Do you ever look through your bank or credit card statements and think, “Hmm how did that happen? I was budgeting so well!” Since I became debt-free I’ve been pretty relaxed with my budgeting (OK, truth be told I haven’t really made a budget at all this year). Basically, since I got that $30,000 student loan “money” off my back, I haven’t been as worried about my spending.
This year, I even “allowed” myself to plan a vacation for the first time since I became debt-free. It was a once in a lifetime trip with my grandparents that I’ll never forget. I did manage to stay within my planned budget, but it still was a chunk of change.
This month I was looking through my bank statements when I realized it’s almost the end of the month and I’m completely broke! Alright, that’s a
bit of an big exaggeration. I do have enough money leftover to pay my bills, but I don’t have any money left to save.
On average I try to throw $500-$1000 into my savings account each month (that’s just my savings as Eric and I aren’t married and don’t share finances yet). This month I won’t even have $500 to save, which is pretty unusual for me. So where did all of my money go?
Holy cow, March was an expensive month!:
- $294.00 went to the State of New York for my clinical licensure fee
- $260.00 was spent to take my clinical license exam (I don’t actually take it until next month)
- $334.00 was spent to travel home to Maine this weekend for my Uncle’s celebration of life ceremony
- $360.00 went to radiology for a CT scan I had in January (don’t get me started on health insurance in this country)
- $400.00 (or so) was spent on groceries, toiletries, pet food etc.
What’s different about my spending this month, is the unusually large amount of “extra” expenses. Some I anticipated (like my licensing fees), while others (traveling home) were completely unexpected. The good news is that everything will be paid for out of my salary and I won’t have to touch my savings like I did in January (remember when my furnace burned up? That was a BAD month!). The bad news is I won’t be saving anything this month.
I’m sure some people (probably people who aren’t reading this blog) don’t think that’s a big deal. But for me (a self-proclaimed perfectionist who happens to be a little neurotic) it’s pretty frustrating. That being said, I know that “shit happens” and you can’t always plan for life (although I’d like to). So I’m letting this month slide and trying not to beat myself up.
We all have budgeting ups and downs and some months are more spendy then others. So, with the new month only a few days away, I’m ready for a fresh start. Bring on the April showers and May flowers.
How was your spending this month? How do you deal with budgeting disappointments?
Image: Simon Cunningham