As I’ve mentioned, this has been a rough few months for my budget, so I’m treating September as a low spending month. It’s not a no-spending month – I’m impressed with people who can do that, but I’m not one of them. But I’m only buying necessities for as long as possible. So far, so good. For example, I ran out of the hair product that I use to tame my unruly curly hair, so I stopped in the salon to pick up a new bottle. I didn’t even let myself look at all of the other products, because I knew I would be sucked in by a new lotion or lipgloss. (My hands are very dry from all this handwashing, after all. But no, I have perfectly good lotion and don’t need anything new.)
Of course, what helps is that I discovered that October is a three paycheck month, and I typically bank most of that, but put a bit of it into the budget for spending. I’ve been coveting a new winter coat since last September, as mine is showing some wear, so I have promised myself that I can get a new coat with some of that third paycheck if I stay on track for September. Sure, it might be a bit frivolous, as my current coat will definitely last another season, but it’s a useful frivolous purchase. Girl’s gotta look good while keeping warm, after all!
I have to admit though, all the Labor Day sale e-mails made it tough to not spend. While I don’t need anything, it’s always tempting to browse when those sales occur.
Also, how is it already September 9th? Where does the time go? I can’t help but think of those days as a kid when a week felt like an ETERNITY. I never believed the grown-ups who said that time passed faster the older you got. They were right.
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.