Reeling It Back In

The excitement of selling my house is finally starting to wane, and I’m settling in to my new reality. Things are really going well so far. Except for one little thing:

My spending has gotten out of control!

Okay, maybe not out of control. But I’ve definitely been going over budget the last few weeks on my spending money. Seventy dollars on plants for the garden* here. Forty dollars on supplies to refinish the patio set** there. Extra spending at the grocery store. It seems that while I wasn’t paying attention, I’ve become careless in my spending.

I’ve been slowly siphoning money out of my expenses account, which is a little fat now that I don’t have a mortgage payment. And I expect to have a variety of refunds coming through in the next few weeks, from over payments on utilities, etc. (I should probably explain this in another post). But just because the money is there, doesn’t mean I should be spending it mindlessly. It would have a much bigger impact used elsewhere!

I’m not going to beat myself up over it. It is what it is, and I can’t go back and change the past. But, moving forward, I do need to be more conscious of where my money is going. Yes, I have more “free” money now that I’ve sold my house. But the intention wasn’t to increase my spending. I’m supposed to be kicking it into high gear on debt payoff, and then working towards financial independence. I have goals, after all!

– Cindy W.

*I may have gotten a little carried away with the perennials. Despite what I thought was a well thought out plan, I’m now stuck with two plants that I don’t know what to do with, and one plant that I regret planting. I’ve thought about planting them outside the upstairs neighbor’s unit, where it’s all overgrown with weeds and tree starts. But cleaning that area up will be a huge undertaking, and I’m not sure I have the time or energy to get it done right now. We’ll see!

**I planned on spending the long Holiday weekend refinishing a wood patio set that we got from my sister a few years back (when she was moving, and planning to leave it at her rental). It turned out to be in much worse shape than I expected: When I went to move the table, it completely fell apart. So much for that plan!

Comments

  1. Oh man, I can see how this would be *so* easy to do. My plan to keep this from happening after my emergency fund is full at the end of the summer: I’m giving myself two months to spend the $500 I’ve been putting aside every month, on whatever else — clothes, expensive groceries, whatever! — and following that, I’m going to divert the same $500 to one of my goals. Could you do a version of that?

    1. It is incredibly easy to let lifestyle inflation ease in! I think part of my issue comes from feeling guilty about the disparity between Bryan and my expenses. Even though we basically split “our” expenses, he still has a house, and expenses for his kids, etc. Eventually his expenses will decrease as well. I just have to keep reminding myself that paying off my debt is helping towards OUR future; It isn’t like I’m selfishly hoarding all my money or anything.

      My plan right now is to put all the money we get from selling stuff towards something that will benefit both of us, that we want. I’m guessing that will work out to around $500-700. And I’m setting aside all of the refunds from the house. I’m not sure what I’ll do with those yet, but I’m thinking either keep it as a “slush fund” for 2015, or maybe use it towards a vacation. Hopefully that will help curb my spending desires, while helping to keep everything else on track. We’ll see!

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