For nearly 10 years, I have been in debt. Oh debt. You savage beast.
I continue to amaze myself, year after year, on how well I can pay my debt off and then bring it all back again. Credit cards are evil, but have been a necessity in our lives, especially in times of dependance on a single income, but they really are evil. And this year, barring any massive dramas, I vow to have everything paid off by the time the bells ring to bring in 2014. This year, in a way, is a “preparation” year, as I will be 30. years. old. (whee!) next April and I’d like to leave the weight of these cards behind me and start my thirties in a better financial position.
Cause, y’know, one of these days I’d like to actually buy a house and get married. Like everyone else!
Credit cards and my “live for the moment” attitude (and not “YOLO LOL LETS DO STUPID SHIT”, but genuinely, I-have-almost-died-three-times-so-just-live-for-the-moment! – which also explains my addiction to telling people how much I love them) have allowed me to do some amazing things and visit some amazing places (and hell, move to Scotland!) and I don’t regret a second of it. But I’d truly love there to be a day where my pay comes in, and it doesn’t all go out straight away!
So I have a plan, and it’s a similar plan to all the other years, but this time it is giving me a little bit of leeway. And part of my solution also involves hopefully moving on up in my role/team at work, and getting myself a bit more pay.
My problem in previous years (apart from the redundancy on both of our parts), is that I have been either very very restrictive, or not paying attention. Restricting myself to a pittance each week so that I reach for the credit cards leads to defiant/emergency spending (I know, I am a child), and not paying attention leads to… an empty bank account, I suppose!
I have spent the last few years checking my accounts daily, as a matter of habit, and because the UK does not have the amazing-but-not-really innovation that NZ has where money actually appears/leaves your account in real time. Sometimes I will check my account and be absolutely baffled that suddenly £30 has gone missing, and it’s because they took a while to make deductions. Our food account used to run out of money all the time because of this.
But yes. So. I have credit card payments scheduled up the wazoo, am not to be in overdraft unless for an emergency bill, and plan to channel the spending money I do put aside to take at last 3 Europe trips on super cheap deals with my Boo this year. If we can coordinate our leave properly. Ma and Pa are also hoping to come over in June, and that would be pretty amazing as they want to take us away somewhere as well.
Sometimes I really understand and relate to the beginning of the film Up. I believe people should travel and live freely as much as they can before they get financially committed to something like a house, but I also understand completely the way life hits you like a brick.
Both sides of parents gave us money for Christmas this year. My father gave me an amazing gift which allowed me to make credit card payments and keep some aside for us to maybe go somewhere like Venice in April. Dave’s mother gave us a great bonus to help us do something nice for ourselves as well. And you know what? the car needs to be fixed. We need the car, we live practical lives with our vehicle’s support and it just needs to be done. So despite the fact that the money pooled together could take us on maybe 3 trips, or for many many nice dinners, or help us finally buy a couch… it’s going on the car. It has to.
Smashing the metaphorical savings jar every time something breaks or goes wrong is a very real and shitty part of life. I wish we had savings or money aside that could cover the emergencies like replacing transmission bearings in your Honda, but y’know. We just haven’t had that luxury for a long time.
And I didn’t move here to travel Europe. Europe is always on the cards, and is always something we want, but. I moved here because I love this wonderful man and I wanted to spend my life with him.
But this year? Both on good salaries? We can build up something as a cushion for the tough times. We can take a few trips.
And next year? Without the debt?
We can do some amazing things.