a pretty in the city gal on her way to debt freedom & healthy living a day at a time, who fills her time with yoga, music, books, baking and much much more. won't you join her?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

15k paid off in 12 months! Could you do it?

Yes kiddos, she of Singla Ma's Fabulous Financials actually did this. I figure out that by the time I'm 32 I WILL be debt free. Imagine that! That also includes some savings! Double imagine that! And to kick it all off, I'm currently participating in the Shopping Sabbatical I've mentioned before. What exactly is this?

Simply - it's about being a mindful consumer, stopping with the habits, and NOT BUYING IT!

I'm on day 3 of this and already have noticed some of those sneaky habits that I've gotten myself into. This pretty in the city gal can spend up B-I-G (even on a not so big income!) - hence the debt. "It's hot outside?" I'll buy a bottle of water! "I'm hungry?" Takeout is soooo much tastier than a boring old sandwich at home. "I can't afford a new pair of shoes or a much needed haircut?" No problemo, I'll just buy a book so it feels like I'm not so money deprived.

See where I'm coming from? It's a fine pickle I've gotten myself into - but that is all the history, and now it's time to create some fab, shiny and new habits and I feel my shopping sabbatical for the month of January is just the way to do it. I'm not being as strict as I could be on myself for this month, because my usual way is to go hell for leather and then throw it all in a week later as it's too hard to keep. So I'm being realistic and pulling in the reins, and hopefully these shopping sabbatical habits may keep with me for the rest of 08 and beyond, so I can be as fab as Single Ma : )

Shiny's Shopping Sabbatical Guidelines:
- 1 x takeaway per week max (on special occasions with friends), and cheap takeaway when I do
- Brownbag it at work, bring lunch to work, bring snacks to keep in desk, bring breakfast, no takeaway coffees!!!! bring teabags to work, one takeaway fresh juice per working week
- No alcohol: I dread to think how much I'll save due to this alone
- No trashy mags: actually, no mags at all unless they're claimable for work
- Shop only for essential groceries: there's no clothes buying this month, only essentials. This means just plain but healthy fruit and veg, and going through the cupboards to use up what I have; foodwise and product wise. I'm nearly out of shampoo so I'm trawling through the back of the cabinet for that bottle my mum gave me about a year ago. Same for toothpaste, deoderant, all that beauty stuff that you just keep. Also, no chocolate, soft drink, junkfood etc. It's plain, simple, healthy and lowkey food - ie. essentials!
- Pay minimum on all loans/credit cards/bills, and put all extra money from the month into savings and onto loan.

Further to the spending portion:
- Get tax done (last 3 years)
- Get medicare refund from dr visits
(there would be at least $500 here, so this will go into my aim for a $1000 savings fund)

I just googled 'shopping sabbatical' and there's so many links that you could be inspired for days. If you are struggling, let me know your tips, your downfalls, your successes. I'm sharing it all with you this year too! Embarrassing truth not to be repeated: I was updating my debt tally in the side bar the other day and realised that one year to the original update, I was at the same bloody total of debt (ok, $300 less). Terrible, Muriel! So enough with the excuses. I'm taking RESPONSIBILITY and action and I can't wait to see the numbers drop.


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At 4:17 PM, Blogger Favourite Fallen Idol said...

This is something I need to do. I spend so much money on takeaway lunches, honestly it probably adds up to about $50 a week or something close to it. Money I could be using for much better things! I thought I would be saving money because I've stopped drinking but alas it hasn't happened yet (or rather I'm spending it on food and lotto tickets).
Good luck with your sabbatical!

At 8:37 PM, Blogger rand(om) bites said...

This sounds like such a great idea and something we should be doing in my house. It's so hard to say no to all the great cafes and shops in Newtown though hey. I have to cut back to pay for my study this year :-/


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