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Changing My Evil Ways

March 14th, 2013 at 09:29 am

We started following our spending plan around January 15. I am pleased to report that it is working beautifully! I was the real spending problem in our household as we had lots of disposable income and I was pretty good at disposing of it!

Tracking our spending in Mint and writing everything down has been a Godsend and has really transformed how I view and use money in the following ways:

1)We stopped using our charge card and switched to the debit card so I am forced to live within our income (also, no more $10-$12K monthly VISA bills to pay off!).

2)I set up a budget and know exactly what we have to live on each month.

3) I KNOW what it takes us to live each month - something I had no idea of before.

4) I now realize that all spending has tradeoffs. If you purchase clothes for yourself, you may have to cut down on entertainment, groceries, etc. For instance, this month we have overspent on gifts and instead of just doing it I had to pull funds from other areas. I pulled some money from the gas budget, for instance, as we won't need as much as I had budgeted for in that area.

My new financial learning is going great! Also, I watched Suzi Orman the other night and she gave 3 great tips:

1) Before you make a purchase, ask yourself if you NEED or WANT it. If you don't NEED it, don't buy it.

2) Live within your NEEDS, not your income. (if you can afford a 3000 sq ft house but only NEED a 2000 sq ft house, buy the 2000).

3) Learn to get as much JOY out of saving money as spending it. For the first time in my life, I am getting lots of joy from saving, where before going shopping was how I filled the emotional void.

I LOVE this new approach to money. Thanks for listening.

4 Responses to “Changing My Evil Ways”

  1. twest Says:

    I watch Suze every week. I love that she said learn the joy of saving. I think I get more like that all the time. I really enjoy saving. Don't get me wrong...I love a good handbag occasionally, but there really can be a joy to saving.

    Let's face it when things happen in life we don't have to be so depressed cause we have the money for that little setback. That also can be a joy as well.

    Great job on learning to stick to a spending plan. I could definitely do better on that myself.

  2. snafu Says:

    What splendid progress in such a brief time frame. Good on you! Since you attribute your phenomenal level of success on tracking spending, I wonder if you would become empowered by writing down 1 year, 3 year & 5 year goals. What do you envision net worth by January 2018?

  3. Petunia 100 Says:

    Congrats. Smile

  4. SavingsQueen Says:

    Snafu and others, Thanks for your kind responses. Snafu, that is good advice about tracking our 1, 3 and 5 year goals in terms of net worth. What another neat way to track things and also to plan them out in advance.

    I agree with twest too. It is amazing that saving money starts to become a very fun event. It's kind of like you are in a race and when you save you make progress toward your goals. I know what you mean, though, about liking handbags. From my earlier freewheeling spending days, though, I have enough to last me for awhile. I think that except for a few pairs of sandals this summer I really could make it through another year without spending anything on clothing at all. I need to enjoy wearing what I have.

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