I made the first extra payment to the Macy’s card (about $116) and with the budget program I’ve been able to keep all the cards paid off as soon as the charges show up. Things are finally starting to hum along.

This last check of the month coming on Thursday is going to be short one day because last Thursday the guys got rained out on the job. On the bright side it’s the 5th check of the month so everything has already been paid. I do need to take a little out for a birthday present but other than that it’s going toward normal weekly expenses and the extra will go toward Macy’s. That payment will bring us under the $1000 mark on the card. It’s exciting.

I’m letting the emergency fund sit at $500 instead of $1000 and I don’t think that’s a smart idea but it doesn’t make me feel all that worried, either, so I’m leaving it until I get Macy’s paid off. I can’t deal with having one extra dollar and not sending it to Macy’s to get that paid off.

Which means the rewards cash I got from that Chase card (about $190) are going to go toward Macy’s, too. Anything to help. We are coming up on getting a bonus from Randy’s new credit card, too ($100) and it, too, will go to Macy’s.

It feels weird using credit card bonuses to pay off credit cards but I don’t care where the money comes from as long as it’s going toward paying off those credit cards.

We spent a lot over budget last week. Snacks, drinks, breakfast with a friend, going out with the kids on Friday night….all culminated in some not great money decisions. It’s not a big deal but I know I need to dial it back come this Thursday. I feel myself slipping into that realm of wanting to do whatever I want whenever I want because it’s such a new feeling but it’s only a little mental slip, I know that’s not going to get this family to a good place so it’s not going to stick around as a game plan.

Even though it was fun for the whole family last week I keep saying “I” because everyone follows my lead. If I’m lax with spending, everyone is thrilled because they trust me and will just assume we can afford it. It’s a lot of power to have and I’m not entirely comfortable with that level of responsibility sometimes. Mr. Brickie will sit and check out the budget with me whenever I ask and he pays attention and cares but when push comes to shove whatever I say goes.

It’s a lot of pressure.

The pressure feels bigger now that the money decisions are more flexible. It’s not about what we have to pay to not lose the house, the car, the whatever. It’s the best choice out of several totally fine choices. Of course, paying down the credit card is always the best decision, but it’s hard sometimes to pick debt payments over taking the kids to a movie.

Maybe I’m not a person who can achieve balance. Maybe I have to put all the money toward debt repayment or I’ll end up messing up all the plans. I don’t know.

Is this what an identity crisis feels like?

2 Comments on It Feels Like We Are On Our Way…to Something

  1. I’ve always wished that credit cards would give you an option to reduce your balance with your reward money, but that’ll never happen. They want you to spend! Still, you can make it happen with a few extra steps. Kudos to you for doing so.

    • All my cards have the option to use it to reduce the balance, it just won’t count toward the minimum payment. Chase Freedom, Chase Amazon Visa, and Capital One Quicksilver cards are the ones I’ve done it with. Actually, even my very first credit card the Capital One Platinum card let me put the cash back on my statement. The math gets a little weird because I’m paying purchases individually as soon as they pop up on the card (thank goodness for the budget) so I’ve decided when I hit a certain amount of cash back on those cards I’ll just get a check cut or I know Chase Freedom will direct deposit the money right into my account.

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