How many times do you look at your bank statements – really look? You, like all of us, probably have habits you can trim out like the cup of Starbucks each morning or the sale item you just had to have. It’s hard for us to ignore good deals and fun extras. Trust me, I’m right there with you.
But, let me pose a challenge – Shock yourself.
Because if you don’t track every purchase, it probably will be a shock when you click on your bank statement.
How’s about this: Find some quiet time right after you read this post and try to think about what you bought yesterday. Write it all down. Then, go check your bank statement and see if you missed anything. It’s amazing how easily we can forget a candy bar or a car wash, both of which are in a class of small meaningless purchases that can add up to an entire vacation when the year is through.
I certainly make mistakes in this arena, but I can’t afford to anymore. One week from today, I will board a plane to the Caribbean and for the first time ever, both the hubs and I will be job-less.
I’m not ashamed to tell you that we will be living off of my husband’s student loans. Grenada has laws preventing non-natives like me from working, but many of the spouses of medical students down there babysit or teach a class or start up a little business. We made a very conscious decision to live this way. Both of us had great jobs in Richmond. But we believe life is about living. And this is his dream. And my dream? To write. Preferably to get paid to write. I have some potentially good news in this arena when things seem more official.
Back to my point about finances. I don’t have room to mess up. My budget is tight, peeps. I have a +/- $30.00 wiggle room which I’m hoping will get better once I figure things out. Here is the pie chart I have made of our budget from now until Christmas.
One thing you’ll notice on my chart is credit cards. When we got married, we had four of them. Now we have two of them. I wish I could say we bought fun things with them, but they are currently filled with international plane tickets. I’m ready to give these credit cards a drop kick in the face. I don’t care how much I have to sacrifice – I want them gone!
So like I said, I don’t have room to mess up financially. But, then I got to thinking…
None of us have room to mess up.
Many of you have kids and mortgages and jobs that could come and go in a bad economy. Live you life. Enjoy the things that matter – your family, your pets, the fact that you were granted another day and not the big screen you just bought. I promise you, after you shock yourself (by looking at that bank statement), it’s amazing how much your mindset changes.