Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Spend Wisely

My dad and I have a lot in common. We are both quite tall and awkward at times. We love every type of sport and enjoy watching or participating in them. We’re competitive and loyal, considerate and giving. We think the same. We act the same. We even get sick, mostly with sinus infections, the same time (and we live 3 hours away). We are also both in charge of our family’s finances. That last similarity is uber S-C-A-R-Y to me. I, the girl who screwed up so much in college you’d swear the character Becky Bloomwood was based on me, am now in charge of money for my family. Goodness Gracious Lord Almighty!?!?

It hasn’t been an easy road: I’ve made budgets then tossed them out the window as I’m driving to the mall.  I’ve built up our savings just to deplete it twice as fast. I’ve stumbled. I’ve crashed and oh, how I’ve burned.

A few weeks ago, as I was starting the “savings build up” again anticipating the depletion, something sort of clicked. I felt a “one day at a time” attitude, cheering me on, giving me hope. I’ve always had the best of intentions, but let’s face it. That’s about as far as I’ve ever gotten.

So, in an act of sheer obedience (trust me when I say I did not want to do it), I asked one of my girlfriends to pray for our finances. Nothing outlandish like having X amount by such and such a date, but just plain and simple prayer for our household finances. Let me be honest about the obedience thing, I do not want to admit to others that I am the spender in my family, regardless of how "funny" it is. And I would never tell how much I have not saved up. However, the past few weeks (okay, months) I've felt a nudge to ask my friends for prayer. Finally, I swallowed my pride and did it.

I'd love to say "and they lived happily ever after" but that's a make believe ending. This is just the beginning.

Monday, our small group leaders asked us to write out 4 goals for 2012 and "control of finances / spending / writing out and STICKING to a budget" is one of mine. I've read other bloggers challenge themselves to "spending fasts" and think it is a great idea. We hardly eat out during the week so I should be curbing the extra grocery shopping, sticking to the meal plan, and stop grabbing that cup o’joe because I need to get out of the office. My Financial goal for 2012 is to have $5,000 in the savings by years end and stick to a bi-weekly budget.

Today, I bought the last two Christmas gifts on my list and stopped at Kroger for ingredients to make baked ziti. Please note that bought rigatoni noodles instead; I need to SLOW DOWN! In all, just under $100 (those gifts were expensive!). Hopefully tomorrow will be a big goose egg!

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