The area I am focusing on for August with my Happiness Project is saving money. I feel like this is the case for most people, but for me, money is the number one area of stress and frustration in my life. For the month, I am going to work on a few goals that will hopefully alleviate some of my stress within the area.
I am by no means reinventing the wheel with my goals for the month, but I am hoping that having more specific goals will help me to focus on what I can change. One of the hardest things about money is that, while there is a lot I can change and control, there is a lot I cannot. Things happen. Hopefully, by the end of the month, I will have a plan that will also allow me to save more in case of surprises and not be devastated every time I have to take my car to the mechanic.
My goals for August are to:
Create a Budget: I have had success with budgets before. I know there are people that have a really hard time sticking to them, and what I have found works the best for me is the envelopes of cash. I don’t typically make a habit of carrying cash, but seeing an empty envelope and knowing that I cannot spend anymore money for the month is something I can understand. The bank card that links to a mysterious amount of money does not work well for me. There are times I refuse to check it because I get nervous about what I will find. Obviously this is not ok. The cash has worked for me before, and I am guessing it will work for me again. It takes some serious forethought, but if I can get organized this month, I should be able to continue to use this method.
Create Specific Goals: One of the things people say is most helpful when trying to better your financial situation is to make specific and attainable goals. This way it is not some amorphous thing you are trying to do. I am trying to save up money so I can move to Los Angeles. This month, I plan to figure out what that number needs to be. I would also like to save up a bit of money to take a few trips. I am going to need to go to LA to scope out living situations. I also need to get back to both New York and Chicago at some point this year to visit some friends. to accomplish all of this, I am hoping to price check these trips and see what I need to do to make them happen.
Find Alternative Sources of Income: My jobs right now can be a little precarious. One in particular. I hope to speak with my boss and see if I can’t bump up the number of hours I work each week. I also am hoping to find something else I can do to supplement my income. I dogsit sometimes, but that is not as lucrative in the city where I am currently living as it has been in cities past. I may try to pick up some more clients, but I am still looking into ideas for an Etsy shop. I am not really sure how stable that is either. But, there is surely something out there that I can be doing in my spare time to make some additional funds. Hopefully something I enjoy doing.
There you have it, the plan for August. I will report back at the end of the month to let you know how it all went. Hopefully by spending some time working on this area of my life, I can significantly reduce my stress and create a little more happiness in my life.