For the first time since I have buckled down on our budget, I gave myself a week to relax a little.
Both the hubs and I had bigger than expected paychecks. Everything was going smoothly with our bills. We even had a little cushion built up. I could take a breather, I thought.
That week of relaxation was definitely not worth it.
Because we nickled and dimed ourselves into a BIG hole.
We spent about $500 in extra purchases — food, little things for the house, a movie or two. By themselves, none of our purchases were extravagant. Most of them were genuinely useful and sensible. But what wasn’t remotely sensible was not checking in with our bank account after we made them.
The spending hole was compounded by the fact that I forgot that the hubs’ new cell phone plan meant the billing date changed AND we had to pay the activation fee.
When it was all said and done, we were about $1,000 shy of making all of our bills and getting our gas for the week.
Just writing that out brings back the same hyperventillating panic I had then.
Luckily, we have amazing family members who were able to give us a short term loan to patch over our indiscriminate spending. All our bills were paid on time and I’ve got a renewed sense of urgency to get our budget under control.
It takes a tremendous amount of concentration to break the casual spending habit. Little purchases don’t seem like a big deal and there certainly isn’t any instant gratification to sticking to your budget.
BUT there is something to be said for the piece of mind that comes with knowing there is more than enough money in the bank account to make your bills and buy groceries. Hopefully this is a lesson learned that will actually stick.
On a happy note, I just checked in with our credit card balances and we have all but the largest under $2,000 now! Woohoo!