So I'm two weeks into working within an actual budget. So far, it's worked out pretty well. It's not perfect, but it's a framework. Everybody's gotta start somewhere, right?
My friend Diane and I have agreed to look over each other's finances each month, to keep each other accountable and true to our goals. Our financial pictures are vastly different - Diane is a married mother of three (four if you count Justin). Diane and Justin own their home and manage all the financial responsibilities of being parents and homeowners. I'm a single renter managing to stay afloat. And yet, our goals are remarkably similar: build savings, create opportunities to travel, and cut unnecessary spending.
It can be a little scary to lay all the cards on the table, but Di and I have zero judgement of each other. We've given each other assignments and will reconvene in about a month to see how we're doing. I've begun to realize that this is pretty powerful stuff. It's been so long since I've even allowed myself to think of how I can make money work for me, I hadn't even considered that I could set goals and eventually achieve them. Sounds foolish, but there you have it.
I have to be honest, though. The best part of my day at Chez Rand was not working through the finances. It was either squishing Koen, the newest member of Clan Rand, or the Thin Mint blizzard Meat brought for dessert. Actually, the man went out for a Blizzard buffet - a Thin Mint for me and another for Di, plus a French Silk (holy crap it's good) and Tagalong for himself and for the rest of us to sneak bites of when he wasn't looking. But that baby! He let me hold him and squish him and chew on him all day. It's hard to take yourself too seriously, or get depressed about finances, when there's an endless supply of baby giggles.
So it was quite a day, both tough and refreshing. I feel strong, capable and loved. And I have an intense craving for another blizzard.