I have determined that what I really need right now is a few friends who I can sit down with and discuss finances in detail!
I read The Smart Cookie’s Guide to Making More Dough a few years ago and loved the idea of having a Money Group with whom to discuss all things personal finance. Now that i have a stable salary, I want to start making headway on my student loans (about $20k) and save more for retirement. I also know that I need to build up my short term savings, since grad school wiped most of that out. It would be great to find other people around here (surely there are some in Chicago!) who are dealing with similar issues and would want to talk finances!
I’ve been doing a little better about day-to-day spending, but still spend way too much on things to get settled here. Household items and whatnot. And I have three trips to visit friends/family coming up in the next couple of months, which has meant a lot of money spent on plane tickets, etc.
I’ve started a notebook where I can keep track of my paychecks and monthly budgets (I hate doing that stuff on the computer, at least while I’m in the planning stages). This month will be my first month of really testing that out. However, since my checks are direct deposited and I have multiple bank accounts, I have trouble keeping straight in my head what money is “new” money and what is “old” money. I really need to start keeping track of day-to-day spending again, so that I can see exactly how much I’ve spent since my last paycheck. (Since debit and credit transactions take a few days to go through, I don’t use the dates on my online banking to judge how long it’s been since I spent the money.)
So much to think about!