{Financial Cents} Say No Social and Yes to Finances!

During the infancy of She Makes Cents, I started reading Shoo…Jimmy Choo by Catey Hill. This, I admit, was another book I picked up because I like the title.  In it, Hill goes beyond the standard advice to create a spending chart and record everything you spend your money on in it. She adds the recommendation to also include additional information such as who was with you and the motivation behind your purchase. I did this for about two months and learned that I often spent extra money when I was with one particularly close friend. I usually spent money on expensive lunches and after reviewing the spending chart, my motivation behind my spending was purely emotional. I didn’t realize that was I was spending a great deal of money simply because I missed hanging out with her like I did when I was in college. Fast forward almost two years later where I started repeating the pattern of emotional and socially inspired spending. With my current job, I got back into the habit of frequently going out to lunch with the girls. I didn’t want to miss the great conversations but most importantly, I didn’t want to appear anti-social.

At the start of the year, something clicked for the Mr and me. Our view on how we spend money as a couple and individually has narrowed. We have become super serious about saving and making better decisions on how we spend our money. Does that mean no lunches with the girls? Absolutely not! It does mean that I won’t be going with them EVERY DAY for lunch or drinks after work, though. Instead, I am cooking more at home and packing more lunches. As much as I hate to decline a social invitation, I would hate it more if the collective whole of my socially motivated financial decisions were the reason I wasn’t truly living a fabulous debt free life. I am proud of myself. I find that I’m eating better and cleaner. I also becoming a better cook, which is always a plus, but more importantly, I have learned to say no to social and yes to finances!

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Changes in Our “New” Economy

This morning I replied to the question,What lifestyle changes have you made in our “new” economy?   Here is my reply:

Creating the blog She Makes Cents, has been one way were I am held accountable for my financial decision…since I’m blogging about it. In our “new” economy and for research for my site, I now do the following:

  • I make spending and saving goals for the month. Then I tell the people around me my goals. That way, when I start to slip or go regress to old habits, I have a support system to help keep me on track.
  • I am notorious for going to restaurants multiple times a week. I now make sure I eat before leaving the house and I pack fruit and random snacks in my bag. That way, when I start to get “snacky” I don’t have to make a trip to the vending machine, closet Chick-fil-A, or restaurant.
  • I track my spending. EVERYTHING! I tried it because of a suggestion from this financial writer. It really adds some perspective to your spending habits and it made/makes me think hard about my purchases and the motivation/emotion behind them. (You can download the original template I used from author Catey Hill, here).
  • I opened an alternate email account and I send email coupons and store sign ups here.
  • Before I go out, I check out Groupon Now, HalfOffDepot.com, & Living Social. Why pay full price when you can get a better deal on the same product and service?

    I have more tips; check out SMC Money Journal & Fix Your Finances!

This question got me thinking about you SMC readers.

What changes have you made, if any, in our “new” economy?

Have you benefitted from any advice you read on here?

I’d love to hear from YOU!

Email SMC: shemakescents@gmail.com