About Me

If I had no head - this is what I'd look like!

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*Closed a savings account because I had withdrawn all the money from it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!

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11 Responses to About Me

  1. mo says:

    like your mission.

  2. jennie says:

    I just started reading more PF blogs and have started my own. I wanted to let you know that I will be following your blog and hope you will follow mine too!

  3. canadiandebtgirl says:

    Awesome for changing your ways. I really like your budgeting style too, it reminds me of my own. 🙂

  4. WeeMike says:

    Great blog – love the idea of keeping track of your financial freedom online!

    I’ve been in debt in the past and it took me nearly 4 years to get out of it – since then I no longer have any credit at all and pay for everything in cash now.

    If I can’t afford something now I wait, save for it and then if when I have enough money and I still want it only then will I buy it.

    Keep it up – theres always light at the end of the tunnel!

    WeeMike

  5. Mike says:

    “3) No eating out for 345 days in 2010.”

    You are insane!!!!

    🙂

    Good luck – you are a much stronger person than I am.

    Haha. Awesome “No eating out” badge.

  6. JK says:

    This is my first time here at your blog, and I think it’s great. Great job in 2009!

  7. Maria says:

    Hello,

    I recently compiled a list of the Top 100 Financial Blogs for College Students, and I wanted to let you know that you made the list! We are promoting the list to college students looking to learn more about personal finance. The list is published online at
    http://www.onlinedegrees.org/top-100-financial-blogs-for-college-students/

    Thanks so much, and if you think your audience would find useful information in the list or on the site, please feel free to share the link. You can also use the button we’ve created for the list, which I can e-mail you. We always appreciate a link back.

    Thanks again, and have a great day!

    Maria

    p.s. If you have a header or button, you may send it to me and I can add it to the list.

  8. Christa says:

    Ugh, credit cards! I got my first one the minute I turned 18 but didn’t have to use it until I moved out of the dorms. Then I built up a little debt ($2,000) that took years to pay off! Good luck on paying off yours!

  9. Getting Thee says:

    Hi!
    Wow! Great blog 🙂 I see myself in you..good intentions with the credit and suddenly creeping up; larger than life before you 😦 So glad that you decided to take control of your finances, and not let your finances take over you. I hope to follow your blog, as I journey my way to debt free life, and early retirement. (Yup, already thinking of that!!) lol. Its inspirational to see your journey, determination and accomplishments. Good luck, and keep blogging.

  10. Bonnie says:

    Hello! I was thinking about the nature of loss this morning and goggled loss. Your letter to your brother came up and then I started poking around your site. I applaud your transparency and truthfulness! Will share with my pals who will appreciate it as well. PS this might sound weird coming from a “stranger” but I am proud of you!
    Aloha, B (bnavarre.com)

  11. Scarlett says:

    what kind of part-time jobs did you do to earn $10,000?

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