My favorite month is coming to a close. I haven’t been able to blog as much as I like due to some reoccurring wrist issues. Since I type all day at work, I have been trying to give a hands a bit of break. My job was nice enough to do an ergonomics check and get me a hand rest. I am not sure its getting any better, but well see. Yay, the joys of aging.
Nonetheless, I am super proud of my finances for the month. I was able to reduce our AC bill by around $3000 leaving the current total at $2530.78. Trust me, this was not an easy task. I increased my hours significantly at work. My husband also got a $600 bonus at work and $50 gift card. I sold some of my kids old clothes, stayed in and said no as much as possible. I used coupons, redeemed my shopkick points and used some old giftcards I had been holding on to. While it was not fun nor sustainable for the long run, it is wonderful to see the bill shrink away!
Its weird how when I don’t spend money, it makes be more wary of shopping but also crave it! I have really been good at evaluating what I need and only buying that. But I just really want to shop. Maybe its all the commercials on TV or the great items that seem to be on sale everywhere. Or being at home has focused my mind on all the things I wish I could have. I am trying to resist day by day and appreciate what I have. It seems so hard though!
Today is my birthday whether I like it or not! While I slowly creep towards 40, I am finding each birthday as nerve-racking as the one before. My best friend shared the cliche, “40 is the new 30!” Whatever that is supposed to mean, its not helping. I am not sure why I see 40 as something scary. I am enjoying much of my life and the decisions I have made thus far. I have a great family, working part-time and mostly out of debt (AC loan and home only). Still I feel unprepared to be a women in my forties! Luckily I have a few more years to learn to embrace the idea!
As far as the financial front, we are not doing as well as I hoped. I have managed to get in two more no spending days (the 9th and 11th), bring my total up to four so far. I’ve been trying really hard to use cash only and stay away from my credit card. After the whole ATM stealing money, I am finding cash very refreshing actually. With all that being said, I am still disappointed to report that we are probably going to end up spending more money than we made again this pay period. It is extremely frustration especially when you have been watching your money so careful. It is impossible to save and/or pay off debt when you are constantly using money you haven’t earned yet.
My husband asked me what I was going to do on my birthday. Visit the nail salon? Go shopping? Go out to eat? Originally I had budgeted some fun money for today, but somehow it got used. I was watching an episode of the TV show “About a Boy” the other night and the main character is shown napping during the day. When asked what he was doing, he said he was saving money because he can’t spend any money when he’s sleeping. Maybe I’ll just take a long birthday nap!
So, the big question is how have I been doing with my no spend November! Well, as life goes, there have been quite a few challenges along the way. Here’s a summary of days 3, 4 and 5:
Monday, November 3rd – Jump into a panic when I log into my bank of america account and realize my account is off by $839. After some quick investigating, I realized that instead of paying a bill of $839 from my credit union which had that exact amount in it, I used my bank of america account by accident! After triple checking to make sure I was not going to overdraw my account, I decided to ignore finance all day. I treated myself to Carl’s Jr turkey burger because I was stressed out.
Tuesday, November 4th – The piano teacher cancels leaving me with $120 in cash to not be tempted to spend until the next week. I did pretty good on Tuesday and had no spending day #2.
Wednesday, November 5th also known as disaster day – Woke up late for the field trip I was chaperoning and didn’t have time to prep and pack lunch for myself and my daughter. Ending up taking $20 from the piano teacher money and buy us breakfast and lunch for the day. Later that day, I decided to withdraw money from my credit union and deposit it into my bank of america account. I swung by an ATM to make the deposit like I have done numerous times. Well, the machine malfunctioned in a horrible way. It took my $839, spit out $38 of it and only gave me credit for $300. I sat in my car in tears holding $38 dollars and freaking out that $501 of my hard earned money was gone forever! I immediately called bank of america and after getting transferred around was told that they would investigate. I was not happy to hear the word “investigate” and let them know. They then told me a temporary credit of $500 was going to be placed in my account to cover any expense I might have. So far the credit is still there, but I am a bit worried that some crazy situation will happen and they will not give me my money back! And even if the temporary credit gets cleared up, they still owe me a dollar!!
Yeah…not the month of dreams I was hoping for so far!