Week #3 Debt Diet Review

Posted by Cent With Love | 1:56 PM | , | 2 comments »

This was a wacky money week. A few things threw me for a loop, but I think I handled them the best I could, and surprisingly, I think I'll come out ahead.

  • The minimum payment for one of my cards was higher than expected. This card is actually a joint card for me and DH. It's a 0% interest card that we transferred two higher interest cards to over the summer. I originially had the payment as $110, but it was really $160. That meant I needed to find $50 somewhere. I took our Dining Out $40 and $10 from my Child Care envelope and just resolved to NOT eat out this week.
  • Black Friday Shopping - I didn't overdo it. In fact, I only bought a few things and I used my Personal Money to do so. By doing this, though, I wiped out my $70 Personal Cash for the week pretty early on.
  • I purchased something online using a gift card that covered everything but $15. I used my debit card since it was a Christmas gift. Unfortunately, the gift card didn't go through, and they wacked my debit card for the full $90! I called them first thing on Monday, but there's been a hold on that $90 all week. Not a huge deal because...
  • I didn't have to spend any money on gas this week! I'm still going on that $33 tank that I put in almost 2 weeks ago. And I still have half a tank! Basically, the $40 I saved on gas this week took care of the $50 additional that I needed to pay on our 0% card.
  • I have 2 things that I need to return to Old Navy that I bought last week with my Personal Cash = $25. These were not superfluous purchases - they were items to wear on Thanksgiving Day and a winter hat. Neither of which I liked. So, cash comes back to me.
  • We decided to not do errands on Monday night, so that saved a bit of Dining Out money, and DH was sick with food poisoning last night and doesn't want to go out to eat tonight as planned, so it all worked out.

Here's the recap of what's left in my envelopes:

  1. Gas Envelope: $0
  2. Child Care Envelope: $0
  3. Grocery Envelope: $7
  4. Dining Out Envelope: $0
  5. Personal Cash: $25 (once I return to Old Navy, will use this for Christmas Gift)
  6. Extra in Debit Card: $90 (not sure what to do with this - think I'm just going to put it in my Emergency Fund since my Excise Tax is due at the end of the month, or I'll use it for "emergency" Christmas gifts)

Beyond that, I've paid all minimum payments for December as of tomorrow, and I should be able to pay off Card #2 the week after next. Woohooo! It's a small one, but just one less I'll have to worry about.

The tough thing is Christmas Shopping. Since I'm trying to work with a Zero Balance Budget, it doesn't leave too much wiggle room for extras. I'm doing my best to just use Personal Cash for any gifts I need to buy, but I don't think that's going to cut it. I hate to say this, but dipping into my Emergency Fund a teeny, tiny bit may be in order. It's a heck of a lot better than what I've done in previous years, and to be honest, it won't take me long to replenish it. In order to dip as little as possible, I've been trying to make as much extra money as I can by doing a little each day.


  1. Christine // December 4, 2008 at 3:15 PM  

    I am right there with you on the Christmas shopping. I may have to teeny tiny dip into the EF, too. Which will easily be brought back to its rightful balance.

    The Federal Jury service was a great blessing in disguise as I got to keep the extra $40 a day! Still expecting my last $40 payment this week. It totally helped!

  2. Cheryl // December 10, 2008 at 9:02 AM  

    Good job on your 2nd card. I am on my third one. Every one, even the little ones are fantastic when they are gone. Keep it up.