A Final Tally

20 Feb

ImageWell, income tax has come and gone.  Overall, I am pleased with how I handled things, but I sure did fall back into my old habits.  I handled most of my money pretty well, but there was some spending that occurred that shouldn’t have. Each dollar should have had a purpose, and I allowed some of my dollars to just be spent. 

I won’t go into specific details about how much I spent that I shouldn’t have.  I did make a final tally for myself, which is something I’ve never done before. I also reminded myself what I could have done with that money, which is a reminder I desperately need! I think it would have been okay for me to spend some of the money for fun, although my Financial Accountability Partner (FAP) had a different idea.  If I wanted to have spending money, I should have designated a set amount, instead of spending whatever I wanted.  I knew how much I needed to set aside for this expense or for that need.  I have done a better job of sticking to my budget, but I made the mistake of not budgeting every dollar of my income tax.  My FAP asked me when I was going to get back on the wagon.  I told her I was forced to get back on the wagon because my discretionary money has been spent.  I think we’re both relieved!

I’m still amazed at what God does – even if we fall short.  I have been in desperate need of a new pair of running shoes and knew I didn’t want to spend my income tax on it.  I was talking with a friend of mine who offered to help me buy some new shoes.  It was a totally unsolicited offer, and I couldn’t be more grateful.  I can’t wait to run in them!

I did run a 5k last Monday.  I ran it in 30:19, which is 3:00 faster than my first 5k.  My goal after my first 5k was to get below 30:00.  I’m much closer than I expected, especially considering I didn’t train like I wanted to.  I have a couple of 5k races scheduled this year and plan to run in a 10k this summer.  I will keep you posted on my results on the 5k races, and I will also update you on my training for the 10k.  I plan on adding a “racing fee” line on my budget.  Woohoo!

I also received an offer to attend Financial Peace University.  Some awesome people I know offered to sponsor me!  I’m excited to learn more about how to handle my finances.  I think it will be very beneficial to me as I continue to climb this mountain.  I’ve been at the bottom of the mountain for a long time.  I want to get to the peak!  I start my classes on March 4.  I am sure I will have some blog fodder from the classes.  

My main problem with my finances is my spending mindset.  I’ve shared this fact with you before, and it is still a struggle for me.  No class will help with this problem.  What will help is prayer, and a continued effort to shift my focus.  I make my bed to remind myself every morning how important it is to spend correctly.  I listen to Dave Ramsey podcasts to shift the way I think about money, and now I am ready for Financial Peace University!  I will continue to work on this area of my life, until I get it right, and then I will work on it some more!

So, I didn’t handle things perfectly these last two weeks.  But I did improve on bad habits.  I should have some good news coming up in the next couple of weeks, and I am sure I will have plenty to report from Financial Peace University.  Here’s to a new two weeks!

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