Thursday, June 20, 2013

Getting out of the rut

So far, 2013 hasn't gone exactly as planned. That's both good and bad. I had been in a huge rut. And I was using my budget and efforts to get out of debt as an excuse to stay well entrenched in that deep groove.

There's been an evolution in job duties, which has given me new things to do at work. But there was no change in pay -- up or down -- so that hasn't affected by budget, for better or worse.

But the biggest change was deciding to move into a new apartment. The change of scenery has done wonders for my mood. I hated the place I was living. I felt stuck there, but had been planning to stay until I got out of debt. I won't bore you with the details, but the living situation became untenable and I really needed to move. So I found a place I love, but it costs a bit more money for rent and I am paying a little more in other household expenses each month. And it cost me a little bit to get moved.

Then my computer died. While I have not been a very dedicated blogger, I spend a great deal of time on computers, at work and at home, so I needed to replace the old laptop. In doing so, I was weak and put the expense on a credit card. I am not proud of that, but I didn't want to wipe out my emergency fund. So, I did a bad thing and charged it.

The good news on the financial front is that I am down to three debts now and should have the next one paid off in three or four months.

But the bad news with resetting my budget is that it may take me into next summer, or even longer, to be completely debt free. I have chosen to pay more to have a bit better living situation and I have committed to helping a family member financially too, which will cut into the budget and extend the debt payoff date. I am not happy about that stretching out the timeline, because this process feels like it has already taken far too long. But I can live with it. I can now afford to make some financial choices when necessary. I don't have to stay holed up in my apartment studying my budget spreadsheets for entertainment. I have decided that having my finances in order, while an admirable goal, will be a bit hollow if I have no life. And I had stopped living there for a long time.

So, I have loosened up my budget a bit to spend a little more on things besides debt. I have actually had a date, and have another one planned. I didn't realize how much I was using my finances as an excuse not to connect with people. I was in an emotional rut too, perhaps even deeper than the financial one.

I made a lot of bad financial choices in my life. I don't always make all the right one now either. But I am making much better ones. Breaking some bad habits. Speaking of that, I am trying to quit chewing again too. I'm still getting my nicotine through gum, but I haven't dipped snuff in nearly 4 weeks now.

These feel like choices that can help me live longer, happier and financially healthier.  That may be a rut out of which I may never want to climb.

The End Debt Daily