Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Money Challenge--Breaking my Bad Habits

I woke up this morning, like everyone else, to news of turmoil in the financial world.  The words "crisis" and "disaster" were being tossed around by most of the news outlets, with fears of more to come.  

Given this news, it seemed fitting for me to start writing about another big part of my domestic experiment this fall--managing the household finances.  Now, I certainly won't use the words "crisis" or "disaster" to describe my finances, but I will say that the first part of my back to basics challenge--cleaning, cooking, etc.--is a lot easier for me than the money part.  I'd rather scrub a sink than balance my checkbook any day.  

Case in point:
*  months of bank statements are piled up waiting for me to reconcile them.  It will take me hours. 
*  the elaborate household budget I set up at the start of the year has been shamefully ignored.
*  even though I intend to, I rarely check my receipts to make sure they are correct.
*  I have no idea how much money I spend during an average month.
*  I do tend to shop when I'm feeling down and need a pick me up.  And I am a sucker for well placed advertisements enticing me to buy things I don't need.
*  and I buy all the wrong things on sale (practicing the art of "spaving") and rarely the right things

What I know is that these habits are not great, and that with a little strategy and some discipline I could clean up my act.  Fortunately, I do have some things going for me, namely that I'm not a big spender and I hate debt.  Unfortunately, my bad habits are keeping me from being a good steward of my resources (there's that stewardship issue again....).  

Obviously I have my work cut out for me!  Stayed tuned to hear more....

Also, check out what I have to say about the latest financial headlines on my current events blog, Cigars in the Parlour.

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