Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Clean Sheets are Fine and Well, But..

As I mentioned yesterday, I am fairly terrible at managing money.  I just don't like to do it.  It's boring to me, and I hate to be bored.  I have a philosophy about it.  Too relaxed.   My one saving grace is that I'm naturally pretty frugal.  For instance, one time my husband told me I should go out and purchase some new office furniture and I came home with a used sewing table from Goodwill for $30.00 and two cans of spray paint.  (The table looks great, by the way, and was just what I needed).

Anyway, it is precisely because I'm a poor manager that I decided early on in my marriage that I would tackle the responsibility of paying bills and balanced the checkbook.  I figured that if I didn't force myself to be involved, I'd really be ignorant.  And ignorance, my friends, is just about the worst thing with money.  And so I have faithfully done my job, and other than one late payment (sorry husband...), and a stack of unreconciled statements, I've managed pretty well over the years.

I get just enough regular exposure to our household finances through this job to develop a vision for the kind of money manager I'd like to be.  The kind I think I should be.  The kind who is intentional about her spending and savings goals, rather than a consumer drone on autopilot.

So, to improve my current quasi-drone-like status, I thought I would try a few things this fall.  One is to utilize a budgeting program and report back to you all on how it helped (or didn't.).  Another is to experiment with the timeless question: cash or charge?  And another is to dabble in existential thoughts on the role of debt and consumption in our culture today in a witty and yet provocative style (that last one is a bit of a stretch, so we'll see...).

Of course I'm doing all of this because managing finances is probably the most important element of keeping a healthy home base.  Clean sinks and fresh linens are fine and well, but well-managed finances are even better.  

See you tomorrow!

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