Goals update: Balanced!

checkVery recently, I made great progress in meeting one of my overall PF goals.  I pledged to become more organized, and that is one reason I started this blog.  I use it to keep track of what I’ve done and to plan what I’m going to do.  I haven’t been posting publicly lately, but the private entries have kept me from forgetting my specific goals.

The progress I made was indeed an organizational feat tackled.  One of the first things I wanted to learn to do when I started watching my finances was balance my checkbook.  I bet that even people who don’t do much else in the way of PF do balance their checkbook.  For some reason, I could never understand exactly how to do it, probably because I tracked my checking accounts online.  When I tracked them online, I never got a matchup in my PF software.

Well this is a problem no more!  Each penny is accounted for, and to celebrate my clean slate, I made myself a tracking booklet to keep in my purse.  Now I have no excuse for not tracking my debit card purchases!

The importance of organization: Clutter is overwhelming!

I’ve been trying to not only save money but also simplify my life. To do that, I’ve been going through the clutter and donating, selling on eBay, and gifting some of the stuff that I’ve accumulated. What’s scary is that I don’t have that much stuff, I just hold on to it past the point of its usefulness. My main goals are attacking the clothing and paper piles. I think organizing my papers is going to take the longest.

While I do have a filing cabinet, I have been lax in setting up a filing system and maintaining the few folders I do have. Seeing stacks of papers is starting to stress me out. Now, I’m not a neat freak at all. I don’t spazz if someone forgets to put something away right this very minute. But if I have an ongoing project (paper stacks) that sits too long, it begins to bother me.

The clothing piles are also building up. I’ve been a bit more attentive to those, but I still have a few piles: to be laundered, to be donated, to pack away for the season, to mend, and to refashion. I did drop off a bag of stuff at Goodwill a few days ago, and it felt so nice to have that little bit of space back. I just need to hold on to that feeling as motivation!

Short-Term Goals: Paycheck Management Edition

Since I finished my latest set of short-term goals, I decided to get right back up on the organization horse and make a new list. It was so refreshing knowing I’ve actually taken steps to organize my finances. Although the first list took me a while, I know that having a list helped. The list kept me from forgetting what goals I wanted to complete. Crossing each item off was truly a motivation to keep going. Progress is especially sweet when it’s measurable. 🙂

  • Decide how to divide each paycheck before bills (percentages) Done!
  • Distribute my July paychecks accordingly
  • Update my starter budget
  • Determine how much leftover money I have per paycheck (approximate)

As before, I will cross off my goals as they are completed. Maybe someday, I’ll get around to defining and posting some long-term goals.

Update: Short-term goals

As I was moving towards a focus on PF (both personally and as a topic on this blog), I made a list of some of my short-term goals. Then, a month later, I updated the list. Although I have been working towards completing each of these goals, I’ve neglected the list itself for a few months. I’m happy to show off my progress.

Short-term goals

Close one checking account (from previous school, unused)

Invest the money from that account Invested for the first time

Do FAFSA

Post about ING (link)

Organize statements Well, they’re not perfectly organized the way I want them, but it’s an improvement.

Looks like that list is finished! Wow, what a great feeling! Of course, there’s more I want to do to get organized, especially now that I have a paycheck coming in. I’ve been tinkering with MS Money, and it’s mostly set up. My budget needs some tweaking yet.