Sunday, March 6, 2016

Budgeting: Calories & Money

About a month ago I started a Financial Peace University course. I was tired of not having much money left at the end of each paycheck. Tired of worrying if I would be able to buy groceries or if I could pay my trainer or if I would bounce checks. I was tired of living in fear of not having enough money.

I began the journey with hope that it would teach me how to live on a budget and get out of debt. In the first few weeks I've learned that some of the things I was trying to do were on the path to financial freedom, I just wasn't doing them in the right order.

I started looking at budgeting my money, having a plan, and making cutbacks in some areas (giving up certain things for a while) as being very similar to my weight loss journey. I was going to give up certain things, temporarily, in order to achieve a greater goal. With my weight loss it turns out I didn't miss as much some of those things I had given up. I'm curious how it will feel to give up some financial things in order to achieve the greater goal of being debt free and better managing my money? I'm excited to find out!

This week I began my attempt to live on my budget - to take it out of the theoretical realm and put it into practice. I had written my budget the week before, had my budget buddy look over it with me, and I felt ready. A little scared, after all, Dave had said that the first month wouldn't be perfect, it'll take a few months to sort out, but I was ready to try.

I went to the bank and got cash for three areas of my budget that I wanted to try doing envelopes with and then I went off to the grocery store with my grocery envelop. I had my shopping list and I was careful to only buy what was on my list - after all, I was on a budget and didn't want to run out of money and not have anything left for next week's shopping. I checked out and eagerly paid my cash because I was a super shopper! I logged my spending on the envelop when I got home and felt proud of myself.

....until I remembered the next day (during yoga class!) that I had forgotten a few things. I decided to stop by Walmart on my way home and pick them up. It wasn't until I was in the checkout line that I realized I didn't have my grocery envelop with me. I swiped my debit card to pay and immediately went home and balanced out the cash in the envelop to make it work.

I keep thinking of this budgeting as I did with my calories. I'm getting picky about how I spend them (calories and dollars)

because I know I only have so many to use. If I went over on my calories I had to compensate by exercising more or face the consequences of the scale and my body's feelings. If I go over on one area of my budget I have to face the reality of bounced checks or not having money for other areas. And I'm ready to be done with that! Time for a new, more financially healthy me.

In case you can't tell... I'm sold out on this Financial Peace University and wanting to give it my 100%. No shortcuts to my health- physically and financially.

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