Each month we reflect on our financial lives because it helps us be more intentional with our financial well-being. We hope that by opening up the conversation, we can break down the social stigma around talking about money. Check out the rest of the series here.
I am finally back to my day-to-day life after being on vacation for almost 2.5 weeks in May. For me, I have to reset everything after I come back from a long vacation, like getting back into work mode and working out. It also means getting back in tune with my finances.
It has been hard. I felt like sharing how I’m reacquainting with my finances, and hopefully you guys have any suggestions for what else I could do!
I am super lucky that my parents covered food and lodging for me. Besides the flights and the occasional food I wanted to eat, I barely spent any money at all! It’s a huge difference to when I was a young brat and would beg my parents to buy me gifts at every place we went – it shows that I am embracing that minimalist mindset and I love it!
First, look at my fridge.
Sometimes I forget to throw out food that will go bad when I am out. Actually, sometimes I forget what groceries I buy and then they stay in the fridge until past edible. Rotten food in your fridge makes the rest of your food go bad faster, so I double check what I have in my fridge first before I go to the grocery store. I throw away the food that’s gone bad and write down what I need to get in addition to whatever that I have.
Frozen meat-wise, I still have beer battered cod, turkey cutlets, turkey breasts, and 6 meatballs. I’m ashamed to say that I bought each item forgetting that I had other meat left.
Second, go to the grocery store.
The main point here is not to spend money just because I didn’t spend as much money this month. That’s not the mindset that I want to have. I don’t want to buy something and have buyer’s remorse later.
I bought these two avocados last Friday, hoping to make breakfast out of them over the weekend, but I’m still staring at one of them right now. The other one has gotten squishy already, so that’s gone bad. I can’t let both avocados turn into buyer’s remorse because I didn’t use them – I’ve done that too many times before!
My grocery essentials: honey Greek yogurt, small milk, almond milk, carrots, 2 bags of spinach, zucchinis, and frozen fruit. This way I could make breakfast and vegetables dishes.
Third, check those bank and credit card statements.
Now, I am one of those people who will have multiple personal finance dates with myself every week to make sure I’m not getting charged for things I didn’t buy.
I have 5 credit cards, and over the years I have been noticing that my charges on each card has diminished tremendously. That’s another sign of not carelessly purchasing things, and I like that.
I also regular pay off my credit card balances. I make sure that I pay the balance in full by the due date. Sometimes if that balance is quite large, I break it up into two payments before the due date – for some reason I think that hurts my heart less when I see all that money go away in smaller chunks.
Fourth, check back in with my goals again.
I have never mentioned my own financial goals with you guys, so here are my short-term goals:
Goal #1: Pay off student loans by the end of 2019. I have two student loans left, and with the money I would have spent on living in May, I am putting that towards one student loan and paying that off. We’ll celebrate next month.
Goal #2: Max out Roth IRA this year. This means I have to contribute more monthly.
Goal #3: Buy a new camera. Many of you guys probably don’t know this, but I have my own YouTube channel. It started very much like how the blog started, I wanted to express myself creatively and found that outlet. My camera is slowly dying, probably because I’ve had it for almost 10 years now and it’s suffered a lot. I’m deciding between two options right now:
- Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II: It’s the one that many vloggers use. I’ve rented out one before and tried it, and it is pretty freakin’ amazing. However, it’s about $700.
- Canon PowerShot S120 and an action camera probably from Yi: The Canon S120 is about $300 and an action camera from Yi is about $400. So it’s a decision of do I want to get 1 powerful one or get 2 for the same price. I have another Yi action camera and I enjoy it very much.
**Real-time update** Right after I typed up my two options, I did another Google search for best vlogging cameras, and went down the rabbit hole of articles, and reviews from YouTube and Amazon. I ended up renting another camera to try out, Panasonic Lumix LX100, which costs about $600 to buy.
New plan: try the Panasonic Lumix LX100, then try out the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II again, and then decide which one I want to purchase.
I’m still thinking about my long-term goals, so I’ll discuss those once I get a better idea. What are some of your financial goals? I’d love to hear what you guys are thinking about.
Check out other posts in our Money on Our Mind series!