I love watching Hallmark/Lifetime movies, but I definitely notice a pattern with their ending. There is usually a workaholic boy or girl from the city who ends up in a small town (or the other way around, small town person in a big city) and falls in love with the small town boy or girl. And the Christmas spirit makes the city person realize love is the most important thing. Huzzah! It is the most beautiful thing…
My husband rolls his eyes when I’m watching these movies. He observes “nothing is happening”. What does he mean? Does he not see all the work the city girl is doing to save the small town boy’s winery from a takeover!? And then the water pipe breaks and they are both soaked!? Oh and look, a mistletoe! It’s more action packed than any Batman movie.
“Sell in May and Go Away” is an old stock market adage. Historically, the Stock Market tends to perform better from Halloween to May Day than the other six summer months. It is hence called Halloween Indicator as well.
Tomorrow is Halloween 2020. Should I start buying? Let’s look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
We had the COVID crash this year but looks like the DJIA index is slowly recovering…but with COVID second wave and the US Presidential Election, I think I’ll just use the very useful meaningless phrases like “I’m cautiously optimistic” or “Take a Wait and See Approach”. Don’t I sound smart without really saying anything? I think by just copying and pasting the chart above (from google), I misled you. Happy Halloween!
So having the perfect budget doesn’t help unless it’s followed. To stick to a budget, tracking your expense is essential. Every day, make it a habit to itemize everything you spend on an excel sheet. This is very cumbersome but it will force you to review your daily spending and where you’re spending too much.
For example, I have set my ideal food budget to $330 to achieve my financial goal, but the first month I started tracking I spent well over $600 (for a two person household). This forced me to be more mindful of my grocery shopping and to think of ways to cut my grocery bill. It is a work in progress.
Here are some free tools that would help you with budgeting:
Free excel sheets are available, no need to purchase any special software. I am currenty using google sheets so I can enter my data on my phone/computer.
Take a picture of your receipt, then capture expense by using “Grab Image Text”. This will make the data entry slightly less cumbersome.
Note: There are many budget/expense tracking apps out there that takes a picture of receipts but at this time I haven’t found one that would capture each item bought on the receipt. Most of them will capture the total spent at a certain store, which is not very helpful.
I found this Japanese app which captures every item bought, and even suggests a recipe. Unfortunately, it is not available outside Japan. If you have any suggestions about which app to use to make receipt -> expense tracking easy, please let me know. Because of the way my receipts tend to build up (not practicing what I preach), I’m willing to use a pay-for-app. I think it’s worth it!