Budget Talk in the Hopes That Maybe It Will Help Some of You Out, Too

I am going to show you two different selections from an Excel workbook I’ve been keeping.

Here’s one:

Credits $642.02
Debits $1,225.08
Leftover -$583.06

And now, the other…

Credits $729.07
Debits $735.41
Leftover -$6.34

Now, that first one was in May of this year. I overspent by about $120 from my normal, bare-bones expenditures. Maybe approximately $1k a month seems like a lot for a person who is living with her parents rent-free. I do think I can possibly cut that number a little lower if I do some more careful planning, but I think the lowest it will manage to go is about $900 a month.

That May number is what lead me to seek out a second job, which, as those of you that have been following me know, I did in June. If I think absolute bare-bones is $900 a month, then $642 just wasn’t going to cut it.

However, lets talk about that second one and notice something super important. That is a snapshot of today’s month to date expenditures. Yes, a lot has gone out so far this month, but I think that is normal when you are recovering from a deficit.

To give you an idea of June’s balance, I came out ahead by $14. Yup, that $583 deficit only managed to go down to $569, and that was only because of two reasons:

  1. I took about $140 out of my emergency savings.
  2. I had about $50 in my PayPal account that I could transfer over. Things like Swagbucks or Ibotta can actually help in situations like this.

Without those things, I would’ve increased my deficit by approximately $175, and that would’ve been a nightmare. That’s essentially me missing approximately 90% of my car payment.

I always hated keeping close tabs on my money, because it depressed me to see myself digging this hole. It was only getting bigger. Now, I feel like I’m in a canyon. Of course, the only way out is to climb back up, and I know that in order to figure out how long it is going to take is for me to realize exactly where I am.

So I made another spreadsheet today. It is where I am archiving my check registers. These registers will have thirteen sheets. The first twelve are obviously from month to month. The thirteenth is special, for it is going to show me exactly how much I actually made and how much I actually spent.

Thanks to this thirteenth spreadsheet, I can tell you that at the beginning of this month, I was just under $700 in the hole for my year-to-date.

Budgeting might be boring shit, but it is fucking important boring shit. You don’t know how much stress money can bring you until you dig your own canyon.

I’m done digging. I want to start climbing. For the first time in a very long time, I think that might be possible.



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