Debt-free by 2015: Update

January has passed.
February is here.

Time for a "Debt-Free by 2015" update.

Month #1 really went well!

Here are some lessons I learned in my first month....

Budgeting is actually pretty fun:  I now use a spreadsheet and I track every single purchase.  I think it's strangely fun.  And I really, really think about every dollar in a new way.

I'm always on the lookout for ways to make extra money:  I've sold over $240 in used books over the past 3 weeks on Amazon.  I list them through Amazon, so they get a cut of the proceeds.  I've sold a LOT of books to get to that dollar amount, and it has been fun packing them up and writing out the address labels.  I've sent books all around the United States.   And it was a great way to downsize my gigantic book collection.

I really don't need new clothes, shoes, or make-up:  In my past life, I LOVED LOVED LOVED a good sale.  And shopping was fun for me.  I loved to find adorable shirts for $10 or great shoes for $15.  As part of my 2013 plan, I won't be purchasing any new shoes or clothes.  Amazingly, I don't even think about it anymore.  It isn't even a temptation.  And I don't even look at my favorite fashion blogs anymore.  Instead, I look at budgeting blogs.  Or - I read actual books.  Yippee!

It felt really good to raise my monthly payments on loans:  I contacted all my student loan companies and raised my monthly payments.  If I stick with it, I really should have it all paid off by January 2015.  It feels good.

I'm cooking a lot more and even baking:  It has been fun to save money by never eating out.  I make all kinds of things.  My mom is a really great cook, too, and we get to eat together about once a week.  It's fun.

Miracle of miracles.
I made a peanut butter cookie.  

There are many free ways to have fun:  The library.  A walk.  Scrabble.  A movie.  Taking pictures.  I'm really realizing that fun is cheap and easily accessible.  I just have to be creative - and on the lookout for opportunities to laugh and explore and enjoy life!

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