Saturday, August 23, 2008

Make A Plan To Avoid These Mistakes In The Future

Because I have been off track with our finances lately, I have decided to 1.) admit my mistakes, 2.) forgive myself for my mistakes, and 3.) make a plan to avoid these mistakes in the future.

#1 and #2 were discussed in previous posts.

Here is #3, my plans to avoid the mistakes in the future.


Plan #1 To Avoid This Mistake in the Future (using credit card)

- One of the first things I used my credit card to purchase was clothes for myself for a trip with my sisters to visit my parents.

The first possible solution is just to become more aware; to realize that being with my sisters and mother can be dangerous for me. They are shoppers and spenders and I am likely to lean toward those behaviors when I am with them.

Another possible solution is to plan ahead better for our next trip to Florida. I had entirely too many clothes for this trip. Much more than I needed. Next year, I need to plan out a wardrobe well inadvance of the trip. I can plan (budget for) some new pieces to work with some old pieces and keep the budget down while still feeling good about my clothes. In addition, I will be returning several articles of clothing that I didn't wear and now feel that I don't need. This should come to at least $60.00.

Another possible solution is for me to start a diet and exercise routine. My youngest daughter will be starting kindergarten this year, so I will have 5 mornings a week without any children. This could be a good time for me to plan to lose some weight, which will make me feel better about my appearance. The things to be careful about with this will be to not spend a lot of extra money for the diet/exersize, and not to spend a lot of money on a new wardrobe in a smaller size. At the very least, figure out how much extra money might be needed for these things and budget for them!

Plan #2 To Avoid This Mistake In the Future (using credit card)

- The next thing I used my credit card for was to pay the vet bill for my cat.

The first solution for this mistake is to become better at budgeting. I had known that the cat would need this appointment for 6 months, so this expense should have been thought of and budgeted for.

One way to implement this change is to start next year's budget now. This way, as any unexpected expenses come up this year, I can budget for them for next year. Less surprised means a more successful budget.

- The last thing I used my credit card to purchase was back to school items for my kids.

Like the cat's vet bill, this mistake was caused partly because of poor planning. I did not budget sufficiently for these expenses. As noted about, the solutions will be to become better at budgeting and to start next year's budget now, increasing the amount budgeted for back to school items.


Plan #1 To Avoid This Mistake In The Future

Clearly I need to pay more attention to our finances. My first plan to achieve this goal is to re-take the Financial Peace University class. I have already signed up. The class starts on September 18th and I am very excited. This will force me to spend at least an hour and a half each week focusing on our finances.

My next plan is to make a commitment to focus on finances at least once a day. Blogging, reading blogs, going on financial forums, checking our account balances - do at least one of these things every day.


Plan #1 To Avoid This Mistake In The Future

To make sure we pay what we plan to our debts I am going to make our debt payments at the beginning of the month. This way we will be sure the debts get their full amount. If we run short near the end of the month it will have to come out of another category.


Plan #1 To Avoid This Mistake In The Future

I think a combination of better budgeting and focusing on our finances will help me avoid this mistake in the future.


These are some great plans. Wish me luck in sticking to them!