It’s amazing how fast life moves, isn’t it? Someone asked me last week if I ‘still do’ a few things I was infamous for doing when I first got into the work world. I thought about that for a second and then I said, you know, I’ve kind of gotten away from that. It seemed a little crazy but when I thought about it a lot has happened in 7 almost 8 years since I got out of college and really ‘became an adult’. It encouraged me to start this year by reviewing some basics.
Many of us grasped the need to do the basics well when we first started out. That’s how I ended up in Financial Peace University at 22 saying ‘tell me how not to live paycheck to paycheck forever’. I got a second job, I got out of debt, I used my little envelopes of cash, and I kicked some serious ‘hiney’. But I’m 7 years, 3 jobs, 7 raises, 1 promotion, 1 house, 1 car, and a whole lot of budgets later. I’ve kept with the same basic principles: stay out of debt, don’t buy what you can’t afford, etc. But I’ve quit doing some of the basics, like the cash envelopes. So this year I decided to start fresh and simplify back to how I did things when I first got started (with a few minor concessions – like using my debt card for gas because who really wants to take cash in the gas station?).
When I was home visiting my parents I was helping my mom plug her budget into an app on her phone that would sync between her electronics and I realized she still has a category for ‘allowance’ for herself and one for my Dad. Hear me when I say I do not know a single couple that has been as smart with money as my parents and it has paid off over the years in ways I can’t even begin to describe. And here they are, all these years later, doing their finances the way they did when they first got married over 35 years ago. And like me, there have been job changes, promotions, raises, etc. but they still manage their money just as simply and efficiently as they did when they got started.
So it’s 2015 and I’m going back to the basics with my money management. What’s one thing you’re going to do this year more consistently and maybe even more simply then you did last year?