I’ve had a few weeks to think about today’s Friday Refine. I’ve already refined my Food and Fitness goals. This week I want to discuss Finances. I really believe that healthy living includes having a healthy handle on your finances. We are all guilty of stressing over finances. We can eliminate much of that stress through planning and being aware of where our money is and where it’s going. But first, let’s look at how I’m doing those goals.
- My protein intake has been really great. I’m hitting my goal every day. I’m really confident this is because I’m meal planning for the week, at the beginning of each week instead of the day or night before. I’m making protein intake a high priority, and it’s showing.
- I’m staying well under budget through mindful grocery shopping and using coupons on things I’m already going to buy anyway. Peruse the internet for your favorite food brands and, more often than not, you can find coupons on their website to use in store. On a side note related to food and grocery budgets, you might find the following article from the WSJ to be of interest. It’s an article that shows healthy food is a better deal than junk food. WIN!
- I’ve been tweaking and creating a workout schedule to make each workout goal oriented. I’ll have more on that tomorrow because that’s my week’s end.
- As I discussed in yesterday’s post, I’m looking at each of my old workouts and seeing ways I can improve or redirect my energy and efforts to get the most out of that designated workout time.
And now let’s talk about Finances. First, a little background:
I am thankful that my parents taught me to be financially savvy. They taught me the value of savings, of finding the best deals, for working hard for what you buy. Other than student loans, I carry no debt. My car is paid for and my credit card is paid off in full every month. I’m financially independent, and that’s something I’m very proud of, especially in this economy. (Though I must say a big thank you to my parents for always allowing me to stock up on pantry items and sending me home with toilet paper and laundry detergent anytime I travel home or they come to Kentucky for a visit. Those gestures are much appreciated and help tremendously in savings.)
This past year has been one of my most expensive years of my life. I used to live very conservatively, which gave me the opportunity to grow my savings. I used to rent a room from my brother’s house where the rent was cheap and the company was fun. We hardly used heating and air, didn’t use internet for the longest time, didn’t have the expense of cable, etc. We used that money to save.
However, in the past year and a half, I’ve moved into the “big” city of Lexington where I pay my own rent, much higher than before. My boyfriend moved to a different state to attend medical school which has created travel expenses on my end (which I gladly accept because he and his family are so worth it). Because of that long distance relationship, I’ve had to add internet to Skype, which made me have to pay for basic cable….etc. There are so many “little expenses” that really creep up on you. If you’re not focused on the little things that add up, your finances will get away from you.
While anyone would like a little more money, I can’t complain. I’m doing okay on my own. I can’t run to the store and purchase everything on a whim. But I can appreciate the hard work I put in to save for things I do want. Most importantly, all of my needs are taken care of and I’m content and happy. That’s all that matters, right?
With all of background now out in the open, there are areas I do want to focus on. And, yes, they focus a lot on my food and fitness focuses. With a lot of potential changes happening in the upcoming year or so, there are few areas I’d like to refine in the way I handle my finances:
- Be mindful of small purchases. Every swipe of the debit card adds up. Do I really need that cup of coffee, or should I just prepare it at home. What value am I obtaining by purchasing XYZ’s cup of joe? Do I really need that shirt that’s been marked down for $9.99? Is it truly made of good quality and will I wear it often? Or will it hide in the back of my closet with all the other “on sale” items that I never wear. This idea is VERY similar to mindful grocery shopping. Let’s put an end to impulse buying and actually save that money toward something I really want.
- Pay down student loans, even further. With the money I’m saving by not purchasing impulsively, I want to put that toward student loans. I know it’s not much, but I can add that money saved every month and add it to my monthly student loan payments. Anytime I fall under my grocery budget, I’m going to use that toward student loan repayment. That’s extra incentive to stay Food Focused! I hate the pressure of debt, to anyone, over anything. And student loans are such a kill joy, aren’t they? So, I’m seeking to get rid of them.
- Look for additional sources of income. I’m not looking for another full-time job. I’m simply talking about ways I can earn a little extra money to put into savings. I have recently become a social media marketer for a beautiful store in TN, The Registry, and I’d like to put more effort in to that. Another source of income can be consignment. Because I’ve added strength toning to my workouts, nothing fits me anymore. I’m basically at a blank canvas for my closet, yet I’m holding on to clothes that don’t fit. Why not try to get a little extra money back for them?
Well, there you have it. Three areas I can realistically refine in my life right now. We’ve looked at Food, Fitness and now Finances. Next week, we’ll talk about Love.
It’s going to be a great day. I’m having lunch with Mom and my brother. (Mom is in town). And tonight, I’m having some friends over for dessert and a flick…Funny Face. Can’t go wrong with a classy Audrey Hepburn movie! Wishing you all the best. katie
QUESTIONS OF THE DAY:
Do you think finances plays a role in healthy living?
What are some of your own finance goals?
What creative ways do you earn extra income?
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