Monday, April 9, 2007

Mystery Cats and Simple Dollars

Check out this bus-riding cat! So awesome!

Also, I stumbled across this blog called The Simple Dollar. Easily accessible financial information for the general public (in fact, the tagline is "financial talk for the rest of us"), including stories and advice and such. In light of my Spend No Money budget, I find it quite appealing. Nothing helps you stay motivated to save money than reading about other people who are doing the same thing! That's part of why I'm blogging about this, honestly. I know several people who are also attempting Spend No Money budgets, or budgets along these same lines, and hopefully hearing my tales of woe/success will prove helpful. If you have financial advice, budgeting tales, or any other relevant information to share, please leave a comment! Like I said, I love reading about other people's budgeting and financial adventures, and I can only assume that there are people out there that feel the same way.

I'm sure I've written about this before, but I'm really loving my Spend No Money budget for a few reasons. The biggest reason is that it is totally empowering. I'm not making any more or less money than I was before Spend No Money began. I'm just spending less. And making the conscious decision to save more because I'm working towards a tangible goal gives me the control. I don't feel pitiful and sad like this little poor child, always saying "no, I can't do that because I'm poor," or "I'd love to, but I can't afford it." It seems like a small thing, but just changing my mindset from "I can't" to "I don't want to" makes all the difference. Now, I don't feel bad about not buying lunch or going out for drinks, because I know I'm doing it by choice. I spend money on special occasions that I have planned (aka budgeted) for, like taking a friend out for a birthday dinner, or buying a ticket to a concert I'm dying to go to. I plan for each of these expenditures at the beginning of the month, and I'm not allowed (because I say so) to spend outside that budget. Within reason, of course. There will always be a mid-monthly baby shower announcement or something that happens within that month; there will always be something that comes up. When that happens, the first step is to see if there's a free way to do it. If there isn't, I spend the least amount possible. And there are no more "earring emergencies" or "pre-packaged salads are so much easier" or buying things just because they're on sale. Which, I hope, will save me some money. I'm putting everything I can into savings, and keeping that goal (first, last, security deposit on an apartment) in mind. We'll know at the end of the month how well it's worked, but so far, so good.

It's fun to feel like you're in control of your money, and it's a really good feeling knowing you're working towards something you really want. Good luck!

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