Thursday, April 19, 2012

Over Budget

I updated our family finances last night. What that means is that I entered the latest receipts in our monthly spreadsheet, determined what budget category each purchase fell into, added the amounts into the budget spent for the month, and determined what is left in the budget for the remaining 12 days of the month.

We've had some great months this year. But this time, the process was a bit scary.

Our (over-the-top and likely unreachable) goals this year were to pay off $10,000 of student loans, to sock away $10,000 in savings or investments, and to give $5,000 to church and charities. We are doing okay on these. Not great, but okay. The Jeep's new tires blew $1,000 out of our savings, although we are working on replacing that monthly. We are also taking money from our home and goals budget to pay for the new television we bought for our upcoming anniversary. (Note: We will also be buying a new pressure canner when our anniversary arrives in May. TV for husband, pressure canner for wife, but both of us will enjoy the use of both items.)

What was truly scary is how much I have spent in the last month or so on our home and goals budget. I am nearly $200 in the hole in this area! And while we made more money than that on the items we sold this year on eBay, the prospect of having spent that much money--even on items to organize this place--is sobering.

I said a while back that until the move was over, I would not be buying extra items or starting new projects that weren't already pending. Overall, I have stuck to that resolution. But now I realize that I need to rework the project list and develop a new vision. I need to take note of the tasks I can do around here that will cost little to nothing (I need to take the stickers off my three-year-old cookbook holder. That wouldn't cost anything, and I keep saying I need to do that!) I also need to realize that, God willing, I have plenty of time to complete many or all of the tasks I want to complete, even if I have to do them after I return to work at the end of this year or beginning of next year.

I covet your prayers that I will show self-control in this area.


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