I love my little old house, but with little old houses comes a lot of little old house problems. I bought our home a few years ago, and every summer have bought my home something nice…..and by something nice I mean, a new dishwasher, a new hot water heater, some nice new pipes and several spa visits with different plumbers, lots of up close and personal visits with heating and air professionals, and then finally today, I bought a whole new Heat/Air pump and system for my home. I say that Cole and I will probably outgrow our home as he gets bigger (he says no, because he loves that our home is “close to everything!! Church, school and Kroger”), but I keep reminding myself that any new upgrades add value to my home, if I ever want to sell it.
In my decluttering day yesterday (I have declared this week, “Home Improvement Week”, with lots of fun stuff in store, like cleaning out nonsense I keep for no good reason and throwing it away or donating it), I came upon this book that I bought when I was first starting my journey as a single mama. It’s an overwhelming book if you have no idea where to start, and that’s where so many single moms find themselves post-divorce. I have become such a weirdo about my finances that I have budget sheets that I look forward to filling out, and I daydream about paying off this debt or that debt, probably the same way some people daydream about buying a boat or a new car (there’s no shame in your game, that just isn’t my game or my chapter right now). You know you have found your people when you get messages from people telling you how they are downloading that budgeting app you suggested and saved sooo much money, or you have mama talk in the pool about how your friend and her husband just paid off their car and you exchange high fives. Times are weird for me, my friends. I used to pore over fashion magazines and crave this bag or that bag. Now I imagine what I could do with that $120 in my budget instead of adding another bag to my closet.
I just started a 14 day financial challenge with Rachel Cruze (www.rachelcruze.com) and I thought we could go through it together. I have toyed with the idea of trying to pen my own book, but I never seem to have the time to sit myself down and do it (just ask my Eye On publishers, Kimberlee and Joseph, I am a nightmare employee, such a procrastinator when I have writer’s block!). So today is Day one, and her challenge is to log in to your bank account. If you are an avid budgeter, this is probably something you do every day. I know I do!! I get my coffee and check my account. Before Cole, I never knew how much money I had in the bank. I would get a statement in the mail, and occasionally I would even open it. But I never did anything with it, ever. So today, if that’s you, and there’s no shame, because that was my life ten years ago, log in to your bank account. I even have a banking app on my phone, and that’s where I log in. If you don’t have any idea what you have in there, you simply cannot make a budget.
I realize some of you are hard core bank and numbers people, and still keep a completed check register, where your balance is down to the penny (Wally Hudson, I am looking at you), and I applaud you. I get so very irritated when I pay someone with a check and they wait WEEKS to deposit it. Because I start my day with a number in my head, then if I know I have outstanding checks I have to do math and that’s not my favorite. Luckily I live with a math wizard, and I can ask him, “Cole, what’s $856 – $35?”, so I live with my own personal accountant.
So log in and let me know what you find!! If you do this on the reg, you are on your way to figuring out your finances.
*I told a fellow single mama today that my two huge pieces of financial advice today, that I simply cannot form a whole book around, are (1) Stop eating out. Stop buying coffee out. Stop getting Sonic everyday. Just Stop. You will save thousands of dollars over the year. Eating out should be a TREAT, not a regular thing. (2) Stop thinking someone else is gonna pay your bills for you. If you get child support, great. But so many of us simply don’t. My life changed the day I got divorced, and changed again when I looked into that little face that looks just like mine and understood that he was totally depending on me, and we were gonna be ok. Your baby daddy is NOT gonna pay your bills, your mama and daddy are NOT gonna pay your bills, and you must stand up and give your children something to be proud of (they are forming all of their ideas about money, spending and saving, by watching you, not from school, not from someone else’s mama, not from TV, from YOU, so get it together). You’ve got this!!