You know how sometimes you're really hungry, and you're going to cook dinner, but you don't know what you want so you end up eating a bunch of random stuff out of the fridge, and then you realize you're full and you had potato chips, Camembert and an apple for dinner? (That's what I had last night when this happened to me). And then you're sort of pissed, because you had all kinds of good, healthy foods in the fridge but you just didn't plan accordingly and now you've blown your dinner.
That is pretty much what happens when I get any money. I get so excited that I start making my decisions differently- an $4 container of chai here, a trip to Barnes and Noble for the kids there, and before I know it, I'm actually in the hole rather than ahead. So what I'm thinking is I need to have a plan set up so that if I do ever get any extra money again (one day, it might happen, you never know) that I would have a better idea of where I wanted that money to go. I think that I'll create a wish list, and use that to clarify my ideas. For example, my current wish list would look like this:
- a laptop
- a new purse for fall
- brown heels
- compost bin
So, it would work like this. I would suddenly get an extra 100 dollars from somewhere. I would look at my priority list and think, "Well, I could buy the compost bin now, or the purse and the heels now, or put the money towards the laptop, or any combination that works." By doing this, I wouldn't blow the money on stupid things, I would be able to focus on my goals. It's like having dinner planned so you're not distracted by potato chips while you're trying to figure out what to do with the green beans.
Make sense to you? It doesn't make total sense to me, but I think I'm on to something.