This year I’d like to not use credit to pay for expenses that I’m aware of ahead of time. I think it’ll go a long way to ensuring I get out and stay out of debt. This means reviewing my budget quite closely to see areas in which I can tighten in order to meet this goal without sacrificing my steep debt repayments.
Here’s a list of anticipated spending that I’m aware of:
- February: attend an out of town conference, shoes for said conference, Day o’ Fun
- March: gift for ML, Renew my license sticker and have a diagnostic test on the car
- May: attend an out of town wedding and road trip to see a friend, gift for family member, wine tour
- June: wine tour
- July: house insurance due, gift for family member
- August: road trips to see friends, wine tour
- September: Homecoming
- October: Halloween candy and party
- November: tickets for shows
- December: gifts and socializing for holiday season
I’ve already increased my budget categories for the car (in January and February) and House Insurance (until July) to ensure that those two anticipated expenses will be paid cash. I’m especially proud that I was able to do this without sacrificing my debt payment.
In 2016 I’d also like to start saving more. This is going to be impossible without increasing my income*. For the first part of 2016 I’ve decided to do this to the tune of $40. This will only have a minimal impact on my debt repayment but will be a great help in the long term.
Do you already know some of your big 2016 expenses?
*I don’t budget using my true income as I’ll be tempted to spend just a bit more and those $2 and $5 add up quickly. Instead I budget using the minimum amount that I feel will allow me to continue living comfortably. I’ve found that if I cut too close I end up overspending and remain in a debt cycle.