My mind is so full of everything that I have to do, but over the last week I have reached a few conclusions. Hopefully it will make a difference in how I control my financial future.
I am a BAD budgeter. I am aware of how much money will be coming in each month, how much I will have in any given week, and how much the bills are each month. With all that, you would think that I had a clue how much I can really spend -- but I don't. Regardless of the fact that I have been out of work and my husband has taken a pay cut, we have still manage to pay our bills.
I rely on the credit card. We never take money out of the ATM, and I use my debit card for the majority of my purchases. But I also still use a credit card, and I justify it by telling myself that I will get rewarded with Dollar Amount Store Coupons that I can use for clothes and gifts. I pay this bill in full every month (only twice in two years have I not). I rely on the credit card if I want something, and I pay it off, but the problem is that I don't pay anything extra toward my other consolidated credit cards which I could be paying down if I weren't spending so much with that one credit card.
I never account for unexpected expenses, probably because I am used to depending on the credit card. My husband and I are going to a (mandatory) military ball in less than two weeks and he has to wear a Class A uniform, which just cost us $425.00. If you were behind us in line, you would have chuckled. We were going back and forth about whose card to put it on. My husband was afraid his card would get declined and I didn't want to put the large purchase on mine. Truth be told no matter what I will still have to look at the bill at the end of the month but just thinking about it was making me sick. Thank God I just so happen to have a brand new ball gown hanging in my closet (because I'm a binge shopper) so I am all set. Imagine if we had to spring on that as well?
I am not a savvy shopper. We make way too many trips to the market in one week. Over the last week we took 5 trips to 3 different markets! I loathe food shopping, which is probably why we end up going so many times. I thought that the number I gave Karen for my food totals was a bit ridiculous but she didn't say anything. I know diapers can be pricey, but I think we can trim down what we spend on food. I can save 30% by shopping at the commissary, but it seems to be so difficult for me to get everything in one shopping trip. It's a 30 minute drive and at least a 2 hour project. This is how we end up going to the closer markets, which I swear are 45% more expensive.
I wonder how many people have these same issues. Do you take the time to think about where your money is going?