This is a post I’ve been contemplating writing for the past two or so weeks, but for some reason, couldn’t bring myself to hit the “publish” button. I’m not sure why. I have just felt out of sorts when it comes to my financial situation because I still haven’t been able to look at a full month’s worth of expenses and salary, to see how it’s really setting itself up. Maybe that’s why. I’m pretty sure it is the reason, actually.
So, it’s been a while since we talked about my debt. It’s been on my mind a lot lately, however. I’ve found a few podcasts that have focused on people who have paid off a lot of debt in a short period of time, and on finding focus in your life, mental clarity, etc. One is the Slow Your Home Podcast, and in particular, an interview she did with Cait Flanders, who paid off $30,000 in two years. She basically put herself on what she refers to as a shopping ban, where she monitors everything she buys and only buys what she needs. The only thing she doesn’t obsessively track is groceries/food. But what got me about her interview was her laser sharp focus. It’s something I have not had as much of lately because of all the changes in my life, but I’m now ready to re-focus.
I currently have two checking accounts going, just until the direct deposit starts to work with the new bank account. I have automatic payments coming out every month for my student loans so it’s important to monitor the two, to be sure there’s enough in there. Luckily, this month, the Big Daddy student loan payment has adjusted from what used to be $538 to $91. HUGE difference. The LAL loan remains constant at $167.11. There’s nothing to do about that one as it’s a private loan. I’m slowly moving my direct debit withdrawals to the new checking account.
I’ve been using my credit card since the move, and it’s something I’d like to stop. I’ve been able to pay it off every month and I plan on doing so, going forward. But I’d really like it to go back into the freezer. Or just get rid of it for good, and transfer money from my online savings to my brick-and-mortar savings bank account and use that as my emergency fund going forward. I know I handled my money the best when I didn’t have a credit card, but at the time, I didn’t own my housing (albeit by a loan), but rented. So when anything broke, all I needed to do was make a call to the building Super’s office.
That phone call would not have been an option this past week, when my AC broke. Because my rooftop AC unit is also my heater, even though the heating system still works, the whole thing needed to be replaced. About $1K later, I have a new AND working AC unit, thank God. At the time, the credit card really came in handy because my online savings account needs two days to make a transfer, and I needed 50% of the cost of the unit to be paid before an order for it would be placed. That would have delayed the purchase by two days, and then the ultimate installation would have also been delayed. So, I think that if I were to get rid of the credit card, I would need to have at least 1K sitting in a closely-accessible savings account in case situations like that arise again in the future.
For those of you that have emergency fund accounts sitting close by, what amount do you suggest placing into it? And how do you resist temptation to use it for something other than an emergency? Any comments and suggestions are very welcome, and thank you in advance if you take the time to leave one!