Friday, May 4, 2012

If I've Learned One Thing It's That....

Budgeting is a process. I keep setting goals for myself, failing, and then looking at the situation and asking myself why. I was near tears yesterday regarding my finances. Despite making an effort NOT to overdraft my bank account - I did. And unfortunately it was with several little purchases that caused me to get hit with 5 overdraft fees of $34. I was devastated. My first question was – how the he** did this happen?? I looked over my account and realized that I’d bought gas for $30 and forgotten about it. It took several days for it to post. It over drafted my account by $13. I had also gone into the gas station after pumping gas and bought a bottle of water and a soda – 2nd transaction. Then I had 3 small purchases that I had made earlier in the week – one was for only $1 in ITunes which makes me sick – and voila…my account is in the negative.
Words cannot express how tired of this I am. Not being in control of your finances is exhausting. While I’m sad that since I started this process I’ve made ZERO progress, I feel like I had to get to this point. Now I know that I really have to CHANGE to make this change – period. So here’s my plan going forward:
1. Keep it simple! No more elaborate goals – at least not for the time being. Pick one thing and focus on it until I succeed.
2. Switch to cash for my grocery and spending money. Take out the amount I’ve budgeted on Friday, payday and when it’s gone…it’s gone.
3. Use a designated bank account for gas. I have a 2nd Chase account I rarely use. My gas money for the pay period will be transferred there. The reason for doing this is so I can still “pay at the pump”.
4. Track my spending – not just by looking at my bank account but by keeping a notebook with me in my purse and writing down every penny I spend.

Therefore my goals for this pay period are pretty basic:
1. Use cash for groceries and spending – budget $140
2. Use a designated account for gas – budget $60
3. Track my spending every day.
That’s it! Wish me luck!!

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