Welcome to another Summary Sunday! I will be doing these every Sunday to help keep me on track and show me where I’m succeeding and where I need to push a little harder.
Do you find some changes are easier for you than others? Do you do weekly check-ins or do you prefer monthly? Let me know below!
So far, we have great “success” with Goal 1! I have dropped our credit utilization by over 16%! This is HUGE! We also have partial success with Goal 2, $428/$2,000. 3 and 4 are tied together because I have delegated our savings challenge balance to our emergency fund. We currently have $49/$1,500 and even though that doesn’t seem like much, it’s a heck of a lot more than we had. Number 9 is iffy. So far my husband has been able to keep his cash supply up, but it seems like I get dinged when we are short. I have still had more than enough to get me through the week, so I would see it as success so far. I need to start collecting information on our options for number 10. I would love to start something with a portion of our tax return.
- 3% monthly change in credit utilization; minimum 36% change during 2017 (current: – 16.67%)
January(X) February() March() April() May() June() July() August() September() October() November() December()
- $2,000 saved into a general saving account
- $1,500 saved as an emergency fund
- Continuously follow a “Savings Challenge”
- $500 saved for our trip in March
- $750 saved for our trip in July
- $800 saved for my trip in November
- Positive balances in both our checking account and bill pot at the end of each month
January() February() March() April() May() June() July() August() September() October() November() December()
- That we have enough cash each week to maintain a pleasant lifestyle
- Start a retirement account
How do we stand currently?
Credit Utilization: 33.33%
Emergency Fund: $0
Savings Challenge: $49
Trips 1/2/3: $0/$0/$0
Checking: $100 but doesn’t feel right… what am I forgetting?!
Bills Pot: $290 (I have already paid out $550 this week, and we have auto-drafts that total $280 coming out this week)
Cash: H $100, W $35, Gas $20…
|Card 1||Card 2||Card 3||Card 4||Card 6||Total Credit|
|Jan ’17 (1)||95.80%||22.81%||23.23%||34.55%||N/A||50.00%|
|Jan ’17 (2)||95.80%||22.81%||13.72%||33.24%||N/A||46.56%|
|Jan ’17 (3)||95.80%||23.38%||14.06%||19.03%||0%||33.33%|
I had applied for a credit increase on card 1 but as I anticipated, it was declined. I assumed it would be because the balance is currently so high but the reason that they gave was the age of the account. I’ll just have to keep whittling it to drop the balance and then reapply later to increase the limit and thus the utilization will go down even more.
I also applied for another card this week! I know that may seem counterproductive, but there was a great promotion for signing up! I received a gift card for signing up and was able to use that towards things that we needed that were not necessarily necessities but needed just the same. I may do a post on the decision to sign up for that card later, I haven’t decided yet. I do not plan to use it unless it is an emergency so that balance should stay right around zero. While that doesn’t seem like much help, it does drop our utilization and increase our number of credit accounts. Both of those things are big factors in your credit score.
Notice that cards 2 and 3 went up. No, I did not use them. Their cycles renewed and they were hit with interest charges on the balance that they carried. This is a great visualization of why it is important to only carry a balance when necessary because you will end up paying so much more in the end.
I realized today that I need to start getting my bill schedule for February started. It’s ridiculous how fast this year is going already.
For the latest on why this has changed to a different savings challenge, check out Savings Challenge Saturday. Even though it doesn’t look like much, I’m very excited about that $49 and I am looking forward to watching it grow!
2017 PROPOSED BUDGET vs ACTUAL
|PROPOSED||ACTUAL JANUARY PAID|
|CAR INSURANCE||$114||A-D $190|
|VET PLAN||$60||A-D $90|
|CARD 5||Gone J||J|
|INCOME||Estimate: $4,040||Actual: $2,273|
This is a tad misleading; we paid rent with money that was saved during December. I’m not sure how to track it more accurately. The A-D notations are things that will be auto-drafted this week. I will be paying card 1 on Friday out of next week’s paycheck. It’s our last bill of the month! Kind of exciting, but it will start over again soon enough for February.
The vet plan won’t go down until February. I had thought that because this was the last month of the plan that it would renew at a lower rate for this month’s bill. While it will renew at a lower rate it will not renew at that lower rate until next month.
Feeling satisfied is going to be a general long-term focus. Perhaps just for this month, but probably more. It is going to take a while before I fully switch the way I think and don’t have a deep lingering want for things that I don’t need. I need to find a way to balance wants and needs.
I also want to focus more on the positive things that are happening because we are making changes. It’s hard because I’m looking at a bank account that has next to nothing in it and have been focusing too hard on that being a negative thing. But in just a couple of weeks I have made such huge changes to our finances! Heck, I opened us a savings account when we hadn’t had one in a couple of years and I did it with pocket change! That is a huge win. I have made choices that are positively affecting our credit. Things are changing for the better already and I want to make sure that I see it happen instead of looking the other way.
Hope that everyone enjoyed their weekend; I’ll see you tomorrow!