I really wanted to go shopping over my lunch hour on Tuesday. I’ve recently lost some weight (go me!), so I’ve been trying to get some more wear out of my baggy shirts by wearing a camisole underneath them. That way, when my coworker comes up behind me to ask me some question, I’m not flashing the ladies at the poor unsuspecting soul. Right now I have one camisole that I have fallen in love with. If I could sleep with it, I would – but wait, there are nights when I have slept in it … sigh! Long story short is that the store that carries said camisoles have them on sale right now and I suspect that they will be out of season sooner rather than later.
Anyhoo – at first blush, money wasn’t an issue. I worked some OT during the previous pay period, I had decided to break a recent medical bill in half because I couldn’t pay it all at once anyway (and I can do that since it’s not due until the end of the month) … the pantry was full of groceries, my monthly college loans aren’t due until later, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Now you see what my thought process usually is (complete with the “blahs.”). So I have to be honest – I really suck at sticking to a budget, I am also really bad at keeping money in my pocket and my checking account. Nope – I do not have credit card debt, nor do I plan to have credit card debt again in my lifetime, but I’m no angel when it comes to building savings.
I feel like it’s time for a change. I was joking with a co-worker today, “back to school, back to budget!” I crowed, after she told me about her weekend going over her family’s finances and figuring out a plan to pay down some debt. But you know what? I think I have my arms around it this time …
I’m borrowing a trick that I used when I paid down my credit cards – I tracked everything on a spreadsheet using my paltry Excel skills. The spreadsheet lists my debts and my current balance in my checking account and using projections of what each paycheck comes in, I allocate my money towards paying down my debt and my other monthly expenses.
What’s my overall goal? To accelerate paying off my college loans and to devote more money towards “savings.” But here’s another trick … money literally seduces me. (Or actually, I’m just mindless about money … if I have a positive balance in my checking account, that’s a good thing – I don’t really think about my future expenses … I just spend money.) So my “savings?” That’s the handsome man I live with and happen to be married to. As I’ve said before, he’s the financial yin to my yang. And since we still have separate checking accounts, when I transfer money over to him, it’s literally “out of sight, out of mind.” Hubby and I talked tonight and a portion of the money I’m allocating to him will go towards our retirement. We really need to sit down and figure out that if we want to retire by xx-age, this is how much money we need to be saving on a yearly basis.
It’s like Dave Ramsey says – (I’m paraphrasing) live today like no one else, so someday you will live like no one else.
The baby steps I took today? I withdrew cash from the ATM – $60 is to cover two weeks worth of gasoline, $40 is to cover two weeks worth of groceries and I have $40 in spending money. I’m really going to try to make this work …
P.S. – The moral of the story is that I did not go shopping today. I don’t have it budgeted in this particular pay cycle … and God knows I have enough clothes to ensure that my assets are modestly covered. If I get bored with my wardrobe, I just need to lose some more weight … I still have all the clothes from when I lost weight before and I WILL fit into them again.
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