Sunday, January 2, 2011

Year 2011


       
            Happy New Year everyone! 


"Tomorrow is fresh, with no mistakes in it." 
— L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)




Same can be said for 2011- so let's make it a good one! Take advantage of it being a new year and instead of writing a list of everything you want to do better/new/differently - start doing them! We don't get to the top of the mountain if we spend all our time planning on it. Sometimes you just have to go for it, one step at a time. 


Finances: 
So this month in my au pair household we are trying something new. We have a set amount we can spend on grocceries for the next 3 months. We are in competition with another family to not spend more then that. But how exactly does one keep track of everything they spend?  That question had me thinking today because I will most likely be the person responsible for keeping track of where the money goes. On my last computer I had the program Quicken which can be fantastic if you are really into finances and keeping track of things. My current computer does not have Quicken and I was thinking of something a little bit simpler because all I'm doing is keeping track of receipts. Today I started looking online for a bit of help and came up with a solution. 


www.clearcheckbook.com


It wasn't my first choice but due to living outside the USA I couldn't be picky. A lot of free software has restrictions as to where it is used and living in Denmark makes it difficult to find something. This site allows you to log how much you spend or receive in particular categories. All I need it to do is keep track of groceries and it looks just about perfect for that. I'll still have to investigate it more though and try it out. 


Now, the first part to tracking and saving money is usually finding out what you are spending it on. Often times it's the little things that add up- kind of like, going shopping and buying a bottle of water while you are out. It doesn't cost much, but multiply it by how many times you do that a week, x52 weeks.  So the first two weeks of January will likely entail finding out where the money goes. The second two will be used to figure out how to cut back. 


One other site that looked interesting was: 


https://money.strands.com/


You can't use it outside the US as far as I know- however it would have been my first choice. 


I don't think my host family and I are the only one's who could learn how to become more money concious. I read a quote the other day which talked about the Obama's Christmas vacation costing us about $1.5 million. OUCH? Like really? Maybe we all have to try to do things a bit less expensively. A few less trips to Hawaii.... a few less golfing days.... but hey, you're only president/president's wife/president's kids for a few years, so why not take advantage of it? And have you ever noticed how much easier it is to spend someone elses money and how you usually think twice when it comes to spending your own money? Maybe if they pulled the money out of their own pockets they would spend less. 


CHEERS for the new year!

15 comments:

  1. I hope your adventure goes well! I'm sure we all could finance a little better this new year. :) And $1.5 million is just pathetic! Happy New Year!

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  2. Wow Emily, You are wise behind your years! Our country would be in such a better state if they were able to manage there finances like you! Glad to see someone young who is starting things off right. Great Blog!
    Heather

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  3. Wow, I never even thought about internet sites and software being different over there. You're so brave! That sounds like a great idea with the grocery competition though, good luck...hope you guys win! Happy New Year!!

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  4. happy new year to you too miss emy! :D

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  5. honestly, after using various programs I most like the budget template I created myself in Excel. It allows for the most flexibility b/c I can change it at anytime for whatever may come up and it's easy to use!
    If your program doesn't work out, I suggest giving it a try :)

    ps: Happy New Year!

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  6. Sorry about earlier. I made a huge type. Like, an entire sentence fragment was MIA.

    ---

    If you think the presidential vacation was expensive, check out some of the crazy crap that American entertainers do for their holidays. Have a house in Europe? Oh, don't worry about going there for the holidays; let's rent AN ENTIRELY NEW ESTATE FOR CHRIMMA.

    Rich people that are stupid with their money drive me crazy. Know what I'm going to do for Chrimma when I'm a famous actor? I'm going to drive to Colorado - maybe fly if I'm feeling fancy - and run around the yard with my niece.

    Aaaaanyway. I find it interesting that most of the financial helper sites don't work outside the US - although I confess to not being that surprised. It makes sense.

    Happy new year! I'm so stoked that you're in Denmark. How awesome!!

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  7. Outside of America there doesn't seem to be any good financial programs, humph! I keep looking for one myself. They are releasing the most popular one for other countries soon I think.

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  8. Ooh, learning how to budget--excellent! That increases your marketability. ;)

    One of the things I'd like to do this year is research a variety of budgeting methods and develop some sort of system in Excel. That would be handy--maybe even marketable. :)

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  9. @Leanne: Thanks girl! :)

    @Hazel: Thank you!

    @Luv to Smile- Aww, thanks Heather! :) Sometimes the follow through isn't as easy as the knowledge to do it right. :D But i'm trying!!

    @Leanna Vera: Thanks!! Excited to see what this year brings for sure. :D

    @Laura: Thanks!!! I hope we do too. :D

    @Kym: Thank you too! :D

    @Daniela: Excel is fantastic- so I can imagine that would work very well! Thanks for the tip!

    @Jas: True true!! It is insane. It's like they have so much and then they spend it on silly things just cause they can! I'm excited to be in Denmark too. :D

    @Andy: I can't wait till they do! I didn't realize how spoiled I was back in the US. Didn't really think about other countries NOT having things like financial programs. :D

    @Benny: hahaha- by the time this year is over, you and I will be highly marketable- I can already tell. ;)

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  10. Interestingly, I feel like I've already becamo more money councious in these first days of 2011... I can't even explain it, but I just feel liek soemthing's changed lol Oh well, I'm not complaining :) Best of luck to you and your host family! Hope you not just win the competetition but truly benefit from such councius spending.

    P.S. I watched Chocolat the other day!! :)

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  11. One word: WOW!

    You make me want to be like you. I wish i could manage my self like you do. Lol.

    Happy New Year Emy! :)

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  12. I sure hope we're highly marketable by then: I'd hate to waste a whole year! :P

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  13. @Julia: Saving money and at least knowing where it goes is a really nice feeling, so that's fantastic that it is coming naturally this 2011.:D Oh yay for Chocolat! I'm thinking I'd like to get the soundtrack for that movie... not because the music was outstanding but because it was just nice background music. :D

    @Novie: Aww, thanks Novie! It's going to be a challenge this next 3 months- I'm so used to not even thinking about it unless the $$$ are running out! :)

    @Benjamin: hahaha, true true... But we do have to leave some room to become even more marketable year 2012! After that, we may all not exist anyway. ;)

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