Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How I'm getting out of debt, future bills

I believe at the very worst point for me financially my net worth was approximately, -$18,000.00 or possibly less.

Currently, My net worth is hovering around +$4,000 to +$5,000 when you take into account my depreciating car, my 401K and my money market/savings accounts. (wow - that almost looks 'good' for a moment considering the $23,000 difference from where I was and where I am)

The only thing bringing me down is the $2790 (soon to be $2190 if I can help it) in debt that remains on my "0%" interest, temporary rate card which remains 0% until November 2007.
Barring any major life changes in the near future, it will be paid off well before that.

I currently rent my home but, it is on the cheap. But, I figure when you account for PMI, Insurance and other wonderful charges I'm sure to get simply for having a 'darker hue' and not the full 20% down-payment that one should have when buying a house I figure I'm most likely saving money now whereas others may be losing their shirts with ARM' s and God-forbid Balloon Payment mortgages

Besides that, I would actually like to buy a duplex in about 1-2 years and live on one side, rent out the other.

I have given up quite a few things in the last few years as I have dug myself oh so gradually out of debt:

-Definitely don't go out as much (liquor seems to empty the contents of a wallet quicker than anything + I'm getting 'too old' for the club)
-I try and keep my weekly grocery bill at or under $20
-I cancelled the cable TV about a year and half ago - I only miss comedy central occasionally
-I've now realized (in my opinion) it's much better to fill up your gas tank than to pay $5-$10 at a time
-I borrow movies from the library if at all possible instead of 'renting' them
-I always pack my lunch unless it's pay day or a special occasion
-I own my car and if I can help it I'll pay cash in full for my next one
-I keep my credit cards in a safe place: my freezer - cut into tiny bits & pieces
-I have not bought new shoes or clothes really in over a year (yeah , I'm really ready to go on that first shopping spree once the debt is paid - how good it will feel to pay $500-1,000 for clothes and use cash ...I can barely wait)
...I'm sure there are more things but, that's a pretty good list.

There are however expenses that tend to keep my means on the short side:
-Taking my girlfriend out: My girlfriend LOVES to go out to eat, I rarely ask her to pay for a meal out and she rarely offers - I feel bad though because as a condition of me being more 'committed-to-her' (i.e., "I want a ring") I asked that she move out of her foster parents house - I mean she is in her MID-20's! So now she lives on her own and has a fraction of the disposable income she had before - but it's good because this will teach her about the wonderful world or expenses assuming we do get hitched.

-internet & my gym membership: I keep debating in my mind if I want to cut these out temporarily but every time I get close to cutting them I realize I need the gym for mental sanity after a grueling day at my day job. I also love having the in-home internet rather than going to the library where you only have an hour to use it, you can't go to 'R-rated' sites, and on top of all that the librarians no longer police cell phone calls people take at THE LIBRARY!!! so it gets annoying when the library 'patron' next to me talks to their friend Roxie on the phone about the wonderful trip to Wal-Mart they just had while I'm trying to check my hotmail.

-summer trips - this Week me and the girlfriend will be going to a semi-nearby amusement park and Lord knows they'll be selling things such as water for the ridiculously low price of...$3-4!? OR a pretzel for only $7 - we plan to pack but sometimes amusement park food is GOOD.
We'll also be going to visit some of my girlfriend's friends in August - hopefully after the debt is paid. Her friends live on the West Coast - but my girlfriend is apparently getting a deal from a friend whose a flight attendant for about $60 a plane ticket. And the friends offered for us to stay at their place but I'm not sure how down I am staying a week with people I don't know so we might have a hotel room

-ring: after paying off my debt I will most likely start shopping for a expensive piece of jewelry for my girlfriend who keeps hinting she wants one. I've already asked her real dad -who lives overseas - for her hand, he quickly said yes that would be fine BUT, their culture still believes in a dowery/bride price - which is a whole 'nother issue...

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