July 04, 2010
Miscellaneous Spending Update - Oops
I have written this post, rewritten it and previewed it several times today. I didn't want to post this as it shows that I have failed miserably over the past few months. I feel like a fake. I feel as if I have been living a lie by making by own laundry soap and then ordering something online. Stupid, stupid, stupid. My family depends on me to be more prudent and I have let them down. I can't go back in time and change things. The only thing I can do is to move on and get past this failure. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow hasn't happened, all I have is today. So - here is today's post. - Martha
As part of reducing our spending by $150 a month, I went through the grocery and miscellaneous spending that I had been tracking. I take all my receipts from the grocery stores and Wal-mart or other store and enter them in Excel. My DH also takes these receipts and enters them into Quicken. He pays all our bills. So while I track my spending, he tracks both of our spending.
My grocery spending is within our budget. That is good news for me.
When reporting the average of $143.00 a month spent on miscellaneous spending, I neglected to add into my miscellaneous spending my monthly credit card payment and my DH's miscellaneous spending. Yes, old habits do die hard, and I charge some items each month on my credit card. Most of these are on-line purchases and yes, they are not necessary. Each month the credit card payment is paid in full and it averages $50 to $100 a month in my spending. My DH has never called me to accountability on these expenditures, because truth be told, he has a credit card that he uses for online purchases, but not at the level that I do.
Miscellaneous spending in our household does not include household repairs, clothing, car repairs, pet expenses or school lunches as examples. It is just that, miscellaneous. It is what I call our life category and lately I think I have been experiencing a little too much life such as books, fabric, dvd's and online subscriptions, dishes, place mats, cell phone gadgets, and music downloads, to name a few.
After talking with my DH today he estimated that our miscellaneous spending in the past 3 months has been more around $300 a month. Yikes!!! And the worse part is that my credit card spending added into my cash spending was a big part of the overspending in the miscellaneous category. Part of me wanted him to print out what was spent on miscellaneous so I could review it but the other part of me told me that I needed to move on and start anew. I'm not going to beat myself up over this. The money has been spent and I can't change that as that is in the past. The only thing I can do is to take action today so that I don't continue to overspend in the future.
Being accountable in this blog is important to me and admitting to overspending is kind of hard. I am more than embarrassed, I am ashamed. That is a lot of money spent on life.
In looking over the past 6 months I think I settled into my homemaker life and as time went on I started spending a little bit more and it snowballed. A lot of those expenditures I justified as being expenses for the home. The best way to describe my life is to use a phrase from Oprah Winfrey and her Debt Diet Show - I began to live my life "unconsciously." It's embarrassing to say in a blog entitled "The Path to Frugality" that I began to spend money recklessly and without thinking about what I was doing. I really don't think that I am alone. Like on a food diet, I fell off the money diet wagon, got a wake up call and now am back on the wagon.
So last week I made some conscious changes. I think before I buy. I know, it is pretty simple. Maybe I should change the title of this blog to "Just Think."