Starting this blog, I was so excited to share my tips and tricks. To teach others how to be budget savvy like I was, and to share the insight I get from different finance books that help motivate me to stay on track. Posting once a week, every Wednesday was my goal, but then the busyness (and laziness) entered, church events, husband’s birthday, album practices, ladies conference, work, and other “unexpected” expenses completely destroyed our October budget beyond repair.
How could I blog about budgets when just 10 days into October, we already doubled (pretty much tripled) our eating out budget? We didn’t just bust the eating out budget, but pretty much every single budget we have, and October was only 30% over! The worst thing about busting the budgets so early in the month is that you have one of two options.
Option A) Live like a hermit and don’t eat or blink for the rest of the month to save every penny you can.
Option B) Hold your breath, and pray you don’t shoot yourself in the foot too bad when all is said and done.
Hubby and I chose Option B, we were “too” busy to live like Hermits. We were also too busy to meal prep properly, and I hardly cooked this month (yet we still went over our grocery budget?!?!?). Here is the crazy thing about not cooking dinner, you don’t have leftovers for lunch the next day, so there were days that we BOTH ate out for lunch and dinner multiple days out the week. Then small unexpected expenses hit us. When my husband ordered a month’s worth of proactive for $33, we didn’t read the small print where they really sent us 90 days supplies worth, and now we have a $33 expenses this month (and next). Taylor had the amazing opportunity to record a live album with our church, which means a new outfit for said recording, it is also his Birthday month this month, so of course, I had to spoil him! I had a college fair I needed to dress business casual for, so there was a new outfit for me. For Taylor’s birthday we had a cookout, so myself being the “hostess with the mostest” we had to spruce of the backyard (another unexpected expense).
Are you starting to see the pattern here? Yes, we did a lot of unnecessary things, and no when you think about it, none of them were really “unexpected”. I just knew in my head we could make it work, but that didn’t stop me from internally freaking out with each extra dollar we spent. I would tell myself,
“its okay, we have the money, we just won’t be able to put any this month towards debt. I would just take on a few extra cakes, and everything would balance out”.
Then, the unexpected happened…
I finally went to get a check up on my back, I have had scoliosis since I was in my young teens. I figured it wouldn’t be too bad since I wore a back brace when I was younger, we already fixed the problem, this was just a checkup. To my surprise, not only is it bad, it is actually worse than it was when I was an early teen, so here we are, already busted all the budgets, and we just added a $1,500 expense. I almost broke down in the doctor’s office but was able to keep it together until I got home. I then proceeded to cry…. a lot.
For the next few days, I went into a state of depression and self-pity. No doubt, we had to pay the $1,500, if not corrected, my back would only get worse and cause me significant problems in my later years. It was just, we were already so behind on our budget, $1,500 is two vacations for us, I would rather spend that money on vacations than my back that no one can see. $1,500 would knock out one of my student loans. I was sick to my stomach and was being swallowed up in anxiety.
Then to put the cherry on top, I had a ladies conference the following weekend. Nothing more I would rather do than hang out with ladies and listen to women who had it together talk about Jesus (can you hear my sarcasm as you read this?). Low and behold the theme of the conference was all about being free. One of the speakers, Andi Andrew, spoke directly to my heart. She said that “vulnerability before God is the only way we can be set free”. I was reminded in that conference that there is a difference in “knowing I am free” and “walking in the freedom that I have already been given”
So what did I do with this little reminder? I went to the prayer breakout session and allowed myself to be completely vulnerable with God. You see, at the root of it all, I didn’t just need to be free from my anxiety of finances, of not being able to get out of debt asap. I needed to be free of my insecurities, and the feeling of inadequacy in my life. I needed to be free from fighting and struggling against God and start being vulnerable with Him and others around me. To be free from my victim mentality, and start living each day knowing that I am free and victorious.
I am so thankful that I was able to be reminded of this at the Chosen Ladies Conference. Yes, my budget for this month maybe unrepairable, but I will not let it affect me to the point of depression. Next week starts a new month, and honestly, I am looking forward to starting a budget with a clean slate. Yes, we ended up using our credit card for the doctor bill, but we will pay it down a few dollars at a time. I will not let it take my joy like it did last week!
To make matters a little funnier, the check engine light came on in my car today so we will take that repair a few dollars at a time as well! Good thing I splurged on this necklace at the Ladies Conference to remind me that no matter the circumstances I am free!
QUESTION FOR YOU:
How do you manage to get back on track when you bust the budget?