I sure appreciated the treat! Score one for Chitown! =)


Good Morning!  I am on the train headed to the office and feeling good.  All is well.  I have my breakfast and lunch packed so it should be a zero spend day unless I can stop by Macy's just to get some proactiv cleanser.  That's a need vs. want.  Since yesterday was a high spend day, I have to be very diligent this week with planning and saying No!  Not just to myself but to my coworkers who wan to go out for lunch and friends who want to go for Happy Hour, etc. 

It's going to be a good week. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Day 6...

I had a spend day. After struggling through 11 miles this morning, I went to the grocery store to stock up on fruit and to get a loaf of bread. I had leftover alcohol from a party, gatorade, condiments and bottled water in my fridge. That's all folks. I don't really even drink. I need to give that away to my brother-in-law but then my fridge would look super empty. lol

They sent out a blast last Friday that the fridge wasn't working properly. We had to take everything out until it can be repaired. So I stocked up on fruit and grabbed some bread to make PB&J's this week. Why is eating healthy so expensive?!?! I purchased apples, nectarines, grapes, watermelon, melon, bananas and bread and I spent almost $50. Man! The grapes alone were damn near $10 and I didn't buy organic. Oh well...I am going to be a fruit eating sister! I really want to watch what I eat over the next two weeks until the marathon is over. Two years ago, I got food poisoning the day before the race and couldn't run. All that training and I couldn't lace up the sneakers. Not this year! 

After church, I swung by to meet up with my BFF. Her ex husband got remarried today and it was just one of those days when you should have someone with you. She wanted to go to Chili's so we went to Chili's. Not terribly expensive but when you top it off with the groceries, it was a spending day!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Day 5...

I had a really great day. I am always better when I'm surrounded by family and love. My condo feels so stale and hollow when it's just me but when my friend comes into town it feels like home. I grew up in a tight knit family so living by myself isn't great. I like my alone time every now and again but then I'm ready for company. One day, he'll relocate to Chicago and Chitown will be a happy lady.

It was another good spending day. We spent the day visiting his family member who is here for cancer treatment. His Cousin is an awesome man with a great sense of humor. He is battling this disease with such a force and spirit that I will never forget. It saddens me when tough things happen to good people but when you see them get knocked down and then get back up and say "now what?!?!", it just shows the strength of the human spirit. If he can fight this battle, surely I can fight the battle against this debt. 

I spent $20 on lunch so I just squeaked over the $100 threshold. Not bad for my first week. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Debt Sucks...

Student loans suck! Credit card debt sucks! Being under water on my mortgage sucks! 

It's literally feels sometimes like the debt is choking the light and the life out of me. I keep a smile on my face though. Smile through the pain. Stay Positive! Stay Optimistic! Knowing I pray everyday that my debt is zero balanced so I can be free and really reach my full potential. Sooner rather than later. $228,000!!! I do believe in miracles. I know I'll be free one day.  In the meantime, I'll keep busting my butt and of course...I'll keep smiling. =)

Day 4...

Good day! $10 on food for breakfast and dinner. $30 for pedicure including tip. I am at $93 for the week so far. One more day to go. =)

On a pretty awesome note, my friend decided to join me on the spending fast. He's not in the same position financially. He's in a much better position and he has a solid head on his shoulders. After digging himself out of debt many years ago, he enjoys freedom from a debt free life. He wants the same for me. It's always nice to have a partner in the journey. =)

Weight Watchers Cancelled....

I cancelled my WW subscription today. I rarely use it and there are a couple of other free apps on my phone that I think are very good and helpful. I will say, WW works if you are diligent and have the time to input your foods. I would give it a thumps up!


I will admit it...I am thankful for my job but not crazy about it so I live for Fridays. On weekends, I am free from the Bank and can chill, relax and have some fun. Because I live for Fridays and have for years, I know banking isn't for me. It feels like work. Every day and every second.

I didn't run this morning. I've been dragging so much lately and super tired during the day. I know it's because of what I've been eating and these extra 10 lbs I'm carrying. Ugh!!! I am most comfortable in my skin around 160. 

I am a little nervous about the upcoming Chicago Half Marathon. It's 2 weeks away and I may have 9 miles solid but I really need 10-11 miles solid. I'm just not motivated because it's really hard and boring to train on your own. Every run has been solo. I look forward to the weekend runs because at least there are other people on the trail. I am such a dork. I get so happy to see people, I'm waving and saying "good morning" throwing off my steps and breathing. lol Oh well! It is what it is...2 more weeks and I will knock out this race but I'm not where I'd hoped to be physically by now. Kind of disappointing. 

I looked at my budget yesterday and I going to make some more cuts. Cable is going, I am going to increase my insurance deductible and I am going to cancel my weight watchers subscription since I don't use it. That's close to $200/month in savings. 

It's been a decent spending week. If I take the whole week into account, I am at $50 so far. I brought my lunch today but I need to get a pedicure after work. That and my eyebrows once a month are the only things I don't do myself. I stayed up last night and gave myself a no chip manicure. My hands are saying "thank you!" 

That's about it folks.  I am on target to spend less than $100 this week. Have a great Friday and a great weekend! 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 3...


$5 people!!! Day 3 was another really good day.  I brought leftovers in for lunch and purchased a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. I did also buy some soup from the cafeteria to hold me over through my lunch meeting. Who the heck schedules a meeting from 11-1 in Chicago with people in Florida? I tell you! It's lunch time people! Anyway, I made it through my meeting and I am doing so much better with my doodling! I am almost an expert! LOL

My Mom is cooking dinner this evening and invited me over. I am not a fan of big dinners (love big lunches) so I will probably munch a little and grab some leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Can you tell...I love leftovers!!! 


I got my 40 minute workout in this morning! Oh yeah! I have to get up again in the morning and crank out some miles. I am thinking 5 miles for a maintenance run.


I am a member of The Illinois State Bar Association. Today I signed up for two free training classes on using FastCase which is a legal research service offered free through the ISBA as part of my membership. This cuts down on the need for expensive research services like Westlaw and LexisNexis and is a great tool for small law firms.

There is lots of work and prep that needs to be done to get Chitown Law Group back up and running to earn additional income. I know I have fielded several calls and emails for legal help this year. I referred all of them out to other practicing attorneys in my network. Wouldn't it be nice to keep some of that income for Chitown?!?! Absolutely!!! So, I need to get working to network, market myself, brush up on the law, attend court to observe, reconnect with mentors in different law areas and get the basics like a work laptop (eventually), business cards and a basic website. My laptop is DEAD, by business cards have stale information but I have everything else already set up and in place. In the meantime, I can use my iPad and work laptop until the legal work really starts coming. 

That's about all folks...$5!!! Day 3 Baby!!! =)

Personal Care Items...

I am a lady!  As such, I need my personal care items.  Unfortunately, the products I found that work best for me aren't the most inexpensive.

I gave up going to my hair stylist weekly to get my hair done back in 2010.  That was costing me $180/month.  Now, I just go 4 times a year to get the ends of my hair trimmed.  I embraced my naturally curly hair and I use Mixed Chicks hair products in the larger size liter bottles.  The deep conditioner combined with the leave-in conditioner costs me approximately $100 every two months.

The other product that I use is Proactiv and I've been using it since 2003.  It simply works best for me. When I deviate to try other products...look out!!!  It's not so good. LOL  Proactiv costs me about $60 every two months.

So why am I telling you all of this?!?!  I happened to realize that both products will need to be replenished either this weekend or next week.  Utilizing the need based approach, I won't feel bad about making the purchases.  However, I just wish they didn't need replenishing at the same darn time! =)

Morning Workout...

After snoozing for about 45 minutes, I finally got my tail up to exercise before work. I was going to skip it but then I was just talking about my weigh in yesterday and how I needed to get moving in the morning. So, I cranked out a quick 40 minute workout and now I'm on my way to the office.

Weight this morning was 170!!! Ouch!!! I was 164 just a few weeks ago and 174 on the scale at the doc yesterday so I'm all over the place. Despite the scale gain, I'm still swimming in my pants so I know I've lose inches even if the scale went up a bit.

I managed to go straight home last night and make dinner. I wanted take-out chicken enchiladas with chips & salsa but found all the ingredients at home to make a quick jambalaya from an old Paula Deen recipe. I even found some chips & salsa at home to snack on while dinner was cooking. Now, I have leftovers for lunch today. My Mom invited me to dinner this evening so it should be another easy spend day. 

Here are the pics for my jambalaya from the beginning to the end product. Yummy! 

End Product
Beginning Product

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Day 2...

I am sitting here on the train and my stomach is growling every few seconds. I am so hungry. I missed a real breakfast because my train stalled this morning. I just grabbed some canned fruit I had in the fridge for emergencies at work. Then I grabbed a quick bite at Wendy's before I went to the doc for my annual physical. It was a busy day. I was just sitting here thinking about the chicken enchiladas with chips & salsa that I want and will order when I get off the train. Then I remembered...that would cost close to $20 from the restaurant even for take out. So...I will be taking my butt home and finding something there to prepare.

I got on the scale at the doc and OMG!!! What the heck have I been doing the last month?!?! My butt doesn't need enchilada anything!!! Back to morning workouts. I won't even tell you the number on the's way too painful!!! 

I took a bag of clothes over to my mom for her to ship back to Victoria Secret yesterday. I went on a mini vacation to FL in July and I purchased some pj's and swimwear. The sizes were too big so I ordered smaller sizes and I need to send the wrong ones back. I tallied and its close to $150 that will go back on my card. I'll take it!!!

So here is my tally for the day. Not bad!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day 1...

I have to go to the grocery store this weekend. Before I go, I have to plan because the grocery store is DANGEROUS!!! Keeping to a list has been near impossible historically.

$400/month is keeping my spending under $15/day. So here's spending for Day 1. This was breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Day 1

Debt Reduction Plan..

The plan has me paying off my debt in 5 years with the current projection at 63 months.  I will remain at the Bank, look for opportunities to increase my income and apply all extra payments, income, bonuses, tax returns, vested stock options, etc. towards debt.

Emergency/ Reserve Fund

I will be keeping my December 2013 year end bonus as an emergency and reserve fund.  I am hoping that my car will be able to survive another year or two but I just don't know.  I am also simply uncomfortable with just a $1,000 eFund. My car repairs this month alone were $1,050.  A $1,000 eFund is enough for small things but it is not sufficient for larger emergencies.  I am staying firm on that because I know I have been in a panic and unable to sleep with the no reserves.  It's a BAD feeling.  No good for me.  Others are okay with having a small eFund but I would be more comfortable with $10k-$15k in savings.


Of course I will be able to accelerate my debt reduction plan if I am able to earn extra income doing law work, etc. or if there is a life event like marriage where I will be able to share household expenses, reduce my overhead and direct free cash flow towards debt.

Chart Explanation

I used the free snowball calculator from Vertex. The link is on the side of my blog.  I am now at management level so I receive stock options annually with my bonus that vest in 3 years. My first allotment vests in December 2015 so you will see an extra $10k bump to the annual bonus amount. The Bank is performing well and the stock value is strong so I don't anticipate large fluctuations over the next couple of years. With the change to bi-weekly pay, twice a year I will receive an extra monthly payment. That will go directly to debt repayment. What isn't in the chart is tax returns because I do not know what those amounts will be on an annual basis. I will apply those as they come.

Payoff Methodology

I have 1 credit card, 7 private student loans with virtually the same interest rate and 3 federal loans at different interest rates. I will focus on paying off the credit card first because I keep having to transfer the balance each year to take advantage of a promotional rate. The transfer fee last year added $800 to the balance. Payoff progress on the credit card has been slow although I make monthly payments. So I'm hoping to knock that off first and snowball to the private loans. I will attack the private loans by the lowest balance first since they have the same interest rate. I will continue to snowball and then attack my federal loans by the highest rate first since they're fixed rate.

All of the numbers are rounded and this is a rough estimate but it will give you some idea of the plan. 

Total Loans & Target Payoff Dates

Snowball Schedule

Monthly Budget...

Here is my monthly budget which includes the $100/week challenge to keep personal spending at $400/month.  This is going to be so hard for me because I am not a fan of budgets anymore.  Why?  Because the darn things never work for me.  Hopefully, it will be different now.

I started my 401k contributions back this month.  I contribute 5% to get the maximum match.  The Bank matches 100% up to 5% of my salary.  I don't want to give away free money anymore so it just means I have to tighten my spending belt more. Since the beginning of the year, my take-home has gone from $5,700 to $5,000 with the roll back of tax cuts, change in pay frequency from once a month to bi-weekly and now my 401k contributions. Huge adjustments and changes.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Beginning...

Tomorrow is Day #1. I'm nervous. Yep. Chitown is nervous. I'm facing a lot of challenges financially and personally and everything ties together. I need to come up with a challenge. I was doing the $200/week challenge but that's way too liberal. $100/week?!?! It's a start. If I keep my spending under $100/week only buying what I need, then that could mean $800+ per month extra towards debt. I'm nervous but that right there sounds awesome if I can do it!!! Wish me luck!!! 

Spending Fast and Car Update...

With the help of my friend, I got my car fixed and avoided a new car purchase.  I am very thankful for the help and that it was generously offered with no strings attached.  I found it difficult to accept the help or to even ask for help.  Stubborn pride.  Pride that will mess me up and put me in more of a financial bind.  So, I have more time to pay down debt and save for a new car.  Thank God!  I had to get the leak in my car fixed which was done by the body shop who originally did the work for NO CHARGE!  Yes!!!  My friend paid for me to get a complete new brake job (front and back rotors, brake pads and calipers) because the steering wheel was shaking when I went to brake.  Also I needed new drive belts because the car was making noise upon acceleration.  My 11 year old car needed some serious maintenance but what's most important is that I get to ride in a safe car.  So thankful!

I am on a debt reduction mission!!!!  I know it's ambitious as all heck but I want to pay off my debt in 5 years.  Yes....$228k in 5 years!!!!  I can do it!!!  I can do it!!!  Shhh...I will be 40 when it's all paid off!!!

My personal fun life is going to suck but I get my freedom back and I get to do cartwheels in 5 years!!!!  How am I going to do this?!?!  A serious spending fast!!!  I am going on a spending fast like no other spending fast.  If it's not needed, I don't get it.  No more eating out, vacations, etc. unless I am being treated.  Oh dear! I can do this right?!?!

I HAVE TO!!!  This debt is keeping me hostage and up all night.  It weighs on me like a ton of bricks!!!  I have to kick the debt monster out of my life for good!!!  Pray for me guys!!!

All bonuses, extra paychecks, cash rewards, tax returns, etc. go towards paying off debt.  I will ask myself with each purchase if it's needed or wanted.  I will have to report my victories and my shame right here on my blog.  Oh dear!!! Here goes!!!

I will post my spending daily.  My monthly budget and plan will be posted here shortly.