Expenses: EPIC FAIL

Because I was employed by temp agencies for a very, very, VERY long time, I’ve gotten very used to Wednesday Payday.

So much so that creating a budget that doled out money by the month? Has caused COMPLETE SYSTEM FAILURE (Abort, Retry, Ignore?).

According to this month’s budget, I should have $220 left over 9 days from now, to put on, you know, my credit card debt or something.

Instead, according to my calculations, I’m -50 in the hole and still need to put gas in the car.

Contributing Factors to Epic Fail:

  • Not tracking expenses religiously – I bought food with my entertainment budget, entertainment with my miscellaneous budget, miscellaneous with my comics budget, and comics with… um, nothing. I should have bought them with the gas money, thus completing a vicious cycle, but the gas money was gone by the second week of the month.
  • Under-Guesstimating expenses – I had myself down for $80 in the transportation column. That’s how much my bus pass costs. I kind of forgot that I do still drive a car sometimes. (I also have to shell out $125 next pay period for the Annual Bus Pass, but that’s actually a savings… maybe. It’s complicated. Ugh.)
  • Forgot to add things to the budget – I have needed a new comforter for aeons. Seriously, I was sleeping under two blankets I’d slept under for the last 15 years, repaired them both several times, and if you hold them up to the light, you can SEE THROUGH THEM. Right hand to God. I’d planned on using the gift card handed to me by the grand’rents for this– and then I went and spent that gift card on groceries.

Things I’ve Done That are Win:

  • Made a budget and checked it halfway through the month – I’m being accountable to myself! \o/
  • Shopped secondhand and discount – purchased a king sized duck down feather quilt at w2rk for $24.65. This quilt is usually ~$125, and the twin size (which is how big my bed is) is $49.99. I spent most of the weekend on the couch under this quilt. I built a fort! And since it’s so warm, I didn’t have to turn the heat on as I was lounging yesterday! \o/
  • Planned my meals before going to the grocery store and stuck to the list – It’s amazing how much of the grocery store you can skip if you’re just going in for vegetables and bulk staples. I’ve also discovered I’ve turned into that wierd old woman who not only brings her own grocery bags from home, but also brings washed and neatly folded produce bags from home to reuse. \o/
  • Paid for calculation errors out of Freedom Account – Yep. I didn’t touch any of my dedicated savings (travel, car insurance) nor my cushion account. Because I have a PLAN FOR UNEXPECTED EXPENSES OMG WHAT HAVE I DONE WHO KIDNAPPED ME AND PUT AN ADULT IMPOSTOR IN HERE?!?! \o/

What I’m doing to prevent future epic fail:

  • Set up new INGDirect Savings Account named ‘Allowance’ – I went ahead and transferred all cashy monies into that account. Each week, I’ll be sending part of those into my checking account for spending on things like food and gas and CLOVERFIELD which I am TOTALLY going to see this next weekend come hell or high water pants. Why in a savings account/transfer to checking account system instead of cashy money in envelopes? Because I raid the next week’s envelope, and envelopes do not earn interest (remember, compound interest is sexy OMG).
  • Not beat myself up – I made a mistake. I’m fixing it. I’m still full of flavor, and am currently working on my win content.

The Experiment

What happens when I put as much time and energy into keeping track of my finances as I do in keeping track of my fandoms? Let's find out!

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