Good organization is the kind that produces more efficient and more effective outcomes for you, as a matter of course. That's how you judge it.
Many people just toss the receipt in the nearest trash can on their way out of the store. I'm guilty of that as well, how about you? Over time, I have come to realize that receipts are really quite useful pieces of paper that can save me money in several ways.
But for right now, I thought I'd blog on the light side and check in with everyone about my victories and defeats in December . . . a dangerous month for spending. I like confessions, they keep me accountable, so here goes.
CareOne is pleased to announce our second CareOne Gives Back Giveaway: Resolutions Rock
I had goals set in my budget, but in December I didn't stay focused and fell off the wagon.
There is definitely a correlation between how you view money matters and the state of your financial situation. The psychology behind spending, saving and indebtedness hinges on more then just what immediately comes to mind when you are struggling with debt.
I have to do the budget for the short period of time until I finish my DMP (Whoo Hoo!), and I have to do my after-DMP budget.
I didn't mind spending the money, but was struck with pangs of guilt when I had to record and face those expenditures.
It's January and in the Midwest it's cold outside. However, now that I'm the adult and responsible for paying for the heating bill, I'm much less interested in keeping my home at a tropical temperature. But I'm also not interested in having the same arguments with my family about the thermostat setting.
Life is like that. You have to take care of all the little daily things like taking out the trash, feeding the kids, and paying your bills . . . but you also build the story of your life -- your legacy -- by the long-range projects you take on.
I am not a haggler. I have always paid the ticket price and asked no questions. It is just not in me to haggle or negotiate. If that's the ticket price, then that's the price and you can take it or leave it. Not so with my husband. He isn't happy if he doesn't pay less than the sticker price. He loves haggling and he has become quite an expert.
As the New Year begins I challenge you to become a Master in the area of budgeting. If you are anything like me you tend to start the New Year with a bang committing to track every expense, save every receipt and only buy what you need. Typically, the momentum last for a few weeks and if I'm lucky it lasts for a few months.
I will set up a spreadsheet for it and even add a column in my Christmas spreadsheet for it. But then I never fill it in. And then-now here's a shocker-I wonder where all my money goes.
I'm a planner so we had a plan for emergencies. We have all the important paperwork the experts said to have. We have a living wills and a health care power of attorney. We have all our bills in one place and an emergency fund. My husband's job had even let him transfer some of his vacation time into a fund for short term care. I thought we were ready for anything.
Lying about your spending habits either to your partner or worse, yourself only allows things to spiral out of control. So start off 2013 right by tracking your expenses and finding out where your money is going. Chances are there is a lot of room for improvement and new habits you can foster this year.
One of the most important things you can do for your finances is understand how your money moves through your personal financial system.
The recession has done many things but maybe one of the largest impacts occurred when baby boomers had years of savings devalued by the 2008 recession. Some have not recovered.
We added stockings for our two kids as they entered our lives, but I always followed Vonnie's lead when it came to filling them.
Why do we get so frustrated? At least in part, it's because we haven't built the structures to support our goals -- including mechanisms to track our progress toward them.
Now that the rush of the holidays is over, what purchase do you regret the most, and what did you learn from the experience?
First and foremost, if you don't have a written budget, make one now. If you do have a budget, resolve to stick to it. Budgeting lies at the foundation of every financial plan. It doesn't matter if you're living paycheck to paycheck or earning six figures a year, you need to know where your money is going if you want to have a handle on your finances
Since I began my journey on the DMP, I have made a commitment to myself that I would establish savings. I didn't expect that I could contribute huge amounts to savings accounts, but I knew I could do something better than I had previously done, which was NOTHING.
What if my car breaks down? What if there is another pay cut in my future? What if I have to have another surgery? There are so many 'what ifs' in life that I haven't figured out how to just let life happen.
In the past, if we had any money left we would go and get some wrapping paper, Christmas cards, and lights if we felt we needed them. One of the bargains that would go fast was the "to and from" tags for presents. If you want to get new decorations, now would be a good time to plan for next year.
In addition to the blogs, be sure to check out the new CareOne Groups:
Are you finally out on your own and figuring out how to balance your finances? If so, this is the group for you. In Starting Out, you can talk about the challenges you are dealing with in a group of like-minded people.
Do you feel like you are finally understanding what being a "grown-up" is all about and are settling into your adult life? If so, this is the group for you. In Settling In you can connect with others who are just like you.
Struggling to balance all that an established lifestyle has to offer? The balancing it all group is for you. Discuss the challenges you face when your responsibilities at work, at home and with family and friends all compete for your attention.
Are you currently retired or planning on retiring very soon? If so, this is the group for you. Times have changed and so has retirement. Learn how others are redefining retirement.