Fact: I’m terrible with my finances. Not epically terrible, but not good.
Proof: I physically live within my means but yet I never pay my bills on time.
I can feel you all making this face (I think my subconscious also makes it daily):
As I looked at the start of my 40 before 40 goals, I realized that some of my not silly goals require being financially stable and smart. So I’ve taken a hard look at my monthly spending to see where I could make some changes. Boy oh boy are there plenty! So I had to put my University of Chicago educated brain on and take away the strength of the emotional “want” factor. The changes will commence now!
Some of the immediate changes that I’ll be making:
- Stop eating out so frequently – I’m a big foodie. While I don’t plan on giving up my eating adventures, I do need to stop the ordering lunch out, or picking up dinner on the way home because I’m too “tired” to cook. Eating out this much not only hurts my wallet, but it hurts my fitness goals. It needs to stop.
- Pay on time – this one frustrates me because I do know that late payments affect your credit score.
- Stop paying interest – for my last standing credit card and student loans – I need to pay more than the minimum and finish sooner. It pains me to see how much I’ve already paid of my student loans but yet feel like I’m nowhere near the end of them. The interest is killing me. I need to pay more than I’m asked.
- Eliminate the unnecessary monthly payments
- Weight Watchers online – I signed up because I wanted recipes. How many recipes did I get from here in the last year? none. How much am I paying monthly? $20…..that’s $240 worth of payments that could have gone to the last standing credit card. Cancelled on Monday.
- My Freckled Fawn kit club – I love paper crafts (which I haven’t really shared on this blog yet) so much that I actually have a second bedroom full of supplies. I had to purposely choose to live in a 2 bedroom apartment because I have so many supplies. That’s just crazy! This kit club has helped me fill in a few holes of my crafting arsenal – I needed embellishments – but they are now starting to pile up faster that I can use them. I cancelled my $25 monthly membership. I can always purchase individual items that I NEED (not want) later.
- The make-up hiatus – I looooooooooove Dior Make-up and other similar brands. Like my crafting supplies, I have collected an arsenal of goodies that help me paint a canvas on my eyelids and combine beautiful colors for very specific looks. The Problem: I don’t wear make-up daily and so it piles up in my bathroom closet. I am officially committed to only buying the things I really need through the rest of the year. So things like replenishing my foundation, concealer, etc.
An example that some of my spending is not so secretive? My friend recently send me this meme which made me chuckle but came at the right time to remind me why I need to do this.
I needed to really step back and examine why I wasn’t able to reach some of 40 before 40 goals a long time ago. I had to be honest with myself because I have no one else to blame. I’m not supporting anyone else in my household (except my cat Charlie), so the only person responsible for the state of my finances is ME.
I’ve never worked from a budget because I didn’t want to evaluate myself. It’s hard to intentionally look at your dumb choices. However, I’m glad I started this new blog (which has a cost) so that I can share my journey and ask you all to help me stay on track.
I still haven’t found the best budget sheet for me, but I’ll share when I do. The beauty of PINTEREST and bloggers as that others have been where I am and have already developed the tools. I just need to find what works for me and keeps me on a healthy financial path.
Perhaps my journey will inspire others to take that hard look and push forward!