With myself. Absolutely Disgusted. I cannot believe my lack of self control. It's pitiful.
I suppose now that I've gotten you on the edge of your seats, I should explain a bit about the self depracating behavior. First off, I'm not entirely thrilled that I keep setting monthly goals or challenges for msyelf and I never seem to follow through with them (haven't you noticed that? If not, you will now!) so for the month of October, I kind of kept quiet about my financial challenge sheerly because I couldn't face one more public disappointment. I figured this way, if I totally failed, it would be only me that knew. Yeah, not exactly the best way to be held accountable by your peers. But, you know what, I actually accomplished this goal. What was it, you ask? Well, my goal for the month of October was to simply save up every receipt that I generated over the month and at the end of the month (I knew I wasn't ready for a routine maintenance program here. Baby steps, people!), I'd input them all into my budget (which has been created, just never faithfully used!) so that I could attempt to get a handle on where I'm spending my money each month. The way I see it, I can't really cut expenses or focus my efforts in any one particular area until I'm seeing it in black and white right in front of my face. Let's just say this: I'm seeing in BOLD RED right. in. front. of. my. face. And it's disgusting.
I just got done inputting the numbers and I can't believe how awful I have been this month at sticking to the budget. I mean, it was ridiculous. Here's some of the worst hit areas:
Groceries--I have a budget of $200/month. I spent $363.59--that's $163.59 OVER BUDGET.
Eating Out--I have a monthly budget for Tyler and I of $50. We spent $272.63--that's $222.63 OVER BUDGET.
Lunch or Dinner for me at work--I have a monthly budget of $20 (really, I should be packing every. single. day. The budget is only an emergency type cushion--or not!). I spent $61.28--that's $41.28 OVER BUDGET.
I fully recognize that I need to first find out where I'm at in order to get to where I want to go. And yes, seeing these numbers in black and white (or red) definitely helps me to understand that there is a problem. I just didn't realize how big of a problem there was. I mean, I feel like I need to rename my entire blog to "Wish I could be Living On a Dime or Less" since I don't feel like I'm actually Living On A Dime or Less. Goals. Goals. Goals. Every good accomplishment started with a goal, right? Please just placate me and tell me I'm right.
One positive that I noticed in my budget was that I came in under the budgeted amount of $250 for gas (fuel for the car, not gas for the heat) by $18.98. However, I can't even really see this as much of an accomplishment since I was out of town for work for about half a week this month. So, if I had been home, I probably would have been over in my budget. Oh the heartaches of being an adult. One other slightly positive note is that I was able to make a fairly hefty payment to my credit card in an amount which was almost $3000 (THANK YOU BIRTHDAY MONEY!). No, I do not receive anywhere close to $3000 for my birthday, it's just that my birthday money combined with other payments equalled almost a $3,000 payment. In order to fully understand this, I will need to further explain how I use my credit card. Look for this explanation to come in a post soon!
Anyone else have any major budget blows in October? How about successes? I could certainly use the inspiration!