Thursday, November 29, 2007

Spread Thin? Spend Less and Earn More (and Get a Bonus)

I’m feeling a little spread thin this month, and it’s making it hard to have patience. I really want to be throwing all of my money at my debt snowball, but unfortunately that’s just not possible right now.

A big reason for this is that I bought two plane tickets for much more than I budgeted for in the past two months. I had budgeted to spend about $300 on each, but I ended up spending about $400, and my plane ticket fund is now in the hole. I have enough in savings for other categories to float the difference so I haven’t overdrawn my bank account, but I do need to remedy the situation.

I know the smartest thing to do is to not only replenish my plane ticket fund, but also rebuild it enough to buy the next plane ticket very soon. Part of the reason I spent more than I budgeted for the previous two was that I waited too long to buy. If I throw a lot of money at that fund right now, I can buy my ticket for spring for about $250. That would save me money overall, so that’s what I’m going to do.

Still, it’s hard to have less to throw at the debt snowball than I’ve had in past months. I really want to keep making significant progress, so I need to find more money somewhere. As anyone who’s been around the PF blogosphere for long knows, there’s only two ways to get more money: spend less and earn more.

My lessened spending has come mostly from my Christmas budget. Not buying anything for myself on Black Friday gave me $40, and spending under budget on a few gifts for other people brings the total up to about $60 so far.

In the earn more category, I went through some boxes of stuff I’d left at my parents’ place when I moved last July and found some things to sell. I took eight boxes of books and CDs to Half Price Books and made $57, and I brought a few of the nicer books and CDs home and listed them on Amazon, but the big find was a piece of unopened graphics software that will probably net me about $200 on eBay. I’m also contemplating selling a few of my TV on DVD sets that I really like, but don’t rewatch often (or at all).

I’ve also heard from a very reliable source that my company is giving out a $200 bonus at the Christmas party in a couple of weeks. I’m not sure I really qualify that as “earning” more, but money is money and I’ll take it any (legal/moral) way I can get it.

My goal is to have an extra $600 from a combination of spending less and earning more (and getting a bonus) to add to my plane ticket fund and debt snowball by the end of December. That’s bigger than my usual snowball amount, so that will make me feel really good about my progress. I’ll update you at the end of the month on how I did, but if I forget to post about it, poke me and ask.


Matt and Carol said...

Good for you! We need to get some stuff listed on Ebay too but that takes energy I just don't have...

Taking care of C has taken everything out of me lately and then DH got a kidney stone yesterday! On top of everything else! I can't wait to blog about our November medical expenses once the bills come in because our insurance is good enough that I shouldn't have to pay much of anything!

TV Girl said...

Good heavens! It's just one thing after another for you guys! I'm glad C is doing better now though, and kidney stones aren't fun, but they're relatively routine (medically speaking) so hopefully that doesn't cause too much stress.

With everything going on it's no wonder you don't have much energy for ebaying. If you want some motivation, we can list stuff together. It'd be fun! I'm planning on doing mine on Sunday evening if you want to join me. Let me know and I'll sign on AIM then. :)

Matt and Carol said...

I've missed you on AIM :).

Sunday night... hmm... maybe...

NaNo ends tomorrow - unlikely I'll make it but am going to give it the old college try. Grading all weekend... Maybe... I'll watch for you :).

Did talk to the insurance company today and it looks like my remaining out of pocket expenses for the month should be a $50 copay for DH's ER visit yesterday - everything else should be covered 100%. IM me whenever you have a chance to chat :).