I am working on my financial life, though I haven't referenced it lately. I was living life pretty leanly during a time when I was trying to get rid of some pesky bills. I'm back on track, but I celebrated my new found "freedom" by going a little crazy with shopping sprees and dinners at places with outdoor seating. That set me back...financially and emotionally. What I learned though was that there is a clear pattern with my spending and that pattern is directly tied to my feelings of power and control...or lack thereof.
Now I'm working on transferring those feelings. Instead of feeling in control spending $200 at the Gap, I'm feeling powerful when my monthly bills come in and the past due balance says $0. I'm not there yet, but I do have a goal...and a mantra. I tell myself, "Use my money for good, not evil."
Something else I've learned is that I need to make more money. In order to make real progress, I'm going to have to find another source of income...or another position. I know I am being underpaid at my position. For the first year, it was fine because I was brand new to it and I was still making more than I did in my last job. But now I'm going into my third year; I've learned loads, I do loads, and my salary has not moved at the same pace. So I'm contemplating my options at the moment. Again, I feel powerful when I do things to take control of how much money I make.
Finally, I took a very scary step...I became part of a network. Single Ma turned me on to it...of course! It's a great way to challenge oneself to work toward a pesky financial goal. Every week, you can see your progress in pie chart form and track the progress of everyone else. It was started by this dude who has a pretty intense opinion on credit. Regardless, he manages a very supportive site. It's interesting to see the huge range of goals. Mine is to create $5,000 in emergency fund savings in one year...something I have NEVER had in my life. At my current level of savings, I would only save $1,000. So I need to step up my weekly savings and think about diverting all those little extra funds into my e-fund.
Having a plan makes me smile.