Katie’s Spending Fast Update: Surviving the Summer

Katie's Spending Fast Update: Surviving the Summer

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.

P.S. Ready to get out of debt ASAP? Check out the Spending Fast Bootcamp!

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