Wednesday, April 6, 2016

January's Breakdown

The First Month…
Dun Dun Duunnn

Since I'm a hair stylist,
I receive cash tips.
And every week, 
we allow ourselves $50 each.
Hey, we live next to a Dunkin Donuts,
we love our coffee!

This was our monthly breakdown for January.
We learned a lot in January.
First off, we completely under estimated
how much we spend on groceries per week/month.
After January, we upped that amount to $400 from $250.
I, Nicole, had a hard time the first couple of weeks
not grabbing a bite to eat with a friend, or that 
new lipstick at Target.

Towards the end of January,
we did find that my tips were enough for our
weekly 'allowance' and to pay for groceries.
Which means more saved than anticipated.
As you can see-
we've put $800 into our savings account
and over $1500 into our first debt,
the credit card.
We saved an extra $1200 in the first month,
on top of the $1200 we planned on saving per month.
We were super excited to be seeing so much savings
in our first month!
And seeing all the savings helped-
I'd find that I didn't want to spend money
(which is crazy because I love my makeup and clothes)!
I'd go online window shopping, 
have about $100 worth of goodies in my cart,
but never purchase them because I love
seeing the savings.

Some might be wondering if we are bored because
we aren't doing anything anymore.
Quite the contrary!
In January,
we went out to a nice dinner to celebrate Dans birthday,
had a party at our apt,
and I actually signed up for an eyelash
certification class which was a big unexpected expense.
By putting out for the certification, 
we found that even though it's a major up front expense,
the amount that will be made after is worth it.
And our party…
well that was a great time- but no expense.
We had alcohol from previous parties,
and everybody brought an appetizer!

There's ways to do everything, 
on a budget!

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Logistics

Every successful plan needs
detailed goals and objectives put in place.
And here at the Gilbert's,
we sat down at our local Starbucks
(classic Connecticut)
and wrote everything down in our budget notebook!
Talk about budget savvy,
we bought this beauty at the Dollar Store :)
It sounds very corny
and quite nerdy to be honest,
but it definitely helps and lets you see
everything; debits, credits, bills, goals, etc.

When Dan was younger, 
he had acquired some credit card debt
and sought professional help to get rid of it.
So from his previous experience,
we learned the best way to get rid of our debts:
start smallest to largest.

For us,
our smallest is our credit card,
next is our car,
my student loan,
then Dans student loans.

Above you can see our goals, hypothesis 
(we did meet in psychological research and stats class),
and debt line up.
We've never liked credit cards,
I, Nicole, actually HATE them with a firey passion.
I know too many people who are literally drowning
in credit card debt and will never get out of it.
The only reason we have credit card debt is because
I was unforunately in a car accident where I was out of
work for 8 months, then working part time for a year.
We had to survive and Dan did have a small credit card,
maximum amount was $5,000.
And at the end of my work dry spell,
it was maxxed out with medical bills, groceries,
going out on adventures when we could… you get the idea.

Our next two pages are the break downs for everything-
what are the balances of our debts as of January 1, 2016,
our plan of action,
pay schedule which is explained above,
our incomes,
and a very detailed break down of our monthly bills.
This we found to be the most important part of 
setting up or plan.
It's important to see everything laid out
and where all the money is going.
We loved to go out, to dinner, to the casino,
with friends, for drinks…
When we put our income to debt ratio onto paper,
we were seeing just how much money we were throwing away.

The specifics.
This is pretty self explanatory.
During January,
we found that we were able to save a good amount of money,
and that we could divide our savings into our target debt
and into savings. 
We know our main goal is to pay off our debts,
but we also want to make sure we are putting money
into savings for the future.

We have a monthly break down that we 
fill in after every month to see how we did:
our debits, credits, and where the saved money is going.
And then we have our end of the year summary!

We hope you're learning as much as we did
at the beginning of our Financial Adventure…
Stay tuned for our monthly experiences so far!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Let the Adventures Begin….

Hi There!
I'm Nicole and this is Dan-
Together, we are The Gilbert's. 
And we would like to welcome you to
The Gilbert Adventures!

Lets all gather 'round for the story
 of how two became one:
We met in college-
girl meets boy,
girl asks for boys number,
boy asks girl out on a date,
boy asks girl to get married,
and here we are, celebrating our
4th wedding anniversary this June.
My how time flies!

So why are we blogging,
you may ask yourself?
Well, there's a long story about that too,
but we'll keep it short and sweet, like us:
Last summer, we adventured to a local casino,
where we were losing most of our money.
At dinner, we came up with a brilliant plan 
and decided it was time to pay off our debts: 
We both went to college which amount to many student loans,
have one small credit card,
and one car payment.
Our plan would, and did, start January 2, 2016
with payoff goals and detailed logs in place.
And off we went…

Follow us on our financial adventures 
to stick it to the man
and finally say Adios to debt once and for all!