Those were my favorite words. Who needed to carry a wallet when I could just carry my check card in my back pocket? (OK, so I’m lazy…)
The downside of charging things is that it makes it too easy to just charge whatever and lose track of money easily. A penny over can cost you $39 in NSF fees…I learned that lesson the hard way. At 23, I have way more debt than I should…but at 23, I also learned all the lessons I need so far not to make the same mistakes again. As much as I wanted to indulge in things like books and clothes…and as much as I thought I was being careful with money, the plastic takes you to a whole new dimension…where APRs & NSFs suck your soul…
So with my new plan to move out by June has come the new PQ Way of spending. See…I don’t have a lot of things that I buy or spend money on…but on a bad day, when I feel like I need something to comfort me, my plastic has been there…ready to charge whatever will fill that momentary desire. Well, no more.
Cash is now my best friend. In the last two months alone, I’ve saved up almost $300, have been making my payments on time and even have room on my credit cards (Which I am NOT touching). Gone are the days where I spend every last dime and am literally riding the penny train up until my next paycheck. No sirreebob.
Take today for example. I took $200 with me to the mall. Only because I knew there was at least one purchase I’d need to make. Here’s the breakdown of what I spent.
$59 for 125ML bottle of my perfume. I normally get the 30ML but that was $39? Um…125ML would be $125 @ that rate so I think I did pretty good…and a 30ML bottle lasts me a year so this is like a long time investment.
$11 for a skirt at Express…On sale from around $60.
$17 for a shirt & $3 socks from Express from my bro (But he’ll pay me back).
$14 for a skirt at Guess…Down from around $65…HELL of a deal.
$25 for food, coffee, misc. for both me and my brother.
Things I was TEMPTED to buy…and would probably purchase if I had the plastic.
$38 Guess Wallet
$59 Pencil Skirt from Express
$25 Panties from VS
$40 Bra from VS
Undetermined amount of clothes from NY&Co.
$200 Camera from Best Buy
But I did NOT.
$70 left in my pocket and into savings.
With cash, I am more aware of my spending, what I need, what I don’t need and how much things are really costing me. As tempting as it is to say “OK, I learned my lesson…give me the plastic!”…I shall stick to cash until further notice. I will however always carry a card with me for emergencies…It shall NOT be taken out unless there is an emergency.
Things I need to cut back on in 2009:
Junk food that I buy from the grocery store on an impulse and then never eat.
Eating out @ lunch. (I’ve actually been REALLY good with this.)
I will appreciate any and all money saving tips…Because I know that I have some awesome friends who know their way around a budget.
Aren’t you proud of me? I am.
I will, probably, keep blogging with updates…maybe every month about where the M.O.F. is…I am going to speak with Borders today to see if I can start at a second job…moving my savings to a faster rate!!
Is cash your best friend? Have you come out of debt? How did you do it? What were some of the mistakes/good things you did along the way?