Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Getting Back On Track

I Messed Up

I created this blog back in 2005 because I wanted a way to keep my honest in my spending behavior as well as to act as a focus for my financial life. A goal tracker. I was very diligent in my saving as well as in my spending leading up to the purchase of my condo.

After that goal was reached, I did what I hope many people do not do after reaching their goal; For the past 5 years, I have derailed myself from the original goals of saving and living frugally. I went on a mindnumbing phase of spending frivolously in an extreme sense. Not only did I not save $1,000 per month as planned during these five years, I used up all of my emergency fund.

Yes, all $15,000 of it. Including missed opportunities as well as the extra income from freelancing jobs, I ate up and spent more than $85,000 during these past five years.

Now, I don’t even want to try to calculate and include all the interest income I could have had, had I kept it in the savings account, because the sheer amount of it will just distract me from what I need to do from this point on.

Where did it all go?

The honest truth:

1) I ate it.

2) I bought a lot high-end makeup. I have enough to act as a makeup counter.

3) I bought unnecessary clothing. Some pieces are the type that I would never wear anymore.

4) I bought a lot of "wants", including electronics, furniture, and accessories.

5) The final reason is a big thing for me to confess...an addiction that I never thought I would be caught dead doing in this lifetime.  But I must be honest with myself.

I got addicted to gambling; Blackjack, in particular.

Every extra paycheck went into my visits to the Casinos.  At one point, I was rotating three or four different casinos in order for the dealers to stop recognizing me.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm all better and this alter-ego gambling me has been miraculously kicked to the curb.

I am taking one urge at a time.

The last trip was two weeks ago when I spent two thousand dollars... the same two thousand dollars I needed to save in order to reduce the debt that I have accumulated.


This brings me around to talking about the debt amount that I have accumulated since the "fall". I have approximately $ 6,300 in a brand new Chase Visa card and approximately $900 in a Citibank Credit Card.

Savings Goal (May 2010 - March 2011)

$20,000 by March 2011
This amount does not include the $7,200 debt that I must also pay off by then.
Thus, the total to be saved = $27,200

Current Status
$ 4,000 in an INGdirect online savings account
$ 4,000 in a Bank of America savings account
$ 1,000 in a chase checking account
Total: $ 9,000 cash savings
All these accounts are not under my name or within my access for a good reason.
During the last few years, I met my current live-in boyfriend and since he realized that I have a serious gambling problem that he couldn't control no matter how much he tried, he has been putting away his money that he was supposed to pay me in terms of rent into these accounts.
Immediate Plan of Attack
The $ 6,300 debt in Chase Credit Card is the newly transferred debt from the original Citibank Credit Card due to their 0% balance transfer offer for six months. 
I plan to pay off the remaining balance on the Citibank card ($ 900) ASAP and then, pay the minimum payment on the new Chase credit card until the six months run out.
A New Promise
I promise to myself that I will be saving every dime until I build up enough money ready to pay off the $6,300 as well as the remaining $11,000 saving gap by the end of March, 2011.
That's it. For now.

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