First off, as I mentioned the other day, I’m hosting the Finance Fiesta this week, so get your submissions in by Wednesday at 5! The Fiesta goes live on Thursday morning.
I was reviewing my July budget this weekend, and realized that in July, things kind of went off the rails. Nothing too terrible, but being sick and then having family and friends come visit really threw things off quite a bit. Before this month, many of my budget categories had a bit of padding in them, thanks to YNAB, but July really depleted those stores.
I’ve decided to do a 30 day plan. Why 30 days and not an entire month? So that it runs concurrently with my 30 day “get back into a healthy routine” plan. Because July wasn’t just bad for my budget. I fell off the fitness wagon, both in workouts and in healthy eating. So the next 30 days are going to be about getting back into shape, both physically and financially.
Conveniently, in many ways, these two things can work together. No excessive eating out. Only getting one drink at happy hour, and a light one at that. Not going overboard at the grocery store (though unfortunately, it seems like healthy, fresh foods are the ones that break the budget).
I’m sticking to my plan of not getting a gym membership. At this point, while I find myself drawn to the shiny gyms with all their fancy equipment, I do fine on my own. I have hand weights and a number of great dvd workouts (Those of you with Exercise TV OnDemand – look for 30 Day Shred – it’s a killer!), plus my apartment complex has a small gym. Nothing fancy, but it’s more than enough.
Of course, a number of things are working against me on the financial side of this plan. My cats are going in for shots on Friday. I’ve got some money budgeted for that, but since it’s a new vet, I’m not sure what it’s going to cost. I also have a dentist appointment on Monday to fix the “repair” work that another dentist did earlier this summer. Insurance will cover some of that, but I’m not sure how much.
But those are things that I can’t control, as they are necessary expenses. One thing I’ve learned is to not worry about the expenses that I can’t control. All I can do is try to balance those expenses with what I can control.
So that’s the 30 day plan. Wish me luck!
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.
July was pretty hectic for me too. Didn’t help that I had to get an eye exam, new contacts, and glasses which ran almost $500… 🙁 Good luck with your 30 day plan! I’m hoping August is better for me too.
July was terrible for me! My sister and her kids came to visit, my grandmother died, and I drove to Massachusetts for the funeral. As a result, I missed half of the month at work, and have been doing a lot of dining out!
On the up side, though, helping to sort and dispose of grandma’s estate has meant I didn’t need to spend any money when I needed a new casserole dish to replace one that broke mid-month, and I was able to pick up a couple of presents for the weddings I’m attending this year. Yes, I’m cheap, but hey, who wouldn’t want a 100-year old martini shaker for their wedding?