Monday, August 29, 2011

Put the cash back in your wallet

Objects are closer than they appear... 

We actually have some savings...

And I am wondering if it is better to put an extra $1000 onto the VISA or keep the $1200 as 'emergency money' and keep putting on an extra $100 per week to all the interest accumulating accounts. Ahhh - the dilemma.

As things have been SO stretched finanically in the past, the security conscious part of me would rather keep the savings in the online account, continue adding $15 each week and leave it be. The money conscious part of me says if the VISA is reduced by $1000, the limit can also be reduced thus lowering the interest. The flippy-floppy part of me says keep half, put half on the VISA - or maybe its better on the personal loan - or perhaps the line of credit - or put a bit on each...

I posed this question on the Mands On A Mission facebook page and got a great response from the author of 365 Ways to Make Money and 26 Ingredients, Kylie Ofiu. Before stating her opinion, Kylie mentioned the choice depends on other information ~ are the bills being paid, has there been any discussions or arrangements made with the financial institutions involved and was more than then minimum repayments now required? 

Once I clarified that all the regular expenses are covered, our debts/loans are getting a little more than the minimums each month (some more than others) and we are looking at getting the VISA onto a lower rate or zero rate card ~ but with nothing as back up if (say) car repairs were required its VISA (which we want to avoid) if we put our savings on to the debts.  Kylie offered the following opinion:

"If you are covering everything, keep the $1,000 aside for emergencies (like car repairs, insurance excess, health problems). It will stop the need for the Visa and will be easier to pay off that debt..."
She also suggested putting half on to one of the debts and keeping $500 as an emergency fund to avoid additional credit card debt.  Kylie also recommended looking for ways to make extra money and it might be time to get moving on setting up selling Tupperware again. I do so love the product and will be quite happy to potter through a party or three each week ~ must think seriously about that.

Of course, Hubby is about to look for work ~ even part time to start but we need to hear what the therapist says about my requirements and what abilities I should be strengthening. Especially as my neck now appears to be next on the chopping block (and I don't mean off ~ just need to have surgery to remove spurs and stop the nerve compression).

Our Little Mantras

This past week, we have set up some really fantastic habits and - while still new and practising - its not only lowering our spending, it is increasing our debt reductions as we issue 'penance' when temptation almost wins with a sneaky purchase or totally unnecessary spend.

Everyday he's "shuffling" 
On Thursday, I needed to get milk and onions which I did . . . and picked up two magazines . . . and put them back, thus "saving" $14.90. As penance, I put $10 onto the VISA and only $2.89 was spent on the required items. 

On Wednesday, I saw the nicest skirt ~ $15 ~ and even went so far as to browsed online to see if I could get it cheaper. Then moved away from the computer... Didn't buy anything and put $10 onto the LOC as 'penance' for evil thoughts *grins*  I figure if I felt like I had the funds for such 'extravagances' then I have the funds to pay a little extra onto our debt. 

So we have made some little mantra's and tips to help us not to spend just because... I have enough clothes, food, shoes, cleaning items to last a month and can spend that time looking for food, cleaners and REQUIRED purchases as they come on special. There is nothing I need urgently tomorrow.

I'd rather save for a "___ house/car/holiday ___" than buy another new shirt / skirt / jumper
$20 is better put onto the credit card than taken off.
If you 'want it' ~ put it back. If you decide you 'need it' come back tomorrow and think about it some more.

Other Reminders
Take a pic of your wardrobe, dresser drawers or shoe pile (your weakness) ~ keep it in your wallet IN FRONT of the card or cash ~ Look at the item you really don't need, look at the picture, look at the price and put it back... Even at the op shop. I carry around a picture of all the boxes of clothes we had at the garage sale and it reminds me I never EVER want to get to that amount again!


  1. Hey mandy! you re doing great!! no shock. I think you could hedge your bets, keep $750 in emergency fund and put $250 onto cc or loc or whatever will save you the most interest, then rebuild your emergency fund?? just a thought. I've become very excited about making extra morty payments, cos it makes such a dramatic difference, especially early on yayayayyayay!! Kim H

  2. You are doing so well. Glad to see you are in control of your finances.

    I love your penance idea too. It is so important. If you were going to spend that money may as well move it to savings or debt as you would not have had it anyway if it was spent.

    Keep up the good work!