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Tag Archives: Budget

November Account Review

Each month I do a full account review of my finances.

I review every dollar I made and every dollar I spent.

Everything goes in a category.  Each category gets totaled.

Sounds kind of boring, right?

Except it isn’t.

It’s mind-blowingly fascinating.

Astounding.

Even though I plan in advance with my budget, balance my checkbook daily and generally keep good tabs on things, there’s almost always one line item that shocks me.

What I think I’m doing with my money and what I’m actually doing with it are often very different.

And it’s awesome.

I get to discover on paper how my money is working for me and how it’s working against me.

I get to learn about myself and my money on deep and rich level.

Most importantly, I get to decide if I want to keep engaging in the same behaviors or change them.

To make it even more fun, I’m going to share what I discover with you.

I’m going to tell you what surprised me and I’m going to show you how I change my thoughts around my spending to create a different result. This is where I get really, real with you.  You’re going to see how a money coach coaches herself around money.

Fun, right?

November Account Review:

Top 3 Spends

  • Mortgage
  • Food
  • Cell Phones

Biggest Surprise

Food: $1400 – Almost equally divided between eating in and eating out.

Thoughts: 

The single greatest thing I’ve discovered this month is that my thoughts about not wanting to cook are preventing me from coming up with a plan around meals.

Not only do I end up spending more on expensive, last minute food items, I actually get less enjoyment from the whole process of eating.

When it comes to making dinner, I’m often scattered, hungry and annoyed.  Not a pretty picture.

If I want to maximize my joy from food and my money, I’ve got to think about the whole thing differently.

Things to consider:

How much value am I getting from this spend?

Not as much as I could be.  I haven’t necessarily been making high quality foods or having remarkable dining out experiences.  For $1400 I expect more than what I’ve been giving myself.

Could I have the same satisfaction/enjoyment around food and spend less money?  Why/Why not?  

Absolutely.  I throw out a lot of food and am generally disorganized when I go to the store. I end up buying food that I don’t enjoy that much because it’s easy/fast. If I planned in advance for the week I could have foods I enjoyed more and spend less money.

What do I think is stopping me from planning/organizing?

I don’t really like to cook so I don’t put much planning into it.  It’s funny because not planning actually makes me dislike the entire process.  It’s time to eat and I realize I don’t know what to make.  I end up going for what’s fast and easy vs. what I enjoy.

The biggest motivator for me is that I want to enjoy my food and my money.

I’m playing around with the thought: planning my meals in advance helps me enjoy my food and my money.

It’s totally true and it helps me get excited about a plan for the week.  I know I’ll end up eating better and having more money.

Goal: Reduce food expenses to $1000 a month.

Put your comments in the comments section below. Specifically answer these two questions:

  1. Are there any categories where you’re spending more than you realized?
  2. What tips do you have for maximizing your food budget?
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Holiday Spending

For years I celebrated the holidays by spending money.

I’d buy gifts for everyone I knew.

I’d shop, shop, shop all season long.

I was trying to buy holiday happiness for everyone, including myself.

Of course, I couldn’t.  It didn’t matter how many presents were under the tree.

The holidays were the holidays.

Sometimes happy.  Sometimes not so much.

I’ve since realized that happiness has nothing to do with spending money.

Yes, this sounds silly.  And even though I’m smart, it wasn’t always obvious.

This year I want to challenge you to find your holiday happiness without spending a dime.

That doesn’t mean you can’t buy gifts.

But before you buy, take some time to figure out what you really want for Christmas.

Do you want to be happier?

Do you want more connection?

Do you want more fun?

Figure out the feeling first.

Then decide how you can get that feeling without buying gifts.

For yourself or others.

It is possible. And it’s one of the best presents you’ll get all year.

Leave your comments and insights below. 

Email me your questions on money to christy.lambert@areyouthriving.com

If you like this,  share it on facebook or twitter!

If you want some help creating a holiday spending plan and connecting with what you really want this year, join the Holiday SOS coaching experience. 

It’ll change your relationship with holiday spending forever.  Click Here & Get Started

 

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Can you afford it?

You really want to buy something, sign up for a class, go on a trip, and the numbers don’t support it.

It’s a drag to think you really want something and then tell yourself you can’t afford it.

So stop lying to yourself.

When you make up your mind that you want something, there’s almost always a way to get it. You could sell everything you own, you could work two additional jobs, you could cash out your 401k.

But you’re not.

There’s a reason you’re choosing not to afford it.

The only reason you ever want to buy something is because you think buying it will make you feel a certain way.

  • You think participating in a class will make you feel confident or connected.
  • You think a new pair of shoes will make you feel sexy.
  • You think going to Greece will make you feel relaxed and free.

And it might.  But you don’t have to buy those things to get those feelings.

The same is true when you choose not to afford something.

The only reason you ever choose not to buy something is because you think having something else will make you feel better.

  • You think paying off your bills will make you feel responsible.
  • You think having money in your savings account will make you feel secure.
  • You think not working a second job will make you feel free.

And it might.  But it’s possible to buy the item you want and still get those feelings.

The only way to really know if you can afford something is to know what you value and why.

What do you value most: the item or what you’ll get by not buying it?

If something is important to you, stop telling yourself you can’t have it.  Instead, brainstorm creative ways you could choose to afford it. Check in and see if you’re willing to do those things and understand why/why not?

Affordability isn’t just about dollars and cents.  It’s about value. And you always get to choose what you value.

Leave your comments and insights below. 

Email me your questions on money to christy.lambert@areyouthriving.com

If you like this,  share it on facebook or twitter!

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Money Monday – Budgets

I have a confession. I used to hate the word budget. I tried to avoid it at all costs.

It made me feel restricted and deprived. Here were the numbers, on paper, telling me all the things I couldn’t have.

Until I realized, I had it all wrong.

For the first time in a long time, I am choosing to follow a budget.

In a prior life this would have been unimaginable and it would have felt awful.

Now it excites me. I feel like a kid in a candy store.

I have a budget I love.

It’s helping me get really clear about what I want.

It’s helping me create intimacy with myself and my money.

It’s helping me be really conscious about what I”m doing with my money.

It’s helping me keep the big picture in mind.

It’s helping me see I don’t need to spend money to feel good.

I’ve realized budgets aren’t about what you can’t have.

They are 100% about what you can have.

They are about owning your choices.  For your money and your life.

Leave your comments and insights below. 

Email me your questions on money to christy.lambert@areyouthriving.com

If you like this,  share it on facebook or twitter!

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