Thursday, October 18, 2012

three points

I was passing the time at work reading A Cup of Jo 's archives yesterday and I happened upon a post about authenticity. Joanna's mother wrote this to her regarding the subject:
"It seems to me that being authentic is being brave enough or just candid enough to be honest about what you are experiencing or who you are, whether it is popular are not... Whenever you are honest, you are speaking for a thousand silent people who don't have the voice to say what they really feel or are really experiencing. So, if you ever talk about [the thing you went through], you will touch a million hearts. Because you are speaking for more than just yourself. You are never alone in what you are feeling."
It resonated with me the whole day.  I think I've done an okay job being authentic (so far!) with those that read this blog, but lately, I think I've been sticking my short-comings in the corner and not acknowledging them as I should. I don't want, nor can I afford, to resort back to the "ostrich syndrome" (sticking your head in the sand to avoid something). So with that, here's a list for you of what I've been able to do and what I still need to do in my financial life.

For Better:
  • Writing down daily expenses/purchases in a mini-notebook, including anything auto-debited from my account 
  •  Transferring chunks of money into my short-term savings account - I've learned that the less money I see in the "available" column, the less I spend overall.
  •  Spending less money on groceries, overall. I'll have a post about that soon.
  •  Being able to say no/put things back/be more realistic with my purchases. For example, I was in Target on Tuesday, and put back more than a few things that I just didn't need.

  • Still Needs Work:
  •  Using coupons. I'm doing pretty good with using coupons at major retailers, especially if gifts are involved. My grocery couponing is pretty much non-existant.
  •  Giving up some other non-essentials, like soda, specialty lattes from Wawa/Starbucks, & eating out when I don't feel like eating what I've made for lunch/dinner.
  • Increasing retirement contributions. I've upped the contributions on my Deferred Compensation & Roth plans to 2% of my annual salary. Still no where close to the 10% I used to be at, but we're getting there.

  • Has Been Totally Ignored:
  •  Not using credit cards. This could probably go in the "Still Needs Work" column, but I'm going to put it down here. In this post, I talked about not cutting up the cards after they were paid off, which was a stupid move on my part. My friend, Jenn, warned me that paying everything off in a lump sum probably really wouldn't "teach" me the lesson I needed, and she was right. I haven't used them lately, but I did during the summer, and now I'm not only paying the minimums on those, but my loan as well. Lesson definitely learned.
  •  Automatic savings. Confession: I have no auto-save from my paycheck set up. I did go to the credit union and get the paperwork, but I never turned it into Human Resources and now I have no idea where it is. That's my only goal for next week.
  •  Budgeting - in the sense of giving myself X amount of dollars to spend on a certain thing (like gas/groceries/shoes) per month. I am reviewing my Virtual Wallet Spending Tracker a few times a month to see where I need to cut back, but I just can't seem to give myself a hard & fast number.

  • So that's where I'm at. I'm getting there. Like most things, this takes a lot more time and effort than I initally think it will. I try not to get too frustrated with myself, but the perfectionist in me makes it hard somedays. I still get moody and want to buy a shirt sometimes, but I'm getting better at realizing that shopping high is going to last about as long as my bad mood.

    In the wise words of Alanis Morisette: "And what it all comes down to/ Is that I haven't got it all figured out just yet"

    How are you doing in your financial life?

    No comments:

    Post a Comment