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A lot of my finances stalled in March (not to mention my blogging schedule I was on!)–there were expenses I knew were coming that basically stopped any extra payments towards my debt. With that, I kinda lost my momentum at being “good” with money. I’m doing the Dave Ramsey program because I am bad with money, but it’s also taking time to re-train my brain at how to spend it. I definitely have an all-or-nothing mindset.

I did fantastic in February–I halted all extra spending and paid a bunch down on debt. When that stopped in March, so did that forward momentum. Here it is in the middle of April and I feel like I slid backwards. I did a bit too much shopping which I knew I could easily pay off if I got my act together. I know what I did wrong: I counted on getting a check in the mail that has yet to come, so I was counted my chickens before my eggs hatched. I also learned that I honestly need to budget for clothes, something I wasn’t doing before because I thought I didn’t need to–I hate clothes shopping, but with a couple of places (hello, Torrid!) I know my size so when there are good sales, I tend to go a bit cray cray. But the thing is, I want to buy clothes, so it’s better I budget for them and stay within that budget a little at a time, rather than do what I’m doing now, which is going on a big spending spree once or twice a year. I need to learn to space it out more. So I thought I had that under control–I was going to pay it off. The intentions were there. But then that dissipated.

My dog got sick. I decided that it was time to dig into my emergency fund–that’s what it’s there for. But with my all-or-nothing spending habits, it went even further in the toilet. My thinking was, “I’m already in the hole, what’s another $20?”

The one good thing I did during this period is after I got my taxes back, I put all that towards the credit card (this was before the I’m-going-pay-it-off debt and the vet bill–had I foreseen the vet bill, I would have kept the money in savings). So the credit card it went on is down significantly, and it’s a card that will be cancelled after it’s paid off, so that’s good forward momentum. It’s debt that will not be returning and can’t because the card is not being used. I know Dave Ramsey says get rid of all credit cards, but I’m just not in that place yet, but I’m working towards it. Maybe when I have more in savings I’ll be comfortable getting there, but for now, I’m not. If my dog’s vet bill had reached over $1,000, it would all be going on a card, so my emergency savings isn’t enough. Getting rid of all credit cards right now is not an option for me, it is not an immediate goal, but it is an overall goal.

Hitting the reset button: Now I need to work on making myself accountable again and getting back on track, so this is my official announcement that I’m hitting the reset button. No more unnecessary shopping, no eating out, nothing, until I reach certain goals.

My new current goals are:
*Go back to Baby Step 1 and get that $1,000 in savings again.
*Get the March/April shopping paid off–no more counting my chickens before they hatch.
*Pay off that credit card!

I have a lot of long-term goals, but I try to keep immediate goals so that I see changes, I can reach them, and I am not overwhelmed by the big picture. One of the reasons I lose control of my spending is because I get overwhelmed by the big picture and think things don’t matter because I’ll be in debt forever. I don’t feel that way when I narrow my vision and only look at the trees instead of the whole forest. So this week I am re-setting my goals, narrowing my vision, and going back on a spending freeze.

I’m kicking myself for losing control, for falling off the wagon, but I need to take a deep breath and hop right back on. I may have caused a setback, but it’s temporary in the grand scheme of things. If I can get myself back on the wagon and get control back, these kinds of set backs will be further and fewer between, and I’ll make the good habits that help me avoid them. It’s just taking time to re-train my brain and my habits.

None of my goals will be attained by the end of the month, but I will get my paperwork together, check where I’m at, and get back on track. This means having my goals laid out, keeping track again, keeping my spending in check, and making progress on those goals.

I hope you all have good goals for April and can obtain something.

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