When you get paid on Friday and by Monday morning you are stressing over how you are going to get through the week it is time to get your finances under control. I’m not that bad, at least not yet, but I did make a promise to myself last year that I was going to be better about my finances and spending and I’m not. I’m no better than I was last year and it’s discouraging, disheartening, and semi-depressing.
I read an article this morning about how you should add up your fixed monthly expenses (mortgage/rent, utilities, car payments, insurance, prescriptions, etc) and then deduct those from your income. This will give you your disposable income amount. Then you want to deduct the amount you would like to put aside in savings every month. Once you have this new figure divide it by 30 and you will have the amount of money you are allowed to spend per day. I did it. I wish I hadn’t. I mean, I’m glad I did because now I have perspective but I wish I hadn’t because it’s not nearly as much as I wish I could spend per day. I wish I could go out to dinner and a movie then stop and buy a couple new dresses and a pair of heels every day but I can’t. Then again, who can? Anyway, the “per day” amount has to include gas and groceries and entertainment. Let’s be honest no one buy gas or groceries by the day and we aren’t supposed to live by this “per day” amount, it’s only to give us perspective.
Then I read a few “savings” tips like:
- Never spend your coins. They add up!
- Never spend a $5 bill. $5’s go in a “savings” jar. You can only spend $10’s or higher and $1’s. (Note: in order for this to work you have to stop being a debit card user, like me).
- Use a “swear jar” to help break bad habits. Pay a $1 fine every time you swear or bite your nails. It’s a win-win. You save money and break your bad habits.
- Get a second job.
I’m considering them all at this moment. The first three aren’t too painful but that one is a bit sucky. Do I want a second job? No. Would I be willing to work a second job? Yes. At least for a little while. I would do it long enough to pay off my credit cards, pay off my debt, repair my car and save a few extra thousand dollars. I keep thinking to myself, “I don’t have school this summer. I could pick up a second ‘summer job’ and quit before school goes back in the Fall.” It would only be three months and it would help tremendously until my financial aid comes in for the Fall semester. I just keep considering, “short term pains for long term gains.” Sucky? Yes. Impossible? No. Beneficial? Yes. I have a friend that worked three jobs for 6 months. She hated it but said at the end of the 6 months she felt such a huge relief knowing she had cleared her credit report, paid off her debts, and had re-budgeted her life to adjust to her one primary income. I don’t know, I guess at the moment I’m just feeling financially discouraged because what I want to do is pay my current bills, paid off old debts, repair my car, save money, travel, start a familyand still live and enjoy life with my husband and I can’t do it all right now. I guess everyone’s feeling that crunch right now and normally I’m feeling fine but today it’s got me a little down. 😦