Incredibly Frustrated

During my routine 9:45 AM call to my sister she mentioned that I had received an envelop that looked like it could potentially be my W2s. In my complete and utter excitement I told her to rip the envelop open so she could confirm right then and there. She confirmed that in fact it was my w2’s. I have not felt that sense of relief, happiness, and excitement in such a long time. My happiness level was a solid 10/10 in that moment! I told her I would literally run out of my office right on time to go pick up the paperwork and immediately drop it off with my income tax lady. No matter what the amount of my refund is, it is going to make a hell of a positive difference for my next couple weeks/months.

My work day ended and I RUSHED to my sisters house, picked up the envelop and drove straight to the income tax office.  Mind you I decided to skip on the gym to make sure I got to the tax office before it closed. I LOVE going to the gym, so skipping out on it is a huge sacrifice for me. I pull up to the parking space and decide to take a look at my W2s just to make sure all looks good. I notice it looks completely wrong. I definitely made way more gross income than was indicated. My freaking W2s are filled with errors, and therefore I cannot file my taxes. Not only can I not file them right then and there, I have to reach out to my payroll contact, figure out whats wrong, and get them to correct it.  God knows how much longer that is going to make this whole process and I needed that return yesterday!

Has this ever happened to you? Was the process as complicated as I imagine it will be? Help!

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Weekly Spending Recap

I will be tracking my expenses weekly.  Every Sunday while my friends our out on their 5th or 6th Mimosa, I will be here, at home….sipping my free tap water, while telling you about every single penny that left my hand for the week. I will follow the bullet list with a reflection on the week. This, in an attempt to have complete transparency, and also curb my spending and get out of debt as soon as possible. Lets get started.

Monday, January 15th

  • $0.00 No Spend Day

Tuesday, January 16th

  • $1.29 Itunes (Troye Sivan)

Wednesday, January 17th

  • $20.05 (Sisters Gym)
  • $34.00 (Non Sufficient Funds Fee for above expense)

Thursday, January 18

  • $6.10 (Gummi Bears for a Co Worker)

Friday, January 19

  • $146.49 – Parking Ticket
  • $107.00- Credit Card Payment

Saturday, January 20th

  • $32.64 – GAS
  • $21.52 – Groceries (Made dinner with family)
  • $16.54 – Z Fabrique (Crystals and Palo Santo for a friend in need)
  • $276.68 – Loan Payment

Sunday, January 21

$0.00- No Spend Day

This week I spent $662.31. Since I have never tracked weekly spending before, I have nothing to compare it to, but it seems high, very high. What makes me so incredibly mad is that 27% of those expenses went to what I can only call “stupid spending.” That $146.49 parking ticket was from that time I parked in my sisters driveway but half my car was out of the driveway and blocked the sidewalk. Since I was driving a complimentary loaner from my dealer while my car was being fixed, I turned a blind eye and pretended I did not see the then $70.00 ticket – hoping the dealer wouldn’t bother to track me down. Well financial karma came back and bit me in the tush. Not only did they find me, but they charged me twice as much as the original ticket. When you are living paycheck to paycheck like I currently am, stupid spending like this is entirely unacceptable. The second stupid spending of the week was the non sufficient fee for my sisters gym. Being the very kind brother that I am, I offered to pay for my sisters gym membership fee years ago. I do not regret doing this, she deserves this and more. The part I do regret is never noticing what date that membership fee runs through my account. This was the ONLY expense I did not have neatly written in my calendar, and it is the one that ruined me! Now – I currently have one more “stupid spending” expense that is going to hit me within the next few weeks. This is for the toll road that I took to Laguna Beach. But after that one, I declare I will never have another “stupid spending” expense again, Ever Again. I simply cant afford them.

58% of my expenses went directly to my debt repayment, and that I am proud of! However I do want to make sure to increase this as much as possible every week. With regards to all other  expenses, I don’t regret any of them.  But if I want to be more frugal, I could have eliminated some of the expenses go forward.  I need to have more “No Spend” days. Especially on Saturdays!

 

 

Blonde Inspiration

My previous post details my aha moment, or more so – that moment I went so far deep the rabbit hole of debt, I had no where else to run. Since then I have been working really hard on keeping track of my expenses, and doing whatever it takes to only get by on cold hard cash. I’ve spent a lot of time saying no to friends, and consequently a lot of lonely nights at home. Last night, was no exception. After turning down my roommate’s invitation to go to the neighborhood bar for a night cap, I was online and stumbled upon an article on Refinery 29 on personal finances written by Cait Flanders ( I will link it below). After diving into the article, it led me to her blog, Blonde on a Budget which she started in 2011. (I will like that below as well)

Her blog chronicles her journey out of a similar situation ($29,000 of Credit Card Debt). Can i just say I instantly became OBSESSED with the blog. Since discovering it last night, I have read through almost 14 months of posts, and am looking forward to reading the rest. I feel like I am not ALONE in this debt recovery journey! Someone has gone through this and SURVIVED! There is a light at the end of the tunnel – and although I might not get there for a few years, I will get there eventually. And most importantly I will do this on my own. If Cait did it, so can I!

I love Cait’s writing style, I love her advice, I love how honest it is, comical at times, inspiring at all times. I love the sense of community she developed with her followers through the comment threads. I mean it inspired me instantly to start this blog. And I want it to be completely clear, my blog is inspired by Cait and her journey on Blonde on a Budget.

What I hope to achieve in writing this blog, is twofold. (1) I would like to incorporate some of the techniques Cait used and in a very similar fashion – primarily being her weekly spending recaps and her monthly budgets, to keep myself accountable and get myself out of debt and (2) Practice my own writing skills. I mean I am already spending so much free time at home, might as well start a hobby and sharpen these writing skills!

 

Links:

Refinery 29 Article: http://www.refinery29.com/cait-flanders-year-of-less-excerpt

Blonde on A Budget: https://caitflanders.com/

 

 

Hello Rock Bottom

I’ve been broke, I’ve been real broke, and less than two months ago I found myself INCREDIBLY broke. I mean, just a few pennies in my checking account, zero in savings, and completely maxed out credit cards (4 credit cards to be exact), BROKE. The night it finally hit me, I couldn’t sleep. I was having a major panic attack. I had hit Rock Bottom. Over a decade of being fiscally irresponsible finally caught up with me, and it was not pretty.

The following day I decided to face the music. I had no idea what my total debt was, but I knew that if I was completely maxed out on all my cards, it was not going to be good. I opened up Excel and added it all up. Even though I didn’t want to know the truth, I had reached a point where I didn’t have another option. I titled the document ‘financial budget’, although I had no idea what either of those words truly meant. I created a column for credit card company name, and one for total balance. I logged into each of my four credit card company websites, and added one total after another. It went a little something like this:

American Express – $10,839.45

Mastercard – $4,533.39

Chase #1 – $2,066.29

Chase #2 – $11,618.44

That comes to a whopping $29,057.57. And as if that weren’t enough to send me straight to the emergency room – there was also the two personal loans I had taken out. I added those in to get a clear picture of how deep the whole in the ground actually was.

Loan # 1 – $6,025.87

Loan #2 – $11,426.70

So there it was. $46,510.14. Only 31 years old and over $46 THOUSAND DOLLARS in debt. The questions started rolling in.

How in The H*LL, did this happen?

How did I allow it to get this bad? I mean I knew it was bad, but never imagined that it was THIS bad.

And all for what? What exactly did i spend so much money on?

But even more importantly, now that I am here, how am I ever going to be able to get myself out?

I decided right then in there that I would need to completely overhaul my life and change practically everything about my relationship with money.