Monday, December 30, 2013
Introducing The Financial Mama Series
I am back to work now and have many "what could have been done differently" thoughts. I want to be financially secure, provide for our daughter, go on a vacation once a year.... And oh yeah.... Retirement is not to far away.
On Mondays we will be posting the "Financial Mama Series". I will share with you what I'm doing to get my financial house in order. I would love for you to follow... Maybe we can all do this together. I would love to hear about what you are doing in terms of money in your household. Any tips or suggestions? Please share.
So before I enter 2014, let me introduce you to my first challenge:
Can you track how you normally spend your money? In some aspects this may be a piece of cake for me. I have a spreadsheet that states unequivocally where my money goes in terms of my fixed expenses.
Fixed Expenses: The bills that are paid out at the same time and are a fixed amount. ie: rent, car payment, daycare
I also have listed my variable expenses.
Variable Expenses: Money that is spent on any particular day and at any total. ie: groceries, vehicle gas, hair appointments
I do an OK job at tracking my variable expenses. I have a cute pink notebook (and it is cute) in my bag. Flip through and you will see a section of vehicle gas. My budget is $240 per month. Whenever I fill up I subtract what I spent and am aware of how much money I have left. Same for my $75 clothing budget and $400 grocery budget.
I get in trouble with the variable category I call "Miscellaneous". Why am I calling this miscellaneous anyway? This is the money that goes to STUFF. Could be coffee... a movie... a blouse.... Wait! !
I HAVE A CLOTHING BUDGET!!
See what I mean? You will probably find that you have a hard time finding out what happened within your variable category.
Like me, you may think this first task is a difficult one. (why am I envisioning Jack Nicholson yelling that I can't handle the truth?) This task is just to give you a visual heads up about where your money is going. Easy peasy.
It is usually advised that you look over 6 months of expenses. I am using two as I have been collecting a full paycheque during this time.