Hi, my name is Daniel, and I… lost track of my finances.
I write (what is for the most part) a personal finance blog, so you’d think that I would track every penney, but I don’t. We budget to pay ourselves first (savings/retirement), pay all of our bills, and then everything else is give and take. One month we might go over on eating out, but we won’t touch our clothing budget, so we call it even; but over the last month as we have moved I have learned a very valuable lesson.
Once you start spending, it’s hard to stop. It’s like the floodgates of your bank account open, and the next thing you know, you’re asking how your credit card bill got that high!?
We realized this week that we have run our credit card bills up much more than we realized. It’s not like we have purchased large items, it’s a great number of little things that we did not appropriately budget for. For instance, the last two weekends we have been out of town, and we did not adequately budget for food for either weekend. Plus being gone on the weekend messed up our schedule, so we didn’t go to the grocery store to stock up for the week as we usually do, so we ended up eating out. Then we moved, there was no point in us buying tons of food when we would have to move it, so we ate out more.
Our move was a beast by itself. Thank goodness I have friends and family who were willing to come help when I offered free beer (which no one ended up drinking!). I rented the largest Budget truck available, for 24 hours, found a coupon code online to nock off 10%, and then surprised myself when I was able to negotiate another 15% off at the truck rental place.
Somehow a great number of little things added up. The only major things I can remember buying are drapes and blinds for the house (which we came in way under our budget for!…to bad we went over everything else!)
This will serve to be a very interesting month. We will soon make our first mortgage payment (yikes!), and we’ll get to see how close we were in our estimates for our new utility bills! Plus, we’ll map out a plan to pay off our credit card bills. Which right now I’m thinking will involve pulling some funds out of savings and tightening the budget to replace the money over the next few months (and hoping for a decent raise soon!)
Also, allow me to apologize for this seeming rant. As you know it’s been over two weeks since I’ve really posted anything of substance, so A. I’m a little rusty, and B. it helps to just start writing to get the wheels moving sometimes!