I began reading Suze Orman’s book after I filed my taxes for 2016. One of the two biggest things my ex and I would “fight” about was money. He wanted to spend it and I wanted to save it. I would go nuts when he would “borrow” money from our savings to cover bills until pay day when he would put it back. It was a very ugly cycle. One that I am happy is broken. I have begun following the principles in Chapter 3 of her book 9 Steps to Financial Freedom. I write everything down. Everything. I bought a 1.39 worth of bananas and yes wrote it down. The money may seem like a very small amount but when I have 2 dollars until pay day, that dollar purchase is a huge deal. I have begun analyzing where I spend most of the money I make. It is at the grocery store. Some things I cannot help but purchase. Fruits and veggies are non-negotiable. I need them in my house. They are staples in my diet. Chicken, fish, and turkey however, I am learning to buy when it’s on sale or walk away if the price is just too much for me. I try to spend around $10/week in meat. Eggs are much cheaper and I can make meals stretch using them. I do not need $5.99 almond butter when there is an alternative for $3.29. When I have more money, I splurge on the almond butter because I get it “life is short” and I want to enjoy the foods I eat since I spend most of the day eating. Working two jobs requires a lot of energy.
The other thing I am considering is switching cable companies. Dish has been sneaky with their pricing and has added $1 to each of my bills for the past two month. Think I don’t notice? I do. I’m waiting to see what it is all about before making a move. I have done my research and am just waiting to see what the next move is. I just got a new dish as the other one was knocked out of satellite range after a bad storm. I don’t owe Dish anything for their service and there was a nice man who came and hooked me up with a new dish. But the bill is just too high for someone who only watches the games on the weekends. Verizon is another company I am looking to leave and again just when I get one bill straightened out, something else happens and I am on the phone another two hours trying to get an issue corrected. I have X-finiity’s rates and am again just waiting to switch over.
My credit card was paid off a few months ago. I am honestly so proud of doing this. Prouder than I thought I would be. I had close to $5,000 on it and paid it off chunk by chunk. I am never going back there. The next big thing I will have paid off is my car. Only 7 more payments. This is also a very freeing feeling. Then my student loan. Bit by bit I am learning to allocate funds to make them work for me. I am putting more away into my savings than I have in a long time. This time it is staying put. I am putting the money that I would be using to pay off my credit card toward paying off my student loan. 16 more payments and it’s paid off. This motivates me very much.
I know my dad would be very proud of the decisions I am making. I am learning I have plenty. I am learning to buy only what I need. I am learning to eat all the foods I have left in the house before buying more. I learning to go without some things for now, because I know I will be able to buy them later. Having a full tank of gas is not necessary all the time. Half a tank will get me where I need to go and then I can add more. In the summer I drive less and ride my bike to the gym which is more savings. I am learning to juggle which bills to pay when. I have found the inner strength to not turn on the air conditioning when there is a super hot day. I know the next will be cooler. We are currently in a three day stretch. Today is day three. I made it. I know it will be hotter for longer this summer and I know my will is stronger than any ray’s of the sun.
I am very grateful for my ability to analyze situations and make the best decisions for me. I am grateful for the ability to reflect and think about what I am best using my money for. Please feel free to share any money saving tips you have. I love learning and enjoy multiple perspectives on things.