Monday, March 23, 2015

Too Many Things! But Mostly a 2 Month Budgeting Update

I now have so many things to write about, that I don't know what post to start on. Do I do a movement post, and what do I talk about if I do that? There are still so many great topics. I am going to do at least one more movement post on standing, but I may end up stopping those here and putting them up on my public blog instead. It would be easier to do them where I at least feel that I have the option of putting up photos. Plus there are a lot of people that I know in a less "anonymous" way that would also like to know more about that stuff, too. (You are MORE than welcome to follow along there, and if you don't know where that is, just email me at catholicmutt(at)gmail(dot)com and I will send you the address. I just don't like to directly link to it from here.)

Umm, so I might have gotten really intense at RCIA the other night. We've been going over Theology of the Body, and I absolutely love that we do that, but it always gets shoved only down the path of that that means for marriage. Which is extremely good stuff to know, and so needed in our society, but we also need to know what it means for our daily life.  Anyway, one of the guys made some sort of comment in trying to talk about what the priesthood and religious life was along the lines of "they have to give up what's the most meaningful in life, e.g. having children." Oh. No. You. Didn't. NOT that I want in any way to ignore the huge and amazing importance of that!  And not that I disagree that it is one of the most amazing and important things in life. But what I wanted the candidates to see is TOB is beautiful because it points us to the meaning and purpose and dignity of each person, and that every life matters, whether they live for a long time, or are born sleeping, whether a person is married or in the priesthood or religious life, or if they are single- for whatever reason not able to live out the fullness of their vocation, but their call to holiness still present, whether as a married person, their "yes" to life leads to many children, or few children or no children (FANTASTIC article here about that, btw), whether a person did everything "right" in terms of sexual morality or were all over the place, whether everything fits all the norms that it should or if nothing fits. Every single one of us matters.

Whew! Happened again. I get started and it just keeps coming out!

Anyway, I really wanted to tell you how the budgeting is going.  I have to admit that part of it has been kind of annoying more than anything. What is with all the bills that just keep showing up every single month? You pay it, and they want you to pay it again!  I realize that this is the same as it's always been, but what's different now is that I get all my dollars assigned to their jobs, if you will, and then I keep having to send more to the same old places when I would far rather put some money in some other categories! Therefore, I'm annoyed that some of the categories that I would really like to have a little money in are not growing at all. There are some things that I would like to buy, and I feel like I can't just buy them. I'm giving myself plenty of spending money and such, but when it's all black and white in front of me, I can't justify the spending for certain things.  This month I was finally getting to put at least a little in a couple of places that I wanted to (like some money for co-pays so I can eliminate one of my excuses for seeing an allergist), and then an insurance switched from monthly payments to quarterly unexpectedly, so I had to pull it back out again. I also really, really want to get a bike, and will probably do that sooner than any budgeting guru would recommend, but I am not growing the bike fund hardly at all right now (I think it maybe got 12 cents this month). Because, bills!

That's what it feels like right now, but the reality is that even though it's taking more time than I'd like, it's only been two months since I've started getting serious about this. In that time, I've already found a couple small places to save, and I actually have more money, even though I feel like I can spend less. I'm much less stressed about a number of things that come up, because I know whether I have the money for it or not. (Should I go out to eat with friends or buy this book I want, or take this continuing ed class?) I can look at it and see immediately what I have and where I'd have to take it from if I rearranged things.  Instead of wondering how many transactions still haven't cleared and if I'm going to get a nasty surprise, I know exactly where I am on that. With the unexpected expenses that have come up, I can make it work without relying on the credit card like I've had to sometimes. I do still use my credit card about as much as ever, but I record it under my checking account and pay it right away, so it's an extra step, but the spending is as if I was just using checking.

I think what is happening the most is that I am much more aware of the reality of where I am, rather than sometimes thinking I'm okay and then forgetting about a bill or having something unexpected come up. I'm already feeling like I'm living a lot less paycheck to paycheck. I know being able to put more in other categories will come.  In all, I like it a lot. It's just harder up front. But there are so many things in life that are better in the long run, even if they're harder at first!