Some Good Habits – Financial

I started making some changes in 2007 and they’ve been working well for me so far.   I’ve divided them up into several categories (financial, household, simplifying life, etc.) and I’ll be writing about these in the next few posts.  These habits are nothing fancy and in fact I was inspired by many bloggers who are doing similar things so I thought I’d write about them here and who knows, maybe they will inspire others.  These are just some things that I’ve been trying and I’m still tweaking many of them.  Feel free to offer suggestions for improvement.

Good Financial Habits

1. I finally started thinking about retirement last year.  Before that, I was too young and dumb to think about it.  Retirement seems like such a long ways off and if I’m not even sure what I’m doing next week, how am I supposed to plan decades ahead?  Luckily, my work has been contributing some money automatically into my retirement account so I’m not as behind as I could be.  Now I’m maxing out my retirement contributions to catch up.  The magic of compound interest is in the time so it’s important to start early.  I have a couple of cousins who will be entering the working world soon.  If I could only give them one piece of advice, I’d tell them to start putting money into their retirement accounts right away and take advantage of any company matches (duh, free money). 

2. I’ve been tracking all of my spending with SpendingDiary for the past two months and I’m surprised at how little bits of spending here and there can really add up.  I’m a natural saver so I’m pretty aware of my spending already but when you actually put in the effort to track everything, you’ll immediately see what areas are draining your wallet. 

3. I’m working on creating streams of alternative incomes.  I started selling books on Amazon (whoa, I just sold 2 today!) to get over my mental block about selling on line.  Hopefully I’ll be brave enough to sell on Ebay and Etsy soon!  I’m also hoping that I can work for a carpenter on the weekends because I’d love to learn some more carpentry skills.

4. I used to be good about making my own meals and bringing lunch to work but then I got lazy and started getting lunch from the cafeteria and ordering takeouts for dinner.  No more!  I’m back to making my own meals and that’s good for the wallet AND good for the waistline. 

5. I’m starting to use the stockpiling strategy for my grocery staples.  For example, instead of grabbing a few cans of chicken stock when it’s half off, I now buy enough to last me until the next time it’s half off.   


3 Responses to “Some Good Habits – Financial”

  1. 1 DVD Replication January 9, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    I had never seen that Spending Diary website before. That looks so useful. Thanks for the tip.

  2. 2 heather January 9, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    hey thanks for the spendingdiary link, i’ll look into that. i’ve been experimenting with online financial tools like mint, wesabe, and buxfer. so far i like wesabe best but i still don’t have it running as smoothly as i like. i’ve been trying to do a financial overhaul, too – especially because i seem to accidentally overspend every month even though i should technically have a surplus. i suck at finances. and funny you should mention how you are changing the way you shop – i am doing the same thing but in completely the opposite way. i used to just stockpile stuff but then i realized i let it all go to waste eventually cause i don’t eat it and it sits in my cupboard for months. this past couple weeks i have been trying to use up/give away all these items and from now on buying only the freshest stuff based on a specific menu i have planned for that week. it’s going to be interesting to see how it all pans out…

  3. 3 ellen January 9, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    The stockpiling is definitely a new thing for me so I don’t know how it’s going to turn out yet. There are some staples that I always get like chickpeas, sugar, and chicken stock so I think it’s safe for me to stock up on those. There’s a school of thought that says to only buy food that’s on your meal planning list. I’m sort of doing the opposite and trying to come up with meals from what’s on sale at the store. 😛

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