.. or at least good intentions and a well-laid out plan!
I am no fan of money. As an adult (and pre-adult) I've just never had enough at once to be a fan. While I am very blessed and go to bed in a cozy house with a full tummy every night, I'm not one of those with the luxury of taking that for granted.
I'm still paying off debt for stupid mistakes I made before I was 20. Now that I've been given a blessing of cheap rent and lower utilities (my current monthly payment for rent, water, electricity, and phone doesn't even add up to rent alone at my old place), I intend to make the most of it. Fingers crossed.. I may not have to look for another job any time soon and all my bills are steady. So now seems as good a time as ever to start over and build new, more fiscally responsible habits.
Here are my resolutions. Feel free to hold me accountable from time to time:
1. Pay off the card with the highest interest rate first, and pay minimum balance on all others.
This seemed weird to me at first.. but after reading up on it for several months it's beginning to make sense. It will definitely take a while, but soon I can kiss those stupid freshman/sophomore mistakes goodbye!
2. Cook at home.
Having a grill and space to cook are really helping with this one. I want to eat healthy, though--no ramen and nasty potato chip diets for me. Fruits, vegetables, grains, quality meats can all fit into this plan! And I can still cook for lots of people without spending much more money.
3. No shopping.
I've been pretty much living this one for the last year (see the comment above about the old rent exceeding all my current basic monthly bills). It was painful at first, and easy to convince myself it's okay because of my fabulous bargain shopping skills (I am!).. but none of that until my cards are paid off.
4. Stay healthy and out of the hospital.
I'm not cutting back on vitamins or healthy food. I'm working on fixing my sleep schedule. If the health stays good, I don't have to spend on meds or stupid hospital trips that cost $1200 with no diagnosis to show for it.
5. Inexpensive recreation.
Three of us went out to the movies and Marble Slab a couple of weeks ago. Each of us spent $8.50 on our ticket and almost $5.00 on our Marble Slab. That doesn't seem like much for an evening of entertainment, but keep in mind that without actually eating a meal or buying gas, we'd already spent almost $14. Again: I am slightly poor. Not compared to most people in the world, but compared to most of the people on this side of town I definitely am. Fishing, $1 movie rentals, the occasional hike, and grill parties are now the highlights of my week. Also babysitting for my friends' super cute kids (ahem Ford and MK and now Ella) helps them out and keeps me from spending money on a night out on the town. Watching "Deck" (Shrek) over and over with MK beats trivia and an expensive meal out any day.