Friday, March 2, 2012

Apple Pie Chart

Bonus time! What Wheel of Fortune catagory does today's headline belong in?

What's that? No one under the age of 30 watches the Wheel? Bummer.

For the past two days I've been condensing the spending on my three cards into ten catagories. Luckily, most companies now offer some kind of "year end summary" so all I had to do was sift through the transactions to make sure they were in the right catagory. Then, I added up the totals and made a neat little pie chart:
For clarity:
"Other" included some printing/photo purchases, charity, & dry cleaning
"Fees" was primarily interest accrued on Card 1 and a small rush shipping fee from Card 2
"Grocery" included grocery & drug stores
"Home" is limited to improvement/maintenance - think Lowe's/Home Depot - anything else went to "Shopping"

I think the other catagories are fairly transparent. Clearly, I chose the right thing to give up for Lent, since shopping is the largest catagory. Looking at the shopping section is rather embarrassing; I can't even name one thing I purchased with all that money.

Yesterday, I scheduled my monthly payment for Card 3 (total: $534.79). I've chosen to pay this card off first, regardless of the method I use for paying down the balances. $134.50 will be March's payment. Since March is a three paycheck month (woohoo!), I plan to make a second payment on this card as well, hopefully for at least the same amount.

Starting Monday, I'll be blogging about the various options/strategies that exist for paying off the debt and picking one as my own. Are there any methods you have found helpful? Please share!

On an unrelated note- I want to thank those of you that have reached out to me, via comments, Facebook, or in person with your suggestions and support. I've only encountered one judgemental person thus far which makes me so grateful to have such uplifting people in my life. Even though it's uncomfortable to look at my flaws head on, it also feels good not to be carrying this secret around anymore. Who knows, maybe this weekend I'll get around to telling the hubs about the whole shebang. I'll admit, this honesty thing is pretty refreshing!

Day Ten Spent:
$1.50 vending machine soda
Day Ten Saved:


  1. I'm attacking our student loan debt and our mortgage using the snowball method. My student loans, his student loans, and the mortgage have inverse relationships between the balance and the interest rate, so we're going to pay extra toward my loans (lowest balance, highest interest rate), and when those are paid off, apply those payments as extra to his student loans (the middle balance and interest rate) and when his loans are paid off, pay a whole bunch extra on the mortgage (highest balance, lowest interest rate).

    I'm not sure that would be the best option for you (or us, for that matter!) in terms of saving on interest, but the satisfaction of paying something off faster is a big motivating factor.

    Oh, and I don't know if you track your actual spending, but I find that a BIG help is using an Excel spreadsheet to track each month's spending and income. I designed one that will automatically add up income, savings, and expenses for each month, with a separate tab that will track yearly totals. That last tab also has a sort of work sheet where you can work out a monthly budget. If you want, I could send it to you and you could tweak it yourself, or you could send me a list of your weekly/monthly/quarterly expenses and I could design it for you. Just let me know if you're interested! :-)

  2. I have the PNC Virtual Wallet checking account, so it has a "spending tracker" that I can view daily/weekly/monthly spending catagories. It also has the option where you can set budget limits in each catagory as well. I do view it on a weekly (ish) basis, but I'm probably not utilizing its features to the fullest extent. Better get on that!