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Three Things I Learned by Paying off My Car

22 Feb

20140222-211941.jpgI did it! I paid off my car! I’m so happy. It’s one of my proudest achievements. I put it above quitting smoking and graduating college!

So, what did I learn while paying on my car?

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Four Reasons Why a HABA Line Should be a Part of a Budget

13 Feb

eye makeupHere is the second part of the series about important lines on a budget. If you would like to see the first segment of the series, you can see it here.

I don’t spend a lot of money on makeup and beauty supplies. Makeup lasts me longer than it should, as all makeup has some sort of expiration to it. But, I still need beauty supplies. It’s been a line on my budget from the beginning. I’m going to give you four reasons why I think beauty supplies (or HABA) should be in a budget.

1. It’s necessary.

For my HABA line, I include soap, hairspray, deodorant, razors, and yes, makeup. I will always need those items. The people who work with me are thankful that I purchase and use these items. These are not items I can do without.

2. It allows me to buy the items I want to.

Some items I don’t mind using generic. Hairspray and deodorant are two items I go a little cheap on. I have been trying cheaper razors. Not a fan, so I’m going to make sure my HABA budget allows for more expensive razors. And a detailed HABA line allows me to buy the makeup I want, too. I actually use more expensive makeup. As long as I plan for it, my budget stays intact.

3. It keeps me so fresh, so clean.

I’m dating myself there. I still love that OutKast song. I like to keep my hair cut. It helps me feel cute and keeps me professional. I have a wonderful stylist who keeps me looking great at a decent price. Ensuring I stay committed to my HABA line helps ensure I have money to get my hair cut! I love the way a new haircut makes me feel.

4. I can allow myself some extra girl time.

I’ve never been a huge mani-pedi girl. Or someone who wanted to wax her eyebrows. As a matter of fact, I only recently (within the last three years) had my first mani-pedi and wax. It sure is nice, though. I feel great after I get my nails done. An accurate HABA line lets me have some fun!

I say accurate because I haven’t totally committed myself to the fourth point of this blog. I know I need to leave my HABA envelope alone instead of spending the leftovers every two weeks.

So, I really believe a HABA line is important for my budget. What lines on your budget do you think are important that might be “unusual”?

Five Reasons a Car Maintenance Line Should be a Part of Your Budget

1 Feb

car maintenanceOver the next few posts, I plan on discussing important parts of a budget that I’ve neglected in the past. I believe that a detailed budget improves my chances of winning with money.

Today’s post covers a line that may seem insignificant or unnecessary, but I’ve realized over the last few weeks that I need a more detailed car maintenance line. I’ve budgeted for oil changes and chalked that up as the car maintenance line. It’s not enough, though! So here are your reasons why you should have a detailed car maintenance line in your budget.

1. Oil changes
I’ve actually done a decent job of saving for this and using this line in my budget. Buying a different car is never fun, unless the car you’re currently driving is a beater and you’re stepping it up. I want to take great care of my engine so it lasts a long time. So, I try to get oil changes within the 4,000 mile mark.
2. Tires
I’m about to purchase some new tires for my car. It’s needed and I know it! Instead of saving $30 a month for two years, I’m having to use my income tax. I want to buy tires with a good tread life, and I need to estimate how much new tires will cost me based on how much I drive. I currently drive around 25,000 miles a year. I plan on moving soon, and I will drive considerably less than that. I still need to estimate how long my tires will last, and save that much each month to go toward my tires. That way I don’t have to wait on an extra check or a refund to come in to purchase them.
3. Brakes
This is a weakness of mine. I don’t really know how long brakes should last. But they should be replaced. I would find a mechanic you trust and ask them how often the brakes should be changed, as it will be different with each car.
4. Other maintenance
There are other areas in your car that require maintenance. Filters need to be changed, tune ups will be needed every 100,000 miles or so, batteries might need to be replaced, and so on and so forth. The best way to handle a proper car maintenance budget line is to plan for these. If they never happen, then count yourself lucky. Because…
5. Something will happen
A transmission will go out. A motor might blow. An axle could bust. A radiator could crack. There are a myriad of ways that a vehicle could fail. The best way to fight the “something will” is to plan for it. You don’t have to have a separate line for the what if. It’s my belief that by planning for each of these, the what if will be taken care of by the budget line.

Now, if you’re already debt free and have an emergency fund, your maintenance line might not need to be as detailed. I’m not sure because I’m not there yet. If any of you debt free folks have advice, please share in the comments section below. But if you’re trying to get out of debt, I would plan for the worst with your car. The way I see it, if I plan for the worst, and it doesn’t happen, I can apply that amount to my next car!

Ladies, one other note, I would recommend understanding your car and the expenses behind it. It will only help manage our money better and to become informed consumers!

car maintenance 2

How do you plan for unknown expenses with your car?

Some people may look at this sort of planning as an emergency fund before the emergency fund. My previous FAP did, and I understand that stance. I’m not saying to set aside an additional emergency fund for your vehicle. I just think that if you save money for your car and one of the above referenced is needed, then it won’t blindside you. If your spouse or FAP suggests otherwise, please listen to their advice. I’m learning about this as I go!

A Positively Wonderful 2014

1 Jan

Image

For some reason, as I start this post, I feel like I’ve already written something similar to this once.  I write my blogs mostly for me because I need to remind myself what I’m trying to do.  I’m trying to find financial peace. 

For me to do this, I must remain positive. I have to keep my finances positive.  I have to have more income than I do bills, and I have to increase the debt-to-income ratio as quickly as possible.  I’ve made remarkable strides in how I manage my finances.  I still have a long way to go, but I am improving.  I continuously ask the Lord to help me change the way I think about spending and saving.  I want Him to help me understand that it’s His money – not mine.

Last year, I posted 13 goals for 2013.  This year, I won’t do that.  I have only one goal this year.  I want to be more positive.  I want to be positive in my finances, and I want to be positive in how I think about myself and others.  One of the greatest barriers for me in relationships is my attitude. I still have plenty of growth to experience in my emotions.  I am not great at taking my thoughts captive (2 Cor 10:5).  That is yet another prayer of mine.  Many times, I allow a thought to run amok until it frustrates me.  This is not healthy and will not allow me to succeed in life.

Dave Ramsey talks consistently about how we need to tell our money what to do.  That is so true.  We also need to tell our thought life what to do.  We shouldn’t be ruled by our thoughts; we should rule our thought life.  Now, I am not quite sure how to manage this, but I’m on a quest to learn this year!  I know that we can ask the Lord to help us.  We can declare our thoughts based on His Word.  That is where I will start.  Please feel free to share your thoughts on how I can remain positive in this world where it’s far too easy to focus on the negative!

So, my goal for 2014 – to be positive.  And I’m positively sure I can do it because the Joy of the Lord is my strength (Neh 8:10), and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13).   

How do you remain positive?

I’m Back! Did You Miss Me?

7 Dec

Tigers

Wow! It’s been WEEKS since my last post.  I don’t even have a good excuse.  I’m just going to cover the latest events in my life as succinctly as possible.  Ready???

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An Update with Very Little “Up” in It

14 Oct

Hello, everyone!  It seems like it’s been a while since my last post.  I haven’t really been “busy,” maybe just distracted.  I’m here for my next report/update.

The government shutdown affects many people, and I am one of them.  It adds a layer of uncertainty that many government employees with time in the workforce have not felt before.  There appears to be no end in sight, although my guess is the shutdown will end on 17 October.  While many of the work force has been called back to work,

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Being Defined by the Ninety Percent

7 Sep

20130907-083408.jpgI recently visited with some friends. Together we worked on a rather difficult puzzle. I was with them for three days, and two days we worked on the puzzle during breaks in sightseeing and eating! We finally got to the end of the puzzle, and I realized that one piece might be missing. When we finally finished putting all the pieces in the puzzle, Continue reading

Another Update

26 Aug

20130826-082912.jpg

Another Update

I almost hate to write this. I keep telling all six of my readers how I’ve messed up and spent when I shouldn’t have. I keep talking about my envelopes being out of sync.

I haven’t improved since my last update. I feel like I’ve almost regressed. Continue reading

Diagrams of the Past

16 Aug

Grunge Football Diagram

Breaking News: I make mistakes.

Update: I make a lot of mistakes. 

If you’ve been to my blog at all, you know I have made more than a few mistakes since I really started working on my finances.  I have spent when I shouldn’t have and haven’t applied my envelope system to its full potential.  I am a work in progress, and sometimes the picture of the unfinished work seems daunting.

In Celebrate Recovery, I am learning Continue reading

Not Even a Summer

3 Aug

20130803-232339.jpg
Well, I’ve been blogging for close to a year now. I started with pizazz and enthusiasm. I had good traction and made it for a while on great discipline. I paid off a loan and have made great strides on my car loan.

BUT, Continue reading

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