Friday, June 12, 2009

The New Steps for July For Me and For Others

Step one, use some sort of money tracking software.

Here is the insane part. I did a very sketchy budget spending plan based on my income and you know what, I'm supposed to have an additional $200 left over each month AFTER I pay my monthly bills, put money into my E-fund, and I have given myself liberal amounts of money to cover things like food and hobby. AND this is on my reduced income. WHY don't and did I not I save more? Because as I've pointed out before, I'm not an aggressive saver at all. I'm barely a passive saver. I could have fully funded my E-fund on the money I spent on wants this past spring, but I've decided to stop beating myself up over this and move on.

I can hear you all saying, but Betty aren't PF blogger supposed to use things like Quicken,Mint, or some fabulous spreadsheet. The truth of the matter is there is a segment of us that don't. I fall into that segment.

Part of me just did not or could not face up to my spending. I had all my bills paid, had my needs taken care of, and was able to get some wants. It was the excessive wants that did me in this past May.

The Mess of May did disturb me. I took out my frustrations in my life by spending money and even by keeping all my receipts and looking at them, I still really did not have a true sense of where I spent my money. Actually, I did not want to admit to myself where and what I spent my money on. I was keeping my head in the sand, so to speak.

I need to take the next few giant steps in my bouncing back from bankruptcy stage. The next steps will make or break my progress.

I need to become more aggressive about saving money. It could be paying myself first, it could be curbing my spending and then taking the extra money and putting it into my Credit Union account.

I need to be better about a budget spending plan and sticking to it.

I need to stop rationalizing my choices and not just talking the talk, but walking the walk.

Maybe, just maybe, this will be one way to stop feeling so stuck and to continue to bounce back.


undercover vixen said...

I don't use quicken or mint or any of those things. I have an excel file I made that is very useful. It's more of a cashflow sheet than a budget and it's very useful. One tab is like a budget and distributes my spending based on my income (estimated). It's best to be very liberal about it.. or rather to be realistic.... ur doing it for urself... then the next tab is for u to put in you spending as it happens...this is the most important part. Then another tab tracks how over or under you are.. it's hard to explain but it's very helpful and I can send it you if u want it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Betty,
I can't stand to budget.

What finally worked for me was to have only a designated amount of my paycheck direct deposited into an account I call my "operating account." Everything else goes directly to various savings accounts (auto transfers to ING account), and I do not allow myself to withdraw anything from savings. I do keep track of what's in the operating account, and if the money runs out, I have none until payday (granted, I could touch savings, but I could not overspend without knowing it).

I keep thinking I would do alot better to actually track spending, but for now, this is good enough.

Divorced Lifestyle said...

I really believe May was a bad month for every one. Dawn over at Fighting Foreclosure blogged about. I blogged about it. Good luck getting back on track!

Bouncing Back said...

Undercover vixen, It would be great if you could sent me the sheet.

Anonymous-what sunk me last month was my inability to stick to my decision to not use my "extra funds" I just said oh well and did. Total lack of self discipline on my part for about 5 weeks. I did almost what you did, but would track some expenses pertaining to my weekend job that could/would be tax deductible. I just had a meltdown in May like so many others!