Posted by: Chelsea Novak | October 27, 2005

Stop the madness

Enough is enough. In ten years of being responsible for my own finances I can now say that I’ve kind of been sucking at it. Bills get paid on time, but I’m making more money than ever and I have less and less of it to spend. It’s just not the way it should be. I’ve been living just beyond my means for awhile now, and because of that and other challenges I’ve got some debt to deal with. Boo-urns.

It doesn’t shock me that I am where I am. I made some choices and had some great adventures. I couldn’t have done and enjoyed what I have without assuming some debt. After school I lived overseas and made very little. When I got back here there was a lot of setting up to do and support to be given while M finished school. I regret none of it, but I can see how making a change now will make a huge difference to me later. I’m now at a point where I am making good money and I want to feel like I’m making good money, which means no more of this scraping by stuff.

So, like I took on my weight challenges, I’m now going to try to apply that same kind of thinking and focus to my finances. Like my diet, I’ve got solid and sensible advice in terms that I really understand and I’ve learned that in order to do this right I have to change my thinking.

I have goals and they make sense. I want to be free of my debt and have savings. I’m tired of being my bank’s bitch. To that end I have taken all my credit cards out of my wallet and put them in a box. I’ve proven to myself that I don’t think of it as credit, but as cash, and that’s not smart. I’d love to say that I don’t, but I’m a very materialistic person who likes to shop. It’s who I am. That mindset and credit is a disastrous combination. I’m putting the breaks on it now while there’s still hope. So from here on, if I don’t have cash for it, I don’t buy it.

I have a plan. It’s not complicated. It’s manageable and it should only take 18 months to complete. I’ve set up some automatic payments so I can get some savings going. It has to happen before I have a chance to think about it, otherwise it will never, ever happen. Never. And I’m not waiting until the debt is gone to start saving. Not doing that sooner has been a real mistake. I’m also cutting out a couple of daily indulgences. The era of the daily chai is over for one.

When you look at it, the plan isn’t hugely dramatic. I’ve found that I can do what I want to do with whatever sum of money I have. I’m quite crafty that way. Cutting out credit and some strategic frivolities won’t change my lifestyle so much. It will just be less wasteful. Either that or I’ve become so accustomed to depriving myself of things that I need to do this in order to feel normal. Scary. Who really cares so long as I’m saving.

Today’s sing-a-long song: “Money, money, money” by ABBA

HRH

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Responses

  1. okay now…you conquered the diet thing…that put me one behind. Now you’re going and getting all financially responsible? What does a girl have to do to keep up with you!?! 🙂

  2. As always, and as in everything, you are way, way better than me, and I love you because of it, but I am also just the tiniest bit annoyed. 😉

  3. Apparently it’s a cosmic thing, 10 minutes after reading your blog I read my (our) Georgia Nicols horoscope. It’s uncanny:

    This week you have to think about money. Not just, “Hmmm, money. Note to self – get some! Think about what money means to you. Money is energy. It has the power to make changes in your life and the lives of others to improve things or not. Are you happy with how you spend your money? Do you buy lots of stuff you don’t need? Do you use money to help or please others? (This is rewarding; in fact, more rewarding than when you buy yourself stuff!) Money is power because it can change things in your life and the lives of others. Are you using your money the way you want?

  4. Well hot damn. It appears to be my destiny to save!


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