In the course of my work I write a lot about budgeting, personal finance, marketing and other basic small business topics. This means that I have a CRAP TON of knowledge about how to create a budget, how to help yourself live with that budget, how to make that budget stretch really far, how to check and repair credit scores and how to set up a small business (as a single entrepreneur or as someone who wants to say, open a store of some kind) so that it runs smoothly and turns a profit. I am well versed in this stuff and love to help other people out with it and am one of those pushy people who, when they hear people talking about any of these topics has to almost physically restrain myself from jumping in and taking over the conversation and imparting all of my hard-researched wisdom whether you want it or not.
I’m the same way with coffee, which is always fun because it’s a well known fact that I do not drink coffee.
I say all of this up front so that you will understand why it is of note that this is the first month that I have ever taken any of this knowledge and applied it to my own life. For the first time in my entire life I have a budget plotted out and I’m sticking to it. I’ve stuck to it for the last three weeks and am hoping that the satisfaction I have about this will turn itself into momentum to keep moving forward with this whole budgeting thing.
This month is the rough month on the budget. This is the month where I’m catching up on the bills that were allowed to slide over the last six months since the move. So I’m needing to earn more so that I can get as far as I want to go by the first of February. Add in the eye exam I finally scheduled and then the glasses I’m going to need to buy in a couple of weeks…my inner workaholic has never felt so sated.
The problem, though, is that because how much I earn is almost completely within my control I’m starting to get a little bit greedy. I want the number for my savings account to get bigger! And then bigger! And what if I sacrifice this to put that money in savings instead! Food schmood, that’s why ramen was invented, right? No joke, my eye exam only got scheduled because I finally realized that I can only see marginally better with my glasses on than with them off (mostly because the glare reduction coating is wearing off of the lenses so while my glasses look kind of awesome and steam punky, they are not actually doing the job they need to do: correcting and repairing my vision).
It’s also led to a chronic “just one more” syndrome with work. I finish the work I need to finish to keep my earnings on track for my budget and then think “I can do one more. What if nothing comes in tomorrow or next week or there’s a slow day four months from now? I should do the extra work just in case.” And there’s logic to that with freelance being what it is, sure, but at the same time I do not know my “okay enough” point….until the next morning when I wake up and watching the frost melt off the grass on the front lawn feels like a monumental mental effort.
I’m working on regulating this. I’m working distracting my workaholic tendencies with hobbies (woo! yarn! woo! reading!) but it occurred to me today that maybe some of you might actually find this financial journey I’m on interesting? Would you be turned off if I wrote about it? Money is, after all–like politics and religion–one of those things we’re not supposed to talk about in polite society…