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...

1 comment:

Sensei said...

I really hate this "new normal"...living from paycheck to paycheck.