After the news that my job has been eliminated, I’ve been thinking about the very real possibility of a substantial pay cut next year, plus two months with no pay at all. Sounds punitive, doesn’t it? Odd, after so much praise by my employers. It’s too soon to tell what’s in store for me, but I’m thinking a lot about the necessity of reducing my spending and paying off some bills. It is scary to see how far behind the storm damage of January has left me. I should have a better cushion than that, and in fact I presently have no cushion at all. So I’ve made a monthly budget tracker on Numbers to see exactly what I spend each day, what is coming in as reimbursements and extra income and what I have to pay in bills this month. For the first time I am not able to pay everything in full. In writing down my every expenditure I am surprised by how fast the money goes out in dribs and drabs. I find I like keeping a watch on it, and maybe by doing so I’ll be able to make actual changes in this area.
I’ve been reading a book called Women and Money by Suze Orman, and was taken by her focus on several things that I would call virtues, or personal characteristics. Things like honesty and integrity and cleanliness. The last one really struck me. I frequently lose track of keeping my home and car clean, and when things feel out of control in this area I usually feel out of control in all aspects of my life. It’s like I just hold my breath and tough it out to the next time I get things cleaned up. So I get what she means. I’m wondering if taking control of finances will also help me take control of my physical environment, if it possibly works both ways. I look forward to finding out.