2/19/2010

Where the money's at

I feel tight, strapped in, restricted.

It's only been two and a half weeks since I was in crisis mode when my grandmother fell and broke her hip.  I had felt like things were going to be okay, but now I feel like stressed out again.

I think what has happened is that after wracking up almost $700 in one weekend on my credit card - the $450 I put on it the following pay day didn't feel like it made a big enough dent, but let me tell you it sure put me in a squeeze for the last two weeks.  So much so that I have been using my credit card far too much lately - so now I'm going to have to do another big payment (more then the $250 I had originally planned).

I was going to put up exactly what I've spent on my visa over the last while - but I don't think everything has posted yet.  I can tell you that I owe about $700.......*sigh.

New charges do include:

  • Groceries
    • About $80 over a couple of different shopping trips
  • Cell phone bill (automatically charged)
    • About $55 - some extra long distance here from when I was in BC
  • Some Liquor
    • Maybe $50
  • Ancestry subscription
    • About $30
  • Best buy
    • I had a $100 gift card which we used, but ended up spending an extra $100
  • Ikea
    • About $25
  • Eating out a couple of times ($15 here, $20 there)
  • Some charges from websites - to post roommate wanted ads
  • Also I bought gas two days ago b/c i couldn't quite make it to pay day (today).
What does Gail always say - she says not one of those things seems very big, but put them all together and you've got $700 worth of STUFF.

Sigh.

Jessie, stop buying stuff.


I think my bi-weekly budget will look like this:

I did reduce my variable spending budget by $50 - but I don't want to cut it any further - because I'll use my visa again.

I think that when I owe something on my visa - I rationalize spending more.  It feels like it's easier to justify  "Well, I owe $400 on my visa already, what's another $25".  Further to that, I thought it would be better to just pay off my visa each pay day, rather then taking from my emergency fund when we had our family emergency.  I now think that that was a mistake, because it set me up to spend more money.  If I had just paid it off, then committed to replenishing my E-fund - I bet I wouldn't have spent another $450 bucks.

Lesson Learnt.
Reactions:

11 comments:

  1. You're not alone. I had an airtight budget this month and we've already over-spent about $650. I'm so mad at us. It's not all "over-spent" but some of it is that I just didn't remember to include it in the budget. I wouldn't be so worried if husband was going to get his bonus in 2 weeks, like normal, but he's not. There goes our tax return!

    ReplyDelete
  2. HIDE THE VISA!!

    You need to make it not so easy to use. Also, consider putting your automatic bill payment on your checking account rather than the Visa.

    It is so hard to stop spending on the damn card once we start, I have the exact same problem. And it is always little things.

    But if you don't have the card in the wallet, it becomes a lot less easy to use it. ;)

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  3. I agree with SS4BC. Out of place, out of mind. Just take it out of your wallet and make it less accessible.

    The little things add up ridiculously fast!

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  4. I prefer to mentally reframe that thought from "I've already spent $400 so what's another ..." to "I have ALREADY SPENT $400!! I can't spend more on top of THAT."

    It's really easy for the first one to lure you into more trouble, the second reiterates that something has already happened and you ought to stop now while you still can. Heck, that often makes me feel guilty enough to go back and review the list for things I can return!

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  5. I don't like to be without my credit card in case something does come up, like my car breaks down or something. But I like the way Revanche thinks. I've already spent that!! Cut backs begin. It's amazing what you can cut out sometimes.

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  6. Time to freeze the visa in a block of ice

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree with the above. You have to hide it or ask someone to hold it and go into cash mode or... Something!

    This is what I am doing too now. I don't bring a wallet to work anymore to stop me from going out and buying daily lunches. It's easy to buy a little this and that but it all adds up. So I don't even buy coffee anymore.

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  8. What's your ancestry subscription and why do you need to spend money on it? Are there more expenses that you can cut?

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  9. Thanks for all the comments and support. I'm going to try to use Revanche's method of re-framing my thought process.

    I'm also going to find somewhere to leave my visa at home...it's got to be safe.

    @ me in millions - ancestry.ca - the subscription gives me access to a huge database of historical information that makes researching my family tree waaaay easier. It's not a forever subscription, just once in a while.

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  10. I'm glad you have a plan.

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  11. @ mom - thanks, me too. I usually feel better after writing it all out and thinking about how to fix it.

    ReplyDelete

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