As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

Smithee Debt Update, February 13, 2010

This article was written by in Debt Reduction. 3 comments.

This was a pretty good week for saving money. Last weekend, I took my strict $100 out of the bank for the next seven days, but I also ordered a small-ish present for my wife, which cost about $50. As a result, I set myself a challenge to see if I could spend $50 or less of the cash I had on hand, to make up the difference.

Remarkably, I managed to do that. I still have $56 in my wallet, and it’s just about time to head back to the ATM. So my plan would be to withdraw only $50, eventually evening everything out. This would work, except for two things: 1) it’s nearly impossible to find an ATM which stocks $10 bills, and 2) the Level 3 improv classes start today, which cost $200.

The other sad news is that the monthly cycle on my “newer debt” card means that finance charges were applied, so I’m afraid the balance on that card is more than it was the last time I updated you.

Did I Use Plastic for Anything?

  • I spent $9.95 to file my taxes electronically (the tax bill itself was $5,437, but it’s okay, we used the Withholding Calculator earlier last year and had saved enough)
  • and that’s about it!

Near Future Issues

If I can find one, I’m going to try to get a proper manly haircut and shave at an old-fashioned barber. I really don’t know how much to expect to spend on that. I’m used to spending less than $20 on a haircut, but those are always mediocre, and they don’t grow in properly.

And just now, my wife asked me to check and see how much it would cost to turn the basic cable service back on. I just officially canceled the regular TV service (after having merely suspended it as a trial), and Verizon sent me some boxes to return the DVRs. Unfortunately, this happened on the first day of the Winter Games, and though I thought we were doing fine without live TV, some of the events are quixotically being played on CNBC. Yes, the business channel.

So, it’s not smooth sailing, but at least I made it into the boat.

Credit Card Debt Totals Change
Legacy Debt $934.67 –30.04
Newer Debt $4,905.32 +168.66

Updated March 4, 2010 and originally published February 13, 2010.

Email Email Print Print
About the author

Smithee formerly lived primarily on credit cards and the good will of his friends. He is a newbie to personal finance but quickly learning from his past mistakes. You can follow him on Twitter, where his user name is @SmitheeConsumer. View all articles by .

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

It’s hard NOT to spend money isn’t it? :) Things always seem to “pop up.”

Reply to this comment

avatar 2 Anonymous

Keep at it and you’ll succeed. Wait, today is the Daytona 500, that should be “git ‘er done”

Reply to this comment

avatar 3 Anonymous

Rather than drive all over town – and waste gas money – just take out $60. When you’ve made your first purchase, put $10 into an envelop to deposit (deposit envelopes being perfect for this). Next trip, put the $10 back or deduct it from the total you need to withdraw. When I use this trick I deposit the $10 in my savings account.

Reply to this comment

Leave a Comment

Note: Use your name or a unique handle, not the name of a website or business. No deep links or business URLs are allowed. Spam, including promotional linking to a company website, will be deleted. By submitting your comment you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.