Miss Money

Miss Money is my anonymous personal finance blog. I will divulge my career opportunities, income, expenditures, savings, and debt. My goals include moving my net worth from "negative" -$45,500 to -$33,000 in one year, get out of credit card debt and improve my FICO credit score from 656 to 750.

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Location: South Carolina, United States

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Financial Weaknesses

My biggest financial weakness is probably one everyone has: I tend to spend too much. More specifically, I think I tend to make many small purchases, telling myself, “It’s just five dollars,” or “Well, one pizza this week won’t break the budget, and go ahead and add breadsticks!”

So, I’ll sketch them out and explain my strategies for overcoming them:

1. I don’t “watch my pennies” well. – As stated above, I tend to be fine avoiding large purchases, but drug stores and grocery stores are my enemy. I can drop $20 every time I enter a CVS.

2. I believe in rewards and celebrations, sometimes too much – When good thing happens in my life, I reward myself or celebrate. This is healthy, in my opinion, but too much of this can break the bank. One day a few weeks ago, I bought a fabulous dinner out for myself and my roommate/unofficial spouse/significant other. That totaled $120 with the tip. I don’t even remember what I was celebrating.

3. I don’t see credit cards as “real money” – I fear credit cards and respect them. They are necessary sometimes and fabulous tools, used wisely. However, even given as much as I know about them and their proper use, I still cannot be truthful and say that I feel the same way about spending on a credit card as a debit card. It still never feels like “real” money because it doesn’t lower my checking account balance.

Solutions
Penny-Watching - I need to use my budget to help me watch the pennies. I need to ask myself what purpose a purchase serves and define which budget category a purchase falls into before I swipe the debit card.

Celebration Crazy - I need to truly only celebrate when it is warranted and the celebrations need to fall into my budget or be compensated for in the budget by cutting back in other areas.

Unreal Money - I need to cease use of the credit cards in total by focusing on paying them off. I have already put two of them in a drawer at home and I may put the third one away as well. I need to focus on what I have in the checking account as my money for purchases and not just for bills.

That seems to be an honest assessment of my financial weaknesses. I will keep the topic on my mind for the next few days and if I locate any more of them I will post them in the spirit of full disclosure.

4 Comments:

Blogger Bailey said...

Good idea and good solutions!

August 17, 2005 6:12 PM  
Blogger April said...

Bailey:

Thanks for checking in to see my site. I am glad my solutions sound reasonable. Ir really appreciate the feedback.

I checked out your site. What a great idea -- picking up all of the loose change and making it a substantial amount of money. I personally pick it up all the time but haven't made such a concerted effort of it. Keep it up! I am rooting for you to win the change race.

By the way, how did you stumble upon Miss Money? Just wanting to know how people are finding out about it so I can cultivate those routes.

I hope you will check back often to see how I am progressing.

August 17, 2005 6:48 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Hi April. Good luck saving! I'm trying to do something similar. I've started a blog about my efforts. I've already put up a number of tips to help save money. Please feel free to visit, hopefully some of them are useful to you.

All the best,
Dan

P.S. Found you through BlogExplosion

August 17, 2005 11:05 PM  
Blogger April said...

Dan - good to know that the blog directories actually work! I checked out your blog and I will keep a close eye on it. Best of luck with your efforts!

August 18, 2005 10:48 AM  

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