Tuesday, July 25, 2006

starting from scratch

so it's time to start to get a handle on my financial situation, but i'm somewhat at a loss as to where to begin. using tidbits of what i've heard and read as a guide, i believe i need to first figure out what i owe and what i spend my money on.

finding out how much i owe is....scary. i have no idea how much i owe or to how many people I owe money to. my financial strategy so far has been to ignore the bills and the calls, because maybe ignore it, it doesn't exist. you know what they say, "ignorance is bliss?" but from my experience it is also very costly. so this week (and into the weekend) i will commit to figuring it all out. this will take quite a bit of work (and time). because i have to take care of my little munchkin, I will commit opening bills, writing down the balances, and figuring out a payment system after i put my little one to sleep. this journey is about making a lasting change, and change is often a tough, painful, yet rewarding process.

and i'm ready to begin.

sometime ago i bought David Bach's book, The Finish Rich Workbook. i remember reading through the first few chapters and just feeling overwhelmed. the book didn't inspire me (as i'd hope), but rather highlighted just how disorganized and out of wack my financial life is. I felt bad reading it so i stopped. with so much going on in my life i couldn't bear to face my money issues head on. but the time has come. i'm moving on to a different career where i'll be making a little more money (but only getting paid once of month! yikes!), i'll be back in school, and i'll have more time to spend with my son. so it's time...i think i will get back into The Finish Rich Workbook and organize my finances, and start trying to figure this thing out.

all you bloggers who are working toward financial success, if you have recommendations...please share. we can all use some good tips.


Tired of being broke said...

Writing it all down is definitely the first step. I had a 'figure' in my head of how much credit card debt I have. Once I sat down I realized my 'figure' was a bit off.

Start a mini emergency fund while you are paying off the debt. I started with a goal of $1000. Haven't gotten there yet, but will soon enough.

Broke and Disgruntle said...

I agree with Tired, write it all down track where you over spend, research who and what you owe and ATTACK!!!!!!!!! I borrowed Suze Orman's Young Fabulous and Broke from the library and it has some good advice, I don't like the fact that she tries to sell a kit for everything all for 49.99! But you can tailor the "free" advice to fit your needs. Another one I just started reading is Girl get your money Straight, actually I started reading it before the hurricane but my copy got washed away so I borrowed that from the library as well. You've already taken the most important step in your recovery plan and that's admitting there is a problem.


mehoffer said...

I'd definitely lay off the Suze Orman "info", many of her #'s really don't add up. And, really, I say that two reasons, first, it's true, and, second, there really is no one good book of financial info(not that SO's was suggested as such).

As "tired" & "B&D" both attest, writing it down tells one much.

It's the most important. Then, wide reading will give you sufficient background so that, in a little while you'll get an idea of what feels "right" for you.

There are many resources on the web, free of charge, and, literally, hundreds of thousands exclaiming the "path to financial enlightenment". As with all other proper paths, that path, too, will be found through your own diligence.

Once you get the hang of it, it'll be easier than you might think. In the meantime, not spending now, means more choice later. That later choice can sometimes be the best gift of all.

Stay Well and Keep thinking.~

Common Cents said...

thanks for your suggestions everyone.

i am definitely going to start writing it down next week (the week i get paid). this weekend i need to go some heavy cleaning, organizing, and figuring out what exactly i owe.

i'm scared to find out the truth, but i know it's the only way i can really get a handle on all of this.

wish me luck!

Berry said...

A budget is a mathematical confirmation of your fears. I forget who said it but it wasn't me.

Anyway, there are no quick fixes and putting it off at all is not fun. The biggest problem I have with my money is that I like to hang on to it... that means sometimes I pay bills late even though I have WAY more than enough to cover it... I just have trouble letting the cash go.

One thing I suggest is tracking your emotions during different spending situations and as you go through the month. How do you FEEL about money...what do you THINK about paying your bills...what goes through your head as you open your credit card bills?

Lost Flier said...

Would you be willing to try a free online service?
What it does is helps you get your money under control and automatically shows you a debt payoff strategy.

It is normally not free but I can talk to them and have them offer you a free Membership.

I don't like to spam blog comments so if you are interested please email me at lostflier@gmail.com .