I'm not talking a diet that regulates what I stuff into my mouth. THAT diet is working just fine.
No, the diet I'm talking about is a financial diet.
I've always been pretty horrible at managing my money. Not so bad that I am counting my pennies on a regular basis, but bad enough to where I feel anxiety right before my online bank information pops up. I dread seeing that amount of money I have, or don't have. There have been many times that I log into my online banking and have a mini heart attack right on the spot. Then I scroll through the purchases to realize that I spent triple digit amounts over the course of one weekend. But I NEEDED those earrings. And those shoes? They were calling my name.
I'm sort of financially responsible. I save for retirement and put money into a fairly high interest rate savings account. I bought a house after over 10 years of throwing away money in rent payments. I don't have many credit cards and the ones I do have are either very low interest rates or very low balances.
But still. My checkbook balance is looking a little thin and it's screaming at me to stop abusing it. I'm highly abusive to my debit card especially. In fact, my debit card has threatened to stop speaking to me. And I just can't have that.
I've made a list of financial diet rules for myself in the hopes that I will satisfy my debit card and my anxiety.
- I was going to attempt the no spending money on frivolous things for a set amount of days. Then I introduced myself to myself and knew that was not possible. My willpower is to weak and Etsy.com sends me telepathic messages hourly. So I am limiting myself to $100 a month in frivilous purchases*.
- I will increase my retirement contributions 10% starting next month. I want to retire a millionaire and have hot hunky men feed me grapes and massage my crusty old feet all while admiring my immense wealth.
- I will pay off my higher interest rate credit cards by June 2008.
- The credit card that's a low interest rate but a higher balance, I will keep paying the monthly payment but increase the payment by 50%.
- I will continue to pay extra towards my principle for my house. But I'll do it on a regular basis, even it's only $5 extra.
- I will start the search for a higher interest saving's account. Currently my savings account pays 3.65% which isn't too bad, but I bet I can find better. Anyone have suggestions?
- By April 30 of this year I want to have saved $6,200 in my savings account to be used for emergencies and to sustain my household during the lean months of October through December 2008.
- Finally, and this one's gonna hurt, I will stop buying coffee in the morning on my way to work. I only spend $6.75 a week on my morning coffee, but that's almost $30 and I can apply that to my principle payments for my house.
Wish me luck and sanity as I explore this new found diet. And if you feel bad that I can't spend much money on myself, feel free to send gifts. I don't mind.
*The only exception to this will be clothing. When I hit my goal weight, which will likely be around August at the rate I'm going, then I will include clothing in my financial diet.