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Friday, January 02, 2009

As I've posted before, one of my big New Year's resolutions this year is to get my finances in order. Right now, I get paid every two weeks and it's deposited into my chequing account. That is the extent of my financial planning. I don't have a separate savings account, I don't have an emergency fund, I don't have a retirement plan. I do have enough money for the things I want and need--case in point, I paid cash for my Mazda3 in September--but I think it's probably not a great idea to have all my money in one place just sitting there!

I started last night by setting up a NetworthIQ profile which you can see here.

I'm pretty lucky to have zero credit card or student loan debt and no car payments. I was fortunate to grow up in a family where the value of a dollar was pushed from a really young age. I had my first job when I was 16, working at McDonald's after school and on weekends, and saved like crazy. When I graduated high school, my parents supplemented my savings to pay for college because they didn't want me to graduate with $60,000 in student loans hanging over my head. They were great all through school too. When I blew through an entire year's worth of spending money in my first two months on my own, they freaked out for a minute, then put me on a $50/week budget to take me through the rest of the school year. $50 a week does not go too far when you're paying for groceries, entertainment, clothes, eating out, etc. but it was the reality check I needed to get myself back on track.

Today's plan includes making an Excel spreadsheet (*TURBODORK TURBODORK TURBODORK TURBODORK*) outlining all my monthly expenses vs. my take-home pay. Meanwhile, I'm going to track EVERY random purchase this month, from my $2.25 grande dark roast at Starbucks to the Walmart 2-for-$10 DVD bin rampages to the 75 celebrity gossip and decorating magazines I seem to buy each month.

Ideally I'd like to start putting 10% of my income into savings, 10% into an emergency fund, and 10% into a wedding and house account. Yuck yuck yuck. The word "savings" makes me shudder.

Spending is so much more fun. I can see the mall from my bedroom window as I write this and I just want to go to Aldo.

I'll likely never be a rich bitch at this rate but I'll certainly do what I can!

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  1. You're doing awesome just even thinking about budgeting and starting off with $0 debt!!!

    I created my own spreadsheet too, and ended up loving it so much because it was all automated and it made me want to save and clear my $60k in debt even quicker.

    Fabulously Broke in the City
    Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver...