Several months ago, I decided it was time to have a Come to Jesus with myself about my spending habits. Several major expenditures, coupled with a massive vet bill or two (or 11, but who's counting) were killing my credit card balance. I have never NOT paid off my credit card in full at the end of the month, but I started to understand how that could be tempting. I decided that it had to stop RIGHT NOW THIS VERY INSTANT and officially put myself on a budget. Except, not really, because I feel like having myself on a bona-fide "$50/week for groceries, $50/month for entertainment" type budget would be about as much fun as counting calories, and would probably leave me feeling just as deprived. Instead, I decided I just needed to keep my overall credit card bill under a certain number. Considering that a mere three years ago, my credit LIMIT was two thirds of number, it seemed like this would not be hard to achieve. In fact, I thought I should decrease number, but I decided not to, because I don't like to just meet my goals. I like to crush them. I like to win things, especially when the competition is between me, myself and I. I'm crazy like that. So I decided to just leave number alone and then amaze myself with my own mad saving skilz.
I even thought I had the inside advantage on this game, since my credit card bill does not include things like the mortgage or any of our monthly bills.
In April, my bill was more than double number.
In May, I did slightly better, but still waaaaay over number.
June? Over again. By a lot.
Granted, my monthly bill isn't exactly reflective of my actual spending, because some of those charges were for things like groceries and expeditions to Home Depot, which Joel and I split when we do our monthly accounting. But, still, most of it was for unnecessary items, many of them from Amazon's "pets" section, SURPRISE!
I wasn't really sure what to do. Obviously my little budget plan wasn't working. I had another couple of strategies to replenish my saving account, such as choosing to be paid for a bunch of overtime I worked in the spring (instead of taking extra days off), and putting my entire tax return into my IRA and not even keeping one penny in my checking account. Sweet baby Jesus, that was hard. But it was necessary, and slowly the urge to cry when I looked at my bank statements abated.
Then, last week I decided to check on my credit card and see how I was doing. I am exactly 1/2 way through my billing cycle right now. And my balance? $56.93.
I have no explanations, but damn, it feels good to be a
Oh, and I was also planning to post every day this week, but obviously that didn't happen. With this pattern, I might accomplish that goal in 3-4 months. That's how I roll.