Archive | May, 2011

Day 7: 21 Days to Financial Freedom

1 May

To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness. – Bertrand Russell

So I guess you’re wondering how I’m doing on spending. Here’s an update:

My challenges
I’ve bought some snacks and grabbed fast food a few times this past week. I’d like blame it on my busy schedule but I know that I still lack some control. I’m also realizing that I’m somewhat of an emotional eater. I never thought so because when I’m really stressed, I don’t eat and lose weight. But I’ve noticed that when I’m mildly irritated or slightly stressed, I feel the urge to want to “reward” myself with a meal out.

My progress
I have some victories too though. Even when I’ve eaten out or snacked, I’ve chosen cheaper alternatives. Instead of a fancy hot chocolate and a muffin from the campus coffee shop (over $5), I settled for a pre-made Starbucks frapp and made my own oatmeal (about $2.50). And there were a pair of Tommy Hilfiger jeans at the Macy’s where I work part time on sale for about $18! Man, that would have been a steal. I didn’t even go and try them on. Plus, there was a Facebook deal for a local steam room spa that I’ve been wanting to try for only $10. I passed that up, too.

I’ve also withdrawn cash to use for this week to avoid using my debit card.

The good thing is that I’m not feeling like I’m depriving myself. I have to ask myself, “Do I really need this?” Most times, the answer is no. I’m glad to see where I’m not wasting away money, even though it may only be a small amount at this point.

New discoveries
This past week I’ve created a new budget by using a new format. This format helps you determine if you are overspending in certain categories. For example, according to this budget, you should only be spending around 26 – 36% for your housing (rent, mortgage) or no more than 10% for debt (credit cards, loans). I’ve budgeted before but this is something new for me and I’m able to determine where I need to find more balance…my debt.

The book also has caused me to revisit the idea of tithing. It’s something that I’ve never done before. I thought I was doing it before but a true tithe is 10% of your gross income, not your net. Anything other than that is an offering. This is a challenging concept for me right now and is something like I’m praying about at present.

14 more days to go…