Though it may be obvious, I made some resolutions this year. Just like I do every year. I always promise to focus on weight loss and stick to a financial budget. Seriously, for the past 5 years or so, I've written little notes to myself to keep in my pocketbook that say things like,
- "Pay your bills before you pay your mouth."
- Eliminate credit card debt.
- Balance your checking account regularly.
- Save at least $100 every month.
It's pretty tough for me to handle money. I don't balance my checking account because I track activity on the bank's website. It's pretty easy to see discrepancies. Plus, I only write 1 check per month, and that's for rent. If I could pay it online, I totes would. My card debt isn't bad (less than $3000), and if I commit to it, I could pay it all off by the end of June. But is it just me, or is it damn hard to turn that money over? Every time I pay my card bills, I feel like I'm getting nothing in return. It's like I'm giving money away. I guess that's pretty immature of me, but still.
I think of financial debt in terms of dieting: If I pay $500 towards my cards, that means I have $500 more dollars to put on credit. It's just like if I burn 500 calories on the elliptical, I can eat a piece of coconut cake. Both are bad ways of thinking: If I pay down $500 in debt, I'm just shooting myself to spend it all over again; I'll just owe more in the long run, with interest. If I eat the cake after I excercise, I'm wasting all my efforts; plus the cake has probably 2-3 times more calories than what I burned. I'm paying caloric interest.
So this year, I'm getting my shit together. I have the best job ever, and I can have money directly deposited to my savings so I don't have to debate it every month. I'mma pay down that card debt so I can use the credit for what it should be used for - emergencies. And big purchases. C'mon!
The adult thing to do would be to pay down my cards, get rid of the high-interest Capital One account that I've had since college, keep my bank-issued card and my Lane Bryant card (a girl needs emergency clothes!) and keep those in good standing. I could make the credit work for me like most people: Use only the bank card for every purchase, then pay it back from my checking account every month to take advantage of points and rewards. I had a sage boyfriend last year who taught me that little tidbit. It sounds like a good idea, but I don't think I have the willpower. We'll just focus on paying off debt first.
Once those are checked off, I could avoid using them for awhile. However, you build credit by using them a little each month and paying them off immediately. That's how you avoid service charges.
Why am I babbling about finances? I want to get my shit together. I thought briefly this weekend, "Hey, if you pay down those cards, get your loan paid off by the end of next year, and save some coin, you could buy some property. That's where the money is, Meyer." Maybe that will be my new goal before 30 - own my own place. Rent is just money down the drain. Property is where it's at. But let's just wait until the real estate bubble bursts. God how grown up do I sound?
Side note: My other goals before 30 - hit goal weight, begin hiking Appalachian Trail (before, during or after hitting goal weight, don't care), and travel overseas. Sounds do-able.
As to my weight loss resolution, I've decided to stop looking at healthy eating as "dieting." I'm just going to focus on making better choices, continue working out over lunch and on the weekends and let the chips fall where they may. I'll continue taking the appetite suppressants prescribed by Dr. Gupta, because they really do restrain me. And I'll weigh in regularly.
I've also resolved to do the following:
- Reward myself with a soak in the hotel's hot tub every Friday after work. Maybe a few laps in the pool.
- Commit to my office yoga classes - I signed up for a Monday and a Tuesday class over my lunch break. It was a great bargain: $28 for both days, for 12 weeks. Do you know how cheap that is in this town. Plus all my cube mates are doing, and the woman across from me is organizing the whole thing. Talk about support.
- Try one new thing every month.
- Get active in comedy again, as much as my work schedule will allow. Work is way more important to me, after all.
- Attack weight loss in manageable chunks, no pun intended. My first goal is 30 lbs. Do-able.
- Redecorate the apartment in pieces. First goal: new desk.
I hope you all have success in the new year! Let's take 2008 by the sack!
So there's that,