Saturday, October 22, 2011

Kind of Amazing

I don't know why, but every time I really focus on paying down my credit cards, I'm always amazed how simply spending less and making larger payments seems to decimate those huge numbers.  Of course, when I say huge number, I mean something like $1,000 as opposed to $10,000, but I've been in that boat too (and it took waaaaay longer to pay that off, but I was still buying lots of stuff, so I think we've found our pattern).

For example, this month, the month of No Clothes Buying, I started out with an uncomfortably high balance on my Amex and on my Old Navy Card.  I'm pleased to say that I just authorized a payment to Old Navy that will pay that card off in full, and leave me a little $10 cushion for when I need a little clothing pick-me-up.  It's like a built-in coupon.  I know it's kind of stupid to keep a credit balance in an account that doesn't earn interest, but it's such a paltry amount that it doesn't really matter anyway.

Also, and this may just be me, but my brain sees that extra $10 as a kind of gift card, which means that it's something I don't want to squander, which means I tend to think twice as hard about what to spend it on.  It's bizarre, but it works.  I suggest you try it.

For my Amex, I started out the month with a $1,000+ balance due to all of those electronics I had to buy in a short amount of time.  After closing my smartypig account and redirecting those funds to Amex, plus using a bit more money from savings plus paychecks, I'm pleased to report that that balance is shrinking rapidly as well, despite the fact that I'm still using that card to buy gas and other necessities.

So yes, the month of October is working out quite well, but I am saddened that I won't be able to add more to my IRA and send an extra payment to my student loan folks--next month!

I have one confession to make RE: Not Buying Clothes.  I did buy a pair of pants from Target---BUT--- let me explain myself.

  1. These are pants that I already own in another color, and I've had those for about six months.  Therefore, I know that they're going to last, and that I like the way they fit over time--that's worth jumping on when the opportunity presents itself.
  2. I got them hella on sale.  They were the Target Daily Deal, already marked down to $15 and I had a $5 coupon, plus I got free shipping.  That means I got $10 pants that I know I'm going to like and wear often.  
  3. I returned a skirt to ModCloth that I had paid $55 for, so technically I un-spent money on clothes this month despite buying the pants.  I know that's not in keeping with the spirit of not buying, but I couldn't pass up such a swell deal on clothes that I know fit well, hold up, and match a lot of my wardrobe.
I feel slight shame, but I'm still pretty please with how I've resisted (most) temptation.  I also went to Target the other day and discovered that they have a cardigan in the most perfect shade of red that I've been looking for for years!  Plus purple!  But I walked away!  Look at how strong I am!

Nine days left....

1 comment:

  1. When it's really a bargain... it's really a bargain. :-)

    I'm in a no-clothes-buying month too, but I started it by, erm, buying 2 merino sweaters by GAP. It was a model I really liked, and one day I discovered it was discounted. They day after... it was free shipping day!! I wear a lot of merino wool in winter and I was low on decent sweaters, so I grabbed that one in 2 basic colours. It's lovely and I'm glad I took the chance.