Friday Financial Foul Ups: How I Wasted Over $10K and 11 Months

This week’s Friday Financial Foul Up will feature a guest post by new blogger and frequent twitterer Jeff from Deliver Away Debt.  Jeff has found himself with a large amount of debt and has taken to delivering pizzas as a means of paying it off.  For those that follow him on twitter, he shares with us his delivery stories as well as a play-by-play of most of his tips when he is working.  Enjoy his story and his foul up over the past year.

After returning from an overseas assignment in Southern China I needed to figure out a way to replace the $1,950 per month “Hazard Pay” I was receiving.  Before China my wife was working in the marketing field making $2,200 per month.  If she went back to work we would have been fine.  But like all good stories there’s a twist.  We had a one year old son and another baby on the way.  Day care was going to cost $1,800 per month for both kids, so we would still be short on funds.  That’s when I came up with the great idea of taking on a second job delivering pizzas (with Dave Ramsey’s help of course).  That way we could make the money we needed and my wife could stay home and take care of the kids.

The Situation:

On Monday May 9, 2008 I started to deliver pizzas for a newly opened pizza shop down the street.  It couldn’t have been easier to get the job, there was a sign on the door saying “Help Wanted: Drivers.”  I walked in, talked to the manager for 30 seconds, and showed up for training that Friday.  Finally my problems were solved.  I was going to make some cabbage and pay down my debt, all $101,000 of it.

Where I fouled up:

Working a second job to help pay down debt seemed like a great idea.  I was working two nights a week and made some good money.  The money went into the bank and the bills were all paid on time.  Great, I thought, but there wasn’t any money to apply toward my debt. I thought, oh well I’ll just make it up next month.  In June I was able to score another day of delivering. I was now working Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights pulling in over $300 a weekend working 21 hours. June came and I used that money to pay my property taxes.  No big deal, it was $1,400 I didn’t have before delivering so I’ll make that up next month.  Every month ended with the same story.  The money I was making was just supporting our current lifestyle, NOT paying down the debt I needed to pay down.

I averaged $1,200 per month during this 11 month period.

$1,200 X 11 months = $13,200 WASTED!!!

What I learned:

First – You need to have a plan any time money is involved.  If you don’t think ahead and tell the money “YOU WILL GO TO THE CHASE CREDIT CARD THIS MONTH.,” the money will never get there.  My wife and I finally figured out that a plan/budget was needed, too bad it took so long and cost us so much.

Second – After working the plan/budget for the last 4 months, we have paid down over $13,000.  Just think, we could have paid $26,200 in the same amount of time if we would have started the plan earlier!  ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN DAMN IT!

Third – Never deliver pizzas in a leased H3 Hummer.  The gas will KILL your best efforts.  Besides, people ALWAYS make comments about getting their pizza delivered by a dude in a Hummer.  I currently roll in a Chevy Cobolt and nobody says a thing.

Fourth – You also have to have fun paying down debt.  I know that doesn’t sound right but it’s true.  I make delivering pizzas fun by using Twitter.  I tweet about how much money I make in tips, and give a weekend earnings total on Sunday night.  I also tweet about all the crazy things that happen to me while delivering.  The interaction with people and the things a delivery driver sees are extremely funny.  Follow me at @deliverawaydebt and you too can get an inside look at the world of a great second job. is also a blog I write to help discuss tips and tricks I’m learning during the LONG journey to debt freedom.

May debt freedom be with us all,
Jeff Kosola

16 Responses to Friday Financial Foul Ups: How I Wasted Over $10K and 11 Months
  1. financia at
    October 2, 2009 | 8:10 am

    Great post Brian & Jeff!
    Nice foul up Jeff $101k! — GO BIG OR GO HOME!

    btw, the wife & I are glued to my TweetDeck every night you work!

  2. J. Money
    October 2, 2009 | 9:30 am

    haha nice. at least you have an awesome story to tell 😉 my favorite line – “Never deliver pizzas in a leased H3 Hummer.” classic.

  3. Mrs. Micah
    October 2, 2009 | 9:34 am

    I love the thought of delivering pizzas in a leased H3 Hummer. I mean you made a really good decision not to, but it’s the sort of thing that should be in a story. :)

  4. Paul @ FiscalGeek
    October 2, 2009 | 9:46 am

    Awesome Jeff, Dave would be proud! I love your twitter updates, keep it up!

  5. Financial Samurai
    October 2, 2009 | 9:50 am

    Funny post. How did you go $100,000 into debt in the first place?

    The best is when I see people deliver my pizza in nice BMW’s. It makes me feel so good that they are living the high life! :)

  6. Tracy
    October 2, 2009 | 9:58 am

    Excellent post and GREAT tips for those looking to pay down their debt. It is hard work and without a plan most people will just absorb the extra income into their lifestyle with little to show for it.

    Best of luck on your journey towards freedom from debt!

  7. Melanie
    October 2, 2009 | 9:59 am

    I love your story!
    it really demonstrates:
    “Fail to plan, Plan to fail”
    I am following you on twitter now for the fun – I think that is a great way to “have fun while paying off debt!”

    Good for you!


  8. Jeff
    October 2, 2009 | 10:18 am

    Thanks are the support everyone. It’s not easy telling people that you are in debt up to your eyeballs. But like every great 12 step program – admiting it is the first step. I guess I better look into AA too :-)

    Financial Samurai – Living WAY beyond my means.

  9. Financial Samurai
    October 2, 2009 | 12:12 pm

    Jeff – I think it is very impressive that you can get into $100,000 in debt, if it doesn’t include school loans and a mortgage. That is living the high life, and frankly, who can blame you if creditors want to give it to you!

  10. TheDebtDarling
    March 3, 2010 | 9:00 pm

    This is a great post. I used to deliver pizzas for Domino’s and I know I wasted a lot of my tip money on hanging out after close. Of course, I was single and 25 at the time. lol Anyway, you are so right about having a plan. You must tell your money where to go and with authority. Or else it will talk you into spending it on a night out and a trip to the mall. :)

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