My Money Tree Runeth

Money, money, money. The joys of getting paid to the pits of never having enough. Has someone invented a money tree yet? Because seriously, I think it would be, well, fan freakin-tasically awesome.

For the longest time, I was afraid to look money in the eye. Why? I don’t know. It held some looming power over me, it frightened me, it made me nervous. Well, once you finally brave the giant and stare it in the eye, and begin to think of living with the means you have, it’s like a curled up flurry pup in your lap. Ok, maybe not. But! *enter dramatic pause here* If you take the time, energy and strength to face it, it’s no longer this scary frightening looming figure forever there.

If you take the time to look at it in its entirety, create a plan and then stick to your plan, you might just be shocked to see that it’s not that scary; you may, after all, be able to do what you had hoped to do. Say, plan and pay for a wedding for instance.

The fairytale weddings may be nice to look at, but honestly, after exhausting my daily pintrest quota, bridal magazine purchases and waking up from the dream of splendid bliss, they aren’t all that attractive. At least they aren’t to me. And I am blessed with this realization.

Georgey-boy Stare Down.
I finally bit the bullet and faced money head-on. I looked at my incomes, figured out my monthly (or bi-weekly) income and didn’t die. I then looked at my expenses, thanked my parents again for letting me live with them, and broke down what were absolute spendages and what simply were not.

Be-Friend Excel.
Frighting and often times leaving me bewildered, Excel and I were not friends. Maybe merely acquaintances, definitely not friends. Well, I took the time to create what is my new found love of live – spreadsheets! Take what was mental and break it down one-by-one; learned a little formulating and that my folks, is a plan!

De-Friend Shopping.
It’s possible. You will survive. Look at living below your means as a new challenge. You can’t avoid certain expenses, bills, or even a few treats. But you can avoid the hobby in itself. It’s simple. Don’t shop now; spend more later. Shop now, still spend more later and – be in debt. Rethink your shopping experience. Shop selectively, bargain-hunt and go ahead, treat yourself once and a while.

Have a Plan.
One you figure out your income, your expenses, a way to organize it and what you will need to do and stop doing, you can correlate it into a plan; a functional plan at that. Be reasonable and honest. Start small and build up. Know how much you need or want to save each month. What I’ve done is broken down my paycheck into wedding fund, savings, bill 1, bill 2 etc. I know that each month I am saving x amount and paying x amount. Any remaining money – yes, I am lucky enough to have some extra. Also remember I am lucky enough to work two jobs to gift myself with extra money each month. My part time job = spending money. My full time job = saving, expenses and wedding money.

Be Aware & Timely.
Be aware of how much you need to save each month, have a plan on how you, and only you, will do it and act urgently. For example. I know I need to save a certain % of my paycheck; come paycheck Friday, not only am I checking to make sure I got paid (and paid correctly) but I’m taking action and moving the money from my pool to my dedicated wedding fund. Over and done with.

Normally, I’d be out of here long before I got to this point. Too much money talk and I’m out, frustrated, down for the count. Well, facing my moneys has helped to generate a sense of ease, maybe even a little comfort when it comes to talking money. I didn’t get here over night. It’s taken practice, some hiding and a lot of deep breathes.

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