Stepping back a little

You might have noticed I’ve not been posting as much. As well as the turmoil at home, I have been trying to be a little less `debt-focused’ because I think it was starting to get me down. I stopped having fun, which I think is NOT the idea of debt reduction. It wasn’t so much that I was trying to avoid spending money, just feeling like everything I do is so regimented – work, uni, household … I need to be a bit more spontaneous. And it doesn’t really take money to do that.
When we decided to move out I felt conflicted … being so `full-on’ about paying off debt meant we were in a much better position to move out than we would have been otherwise. Yet, now I was looking at having less available spare cash than ever! And I wouldn’t even be paying off debt with the money! Did this mean having even less fun?
If we do end up staying, I can still pay off big amounts of debt, yet still learn not to structure my WHOLE life around money. If we leave, I have to see going out less as the `price of freedom’. Chances are, we’ll enjoy being home more than ever. It’s all a matter of perspective.
In the meantime, I’ve been making an effort to go walking every day, I’ve also gone out and bought some jeans and shirts, because I was sick of looking like a homeless person when I’m not in my work clothes.
I’ve also planned some nights out eg a comedy act next week for me and my hubby to go and see. This all comes out of planned `fun/miscellaneous’ spending of $150/week. Living here, we can still put $3-400 on debt, and this money also acts as a `catch-all’; if something uinplanned comes up.
Part of the deal here at home under the `trial arrangements’ is a switch-around of bedrooms. Suddenly we all have a bit more privacy, and my mood has lifted a lot – even staying home is a bit more enjoyable now.
I don’t really know what the way forward is – the trial here is running really well.
A commentator suggested I get my EF up to $5000 before continuing the debt pay-off (in case we need to get out fast). That is the logical thing to do, and I will keep extra money aside in the short term instead of putting it on the debt (for the bond, rent in advance, moving costs etc). But if we decide to stay, I know I will move that cash over to the car loan. I just want to get rid of that debt so I can save that $5000 as a next priority.

On another matter, I checked my EF balance yesterday – it is sitting pretty at $1017. For the first time I am realising that receiving interest on money in the bank actually can and does add up over time. I am seeing compounding at work. Eg when I put the $1000 in originally, there was already about $3 in the account. After month 1, I received $4.20, for month 2 I received $4.50 and after month 3 I received $4.80. I know the interest is paltry when compared to what we are charged for our debts, but it is nice to see that balance just sitting there, doing nothing but making me a little money. It makes me think about what could be achieved with a bigger balance and better interest rate!

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