The New Year’s Resolution that Scares Me Most

I’m terrible at budgeting.  It’s a hard thing to admit, given that I’m supposed to be some sort of expert on financial stuff.  I’ve tried apps and books and spreadsheets and everything else you can imagine.  And I always struggle.  I understand the concepts.  I know what I’m supposed to do.  I’m supposed to categorize things and track things and spend less than I earn.  It’s easy in theory and really hard in practice.

I think my big road block is that it’s a really big thing to tackle.  Tools and concepts make it easier, but I still just have to do the work.  And I’ve made it my resolution to do it this year.  But my plan of attack is different this time around.  I’m breaking it down into steps.  This month I am focused on one thing only:  tracking my expenses to see where my money is going.  After that is done I’ll be better able to analyze where I am overspending so I can shave my outgoing cash flow.  Then I’ll build the budget spreadsheet from there.  Then I’ll focus on paying debt.  Then I’ll focus on increasing income.  Then I’ll focus on saving more.  And so on…

It’s a lot of steps and the whole process is going to take a long time.  A very long time.  Months.  Years.  Until retirement, probably.  But starting is the hardest part.  I’ve always done it wrong.  When I tried to do all of the things at the same time it became overwhelming and I either failed or gave up.  I have promised myself not to let that happen this time.  I’m going to take baby steps.  And it’s going to be hard.  But now that I’ve put it out there, I’m accountable to you for this project.  And I’ll keep you updated on my progress.  Hopefully we all can learn some things together.

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