When you screw it all up, and all that is left is pocket change. There are still five days left of the pay period.
This pay period, I wanted to try to cut back to the very minimum. I only put money in some of the envelopes because I wanted to see if I could save more money. Well, I think it backfired. It left me feeling stressed and anxious about where some of this money was going and I didn’t have a plan for it. These are the exact feelings I do not do well with and need to avoid. I didn’t make a better plan so I wasn’t the boss of the bank. I ended up dipping into the savings to cover things I did not plan for.
Personal Finance is just that. I have said it before. It’s personal. Everyone does not do things the same way. Each system is not best for all people. I take things very personal when it comes to my budget. I like the details. I like knowing that if the boys need clothes, I have money for that. I take comfort in knowing that there is money set aside for vet visits, haircuts, and prescriptions. When something comes up, like taxes (I know…how did this slip through my pretty, planning fingers???), it frustrates me and leaves me with a very uneasy feeling. I know I need to cut myself some slack and this is all a work in progress, and believe me, I am trying. But…it is not easy. It really stressed me out this last week.
Here is an example. Normally, I put $50 into the section of my wallet named appropriately, Misc. That category is for the little things that come up that aren’t groceries or gas. We had to swing by Home Depot during date night because Husband needed nuts, bolts, and washers for a project he was working on and I needed a lock for the locker at the gym*. I didn’t have any money in the mics category. I mean, that’s like… FIFTY DOLLARS that I could put someplace else to move this process along, right?!? Wrong…I ended up swiping my debit card. I do not like having to do that. That, to me, is evidence of an unplanned purchase. And if you don’t know by now, I am a planner.
So, I consider this a failure. Or if you want to be super optimistic, call it a…Learning. Experience. Whatever it is, I have learned to leave a little fat around the edges. If some of the categories still have money in them at the end of the pay period, then set it aside for the savings account. But if you trim too much, it will leave you miserable and will set you up for failure. You will stop working your program because nobody wants to be miserable. On the optimistic side, I did succeed in putting a big chunk of it in savings!
Next pay period, I will fund all categories and continue to try to be frugal and thoughtful in my purchases. Just because there is money there, doesn’t mean I have permission to spend it. I won’t make the same mistake again.
*Side note about the gym: I joined the YMCA. It was time. As I am getting older, I feel myself getting physically weaker. And as a mom and a primary caregiver to a son with special needs, I need to be strong. I can’t throw out my back or pull a muscle in my shoulder from taking care of him because that would leave us all in a pickle. So…I know there is a spending freeze going on and this is an additional cost every month, but it something that I need to do. It isn’t a want. It is a need. That is all.
We are all a work in progress, right?