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My First DA Post...

January 28th, 2011 at 03:39 am

Following is a first for me...my first post on the Debtors Anonymous ("DA") YahooGroups website. Here is what I wrote this morning when I woke up at 2:30 (way too early!):

This is my first post and I really feel a bit confused about how this yahoo thing works, but also kind of glad to be here. I have been keeping my numbers pretty well since Jan 1 and living on my spending plan. I feel so in control of my finances which feels wonderful. Also, one day at a time and by the grace of God, my spending compulsion has left me.

We just had our second payday since I started my new financial sanity and the checking account is fat and happy. I also just paid off my $2,300 VISA card which feels great. I know in this program it says NOT to use plastic, but it is a frequent flyer card and it has a zero balance. I plan to try to use it like a debit card and pay it off from my linked checking acct each Friday. In the past, I have paid off the card each month, with the exception of this past December when my spending got a little wild (to put it mildly).

Before Christmas I had a VERY scary spending experience. I had tried to go on an antidepressant for some really rather mild unhappiness and one of the terrible side effects was that as I got "happy" I started an incredible spending binge on ebay in which I probably spent more than $10K!! Fortunately, I had Christmas bonuses to pay it off, but it was the only time in my life I found I couldn't stop spending. It got so bad and frightening that to stop the binge I went off sugar as a couple of books I read said sugar fuels addiction cycles. Within two weeks of quitting sugar and markedly decreasing my caffeine, my spending compulsion left me.

BUT I have a healthy respect for my overspending and know I must remain in the DA program for the rest of my life to deal with it. ONE DAY AT A TIME. DON'T DEBT. KEEP MY NUMBERS. PRAY "PLEASE" IN THE MORNING AND "THANKS" AT NIGHT. Thanks God!

RETURNING TO THE MARKET. Last night DH and I had a free phone consult with our Schwab consultant in which he looked at our retirement portfolio and recommended ways to rebalance things. Prior to the stock market crash two years ago I had pulled our mutual funds back to cash fortunately. Therefore, our 401Ks didn't lose money, BUT we were out of the market and in cash when the stock market started roaring back as it has done for the past 18 or so months. Having weathered several boom and bust cycles over the years I am frightened to get back in the market again but the consultant gave us a very conservative plan with 40% in stock mutual funds and the rest in bonds. He says that mix has gone down at worst only an average of 4-6% a year when it does go down. We really do need the upside so on Sunday morning DH and I are going to sit down together and make decisions on which mutual funds to purchase. The consultant said he makes no commissions which is good. Also, he suggested that to get back in we should dollar cost average and get it all back in at the rate of 1/6th per month for the next six months. That feels safer too. I HATE RISK!!!!! To me it almost feels like we are rolling the dice in hopes of a good retirement.

3 Responses to “My First DA Post...”

  1. CouponAddict Says:

    May I suggest that if you are going to use your Credit Card as a Debit card go one step further and have a notebook with your checkbook balance and then write down each credit card purchase, subtracting each purchase from the balance.

    Yes paying off the card weekly is much better than monthly, but I find the balancing of the register daily or after each transaction so helpful because I see the number as they go down instead of just this lump sum when I pay it.

    Good Luck!

  2. laura Says:

    I pay the card off weekly (use it to accumulate points for Christmas gifts). If I go anything longer than that, it creates a shift in attitude toward less accountability. And by paying it off weekly, it is more accurate, but then again, we don't do much spending.

  3. SavingsQueen Says:

    CA and LA. Loved both of your ideas. Writing down the balance each time does lead to accoutability. Laura, I also liked hearing that you are doing what I plan to do. Makes it seem like it's possible to keep a rein on it that way. The minute it gets away from me, I have promised myself I will go back to a debit card.

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