Money is a huge stress in my life because I don't/didn't know how to control my spending. For example, this holiday season I didn't really spend all that much for people since the gifts were "made"/photographed by me and were local Hawaiian gifts such as Christmas ornaments and treats. But that was for the people I know on the mainland. While I still didn't spend much on the people here on the island it's the fact that I was still spending money that could've been put towards savings or my credit card payments. My friends and family would've understood that I couldn't afford to get them gifts but because I felt the need to show my love through material - I spent.
So to take some financial burden off of my shoulders I'm changing a few things about how I spend & save.
- Save at least $100 each month (got my first right now so I'm set for January);
- Set up a REAL budget;
- Not go under $100 in my checking account (because hey! your checkings account isn't just for spending) to give me some cushion (which I'm good with that right now - actually I have more than that right now! doing good already) and build it up another $200 each quarter - cap at year end without going below $700.00;
- Log and keep up with my register;
- Payback parents with tax refund; and
- Pay off my debt by the year's end, which is totally doable.
It's a given that I only spend money on what I need which are diapers and other groceries but I should go back to clipping coupons and shop around for the best deal; pay attention to which grocery store is having a good sale.
I had intended to make a goal of returning to Seattle by the end of 2010 but I'd rather be debt free than to pinch pennies to move back. I'd like for the Bambino and I to feel good about where we are when we move and the only way for that to happen is if I'm relaxed and happy about our situation.
I figure setting up some realistic financial goals will help me feel better and become more motivated in my weight loss venture.
As for weight loss and health; I'm reading, "The Abs Diet for Women," written by David Zinczenko, Editor-in-Chief of Men's Health Magazine. I'm only on page 3 which is the first page of the first chapter; just finished reading the foreword and introduction. It's a 6-week ab diet/workout plan. We'll see how I do with this. I plan on following it to the "T" which means I'll be making regular updates about what I've read and done. Should be a fun project.
My plan is to also log and journal about what I eat and what exercsies/workouts I do each day to help me view and review my progress. I just remember when I worked for Cambridge Savings Bank I would keep up with my register and track what I ate and walked everyday. So I think there's some relevance and truth to journaling/logging everyday. Journal about my daily and random thoughts, my food intake and log & track my finances.
I'd also like to start living a more simple life like that one I had in Norway. Of course, I realize that I was free to do what I wanted and wasn't responsible for another person's life except that I was - I just didn't have to pay for their schooling or clothes or food. Anyway, while living in Norway I woke up and did what I had to do around the house, ate healthy and fresh foods, met up with my friends, walked everywhere, hardly wore make up and never used hair products; not even a curling iron, hardly watched TV and just read and wrote a lot and lived life. Experienced life. Anyway, that's a whole other post.
So here's to a simple life of logging!
P.S. Do you have any health, diet, fitness books you'd like to recommend? Then please leave a comment and I'll add it to my list of health reads. Thanks folks!