When I first started writing this blog I was further in debt than I am now and I was spending money all the time. Now a couple years later I’m spending less (and making less) and I’m still in debt though not as much. The reality is that although there has been some improvements, significant ones even, it really isn’t enough. I am still struggling financially.
Now I might be struggling a bit but I also know that I can get caught up financially. I’ve made progress and this post is the beginning of making more progress in the right direction. My frustration with my finances is still there and I’m still not making enough money but I’m also juggling a few things and there’s no point for it all. It’s time to take this blog out of the theoretical and put it into practice.
Figure out where things stand
Before knowing what really needs to be done to adjust spending and get my financial situation caught up I need to make sure I know where I stand.
- Cable/Phone Company: $685 (With the current Bill)
- Car Repairs $TBD (This needs to get done or I can’t renew my plates)
- License Plate Renewal $76 (need to get the car looked at first)
- Car Insurance $233 (Automatic Withdrawal)
Those are the three items that are in arrears and need to be fixed ASAP. The good thing is that I have the money in my account right now to take care of all of that any get caught up on all of my other expenses.
The next item for figuring out where things stand is to pull together my cash flow for the past couple months and see where things stand. This exercise will be one for this evening but I have everything in place to actually accomplish it (I have kept virtually every receipt). After getting the cash flow together it’ll be time to pull all of my current bills out of their hiding place and figure out which have been paid and which haven’t.
I’ll need to know what bills are due when so they aren’t missed anymore. I need to start using a calendar and putting this information on it. Right now I’m not making a lot of money compared to what I used to make but I should be able to get the ship righted. Once I have a list of what my spending has been and what bills are due it’s onto the next step of the process: budgeting.
Now that I know what my expenses and income are I can make sure that I don’t overspend on anything. It comes down to budget time! I’m notoriously bad for keeping to a budget but In order to spend less than I make I’m going to have to be diligent about it. This blog is going to help me with this – my goals initially will be weekly and I’ll adjust this as needed. My spending will be tracked daily (I’m still debating if these will be posts or not) and an update will be weekly. The goal with only a weekly goal is to correct and ajust to changing situations and to keep everything as tight as possible. Once I’ve managed to get caught up I’ll see about pushing this goal out a little further.
The whole idea behind this step for me is to make myself accountable for getting caught up and balanced. I have always been hesitant about showing my actual income and expenses on this site and I’m not really sure why. Maybe it’s a slight embarrassment of telling the world what I spend my money on. Regardless, its time to stop hemorrhaging money like it was going out of style and get my financial situation on track.