Sunday ramble about financial stuff

So in the last year I've done more reading about financial planning and personal finance than I have ever done. Articles, books, watching tv programs and personal financial blogs. I've found the blogs really interesting. It's very encouraging to read about real people who are managing to not only pay down their debt, but also increase their savings at the same time. Savings. Something that just did not exist in my personal life until recently. Why? Because I used to make peanuts. Ok, in theory I probably could have saved some money even then but it would have been minimal and attempts to do so generally involved me dipping into them about two weeks later when there wasn't as much money to cover everything that had to be covered. We did get bonuses thought and they were very useful. I managed to pay off an entire student loan (albeit a small one) in two years (they were an evil, incompetent institution and I celebrated being finished dealing with them with a bottle of wine and a bubble bath). And the bonus was how I was actually able to afford to move.

The first few months at my new job, which pays significantly more than my old job (I can afford to make payments on everything now - yay!) I didn't do so well on the whole savings thing. A week after I started the job my phone line died and I struggled though the first week but had training that had to be done via phone and internet so an emergency trip to stay with friends in another city was planned at the last minute. Then shortly after that I moved so I had to provide first and last months rent upfront (luckily first month's rent was only a half month because I couldn't move in until the middle of the month). And I paid for movers. And I had some things that had to be purchased for the new place, although overall I kept if fairly minimal. I saved my money and sat on my hard ceramic tile floor for about 4 months before I had saved enough money to buy a futon (seating is highly underrated).

The last couple of months, basically since mid-January, I have actually started saving money. Now, unfortunately these are really short term savings - a small amount that I'm setting aside each month to buy a camera and then a larger amount of money that I'm setting aside for my friend's wedding in June. But the amount is growing rather quickly between the two and it's surprising me. And I *like* it. I like it so much I really don't want to spend it I just want to watch it grow and figure out new ways to make it grow *more*. And my debt is still shrinking. Yay!

This is something that I've noticed on other blogs. People just love to watch it grow. As someone who has struggled practically forever going from cheque to cheque and my poor student days where a single mini-bag of potato chips would break my budget suddenly having extra money just sitting there staring at me is the strangest thing ever.

Now that is not to say that I don't have debts. Cause I do. Really, I do. And I am working on sticking extra on those as well (well the highest interest ones at least).

Today I just looked at my bank account and realized that even taking out the money that I'll have budgeted for my groceries I still have extra in my checking account. This resulted in me sitting for 10 minutes and going through my payment histories to see if I had forgotten anything. I'm pretty sure I haven't. In fact I think I'm ahead on at least one of my bills. And I still have expenses that I need to submit to work so I know I have some "extra" money coming to me fairly soon as well (either going into long term savings or throwing onto a debt, I haven't decided yet...I have arguments for both).

Now normally this would result in me running out and buying things. But the truth is - I don't want to. Shocking! Really there is nothing I particularly want at the moment. Well I mean there are things I want but not enough to actually go out and buy.

I've decided it's fun watching money grow. Kinda like how reserving library books online has turned into my version of online shopping...

Ok, time to stop rambling and time to start making pasta sauce so I have have lasagna for dinner. :)