Monday, September 29, 2014
Bad habits are hard to break aren't they? I got up in plenty of time to do my exercises this morning and did not do them. I haven't done them in a long time. (Well, once or twice...) The problem is that I'm out of the habit of doing them.
Habits are just habits. A good habit is hard to establish. A bad habit is hard to break. Living healthier is worth the effort!
Habits even form around how we spend our money. This Financial Peace course is teaching me a lot! Men tend to view lack of money as lack of self esteem. Women view lack of money as lack of security. Therefore, in general the lack of money causes men to become depressed and women to become terrified. No wonder money issues are the number one cause of divorce in the US.
The first week was an overview. Our first task is to build an emergency fund. This is $1,000 set in a separate account from your checking account. For someone like me, who makes under $20k, it's $500 I'm supposed to set aside. I haven't even begun to do that yet, but am thinking of ways to do so.
The second class was to do a "quick start budget". This just gives you a brief overview of your outgoing expenses. Homework for this class was to designate an accountability partner with whom you can discuss ways to cut back and/or generate cash for your emergency fund. If you're married, obviously this would be your spouse. I was blessed in that one of the other single women in the class asked me to be her partner.
With her input this week I was able to cut $50 from my monthly outgoing expenses! Praise God!
My class this week is the third class. This is where we're going to delve into the deep waters of budgeting. Detailed budgets. This both scares me and excites me. I know I don't steward my money well. I'm looking forward to learning better habits. But, at the same time, I'm afraid to learn just how little I really have to work with.
It's a paradigm shift. For me it's always been pay my bills, live on what's left. (What's left has never been much.) The shift is to pay yourself first (savings account), then pay your bills, then live on what's left. Once you're out of debt, you add in giving. I LOVE this idea! I was thinking just yesterday as I passed a man standing on the corner with only one leg how lovely it would have been to have enough money to simply hand him a $100 bill. Or, how about having enough money to help set up collage funds for your friends with kids? (Not having any of my own.) The beauty of money is not hoarding it, but having enough to share with others.
I guess I had more to say this morning than I thought. I might just post this on my blog--after all, getting financially fit helps in getting physically fit!