Monday, November 17, 2008

A Quiet Weekend In Which I Accomplished A Lot

For all intents and purposes, my weekend was quiet. Saturday was a grey rainy and unpleasant day. I did run a bunch of errands anyway-dump, post office, goodwill, library, and grocery store. I did treat myself to a pumpkin muffin and a fancy coffee at the new coffee shop one town over. They are an independent shop (not Starbucks or a chain) and I felt the need for a warm beverage after running errands in the cold and damp. I will admit it was really nice to sit in one of the comfy chairs, pick at my muffin, drink my coffee and stare moodily out at the rain.

It also gave me boost I needed to tackle my desk. One of my goals this year had been to go as paperless as possible. I have still not found an well priced multi page scanner as I had hoped. I had found one at Staples a few months back, but the unit I purchased was damaged and back to the store it went. Staples did not have another in stock and I was lucky to get my money back and not be charged the "restocking" fee. I have had a pile of papers and receipts that have been collecting in three neat piles on my desk for months. No excuses about this, time for it go away.

I made a mug of tea, put on the TV so I could listen to football games and attacked the piles of papers. I made new labels for my files, I re-organized my files, banking information, insurance information, personal information, fun stuff, work, continuing education, home, the new LLC ,etc. I organized my files for next years taxes. I had a pile of papers that I shredded with my neighbors shredder and then added the paper to my mulch pile. I think one of my neighbors must have thought I was mad, adding white paper to the mulch pile, but hey, it's paper and I added to the mulch pile that will not be used for the veggie garden (in case the ink on the paper was not soy based).

It was very cathartic to purge the pagers and streamline my desk. I like seeing the tidiness return to my desk and my bill paying area. It also made me realized I still have a lot of "stuff" to manage. Here is a partial list of what I have


Personal checking account
Business account
Hobby account
Credit Union Savings Account
HSA Account
ING Account



Retirement/Investment Account

Roth IRA
ING Sharebuilder


Student Loan
Car Loan

Yikes, even though I was aware of all of this, re-organizing my file cabinet made me even more aware of all of the above. I have not even touch on the home, hobby and LLC files that also got re-organized and worked on.

I topped off Saturday by meeting a friend for Pizza and Beer and then an early bedtime.

Sunday the weather dawned bright and clear and it was time to make the trek to the laundromat. I really miss a washer and dryer at the house. Even though I had pre separated and pre-treated my clothes at home, I still left some things that needed to be washed at home. I remembered when I was almost at the laundromat and said, dang it, they can wait. $18, 8 clean loads of laundry, and 2.75 later I was on my way home. I used the "down time" to call some friends I had not spoken to in a while. Not a total loss of time. The biggest upside to the laundromat, it that in two plus hours I can do all that laundry and have it washed, dried, fluffed, folded and put away. I used the sunny breezy day to air out my duvets. The feathers liked being caressed by the brisk fall breeze! I also made some fresh bread, made a batch of soup in the crock pot, and finalized my MUST BE DONE list for the house.

What has this got to do with personal finance. It's about taking some time to really assess where you are in your life and where you need to go. It's about taking a half an hour to scan your cupboards and menu plan for the upcoming week and plan your food shopping around that menu planning. It's about really knowing what is happening in your life and where you stand so an unexpected turn or surprise does not bring you to your knees. If you are working on savings or debt reduction plan, you need to be able to sit down every so often and just take some time to assess your progress and your plans and if need by, change what needs to be done with your plan.

I "knew" I had all these accounts, but until I sat down and re-did my filing cabinet, I had no idea that in the space of year I had acquired these accounts and I'm doing very little with them at the moment. I "know" I need to have some work done on the house, but now I really know what needs to be done. Part of my post BK filing promise to myself was to re-take control of my life on a number of levels. I've had to go back to square one in almost every facet of my life to get myself back on track. This weekend gave me the space to sit down and look at how far I've come, where I need to go and has given me some ideas on what I need to do. And that is a good thing!


Dawn said...

Sounds like a lovely and peaceful weekend. I have some major work to do on my home files myself. It is definitely on the "to-do" list.

veronica said...

Reading this post reminded me that I need to reassess my banking situation. I currently bank at two credit unions, two online banks, and one national bank. And most of those bank accounts have a checking AND a savings account. It's like I'm an account collector! I would love to streamline, but I convince myself of valid reasons to keep them all.