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.
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. Deliverawaydebt.com 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,