September went by fast! So fast, I didn’t have the opportunity to celebrate the first day of Autumn until a week after the fact. I blame a physical inventory count at work and I also blame the weather – I can’t look cute in a pair of tights when it’s 90* out!
In total, we dumped $7,610.32 toward debt this month! HOT DAMN! This includes minimum monthly payments plus any extra cash left over in our budget. We paid off student loan #1 in full and are now snowballing into debt #2, which is my credit card debt. Initially I opened this card up via Banana Republic and the interest rate was up around 27%. Yeah, not a wise decision. I closed this account years ago because I knew I couldn’t trust myself, but even with consistent payments, I was barely making progress. After getting a mortgage from SEFCU last year, they offered us a credit card at a much lower rate (6.9%) and I jumped at the opportunity to transfer the balance and save some money with interest. Now more than ever I’m determined to clear this one up.
In regards to food and eating out, we stayed right on budget. In fact, we had about thirty dollars left over that will be applied toward debt this month. It’s tempting to buy up alllllll the pumpkin beer this season but I’m trying to practice self control. Ha!
We only tried a couple new recipes this month, including the best burger in the world via Bosh… that wasn’t my favorite, at all. The beau seems to think it’s because we strayed too far from the recipe, but I’m reluctant to try again because I was STARVING the day we ate these and if they didn’t taste good when I was hungry, then they aren’t worth trying again. Sorry, no photographs, it wasn’t worth it. On to the next veggie burger recipe.
I made a batch of this chicken soup but vegan, and to be honest, it was super bland and not good. I don’t know what happened, I think I need to switch up the Goya seasoning and cook the pepper/cilantro less. I didn’t want to waste the huge pot of leftovers, so I decided to make a homemade pot pie. I used this recipe for inspiration. I could tell the beau was hesitant, especially when I chose a roll of crescent dough to plop on top but let me tell you, it was delicious! We ate the whole pan. And all of the crescent rolls. Whoops! I had enough soup leftovers to make a second batch, so I did and threw it into the freezer (just the filling) for a future autumn meal. Cannot wait!
The only other recipe we tried this month was for zucchini rice. We had all of the ingredients already on hand, it was super easy and was super tasty! A keeper! However, I’d probably save this for next summer, as it was very light and I know we are shifting from zucchini season to squash season = my body is craving heavier meals to fill me up.
We saved a little bit of money in a couple other categories as well: utilities, phone and essential oils. This month’s electricity / gas invoice was our lowest yet! I’m pretty proud that we didn’t use our air conditioners once this entire summer, just a window fan in our bedroom. I’m also proud that we have yet to turn on the heat. Yes, it’s only the third of October while typing this out but it’s been chilly! Time to bundle up! My personal goal is not turning it on until November… we shall see. My mom use to have a rule growing up that we couldn’t turn the heat on until Thanksgiving, yeah, we’ll see how long we can last. Also, isn’t it frustrating when your “delivery” fee costs more than your actually usage?!
Last month I walked into AT&T to change my cell plan, for the first time since 2003. I realized that I could be saving about $20/month with a newer plan, but my contract (who knew I even had one being a customer for 14 years) isn’t up until November 11th. So, I walked out without changing anything… but when I went to pay my bill, I had a random 20-ish dollar discount applied. I admittedly didn’t question it and paid on time; hopefully it’ll extend into this month. *Update since first writing this: I’ve received this month’s bill (October) and it was about $20 more than usual. I called customer service, explained that I never authorized a change in contract, and I’m back to normal. Phew!
Essential oils. This topic I’m going to discuss in further in a separate post but a lot of people assume that essential oils are expensive and that they can’t afford them. WRONG! Well, admittedly some of the individual oils are pricier than others, but personally I invest in them every month to support my overall health = less healthcare bills later. And I’m not purchasing just oils, I’m purchasing: our supplements, our laundry soap, my face care products, etc. AND I’m basically earning 25% cash back on every purchase. Can’t say that about any other store (Target, Hannaford, etc.) without having to open a credit card, which is the opposite of what I’m trying to do by paying off my debt. I’ve been preparing for the changing of the seasons with my purchases and have been sticking to our wellness plan. No extra oils for us unless they are free (and yes, that happens at least once a month). I only spent 1/6 of our budgeted allowance for this category in September.
As I recap each month on this debt free journey, feel free to ask me any questions or tell me what you’d like covered – I’d love to share the process to help inspire others to become financially free!