Every July, I’m reminded of the riddle “Do they have the Fourth of July in Canada (or England or any other country)?” The answer? Of course they do! They have a July 4th and a July 5th and… It’s just a play on the fact that Independence Day is also known as the Fourth of July.
Admittedly, it’s not that great of a riddle.
For a lot of people, July marks the start of their company’s fiscal year. (As a government employee, I get to wait til October for that fun.) The start of the fiscal year is sort of like declaring your independence from last year. Of course, you’re still stuck with any mistakes you made, and you might not have as much money to budget based on what happened last year, but on Day One of the fiscal year, you’ve got a blank budget and things can go anywhere.
Since Independence is celebrated in both the U.S. and in Canada this month, maybe it’s a good time to also celebrate your own financial independence. Put your mistakes behind you. Don’t dwell on them. Okay, so you have to dwell on them a little bit, because bills don’t just disappear. But make a plan to pay them. Start a new plan and set it in motion. Don’t worry about what you’ve done. Look toward the future. Celebrate the fact that you are getting closer and closer to your financial freedom.
Or if that sounds corny, maybe just go to a BBQ and have a few frosty beverages while watching fireworks and be glad you live in a country where that’s a normal way of life and that your biggest worries are money and not terrorism and an oppressive government. Or just enjoy the fact that it’s summer. Just be sure to enjoy yourself.
Megan is a 30-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.