Thursday, January 5, 2012

Take Control

The sun has set on 2011 and I'm sitting once more on the bed sorting papers just as I was sitting January of 2010. This year though I've decided on a few changes. I'm taking control. It will be my theme for 2012. I'm going to do an inventory of what I have, what I need, and what I need to do. Plus, goals to better manage all facets of our lives, including our finances, our nutrition, our gift giving, the organization of our belongings, and in general our lives. 

I've had years where I felt our finances were in control and we were gaining. I've had times where I knew just what we had and where it was. I've done much better with the quality of our diets, and planned better for the gifts we give for birthdays and Christmas. I definitely couldn't say that in 2011.

Will this all be accomplished in one year? Probably not, but steps in the right direction are a whole lot better than wondering in a circle in a stupor. I know, that's where I'm at.

As I take control, I'm going to bring you along with me sharing what I know, what I'm going to try, and hopefully, you'll have a few suggestions for me along the way. We are in this world together, it behooves us to help each other. The world wide muddle mess we are all in, is because too many people thought only of themselves instead of reaching out a hand to lift up. And by that I don't mean a hand out which leaves people little better off than where they already are. 
So come along with me, let's add a little sunshine to our future. I'll teach you what I know and you can teach me.

Today, as I'm sorting through all those personal files of papers, sorting out where we are and where we want to be, I'll show you a few management techniques that are tried and true.

I allowed life to get in the way the last couple years. I've felt like we were drifting downward. Our finances, though not in bad shape, aren't quite as healthy as they use to be. Part of the problem is, I'm using a Debit card due to the fact that most of our county businesses won't take checks and I've got to work out a good way of tracking that.

I know the online banking deal is kind of cool but it leaves gaps. Some businesses don't send in your bill to your account for days, and there are those few checks I write for bills out of state. Not to mention the credit card that we pay off each month but still -- I'm not exactly sure where I sit from day to day financially. Kind of unnerving when your funds are limited.

Compound this with the fact that when I do go shopping, I take a truck. It's one of the signs I live in the boondocks and though there are a few small local business, it still leaves a large gap in fulfilling my shopping list. To me, time is money and I'm not going to waste my limited time, and gas money, running back and forth to go shopping, something I don't particularly like to do anyway. Okay, I confess, I do love fabric stores, kitchen stores, and yarn stores. Two of which we don't even have around here and the kitchen store is quite small so you know how often they are a temptation. 

This means my truck bed has a hefty pile of livestock feed in it, along with other things like oil for the car etc. and the back seat of the truck has groceries with other odds and ends squashed in. This equates to hundreds of dollars spent in one shopping trip. Over two hundred at the feed store alone as I try to only go there every two months. In the long run, it saves us money because I don't and probably you don't go to the store and come out with only what's on your list. Come on confess, there are those super bargains you didn't know about and plan for, and if you've the money for it, it's a good thing to pick up.  

This lifestyle does pose a problem though, so I'm working on some tracking plans. Another area is that dratted health insurance company. My word, if they can confuse you into spending your money and not theirs, they'll do it. So I've a few ideas for keeping more of MY money in MY pocket. Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful I have insurance, they can just be a pain. 

 So I'm going back to a a few tried and true programs from the past  along with a few new ideas to deal with present changes.

I'll bring you along with me and maybe together we can take better control of our lives.

My next blog, hopefully today, will be on the first steps to setting up a budget. It's, looking at your past expenses and variable expense.

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