Money is my Achilles' Heel. I feel like a complete idiot when it comes to money. Even as I have made HUGE strides in handling my bills better and getting rid of debt, I still think I'm a schmuck.
I KNOW I am not a tool...*she says more to convince herself*...I mean, by the end of January, I will have gotten rid of about five thousand dollars of credit card debt by setting up automatic withdrawals; I will have paid absolutely no interest on my first new credit card in years by paying off the full balance for three months. I will have not had any previous balances on my monthly bills for at least six months...the exception being cable and Internet. I think I resent how expensive that sh*t is, so I resist paying the bill. I still pay it, though. Granted, the "Law & Order" payment helped, but I was still the one who managed that money. For many people, this isn't a big deal. This may sound like a father declaring, "I take care of my kids!" as if he was doing something special. But Americans are billions of dollars in debt, so I know I am not alone.
I have a long way to go, that is for sure. But whenever I feel down on myself, I go online and look at my TIAA-CREF retirement account. I don't have tons of different accounts that have my money making money, but I do have my job's 403-b. From my first day at work, I had them deduct money out of my paycheck...pre-taxed, of course...and did research into which mutual funds to best place it for my age and whatnot. Once I was working a year, my job started to contribute to the fund as well. The result: I've got five figures in my retirement account and I've contributed about half that amount. The rest comes from my job and the money the account has made. The best part about it is that I'm fully vested in all of it! So I get to roll ALL of that money over when I leave.
This makes me very proud of myself. It gives me the confidence to know that if I can get a handle on some parts of my money, even after 32 years, I can get a handle on all of it.
I haven't come up with my New Year's Theme yet, but I do know it will incorporate budgeting every month, building up my emergency fund, and helping Ella socialize better with other dogs in 2007.