Finding Freedom: Reflection

by GettingFreedom on January 16, 2009

**Feel free to add this button to your blog, or to your Finding Freedom posts.**

If you are just joining in on Finding Freedom, you can view the first installment here.

There were a few reasons that I asked for you to write down all of your monthly obligations.

  1. You know at a glance what your monthly outgo is. **I think that I actually forgot to mention in the first post, but you also need to write down what your monthly income is. I know for some this number can fluctuate, so write down the lowest expected monthly income.**

  2. You can see it in black and white. I know for us, it was an eye opening experience to see just how much we had going out the window every month. Every single year when we got our W-2’s we would wonder where all the money went. You will know now.

  3. No worrying about guessing who you pay, when. It’s all right there. Willie would have no idea what he was to do if he were to take over the bills. My budget notebook solves that dilemma. (I am the financial person in our home. Willie has a clue what is going on, but he doesn’t obsess and track it like I do!)
  4. This will make adjusting/tweaking your numbers much easier!
  5. This is your new best friend. Well, sorta! I encourage you to write any and everything financially related in here. Your successes, your failures, your plans. It may seem silly now, but looking back you will be thankful. You will see all those gradual little progresses even when you feel you have made no improvement.

**I know that some have said that they have everything in their computer, if that works for you, then go for it. I tried it, and while I could see all my information, I have found it much easier to have it in a notebook. Also, being able to scribble all my thoughts and plans in there has been awesome. There have been times when I thought we were not making any progress and was wanting to give up, going back in my notebook I was able to see where I was. Sometimes it is hard for me to remember just how pinched we were before, seeing it written down reminds me.**

When we first laid out all of our monthly expenses out on paper and seen it, we couldn’t believe it. Seriously. I think that we just looked at it and wondered how in the world we got to that point.

We were almost at our exact income, which is never a good idea. But, at this point, we were also relying heavily on credit cards for gas and a few grocery purchases. The almost part made me realize that we had a smidgen (when I say smidgen I mean less than $100) of wiggle room, we just weren’t being smart. Period.

Good news, but more work!

Having everything written down drastically changed how we looked at our spending.

I would like to know what is was like figuring it all out and writing it down on paper. Were you shocked at your total monthly outgo, or was it close to what you expected? Do you feel more in control now? How did it make you feel seeing exactly where your money went? Share your experience and thoughts in the comment section.

We will be looking at fine tuning some of these numbers in our next installment. If you want, you can email me or leave a comment and let me know which particular area you need help in. I will do my best to address it.

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