Overspending at Christmas – Now What?

It seems that every year over the holidays I end up spending more money that I was originally intending; maybe I am too generous and give people too many gifts or maybe I should plan better for the holidays (possibly both). This year I had a list and worked from the list but I still managed to overspend a little. I bought my wife a couple gifts that were a bit on the larger side because I know she wanted those items (a camera and some jewelery), now its time to deal with my spending. Have you found yourself in this situation where you spent more money than you were intending and now its time to scramble a little?

I overspent now what?

This year I spent probably 300$ more than I was thinking and this went onto one of my credit cards, now this isn’t a huge amount but I am going to have to adjust my budgeting over the next few weeks to make sure that this doesn’t have a long term effect. An easy way to cover this would be to deposit an extra 100$ per pay onto the credit card to cover the $300 which would mean that by the end of January I would be back to square one. If you can’t cover the extra hundred per pay deposit $50 or whatever you can. You can manage to pay a little more on the credit cards in order to cover the extra spending fairly quickly.

Now if you can’t deposit more then you’ll need to be a bit more creative and adjust your spending more significantly, remember no one put a gun to your head and forced you to spend the money, you did that. If you’re in big trouble after the holidays then what I just suggested above will be more drastic. In the new year you might need to cut down on spending and put more onto your credit cards or you might need to work out some kind of a plan with them. Remember don’t beat yourself up over this, I know that this is something that I did in the past, learn from your mistakes and correct the problem (it will likely take time so you’ll need to be patient). If you need to there are organizations that can help – though if Christmas pushed you this far over the edge you were probably there already. Don’t panic it can be solved (most likely)

Savings Account!

What really saved me this year is the fact that in September I started depositing $50 per pay into a savings account, I knew that Christmas was coming up and I would likely need a bit of extra cash. This really saved me and where in previous years I would be really scrambling for all of January trying to figure out how to pay my bills this year I just have to pay back an extra $300. When you’re in debt its hard to contemplate saving money that could be going to pay down your debt and I’m sure there are people that would disagree with me but always always set aside a little money into a savings account. You never know when you might need that money. All I was doing is saving $50 per pay for a few months and while I don’t have any spare money kicking around after the holidays I am not panicking.

Be concious of your spending and don’t neglect savings.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone; I really hope that each and every one of you has had a great holiday (regardless of if you celebrate it or not).

Don’t forget that its not about the gifts (though they are always nice) but its about the small things like spending time with the family or taking the day off to do nothing but watch movies and recharge yourself. Whatever it is it doesn’t have to be monetary and in fact most of the most memorable moments I find aren’t.

A slow Re-Invention of Self – Finding my Passion

The past few months have been a bit on the challenging side for me, actually I would say that this past year has a bit challenging for me. Between juggling all of my real and perceived responsibilities I haven’t had much time to myself and I have been feeling a bit of a void that is symbolized by a lack of passion and direction. At times I have been worn thing and others I have been unhappy but I think the biggest thing is that I don’t feel that I am living up to my own potential.

By no means do I think that I am a failure I just think that there is something I am missing that will take me to a place where I feel that if I am not working at my potential I am working towards it and my internal success recognition will become based on this rather than seeing the results of others and comparing myself to them personally and professionally. I am happy and grateful about many things in my life and without these I think I would be both a lesser man and to put it frankly pretty bloody miserable.

Passion

Over the past probably year I have been reading about passion and trying slowly and quietly to find my own. One of the biggest problems that I have found in trying to nail this down is that while a lot of books in the self help area deal with success and passion theymerely state that people will find their greatest success and happiness by finding their passion. The reality is that I have never been taught to look deep within myself to find out what is my life’s calling is or to find out the things that will drive me to get up in the morning a couple hours before everyone wakes up and keep me up at night to put in that little bit of extra effort.

How does one find ones passion? There are a few ways to do it and these will depend on the person and their circumstances. For me this has been a slow process and one filled with this slow nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right (and its not the burrito I had at lunch). Its a feeling that is telling me that my current measure of success could be better but unfortunately that feeling doesn’t tell me what needs to be changed. So I have been exploring the concept of having a passion and trying to see what I need to do to find this.

In some ways this process has been a little discouraging; while I’m starting to feel that I have made some progress I have discovered that rather than being closer to finding my passion I am in reality further away than when I was younger (both as a teen and a child). My interests and hobbies have atrophied over the years to the point question what are your hobbies makes me cringe slightly because the answer has become “I’m not really sure”.

I think a person can have many passions both over the course of their lives and at the same time. There are people out there who accomplish momentous achievements in many areas seemingly at the same time. Are these people some magical beings that just happen to know the secret handshake that allows them to do this? No. They are incredibly talented and they understand themselves their interests and what drives them and how to motivate themselves.

My Past

You’re reading this blog because I’ve always had some interest in money and I’ve always battled my own demons when it comes to managing my own money. This is an interest that I know about but one that has suffered because of business and a general lack of passion when it comes to anything. For a little while I contemplated simply closing shop on this site but I enjoy it and I believe that it has helped me grow (and hopefully helped the odd reader). This got me thinking about how to find my passion… when I started this site it got started with a spark an idea that has fitfully existed for a little over three years. I haven’t had many of these ideas lately so the starting point to find out what some of my interests are was to go backwards in time to when I had more interests and to see if there are any passions there that can be cultivated with some time.

If you live the 9 to 5 grind pause for a moment and think back to when you were a child can you remember all of the things you were interested in? Chances are that with a little thought you’ll be amazed at all the things you did then compared to now. That’s the idea that is driving this part of my slow reinvention.

Fear

Now I don’t think I could really talk about finding my passion without at least mentioning fear because I have slowly learnt over the past year that fear drives me in many strange ways that I’m not really all that happy about. I think that I’m not the only one in this situation either; there are so many people living their lives in a rut that a whole industry has come to exist to help them (aka self help). How am I going to deal with these fears? The reality is that right now I’m not sure I know that I am going to have to because living my life unhappy in a rut is not a way to live and I will not let a fear keep me back.

The problem with these fears is that often times I don’t think its a fear that is driving a decision but something else like caution, prudence or being realistic about something. Now at times those things will keep you from making a bad decision but that isn’t always the case. I think that all too often a choice is avoided because of some misguided fear that really should be addressed. The other thing is that I’ve found that my self confidence has been really low for years, while on the surface its high deep down it’s been pretty low and I think a lot of that is rooted in these misguided fears. Along with identifying my interests and hopefully passions I will need to tackle my fears and the demons that come with them.

Going forward

If you’ve made it this far I congratulate you, this is a personal finance blog not a self help blog and something about what I’ve said has sparked an interest in you. Thank you. This is not going to be an instant change or fix and hopefully it doesn’t take me too long to figure it out but it is something that needs to be done for my own peace of mind. What does this mean for the site? Well hopefully it translates to more posts because I have determined that this is an area that I have been interested and want to continue to explore.