Wednesday, August 20, 2014

True Confessions: a month of budget fails.

I know that I have a tendency to be equally encouraged by people’s budget fails as their good deals. That’s the nice person I am :)
But realistically, sometimes it’s a good reminder to see other people’s humanity and erring ways. Most months we do pretty well when it comes to our budget. There’s usually not a ton left at the end, but I view it like tax returns: as long as I’m not in the red, close is pretty good because it means that we accurately predicted exactly where we should be. 

July, on the other hand, was a majorly red month. I knew that July would be a more expensive month because I needed to buy a couple of wedding and shower gifts, but I didn’t plan for anything else out of the ordinary. Normally we get by just fine on those types of assumptions. What we didn’t plan for was the Grand Am to die in the middle of a busy intersection over the 4th of July. So we certainly didn’t plan for almost $340 in repair work or another $260 in replacing the back tires for the same car. Normally all of those things would come out of some sort of emergency savings account. We do have a small amount set aside for car repairs, but it’s something piddly like $150. In light of the fact that out of the three cars we own, there is a total of 32 years and 467,200 miles between them, we should probably have a more robust savings account for that area. (Lance, math genius he is, calculated that our cars have been around the globe a little less than 19 times at 24,902 miles each trip).

And while I knew that we were going to have to shell out money to replace my dead Nikon D200, I hadn’t settled on a model or a final amount. I bit the bullet and bought a new Nikon D3200 for $475 off of Amazon because I knew that I’d want to take lots of pictures at the State Fair in August (which incidentally Lance left my camera at home thus negating one of the main reasons for the camera purchase). 

In regards to the gifts that I really didn’t think to factor into the budget, I talked with another friend who was attending the same wedding and split some of the wedding gift costs. I tried to make smart decisions about the shower gift basket I put together (wedding night themed: utilizing a basket and champagne flutes I already had; going to Trader Joes for the gourmet foodstuffs; not getting food items that would have to be refrigerated, etc.) As a result those gifts didn’t really cost me as much as I had originally thought they might. 

On the flip side, July is actually an example of God’s provision. Lance’s employee referral bonus was finally added onto his paycheck (just two months late) and we received an FSA reimbursement check for dependent care. Not to mention that Lance has been receiving his sales bonus checks which we’ve been using to make additional loan payments but this month used to help with unplanned expenses. 

So there's our budget fails for July. Feel encouraged :) 

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