Hi there, my name is SS4BC and I am a reformed spend-a-holic (I’m also a Chemistry professor, but that’s my day job!). I got my first credit card at the ripe young age of 20. I thought it would be important for me to build credit (I swear I had honest intentions). However, when you’re in college/grad school and don’t have much money and figure you’ll make TONS of money when you grow up you tend to over use. Because I always made my payments on time my bank kept raising my credit limit – as I kept reaching the end of it. By 2005 it was $8,000 and by 2008 it was $16,000. Oh yes – and did I mention the various store credit cards I owed money on? $2,000 combined I owed on those as well.
In August 2008 I realized that my assets were worth less than my debt, and to top it off the economy faltered. Thus all of my “assets” were worth nearly nothing. As I struggled to pay my bills every month and kept ending the month with PENNIES to my name, I realized that it was time to make a change.
I started tutoring part time at Tutor.com in September 2008 to cover my spending habits and used the “breathing room” given to me by this extra money to figure out where I was going and how I would save money. I didn’t get it right at first – does anyone? – but I’m slowly starting to figure it out.
Here is how my life has changed:
The prior 7 months before I started this blog:
*Closed a savings account because I had withdrawn all the money from it
*Charged $4,040.98 to my credit card
*Had $836 in overdraft fees charged to my various checking accounts
*Withdrew $2,224.80 from my mutual funds and stocks
Between January 2009 and December 2009 I have:
*Saved $1,200 of my income into an emergency fund
*Paid down $2,285 of miscellaneous debt
*Paid down nearly $3,500 of credit card debt
*Had no overdraft fees on my checking account
*Saved over $2,000 for a trip to Europe with my grandma
*Started working 3 part time jobs to save money and pay down debt – earning around $10k/year in extra income
Between January 2010 and December 2010 I have:
*Saved $5,000 to move myself to my new home in Kansas City
*Paid down another $3,000 of credit card debt
*Got myself a job that I love – making $15k more a year! I was able to quit working my three different part time jobs.
*Didn’t eat out for EIGHT months – crazy times, let me tell ya…
As you can see… I’ve gotten myself in a better place, but I still have a lot of work to do. I’m hoping to get my net worth in the positive in the next year, and that is going to take a lot of work on my part!