Thursday, June 7, 2012

Small shift

When I started this journey, I obsessively checked our accounts...all accounts....daily.  If you read my blog way back then, I updated my numbers almost daily.  If I paid $2, I updated.  If there was $.51 cents in interest added to something, I updated it.  Now, things don't change that often.  So I update everything roughly every 2 weeks.

Once I pay the little bit of interest on the credit cards, that will leave the one "bigger" card.  I am trying to figure out how much we can pay per paycheck so I can just get rid of this guy.  Once I figure that out, I will set auto-pay for $X dollars for Y payments.  Then it is over.

The car and the retirement loan are already auto debited.  Literally, I could not look at those accounts for 3.5 years, and it will just do its thing.  I probably would want to look at it toward the end though....just to make sure we are a-ok.

The student loan...will just continue to go down over time.  My original plan was that "extra" money per month would go here...but with medical stuff, there is a greater chance that anything extra will have to be allocated in that direction.  Not that I don't want to beat this into the ground, but there is only so much to go around.

The medical...I have to resolve that this number is going to go up and down.   I hate that the "up" effects the bottom line, because it makes things look like more debt.  And yeah, technically it is.  But medical is a category that isn't frivolous spending and is mostly beyond our control.

I no longer obsessively check things.  I know where they stand.  I have a plan.  I know when things will be paid.  We are saving up for other expenses (Christmas, car tax, etc).  We put our overtime and bonus money aside until we decide how to consciously spend it.

It is boring.  I don't miss the anxiety of "how are we going to do this" but I do miss working on the plan.  I miss the puzzle aspect of finances.

I have a few goals for the year that I am behind on, so I think my focus will shift a little in the next month or so and play catch-up. insurance, will, and gift card "point" programs.  The rest of it....there isn't much to say about it.

Anyone else ever go through this?


  1. Why don't you shift the time and mental energy you spent juggling bills and payments, and put it into something else that would save you money.

    My first thought is grocery shopping. I don't know how much you do already, but you could start a price book, comparison shop between different stores for staple grocery prices, put more effort into finding coupons, menu plan (if you don't already).

    Other ideas are shop around to optimize your cell phone plans, try to find cheaper auto/home insurance, research home improvements that will save you money (insulation, cfl bulbs, programmable thermostat, etc).

    This should use the same type of problem solving skills as your bill juggling did, and will also save you money that can be put towards your debts. You can just channel your puzzle solving (which you miss) in a new direction.

  2. Like you, I have had a shift in focus lately. I have every single thing automated so I rarely have to take any action on them to make things work. I also have decided that extra money will go to savings for a while instead of funneling every extra penny toward student loans. They are what they are, and the payments on those are only around 317.00. Until I get a good emergency fund built, the minimums will have to do.

  3. I currently am on obsessed-mode in regards to personal finances and saving money. I have books and blogs that I scour for ideas and input on how to overcome tight situations. I'm hoping it's temporary, so I can begin to obsess about something else...but, on one hand, this level of awareness keeps my spending down.

  4. I've gone from obsessed-mode into automated-payments mode! Now I'm probably not looking at the accounts enough, but savings are happening by auto-transfer, money aside for bills via auto-transfer...and we only have a set amount in our "Personal Spending" accounts, so if it runs out - it runs out!!!

    I know what you mean about missing the planning and puzzle element...but this is one time when "boring" probably is very good! (i.e. "under control")