My mother has trained me well. Christmas is more than two months away and I have just about finished my Christmas shopping. I do still need to buy something for my brother, but he’s easy – I ask him what he wants, he links me to his Amazon Wishlist, and we’re set. He’s hard to buy for, and I’d rather buy him something he wants. But for everyone else, throughout the year, as I was out and about, I kept my eyes peeled for things that would make good gifts.
I have a note clipped into my planner that has a running list of Christmas ideas for my family. This is the first year I’ve done something along those lines and I’m so glad I did. One thing I wanted for my dad won’t be available by Christmas, but this way I’ve already got an idea for his birthday. I’ve also got my mom covered through her birthday and possibly through Mother’s Day. These aren’t purchase that have been made, of course, merely ideas, but that’s the hardest part of the battle.
On one hand, I mock all the holiday decorations that are out in the stores, and I think it’s amusing that my choir started rehearsing for our Christmas concert last night, and yet here I sit, ready for the holidays.
Of course, I will still leave all the wrapping to the very last minute. That’s just how I roll.
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.