Winner and Budget Plans

Congrats to the winner of the Fit Fun and Fabulous First Friday Giveaway!

Congrats to Julie from Blog(ger) in Process!! Here is how she would enjoy a POM Wonderful:

“How about POM as a treat to quell my sweet tooth? I’d give that a try!”

I’ll be e-mailing you today for your shipping information. I hope you enjoy!

Thank you to everyone who entered (and tweeted, yay!) and made my first giveaway so successful. I can’t wait for the next one.

Finance Friday

Preface: Finances are an intensely personal and emotional topic for a lot of people. Many keep their finances private. However, it is taking up a large portion of my thoughts, and it is what I want to write about, so I’m sharing my personal information. It is what I’m choosing to do, and I feel okay about it. I’m hoping that reaching out to my readers they will feel more at ease about their situation, which can cause a lot of stress for people. Hopefully they will learn some tips and people can teach me some things. I am a sponge, ready to soak it up.

Weekends seem to be an excuse for me to be totally indulgent. I always eat the most food and spend the most money. I’ve tried to direct that energy into indulging in a TON of fitness related activities, which I’ve really grown to enjoy, and actually benefits me, unlike overeating and overspending. I’ve also learned to identify overeating AND overspending are an attempt to fill a void due to a lack of self-worth, which I’ve blogged about before. The realization that over-doing it is connected to a feeling of emptiness has really helped me pin down why I do it, and work to overcome it.

I’ve been making my way through Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in your 20s and 30s and it is full of a lot of great tips. I want to feel like I’m the one in charge of my finances, not the other way around.

Things I’m Good At:

  • Budgeting for the month
  • Paying all bills on time
  • Paying more than the minimum balance
  • Budgeting and saving for large, one time expenses (ex. dog neutering)
  • Saving for vacation

Things I Want to Improve On:

  • Decreasing small, extraneous spending
  • Building an emergency fund
  • Setting up a retirement account
  • Make sure I am properly insured (life, health, etc.)
  • Having more money leftover in my paycheck each week

I’m working some new bills into my budget, so my goal is to get rid of bills that I can pay off and be done with (credit card, clothing credit card, dental loan). That way it will free up some space to introduce the new, necessary bills (cell phone and health insurance). It shouldn’t take me very long because I’ve kept the balances very low and am nearing the end of the balance for my dental loan, but it is time to make those balances ZERO.

In addition to that, I’m also working on building my savings instead of wasting money on extraneous little odds and ends. I’m going to employ the concept of “pay yourself first” which means your first bill from every paycheck should be a payment to you into your savings.

Finally, I’m ALSO (whew my paycheck is going in a thousand different directions) saving for a trip to Las Vegas in two weeks. Eep!

I’ve decided that I am going to try to start blogging on Saturday as part of my “free Saturday morning” ritual I’ve decided to start. I’ve made quite a habit out of getting up early, working out, getting Starbucks ($$), taking the dog to the dog park, and shopping/running errands ($$). I’d like to knock out any unnecessary spending on the weekends because it really messes me up for the following week. I get paid every Friday and it seems like I manage to burn through my paycheck after the weekend and bills, and I really struggle making ends meet for the rest of the week. It’s just not smart. So, I’m going to replace Starbucks with a home-cooked breakfast and drink, and start blogging on Saturday mornings. Hopefully that will leave a little wiggle room for the rest of the week, if I need it.

Questions to Ponder:

How do you like to spend your weekends? Do you like to take the time to relax or go out?

Do you think it is taboo to talk about your personal financial situation to others?

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Beth
    Sep 24, 2010 @ 11:28:49

    weekends are definitely a lax time for me in both the eating and spending department. I’m trying to get better, though!

    Reply

  2. LiveForTheRun
    Sep 24, 2010 @ 11:30:39

    Ah, the B word. I am glad you have a some good steps in place to stay on track and target, very smart. And sometimes an adjustment in schedule is just what you need. Good luck, I love it!

    Reply

  3. jillian416
    Sep 24, 2010 @ 20:02:54

    I love this! I love how you’re taking your Saturday mornings to blog instead of getting Starbucks, that is GREAT advice!!

    Reply

  4. Julie
    Sep 26, 2010 @ 20:53:29

    Thanks for the POM! I’m looking forward to my package :-)
    P.S. I’m now at http://thesteellife.wordpress.com/ . I decided to switch directions with my blogging when I moved to Pittsburgh. Now I’m the “Motor City Girl in the Steel City” :-)

    Reply

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