Organization has the same fascination for me that surgery does.
That is, it seems to be a learned skill that accomplishes amazing things...but that seems utterly foreign to me.
My friends and loved ones are always the first to point out that I really do have an excuse--I was, at the age when most people were figuring out their personal finances and building the foundation of future security, scrambling to feed four infant daughters with, as the job promoter put it, "no useful skills outside of Croatia." We survived those years, but surviving them was the accomplishment--being organized, in time, work, or finances, was not.
Which is why I still tend to live paycheck to paycheck, which is kind of funny, since I'm making at least twice as much now as a year ago (when I was also living paycheck to paycheck). It's something like the principle of moving into a new home; you always tend to expand to fill the space you live in.
Still, the lack of financial organization is costly in more than money--in stress, in security, in simple pleasures of being able to get things for my (now teenage) daughters. So I've decided to tackle it the same way that I recently successfully tackled my eating habits: a diet.
Not a starvation diet, to be sure. But rather a measured change in my spending habits, much as the way I eat has changed over the last few months. For the food diet to work, I had to also implement an exercise program, so I suspect that I'll have to do some "income-building" exercises as well.
In keeping with my love of paper, this caught my eye this morning. Of course, there are modules like it in the PocketMod system, as well as the DIYPlanner (which I'm considering, should I be able to acquire some card stock). Of course, part of me also thinks I should just use my Palm more effectively...I seem to be a wannabe Luddite.
Most of all, while I've been doing better with the "Getting Things Done" system in terms of accomplishing things, I don't seem to have a good grasp on applying them to finances. Weekly and daily reviews only help if they are a part of the diet; otherwise, as the past week has shown me, it's simply a daily dose of watching things spiral further out of control.