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."


Moderate Means said...

Oh Martha, don't be too hard on yourself! I think I've claimed "One billionth start over" as my should-be blog name :) We're human and being accountable for our actions is hard!

Now that you know, it will get better! As we say at the office, "think of it as an opportunity, not a problem!"


tammyyarbrough said...

Dear,dear Martha, you are certainly not alone by any means! I still suffer from this "hidden" disease, although I have somewhat gotten it under control- most of the time. A lot of it comes from boredom! For me it's the instant gratification- I'm always looking for a good deal. The next time you really think you want to order something, stop and ask yourself- should I our or should I not push confirm? You are deserving of some luxuries in this world, fro crying out loud! We don't live forever! ;D

Martha said...

Thanks for your comments, ladies. They are encouraging. My DH thinks the same that I am being too hard on myself but I have promised him and myself that no more fabric until I get the fabric I already bought sewn into clothes. I'm a fabric junky!!!