A Budget Massacre, Indeed

by GettingFreedom on December 26, 2008

I know that I said I was going to be on break…but I couldn’t stay away any longer! Plus, my husband is gone on his annual hunting trip to Iowa, and I began plugging numbers and going over things. Which brings me to this……….

I created this blog to not only share our journey to becoming debt free, but to also hold myself accountable in my budget. The good and the bad. Thankfully, it’s mostly all been good…until now.

December, my friends, was a budget massacre. So, if you are a lover of numbers as I am, you may want to stop reading. ‘Cause it is getting ready to get ugly in here.

Apparently the funk that I was in for the better part of December affected me more so than I thought. But, I’m over that funk (thanks, Mom!) and I’m back with a vengence for the month of January.

Thankfully December only had 3 goals…but I must say I didn’t do good on either one! :( Here was December:

  • Of course continue to pay off the truck. Nothing extra went here this month, which pains me…but it’s true.
  • Replenish the EF. I actually did. Then DH needed money for a trip he goes on every year after Christmas. We had that money set aside, but Willie decided that the kids needed more for Christmas (!) and I caved in. Agh!
  • Stick to the $300 Grocery Budget Do I even want to go here?! Hmm….I don’t exactly know what I spent to be honest…which I really don’t like…but I had no form of organization (other than a menu plan) this month. My receipts are here, there and everywhere they are not suppossed to be. I’m a number control freak, and I feel so lost and out of control here. But, in all honesty, I don’t think that it is as bad as I think. I did not go shopping the week of 12/21 like I should have..instead I put it off a week. This means that I’ve been able to live off of my stockpile for the last week (other than milk), which is fantastic. My cash left for grocery expenses is $73. The kids and I got snack food for dinner one night as well as other stuff we really didn’t need…..But..I used the debit card (!) at Walgreen’s to the tune of $48.97. So, I really should just have $23. I will see what I can pull together. Fingers Crossed!

In a nutshell…here is the damage:

  • Roughly $300 overspent on Christmas. AGH!!! I was really trying hard in this area….but temptation gave in. The only upside to this is that some of the things they got were things they needed. Not much of an upside though, since the toys far outweighed the “needs”. They are getting older and the toys are getting higher for sure. MUST GET BETTER ON THIS! This includes….I don’t even want to say it….
  • $100 in CC debt. Oh No Way! Yup, you read it right. DH was trying to hide a purchase he made for me…so he put it on the CC instead. Boo! (But..I LOVED his gifts!!)
  • $200 EF void. Blech! Thankfully, Willie worked a lot of overtime the last few weeks, so this should be replenished fast. Also, we’ve not drove a whole lot the last few weeks..so the extra money from our gas budget can go here.

  • Bad organization=lost receipts=no rebates. To the tune of, oh $50 or so. Bad news…but I’m on a mission. Must find receipts.

Now that I am left with the bits and pieces of the massacre scattered all over my house…the only thing I can think of is making it better. Fixing it. So here are my goals for January:

  • Put the gas budget back to $300 This is where it was at before the gas prices went through the roof and I had to jack it up to $400. I’ve been monitoring the spending here and it is consistently lower than the $200/wk.
  • Drop the grocery budget to $250. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I’ve been coming in under the $300 for the last few months…so now that I need to catch-up, I think it is as good of a time as any to drop it.
  • Pay extra on the truck. Honestly, I don’t know that I can do it for January because of all the catch up I need to do and the fact that my van is probably going to need a major repair in the coming weeks. When it rains is pours! :)
  • Either sell or donate all my cluttery goodness. This goes for all the clothes and toys that I’ve been meaning to get rid of for how long now?! My cheapness is getting in the way here…and sometimes I just wonder if I should just give up on selling it, and just donate to a free store so a needy family can take advatage of it. What are your thoughts here? Should I just go ahead and donate all this stuff and get it out of my hair, or should I go ahead and attempt the whole E-bay thing? Nonetheless, it must go soon!

Dropping those two areas will grant me an additional $150 to throw at the damage. Essentially that will rid the CC debt (again!) and give a little extra to put back into the EF. Hopefully Willie’s overtime will take care of the rest of the EF, and then I can focus back on the original goal of paying extra on the truck by mid-month.

I want to thank all of you for all the encouraging words and support. As you can tell December was not my month. I was here, but I wasn’t here, if that makes sense. I’ve never been like that before, and thank God that I’m not there anymore. It’s over and it is time to move forward. I WILL be debt-free and this WILL NOT get me down. If anything, it made me stronger.

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