Losing Control

Many years ago, I-along with many friends and family members-got caught up in the trend (for me it was an addiction) of creating handmade greeting cards and scrapbooks using rubber stamps and other popular scrapbooking supplies. I frequently shopped at local craft and scrapbooking stores, attended workshops offered by rubber stamp companies, and literally spent hundreds of dollars on supplies that I “just had to have.” Now, as I look at the abundant supplies I amassed (some of which have never been used), I feel a great sense of remorse. I definitely wish that I would’ve been more prudent with my “extra” money. In fact, I’m embarrassed to admit that I often used credit to make impulse purchases! Looking back, I wish that I’d have put even a portion of that money into a savings account, or an “emergency” envelope, and I definitely regret adding to my credit card debt with purchases that I really didn’t need.

Now that I use the online budgeting software, Mvelopes, I am definitely more aware of and have more control over my spending. I have an envelope for “personal expenses,” which I use for purchases I make (or want to make) that are wants, but rarely needs. I’m now easily able to monitor my frivolous spending and, lately, I’ve all but eliminated it.

With the recent financial concerns in our country, I have found it necessary to tighten my belt and watch my spending more closely than I ever have in the past. Because I have taken time to set up my online budget, I can easily and quickly know just where I can make adjustments to my budget so that I can pay off debts, build my emergency fund, and have greater peace of mind.

Although I’ve had to learn some hard lessons from my past spending habits, I am pleased to say that I’m definitely making better choices and I’m feeling more in control these days. I have to admit, being (or getting) in control is a great feeling!

Debra Peterson, Executive Assistant