once again, you all seriously delivered on financial advice on that last post. i appreciate every piece of advice! it seems that styles on this particular topic vary widely, from logging every receipt to using programs that give you a more broad-strokes overview (mint.com seems to be quite popular) to stevo's simple approach:
to be honest, this one sounded the most like me when it comes to the green stuff!
one might think that with my detailed schedules and specific plans that i would enjoy a project such as tracking and allocating expenses. but i don't -- AT ALL. i was thinking about it as the comments rolled in yesterday, and i feel very differently about money than i do about time. part of me thinks that it may be because i have enough of it right now to do the things i want to do, but then again, there have been far leaner times when i (unfortunately) treated money pretty much the same way.
as an elementary school child, my little sister carefully tracked her savings while i blew my allowance (when it wasn't being withheld from me for neglecting to practice the piano, a messy room, or generalized bad behavior) on paperback crack. in high school, it was ski outings and gap jeans. and in college -- well, that was pretty much when disaster struck (ie: my first credit card).
don't worry -- i've actually reformed a lot since then! i never ever run a balance on any card but pay in full every month. we do put some $ into savings and retirement. but my overall attitude is still follow your inner conscience, give or take, and things will come out okay. and so far that's been fine! but i am aware that when our family expands, things WILL change. and perhaps in preparation for this, maybe i need to be a little less freewheeling about it all, even if it turns out to be a bit of a challenge.
anonymous, you are probably quite right (also, for my sake, i'd better hope and pray that anthro does not come out with a line of babywear). and i suppose this is why i even brought all this up!
[also, clarification: NO, I AM NOT PREGNANT (even though i'd like to be)! i hope this was not suggested in the last post. i promise,
anyway! so, it was quite interesting to think about this topic yesterday. josh and i talked about it, and i think we are going to go with an approach towards the holistic side, as it just tends to fit our financial styles better.
■ i may try mint (or just analyze credit card statements from the past few months) to just get a picture of how we are spending now.
■ but really, even just thinking about it there are just two main areas that i can already see that we need to improve on: eating out and (gulp) clothing purchases.
■ and actually, i don't necessarily think my clothing buys are really that bad; however, they could be better planned out, and i think it would be best to give myself a monthly clothing 'allowance' rather than to let this particular aspect of spending just flow loosely.
■ but eating out is seriously something we need to work on. i love restaurants, but the bills (and calories, i'm sure) add up FAST!
therefore: $ goals for this month will include
1. attempting to limit restaurant eating to once/week (and choosing more reasonable establishments as a general rule)
2. spending some time just sort of going over our finances and making some more concrete savings plans for the future (how much to put in retirement, college fund, day care fund, etc)
3. paying attention to the joy that can come out of cheap or free things!
off to the gym & the hospital! i just blew my AM time budget writing this post (i actually let myself sleep in a little more since there is no clinic to rush to -- and i was out having a WILD* night with one of the other peds endo fellows + the newest attending).
* okay, it wasn't all that wild. but we did whip out the testicle beads at dinner!
(no, we really didn't! instead, we discussed lab values and various DKA management styles and how happy we are that we don't have to draw blood on kids anymore. and i didn't get paged the whole time.)