I have been reading Single Ma's website religiously. She is a wonderful resource for me because she is a single black female, has a daughter and a dog, and is financially stable. However, she knows first hand what it feels like not to be. Her tone is never condescending and she is constantly linking to other web resources. Another great thing about her is that she is still on the journey as well. She talks about her struggles with staying in control of her money and not the other way around. I've learned so much from her. I don't feel nearly as alone in my money struggles. Yes...everyone struggles with money, but no one ever talks about it, so what good is it to say that everyone struggles!
So, to celebrate the fact that she is moving into her first home this weekend, I am taking some of her advice. I am going to take budgeting seriously by creating a realistic one that I can live with. On a payday, no less!
I had already opened an ING savings account...leave me a comment if you want a referral to open one. You could get a free $25!...but I was putting an insane amount of money in it every month. Which meant I was always tapping into it, thus negating the purpose of the account altogether. So I adjusted my bi-weekly withdrawal to an amount that I could truly not touch. I did the same with the money market account attached to my checking account.
I downgraded my cable...goodbye, Sopranos! I paid my cable bill today and realized that I can get access to the shows I love through other means: the internet, getting the book from the library, etc. Since I can't live without internet in my home, something had to give. I'm taking two courses this summer; the time I save not watching TV can go toward other things. And I cancelled my Netflix membership. I wasn't using it at all, so why pay for it? These cutbacks aren't serious in terms of the amount I'm saving. It's only about $40 a month. But as Single Ma keeps telling me, every little bit helps. It all adds up.
And even though it's payday, I'm still bringing my lunch to work.