I survived the summer, barely! Unexpected costs are the worst anytime, but especially with my lower income during the summer! I had an unplanned vet bill in July. My puppy bit my dog’s face while they were playing and it was $300 for stitches! The cost had to be put on my credit card, sadly. (The good thing is the dogs have been very careful during their play since then.) I have noticed some changes in my ten-year-old car. This makes me think I should put aside some money for potential car troubles over the next year. (So I am not unprepared when car repairs are needed.)
My summer school pay covered my bills and needs. I babysat for two friends’ kids and made $150 for a few hours here and there. I am very grateful for that! My kids’ yoga classes and hikes had lower enrollment than I expected, so I did not make as much money as I had hoped. I ended up making about $100, but was hoping for closer to $300. Also, I was not asked to do a week-long dog sitting job as I have been the last two summers (dog stayed with grandma and that was $200 I missed out on). I used the $250 I earned from the side hustles for a trip to visit my family: celebrate my brother’s 30th birthday and spend time with my niece!
It was so hot and humid this summer! Last summer I used my window air conditioning unit four or five times. This summer I had it on almost every day!!! Between keeping my pets cool and safe, and keeping myself healthy (extreme temperature bother my asthma), I felt it necessary to have the air conditioner on consistently. I subscribe to a balanced budget plan for my utilities ($80 a month). So my bills were the same, but I am nervous when my budget is reassessed at the end of the year. My electric use from the summer will raise my monthly bill for next year. I put my air conditioner in the basement at the end of August and will use my fans for any warm days. I also plan to be more mindful about temperatures and when I begin using the heat, such as setting the thermostat to 66 degrees rather than 68 (19 Celsius rather than 20).
Usually, I get my regular school check the first Friday of the school year (the first week in September) and I pay my September rent from this paycheck. I found out at the beginning of August that I would not be paid until mid-September. That meant I needed to use summer money to pay my rent ($600). SO frustrating!!! That money could have gone toward my credit card repayment. I only had money to pay the minimum toward my credit card bills (and with the $300 vet bill put on my card, I broke even). This is better than last summer when I increased my credit card balance considerably. But I still was disappointed about not having made more of an impact these two months.
I have been teaching kids’ yoga on the side to earn additional money. I am switching to a new studio this fall and my pay will be more regular, based on the way the studio pays their instructors! I am very excited about this and now can add the money into my budget before the month starts. I am hoping this will help me put more money toward debt repayment! My goal in September is to calculate how much debt I possibly could pay off this school year (by end of June). I am hoping that having a firm number to reach (or beat!) will motivate me even more!!!
Some free things I enjoyed this summer were: Shakespeare in the Park, swimming in my friend’s pool, walking through an outdoor art festival, hiking with my dogs, reading in the shade in my backyard, taking my three-year-old neighbor to the playground down the street, walking and talking with a friend, donating items to a family in need, cleaning my bathroom (I didn’t enjoy the actual cleaning part, but I was thrilled to have a sparkly deep-cleaned bathroom!), meditating, and sleeping in.
As of September 1st, my debt is:
Credit Cards – $9,000
Lending Club – $7,514
Student Loans – $15,860
Debt paid since starting the Spending Fast – $2,524
To see all of Katie’s Spending Fast journey posts click on her name at the top of the post, and to follow all of the Spending Fasters click here.
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