In January of 2009 I started taking this whole personal finance thing seriously, rather than just having it be more of an after thought. I’m still not doing very good at it, but I wanted to take a look back at the past 5 months and compare it to the 7 months prior to that. So, essentially, how have I changed my money habits in the past 5 months?
In the past 5 months I have:
*Saved $500 of my income into an emergency fund
*Paid down over $2,000 of miscellaneous debt
*Paid down nearly $1,000 of credit card debt
*Had no overdraft fees on my checking account
*Saved over $1,400 for a trip to Europe with my grandma
The prior 7 months before that I:
*Closed a savings account because I had withdrawn all the money from it
*Charged $4,040.98 to my credit card
*Had $836 in overdraft fees charged to my various checking accounts
*Withdrew $2,224.80 from my mutual funds and stocks
So, while the progress that I’ve made in the past 5 months may seem insignificant, even to me sometimes, I have to keep in perspective that I’ve come A LONG WAY from the spending habits that I had before. I was literally THROWING AWAY money in overdraft fees and had to pull out of my stocks to pay for emergencies (that I could have afforded if I hadn’t wracked up debt on my credit card). I’m really proud of myself for the progress I’ve made, and I should be thankful for this.
AT THE SAME TIME, I have a lot of work ahead to go. Some months I live well within my spending money for the month and other months I don’t. I need to find a budget that works for me that doesn’t FEEL like a budget. Or maybe I should feel the pain, maybe I SHOULD be paying for the sins of my past. For now, I’m just trying to break even every month and have a little cushion for when the big things come. Based on the progress I’ve made so far in these few 5 months, I know I can do it.
I’ve come a long way, baby. =D