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How I Can Get My Head Back in the Finance Game

November 1st, 2007 at 08:57 pm

So, how to get my head back into the game of finances? It was easy enough when money was tight and we had to stretch everything just to meet our bills. Now, with things being so very much easier, and a second raise following the one of three months ago for DH, I find it is becoming easier to not pay attention and to let some of the new money fritter away.

I really don't think that is at all a productive thing for me to do. Yet, the desire to ease up has been so overwhelming and the idea that if I don't look at what I'm doing, then I'm not really doing it, is kind of looming large. I don't want to be an ostrich with my head in the sand and yet at the same time I don't want to think, either.

Dangerous, that. Not thinking. Gets you into all sorts of trouble. And out of trouble has been the goal for years now, and it really does need to continue being the goal. Just because we have breathing room does not mean that we don't still have massive debt hanging over our heads. That medical debt is not going to go away of its own accord.

So, what to do? Well, first of all I need to stay out of restaurants and start cooking again. There are a lot of reasons for this, but first and foremost it's because my food is healthier as I know where it comes from. It's either organic, or at the very least, free range, hormone free, and steroid free. Second, it tastes better than any restaurant food. One of the benefits of being a fine cook, if I may be allowed to toot my own horn.

And third, it's also much more frugal to buy my own food and cook it. Even with organic food it is still cheaper to make a meal than it is to do a drive thru run, even off the dollar menu. I know this, I've done the math before. You know this really shouldn't be reason number three. It should be reason number one. This just goes to show how very far my mind is away from where it needs to be, doesn't it?

So all of that requires planning because we are going to be busy. Two days a week at tae kwon do, two days a week at basketball practice and Saturdays are game days. That means menu planning and crockpotting and making lists of the pantry and freezer again. And not wasting food by letting it rot in the veggie bins because I was too lazy to prep and cook when it's so much easier to eat out. Such a vicious circle, that, isn't it?

So obviously step one here is organization. That's not the only thing that could use some organization. I want to get a real bill box. One of those letter box things like Lillian Vernon sells that has a slot for each day of the month, plus big slots for miscellaneous bills.

My method of two little cardboard boxes is not cutting it and every so often a corner tears out. The wooden box would go a long way to curb the frustration, plus I would be able to tell at a glance what bills need to be paid when because they'd be in their corresponding cubby. And stuff would go in there promptly upon opening it. No more little piles and oops the power bill slid under the bed and suddenly you realize oops, I forgot to pay it last month. How lame is that? At least I stay on top of the interest bearing debt. But I need to stay on top of everything, so bill box gets to join spreadsheet in my list of tools to get my head back in the finance game.

We've been careless with gas, too. More than one trip to town in a day, not grouping errands into a single trip, not making sure everything is in the car that needs to be before we leave so that we don't have to go back home after five miles to retrieve something we need. Like say the tae kwon do uniforms. So, I need to concentrate on that, too.

One other thing is that I've let the surveys slide. It's been weeks since I've been serious about them, so I need to get on the ball, go clean out my survey email account and start doing them again. I know it wasn't much but it did help to build up my EF account and that is still one of my top goals here. Get it fully funded. Though just one month's worth would be nice, and I would feel so much more secure.

Daily blogging always helped tremendously in the past, so I should really wrap my head around that. Keeps me accountable, keeps me from hiding and gives me a place to vent if I do something stupid with money or celebrate if I do something brilliant with it. And reading the blogs again, at least some of them, on a daily basis too, because they inspire, instruct and make me realize that I am not alone in this.

So it really comes down to three things in the end, doesn't it? Planning, organization, and follow through. And I think if I follow those three steps I really and truly can get my head back in the financial game.

2 Responses to “How I Can Get My Head Back in the Finance Game”

  1. baselle Says:

    And strategic loosening. I've been having similar problems. Time to run a sweep and see which new habits (Poker night, lunches, Saturday morning breakfast, adding odd amounts to my stock DRPs, etc) are worthy and which are not.

  2. PRICEPLUS Says:

    It is so easy to let things slide when things are going well. In order to keep things running smoothly it is so important to stay the course and keep building wealth.

    Being frugal should be a lifetime pursuit! If times get rugh you'll be able to weather them a little easier with money saved!WinkSmile

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