Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fiscal Fury . . .

The last few years, I've been wanting to get my finances in order and really become a grown-up about money. When I was a kid we were really poor: on food stamps, getting stuff from the church, always struggling to get by. My earliest money memory was the year the Boy Scouts donated Thanksgiving dinner to us; I was five or six, and I didn't know until later that this was strange. I guess I grew up with a strange relationship to money then: on the one hand, I have a desire to spend it on impulse-buys that will make me happy in the moment, to make up for all the times when I couldn't afford to; on the other hand, I often have a very hard time buying anything that isn't an absolute necessity. I can't even say how many times I've walked around, say, Target with a cart full of stuff, only to put it all back before I get to checkout because I can't bear to spend money on it.

Before I decided to move to SoCal, my credit was actually in pretty decent shape. The move, and everything surrounding it (including a job that did not let me pay bills for close to three months) has trashed it beyond belief. But, now that I'm on the other side of that hill I'm focusing back on getting my finances in order. Being fiscally responsible, for me, is proof that I can handle my life. It's a big deal.

Yesterday, I spent two hours putting together a speadsheet for the next nine months of spending. I laid out all my bills (or what I predict they will be, in some cases), then figured out savings, excess cash each month, etc. I'm going to try to stick to this as much as I can. I know the unexpected happens and things will not always follow an excel file, but it's a good place to start and helps me visualize what I need to do between now and January. My hope is that by next year my credit score will be much higher and I'll have some money in the bank. We'll see;)


A Place At The Table said...

I have to smile that many many years apart our lives are very similar, that being said, I was given an incredible spread sheet for a budget (which I am now on big time) if you would like to have a blank copy of it to use or get ideas from let me know, it has really helped me espeically because it changes from week to week!!

Elizabeth Throkkmort'n said...

Congratulations for taking ownership of the situation. And for recognizing where some of your motivations originate.

Those are the first steps to improving your financial world, and as you have successes along the way (be sure to figure milestones into your budget and the "big picture," of your financial state), find ways to celebrate them!

All the best!

~ Christie

Ginger said...

I'd love a copy of that blank form; it might be a lot easier to use than what I created;) There's a link to email me on the page; send it there if you get a minute!