There are loads of blogs, gurus and tips out there for you to get information. There is a plethora of people sitting, standing or sipping while sharing their financial woes or successes on the internet. Google provided 57,400,000 hits when I search Money Saving Tips so why should I write? Even better, why should you read?
I don’t have anything new to share. You and I both know the deal: spend less than you make. It’s the only rule. The problem is that it’s not a simple one to follow. I’ve read the books (The Tightwad Gazette and the Wealthy Barber stand the test of time), attended the sessions (how I love Gail Vaz-Oxlade and David Chilton!), watched the shows and pinned the charts.
I love them all and I’ve used the jars, budget sheets, and envelope method. I manage to stick to these tools for a while and then I fall. To date my best tactic has been downloading my statements into Excel and tracking my spending by categories. However, I consistently overspend. The key culprits are that I have unexpected expenses (hello, new car battery) and a standard of living that I don’t want to let go of.
When I had less money I found I managed it better but that also had to do with the fact that I had a limited social life as my job at the time called for 50-60 hour weeks. Now that I work less and make more all those free hours are begging to be filled. Since I’ve got the money I want to treat myself to a dinner out, lunch with friends and a trip somewhere lovely. But what happens when you don’t really have the money? When that unexpected trip, car accident or bachelorette party forces you to pull out your credit card. Then you don’t really have the money. You’re paying interest on your life.
Through my tracking I’ve found that I spend more on entertainment (going out to dinner, movies, weekend festivals). I don’t want to give these up but I need to figure out a way to live below my means so I can pay off those darling cards and save for all the unexpected things.
I’m writing to track myself. I’m writing to forgive myself when I spend too much and to track the ways in which I do cut back.
When I read tips I often find myself saying, ” I do that!”
I pack my lunch, make my tea at home, stay in most nights and shop sales and yet I’ve got debt. I’m writing for the people who live well, shop smart but still have credit cards and line of credits that won’t be paid off with their next paycheque.
In these pages I hope that you find a friend, tips you can use and a safe place to share your own thoughts.