January Check In 1: Money- It’s a Drag

Here’s how I am going to put this:  I have been doing very well with my January but it hasn’t gone so smoothly.

Let me paint a picture of the financial situation that I entered this month with.  My “friend” had missed about five payments last year and in the process managed to drain my savings.  Things were already tight when Hubby took a new job, nearly doubling his income at the cost of a month without a paycheck.  December was mostly catching up and trying to juggle Christmas presents.  At the end of the month, we lost some money due to the power outage, which caused us to eat out a lot more than we usually would (because hot food is effing amazing) and use more gas than we usually would and replace more groceries than we usually would. Next was the New Years party which I manged to pull off pretty inexpensively.  However, expecting my friend to send some money in the last week of the month, when he’s supposed to, emptied my bank account again when he failed to come through.

My first step in managing my money was to get a grip on exactly what I had.  I sat down on the 2nd and balanced my check book, verified my savings balance, and did my monthly bill prep.  I take a piece of lines paper and use the top half to track pay off amounts, from lowest to highest, and the bottom is a list of bills due, amounts due, by due date.  I looked this sheet over and felt crushed.  I have a long way to go this year and I want to do well.  I don’t want to feel this kind of pressure anymore.  I decided to go back to giving myself $100/week for groceries and fun with the new stipulation that I would stick to it.  No buying a random dinner here and a pack of cigarettes there.  If I don’t have the cash, I don’t get it.  I decided to aim for not touching my savings account and also not spending any money until I could pay myself again.

Which should have been Friday.  But was not.

Here is where a number of circumstances come together.  First, my bestie came home from out of state for a family birthday party and I needed a gift for her.  Second, because we were going to a birthday party I wanted some beer and cigarettes.  Third, we needed groceries but I hadn’t gotten money yet.  Fourth, a huge snowstorm was on the way.

I did alright really!  I managed to get some great second hand books for the bestie and Hubby bought me some beer.  (Even then I drank super cheap stuff!)  I managed to get the groceries we needed for around $40, even though I had to take the money out of my savings.

Now I’m locked away in my house, 15 inches of snow outside my front door.  I haven’t been able to spend money in two days!  I even got a snow day today!  I’m taking it easy on myself because sometimes you just have to do the best you can with what you’ve got.

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