Thank you for your kind words while I wasn’t feeling well. I am feeling much better today and am trying to play “catch-up.”
For years and years (and I mean years) I used Quicken to manage my money. I was diligent about keeping track of what I spent. I had sub-categories–such as, “groceries: chocolate”– that my brother-the-tax-accountant would laugh at whenever I handed over my file to him every year. My rationale was that I wanted to know how I was spending my money! I had a budget!
The problem is, I didn’t even look at the totals. I didn’t have a budget. I had software that enabled me to become disconnected from my spending habits. Before online banking was available, I simply printed out checks using Quicken. Kabing, kabang, kaboom, I was done with my bill-paying for the month in 15 minutes and I didn’t even have to bother looking at the bills!
Another problem is that I wasn’t trying to control my spending. I was just keeping track of it. Why? I wasn’t using the information I was collecting.
And then one day, a few years ago, I stopped to look at those bills. Ouch. Big ouch. As in “holy s, er, cow” ouch.
That’s when I started managing my money like my grandmother.
I wish I could say that by taking that step I am now wealthy and living in a big mansion. I’m not. It will take a little while longer to clean up the financial mess that I made. However, I am grateful that I had the “ouch moment” when I did. It put us in a better financial situation when my husband and I were both laid off from our respective jobs a month apart from each other and it has enabled us to pursue our dreams instead of having to panic (although, I confess, I’ve had moments of panic).
Ever the teacher that I am, I have put together a “Tips: How to Manage Your Money Like Your Grandmother” guide based on what I’ve learned on my journey toward fiscal integrity and peace of mind. Basically, subscribers will receive an email every day for about 30 days with a tip and a short description of how to put the tip into practice. And the best part is that it is free! Click here for more information.
This gem of a film from 1950 explains to us why people from all income levels should create a budget.