Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I've Been Bad

Wow, haven't posted in quite a while!

I have been busy, but I have to admit that part of the reason for not posting is that I have not been paying attention to my finances properly.

Several things have been going on.

One bad thing that I am embarrassed to even post about - is credit cards. Yup. One day last month I was making a purchase at the party goods store. I had two American Express gift cards that I was trying to use to make the purchase. But for some reason they wouldn't work. And at that time our bank balance was very low so I was afraid to use my debit card. Sooo - what did I do? Yup. I used a credit card. I told myself I would go home and make the payment on line immediately. (You know what is paved with good intentions!) Well, of course, I forgot. And because we have no credit card debt right now, I wasn't looking out for that bill. And it didn't get paid. And, yes, they hit me with a $30 late fee! And I only charged $8!

I do plan on calling to see if they will waive the late fee, but honestly, I just haven't been able to face it.

The other things going on should be good. We got our tax refund (a big one!) and we got our stimulus check. I did plug these into my yearly budget, taking them out of upcoming months (I was expecting them to arrive later), but for some reason, I can't get my yearly budget to work out. I drove myself crazy with it one night until I couldn't take it anymore. Then I gave up. And honestly, I haven't been watching my finances since then. I just got so frustrated that I didn't feel like dealing with it. Part of the reason is that we have such a large amount of money in the account now that I sort of feel like I don't have to worry about it. This is not really the case. All these funds have already been allocated and we shouldn't be spending the money now.

I guess it's sort of like a study I heard about where people will unconsciously use more of something from a very large container - like if you have a huge bottle of shampoo, you are likely to use more per wash than if you have a tiny bottle. Well, our huge bank balance has set me on a kind of shopping spree too.

Yup. For the first time since we started the plan I have allowed myself to buy clothes for myself and the kids. Clothes that are not necessarily necessities and not exactly budgeted for.

My husband needed the brakes on his car fixed, which we had budgeted $400 for, and it ended up costing $700. The new/used riding lawn mower needed a new battery to the tune of $50. We went to a bat mitzvah of a friend's daughter which cost us $100 for the gift and $80 for the babysitter. All these things were not budgeted for!

I am just overwhelmed with all the unexpected expenses and haven't had the courage to sit down and figure it all out. I need to though . . .