"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Attitude Changes

It's been a full month now since I made some radical choices as to how I was going to manage my money. It's working. It's amazing how it's working. I'm freeeeeeeeeeee! Ahem, to a point. :-)

A month ago, my credit card balance was at a 0 balance as I had just paid it off in full, like I'd been doing for a few months. Then I had an Incident With the Car and a few unplanned events and the balance skyrocketed.

My 'normal' reactions would have been to:

a) panic;
b) say "Okay, I blew it, again, might as well start living the vida loca, again."

Instead, I used my financial planning software to map out my income for the month of October as well as my fixed expenses. October has been an unusual month in that I have three pays. I also knew that a cheque for overtime would be forthcoming this month, but I didn't count on it (yet it arrived 'on schedule').

When my credit card bill for September expenses came in, I looked at my info in Buddi to figure out how I could pay it off in full before the bill came due and I would begin to accrue interest on the September expenses. I paid off the bill in full a week before it was due. I've now done the same for the remaining portion of the bill (MUCH smaller, thankfully), due a month today.

This has meant that I've worked a huge attitude shift, in that I've lived a pretty miserly month without my usual whining of 'oh, I'm so deprived, I'll just go rack up credit card debt.' Instead, I've come out of this proud to have survived two unexpected events without racking up bad interest and by using my 'regular' cash flow so I wouldn't have to touch my 'recurring' and/or 'emergency' funds! AND I've contributed to all my savings and investment accounts, on schedule! October sure was tight, and November doesn't look much better (except, of course, for an already paid for jaunt to Halifax) since I'll need to start looking at buying holiday gifts at some point, but I'm in better shape financially today than I was a month ago!

At least, all these unexpected expenses in late September and early October mean that I'll be eligible for 50$ in gift certificates from Amazon, so I can look forward to a few treats in November. :-)

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