Hello September!! Fall is near 🙂
Fall is both good and bad. Mostly bad financially…I feel like I spend more money during the final four months of the year. However, it’s also a time when I start setting some goals and working on myself even more.
August was a great month in regards to paying off debt! I’m hoping to keep it up the rest of the year.
This month I also was reminded of the sacrifices that are necessary to get out of debt. I work in Atlanta, but live in the suburbs. I commute to and from work for a total of 2 hours, sometimes more, sometimes less. I’ve been looking at homes for rent closer to work, but that would cost me a minimum of $1100/month, plus utilities and whatever else.
I’ve stopped looking for homes because getting out of debt is my priority. Living in my current home with my sister and her boyfriend saves me a lot of money for now. I have been looking into public transit, but I’ve yet to bite the bullet and try it out.
Anyway, here’s my debt and spending analysis:
DEBT PAYMENT/INCOME SPREADSHEET
*This spreadsheet does not include payments for my insurance (life, health, vision, dental)*
CURRENT FICO SCORE: 691
THE GOOD NEWS
My credit score went up 8 points
I keep dropping my credit utilization and my score should be getting into the 700s very soon!
I paid off even MORE debt than last month
Last month I mentioned that I had paid off the most debt I’ve ever paid off in one month, but in August I surpassed that by about $600! If I want to pay off all $80K in less than 4 years, I need to put at least $1300 toward my debt each month. I’m happy to say I went over that!
I made a decent amount of extra income
I made about $650 in extra income for August which is always helpful. Me and my sister actually had a garage sale that was a huge fail. I ended up posting most of my large items on Facebook Marketplace and luckily I sold a couple things through there. I also got paid from Google Adsense (most of my ad income comes from YouTube), I wrote a post for a company, and even got some cash back rewards from Bank of America.
I didn’t spend much on unnecessary items
Since I spent over $1000 on “unnecessary” purchases last month, I definitely wanted to stay under $250 for August. I know that I could technically spend $0 on unnecessary items but I still like to make purchases that make me happy without going overboard.
THE BAD NEWS
I found out that student loans accrue interest daily
Well, I guess I kind of already knew this but I didn’t really pay attention to it. I was entering in some numbers in my spread sheet and noticed that my student loan balance had changed by a good bit since I had entered it from the statement date. I read around on Navient’s website where I found a statement saying, “Interest continues to accrue daily on your unpaid principal balance until the loan is paid in full.” Over $5 accrues daily and over $170 accrues monthly. I think this is bullshit. Credit cards accrue interest on ONE total ONE time each month. That’s exactly how student loans should work. Instead, this little system allows for interest to accrue on even more interest.
I went over budget on food
My goal was to spend less than $250 on food for August. I only went over about $45 which isn’t too bad and I know exactly why. Me and my boyfriend went to eat at an all vegan restaurant which I paid $52 for the both of us. The food was great and we had a good time though so it’s whatever.
Highlighted fields are spending areas I can/should improve in!
Savings: I’m not including this in my “spending” total because it’s not actually spending. My income is not taxed, therefore I transfer $1550 from each paycheck every month into my savings. For months I was using the app Qapital which I think is great. In July I started using the app Acorns. Acorns invests your money in stock for you which I think is so cool. If you use my link to sign up you’ll actually get $5 invested for free!
This month I only transferred $1000 into my savings because I plan on paying some vet visits for my dogs in September! I shouldn’t really affect my required tax savings.
Rent/Utilities: I live with my sister (and her boyfriend) so $600 goes toward the mortgage, electricity, internet, etc. $100 goes toward the money I owe her!
Food: I only went out to eat once in August, but it happened to be a $52 bill (I paid for me and my boyfriend). The rest was groceries. If I hadn’t gone out to eat I would have stayed under $250, but at least it wasn’t terrible.
Gas: I drive 22 miles to and from work Monday-Friday so I have to get gas every weekend. $118-$130 is expected for gas each month. This month was a little higher because I used more gas to drive further into the city to take a few free fitness classes. Not a huge deal.
Health: This includes my multivitamins and my gym membership.
Car: My minimum payment for my 2015 Toyota Camry.
Credit Card Debt: Self-explanatory. I put over $1000 toward my credit card debt!! I do still use my Bank of America credit card for the rewards, which is why the total didn’t go down as much as it could have.
Student Loan Debt: I pay $288.37 every month. Once I pay off my credit cards I will throw extra to my student loans!
Insurance: This includes vision, dental, and life insurance. I have health insurance through work on top of my salary which is really nice.
Business: This literally includes just paying for hosting/my domain for this blog and G Suite (by Google), which is $7.99 and $5 each month. In August I actually paid someone to help me speed up my blog and to review some of my posts. I also got a huge itch to stay consistent with my blog again and ended up redesigning it a bit. I used Elementor which cost about $50.
Other: This category basically includes unnecessary spending. August included a couple pairs of leggings, Google Play, parking, and maybe a couple other small things. Compared to last month I did MUCH better though!
Excluding savings, I spent $3,473.84 in the month of August. Almost $100 less than last month however, I put more than double toward my debt.
My goals for September are to spend less than $250 on food, make at least $800 in extra income, and get my Bank of America credit card under $1000!
I do see September having a higher spending total in the ‘other’ category. September is my boyfriend’s birthday month, my sister’s birthday is coming in October, there’s a couple of events going on, and I’m allowing myself to purchase a couple more new leggings.
I really want to focus on getting my income up, especially from my blog and YouTube channel!