Day 8: The Salvation of Saving

Main Point: There is great reward in saving.

Today’s assignment: Commit to set aside a percentage of every paycheck. To give savings a purpose, list the things you would like to do with the money. Post the list someplace where you will see it frequently to help maintain your commitment and motivation to save.

Things I’d like to do with my savings:
1. Get out of debt.
2. Create a $1,000 cushion fund.
3. Pay for my trip to the Essence Music Festival.

What I wanted to buy today, but didn’t:

On my way to the credit union, I saw the blue dress in the Bargain Box window again. I guess I need to find a new route.

What was easy about today?

Eating was easy today because I did a quick inventory of my kitchen yesterday and made plans for this week’s major meals. Plans actually work to your advantage I tell you.
Meal Plan

What was hard about today?

It was hard to talk to the credit union representative today. Sarah was super nice during my free credit review, but I started getting defensive when she was looking at one credit card for a retail store and was explaining to me that paying 30% interest was nuts.

“Yeah, I know,” I thought. “That’s why I’m sitting here.”

But I felt the need to overexplain, telling her that I didn’t spend all that money on clothes. I spent on other stuff, and my mom ran part of it up. Then, I realized that it was all dumb. I shouldn’t have spent someone else’s cash, which is what credit is, for whatever I bought. I really couldn’t tell you why I bought some of the stuff and never paid it back. It was just a sad cycle.

She asked, “Are any of your cards under 10 percent?”

I looked down at my Google Spreadsheet with my monthly bills and said, “No.” Face palm.

The good thing is the credit union did the free credit review to help members save money, and my credit score isn’t bad. I’m with the majority, but I could still pull it up. After reviewing everything, Sarah suggested I consolidate the debt and get a loan from the bank at a low interest rate – 8.24 percent. Vast improvement! The bank would then pay off the creditors and I’d pay back the loan by sending a set amount to the bank at that low interest rate for a set amount of time, mainly 36 months. If I then decided to pay more than the minimum to the bank, then it would go toward my principal balance and I could pay off the loan quicker.

I told Sarah, “I’m just mad I didn’t do this sooner.”

But I feel as if I’m learning about this at the right time. (I haven’t made my mind up, yet.) I’m settling into my job and my apartment, both of which I’ve been in for less than eight months. And, obviously, I’m learning so much from Michelle, am open to receiving the knowledge, and willing to act on it. I’m reading “21-Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom” and “7 Money Mantras for a Richer Life: How to Live Well with the Money You Have” simultaneously. It’s like I can’t get enough of her common sense solutions. It’s as if I wish my own mother had spoken to me this way. Maybe, I wouldn’t have to consolidate my debt.

Today’s chapter and yesterday’s chapter have both talked about repairing an older car until you really have to buy a new car. I needed to hear that. Penny, my 2001 Mazda, is doing pretty well, but I don’t want to pay almost $1,500. Michelle, however, is right. It beats buying a new car, for which I can’t pay for outright.

What did I learn from today’s chapter?

When I did the math, I learned that I’d have money for “Life Happens Fund” within a year. I’ll work toward saving 5 percent of my take-home pay for this fund.

What I was feeling today about my finances?

Talking with the credit union representative made me hopeful. I feel as if I could, at least, get out of credit card debt sooner than I thought. I just gotta stick to the plan. Planning. There’s that word again.

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