Budgeting for Better Living

This Christmas, for the first time in a long time, I really got into the spirit. I played Christmas carols, I shopped (online), I stashed gifts here, there, and everywhere, and I splurged on the best tree in the lot that would fit in our house. We decided to give up at last on tinsel because the dumb cat WILL eat it any chance he gets and then throw up everywhere, so I got more ornaments. Then we needed more lights. Twinkling lights!

I got a little too far into it, from the perspective of my bank account. So I decided it was about time I got a handle on my money once and for all, and wandered around looking for something I could actually use, and found YNAB–You Need A Budget.

YNAB really seems like something I can do. I can only budget money I have–so no pie in the sky dreams of what I’ll do next paycheck, in order to have irresponsible fun this paycheck. It also encourages me to have whatever fun I want on my money–just as long as I recognize what I’m not paying when I do that.

I like it because it’s super easy to use on the fly, but it’s also easy to go in depth and see what happened when I go back to figure things out.

Because of YNAB, I know that I wiped out my savings for car maintenance, and another big bill coming up next month.


I’m just getting started, though. I’ll get better. And I did manage a bigger payment on my worst credit card (high interest, gotcha fees) than usual. I’ve set the goal of paying it off by June. Hopefully I get there. Progress, not perfection!

As the end of 2016 approaches (thankfully!), I’ve been thinking about budgeting on a wider scale. Time management, always a problem for me, is just time-budgeting. What do I really want to spend my time on?

It’s the same with calorie-counting for weight loss. Do I want to eat this cookie now, or wear that shirt later? Have a donut because it’s there, or have a more reasonable couple of pieces of chocolate later? Cake now, or hike without puffing this weekend?

Self-discipline is remembering what you really want.”

I feel like I’ve been overhauling my life for a long time, with not a lot to show for it. I feel like I’ve announced many times before that I had it, that this time this change would change everything.

But so what? I’m alive. As long as I’m alive, I’ve got to grow, right? “When you’re green, you’re growing. When you’re ripe, you rot.”

So here we go. I’ll stick with/rededicate to MyFitnessPal with Fitbit for the weight loss. I’ll try out the 100 blocks for time management. I’ll throw myself into YNAB. I will, once again, do my best to make the new year the best damn year ever.

And I’m starting now, because we all know I need the head start.

Got any plans to make 2017 better than 2016? (Can we put Mark Hamill in a protective shield?)


  1. Good for you! I have to start cracking down on myself on exercise. I’ve been counting calories through MyFitnessPal but not much else. With all the time spent in front of the computer these past few months (writing stuffs and editing jobs), my weight hasn’t been the greatest. So that’s probably the #1 thing on my list for 2017.

    And yes, we need to put a protective shield around Mark Hamill. I can’t even believe how many people we lost this year. 🙁

  2. Yes, seriously, re: Mark Hamill. 🙁

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