Monday, May 16, 2005

Make More or Spend Less - Part 2

Well I covered my bases on the "make more" side I should explore my options on the "spend less" side. This is way more up my alley as I learned to live practically like a monk while living as a full time student. I lived off of just about $19,000 a year including $6,000 of tuition, text books, a credit card payment and nearly $700 for rent every month. I brown bagged my lunch every day, walked everywhere, never bought any new clothes and rarely went out. I may have saved a lot of money but my social life was non-existant and I now have a permanent gag reflex to PB&J.

Thank god I am not doing that anymore. I am trying to find a nice balance between the two extremes (crazy, shop-addicted credit monger vs. the starving college student who wears the same sweatshirt everyday). Once I graduated and started having real life money I had to indulge myself for the years of suffering I subjected myself to. I bought a digital camera, an iPod and lots of clothes. I got it all out of my system...I'm ready.

The thing that sucks about living in southern california is that you have to drive everywhere. Insurance and gas are two huge expenses that I didn't have to deal with when living in northern california and now have to come to terms with. Breathe....just accept it. When I first bought my car I signed up with Mercury Insurance. I had shopped around and they gave me the lowest rate. OR SO I THOUGHT. Those mofos were ripping me off. I was paying nearly $2,000 a year for insurance...and that was the lowest after I called 5 of the major insurance companies. You may be thinking that I have had accidents, tickets, whatever. Well you are wrong. I have a clean spotless driving record. Here it comes...my tip of the day. I wish someone would have told me this before I signed up with Mercury so you can thank me later. Check www.insurance.com for quotes. I was able to save nearly $700 a year just by switching insurance providers. $700! mmmmmm

And because I am feeling generous and on the subject of cars, I must mention www.gasbuddy.com. It amazes me that gas prices can vary so much just between gas stations within a block of each other. I check the prices of gas in all the areas I might be in and can find gas that is $.10 cheaper per gallon just by planning ahead. Granted I'm still pay nearly $2.40 for gas on a good day. :/

Current debt: $19,794.23 (Still)

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6 comments:

wannabe_ceo said...

Interesting site as most as I have seen are people trying to get rich, not out of debt.

Pay yourself first is what I use. I treat my investments as a bill and have them automaically deducted from my paycheck. That way I'm forced to save.

Japan-O-Matic! said...

Do you see any irony in the links contained in the Google ad bar on your blog?

Barry said...

have you considered investing some of your surplus cash and using the dividends to pay off your debt? Interest rates are low, which historically is bullish for stocks. If you wait untill interest rates are high, investing the money will be difficult because your debt interest will increase and most investments do not perform well in a high interest rate enviroment.

best of luck

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