Sunday, April 15, 2007

How it all began...

My name is Working Girl, and this is my story.

I work hard for my money. I am not a lazy person. I put myself through school. I love my job, although it is one of the most notoriously underpaid professions. But, like most Americans, I struggle to make ends meet. I don't struggle because of any difficulties or hardships, I struggle because I mismanage my money.

They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. So, here goes...

I am a retail therapy junkie.
I can't say no to a good sale.
I am in debt.

This is a new problem for me. As a child, I was great with money. I was always a great saver and never a big spender. If I loaned my sister a dollar, I would charge her ten cents interest a day until she paid me back. Somewhere along the line, I lost these qualities. It started when I began living on my own.

Living on my own is fabulous - except when it comes to paying the bills. Although I did just purchase my first home, which I know is a wonderful investment, it only added to the list of bills I already pay. Things I never thought about before - homeowners insurance, condo fees, all adds up.

My biggest headache when it comes to bills are the credit cards. Some of that debt can be attributed to college (tuition, books, food, gas, beer) and some of it can be attributed to the sweet seduction of entitlement. But how did I go from someone who hates to borrow five bucks from a friend to someone who owes over eight grand to credit card companies?

Thus began my idea to blog my way to financial freedom. I know many people get paid to blog, and there are ways to use your blog to generate revenue - I plan to explore all those options. But mainly, I know that if I put my personal business and goal out here on the Internet for everyone to read...I will be motivated more than ever to succeed!

So...this is my goal:

In one year, I will no longer have any debt attributed to credit cards!

These are my rules:

  1. I will put myself on a budget and stick to it.
  2. I will not buy anything using my credit cards. Emergencies include family members only, and shoe sales no longer qualify.
  3. I will find ways to save money in every aspect of my life. I will keep a running total of the money I have saved each month, and put that money towards paying off my debt.
  4. I will look for ways to make money in every aspect of my life. Extra money made at work, at home or at play will be used to pay off my credit cards.
  5. I will not limit myself on things that I love - especially travel. I will find a way to take at least one non-family/wedding related vacation this year, and I will not go further into debt by doing it nor will I let it stand in the way of accomplishing my goal.

A year seems like a long time, but hopefully, on April 15th 2008, I will be celebrating with a big bottle of champagne (paid for in cash, of course). I figured a day associated with money (tax day) is a great day to start.

Here is to my fresh financial start!

Until payday,

Working Girl


The Working Girl said...

Ok, so I didn't pay off my debt in one year, but I did accomplish some of my goals.

I did end up taking a non-family/wedding related trip. My volunteer trip to Jamaica was paid for in cash and I can claim it on my taxes.

I managed to pay down one of my credit cards by 31% last year.

I've become much better at not spending. I keep myself on a pretty tight budget. I slip occasionally, but I've managed to become much thriftier where it counts.

So, I'm not 100% debt free yet but I'm on my way!

The Working Girl said...

Well, it's been two years now! I am much closer to paying down my debt. I did rack up money on one of my cards, but I am working hard to pay it off!

I am THIS CLOSE to being out of credit card debt! I can taste the financial freedom!

The Working Girl said...

While I still have a love/hate relationship with money, I'm happy to report it no longer causes as much anxiety for me. So close to being out of debt, but more importantly, not being owned by it!