Friday, November 30, 2012

This hurts my spending bone

Despite the fact that I have cut down my spending exponentially over the last month, I am still hurting. I need to update my spreadsheet, but what I am noticing most of all is that having friends and family is expensive. Granted, I tend to over do it, but right now, this minute, I'm wondering how I'm going to cover the white elephant gifts and kennel costs for my company kick off meeting next week. I learned last year that my company doesn't reimburse for pet care on company travel.

I'm in an uncomfortable spot, but I know I will get out of it. I've been worried so much about all the stuff I have going on that I have forgotten to be greatful for all the things that I do have. A warm home (well, warm is relative. Apparently, most people don't think that 60 deg is not warm enough to keep my house. But when it's 38 outside, 60 sure is warm!) and a soft bed. I typically have a full belly. I have plenty of clothes and entertainment. My friends are pretty awesome.

And somehow, just when things look the worst, I see a little ray of sunshine and I pull through, and I remember that everything is going to be okay and off I go to the next adventure.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

What do you mean, Declined?

Last Friday I popped my happy ass into the gas station for a good old fashioned fillerup. I had waited until payday so that I wouldn't dip into my cushion. I am very protective of my cushion. It's my financial hope right now.

My card didn't work. Since I knew I got paid that day, I headed into the 7-11 and tried again. Nope. as credit? Denied. What the heck??

Thankfully, I recently opened a Bubbly Creations business account and was able to get some gasonline because I wasn't sure if I was going to make it to work.

Once I arrived at my place of employment, I looked at my bank account and lo and behold, I was in the negative. My mortgage had come out as planned, but my paycheck hadn't gone in.

After checking with a coworker and HR, I was reminded that I made changes to the electronic system. My bank had changed thier routing numbers and if I hadn't fixed it, my checks would soon be going into whoknowswhereland. It takes 1 to 2 pay periods for the changes to go through. My check, the HR lady assurred me, would be in my mailbox that day.

It wasn't. Nor was it there on Saturday. I had forgotten the awful feeling of wondering when your paycheck would arriveand NEEDING it.

It arrived on Monday, was deposited on Tuesday, and I am scooped way too far into my cushion for my comfort. But thank goodness it's there. And that I get paid again next week.

My cushion goal is to have the original amount put back into may savings account before the end of this year and to still have a good cushion in there. I think I can do it. but I have to remember not to overspend. Deep breath, and I'm moving forward.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

On Budgets and Credit Cards

Several months ago, I suddenly noticed that I don't have any money. That I live paycheck to paycheck, squeeze by, and tend to wonder if I am going to be able to pay for the things I need, like food, during any given week. I think part of the reason I was suddenly suffering is that I had been putting things on my credit cards instead of managing my cash flow. When I told myself I couldn't use them anymore, I suddenly didn't have any money. (when I say suddenly, it's a little sarcastic. Obviously, I had pretend money)

So I sat down, and mapped out my expenses for the rest of this year and all of next. I love excel. Soon after, I lost my purse. Lost. As in, I can't find it. I know it's in my house somewhere because it disappeared while I was home, I vaguely remember putting it somewhere clever, and if it had been stolen, someone would have used my cards, checkbooks, and the Starbucks preloaded gold card of which I am stupidly proud. Don't judge. I only have to buy like, 24 drinks in a year to keep it. Most people do that in a month.

Since I lost my credit cards with my purse, I have been unable to use them for "emergencies". You know, like the kind where I'm going over to the Wife's house and need to bring chips but my bank account is empty. THOSE kind of emergencies. People ask if I am going to replace the cards and I tell them NO because as long as they are lost, I can't use them and ideally, my balances will go down instead of up. Yes, I am worried about true emergencies.

When I mapped out my expenses, I didn't add in things like food and gas and funtimes because in my head, I don't really spend all that much on those things.

Apparently, I DO spend a lot on those things.

Last month, I added all expenditures into my budget. $1.07 for Taco Bell? it's in there. And it's highlighted pink so I can see that although it was a food expense, it wasn't a needed expense. Groceries are needed. Taco Bell is not. While I know that I will have some "fun" expenses, I now know that I have been going overboard. So much that I will not be able to go see my family for Thanksgiving (lucky for me, my mom is coming up here. So if Tahoe isn't snowed in, I'll be going up there. If it is, I will go to the Wife's). Last month, I spent over $300 on things that I could have lived without. I spent less than $200 on Gas, Groceries, and Pet Food.

Wow. Talk about an eye opener!

My goal for November is to cut that number considerably. It's going to be difficult because it's Thanksgiving and this week alone I will be buying a turkey, brining supplies, and the stuff to make broccoli cheese casserole for Spanksgiving on Sunday. And then in a week or so, I need to buy apple pie makings. I'll either be at the Wife's, or at my future step sister's house so either way, we need a pie. And maybe some more broccoli casserole.

More later...