Monday Money (week 3)

It’s all about the green today, right?  In honor of St. Patrick’s Day we are celebrating the green. 

That’s how we should think of our money.  Let’s celebrate the green.    Celebrate keeping as much of the green as we can, right?   Right!

OK, let’s recap.  In week 1 we balanced our checking accounts so we know how much money we have.  In week 2 we tracked our daily spending. 

Have you already totaled up the spending you tracked last week?  Were you shocked?  Did you see places that you could cut back and save?  Did you yell WHAT THE ????    

But, the good thing is now you know.  You know if there are some places you can cut back and save, and I’ll help you come up with ideas on how.  Feel free to ask me,  I’m here for you.  Just you though  🙂

We are going to keep doing these 2 things of keeping our checkbook balanced and tracking our spending.  It’s the key to being successful in keeping as much of our money as we can.  It’s ours, we worked hard for it, why give it to someone else?   These are our good habits that we never have to quit.   Thank God!  ‘Cause I really don’t think I can add something else to the list of things I have to quit.  Just sayin.

This week we are going to write down all of our bills, including the names,  the amount due and the due dates. 

Now, I’ll admit that I’m kind of old school here in that I actually do use pen and paper for my budgeting.   The point is that we want to know exactly what we owe and when the payments are due.  I use a calendar for this.   I write out the payment amount and due date on the calendar day I plan to make the payment. 

I am so black and white that I literally have to write out everything that will be deducted from my income on a weekly basis.  I get paid weekly, so I write on the calendar the bills I need to pay that week plus the amount I need for gas and groceries until the next pay day.

If there is any left, then it gets tucked away in the “hopes and dreams” jar.  We will get into savings a little later.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter if you use a pen and paper, or an electronic version to budget your weeks and months.  The whole point is to do it.  Put it in your face exactly how much you owe and when you need to pay those bills. 

There is no room for surprises here.  The electric bill should not be a surprise, or the car payment, or gas for the car.

But, for me if I don’t write it in my planner, then everything becomes a surprise.  And it becomes a HUGE surprise that I have no money to pay those bills because I had to have some good olive oil, or work out video, or new tennis shoes….

Our goal is to figure out our income vs. our bills.  We may find out that we really can’t afford the good olive oil right now. 

Or we may find out that if we use what we learned when we tracked our spending last week and cut back where we can, that we CAN put some money in the “hopes and dreams” jar. 

The point is that we need to know.  So, go get the stack of mail, open it up and write them all down.  It’s just for you to see so be as detailed as you want to be with it.  Make up names for the bills, like I used to.   I can’t use those words here, um hello, because it’s  PG13,  but you get the idea.  Call them anything you want!  

Then the strangest thing is going to happen.  No, it’s not going to be that much fun sorting and writing all this stuff down, but once you are done it’s like a weight has been lifted off you.  A feeling of freedom, a feeling of control and motivation will set in.  

Because NOW you have a beginning.   A beginning to a plan that is all about you taking control of your finances and CELEBRATING THE GREEN!!!!

Now, I’ll drink (a green beer) to that!   What???  Just taking one (or two) for the team 🙂

Happy St.Patrick’s Day!

Y’all take care!

Lori

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