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I spent WHAT?!?!?


I started planning this post for today after a long night of panic and worry that we had way overextended our finances these last few months with the craziness.  I was sobbing in bed and then realized I needed a plan to get it right.  Seems like Caitlin and I had the same ideas because she wrote this post about her new financial challenge yesterday.

BTW sorry for the late post.  Hunni and I had tons of errands and work yesterday that I didn’t even get around to start writing this and the pups and I snuggled a bit in bed this morning.  Who can resist this…

Leo stole Peanut's Bedding.

Peanut didn't care because she stole Hunni's pillow.


I need a budget and I know it.  I do best with organization.  Without it I go hog-wild and spend willy-nilly on what I want.  Then when what I need comes around I have to scramble to pay for it.  That has been my past 3 months.  With some challenging things happening this fall we just got way off track with our budget.  We indulged in far too many meals out, groceries we didn’t need, fun stuff like games and clothes, and way too many trips to TARGET…my home away from home.  I’d be ashamed to admit all the money I’ve spent at that place.  It really is an addiction.


But I/we know we have to change.  I know we need to go back to our budgeting ways so that we can have more in savings than we do now.  We like that safety net and right now it has quite a few holes we could slip right though.  So Hunni the elf and I are sitting down to plan out our new budget.

He was having fun jingling all night.

Here is our plan.

  • List all necessary expenses. Subtract this from income (this is the same every 2 weeks since we only have one job and can’t get another…too hard to explain why).


  • List all outstanding bills we are paying on and create payment schedule.


  • Use the three savings accounts we have in ING.  Yep we have them but right now they are very lacking.  We have his fun, my fun, and rainy day savings.


  • We also have one other for bigger saving fun but we won’t use that until later.  We’ll just leave the little in it that’s already there.



  • Contact Credit Card companies about lowering interest rates since we are trying to pay them off.


  • Use MVELOPES to budget out categories and stick to it.  I really recommend this program because it allows you to


  • Put away credit cards and only use debit or cash.


  • Gather up stuff we’ve been saying we’re going to sell and actually do it.  We’re going to use craigs list or Ebay for most.


It may seem like we have a lot in there but I’ve already gotten started on a few.  I have a list of what we HAVE to spend and we know the income.  We have the savings accounts set up and the Google calendar category created and started.  And because of last week’s goals I have updated my mvelopes account.  Now just to keep up on those and implement the others.


Hunni and I are going to do this together instead of me taking all the burden which created some of the anxiety I’ve been feeling.  Since I don’t eat a ton anymore shopping has become my relief from emotions.  I’m going to work with my counselor on this so I can get over my new addiction.  I’ve even returned some stuff I bought recently I don’t need.  I never quite understood why former fat people who had gastric bypass became drug addicts or alcoholics but I think I do now.  You are avoiding the food in favor of a new addiction.  We/I need to be careful with those new addictions because they can be damaging as well.  Shopping/spending is not bad but doing so beyond your means or not saving is.  Learning that word BALANCE again is key.


So I’m off to finish our budget for the month.  I don’t have a ton to do at work today so that’s it and writing Christmas cards for a ton of people 🙂


Do you keep a budget?  Do you stick to it?  How do you get back on track with your budget if you get off?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. trumanmeg permalink
    01/12/2009 4:48 PM

    Keith and I were pretty much living the same way you were until about 3 months ago. Then we got serious. We knew we couldn’t afford to go to Ireland if we didn’t do some seriously long-range saving. We also knew we spent way too much on junk we don’t need at the expense of not having money for things we do need. Let me just say, the past 3 months have been so much better, so much less stress. Every pay day we know what is coming out and we take it out on pay day. We auto-transfer to our savings accounts and we also have a seperate checking account for groceries and fun money. Once that account is empty we are done until we get paid again. Good luck Cynthia. I am here for you, and I know how hard it can be but man, it does feel better to have a game plan.

    • 01/12/2009 8:09 PM

      Thanks Meg! Today was hard being the first day and I couldn’t just go out and buy something I wanted but I think we’ll be good because we are doing it together.

  2. 01/12/2009 7:33 PM

    (((Cynthia))) Good luck! Try not to stress too much — you’ve already taken the HUGE first step of formulating a plan; it only gets easier from here! 🙂 It’s great that your DH is actively involved too!

    I used the CNN Debt Calculator to figure out how to pay off my CC debt as quickly as possible. I think it is a really helpful tool! It asks you for your debts, interest rates and minimum payments, then shows you how quickly you can pay off the debt in X months or by paying Y amount every month.

    I’ve set a pretty strict budget for myself for the next year, but I know that I need to get out of debt before we start TTC or even thinking about buying a house. It’s all about priorities, I guess…just like Caitlin blogged about — I want to have a house WAY more than I want a venti latte from Starbucks!

    I totally understand the replacing food with shopping compulsion; it’s scary how quickly it can get out of control, just like weight 😦

    • 01/12/2009 8:08 PM

      Thanks Kara! I’ll check out that debt calculator. We need to pay off medical bills from my surgery first but we are going to call the CC companies for lower interest rates too.

  3. 02/12/2009 10:18 AM

    You can do it! I think those plans sound great and totally doable.

    It’s hard to make the change at first, but you get used to it quickly! We’ve always been on a tight budget, because until a few months ago, either 1 or both of us was in school + working a very low paying job. We’re making a bit more now, but not much, so our budget hasn’t changed much now.

  4. Chelle permalink
    03/12/2009 4:15 PM

    We have a basic budget, but I admit we usually go over in terms of eating out.

    We do Mvelopes so it’s not like we’re not paying off debt, we just aren’t putting as much in savings.

    It’s a little harder to motivate myself towards saving than it was to paying off debt, I don’t know why!

    I guess I would rather eat out with an extra $100 than save that extra $100.

    Ha, this is probably why I’ll never be rich 🙂


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