Friday, October 29, 2010

October Numbers

October was a good, good month.  Going full steam ahead into the last couple months of the year.  Total debt for October:

Down by  $1553.51

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book Recommendation - 9 Steps to Financial Freedom

It's not a new book... in fact, it's a decade old.  But I saw it for $2.00 at Goodwill the other day , remembered how much I'd liked it way back when, and thought I'd buy it and give it another read.  It's full of good practical advice on everything from 401Ks to mortgages to life insurance, and she keeps it interesting with lots of personal stories from her clients.  But what I really love about Suze Orman isn't so much her nuts and bolts financial advice (which is of course helpful and sound) as it is the emphasis she gives to the spiritual aspect of money. 

I'm a highly spiritual person, so I believe that everything is spiritually connected, but I think it's easy to lose sight of that when it comes to money.  This book proved to be a good refresher.  Everything from our earliest memories of money, to how we view money, to how we treat it (even in such seemingly trivial matters as how we line it up in our wallets) to how much and with what attitude we give to others.... it's all connected, and it's all important.   Every bit as important - if not moreso - than paying your bills on time.

If you've read it already, it's a good one to re-read.  If you haven't, put it at the top of your next library list.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

September Update and Money Issues

First, for some old business:

Awhile back I posted about some news that would have a positive impact on our finances that was not yet official. Well, it's official now and I'm excited to share it. Mike just got another promotion (the second in three months), and has now officially moved from a Manager to a Director position. I am so proud at his growth in the company, as it obviously speaks volumes to their satisfaction with his performance and work ethic. I am also very thankful - very thankful - that in this poor economy that he even has a steady job, one that not only puts food on the table and keeps a roof over our heads, but also allows me to continue to stay home with the kids. It is a blessing, and it's not one I take for granted.

Financially, the past few months have been .... weird. As excited as I've been at the blessing of having extra money, I've also been squarely confronted with the fact that I still have a lot of hang-ups when it comes to money and spending. And just like a dieter can never permanently lose weight until they identify and face WHY they were overweight to begin with, I know that we can never truly be financially free until I deal with my attitude towards money. It still makes me anxious, it stresses me out, and it takes up entirely too much space in my head.

A few weeks ago I went to Hobby Lobby with the kids because they wanted to buy a chemistry set. We spent a long, long time browsing through all the cool science kits, bought the chemistry set and then some, and ultimately spent twice as much as I'd planned. We had the extra money. All our bills were paid, all our cabinets were stocked. We'd paid extra to our credit cards. But I was still so wracked with guilt that I came home and immediately listed some unused Wii games on Ebay to make up the difference. Why? And why, when my sister invited us to go horseback riding (something I really love, and hadn't done in over 20 years), why was my first inclination to say no? Why was my first reaction, "That's crazy, we shouldn't be spending that kind of money"? Is there something wrong with spending money if you have it? Should you not be spending any extra money at all if you're under debt?

I'm not looking for answers to these questions... just sending them out into the great unknown. I've been surprised over the past several weeks, realizing how much work I still need to do.

It's not a bad problem to have though, and I'm thankful I have it. I know it's just another step in the journey. And any step, large or small, is a good thing.

Total Debt for September:
Down by $1101.70

P.S. Thanks to a little bit of sensible prodding from my husband, I did go on the horseback ride. And it was wonderful.