Financial Things

Hello!

One of my New Year’s Intentions was to get my financial life in order, so I thought a good way to keep track of that would be to do a regular Financial Things post, both to remind myself that I am making progress and also to have something to post (I tend to tell myself that I have nothing to write about, but then I’ll read someone else’s post and ideas explode in my head). So without further ado, here are my latest financial things:

  • I reconnected with an old budgeting system I used to use. All of last year I used YNAB (You Need A Budget) to track my expenses and plan my budget, and while I really love almost everything about it, it just doesn’t make sense to me to pay $84 a year for a budgeting system when I a) am trying to cut expenses and b) there are so many budgeting systems that cost way less or are free. In searching for an alternative to YNAB, I tried several different options – and was getting frustrated that I couldn’t find one that I clicked with – when I happened to be looking for pictures on my desktop PC at home and discovered, buried deep in my documents folder, a budget template from 2015 that I had gotten from SimpleOrganizedLiving.com (which is now adreadekker.com). I opened it up and reworked it to fit my 2019 needs and the clouds parted and the angels sang and I found my one true budget template love. I sit down once a week to plug in my expenses and see where I’m at for the month. It’s easy and it’s FREE. I may have paid for it back in 2015 or maybe it was offered as a free download, I don’t remember, but I’m very happy that I have found it again.
business charts commerce computer
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  • I bought a dresser from a Facebook resale group. Since my son moved into his own apartment, that means my girls get their own rooms now, and we are in need of a little bit of furniture. When they shared a room they had one large dresser for their clothes, but now they each want a smaller chest of drawers (side note: it’s chest OF drawers, not chester drawers, and that’s your grammar lesson for the day). I really do not want to pay over $100 each for brand new dressers (we’re also going to need night stands and different beds as well, which could add up to hundreds of dollars. Um…no.) so I found a small wood dresser listed on a resale group for $40 that we are going to repaint to match the room. I’m on the lookout for another dresser and eventually I’ll be on the lookout for the rest of the furniture, but for now, I’m happy with my find.
apply blue brush carpentry
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  • I used a birthday coupon for a free large popcorn and drink at the movies. My son and I went to see Captain Marvel over the weekend, and I was able to use a birthday coupon from my theater loyalty card which got us free popcorn and a large drink which saved us $13.50. Oh, and my son bought the tickets for my birthday, so I only spent $5 for a medium drink. Seeing the Marvel movies is our bonding thing, so it’s worth it to me to spend the money to see a movie once in a while, but yay that  I didn’t have to spend much this time!
white and green pop corns beside red gummy bear
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Those are a few things off the top of my head that I’ve done lately to get ahead of my financial situation. And let me point out, my financial situation isn’t awful or dire, I just have some small debts that I’m tired of paying on and although we tend to break even every month, I want to get ahead of things. I want to better my situation, I guess you could say.

What have you done in the past to better your financial situation? What are your favorite frugal tips? What financial advice would you like to share? Hit it in the comments so we can all benefit!

 

Set an intention and conquer the hair demons

So it’s the end of January – how are those resolutions working out for ya? Does anyone really make New Year resolutions? Honestly, I don’t know anyone who actually makes/attempts/sticks to any resolutions in real life.

And why make them in January? I feel January is a month for resting and recovering. A month for restoration, if you will. After the high adrenaline excitement of The Big Three: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, I need at least a month to get my nervous system back to normal, don’t you?

So now that we’re all rested up and recovered, I think now – the end of January/beginning of Feb is the perfect time to decide how we would like the rest of the year to go. And I like to do that by setting an Intention for the year – the kinder, gentler cousin of the Resolution.

How do you set an intention though? Lucky for you, my coach/therapist/friend Emily Roberts has 4 steps for setting an intention, and I wanted to share them with you today:

  1. Get clear on what it is you want and really think about WHY you want it. Also, write it down somewhere – in a journal, on a post-it on your mirror, on your car’s visor, somewhere you will see it more than once.
  2. Share your intention with someone who will support you as you carry out your intention (make sure it is someone who absolutely has your back, not just any ol’ person you know.)
  3. Do something right now that demonstrates your commitment to your intention. It can be something as small as Googling an article, or finding a store that carries the supplies you need to carry out your intention. Just do something.
  4. Give yourself a pat on the back for doing the thing you said you would do! Acknowledge that you are moving forward, and then do the next thing that moves you closer to your intention. Keep reminding yourself why you want this.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Keep taking the next step and the next step and the next step…pretty soon you will find that you are well on your way to Achieving the Thing!

I mentioned some things I’d like to work on in this post*, but the only thing that I really made an intention out of is getting my finances in order. So as an example of how to set an intention, here is how I’m doing that:

  1. I would like to pay off at least 2 of our smaller debts this year, make a binder of all of our household information, and talk to a financial adviser. I want to do this because of the peace of mind it will bring.
  2. I shared my intention with Emily and with my husband (and now with all of you).
  3. For the binder, I bought the supplies and printed out some helpful sheets on getting all of our information organized (our monthly bills, internet passwords, copies of important documents, etc) and I am almost ready to put it all together. As for paying of our smaller debts, I have identified which debts I want to pay off and have already earmarked some bonus money to pay off one of those debts (maybe) and I have been exploring freelance data-entry opportunities to bring in some extra income to go towards that debt. For the financial adviser, my husband has a client who does this, so we already have someone chosen. I think I’m going to wait until we get our tax refund to go talk to him, so that will happen in a couple of months.
  4. Yay me for doing what I’ve done already!! Honestly, this is so unlike me but recent events have made me realize that getting things in order is not something to be put off until “someday” because our “someday” may come in an unexpected/unpleasant way.

Next time I will share with you a great way to remind yourself of your intentions – and I’ll show you how I’m reminded of mine. (Hint – it’s wearable AND pretty!!)

If you were going to set an intention for this year, what would yours be?

*Side note – I also mentioned in that post improving my relationship with my hair (conquering my hair demons is how I think I put it)…here is the mess I was dealing with vs CUTTING IT INTO SUBMISSION:

Take THAT hair demons!!! (Also, wow! My face is super puffy in the first picture!)