It’s a diet…

I love that our WW people say that “it’s not a diet, it is a lifestyle.”

Yes. And, no.

They say that diets don’t work and that you have to make behavioral changes in order to have long-lasting health.

I agree, to a point. But when you say that it is a lifestyle, you are sugar-coating that there has to be some deprivation and sacrifice to make it work. And as I eat a pear at my desk instead of the candy bar in the candy dish 5 feet from me, I can tell you that it isn’t a lifestyle change for me to pick the pear instead of the candy bar. I want the candy bar. A lot. It is cold outside and I’m having a weird PMS-like day. But I’m making a choice to eat the pear instead. And then drink some water if I still want said candy bar.

To me, the lifestyle change would be that I would not even consider the candy bar, but would instead think of it as beneath me to eat it. Instead, I’m much more aware of the choice that I am making. And that, is a diet.

What does this have to do with a personal finance blog?

Well, I a lot, I think. I think that when we are on a budget to reduce debt, it is like trying to lose weight. In both cases, we are paying off the debt we incurred when we consumed something on the spot and promised ourselves that we would pay it off later…in both cases, we didn’t. So, our waistlines and debt grew and then we were faced with a choice – continue or change.

Obviously, in the last almost-two years, our decision to go on a money diet has been chronicled here, but a year ago (to this weekend), I started applying the same principles to my body and have been on Weight Watchers.

You saw our year-end results with money, but I wanted to post my year-end results with WW as well…so here is the loss for the year…

31.6!

I won’t post the percentage, but let’s just say, there is a recommended percentage to lose to be healthier, and I’ve hit that and a little more.

So here is to the next 32 and I hope that if you are on one or both journeys that you, too, can look back and see some progress over the last year.

December 2010 :: Goals

Our goal for December is to pay $991 toward our debt. Taking into account the interest that will be charged ($185) , the net will be $806.

So our totals at the end of  December should be:

Credit Card Debt    ::  $ 22,216.18
Taxes Owed              ::  $          00.00
Car Loan                     ::  $ 16,190.30
Personal Loans        ::  $          00.00

Total Debt*              ::  $ 38,406.48

*does not include school loans

And now for the Savings Goals – at the end of  December, we aim to have:

Regular Savings  :: $       50
Family Leave       :: $    539
Emergency           :: $    696

Total Savings      :: $ 1,285

 

According to MSN Money, our debt-free date is :: January 24, 2013. I have to admit, adding a year to our debt-free date was really hard for me, but it is a real life, not a spreadsheet, so I will be thankful that it is only another year…

November 2010 :: Report

Debt Reduction

Our goals for November were:

Credit Card Debt    ::  $ 22,673.22
Taxes Owed              ::  $          00.00
Car Loan                     ::  $ 16,450.44
Personal Loans        ::  $          00.00

Total Debt*              ::  $ 39,123.66

And here is where we were after 11.30.2010:

Credit Card Debt    ::  $ 22,771.01
Taxes Owed              ::  $          00.00
Car Loan                     ::  $ 16,441.23
Personal Loans        ::  $          00.00

Total Debt*              ::  $ 39,212.24

*does not include school loans

Budget

Doing well…mostly….

Savings

Savings Goals for November:

Regular Savings  :: $       50
Family Leave       :: $    500
Emergency           :: $    741

Total Savings      :: $ 1,291

Where we landed at the end of November:

Regular Savings  :: $       30
Family Leave       :: $    539
Emergency           :: $    696

Total Savings      :: $ 1,265

 

Alright!

January 2011 :: Goals

Our goal for January is to pay $999 toward our debt. Taking into account the interest that will be charged ($186) , the net will be $813.

So our totals at the end of  January should be:

Credit Card Debt    ::  $ 21,645.18
Taxes Owed              ::  $          00.00
Car Loan                     ::  $ 15,939.99
Personal Loans       ::  $          00.00

Total Debt*              ::  $ 37,585.17

*does not include school loans

And now for the Savings Goals – at the end of  January, we aim to have:

Regular Savings  :: $       50
Family Leave       :: $    640
Emergency           :: $    773

Total Savings      :: $ 1,463

According to MSN Money, our debt-free date is :: February 24, 2013.

December 2010 :: Report

Debt Reduction

Our goals for December were:

Credit Card Debt    ::  $ 22,216.18
Taxes Owed              ::  $          00.00
Car Loan                     ::  $ 16,190.30
Personal Loans        ::  $          00.00

Total Debt*              ::  $ 38,406.48

And here is where we were after 12.31.2010:

Credit Card Debt    ::  $22,208.18
Taxes Owed           ::   $       00.00
Car Loan                  ::   $ 16,190.30
Personal Loans   ::   $       00.00

Total Debt*             :: $38,398.48

*does not include school loans

Budget

We overspent quite a bit on Christmas this year, but it felt really good to give to people – I think we’ll be more intentional about saving for Christmas 2011.

Savings

Savings Goals for December:

Regular Savings  :: $       50
Family Leave       :: $    539
Emergency           :: $    696

Total Savings      :: $ 1,285

Where we landed at the end of December:

Regular Savings  :: $    53
Family Leave       :: $  539
Emergency           :: $  698

Total Savings      :: $ 1,290

 

Credit Karma :: Update – 1.8.11

Well, it is a brand new year, right???

So with that in mind, I thought it was time to check in to Credit Karma and see where my score was at in the scheme of things. What I found was that it went from:

754

to:

781

This is feeling pretty good, I have to say!
They have also introduced a few other scores – you can read more about them on their website, but the one that caught my eye was VantageScore. The site says that:
VantageScore: The Next Generation of Credit Scores

VantageScore is a new credit scoring model created by America’s three major credit reporting agencies to support a truly consistent and accurate approach to credit scoring. This new score provides lenders with nearly identical risk assessment across all three credit reporting companies. Your VantageScore on Credit Karma was calculated based on information in your TransUnion credit report and follows a familiar academic scale for ease of understanding: A (901-990), B (801-900), C (701-800), D (601-700), F (501-600).

This scale runs from 500-990, versus the Transrisk score above, which is 300-850. So, with all of this in mind, VantageScore is:

819

That’s a B. It sounds like this is supposed to give a better idea of a score than just the Transrisk, so I’ll keep track of both on here.

**I am not paid by Credit Karma to post about their product, nor am I receiving any goods or materials from them. I am simply interested in my score and being accountable to my readers, and this seemed like the most economical way to keep on top of my score.

Crash!!!!!!

Well, I’ve missed you.

And I bet you’ve missed me, too!

Right before I was ready to post November’s update, a horrible thing happened…

My computer crashed!!!

It was AWFUL!

And since all of my files and budgets and records were on that little laptop, it has taken me a while to get everything sorted out and get ready to post again.

But…I’m really close. 🙂

Just wanted to make sure that you didn’t think I fell off of the face of the earth again…