Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March into Money - Day 20

I "live chatted" with my cable company/internet provider today. I'm not yet ready to take the plunge and cancel all my cable, or move to straight internet/Hulu options. While I ponder that option (eeiiieee... not sure if I can let go of traditional cable, but I have a feeling I would love the freedom), I went ahead and cancelled some movie channels which will help reduce my monthly bill.

I'll still consider a complete drop... (maybe)...

Monday, March 19, 2012

March into Money - Day 19

Transferred my two credit card balances to new cards with 0% APR for 15 months. Found the cards through http://www.nerdwallet.com/credit-cards

And, more importantly, set-up a plan to have both cards paid off within 15 months!

Freedom is being free of debt.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March into Money - Day 18

Research update.... just starting on my list of things to do...

Need to do:
1. Call credit cards and ask for better rate
2. Cancel Economist recurring subscription. Read online instead.
3. Reinstate automatic savings transfer
4. Define financial goals - 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 24 months
5. Read the book The Total Money Makeover (ordered used copy)
6. Research more ways to avoid food waste http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/

Ideas for reducing spending:
1. Find a less expensive hair stylist
2. Review all expenses for last several months - find potential reductions
3. Evaluate insurance plans
4. Evaluate cable bill - consider going Hulu
5. Limit restaurants/eating out

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” 
 - William Morris

March into Money - Day 18

CNN recommends this, so I'm giving it a whirl.


Oh my goodness. I just whirled it - in less than 10 minutes, I linked most my account and I have an instant overview of my entire budget, upcoming bills, and ridiculous amounts of data. I'm a little weary of how easy this was (is it really secure???) but I am equally impressed.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March into Money - Day 17

Today's project - finding a card that I can use for rewards. My current bank card suspended their rewards program. I came across this super cool website: http://www.nerdwallet.com/credit-cards

"This site, founded by a Stanford-educated hedge fund analyst, combs through 400 cards to find the best one for you. Enter the amount you generally charge each month, what kinds of things you buy, and your estimated credit score. Presto: a list of cards that will maximize your rewards."

Original source: http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2010/moneymag/1002/gallery.Best_money_websites.moneymag/5.html

Friday, March 9, 2012

March into Money - Day Nine

  • Scheduled appointment with a tax preparer. I've done my own taxes in recent years, but I'm hoping an expert can save me more this year. 
  • Finished a summary of all expenses for 2011. 
As a side note, I didn't stipulate a daily focus on finances thinking that I would just work on my goals throughout the month. But, time slips away so quickly that I'm thinking I would have been better off with a daily plan. Maybe 20 minutes a day - just to keep the momentum.

Monday, March 5, 2012

March into Money - Day Five

Finished sorting all 2011 receipts. Not very exciting, but important nonetheless. 

Looking forward to checking out HG's suggested website: http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March into Money

This month, I'd like to turn my focus toward my finances. Each day, approaching my finances from a different angle and hopefully ending the month with an inspiring plan for change, progress, and a future with financial freedom.

March 1: Had a good talk with HDS to kick-off my month. Takeaway concept: focus on a future goal and work backward to determine steps, resources, and timing needed to meet that goal. Practical, good reminder on goal-based financial planning.

March 2: Research. I'm staring simple, literally, with this Real Simple article. http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/money/saving/how-to-save-on-00000000016999/index.html

March 3: Developing idea list of topics to cover this month
  • Reduce spending (research strategies)
  • Research philosophy/psychology of money (understand the why, then tackle the how)
  • Identify all expenses and search for ways to reduce and economize
  • Revisit 401k savings plan
  • Revisit estate planning, life insurance levels and beneficiaries
  • Establish charitable giving plan (focus giving, rather than spreading gifts across multiple organizations)
  • Explore income options
  • Prepare 2011 taxes
  • Research new ideas
  • Revisit and newly define 1 month, 6 month, 12 month, and 5 year financial plans
March 4: Research day and starting sorting through all 2011 receipts


 "In the living of life today, money is a facilitating energy source. With money in the tank like gasoline, you can get places you other wise couldn't go."
    - Joseph Campbell