I’ve got a confession. I fell off the wagon. I am disappointed in myself, but it is what it is. All I can do is pick myself up, dust myself off, and jump right back on. Here’s what happened.
It all started early on Wednesday morning. I was talking to my Mom on the phone and during the conversation I tried to throw my husband a blanket but accidentally threw my phone along with the blanket (no idea how it happened – freak accident). Well, the phone fell face down on our tile floor and the screen shattered into a million pieces. It was unusable. I cannot go without a phone (we have no land line so during the day when my husband works my cell is the only way I have to contact people and/or dial 911 in case of emergency).
I quickly came up with a game plan for the day. I had a TON of work to get done, so I would drop the girls off at daycare, run by the grocery store, and come back home to call around about screen replacements (I’d already looked up several places, but none opened until 9am), and get my phone situation handled. With any luck, I’d be done by noon and still have a solid 4.5 hours to work before needing to get the girls from daycare.
So I started off on my day. Dropped off the girls at 9am and went to the grocery store. Mistake #1 – I forgot my money envelopes! Doh!!! No time to go home, so I just used my debit card. First stop was Sprouts (for produce and cheese), next stop was Albertsons (they’re having amazing meat sales so I stocked up on ribs and steaks). Surprise, surprise…these trips caused me to go over my grocery budget (not by a lot, but still disappointing. Numbers below).
I come home, rush to put groceries away, and call several places about screen repair. Cheapest I could find was $110, but they were booking a week in advance. This was not an option. I literally couldn’t even hold my phone to my ear because the shattered glass was cutting me! I needed same day repair. Cheapest price I could find was $150. Ouch! This busts my budget, but I consider my phone an absolute necessity, so I’ll chalk this up as an “emergency fund” item (to clarify – I did not have to dip into our emergency fund since we had enough money to cover it, but I do consider this a type of emergency that would require the money even though it busts the budget). I rush to the mall (believe it or not, the Apple store was actually the cheapest place). It’s about 10:30am.
I wait in the lines to talk to a Genius, go over the issue, and by the time I hand off my phone its 11am. I’m told it will take 30-45 minutes and to come back at that time. So I walk around the mall.
Here’s where things really go downhill…..
My hands are dried and cracking. I wash them about a million times a day (before preparing food and snacks, after diaper changes, washing dishes, etc etc etc), plus I live in the Arizona desert climate. My hands look rough (they literally crack and bleed around the knuckles. Cute stuff). I LOVE Aveda’s hand cream so I drop into the store and buy a bottle. Nevermind the $22 price tag. (ouch!)
I’m still walking around. Now it’s about 11:30 and I’m getting hungry. Guess I’ll buy a sandwich and drink. $12 later I’ve now busted my “eating out” budget that I’d worked so hard to stay within all month.
I go back to Apple, pick up my phone, and pay the bill. After taxes and everything it amounted to $159.
It was 2 days before the end of the month and I went from being at or under-budget in every category (other than “other”…see below) to going over budget in just about every category. : /
Final spending for the month in my Money Envelope Categories:
- Groceries: Budgeted = $380, Actual = $406
- Entertainment: Budgeted = $20, Actual = $17
- Eating Out: Budgeted = $75, Actual = $87
- Personal Maintenance: Budgeted = $20, Actual = $28
- Other: Budgeted = $125, Actual = $293
Every single overage was caused on this one single day. Groceries because I forgot my money envelope and just bought stuff on debit. Eating out because of the stupid $12 sandwich and drink I bought (wasn’t even very good). Personal maintenance because of the pricey Aveda hand cream. And “Other” (mostly) because of the iphone screen repair. I say “mostly” because I had gone over by $9 already prior to Wednesday, but then the broken phone really exacerbated things.
What have I learned?
- Don’t forget the dang money envelopes!
- Apparently if my plans go out the window I say “screw it” and spend with reckless abandon???
- Stress exacerbates my spending problems!
I was certainly stressed about the broken phone and the copious amounts of work I needed to get to at home. I think my rush and stress fed into these spending issues. I knew I didn’t have money to buy a $22 hand lotion but I guess I just blocked it from my mind. And I knew I was already at my limit for eating out, but I rationalized that I needed to eat and I was stuck at the mall so might as well get something (even though I could’ve waited the extra 30 minutes until I got back home).
I really have no good excuses. We all make mistakes. I’m glad I have to come report here to you and be held accountable so this little spending-binge was isolated to a single morning, rather than continuing on for the rest of the week (in an “oh screw it, I’ve already busted the budget” type of fashion).
One thing that makes me feel slightly better is that we did save a little bit on daycare this month. There were 2 days when our childcare provider’s kids were sick so the girls had stayed home with me. So I did save $100 on childcare. Of course I busted the budget by OVER that amount, so it doesn’t “make up” for my over-spending but it does make me feel a little less sting from my expenditures.
Onward. June is a new month. Budget update later today.
How do you recover from over-expenditures? How do you get back on track when your budget has been derailed?