Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New Year Reflection and Words on Budgeting

It's a few days into the new year, so I'm late in wishing everyone a Happy New Year. I usually do a resolutions post, and I have certainly been reviewing my goals and deciding what steps to take next in my life.

Most of the goals I had written for this year two years ago in my 5 year plan are still right on track. There are a couple surprises, though. Life is like that.

For example just yesterday my car broke, I was late to work, I'm fighting off an illness, and this freak storm took out one of our lamps and the screen door and a few more shingles off the roof.

Where was I? Oh, yes, goals.
I usually focus on all the areas of well-being when I make these kinds of plans. I like to be balanced. When things get off-balance, I am no longer healthy and happy.

The three parts to well-being are physical, emotional, and spiritual.

1. Physically, I always set some sort of health goal. 2016 was about health. All the goals I had about my body and those of my family were met. 2017 is going to be about exercise and staying healthy. While on break from work for the holidays it was easy to get a workout in. Now that I am back to work, I am fighting some days to get a workout. Things have happened that also have prevented me from doing one, like vehicular trouble so I don't get home until bedtime. This is an area where I have the tools and knowledge, I just need to use them.

2. Emotional/mental health for me is tied to social goals. Happiness is found in friendship, fun, and maintaining my hobbies. I have ideas for vacations or day trips written down as well as goals for writing, blogging, and editing.

3. Spiritual health for me comes from my religion. While I know my readers are diverse and I have diverse friends as far as spiritual matters are concerned, I do believe that no matter what you believe, time needs to be taken to contemplate life; to slow down and think. I really feel that these times of self-reflection are at the heart of great ideas, focus, and calming a raging storm, especially if you feel that storm is inside you.

Where do finances come into play? They certainly are stressful and affect all aspects of your life.

You have to find balance here, too. Making a budget and sticking to it increases your peace of mind. Not being stressed increases your physical health. Spiritually, you may decide to make a tithe or a donation to the charity of your choice.

Fixing things like broken lamps and faucets

(See the crack in the middle?)
certainly takes money and can set you back. This is why a budget is important. Pull up a spreadsheet and start typing categories, amounts, and dates into its little organized squares. Print a template and fill it in. Somehow take a look at your spending and income and figure it out. If you have a goal in mind, like a cruise (I wish), then figure it up and start saving towards it. Sure, pennies in a jar can work if you have plenty of them, but deciding on an amount to set aside every paycheck works faster.
If it seems money is disappearing faster than you can make it, a budget sheet will prove to you whether it really is or not. It may also help you make tough decisions.

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