Friday, April 24, 2009

28 Days Makes a Habit (or so they say)

They say 28 days makes a habit. Well, I thought I’d try out the theory by committing to reviewing my finances every single day.

Here’s my account:

Day 1: logged into my Mint. com account and reviewed my expenses.

Day 2: did a whole bunch of things, none of which included looking at my finances.

Days 3-7: did more stuff--very important stuff--but incidentally did not look at my finances.

Day 8: went grocery shopping and thought to myself while looking at my receipt, “boy, I’m not doing very good at this whole finance thing, am I?”

Days 9-10: enjoyed the weekend, and yes--did review my transactions

Day 11: stared mindlessly at my pile of bills and bank statements, thinking “why does adulthood require so much paperwork!?” Then I stacked them neatly in a pile for my attention at a more convenient time...

Days 12-14: still waiting for the more convenient time...

Day 15: clearly have to reset to Day 1 again...

Judging Me...
By now you’re probably judging my hypocrisy for writing so much about budgeting and my former life as a banker while simultaneously flunking Budgeting 101. What can I say? I need help just as much as you do!

The truth is that it is easy to say I’m going to do the right things when it comes to my money, but it is much harder to do them.
I get busy. I get stressed. I get overwhelmed by all the paperwork. Sometimes I get afraid of what I’m going to see (“I spent what on clothing last month?!”).

Practice Makes Perfect
But I’m convinced that practice makes perfect. And clearly I need the practice. Lots of it. Good thing that budgeting is popular during a recession!

What about you? What motivates you to keep track of your dollars and cents? One of my friends said her motivator is guilt--feeling very guilty about debt. Does that sound familiar? Maybe it’s something else? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

Previous Related Posts:
Can I Get a Pulse?
Kickin' my Budget into Gear!
The New Midas Touch


  1. Right now what motivates the fact that my daughter wants a horse (and we actually have one for her - she doesn't know yet)...but we need property to have horses. So this past month we decided to buckle down on our spending and save, save, save for that future property. And hopefully with in the next few years (I say 2-3) we'll be on land, and my daughter can have that horse!

    We also have our kids in on it - the no spending money thing. Any time we are out they are our "holy ghost" and tell us we can't spend money because we need land - I love it!

  2. I have a similar goal, which is to pay off our home in as few years as possible. I need to hunker down and figure out a strategy to start adding more principal to my payments.

    Unfortunately I don't have kiddos to keep me in line! But kudos to you for having the whole family on board!

  3. This month I have committed to sticking to our grocery budget if it kills me...I only have like $10.00 left for the month! I am not very good at it yet but small strides count for a lot. Dan and I wanted to go out to eat last weekend but before we did we checked our budget and would have went over budget for dining;therefore we didn't eat out! It is hard sometimes but will be well worth it. It does take practice for sure!

  4. When I realized I was able to easily spend $50 a day or more on lunch, coffee, whatever ingredients I forgot for dinner, and a bottle of wine...I thought, "maybe I should start paying a little more attention."

    I did much better this week: planned meals, brought lunch (except for one fabulous picnic day) and only treated myself to two basic coffees!


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