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Friday, December 20, 2013

Do I Really Need That?


It's that time of year. Zara's biannual sale. You know of my love for Zara. And their winter sale is really the only one I get excited about, although I have been known to love their summer fit and flare sale dresses. I just think their winter clothes are better constructed as their summer stuff tends to be flimsy. My mom has had to repair two summer blazers for me, whereas my black winter blazers, constructed of thicker material, have held up very well the last couple of winters.

So you would think I'd be all about the sale that started at midnight. Oh I am. Oh. yeah. I. am. I perused the site. I added junk to my cart. And just as I was about to whip out my credit card and pull the trigger on my purchases, I stopped myself.

Wait? Why? It's the winter sale! It's the most wonderful time of the year! It's gymnasts doing the ribbon dance. It's belting out your favorite song in the shower. It's snow angles and early birthdays. Okay, some of those may be a stretch. But it's a pretty good sale.

I stopped myself because I'm about to turn 42. I just recently started contributing to my 401K account after a one-year lapse of changing jobs and having to wait the appropriate amount of time. I have to rebuild my savings after our move back to FL, one house sale, and one house purchase all in a year's time. I stopped myself because starting in January, I am on a three-year plan to financial freedom. That's right - all debt, including my car and all credit cards - will be paid off (if all goes as planned) in three years. Some will be done in one year, some two, and the last bit - in three years. Why three years? Well, I'm not doing the snowball method. That method involves paying as much as you can toward one card, then when it's paid off, you attack the next card and put the money from the first card toward the second and so on. For me, it was about doing things slow and steady and making it feasible without strapping my finances so much that I would give up and fall back into my old ways. Ways that have been prevalent since my first Sears credit card purchase at 18. And I remember my first credit card purchase - it was a CD player and mount for my car.

So the credit cards are going in a safe place and it's cash only starting January 1, 2014. Only I can hold myself accountable for this. And since this is such a personal journey,  I'm debating starting another blog strictly about debt and getting out of it to keep myself on track. Not sure I'm ready to make that leap yet and divulge that much info about myself.

I do know that by the time I'm 45, I don't want to be confined to the type of work, job, or salary I have to do or make just to keep up my lifestyle. I want to sleep soundly at night and know that in 20 years, I'm not sharing food with my dog.







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5 comments:

  1. Nikki,
    From the moment I found your blog, I knew we were very alike. Around 35, I realized I had somehow become part of the rat race -- spending more than I made no matter how much my income increased. I made a plan and paid everything off. Even the house (I bought it for a song when I was 28). At 40, my Dad died and I was filled with all of the realizations that a parent's death brings. It's not all about money. Or job titles. Or "cool" whatever. I loved my Dad and now he was gone. And I worked way too much in his last years. I was determined not to make the same mistake with my very ill sister and aging Mom. Now, with everything paid for, I work part-time to save for retirement. I don't travel or shop like I used to, but I spend a lot more time with family and friends. Because even though it sounds kind of new age-y: Love is all you need. I have REALLY enjoyed seeing you transform your new home. Keep those updates coming!! All the best this Christmas and in 2014.

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  2. I can't believe I misspelled your name!! I know it only has 1 "k" sorry!

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    1. Not a problem, Elizabeth! You should see how people spell "Nichole" - my mommy had to throw in an "H" to confuse the heck out of everyone. Actually the story goes that she thought I would be a boy and name me Nicholas. That's the story. And no one can pronounce, let alone spell, my last name, which I don't divulge on my blog but is probably easy to figure out with google searches. Thank you for your comment above. And congrats on paying off everything! What financial freedom must feel like. ahhh. I hope to know soon. Would love to know your obstacles and techniques and how you overcame the will to spend and what kept you on track. I'm sorry to hear about your dad and other family members. Family is the reason for our return to FL (and sun, but mostly family, and sun). ;-) I just need a 16x20 frame (and to get well enough to go get it) to be able to show you the guest room. Hubby is finishing up dining room this weekend and then I can show you that, too. Again, just need to recover from this bronchitis and then I can show you a few more rooms.
      Niki

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  3. Congrats on the plan!! Its liberating, truly, to live and know you owe nothing. We did it, mostly (we still pay our mortgage, but we were able to put 50% down and do a very low rate for 15 years and we have a vacation condo with the annual dues/fees) and now call ourselves retirement poor---maxing every possible angle on retirement savings that we can. SEP, 401K, IRA, 529 for our kid. My husband sill still freak out for a minute when but then I remind him that we pay property taxes and our mortgage and thats it. It took a few years of living fairly frugally. We only bought cars that we had enough cash to pay for on the spot. We only went on trips with when we'd put aside enough to pay upfront. Now I still limit myself to $100 a month on frivolity--clothes, makeup, shoes. If something is pricey, I have to wait two or three months!

    Good luck, you'll make it and be so happy (said one 43 year old to the other).

    Also, thought you might like this:http://getoffmyinternets.net/js-everyday-fashion-will-explain-age-ranges/comment-page-2/#comments

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    1. Thank you, Kim! I love the article about J! It just goes to prove that some people take this blogging thing too far and are really just immature, sad individuals with no life outside of their blogosphere. I don't mind blogging about our home as it's nice to see the transformation, but feel kind of goofy showing outfit photos anymore. But if it "helps people." LOL!
      Thank you for sharing your debt story as well. It's going to be a very hard thing for me to do but I'm determined to be out of debt by age 45. Congrats on accomplishing this! I think that's fantastic!
      Niki

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