I have a love/hate relationship with money. On one hand, I have it. I make it. It’s lovely to have around and frankly, quite useful. On the other hand, it requires me managing it. And this, I hate. Sometimes I feel like it consumes me. Not in the materialistic obsession sort of way, but more in the feeling like I’m having to always be aware of it and readjust sort of way. Perhaps it’s just a temporary thing because of this new program I’ve put myself on . . .
For the last couple of years I’ve been getting used to the concept that I’m actually making money. To this day, it still blows my mind. So first you make money and then you do stuff with it. After last year though, I dubbed it the last year I would not know where my money went. I hear the astronomical number and can’t justify whatever it is that I supposedly spent it on. I’m sure it was great fun and goodness whatever it was, but alas no more. Oh don’t worry, there shall still be tons o fun and goodness to be had, but I want to have other things to show for as well. Like a house. Like a paid off computer. Like savings and trips I earned rather than winged it.
The good thing about savings is that it teaches me patience and responsibility. I currently am sorely lacking on the patience. “I want a golden goose now!” I like seeing the stock pile for various savings things accumulate and try to think about how much closer it brings me rather than how far I may be. Glass full if you will. Dealing with cash makes me conscious of the money slipping out of my fingers. The “zip zip” of the card is too easy. And setting a set amount for certain things like groceries and lunches keeps me from wasting money on food I don’t eat. Having goals and trips I’m working towards feels more focused than all of the theoretical benjamins floating around.
I also find though that I have to leave myself permission to readjust my budget as need be. And I don’t mean let myself off the hook for my monetary obligations that I promised myself I’d stash money for, but rather give myself the leeway to put a little extra towards one thing so I can pay it off sooner or if something extra special comes up then to allow myself room to work it while still meeting my goals. I also recognize that as I meet my short term goals it will free up money for the months after that. Rather than just leave extra out there, I’m committing to devoting that money back into other goals or new goals. Waste not, want not.
I also set forth a goal to get my taxes done early this year rather than file an extension. Ha, yeah, better said than done. I made my first attempt this evening and after two hours or so my brain turned to mush. So many different ways to declare the same income all dependent on a stupid form, so silly. And annoying. Blargh. I understand why people pay others to do this crap. I will try again soon, but certainly not now.
I also save all of my change. In a jar. When I was little I had a little silver piggy bank. The kind that’s suppose to be an attempt to teach kids to stash the cash and feel accomplished. Don’t fool yourself though, the kiddies just like to shake it and hear the jingle. And honestly, all mine collected was dust. I like the see-through nature of the jar. It lets me see where things are. I love it when drive-thrus and stores give me change back. I smile at the thought that it will all just go into the jar later.
What about you? What are your tips and tricks? Are you a saver or a spender? Do you have any money goals you are trying to achieve?