Monday, January 5, 2009

2008 in Retrospect

I have finished going over my budget for 2008. The numbers tell a story. A very sad story. I spent $10,0075.75 on debt. In some places (not NYC) that is enough for a down payment on a house. This is why I am broke. Do you know what I could do with 10K? I'm sure you do. This is why this has to end.
I got $1400 from my folks to pay for a computer I had bought to replace one that was stolen. I am putting $1129 towards the BOA loan and keeping 271 to pay off some tickets I received. The timing of this could not be better as I was not sure how I was going to pay those off and they are all (3) past due.
I have no money until the 15th because I just paid rent with my last check so it should be interesting to see how this month works out. The good thing about me is that I have a cash flow sheet that I update regularly so I am always aware of my cash situation and don't usually get into crazy cash strapped situations unless a major unexpected expense occurs. I have a category called unplanned spending but it's usually about $100 a month. I will try and figure out a way to get this on the blog so you guys can see where my money goes.

Trisha over at
blogging away debt inspired me to keep a record on what I pay as finance charges and boy it was an eye-opener! In December I was charged $415.91 in finance charges. From September to December I was charged $1619.07. Lord only knows what the total for the whole year was. That was as far back as I could go without paying for old statements. I need to get this number as close to zero as possible. The major culprit is the BOA gold option loan because the interest rate is 21.99. They have refused to bring it down so I am doing my best to move it around and pay it down. I'll post monthly on that.

In 2008 I went overbudget by $500.97 but I ended up with a balance that was $294 higher than budgeted due to unexpected income. That's not bad but I will try to stick closer to my budget this year. My biggest categories for overspending were eating out ($262.51), clothing ($373.57) and unplanned spending ($641.57). I don't have a budget for clothing this year. I have too many clothes. I don't need anymore and I need to
lose weight. Eating out definitely needs to be watched. I have a sensible budget and I shouldn't be going over by so much. I definitely need to look at what fell into unplanned spending to see what I can plan for. I know a lot of the excess came from my move.

2009 is going to be much better and I am wishing myself success in all my endeavors.

What do you guys have planned for the new year?


  1. Just clicking around and found your blog. I like all the little debt-o-meters you have for each card on the right. In the early days of my blog when I had more cards to pay than fingers, I worked on them based on interest rate. Then I tried lowest balance. Now I'm down to only a few which are the largest. I'm not sure what method you are using to try to pay down/off your debt, but I was curious what rates you're getting. Call these places up and see if you can get them to reduce your APR to help you get the debt paid off faster. I plan to pay off my credit card debt in 2009. Good luck to you with yours as well.

  2. You visited my blog so I decided to return the favor. Welcome to the wonderful world of personal finance blogs.

    I like the debt-o-meters and would love to add them to my blog.

    Do you currently live in Manhattan? If you do, moving to Brooklyn or Queens could save you a quite a bit of money.

  3. good luck!! I also decided to not budget anything specifically for clothes this year...I'd love to, I actually kind of hate that I still wear college clothes almost 5 years later, but other things just become more important sometimes I getting out of debt! good for us!!


Hit me with some tough love