Well, it’s Valentine’s Day (otherwise known as the BIGGEST hallmark bullshit holiday ever invented) and I’m sitting here having just had an amazing Galentine’s – also a bullshit made up holiday that has been absorbed by hallmark in a Blob-like motion…
And realizing that yes, I am single. On Valentine’s Day. Again.
AND IT IS WONDERFUL.
I can treat myself to a nice long soak in the tub; a good cry over PS I Love You, which, less-than-coincidentally I picked up from the library; Stuff my face with leftover apple pie; binge-watch the sex-and-overdone-gore Spartacus on Netflix…
You know, the important things…like really, really attractive men doing THIS:
No? Just me?
Anyway, on to better things to post about today!
I’ve got two excellent articles that I read this morning over coffee, and I basically can’t seem to stop myself from sharing them (like, really, all over the place), and we’re getting back to that financial reset Week 2.5, because I seriously suck at keeping track of time. Here we go!
Financial Reset 2016
So, since you previously assembled all this information about your spending habits and your income in the past, you should be looking at a pretty realistic version of a budget without actually having done much number crunching. Time to move on to the planning portion. But first – more number crunching!
(I promise, all this math will pay dividends *financial speak for REWARDS* so just bear with me as you pull up your calculator function on your phone, or y’know, a calculator)
You should (God, do I hate using that word, but f*ck it, you really should) have assembled the info for the remaining other items on that first list:
- Savings accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Debts (loans, credit cards, etc)
This is going to look SUPER different for everyone, but in the interest of examples and disclosure, here’s a rough ballpark on mine;
- Savings accounts: AHAHAHAHA…. $0.47
- Retirement accounts/CDs: $1200
- Debt: $23,000 (all of which is student loans)
DON’T, let me repeat, DON’T let yourself get run down, disheartened, dissappointed, or really even all that upset about the numbers you’ve got. See them, acknowledge them and the unpleasant sensation in the back of your throat/pit of your stomach, and then kindly – or rudely – shove those feelings out the door.
This picture we just assembled is what the financial world refers to as assets and liabilities.
Assets are things that improve your financial picture (Savings, Retirement accounts, and other investments), while liabilities (student loans, credit cards, and other forms of debt) open you up to risk, and generally make living not paycheck-to-paycheck harder. And yes, I can hear those of you who know a little some-some about money wincing at the oversimplification, but we’re going with simple because simple is ALWAYS better for my brain. So, remember;
- Asset – anything that improves your ability to be financially healthy/happy
- Liability – anything that DOES NOT improve your ability to be financially sound/stable
AND THAT’S IT.
So now, you know how much money you make (bonus points if you went back and did that for more than one month) and how much money you spend. You know what you have to start working with in your financial artshop to paint that beautiful life we all carry around inside our heads. Next week we’re going to dive right into the nuts and bolts of changing that picture – just for the now – and talk about a little thought process called ‘Minding the Gap’.
In the meantime, be sure to give this article a peek, about how to feel rich no matter what your bank account says – it was originally posted as an article about jobs, but I think that by asking yourself these five questions, you can really learn a lot about your life, your goals, and where you want to be.
Also check out this advice on how to set real, effective habit changes according to Sun Tzu.
Until next time…