Monday, February 6, 2012
My 2012 resolution-declutter my life...
Despite the fact that I am a naturally organized person-my home does not reflect this. Unannounced guests are welcomed with stacks of old mail, a mantle full of things that I have rescued from the puppy, a sink full of dishes, and an apology for "the mess". While I try not to judge myself to harshly on these factors, I recently was reminded of something I saw on TV a few years back. I used to LOVE reality TV-I am burned out nowadays-but if nothing else it gave me this point. While watching one of the countless home makeover shows that used to fill my dvr, one of the designers said something that cut right at my core." If your house is this cluttered, so is your mind. A person's house is a direct reflection of their mind, finances, and life. " Ouch.
As much as I don't want to believe this point, I think it is true for me. My entire life has become "cluttered". Yes there are "things" that need to be purged, but also thoughts, commitments, time-squanderers, money-wasters...It is time for a full purge of my life.
In order to do this, I am turning to some guide books. One is Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. If you don't own this book, and are not currently happy with your financial life, BUY IT. It has changed our lives so much already and I can't wait to see what will happen in a few years! Oh and when you tell yourself that cash is too much work and that you can do just as good with a debit card...well you're wrong LOL We though the same thing, but cash is cash. There is no better way to get on budget than to ONLY use cash. Period. Ever. Dave's program has taught me many things but most of all it has changed my focus from What can I buy? to What can I cut?
I also have a debt calculator app on my Ipad that can show me exactly where my money is going and EXACTLY when I will be debt free-including my home. It makes me excited to cut corners and watch that date become closer and closer.
My second guidebook is The Money Saving Mom's Budget by Crystal Paine. I love her blog and her book is a great resource for simplifying and downsizing your life. It discusses everything from cleaning strategies, to coupon shopping, and becoming debt free. I think the most valuable part for me was her discussion on goal setting. She suggest setting a goal of where you want to be in 15 years and then to break that goal down into bite-sized pieces. So-if my goal, for example, is to eliminate ALL of our debt in 15 years, I would then divide our debt amount by 15 to see how much we need to be able to pay off per year. Next divide by twelve to find our monthly pay-off amount, then I went even farther and divided by four to get a weekly amount. While these numbers will not be totally accurate-unless you know how to figure in the interest being accrued during that time, it does show you one thing-the little things you tell yourself DON'T hurt your budget---well they do.
Let's say you spend $40 a week eating out with your family each Friday night. $40 meal x 52 weeks x 15 years= are you read for this $31, 200!!!!!!!! If you took that same amount and put it in an envelope each week you would have $31,000 in 15 years! If you put it into an interest bearing savings account-you would have even more! Little money=big spending over time. You should just see what a difference budgeting for groceries can make!
I will be talking about this more as the year progresses. While I won't be sharing any financial details, I will tell you that this year's resolution will be the biggest, toughest one EVER. But hopefully 2013 will find me healthier and happier with less debt, less stuff, more time, and more peace:)
What are your resolutions this year? Share them below!
Posted by Amy Jo at 5:03 AM