I'm blessed to work for a company that strives to keep their employees' best interest in mind.
In an effort to promote wellness, they have a Wellness Program, encouraging employees to exercise more and eat better.
In an effort to encourage community involvement, they offer 2 paid Volunteer Work Days a year.
And this year, they've offered us the chance to participate in a Financial Wellness class.
Seeing as I already eat healthier than anyone I know and I do volunteer at the church with the youth program (not that I couldn't do more)... the financial wellness is where I've needed the biggest nudge. And this program has been just the nudge I've needed.
I admit, for some time now, I've tended to live with more of a spirit of resignation that one of intention. And I want to change that. This year, I've determined to live more intentionally. With goals and a purpose. With hope. And renewed resolve.
So, this financial program came just at the right time.
I must say, money has never been much of a driving force for me. I'm glad to have a decent job and grateful for the income it provides. But, as long as my bills are paid and I have a little left over to 'play with'... I'm good. I believe the more you have, the more you spend and the more you have to spend, the less the stuff you spend it on means (to some degree).
And I hate math. I can do it. I just don't enjoy looking at numbers. Let alone crunching them.
But, look ~ bubbles! I can do bubbles. :)
This is my budget, in bubbles. The program they've set us up on takes any of your bank accounts, credit card accounts and so forth and it pulls them together to show how you're spending your money. They have other formats, but I like the bubbles. All I had to do was go in and set specific monthly budget costs for each category and it shows what I've spent and tracks when I come close to the budgeted amount. Or, in some cases, gone over (hence the red bubbles).
We took the introduction class on March 7th - just over 10 days ago. And I have been ridiculously good so far. I think, for me, just the awareness and accountabilty was the kick in the pants that I needed. Seeing all that red in February was incentive enough to see how March could shape up. And seeing as I spend mostly through my credit card, my changes won't really reflect until April... but I think I'm on the right track! (Shopping in still red just because I haven't set a budget for that, because it's so vague. Starting wtih tracking the others first before I decide what would be reasonable for that category.)
Thankfully, I don't have any outstanding debt (which is a lot more than most folks my age can say). I just need to be better about saving instead of squandering. After all, our instructor reminded us that: Saving is merely delayed spending. So, might as well stop squandering so I can spend it on something I can look forward to! :)