Monday, February 14, 2011

Birthdays, Holidays, and Taxes

This week has gone terribly awry and it's only Sunday.

Last week I ended up $6.52 over budget.

My husband and I decided not to do Valentines gifts. Neither of us "need" anything and we cannot afford the extra spending even for loves sake. We did go to El Burrito for a Valentines dinner. That cost $23.12. I spent about $18 on a birthday gift for my niece, gift wrap's included in that price because we were completely out. And to top it off I spent about $11 on groceries. It looks like this week is beginning much worse than last week did. Last week's overage combined with the Valentines dinner, groceries and the birthday gift brings my spending for this week to almost $60. IT'S ONLY SUNDAY... the first day of the week. Look's like I did exactly what I said not to do two posts ago. I made it through last week, a week of tooth and nail fighting to stay on budget and then I just went spending crazy, or at least feel like I did.

We are $46.86 over budget today  : (

I have to admit I did not want to post this. I don't feel like I'm failing. It's more like I've hit a big bump in the road but I do feel like it must appear as though I'm losing it. I thought of a good plan to get out of posting this. The tax refund is coming eventually. I thought to myself I could just earmark some of the tax refund money for all this crazy spending I just did and then I could actually start this week out normal, balanced with just the $11 groceries spent. I could even get rid of last weeks negative if I alloted some of the tax refund to make up for it.

It sounded like a good plan. But we have a very bad habit of spending all of our tax refund money before it ever gets here. I know for the past few years at least I've been bound and determined to put the refund money towards the debt and I'm almost positive that for the past few years not a penny of it has made it's way to pay off the debt. It always gets spent on little stuff. I've got a list already this year that we could put it towards: new work shoes for both myself and my husband, a power steering flush for the car and a new serpentine belt, my husband cannot get a new television off of his mind, front porch lights, I hate these lists of things that suddenly seem so important when money shows up. So I decided the plan of earmarking the tax refund money for this little spending spree of mine wasn't such a good one. I want to put the tax refund towards the debt and that's that, not dinners out, not birthday gifts, not over spending. That stuff I'm just going to have to work into the budget no matter how slowly it takes to catch back up.

And so I begin week seven $46.86 over budget (which includes last weeks overage because I have to make that up). Yay.


  1. I would just say hang in there - if you remember, your original plan was to put away money throughout each week to allot for "future" purchases such as the dog food, gifts, etc. You spent several weeks not putting any money away, so the reality is it will probably take a couple weeks to get to where you know you should be. It's not because you don't realize what you need to do, or even because of weak will. Overspending this week is a nautral consequence of decisions in previous weeks working their way out. If you stick with it you are doing exactly what you said you would, even if you don't have anything to show for it right now!

    One potential suggestion, could you possibly modify a purchase for one month to help out? I know your dog needs special dog food, but you can get a bag as low as $ would one month of that kind of dogfood in the interest of the health of you/your spouse be okay? Or if that is not an option, could you skimp just once on one of your other future puchase items, like getting the super-cheap roll of TP, or clipping some coupons to get some household supplies as cheap as possible, etc.

    Happy Valentines day!

  2. Don't give up!

    Have you considered setting up an ING account, where you can put money away for future expenses? soon as it hits your account...just put it ALL to debt. Don't let it trickle away.