Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February - Money Money Money Money… Money!

Money month has begun.  To be honest I feel a little unprepared at the moment.  The first day of the month always seems to sneak up on me.

Okay.  Money.  I hate it.  It’s a big point of stress and unhappiness for me.  I don’t think money buys happiness, but I think it helps.  Anyone who lives on a tight budget knows that having your finances under control is an empowering feeling.  The peace of mind that knowing you can handle major repairs on your car, an expensive vet bill, emergency travel, etc. is priceless.  Eliminating worry and guilt is part of the happiness project and getting to a better place financially is going to help.

Money can buy some happiness.  I read somewhere that the best way to spend your money was on experiences since we become accustomed to stuff so quickly that the joy we get from things fades quickly.  Experiences create memories which last far longer than the excitement over a new kitchen table.  Sure you can make great free memories, but a lot of them cost money.

A goal this month is to create a budget for myself.  I’ve done this before but it was mostly to get a sense of my expenses, I didn’t use it on a regular basis.  I’ll need to factor in my new salary when the time comes and keep a closer watch on how I’m spending my money.  To do this I plan on keeping all my receipts from this point forward.  Everything from $6.00 at the convenience store to $150 on groceries.  I’ll throw them in a box or something and at the end of the month go through and see how I’m spending.  I’m sure I’ll be surprised at the end of the month to see how much I really spend on magazines or lunches.  I also need to familiarize myself with exactly how much things like cable and internet cost.  I have a rough idea, but how much is cable, how much is internet, I couldn’t tell you.

Another thing I’d like to try this month is living on cash.  I’m not sure how great this idea will be but I’m going to give it a try for a while.  I never have cash on me.  I don’t even feel guilt when homeless people ask for change because I don’t got none.  I find I spend cash quickly, it’s faster to pay with cash and I’m more likely to make small purchases with cash that I’d feel silly paying for debit with, like anything under five dollars for example.  My hope is that when I’m using cash as my sole means of paying for things I’ll regard it as precious and be more wary of doling it out.  I won’t carry my entire months budget on my at all times for fear of losing my purse or having some guy with a gun steal my wallet, manolos and bag-ette, but I am going to try to use cash only.

Save save save.  That’s my main objective.  I think having goals for saving will help.  In case of emergency goals and money to go on a trip are two that I’ve been thinking about a lot.  Flash will start paying rent next Month which will also free up some money.

Here goes…

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