- Have a (scary) movie marathon
- Visit your local library
- Make leaf rubbings
- Write a letter to an old friend and snail mail it
- Fly a kite
- Pick pine cones
- Change out your seasonal clothes in the closet
- Play with sidewalk chalk
- Have a picnic at a local park
- Start a gratitude journal
- Take photos of the leaves changing colors
- Go for a scenic hike
- Roast Smores over a fire
- Create a fall playlist
- Curl up with a good book
- Take your holiday card photo
- Start crafting your holiday gifts
- Take a flashlight walk through your neighborhood
- Paint your nails in fall colors
- Play in the leaves
- Make a gravestone rubbing
- Go to a free fall festival
- Start planning your DIY halloween costume
- Pick apples
- Go to a pumpkin patch
Through the summer I have been working on something new: making jewelry!
I have opened a shop in an additional effort to hustle towards financial freedom.
Feel free to stop by! The bracelets and earrings are made from recycled guitar strings!
I have a confession: I am SO TIRED of being thrifty!
I look at my budget every 2 weeks when I get paid. I open it up, go down the list and pay all the bills every other Friday morning. It is literally the first thing I do. I've gotten so I look forward to it. I get a small thrill from putting money on my school loans and watching that number drop.
I like to live my life with a credit card balance of zero. I take pride in the fact that it is paid in full. When I do use it, it is only to earn cash back money and I pay it off the same evening that it is used. I feel like I am building credit and earning that little bit of extra cash back money by doing so. Recently though, life has thrown some things at me that I was not financially prepared for:
1. I had to visit the hospital and have lots of belly tests done. This resulted in doctors and hospital bills that frankly are enormous. Makes me want to vom thinking about it.
2. My car was wobbling when I drove on the highway to the point where I knew something was wrong. I took it in and my two back tires were literally splitting in two. I had to purchase 4 new tires unexpectedly. Rude.
3. My BFF's wedding. I have been saving money out of every paycheck for almost a year now. This was awesome when I needed to buy my bridesmaid's dress and I had the cash. Then I needed to fund my portion of the bachelorette trip and I had the cash. This past week I realized that I need to book my Airbnb for the wedding (since it's cheaper than a hotel) but I don't have the cash. I will by the time her wedding rolls around but by then it will be too late to book. Also, I have to get the dress altered because it is embarrassing how big the chest area is on me. If I turn sideways and everyone and their mom could see right in the armpit hole.
The point is that I've had to charge three things within the past month and have a balance on my credit card. I NEVER have a balance. This is really bothering me.
I have been extremely aware of how I am spending money over the past week. And I have realized that I had gotten into the habit of spending money on things that I didn't need. Small things like eating lunch out with coworkers and buying a shirt that is 70% off. I see sales and think about how awesome they are instead of thinking about paying off my debt. I buy groceries when there are so many meals already in my house. I may not want them, but it's food and I should be eating it before spending more money.
I used to write a lot about my struggles but started backing off when met with negative comments and reviews. I think that honesty is the best policy almost always but especially when it comes to finances.
Basically my happy ass wont be eating out or buying clothes for a long time. Which is my whole goal anyway-I just slightly lost track somewhere along this journey. I still feel that I have been very smart financially and I am paying much more than my minimums each month but still...if there is a way to pay even more per month, why am I not doing it?
Anyone else struggle with getting depressed about their financial situation from time to time?
Everyone has their own way of maintaining a budget but I have been asked by a few of you to share the actual downloadable budget sheet that I use.
I find it easier to create my budget in Google Drive so that I can access and update it no matter what computer I happen to be using. The easier my budget is to access, the more likely I am to keep it up to date.
I have had quite the time trying to get my website to let me add an Excel sheet...no idea why it has to be this hard. So instead I am going to pass along a link to a downloadable budgeting spreadsheet from Readyforzero. This is the original sheet that I downloaded to start using, I just modified it to fit my needs.
Here is a link to the actual page where they tell you how to download the budget sheet from their Google Docs.
I think that you will most likely have to set up an account and log in to see that link. I like that option because I think Ready for Zero is a very useful site when paying down debt. I am in no way affiliated with them, I just really like the service they provide. If you DONT want to sign up for some crazy reason, you can see the budgeting sheet here.
Please note that no matter how you get to the page, you will need to download the Excel document before you will be allowed to edit. Simply download to your computer or you can click "File" - "Make A Copy" to have a copy of the sheet made in a new Google Drive Doc. You will need to be signed into your google account to do this.
The dates on this spreadsheet are 2012 but once you download it, you can have free reign of the editing. I love this layout personally because it has the main summary page where you plan your budget and then actually enter how much money you spent at the end of the month. There are also separate pages for you to track your expenses. So lets say you ate out 4 times this month, there is a tab for eating out and you would write in each individual instance and the total spent. This not only helps to keep you accountable and on budget, it also has helped me catch some discrepancies in totals. I save every receipt until the money clears in my account and then I throw them out. By doing this, I have noticed when a waitress added on a $20 additional tip. I was able to see the total once it posted and check it against my receipt and contact the restaurant. I was given a refund of the "stolen" money. Who knows how many times this has happened in the past! I just know that if it happens again, I will catch it.
Budgeting can be a pain but if you take the time to set it up, I promise you will start feeling more confident about your finances.
If anyone has trouble downloading the spreadsheet, just leave a comment or send me an email and I will be happy to email you the file.
Even though I know this won't be me since I'm making such an effort to pay them off, I have to admit I sometimes feel like this is my future: